News Round Up, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wonderful News for Women: Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception On Its Way

Living in a state where Planned Parenthood is defunded and bullied regularly, I’m glad that Plan B and its relatives are going to be available at Walmart and other local pharmacies. It makes everything easier, especially for women unfortunately enough to want emergency birth control (or any female health assistance) in the state of Texas.

School Discipline Changes Urged In Federal Complaint Against Dallas Truancy System

You know what my schools did when you were chronically late or absent? They contacted your parents. If your parents knew about it, that was the end; you were given whatever make-up work, your parents were told what you missed and how it affected your grades, and it was assumed they would discipline you as they saw fit. If they didn’t know… then the school snitched and you were usually in trouble with your parents for skipping. The teachers and school did nothing to you for truancy, because punishing truant students just made them skip school all together (or drop out).

Rep. Peter King: Reporters Should Be Prosecuted For Publishing Leaked Classified Information

Um, how about no? Usually, if a leak is news-worthy, that means it will mean something to the public. The leaker might’ve broken the law to share the news, but reporters have always taken the information they’re given and run with it. Free speech means freedom of information, where the public gets to find out about scandals, injustices, and other problems… even if the government or another body would rather we all remained blind, deaf, and dumb.

Suhair Al-Bata’a, 13-Year-Old Egyptian Girl, Dies While Being Circumcised

One question. Why do we call it a “female circumcision” when it’s nothing like a male circumcision? In a male circumcision, a layer of skin is cut from the penis; this skin isn’t a sexually-stimulated area, from what I gather from men I know. In a female version, they chop off the clitoris; this is most definitely the female sexual-pleasure zone. How is this comparable? In my mind, to have a female circumcision that fit more in line with the definition of a traditional (male) circumcision, you would have to be removing part of the labia instead (as this area is more skin and fatty tissue than nerve bundles). But hey, I’m not a doctor. Maybe there’s some logic in the naming that I’ve missed?

Lower Graduation Requirements Won’t Harm Texas Students? Prove It!

Texas Standardized Tests: Gov. Perry Signs Law That Slashes High-Stakes Exams Requirements

Living here in Texas, I have mixed views on the lowering of graduation standards. Honestly, I don’t believe Algebra II is necessary for a student who didn’t choose to take it for college purposes; in other words, not every student is college-bound, so why make every student prep as though they are? I also like that we’re eliminating the ridiculous amount of time wasted on the TAKS (now STAARS) test, as well as the prep for said testing. Too much of the year was previously dedicated to “teaching to the test” instead of actual learning. All that said, I’m a little worried for students who have bad counselors and uninterested parents. Without guidance, a relatively smart kid who wants to go to college might accidentally stunt his own growth by not choosing anything beyond the minimum requirements for graduation. To defeat standardized testing, though, I’m willing to have a few students face remedial math and reading courses when they get into college. It won’t ruin their futures, just delay them a bit.

Top School Official Denies Appeal To Have Pop-Tart Gun Suspension Removed From Josh Welch’s Record

I want his record to actually say the words “Pop-Tart” and “gun” in the same disciplinary sentence. THAT is something to take with you later for a good laugh! Honestly, I don’t think that any future counselors will take that offense as a serious one when screening students for special attention; your average adult will instead see a case of overreaction by the school, and will treat it as such (assuming he doesn’t, you know, get into fights or threaten people constantly on his way through the grades).

Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Blogger, Sparks Sexist Twitter Troll-A-Thon With Xbox One Observation

Again, I’ll point out that you can’t expect a positive response once you’re well-known to a personal troll community. Rush Limbaugh will always get liberals bashing him (and nuts protecting him), Planned Parenthood will always get abortion-monger labels thrown in its direction, and Chris Brown will never live down hitting Rihanna. Anita is in the same boat.

Actually, she reminds me of this guy in middle school. He had a brother who was a senior in high school, and our town was small enough that all middle and high school students rode the same buses. That boy would talk smack to everyone, but when they threatened to beat him up over it, he’d tell them his brother would kick their ass. (Thankfully, his brother eventually told him to stop being a douche or face the consequences on his own.) Anita is a bit of a troll in her own way; she purposefully used her funds from Kickstarter to make videos outlining only the most negative aspects of females in gaming, while maintaining that nearly no female character is worth her weight in pixels. She refuses to allow comments on anything she posts (other than Twitter, apparently), which only inflames her stalking trolls further. As a female, I find her approach completely unbalanced and understandably disliked; her videos really do remind me of the standard “angry feminist” attitude people imagine all feminists must have (and, as a feminist, I find that extra irritating).

