piasharn: (Grahm)
...nh?

I just woke up. I apparently crashed at some point, but given that the tsunami would have hit here about 90 minutes ago, and I'm alive and dry (I live a stone's throw from the ocean), I'm guessing things are OK.

Although the catching-up I've been doing on the situation in Japan... not as good.
piasharn: (Grahm)
...nh?

I just woke up. I apparently crashed at some point, but given that the tsunami would have hit here about 90 minutes ago, and I'm alive and dry (I live a stone's throw from the ocean), I'm guessing things are OK.

Although the catching-up I've been doing on the situation in Japan... not as good.

...fuck

Mar. 11th, 2011 02:49 am
piasharn: (WTF?)
It's about 02:45, so, as usual I'm awake. I had been doing some drawing, but had an urge to get online, and...

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit NE Japan, triggering a huge tsunami.

It looks like the tsunami has already reached Taiwan and will get to the Philippines soon (if it hasn't already by the time I finish typing this) and could cause a massive amount of damage all around the pacific islands. I think that they've already started evacuating people in parts of Hawaii.

If that wasn't bad enough, there is a possible radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear power plant.

From what I can tell, I've got a little under six hours before it hits La Jolla, which is just north of me. We are on a lesser tsunami watch, but I'm not too worried at the moment. Still, I don't think I'll be going to sleep any time soon.

There are 15 confirmed deaths in Japan at the moment, but there are hundreds missing. I'm not a religious person, so it seems a bit dishonest to say that my prayers are with people, but my thoughts and my hopes certainly are, for what they're worth.

ETA @ 03:05: Right, found this Twitter account from one of the LJ communities I'm on, which is doing live updates.

Death toll is up to 32, the tsunami missed Taiwan, but should hit the Philippines any time now. Power is on in Tokyo, but phones and mobile internet access is down, which is causing understandable anxiety as people are desperate to contract loved ones. (I would be going insane, especially since I have no land line or cable access, everything is through my cell phone.)

They have managed to shut down four nuclear facilities. I can't say that I've seen any updates on the possible leak at Fukushima. If a massive earthquake and tsunami aren't bad enough on their own, nuclear radiation leak... guh... *shudders*

...right... there's enough people posting and tweeting about this, so I'll shut up now... just... stay safe everyone.

...fuck

Mar. 11th, 2011 02:49 am
piasharn: (WTF?)
It's about 02:45, so, as usual I'm awake. I had been doing some drawing, but had an urge to get online, and...

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit NE Japan, triggering a huge tsunami.

It looks like the tsunami has already reached Taiwan and will get to the Philippines soon (if it hasn't already by the time I finish typing this) and could cause a massive amount of damage all around the pacific islands. I think that they've already started evacuating people in parts of Hawaii.

If that wasn't bad enough, there is a possible radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear power plant.

From what I can tell, I've got a little under six hours before it hits La Jolla, which is just north of me. We are on a lesser tsunami watch, but I'm not too worried at the moment. Still, I don't think I'll be going to sleep any time soon.

There are 15 confirmed deaths in Japan at the moment, but there are hundreds missing. I'm not a religious person, so it seems a bit dishonest to say that my prayers are with people, but my thoughts and my hopes certainly are, for what they're worth.

ETA @ 03:05: Right, found this Twitter account from one of the LJ communities I'm on, which is doing live updates.

Death toll is up to 32, the tsunami missed Taiwan, but should hit the Philippines any time now. Power is on in Tokyo, but phones and mobile internet access is down, which is causing understandable anxiety as people are desperate to contract loved ones. (I would be going insane, especially since I have no land line or cable access, everything is through my cell phone.)

They have managed to shut down four nuclear facilities. I can't say that I've seen any updates on the possible leak at Fukushima. If a massive earthquake and tsunami aren't bad enough on their own, nuclear radiation leak... guh... *shudders*

...right... there's enough people posting and tweeting about this, so I'll shut up now... just... stay safe everyone.
piasharn: (One of Those Days (artwork by mnemosyne))
Utah outlaws miscarriages.

