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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 12:14pm on 03/04/2009 under
I am impressed. The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the governor here wants it, but a homophobic state senator threatened to bolt for the GOP (Dems have a 32-30 majority) if the Legislature pursues it. Barf.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 05:47pm on 15/11/2008 under ,
Today I received a free set of address labels (and accompanying plea for money) from Amnesty International USA.

Now, I have donated to Amnesty USA in the past. However, it wasn't recently and it was never from this address. So, my name is now on a list. Grr. I always check the box saying NOT to do this when I buy things. My current suspect is The New Yorker as I'm not 100% sure they had a checkbox for that. I haven't shopped anywhere else that would be of interest to Amnesty.
alexist: (obama '08)
posted by [personal profile] alexist at 11:43pm on 05/11/2008 under
McCain Aides Say Palin Didn't Know Africa is a Continent" (video, or article)

Originally shown on Fox News, no less!

And some gossip on her spending sprees. Although that piece does make me respect McCain--sounds like he had some principles when it came to campaigning. (I also really liked his concession speech. McCain isn't a good speaker, but he came across as very sincere and gracious. I never thought he was a bad person or unfit for office; I just felt that at this point the Republicans needed to go.)
alexist: (obama '08)
posted by [personal profile] alexist at 11:52pm on 04/11/2008 under ,
Not that I'm not, usually, but I am particularly proud today. Not just because my candidate won, but the feeling that democracy worked today. People were excited when I went to vote. People who had never voted before registered because they felt it meant something. It felt great.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 06:09pm on 14/10/2008 under ,
The presidential debate is being held near me (at Hofstra University in Hempstead). There are warnings on the parkways. It's gonna be fun. They've closed part of Hempstead Turnpike all day for security reasons.

I'd really like to do something tomorrow (aside from going to the bank with Neil since he now has an SSN and can open an account) but I don't want to drive anywhere near that, and I suspect traffic panic may drive people off the Northern Parkway and onto the LIE. I'm sure as hell not going to the mall (right by Hofstra) even though I actually need to.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 04:15pm on 05/10/2008 under
I just had to endure a bunch (I don't think there were THAT many altogether, but they strung themselves out along a pretty long stretch of road) of anti-abortion protesters by Walt Whitman Mall. Typically witty and intelligent posters ("abortion kills children"). How annoying. A few people had set up an impromptu pro-choice protest across the street.

And a waste of time, since New York has the most liberal abortion law in the country (passed in 1970, and even the Republicans haven't tried messing with it--it's made NYS the abortion capital of the US as people come here from other states). Abortion on demand to 24 weeks, no delays, no parental consent, no mandatory "counseling", Medicaid pays. (Unless you're on Fidelis, which is owned by Catholic Health Services. I strongly object to the fact that Fidelis can refuse to cover contraceptive services and feel that Medicaid should not include it as one of the managed care options. I think the law is that for FP, you can see any Medicaid doctor and not just your plan, but it's still an unfair stumbling block to access.) All Planned Parenthood offices in this area provide chemical abortion and several do surgical.

It's not that I'm happy about so many abortions; I read that the Margaret Sanger PP clinic does 11,000 abortions a year, and I can't say I don't wince a little. But the law is a poor way of dealing with the issue. I am happy that if a woman does need an abortion, she can get one easily and safely.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 06:15pm on 21/09/2008 under
The use of Spanish has really ramped up in the past few years.

I've never been an "English only" sort of person, but the level of use is beginning to bother me. Spanish newspapers and TV? No big deal. You could be here for a long time, know English and still prefer TV in your native language, and heck, my great-grandparents read The Forward, not the Times. Or even stores or products using Spanish to grab Spanish speaking customers.

However, when Spanish and English have equal prominence on signs and packages, and I have to look for the English, my patience starts going. When I can't find anyone in the produce department who speaks English well enough to understand my problem, that's an issue.

The final straw for me was when I was in the Gap last week and the ad for new sales associates was in English and Spanish. Honestly? If you can't read or understand English well enough to apply for a job, you have no business being in a customer facing role in an area that's at least 80% Anglophone if not more (and probably higher amongst the Gap's clientele).

I don't think we should force people to speak English, but I think a common language is generally a good thing. I know that contrary to the "my grandparents came here and they had to learn English!" story, immigrants have never immediately learned English. Spanish seems to have enough of a bloc to persist, though, if speakers choose to--and I can see a real backlash happening.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 07:41am on 23/04/2008 under ,
Clinton won. So now the damn saga will go on.

The party needs to end this and decide on a candidate. It's already starting to hurt them and undermine efforts to win the election, which is the most important thing, right? At this point, even though Obama has a lead in delegates, he can't claim a win and I'm not sure either candidate can claim a genuine primary mandate.

I actually think a joint ticket, as much as neither candidate would be entirely happy with it, is the way to go. Clinton picks up crucial voters that Obama will miss.

In other news, I'm up early, hungry, and cranky.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 06:54pm on 21/04/2008 under ,
I had BBC London News on, and then they announced "this is a party political broadcast from the British National Party". Excuse me while I vomit.

(Non-Brits: the BBC has to give equal time to all the parties, so they do these short films. The BNP are disgusting racist shits.)

(let's see, how bad so far... housing for "local people", i.e. not evil shifty foreigners. All white people [London is 29% minority]. Ooh, "traditional Christian identity" actually mentioned! Keeping your children safe, with an image of 2 little blond kids bouncing on a trampoline. Oh, and at the end, "we have a sensible immigration policy. Britain is full up; it's time to shut the doors." [that sentence is verbatim] Next woman: "the BNP is saying what we all think". This is for Mayor of London, so it has no relevance--it's just a way of trumpeting xenophobia. And the capper, a child's drawing of a house, with the caption "keeping our house safe". A white house, of course.)

I can't believe i just watched that, I might have to go listen to BBC Asian Network or something.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 05:33pm on 20/04/2008 under , ,
The Independent has an anti-polyclinic story on the front page today. I don't know about the "privatisation by stealth" the BMA et al are on about, but I can say that despite their claims, the current system is not serving heavy users of the NHS.

I'm in 2 of the "higher use" groups (mother of small child, chronic condition) and I can firmly say that the current system is not serving me well at all. I attend a traditional, 4 doctor GP surgery, and the only services I can get at my local GP are visits and immunisations. For everything else, I have to shlep. Blood tests and maternity care (as well as all specialist treatment) is done at the hospital; baby clinic and health visiting is at the larger health centre. I waste time and don't get things done as quickly as they should be because of the time involved. How can chronic conditions be monitored effectively when a patient needs to make a separate appointment and get to the hospital for a simple blood draw? I've had to reschedule my appointment to do this 3 times. If my GP could do this at the surgery my blood levels would be far better monitored. (I can be sure about this, because it's how my old doctor did it!) Having to go to the hospital in particular is awful--it takes the most time, is the most expensive (especially if you need to pay for parking) and is the most inconvenient to schedule.

As for the supposed advantages of traditional surgeries--personal care--I'm laughing. Under the current system, it's impossible to ensure that unless you're registered at a 1 or 2 doctor practice (and suffer the attendant issues of limited surgery hours). Either you get emergency appointments with whoever's available that day, or you have to wait 2-3 weeks to get an appointment with the GP of your choice, which isn't always practical.

While some people may lose out from not being able to walk 5 minutes to their local doctor, I think a lot of patients will be better served by larger health centres that can actually offer them the services they need. It can't be better for the elderly or disabled if they can get to their GP, but need to go halfway across the borough to the hospital for everything else.

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