Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stop! Go! MARC Breakdown!

Maryland, like most states in this country is proud to have a railway system that pales to comparison to the British railway system. When highways are better maintained than railways, things like this will happen.

Buy-Out! Montgomery County Expands Housing Powers!

The Montgomery City Council is has approved a bill to buy out apartments before they turned into unaffordable condos to incorporate them into their public housing stock. Other possibilities planned by the council are "building affordable housing on vacant county-owned land. Residences also could be built on top of libraries or fire stations, or incorporated into commercial areas". Meaning they can either buy housing from developers or build their own public housing on their own property or land. Which is seriously important since with the lack of any real affordable housing, they are either stuck homeless or in housing in dangerous areas.

Children Today Are Socialized In All Types to be Sexualized.

Let's start today with something to think about. I have found this nice article regarding how teenagers especially teenage girls are pressured into dressing into provocative clothes to fit into youth culture (read: public school). Let me give you something to ponder about: What is 'appropriate' clothing?

To me it's too institutional (since I have been to a high school that used the word plenty of times.) , but what is considered 'appropriate' really depends on the adult. Some parents are "I got worst problems to worry about" and some parents are traditionally worried for the children type of thing. The main problem is is it really necessary to worry about what their children are wearing. What's the point if children are pressured into wearing such clothes by their peers and media?

This pressure is actually part of a genderization of clothing. Girls are expected by their peers to look like of what a women should be: clothes shopping, wearing tight clothes. The media expects girls to look like that too. Practically girls are being forced to grow up when they get to middle school. So it's really parents, the media, and other peers are pressuring teen girls to become stereotypical girls.

The article focuses on teen girls but what about boys? Teenage boys are forced to look like stereotypical notions of masculinity. Ironically instead of looking smartly dressed like girls , they are supposed to look rough and spartan with Baggy jeans and shirts. Now consider the word 'appropriate' and apply it to teen male clothing, you'll realize that they may been too thuggish or too big to fit without a belt. If a teenage man wanted find a pants or shirt that really fits its size (ie a small shirt with a 28x30 pants) you'll won't find it in most stores and if you do find it the man will run the risk of being subjected to gender or homophobic bullying/harassment.

What we are trying today in this sexophrinic society is to keep children innocent as long as possible until they're 18. And as long as they do not do anything that the person itself be considered 'sexually deviant", everything is fine and dandy. Children are expected by their parents to figure about sexuality and gender outside of the bird and bees. The end result: Stuff like this happens.

What we need to do is instead of worrying how we should dress teens, have teenagers have true freedom of what clothes they want to wear. If a boy is uninterested in baggy clothes and wants clothes that actually fit him or even wants form fitting clothes, let him do that. If a female wants to wear form-fitting (or so called-provocative clothing) let her. We should allow their children to explore sexuality and gender under the guidance of their parents and the school system, so that they will be prepared for it when they become adults.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

O'Malley: Tax the Rich

I know that Taxes are a taboo subject in a era of market fundamentalism, but if you really want to fulfill your promise you're going have to raise taxes. When I mean raise taxes, I mean raise them for the rich. Create a top rate of 60% for people who earn at least $50,000 per year. That would raise more than enough to prevent the budget crisis. Then again, O'Malley is probably another neo-liberal Democrat.

Lawsuit! Dimensions Healthcare System Fights for PR Hospital Center!

Dimensions Healthcare System lawyers are suing the Prince Georges County Government for not releasing the funds to help keep the hospital afloat. They argued that the only way they would have got the money is that if four of its board of directors members resign. Without the money the Hospital Center will be forced to closed by early August. This is one more reason why we need Universal Single Payer Health Care. Because if local hospitals like this are forced to shut down, it will effect the community.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Summer Apology

It was one hell of a coaster ride this school year, especially this is my first year at the University of Maryland. New Resident Orientation, Terpfest, the Stamp All Nighter, Katsucon, cram fests. While my performance (read: GPA) at the actual school year was disappointing, I enjoyed myself. I tell you all those all-nighters, once you have experienced New Student Orientation, your sleep cycle will be wrecked. It has been a blast for this year.

I have been to the Satanic Mechanics shadowcasting of the Rocky Horror Picture Show three times. With the exception for the one on a February weekend because I was at Katsucon at the time. Speaking of Katsucon that was my first anime convention I have been to. Despite not having the pleasure of an overnight stay it was awesome, not to mention it was in a backdrop of a recent snowed DC, with cosplayers galore.

The Iraq War protest by the Feminism without Borders and the International Socialist Organization of College Park was one of the few things I have videographed. That is one of the many events I have used my camera was a camcorder.

There were most films, thanks to the Hoff Theater, for the first time I have ever seen. Some of the films are blockbusters I have never seen before and those I have never heard of. Some of them were seen at advanced screenings. Turistas, Disturbia, Office Space, Shortbus, Battle of Algiers (a classic), Grindhouse (Great film, why premiere it on Easter?), the Little Shop of Horrors, Hot Fuzz, There’s Something About Mary, and An Incontinent Truth.

There are a few classes that I enjoyed: Government 100, Introduction to African American Studies 100, Women in Art and Culture.

Now there is a bit of sad news in this letter. When I first moved from Centreville Hall to the Old Leonardtown Apartments for a summer course, I thought I could spend a night unpacking, set up my desk and spend two weeks with my mom’s. Yet when I set up my laptop to hook up to the campus network for the night and reset the computer, something horrible happened: my computer committed suicide. More particularly it went into a blue screen with a error named unmountable boot volume. Eventually between panicking, calling HP, and using the much lauded HP restore software; I realize that the only way to recover the data by going to a computer shop.

Luckily my father knows of one he used several times. My computer was restored twice there. It was missing a few files and a huge pack of PDF files I have created, but most of them were recovered in my own backups before my first year.

That has served as a good lesson for me. If you have not backup your data, do so now! As a matter of fact if you have not stop what you’re doing and if you have backup equipment (CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, external hard drives) back them up now. If you don’t, buy some now. IF possible, use an offsite file storage system like mozy. Just about $5 a month can save you a lot of pain of a fatal computer crash. If will take a long time to back up every important files, like a few days, but it’s worth it.

Now with me almost through with my summer course, I will be talking about my blog. Due to the computer crash I experienced a month ago I was not able to update my blog in anyway. What I’m planning to do is to revamp my blog to focus on Maryland politics. No more national news or news about college park, but there will be stories regarding public transport or anime when location permits.

So that’s it, regular blogging will resume on Wednesday, hopefully.