No, I'm not kidding. This is serious.

Really.

...

...

...

...to be perfectly honest, the only thing I can think of is, "Thank the gods I started drinking before I read that." (Don't look at me like that. I work the graveyard shift. I'm allowed to drink during the day.) Even still, I really, REALLY want to go beat the shit out of the people who pushed through this piece of shit legislation.

Y'know, Utah, first the Mormons* out there helped pass prop 8 out here in California (and, really, couldn't you keep your bigoted opinions in your own state?) and now this. Are you trying to make me hate you with the fire of a thousand suns? 'Cause I'm pretty damn close.

Damn it... I need more rum.

* I realize that not all Mormons were involved in passing prop 8. There were many who are vehemently against the Mormon church's stance towards LGBT people. And there are many who, while they are not pro-LGBT, don't feel the need to impose their beliefs on non-Mormon people. I have no qualms with you guys. It's the ones who think that EVERYONE needs to be forced, by law, to live according to their beliefs that make me want to punch something. Or someone.

piasharn: (One of Those Days (artwork by mnemosyne))
Utah outlaws miscarriages.

No, I'm not kidding. This is serious.

Really.

...

...

...

...to be perfectly honest, the only thing I can think of is, "Thank the gods I started drinking before I read that." (Don't look at me like that. I work the graveyard shift. I'm allowed to drink during the day.) Even still, I really, REALLY want to go beat the shit out of the people who pushed through this piece of shit legislation.

Y'know, Utah, first the Mormons* out there helped pass prop 8 out here in California (and, really, couldn't you keep your bigoted opinions in your own state?) and now this. Are you trying to make me hate you with the fire of a thousand suns? 'Cause I'm pretty damn close.

Damn it... I need more rum.

* I realize that not all Mormons were involved in passing prop 8. There were many who are vehemently against the Mormon church's stance towards LGBT people. And there are many who, while they are not pro-LGBT, don't feel the need to impose their beliefs on non-Mormon people. I have no qualms with you guys. It's the ones who think that EVERYONE needs to be forced, by law, to live according to their beliefs that make me want to punch something. Or someone.

piasharn: (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
While I'm jubilant over Obama's victory, there were some sorrowful outcomes of this election.

California, Arizona, and Florida all had propositions on the ballot to ban same-sex marriage. Arkansas was voting on an initiative that would bar same-sex couples from adopting. All of them have appeared to pass.

There is still hope for California, though. There are still three to four million ballots that have not been counted. With the results so close (52% to 48%) these votes may be enough to tip the scales. It's a slim hope, I know, but there is still a chance that we can pull through.

For that matter, we don't know exactly what will happen to the same-sex marriages that occurred before this election. There's a chance that the people who are already married will remain married, even if no new same-sex marriages will be allowed.

There is also a chance that this may be overturned for legal reasons. We still have options. There are things we can do.

Also, remember that eight years ago, 61% of Californians voted against same-sex marriage. This time, only 52% have done so. Think about that for a minute. Add to that the fact that the younger generations are much more GLBT friendly, so as more young people come of age, we'll have the majority on our side.

This isn't over yet, people.
piasharn: (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
While I'm jubilant over Obama's victory, there were some sorrowful outcomes of this election.

California, Arizona, and Florida all had propositions on the ballot to ban same-sex marriage. Arkansas was voting on an initiative that would bar same-sex couples from adopting. All of them have appeared to pass.

There is still hope for California, though. There are still three to four million ballots that have not been counted. With the results so close (52% to 48%) these votes may be enough to tip the scales. It's a slim hope, I know, but there is still a chance that we can pull through.

For that matter, we don't know exactly what will happen to the same-sex marriages that occurred before this election. There's a chance that the people who are already married will remain married, even if no new same-sex marriages will be allowed.

There is also a chance that this may be overturned for legal reasons. We still have options. There are things we can do.

