January 27th, 2009

Get over your own damn self!

First, I want to warn you that this post will inevitably piss someone off. Second, I want to warn you that this is a link to Michelle Malkin’s site. Third, I want to say that personally, I loved both of Michelle Obama’s choices for the inauguration.

I, now, would like to point out that both of her choices came from designers who are NOT white and are most definitely talented. Frankly, I believe her choices had nothing to do with race. They had everything to do with what she felt was right for her and the occasions. As is her right and responsibility.

Now, I would respectfully ask that 1) the Black Artists Association calm down and take a longer term view and 2) that Michelle Malkin get a better class of commenter. While I believe #2 is impossible based upon the author, I believe #1 is not only possible but probable if they would simply take a breath and realize that there is plenty of time and countless occasions for the First Lady to showcase black artists not only in fashion but in all the different categories of art. Four years, people! Let’s not get bitchy two weeks in! She could have picked Ralph Lauren, fergawdsake!

That said, I would respectfully request that Washington wines be served at the next state function. I get it, DiFi had control of the inauguration so CA got the alcohol spotlight. As the second largest producer of domestic fine wine, Washington deserves a nod and a pour. Cheers!

UPDATE: While I do not agree with calling out Michelle Obama on her designer choices, I definitely do not believe that it is death threat worthy!


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January 22nd, 2009

On survival guilt

I was spared. Today. Who knows about tomorrow. But for the moment, I still have a job.

Things happened today I did not expect. There were people who lost their jobs today who I would never have worried about. There were people who lost their jobs today who I worried about, and who really needed their jobs.

Today was a day of crying, of worrying, of comforting friends. Today was a day of wondering why, worrying how we’ll muddle through if we’re on the wrong side of 1,400, and whether we’ll be on the wrong side of 5,000 over the next eighteen months.

Today was also a day where I read about a former coworker who lost her job. She’d been at the company a few years longer than me, and she was chosen by a local paper as a representative of those of us going through everything above. No, she was a represententative of those who, in addition to everything above, was on the wrong side of 1,400.

Microsoft is a huge company, and the veriety of experiences and life situations is enormous. There are people like I was just a few years ago–single, without loans, a renter, early in their careers. There are people like I am now–married, with car loans, mortgages, responsibilities, and not nearly the resources to shrug off a sudden paycheck cut. There are people like many coworkers–responsible for a family, not only for a mortgage, but also the care and feeding of children, saving for their future, and the health insurance that helps ensure they will have a future. And there are people in so many other situations–100,000 or so, all unique.

Today, the Seattle PI covered the story of a woman who lost her job at Microsoft. She is not a millionaire, nor is she much different than the rest of us, though of course she has her own circumstances that none of us who are not in her position can understand. It was a human interest story, attemtping to bring a face to what was happening. Those of us watching coworkers and friends lose their jobs felt the immediacy of her story. Cathy’s story was supposed to help others empathize. She expressed hope at her prospects of finding fulfilling new work. But the response by PI readers was to ridicule her hope, excoriate those of who worry about what will happen to us if we lose our jobs, make fun of people who don’t know what to do next, and generally add to the misery of what was otherwise a miserable crap-ass motherfucker of a sonofabitch day.

I know this is a handful of people making these comments on the PI blog, and an unfortunate face of the Web’s ability to allow every Tom, Dick and Asshole to make his opinion broadcast news. I know, too, that these are just a handful of petty little people who have no idea that other people suffer, too; but their words really added to the terror of this day. People who lose their jobs because of the economy, people who have to worry about paying for mortgages and food for their families and their futures are not spoiled brats for being upset about what’s going on. People who do lose their jobs and try to express hope and put on a brave public face do not need ridicule for trying to maintain a sense of dignity.

Today was a bad day. Those who enjoyed laughing at us for it shoud be ashamed of themselves.


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January 16th, 2009

Re-entering the US just got even more painful

I ‘ve always hated the process entering the US, where the immigration and customs policies seem to be more Soviet-Russia-Bureaucracy than Land-Of-The-Free, but since I got my Green Card it’s been a little better.  At least now there aren’t forms to fill out beforehand, and I can use the faster-moving citizens line (and when I’m travelling with Jay, we can at least line up together). But one of Bush’s midnight regulations might make things worse again.  Starting two days from now, Green Card holders will be treated just like any other alien,  and will have to be fingerprinted and photographed upon entry.

DHS said all “aliens” in the U.S. are subject to the biometric requirements of the US-VISIT program, and that lawful permanent residents – even though their backgrounds have been thoroughly examined — are technically still considered aliens.

“US-VISIT enables DHS to determine if an LPR seeking entry has been convicted of any crime that would render him or her subject to removal from the United States,” says the final rule.

Great.  I worry enough about speeding fines and parking tickets enough as it is, without making it ammunition for a surly border guard.  And then there’s this:

LPRs have generally been allowed to use the line designated for “U.S. Citizens” when they arrive on an international flight at a U.S. airport, and this treatment is likely to continue, but that doesn’t give the two groups identical rights, says DHS. “This accommodation does not mean that LPRs are, or will otherwise be treated as, United States citizens,” says the final rule.

I mean, come on. I pay taxes.  I contribute to society. I’m a good citizen legal permanent resident. The least you can do is let me enter the country in the company of my husband.

Pretty please?

Full article:  Green card holders will be fingerprinted and photographed at U.S. borders


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