jillithian: (Wedding Day)
A message from Minnesota State Senator John Marty regarding same-sex marriage in Iowa:

"...Times are changing. Same-sex Marriage has come to the Midwest. When Iowa couples begin getting married this month, there won’t be riots in the streets of Des Moines. Instead, there will be wedding ceremonies, with happy couples, in churches and courthouses from Keokuk to Sioux City..."
jillithian: (PeeWee's breakfast)
Last night was our semester's potluck for the MEM program. Oh, it was so good. So many kinds of curry. One Bangladeshi fellow was saying how HOT these chicken legs were and I ate 'em. And they were good. I had to take a breather from time to time, it was so spicy, but it was good. American restaurants seem to just not know what spicy is.

There was so much good food. There was this one potato roll thing, I think from Peru?, that had raisins and veggies and a hard boiled egg inside. Favorite! I am still a big fan of Nepali samosas. The Chinese chicken salad was pretty tasty, too. Home-made by four Chinese guys at a friend's house. They later did a presentation of Shanghai, which is where they are from. A university in Shanghai has an exchange program with our university, and they are who came over. One fellow actually used to work for the metro trains in Shanghai and was pleased with our bus system here in St. Cloud. He got the most laughs of the picture of him in a butterfly apron making Chinese Crystal cakes.

We also had presentations from students of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the Bangladeshi and his Minnesota wife presented Bangladesh.

I have to admit that the presentation for Saudi Arabia irked me. Maybe it is just that country that irks me. All of that wealth and overt displays of it. It's a monarchy - really no citizen representation - and all of the buildings are named after King this and Prince that. They have so much money they don't know what to do with it. One prince is planning a building that is one mile tall - just because. Saudi Arabia is a desert, so one anecdote the presenter made was that a gallon of water costs twice as much as a gallon of gasoline. And the King has the tallest water fountain in the world. That just makes me crabby. An amusing point, however, was when he showed all of the Saudi Arabian bills and there was some confusion until he realized some of us in the room can't read Arabic numbers. He was remarking on the 500 Riyal note and we didn't know which one he meant! Their 2s look kind of like 7s.

To be fair, I was a little wary of the presentation of China, as well. I think the recent stories in National Geographic have tainted me - you hear about so much poverty in the country and then see all of the money they spent on the Olympics and now on the 2010 World Expo. But, I'm American, and you shouldn't throw stones in glass houses, so they say. I'm lucky to live in an area of my own country where there isn't as much poverty as, perhaps, Mississippi or Alabama. I imagine my very small exposure to their country is about as fair as what they may see of ours. When I was scarfing down five different kinds of curry (the professor from Korea was in front of me in the buffet line and brought his young son, warning him that this curry would be different from the Korean curry they have at home), I was sitting with the Bangladeshi couple and one of the Chinese professors. He was saying how impressed he was with "Minnesota Nice" and how different we are from people in LA. The Bangladeshi agreed, saying we were much different from people in New York, where he had lived previously. I joked that we HAD to be nice so that when our cars died in the winter, someone would give us a jump.

I did not know much about Malaysia before the presentation, so I'm glad that Kien talked about his home country. It is made up of mostly three kinds of people: Malays, Chinese, and Indian. I had only heard of one of the fruits that he showed: durian. It is supposedly the most pungent of all fruits (he didn't think "stinky" because he actually likes it). Another he said was just like a kiwi but brown on the inside. Most of the audience is from India and I think they were surprised by the number of similar traditions and dishes in Malaysia - probably due to their large number of Indians.

I also did not know much about Bangladesh before the presentation. The student who presented is actually the son of a diplomat and didn't know a lot about Bangladesh first hand as they had moved around a lot. I did not realize that it was originally an Indian state, then part of Pakistan until 1971 when his "Indian brothers," as he called them, helped them get independence. They say it is humid here in Minnesota during the summer, but his wife visited Bangladesh during their summer and it was even more humid. It is a country of rivers, she said, and most of the pictures of her from there just make her look drippy.

The new professor who taught my Operations Management course last semester is just this little wisp of a woman - she'd make [livejournal.com profile] viksin look tall. She's a vegan and kept asking if different foods had egg in them. But, she's smart as a whip and brought this delicious creamy mango beverage. Very tasty! The closest thing I can compare it to is slightly melted sorbet, but milder, less sugary or acidic, and creamier. Goes down smooth.