Also, remember that eight years ago, 61% of Californians voted against same-sex marriage. This time, only 52% have done so. Think about that for a minute. Add to that the fact that the younger generations are much more GLBT friendly, so as more young people come of age, we'll have the majority on our side.

This isn't over yet, people.

*squee*

Nov. 4th, 2008 08:29 pm
piasharn: (Delirium)
OBAMA FTW!


We've just witnessed history being made, folks.

Now it's time to celebrate!

*squee*

Nov. 4th, 2008 08:29 pm
piasharn: (Delirium)
OBAMA FTW!


We've just witnessed history being made, folks.

Now it's time to celebrate!
piasharn: (No on Prop 8)
For the love of all that is holy, get out and vote!

I know it's easy to say that one vote doesn't make a difference, and there is some truth to that statement. However, you can't have a crowd without the individual people, and you can't get the large numbers of votes without the single ballots.

Yes, voting matters. Yes, it makes a difference. Please, please, please go out there and cast your ballot.

On a related note, I called my parents as I was walking out of the polling location after voting. It turns out that they were also just walking out of their polling place as well. Even thought we're separated by three time zones and close to 3,000 miles (4800 kilometers), we ended up voting at exactly the same time. How's that for a strange coincidence?
piasharn: (No on Prop 8)
For the love of all that is holy, get out and vote!

I know it's easy to say that one vote doesn't make a difference, and there is some truth to that statement. However, you can't have a crowd without the individual people, and you can't get the large numbers of votes without the single ballots.

Yes, voting matters. Yes, it makes a difference. Please, please, please go out there and cast your ballot.

On a related note, I called my parents as I was walking out of the polling location after voting. It turns out that they were also just walking out of their polling place as well. Even thought we're separated by three time zones and close to 3,000 miles (4800 kilometers), we ended up voting at exactly the same time. How's that for a strange coincidence?

^_^

May. 16th, 2008 07:37 pm
piasharn: (Peace by Brom)
Two things happened yesterday that were cause for celebration.

The first is personal. 15 May marked the one year anniversary of when I moved to California. My parents and I arrived at about 5:30 am, and by 5:30 pm, I had found an appartment and was moved in by the next day.

In all honesty, I can't believe that it's been a year already. The time has just flown by.

The second cause for joy is something that more people can celebrate. Yesterday morning, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

Now, I know that not everyone will be happy about this, but I'm ecstatic. I did a Happy Dance around the apartment when I heard the good news, although I had to ignore the WTF? looks that the cats were giving me.
piasharn: (Mononoke-hime)
I shouldn't be at home right now.

I should be at work.

But I'm not there because the fires raging across parts of southern California have resulted in so many road closures and evacuations that I can't even get through.

The town just south of the city I work in was being completely evaccuated, and the freeway between there and where I work was completely closed off to allow police, firefighters, and emergency workers access to the areas they were needed. Once I finally managed to get off the freeway, I called the hospital again to see if someone who knew the area better could give me directions.

After a flurry of discussion concerning where I was, the easiest way to get to the hospital, and trying to determine what roads would still be closed off, someone broke in and mentioned that even if I did manage to make it in, it might be a day or two before I could even get home, and the safest thing for me to do would be to turn around and head back down into San Diego.

Which is what I did. However, now I'm frustrated as hell. Between the smoke, fires, evacuations, and people getting scared, you can bet that there will be more than the usual number of people getting hurt. Plus, they're evacuating the patients at one of the hospitals in the area and sending them to other ones in the country. No doubt that the hospital I work for will get at least some of them, given that they're not too far away and are owned by the same company.

So I'm upset because not only should I be there to help, but I'm leaving them short-handed. And I don't even know if I'll be able to make it in tomorrow or the day after!

I'm safe. I live right downtown in San Diego. Even if I wasn't right next to the ocean, there's just not enough around me that can burn. And at least the air only has a slight tint of smoke, not like the thick, gritty stuff they have futher north. (I'm still sneezing grey snot left over from this morning, though.)

Damnit, I should be there... Instead I'm sitting on my ass and doing nothing. I know it's not my fault. I know I did my best to get there. But still... Ugh.

