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alarimer's Journal - Archives
Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 26th 2008, 01:02 PM
The difference between ex-right wingers and people who still are right-wingers is simply critical thinking skills. You (and others here) were willing to criticize right wing orthodoxy (either that or they were not REAL right-wingers to begin with). Most right-wingers are not willing to do so. For that you deserve a lot of credit.

As far as I know I have always been a liberal. First I became an atheist after having been forced to attend church (Catholic) for many years. At first it was just because I was rebellious. For example, the church (my church anyway) was very anti-nuclear war. So I was pro-nukes just to be contrary! I figured out later that it was okay to agree with the church on some things- they may be misguided and wrong on a lot but on the nukes thing at least they were correct.

Anyway it is strange how our belief evolve. I became a liberal in large part as a rebellion against my raising. My dad was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican (although mainly for fiscal and tax reasons- he voted for Kerry last time around and thinks we need a Canadian-style health care system, if only to control costs. But then he also thinks teachers get paid too much. Go figure.)

The first time I realized I was a liberal was in high school. I wrote a paper on acid rain and started to realize the kind of damage we were doing to the environment. I also did several reports in history on various topics that had a decided anti-establishment point of view.
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Posted by alarimer in The DU Lounge
Sun Apr 22nd 2007, 07:10 PM
I have a job that is secure and the benefits are pretty good. The problem is I can't stand it. I don't like some of the people I work with. Sundays are tough days for me because I dread what tomorrow may bring.

BUT the thought of looking for another job or, worse, finding one is absolutely terrifying because it might actually turn out to be worse: less secure, worse people, worse benefits. Or I could be an optimist and say it could be much better but I can't because I am so not an optimist.

So what is a person to do? Stick with the job that is secure but dreaded in hopes that they might hire me in a higher position (after 7 or 8 tries with the organization I have never been offered anything but only get interviewed as a courtesy). And spend my life regretting all the things I didn't do and cursing my fate (even though it would actually be my fault for not even trying). But I would probably be safe from layoffs and no one would fire me when I got too old so they could hire someone younger and cheaper. And my job is not one that can be outsourced (yet-they might find a way!).

But that is just so incredibly passive. Well, my whole life is one of extreme passivity and fear of taking chances so nothing new there. Maybe fear of taking chances is why I am in this fix to begin with and I should turn over a new leaf. Take that leap.

I am so terrified of the future I can't even bring myself to think of it. Because the very thought of going somewhere else is very scary. Even though, paradoxically, I dream about the day I can finally say I quit. I compose my resignation letter in my head daily. And I am really, really looking forward to telling my coworkers to go fuck themselves as the very last thing I ever say to them. Not that I would say that but I really, really want to. I know I should be glad to have a job at all in my field. I know plenty of other people don't and are not as lucky as me in other ways too. But that doesn't really help. I never bought the whole "I should be grateful and happy because other people have it so much worse" thing anyway.

I worry so much about all of this and more. Don't even get me started on global warming. I don't know how people put things aside and not worry about them when they get home. I lie awake and worry about what may happen at work all the damn time. I can't stop it. The thoughts just chase each other around. Of course I am not happy unless I am worried about something- money, work, school, family, whatever.
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Feb 04th 2007, 12:48 PM
The rainforests, more than almost any other habitat on the planet, is essentially the "lungs" of the planet. Those trees absorb a lot of CO2 and give off oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. We are losing this habitat at a rate of thousands of acres PER DAY, most of it going for crop land (in which a lot of the corn and grain is used to feed cows to provide beef for large hamburger chains). But the soil is so poor that in order to keep raising crops they have to keep clearing land. It is not possible to replant because once the original cover is gone, it can no longer sustain the same level of biodiversity and productivity. So the question is not really just about the amount of methane cows can produce.

Planting more trees elsewhere may help but it seems that the rainforests in South American are particularly beneficial as the "lungs" of the planet. Now we also need to stop producing CO2 from other sources: equip ALL power plants with scrubbers, regardless of the cost would go a long way. Stop burning so much fossil fuels is also a good idea. But what do we do with the CO2 already in the atmosphere that will continue to add to global warming even if we stop adding to it immediately? Stop cutting down trees for one thing. Als the oceans are a sink for CO2, so we need to stop polluting them as well.
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Mon Jan 22nd 2007, 07:11 PM
What is the obsession fundamentalists have with sex? Are they not getting any? Why are they so concerned with other people's sex lives? I am on the verge of a rant on this topic, having read numerous threads just today about: those creepy purity balls, Ted Haggard claiming evangelicals have better sex lives and now this.

