Sex in the workplace

We’re currently discussing sexual harrassment in the workplace and the difference men and women face in the workplace in my Gender & Politics class.  When it comes to the issue of sex in the workplace, you can’t beat how George Constanza addresses it:

Arizona doesn’t need no stinkin’ Constitution

The lunatics are truly running the asylum in Arizona.  Here’s the latest:

Emboldened by passage of the nation’s toughest law against illegal immigration, the Arizona politician who sponsored the measure now wants to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in this country to undocumented parents.

Legal scholars laugh out loud at Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce’s proposal and warn that it would be blatantly unconstitutional, since the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.

But Pearce brushes aside such concerns. And given the charged political atmosphere in Arizona, and public anger over what many regard as a failure by the federal government to secure the border, some politicians think the idea has a chance of passage.

Just so we’re clear, here’s exactly what the 14th amendment says about citizenship: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”  Not a lot of ambiguity there.  I think there’s a perfectly reasonable argument that this is not the best policy to grant citizenship based simply upon being born on US soil, but for now, that’s exactly what the Constitution says, no matter how much the crazies in Arizona may not like it.

Gotta love that Pearce is, therefore, all about a very broad and subjective interpretation of the amendment:

But Pearce argues that the amendment was meant to protect black people.

“It’s been hijacked and abused,” he said. “There is no provision in the 14th Amendment for the declaration of citizenship to children born here to illegal aliens.”

John McGinnis, a conservative [emphasis mine] law professor at Northwestern University, said Pearce’s interpretation is “just completely wrong.” The “plain meaning” of the amendment is clear, he said.

Something tells me that Pearce is not all about a broader understanding to the Constitution when it comes to rights of the accused or abortion.  Anyway, it ought to be political malpractice for wasting time trying to pass something which is so blatantly unconstitutional. They might as well pass a law saying you cannot criticize the Arizona governor.

The saddest and most ironic news story of the year?

Perhaps you heard the story of the man who got his arm caught in his furnace and attempted to saw it off, so that he could escape.  The plan sounded reasonable enough.  He had power saws with him and he was going to stick it in the freezer so it could be re-attached and call 911.  Alas, he couldn’t finish sawing through, and after co-workers realized he was missing, police ended up finding him and destroying the furnace to free him.  Alas, his arm was infected and could not be re-attached.  If he had just patiently waited, he’s still have both arms and a hell of a lot less psychological trauma.   Truly a sad and disturbing story.  Though, better than being found either starved or bled to death.

Or, maybe I’m wrong.  In finding a story to actually link to, I found this:

Eventually, he began noticing signs of infection and the smell of rotting flesh, and he began to think he had to cut the limb off. Doctors said the partial self-amputation prevented the spread of the infection and saved his life.

I kind of wonder if the doctors aren’t just saying that to make him feel better.  Either way, quite a story.  I’ll leave my furnace cleaning to professionals.

Internal migration

Via Kevin Drum, I came across this really cool website that shows the migration patterns for every county in America.  Black lines are immigration and red lines are emigration.  As you can see from the map below, my home of Wake County NC sees huge immigration from the Northeast corridor (and a pretty good amount from Florida, interestingly) and that there’s way more people coming in than going out.  Very cool, give it a try (unless you’re in Wake, and you can just look at this).

BP is evil

I’ve sort of paid peripheral attention to the malfeasance and misconduct of BP in this whole mess.  Picking up enough to realize that they were, at minimum, a worse than average corporate wrong-doer from among the extraction industries.  Wow– I had no idea how just totally evil the corporation actually is.  The continually put profits before everything, and even when we’re talking BP pocket change (millions of dollars on billion dollar profits).  Seems that pretty much everything BP could do to cut corners they did.  When they had internal investigations of BP’s own employees warning them of problems, they fired the employees.  When they had to create a disaster plan, they literally cut and pasted from the Exxon Valdez disaster plan (e.g., area animal life of concern: the walrus).  I finally learned all of this thanks to a great interview on Fresh Air with a Pro Publica reporter.  (Pro Publica also did the terrific journalism on Magnetar which lead to an amazing This American Life episode.)   I’m going to have to start paying more attention to them.  They’re doing a great job documenting BP’s malfeasance here.   The interview metioned that BP may indeed have some very real criminal liability.  I have absolutely no doubt a number of BP executives belong in jail.

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