Is it something in the weather? People all over the world are angry, nothing new there. This week, they decided to do something about it. Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon. You'd think they planned ahead.
I'm not trying to make this all into cotton candy, though the texture of the events is the same. I'm simply baffled.
On the homefront, some interesting stories I've read this week:
- Republicans in Congress are, indeed, trying to find a way around the Supreme Court ruling on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. They are interpreting the decision in a way that forces Bush to get approval from Congress before he unfairly tries the inmates. Others claim the decision means that Bush must give the inmates a fair trial. Let's hope the latter wins this one. If we're out there spreading democracy, what gives us the right to act like a military state? Just another thing to add to the ever-growing list of American hypocrisy.
- Valerie Plame is suing Cheney and Rove for ruining her career. Finally. I'm not optimistic that she'll win, but anything is possible.
- The Senate voted against a minimum wage increase (it's still $5.15/hr). (They voted to give themselves a wage increase. Surprised?) Though this happened awhile ago, I was just indignant until I heard a recent Slate podcast called The Gabfest. They talked economics which, admittedly, is not my forte. Apparently, the reason it's stayed so low for so long is, ostensibly, a fear that job opportunities will decrease, especially for young people. If minimum wage goes up, it devalues the people making higher wage and will even (gasp) manage to poke the rich. Though this may be true, it is also true that inflation provides for at least some sort of increase. Though, as Emily Basilon on The Gabfest mentioned, minimum wage is meant to give less educated, younger people a place to start their careers (McDonald's, here I come), it's also a fact that many, many (a majority?) of minimum wage earners are 30 and above. You cannot live on $5.15 an hour.
- The House Appropriations Committee did not recommend a funding increase for abstinence-only education. Yeehaw! The fact that we're even wasting money on this worthless and harmful program is ridiculous. Kids are going to do it. Let's teach them to be safe and smart. I'm trying not to even get into American sex education overseas. It's too horrid and naive to fit into a bullet point.
- From AlterNet.org: Women soldiers are being raped by their co-workers in Iraq. No solution has been found. Once women are raped, if they come forward, they are seen by doctors without Plan B or appropriate tools to test for disease. Then, (if they're lucky) they're taken to a different location. Women are being raped out of combat. We've come so very far.
- In local news, here in Tampa, Veterans for Peace were finally granted access to public schools. Army recruiters have been allowed the lunchroom and other key places in schools for years now. After appeals to the fair and balanced, both points of view, claims of the school board were denied, Veterans for Peace chose a different tactic. They claimed they would provide alternate career opportunities for kids. The school board couldn't pass that one up, but made V for P promise they would not distribute and/or talk to kids negatively about the war or the military (they have to "steer the conversation" the "correct" way). For the past few years, V for P have set up outside of schools, to reach kids as they exited schools. A spokesman for the organization said that they would simply continue on the outside, even as they gained access to the inside. In this way, students will finally get both sides of the story. Ain't Florida grand?
- And, finally, Ted Stevens is an idiot. Not really news, but... in an effort to promote a hierarchy of internet speed, Stevens called the internet "a series of tubes." The Daily Show quoted this and other ridiculous parts of Stevens' speech in front of the Senate beside a picture of Grampa Simpson. Wow.
Those were just a few things that caught me this week. There's so much going on, it would be impossible to bullet everything.
Oh, and another note on my previous post. My ultimate issue is not with the show, but with Salon's article. My pain was augmented by the fact that the commercial I was forced to watch was for Project Runway. My question is: how do those commercials work? Was that commercial targeted to readers of Broadsheet? That would be the ultimate irony: on my way to read a (choppy) article complaining about another article stereotyping feminists as closet Project Runway fans, I watched an ad for Project Runway, which was targeted toward the feminist readers of Broadsheet.