New Electronic License Plates Could Be Controlled By DMV, Law Enforcement Agencies

Um… considering the NSA drama currently unfolding, do we really want another digital marker showing them where we go and what we do? Also, I’d be pissed if my car got mislabeled (you know it’ll happen) because of a filing error or a late insurance payment. It might help lazy cops do their jobs better (i.e. make their city’s more money), but it won’t actually remove crazy drivers from the road. Hell, many drivers here in my town are “legal” but know where the cops do and don’t monitor speeds.

Yaz, Yasmin Birth Control Pills Suspected In 23 Deaths

The US already had a round of commercials for a class action lawsuit against Yaz/Yasmin. It was based on the wrongful injury or death of a loved one due to blood clots. Surprise, that’s still an issue! I just Googled it, and in 2009 the major numbers of lawsuits started. Why anyone still chooses to use the drug is beyond me.

Parents Of Boy Chastised For Wearing Make Up To School Call For Tolerance

Wow! So first off, look at the picture of the boy at the bottom of the article. He’s wearing about the same amount of makeup as your average goth kid, only with less paleness. He looks cute, actually, and quite normal. Now, I’m sorry if the principal has an issue with boys not being manly enough for him, but this boy was actually within dress code *unless there’s specifically a section against boys wearing makeup* (which generally isn’t included in school dress codes). I hope this mother’s petitions succeed in, at minimum, sensitivity and diversity training for the staff of that school.

Thrifty shoppers rediscover secondhand fashion

I don’t buy new clothes. My exceptions are the duh items: undies, socks, and bras. Everything else is fair game. I have almost two dozen ankle-length “vintage” skirts that I use as work-wear (they please the hippie in me), as well as at least a dozen flowy blouses. They all came from the thrift stores near my house; I’m lucky to have half a dozen different locations to choose from! Even shoes have potential in a thrift store, since I’m (un)lucky enough to have huge feet. Shoes in a women’s size 10-11 tend to either be kept by their owner until they’re worn to pieces or given to a thrift store early on due to a bad fit. That means they’re mostly unused when I buy them. Woot!

On a pagan note, I’ve found numerous items for my spiritual practice at thrift stores. There are used chalices, beautiful antique mirrors, and statuary for various animals (and sometimes even gods). With a good cleansing, anything can be renewed and reused!

Oh, and yes, I do love Macklemore’s song!

Defense hints at plea to avoid trial for Cleveland man charged with kidnapping, raping 3 women

Uh huh… You know, I’d like to see this man get life in prison. I don’t think it’d be any better than the death penalty; actually, I’d like to think (thanks to our violent prison system) it would be much worse than a “quick” death.

Trent Franks: ‘The Incidence Of Rape Resulting In Pregnancy Are Very Low’

…I don’t even know where to begin. How about an example for the men out there? “The incidence of dropping a brick on a penis resulting in injury are very low. Oh, I meant that the incidences where dropping a brick on a penis results in a doctor’s visit before the sixth month or so are very rare.” Sounds stupid, huh? GOP PR people need to tell all representatives to just keep their mouths completely sealed when anything involving science comes up in discussion. Maybe then they can stop making really ignorant comments?

FEMA Denies Funds To Rebuild West, Texas After Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Sorry, residents of West. Your federal and state inspectors botched their jobs, that plant you lived by exploded, and now you have to figure out how to rebuild your town by yourselves. We don’t feel you qualify as a serious disaster area… Here’s a look at the “not serious” damage to the area. Notice the lack of destruction to surrounding properties. (FEMA, you’re a dick!)

Here’s a site with a list of links for anyone interested in actually helping the people of West, Texas. Most of our stores (at least in central Texas) have the option to donate at the register for various charities or to donate for specific supplies.

Random thought of the day: I think I might want a Wii U. In a household with too many consoles, I’m the owner of our Wii system. I’ve been trying to decide between continuing with my Nintendo-land journey, or switching to the PS4. However, one of my roomies is trading in her PS3 to upgrade… so getting a PS4 myself seems pointless. Who needs two of the same system in the house? We’ll see. I’m hoping to see a holiday price drop, since Wii U will be much older by then (in tech age, it’ll be middle-aged!).

Random question of the day: Do you shop at thrift stores? Why or why not?

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