The Nepali dumplings were very good - although I think I liked the vegetarian ones better than the non vegetarian ones. (Vegetarianism seems to be very common amongst Indian folk as the Hindu religion prohibits them from eating cows (sacred animals) or pigs (dirty animals)). I'm note sure who brought it or where it was from, but one of the desserts was this purple liquid stuff with tiny clear balls in it along with some cut up bananas? and other fruit. It was also tasty, but the soupy consistency threw me for a loop - I kept looking for something I was supposed to be pouring it on as a sauce. I ended up just eating it with a spoon. It was mildly amusing that it sat next to ice cream and some Little Debbie snacks.

All in all, it was a very satisfying evening. I went home sleepy with a belly full of food I can't pronounce. And it was goooooooood. I will miss this night when I graduate.
jillithian: (*lick* Cute Overload)
The part that made my ears perk up:
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers."

I understand he did leave out a couple of religions, but I am mostly happy that he mentioned the "non-believers". It's sad that there are people in the House of Representatives and Senate that fall under that category but will not admit it in public for fear of retribution from their constituents. I am a Humanist. I guess I'm not particularly fond of the term "non-believer," but I will take what I can get in recognition.

A full transcript of President Obama's inaugural address can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Inauguration/Story?id=6689022
jillithian: (typewriter)
In continuing coverage of my previous post:

Lawmakers Urge Government Enforcement Of Chemical Ban In Toys.

USA Today (11/25, Szabo) reported, "Congressional supporters of a new law meant to protect children from dangerous chemicals are trying to make sure that the government enforces the legislation as they intended." The legislation was passed in August as "a landmark consumer safety law that raises standards for toys and virtually bans several hormone-like chemicals called phthalates in products for children under 12." Last week, a staff attorney at the Consumer Product Safety Commission "released a legal opinion stating that stores may continue to sell toys with phthalates, as long as those items were made before Feb. 10." But, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), co-author of the ban, said that, according to this statement, "that could allow toys with phthalates to remain on the shelves for years, with no way for parents to know which toys contain the chemicals." She added that "lawmakers wanted toys with the controversial chemicals to be off the market when the law takes effect Feb. 10."

I had emailed all of my lawmakers about this. It's not exactly what I wanted, but it is MUCH better than what was previously going to happen.
jillithian: (typewriter)
Senator Coleman and I have been corresponding a lot, lately. I've sent him a couple of emails recently (along with similar emails to my representatives) and he's been kind enough to respond (or, has some well appointed staff members). The Congress.org website can be dangerous in the hands of an opinionated and demanding woman such as myself.

My most recent email I've sent him:
I oppose the $25 billion in emergency loans to the auto industry because
bad management should NOT be rewarded. These car companies are hurting
because they haven't actually had to COMPETE with any foreign car
companies due to the funds the government has already sent them over the
years. Let's get American cars competitive again! If they don't have to
fight for their own existence - like any other company out there - they
get complacent, uncompetitive and too big - like they are now.



And his very informative response:Read more... )

It took me a second to remember that we have a threatened Ford plant in St. Paul ([livejournal.com profile] viksin and [livejournal.com profile] princeaeneas both lived near it for a while). It seems the more I learn in my Internation Business Management class, the less I am for government bailouts. The history of Nokia is interesting in that they came from a highly competitive environment and had to be competitive in order to succeed and survive. However, I think the failure of the $600 billion financial bailout is looming large in the minds of Congress right now - and rightly so! - and they are finally looking at it in a financially smart way. Banks shouldn't give out money and loans willy nilly without seeing how the money will be used. Governments shouldn't either.

In similar news, the recount resumes today. Looks like Senator Coleman may be beating Mr. Franken by only tens of votes. Talk about every vote counts!
jillithian: (Default)
Another excellent article written by my good friend [livejournal.com profile] thetim regarding trailblazers in history: Trailblazers

Read it!
jillithian: (Toe Jam)

According to Google 2008 Elections page, Al Franken lost to the incumbent Norm Coleman for Minnesota's US Senate race by less than 600 votes. 1,210,942 to Norm versus 1,210,371 to Al.