To anyone in the area who happens to read this: stay calm, stay safe.
piasharn: (Huey Freeman)
"The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
--Stalin

Just some food for thought for the coming week.

I don't know about you, but what I've been hearing about the new electronic voting system has me rather nervous.
piasharn: (Utena and Anthy)
If a middle-aged man pursues an under-aged girl, he is called a pedophile. Some people see his pedophilia as a unique sexual orientation separate from heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or asexuality. Even those who consider the man to be a heterosexual do not claim that his sexual orientation was the cause of his pedophilia.

However, what happens if this hypothetical man goes after an under-aged boy instead? According to organizations such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and other conservative Christian organizations,in this situation, the man is a homosexual, and his paedophilic proclivities are a direct result of his sexual orientation.

Don't'cha just love double standards?

While the whole Mark Foley scandal has been amusing in some ways - watching the "good, moral, family values" crowd falling over themselves in an effort to blame this on the Democrats, liberals, gays, even trying to claim it was Clinton's fault somehow - it's also another way for the aforementioned crowd to once again tote the line that homosexuality and pedophilia are one in the same, and that gay people prey on innocent children.

Now then, a lot of research has actually been done on this supposed link between homosexuality and pedophilia. There are still holes, of course. Simply determining the percentage of the population that is homosexual can be problematic. They have to be confident enough to be out of the closet, for starters. And where does one place, for example, men who regularly have sex with other men but who self-identify as heterosexual? How does one figure in the instances of child molestation and abuse that are not reported?

Despite these handicaps, a lot of headway has been made on the subject. Enough for scholars to state that there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia.

It's one thing to just state, "I'm right, they're wrong, and that's all there is to it." It's another to actually sit down at the library and pick apart every argument and source cited by these anti-GLBT organizations. I've got a decent amount of research material on hand to make a start at it, but this guy blows me out of the water.

This is the kind of post I wish I could write. Organized, eloquent, detailed, professional. Everything properly quoted and cited. No claim left unexamined. No snark or overt sarcasm. (Much as they're fun to read, they do make piece seem less mature. They may also turn away someone who does not have a strong opinion on the matter.)

The above link leads to a shorter essay that tackles a recent statement by Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council) on the supposed homosexuality-pedophilia link. For a longer, more in-depth look at the subject, the same author has compiled Are Gays A Threat To Our Children? that is definitely worth a read.

And if you want a good laugh, be sure to download a copy of The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing the Myths
piasharn: (Future SuperVillain)
So. Apparently Mark Foley isn't a pedophile. He's just gay. According to Newt Gingrich, the only reason that they Republican party didn't do anything about him when they found out about his lewd emails to 15 year-old boys was because they were afraid of being accused of gay-bashing.

Sure.

This coming from the party that has referred to homosexuals as "selfish hedonists" and routinely promotes anti-GLBT legislature? Whatever. The GLBT community certainly isn't buying it.

"Given the fact that the current Republican leadership in the House has never hesitated to attack gay people, it's even more absurd for people like Newt Gingrich to say the reason they didn't take prompt action was because they didn't want to be accused of 'gay bashing.' Cut me a break."
–-Matt Foreman (executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force)

I think Jon Stewart said it best on the The Daily Show earlier this week:

"By the way, equating a 52 year-old Congressman who goes after 15 year-old boys with gays may be one reason the GOP is accused of gay bashing."

(TDS is the only news program I bother to watch anymore. Not only is it more entertaining, but Jon Stewart poses tougher questions to his guests. Also, it is apparently just as substantial as regular news broadcasts.)

But the fun doesn't stop there! Oh, no... See, according to Bill O'Reilly, Foley is really a Democrat! He must be, after all, isn't the Republican party the party of morality, godliness, and family values? And a good, moral, Republican would never send erotic messages to underage boys!

It's a pity that the Democrats don't know how to take advantage of situations like this, especially right before the congressional elections. If they played their cards right, they could take control of both the House and the Senate. (And, ideally, start the process of impeaching both Cheney and Bush. A girl can dream, can't she?) I swear, though, they only thing they seem to be good at anymore is shooting themselves in the foot.

