Teacher Pay 1940-2013: Losing Ground, Losing Status

This will be my last class of the semester & this will be the last semester that I will teach 7 (or more) classes to stay afloat. I resolve to float or drown with or without a decent wage. This will be the last semester that I work exclusively for an educational industry that extracts more from its adjunct professors than it returns. 70% of college professors work to educate America, from community colleges to top universities, without access to benefits of any kind, including healthcare, and sometimes we're even asked to pay for parking. We are encouraged to transform America with our teaching skills at wages equal to or less than what a Taco Bell cook makes per hour, but the system uses our need to give back & make the world a frigging better place because that is who we are. It uses [...]

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Breaking my silence on the Trayvon Martin case

Trayvon Martin courtesy of MSNBC.

Cross-posted at Almost Dorothy

I read about the Trayvon Martin murder trial. People seem to be pretty (and ugly) split in their defense of Martin or the defendant, George Zimmerman. I’m not a biologist, but I have two or more things to say:

1. Why the fuck are ‘citizens’  like Zimmerman becoming vigilantes running around suburbia with guns when violent crime statistics across the country have fallen precipitously over the last 40 years. (See the New York Times article “Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts“.)

2. However, is there a connection between violent crime increasing since 2006 (New York Times), easy access to high-powered weapons and the doubling of gun ownership since 2000 (Live Science)?

3. Why did defense lawyers claim that Trayvon Martin used concrete as a weapon against George Zimmerman? [...]

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Almost Dorothy returns with Edward Snowden

Cross-posted at Almost Dorothy

Dear Readers,

I apologize for not blogging. As usual, hijackers hijacked me. For real. It’s been so surreal and real at the same time I’ve lost the ability to distinguish that dividing line between reality and fiction. Some days I wonder if I’m real or fiction, boy or girl, human or humane. But, this is a good thing. We should all question the quality and quantitative value of our existence. I have no idea what that means, but Sharon-Needles-to-say ma has paid the ransom and I’m on my way back to the United States with Edward Snowden, who swears he was just kidding about stealing state secrets. All Snowden really knows is that Lady Gaga’s new album is light-years behind what Bjork did a decade ago, which is like so ridiculous I’ll need to buy new [...]

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Is it a “good thing” or is it “a right”?

Justice Alito:

"Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is very new. I think it was first adopted in The Netherlands in 2000. So there isn't a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a – a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing…"

Here are the excerpts from arguments before the Supreme Court on Wednesday about a federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of benefits afforded straight married Americans, from a transcript released by the Supreme Court.

Dear Injustice Alito,

Were there rigorous sociological studies conducted before opposite-sex marriages were permitted? No. Not at all. Why are same-sex couples held to a different standard than opposite-sex couples are granted by default? [...]

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Guns, Money & the 2nd Amendment

The 2nd amendment grants Americans the right to bear arms. It doesn't grant Americans the right to absolute power. The gun debate is not about taking "your" gun away. It's about defining the line between the most powerful weapon you can & cannot own. And, if you open your eyes, we already do this. We have decided as a culture one can't own automatics, bazookas, tanks, nuclear weapons & other powerful badass weapons for some reason, which are all "arms." "Gun" advocates slip & slide on the argument that "guns don't kill people/people kill people" instead of dealing the real issue that the most powerful guns–semi-automatics & automatic–are weapons of absolute power & mass destruction. "Gun advocates" conflate their obsession with power with their right to bear arms. The Constitution doesn't grant Americans the right to bear the most powerful weapons ever made or a [...]

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The mouse is a reversible elephant

If you reverse an elephant, a mouse.

If you supercharge a mouse, an elephant.

Both exist in the same universe at the same time within a bag of dreams that heals the world of mice & elephants. Each dream is a prayer for memory. Every elephant remembers the name of their mother and father. Every mouse forgets the name of their brother and sister. Sometimes I forget the names to remember. Sometimes the spirits remember the names of healers who fill their pockets with men.

I voted for Roseanne Barr… in an alternate universe of unicorns and cookie deliveries

early voting - Neil 2012

I voted today for Roseanne Barr because I believe America needs a man in the White House who knows how to make people laugh. At least that's what I did in an alternative universe where unicorns deliver cookies to my house every morning. I wonder who voted for her (and her vice president Cindy Sheehan).

If you've read some of the proposed constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot, some of which are thinly veiled attempts to insinuate religion into public policy, you'll understand Maher's point.

"When you elect Mitt you're electing every right wing nut he's pandered to in the last 10 years. If the Mitt-mobile does roll into Washington it'll be towing behind it the whole anti-intellectual, anti-science freakshow."

Just a general Facebook observation. Many of my Republican friends are posting about overseas issues like Libya & the supporting the troops, while my [...]

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There’s nothing like HIV/AIDS

BE-CAMPAIGN-NEIL

This Sunday, May 20th, 2012, help us dispel the myth that HIV/AIDS equals death. My partner and I will participate in the Florida AIDS Walk 2012, a fundraiser for local organizations dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services, educational support and peace of mind for humans living with and affected by HIV/AIDS regardless of their ability to pay. 

According to the CDC, only 1 in 4 HIV infected Americans receive adequate medical care to control the disease because they lack resources or don't know they are infected. Lack of care leads to negative consequences—more infections, more deaths and greater healthcare costs absorbed by the rest of us. Despite the lack of medical care for many HIV infected people living in the United States, the drugs work. The BBC reported that antiretroviral therapies have extended lifespans by 15 years.  In addition, a recent study shows that early [...]

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