We have come a long way but apparently not far enough. In my opinion (and others share this I know), sex is simply another part of life; it is like breathing or eating. After housing, food and water, it is the next most basic need. And we all have that need (or at least the vast majority of people do). I am thankful for modern medicine for innovations that allow sexual activity without risk of pregnancy and disease (now I am aware extremely low risk does not equal no risk but I am willing to take my chances because it is pretty damn close). I am single, have been my whole life but no one ever told me that sex was okay, that it was natural and that there should be no shame or embarrassment. It has taken me this long to figure it out. My body is my own. I admit to not always making the best choices when it comes to men but who hasn't? My point here is that no amount of virginity pledges are going to help if they do not have the information at their disposal to make wise choices. "Sex is bad so don't do it" doesn't really work well, does it?

I will even go out on a limb here and say that even casual sex is okay, as long as you take care of yourself. I mean, honestly, not all of us are relationship material. I apparently am not. I have not been in one for 5 or 6 years. Am I supposed to be completely celibate? Fuck that. Oh I am aware of all the other methods of meeting those needs but sometimes I crave the human touch.

So Kerouack, Ted Haggard, and all those fundy dads demanding purity pledges from your daughters (but of course not the sons), you can kiss my sexually liberated ass.
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Posted by alarimer in The DU Lounge
Mon Dec 25th 2006, 11:00 PM
Ok, I know Christmas is barely over yet but I am thinking about the new year. For some reason the thought of another year over is making me depressed. I have been down a lot lately, what with one thing and another. But I have decided on a few things:

1) Exercise more. I already do workout and I think it has helped me a great deal but I am determined both to eat better and to work out more. Say, 5 days a week at least. Well I plan on eating every day but working out 5 days a week.

2) Finish my Masters degree. I am on year 6 already. They only give you 7. Time to fish or cut bait as they say.

3) Resume job search. Find gainful, meaningful employment in my field. (I do currently have a job, albeit a crappy one with no advancement potential). It will mean leaving the city I have been living in for 9 years but that is because in order to find a better job in my field I will almost certainly have to leave. There are no jobs here for me. Not unless somebody dies. Or I bump them off.

4) Find a meaningful relationship or at least search and have a good time in the meantime. I am not quite sure with how this meshes with goal number 3 above and having to move almost certainly. So I am torn as to how important this should be. On the one hand, I am so tired of being alone when the whole world seems to be in love. On the other, I absolutely do not want to be tied down in this city and having to pass up great oppotunities in other places. So a bit of a dilemma. I am always honest about my plans and what I want. Almost blunt in fact: "There is no way in hell I will ever move to Brownsville or Harlingen (pick any city in the Rio Grande Valley and I will NEVER move there". This in a email to someone who otherwise seemed very nice- he just lived in a crappy place- crappier even than where I live now.

Oh, and I want world peace. Is it too much to ask?
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Posted by alarimer in Books: Non-Fiction
Fri Nov 10th 2006, 07:24 PM
I am almost finished with this and I must say that Dean makes some very good points on what makes today's conservatives tick. They truly are scary people. Bush and Cheney have all the hallmarks of authoritarian personalities. The whole "unitary executive" thing is right out of their playbook. These people are completely amoral. Their followers are no better; they have a mindset that totally eliminates the possibility of thinking in a way that is contrary to their "leaders". I understand now why we as liberals, progressives or even conservatives WITH consciences have to get rid of their influence. I think we have made a good start in this election but we have a long way to go to eliminate their influence altogether. The problem is there are too many followers who are unable to think for themselves and never question the orders handed down. I think they are incapable of changing which is very sad.
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Posted by alarimer in The DU Lounge
Sun Jun 11th 2006, 01:12 AM
are conservative (or at least list themselves that way). I did get an email the other day from a lapsed Republican (from College Station no less!) who said he stopped being a Republican because it was contrary to thinking for oneself. That must be proof that God (or Goddess or FSM) exists because that is a certified miracle. Better call the Pope.
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Posted by alarimer in The DU Lounge
Sat Jun 03rd 2006, 01:22 AM
Although technically it isn't my birthday anymore (that was actually June 2), I am feeling a little bit depressed over it. Not so much about getting older but about the fact that I have spent nearly every single birthday alone since I have been on my own. It is a lonely feeling. But I can't seem to connect with people, no matter how hard I try. I can't remember the last time I had a second date with someone. I don't think I am repulsive so I can't figure out why. I have a tendency to isolate myself and feeling this way is the result of that I suppose. But most of the time I don't really mind. Well some things I really mind, but the rules are no sex threads so I can't talk about how much I miss THAT.