I'm suddenly reminded why politics make me sick.
piasharn: (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
Lt. Laurel Hester is a former police officer and 23 year veteran of the prosecutor's office who lives in Ocean County, New Jersey. She is dying of cancer, and wishes to leave her pension benefits to her significant other. Without it, her partner could lose their house.

The problem is that Hester's partner is another woman.

Hester has been fighting the courts for months. She appealed directly to the Freeholders to no avail. When she could no longer go to the meetings due to her failing health, she sent a tape pleading with them to understand the situation she is in. Although deeply moved by the video, the Freeholders stated that they had no intention of changing the law before Hester's death.

Today, all of that changed.

After begging and scraping for rights that married couples take for granted, receiving national media attention, and with the help Mark A. Seda, a Jackson Township Committeeman (and a Republican to boot... perhaps there is hope), Hester will have her wishes carried out.

From the press release:

      Like many other people around the world, I've been learning a great deal recently about the issue of Domestic Partner rights that has placed Ocean County front and center on the world's stage through the incredibly courageous story of Ocean County's own hometown hero, Lt. Laurel Hester of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

      From what I can see, I'm only one of millions who's been touched in a very big way by Lt. Hester's story. Her dignity and the incredible bravery she's displayed at the end of her life in wanting to change the world has inspired me to realize that as an elected official I should be standing by her side.


You can find a full transcript, plus more information on the story, at this site.
piasharn: (South Park Self Portrait)
If you don't like cutting down trees, don't become a lumberjack.

I cannot recall who expressed this thought in a conversation on whether or not pharmacists should be allowed to not fill prescriptions based on moral reasons, but it adaptly fits my feelings on the matter. If a person feels that it is morally wrong to fill a prescription for, say, birth-control pills, then perhaps they are not in the right career.

It's easy to say that the customer should simply go to another pharmacist, but what if that is not an option? What if they are travelling and are in an unknown town? What if they live in a very rural area where there is only one pharmacy? What are they supposed to do when the pharmacist not only refuses to fill their prescription, but will not return the 'script so that they can have it filled somewhere else?

What if said prescription is being used for something other than the popular usage? For example, I have a prescription for birth-control pills that has nothing to do with sexual activity and pregnancy prevention. My hormones are off balance, and, as a result, I do not get a period if I am not on birth-control pills. If a woman does not have a period at least once every three months, the lining of the uterus begins to harden up and puts the woman at a higher risk for developing cancer. My prescription has nothing to do with birth-control, and everything to do with cancer prevention.

Since it has become legal for pharmacists to not fill medications for moral reasons, we've seen a lot of people suffer as a result. Of course, denied prescriptions are mostly birth-control, emergency contraception, and whatnot, but where will it end? And why should I have to live by someone else's beliefs?

Walgreen's recently fired some Illinois employees for refusing to fill a customer's prescription for moral reasons. The company offered to help them relocate to Missouri (where their actions would be legal) and find them new jobs. Instead, the three ex-employees have decided to take them to court.

Unsurprisingly, their fees are being paid for by none other than Pat Robertson.

The "Christian pharmacist" groups and their backers say that not only should they be able to refuse to dispense medications they find immoral, but that they should have the right to refuse to help patients find other pharmacists who will help them. In fact, some claim they have the right to sieze the customer's prescription, and say that returning it to the patient would be tantamount to collaborating in a murder.

That's a very severe belief, but it's one they have every right to have. Being true to that belief, however, should demand something of them - that they choose not to be pharmacists in a civil society that practices freedom of religion. After all, Thoreau and Gandhi went to prison for their beliefs. All that these fundamentalist pharmacists' consciences ask of them is that they quit their jobs at Rite-Aid or CVS.

(source)
piasharn: (Tibetan Prayer Flag)






Rosa Parks


Rosa Parks
4 February 1913 - 24 October 2005















July 2012

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