Holy crap. I'd be asking for a recount, too, if it was that close!


Nov. 4th, 2008 10:14 pm
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
I voted for the first African American President of the United States.

Yes, I did.

Interesting to note: at the polls, once they verify that you are registered, they give you one of two different color voter receipts to exchange for a ballot: white for pre-registered and orange for election day registered.

When I voted tonight at 6pm, the pile of orange was just as tall as the pile of white for my ward. As I left the voting room, I snuck a peek at the other ward's room, and there was a table packed full of young new voters filling out their registration cards.

That's freakin' awesome. Let's hope they vote next year, too!

Let's just keep our fingers crossed that Tinklenberg kicks Michelle Bachman out of the US House!

Also, I really respect Senator McCain's concession speech. I appreciate the respect he is giving President-elect Obama.

How am I supposed to go to sleep after this?!?
jillithian: (Default)
Take an example of the US Citizenship test:

I scored a 90%!

[livejournal.com profile] dibsy can probably tell us if that test is a good representation of the real test...
jillithian: (Polly)
To steal from [livejournal.com profile] gfrancie, this link is so freaking amazing it makes me cry: http://wearenottheenemy.blogspot.com/

And, this link is so freaking frustrating, again, I feel like crying: Minnesota State Law Library: Same Sex Marriage.

And so, I now admit to grabbing almost the entire post here that Ms. Gennie wrote and I emailed my state representatives and my state senator. (I said that "my friend said it best:...")

Seriously, you need to go to the first link up above. It is so full of love and wonderfulness.
jillithian: (Grumpy)
I am seriously worried about our economy.

I think it's crap that our government has to bail out financial institutions that were doing questionable ethics just to make a couple extra billion dollars. Where are those billions of dollars now, fuckers? I'll tell you where. They're in the fields of unowned new housing developments selling for tens of thousands of dollars less than they are worth with no buyers. My coworker lives in Arkansas and has had his home on the market for four years and can't sell it because the houses around him that have never been lived in are trying to sell for $60,000 less than his mortgage. And who does that affect? Not the corporate executives of the banks that have gone under. They can just wipe their hands clean and drive off in their favorite new sports car to the golf course to play a few rounds with the previous Enron executives.

I also think its crap that the government has to bail out the car companies. On the one hand, I think they should have got in gear themselves to trim expenses and unprofitable car lines long ago. They also should have realized that oil is not a permanent resource and should have diversified so that not all of their investments were based on it. On the other hand, the automobile industry is connected to so much of our economy, and Canada's economy, and Mexico's economy that if they go under, hundreds of thousands of people will be out of jobs across the continent. Not just the guys in the Ford work shirts, but the steel workers and engine builders in Ontario and the textile manufacturers in the south and the tire manufacturers in the east, and so on. That scares me more than anything. Hundreds of thousands of hard working American/Canadian/Mexican taxpayers suddenly out of work in cities whose main employers were probably related to the automobile industry.

And where is the government getting all of this money to bail out these companies? How many trillions of dollars is the government itself in debt for? People can boycott the Chinese Olympics, but it's Chinese dollars that pave the streets in their town.

If Ron Paul wasn't such a crazy fuck when it comes to human rights, I'd almost vote for him. But I won't make the same mistake I made in 2000 - no Nader vote, or equivalent, for me this year.
jillithian: (Default)
You are a

Social Liberal
(78% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(28% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Update: It looks like my beliefs have changed slightly since I last took this quiz two years ago. Then I was listed as a Socialist with 83% Social Liberal and 16% Economic Liberal. I wonder what has happened that has affected this slight shift... It's is mostly the Economics that have changed...
jillithian: (climbing rose)
I mentioned this in a comment, but I figured it's good to post it, too.

Have you read the book Dune? Or seen the movie or the series or any of that?

Well, there's a running theme that the main character is afraid that, in the future, he will become ruler of this desert planet and eventually the whole galaxy/universe and will inspire a voracious jihad in his name against everyone else in the galaxy/universe. As the book moves along, there are more signs indicating that this was actually going to happen.

Perhaps it is due to my recently finishing the book and the ideas still floating around in my consciousness, but the current fervor surrounding Obama and his supporters strongly reminds me of this book.