Anyway, it is time to make more of an effort. I have to try and meet more people. Surely the odds would be better if I had 50 dates a year instead of 5, right?

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Posted by alarimer in The DU Lounge
Sat May 27th 2006, 02:30 PM
I have been a part-time graduate student (in fisheries) for seemingly forever. Well about 5 years anyway. I am finished with my classes and all that remains is the dreaded thesis project. Since I also work fulltime this has proven to be a challenge. The data are from my job (20 years worth of data collected, not all by me) so all that remains is the analysis. Easier said than done, since I have basically no clue. I work outdoors in Texas, on or near the water most of the time and when I get home (at least this time of year) I am wiped out. My professor expects (obviously) to do a little bit of work after my day job. I wish I could but all I want to do is lie on the couch and watch tv. That is pretty much all I want to do all the time anyway. I have accomplished exactly nothing lately, what with longer days at work, my folks visiting for a few days, my grandmothers illness (she is much better now). And numerous other excuses. So, do I need someone to hit me with a wet noodle or what? And here I am posting on DU, when all I really want to do is take a nap.
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri May 26th 2006, 12:01 PM
That is wrong by itself. He should be forced to resign from the Army if he takes this position. I don't think we should have currently serving military people in charge of any civilian agency. It seems sort of like a South American junta to me.

But aside from all that, the illegal spying ought to have raised a major red flag?? Why is this not an issue in his confirmation? Why are the Democrats not SCREAMING about this? I know we at DU are screaming but what about our leaders? Where the hell are they on this? Are they okay with the spying? I have to think they are (or they are being blackmailed somehow).
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Posted by alarimer in Latest Breaking News
Fri May 26th 2006, 10:33 AM
and they were not nearly so fucked up then. I remember learning about evolution in high school. But I guess the fundie wackos are in charge now. They are ignorant assholes and should not have anything to do with education. I am so deeply asheamed of having graduated from this system that I usually don't admit it anywhere. They are a disgrace.
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue May 23rd 2006, 11:34 PM
who has been (tentatively) diagnosed with MS. For now all they are doing in monitoring it; they don't want her to start taking the medication which she will have to take forever if she starts (I have no idea what it is). Anyway, what if she takes another job? She will not be covered for this illness (pre-existing condition) or have to pay much higher rates. Same is true for anyone with almost anything chronic. We need universal health care now, dammit!
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Thu May 18th 2006, 11:22 PM
so we might as well do away with all that health care anyway. Problem solved.

But I find this "pre-pregnant" term so insulting, especially to those who have no intention of ever becoming pregnant. And not everyone wants to have the child should they become pregnant either and that is their decision too. I would hope that everyone would take care of themselves as best they can but ultimately it is their decision. And the best way to reduce infant mortality is to ensure that everyone has access to health care. The real problem is the number of uninsured and underinsured who lack access to basic health care.

Even if everyone followed these guidelines to the nth degree, I doubt it would make much of a difference in the statistics because those who have access to health care are already doing this.
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed May 17th 2006, 08:29 AM
We definitely need a little logic and reason around here. But some people will cling to any fantasy of a conspiracy theory just because they think the Bush Administration is evil. And that's all it is, a fantasy. There is no evidence, absolutely none, that they made it happen.

I am afraid, though, that you will get a lot of criticism for being logical and rational instead of following the irrational train of bullshit surrounding 9/11. They cannot offer any proof, so they will engage in personal attacks.
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Posted by alarimer in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue May 16th 2006, 11:09 PM
murdered Vince Foster (despites evidence to the contrary) and then some of us believe this nonsense? I can't wrap my head around it. It is completely irrational. Well I guess people are entitled to be irrational sometimes but a little critical thinking sure does help. I don't even believe that the Bush administration was behind 9/11. Are they incompetent? Absolutely, of that I have no doubt but I do not believe they made it happen. And of course they have shamelessly exploited it at any and every opportunity.

On edit: I do not believe Paul Wellstone was murdered either. Not that that makes me a paragon of rationality; call me naive, but I just have a very hard time believing that the Republicans (as nasty as many of them are) would resort to murdering opposition politician. And the evidence points else besides.
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alarimer
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10783 posts
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