My own religious position is one in which I back away from strong reactions and beliefs in persons of power - good or bad. It's just me. And some of the recent blogs I've read give me much of the same vibe with relation to Mr. Obama.

He's just one person. Remember when John Edwards could do no wrong? Or Bill Clinton? They are only human and their farts stink just as bad as anyone else's when they eat at Taco Johns. They probably swear at the tv, forget to floss regularly, and scratch themselves when the itch arises.

Maybe I'm jaded. I just don't see how all of our country's problems could just go away come January if one person or the other is elected in November. Keep that in mind. It is just one person who still has to put up with all of the conservative judges recently appointed in the Supreme Court, put up with the endless committee shelving and pet project stuffing or laws in Congress, and the trillions of dollars of debt our country owes to the rest of the world.

Don't get me wrong. I think Obama is the better choice and can make some good changes. But don't rest all of your hopes and dreams on just 4 years of him in office.
jillithian: (climbing rose)
I received a form email from my senator today regarding ANWR:

Read more... )
Too bad I'm not voting for him this fall.
jillithian: (That kind of day)
While we were down in Florida visiting the parents for Christmas, there was an article in the St. Petersburg Times about how Intelligent Design was approved to be taught in public schools. You'll have to forgive me, but I cannot find the exact story I was reading. Here is the closest article I could find: On Evolution, Case Closed.

I have to admit I was shocked. The Tampa/St. Petersburg community is no small hick town back of beyond. This is a large metropolitan area!

One often hears of Christians denying evolution exists - claiming Creationism and Intelligent Design being the only options. I am not a Christian, but my mother is. She was raised Catholic up until the churches stopped having mass in Latin. She and Dad still go at least on Christmas and Easter. She's a firm believer in evolution. And she believes in God. To her, those two beliefs don't contradict each other. Why can't one assume that God would be able to create beings such that they would evolve and change as their surroundings changed? I would think that if a god wanted it's subjects to survive, it would create them such that they could evolve.
jillithian: (Default)
Thing that makes me giggle:
On the St Cloud Times website, there is this story bit:
People look for ways to make quick cash
Al Lassen, manager of Granite City Pawn Shop, works on a firearms purchase application between customers Wednesday.

When I first read that, I thought that Al was gonna buy a firearm to make some quick cash!

It's early. Give me a break.

Baby Abraham was born at 5:34am on Saturday, March 8th. He's so cute! He has a little dimple in his left cheek just like his dad. He's got tiny little monkey feet.

It also finally occurred to me why the comic Baby Blues has a baby named Hammie. Before I always wondered why a family would name a kid after food. But I understand now that it is short for Abraham.

So Jody has two kids: Tater and Hammie. hehe.

I am SO ready for spring. The thing I look forward to most is the end of my eternal refilling of the humidifiers. I feel like every time I look at them, I have to refill them. And it's that or nosebleeds and annoying crusty boogers.

My cubicle is faced such that the sun in its current position is able to shine directly into my eyes in the 1 ft of window that peers out over the top of the cubicle. Methinks I'll have to get a tall shelf and add some plants to block it.

And seriously, people. Don't call me in the morning all bitchy because you can't type in a website address correctly. That ain't my fault. Good thing we have it in a PDF where the link is clickable. It's amazing how many fat fingers (including my own) that cures.

Oh yes, and also: taxes suck. I finally see why there are people out there rooting for Ron Paul. These are the people who want immediate gratification and are unable to save money. Kinda like me right now. I received the automatic deposit pay stub for my bonus and stupid taxes took almost half of it! And they treated it like my normal paycheck, so 10% went into my 401k and then the rest of it got put in our family accounts instead of my personal accounts. (That last part is more my fault than anything else, and just annoying that I have to transfer funds between accounts now.) I realize that I have to pay taxes and stuff, but my own naiveness had me assuming I'd just be getting a nice fat check to hold in my hands and drool over. *pout*
jillithian: (Default)
Quiz from MPR that checks which candidates most closely match your beliefs

My results:
Mr. Hutchinson got 10 points and Mr. Hatch got 9 points for the gubernatorial race.

Mr. Fitzgerald got 13 points and Mrs. Klobuchar got 8 points for the Senate race.


jillithian: (Default)

February 2017

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