Friday, February 28, 2003

Yay! The IRS finally deposited my refund!

As a side note, I found it interesting when I discovered the other day that the IRS has a Where's My Refund? page set up just for checking refund status. I guess I'm not the only one who wanted to know when I'd get my money back.
A response from my grandmother to the rice forward:

I have seen that, Kathy, but thanks for sending it. I read in the paper the other day that people all over the country were sending their bags of rice, but the white House wouldn't say how many had arrived. In one post office some bags burst open and messed up the automated postal machinery. I've been busy the last two weeks with another version of protest. A group of friends are enlisting people to sign a paper with twelve good reasons why the U.S. should not attack Iraq. The paper and names will be published in the local paper next week as well as sent on to the president and congress persons. I also took part in the virtual protest through e-mail and telephoning last week. Did you know about that one? I guess they were innudated with calls and mail.

I got the following email forward today:

There is a grassroots campaign underway to protest war in Iraq in a simple, but potentially powerful way.

Place 1/2 cup uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-size bag or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written:

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Romans 12:20.
Please send this rice to the people of Iraq;
do not attack them."

Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or padded mailing envelope--both are the same cost to mail) and address them to:

President George Bush
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attach $1.06 in postage. (Three 37-cent stamps equal $1.11.) Drop this in the mail TODAY. It is important to act NOW so that President Bush gets the letters ASAP.

In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to the White House. We can do this if you each forward this message to your friends and family.

There is a positive history of this protest! In the 1950s, Fellowship of Reconciliation began a similar protest, which is credited with influencing President Eisenhower against attacking China. Read on:

"In the mid-1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a 'Feed Thine Enemy' campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly, no rice was ever sent to China.

What nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider U.S. options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons.

President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing active interest in having the U.S. feed the Chinese, he certainly wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them."

From: People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory by David H. Albert, p.43, New Society, 19
It's an interesting idea. I don't know how widespread the email is or how many people are actually acting on it, but I'm thinking about sending a bag of rice.
I hate being awake and alone in the middle of the night, without even anyone to talk to on IM; I don't think any other time of day ever feels quite as lonely.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

What horrible affliction would you be? Take the Affliction Test Today! Grant and I are disease-mates; we're both rabies. I've never had a disease-mate before.

I stumbled onto some websites about animal cruelty today and read a few specific case histories. I'm not going to post links here because they're pretty brutal and I don't know that anyone who reads this blog will get anything positive out of reading them.

It's sick, what some people in this world are capable of. And it's sad that even in cases of severe animal cruelty the perpetrators often go unpunished, nothing done to prevent them from doing the same things to other animals down the line.

I don't even have words for what I'm feeling. Upset? Sick to my stomach? Sad? Bleh.
More on the flourescent rabbit:

Kathryn: did you read the link about the flourescent rabbit?
Jeremy: yep
Jeremy: kinda scary
Kathryn: I think it's scary that he found scientists willing to help with that.
Kathryn: so you're of the view that it's "unethical"?
Jeremy: um.. hard to say
Jeremy: probably
Jeremy: art should not harm other creatures
Jeremy: there's no justification for doing so
What if it isn't really "harmed"? How is harm defined?

If the rabbit lives a full, productive life and dies a normal death, was it really harmed?

How is the creation of this rabbit different from people who breed hybrid parrots - breeds and matchings that wouldn't happen on their own in nature, but are genetically possible and are then engineered in captivity?

I guess, though, that there are ethical arguments against the breeding of hybrid parrots, tigons, ligers, and any other sort of hybrid animals, as well.
I was going through some old papers my apartment complex had tacked up my door a few weeks ago, and came across this one:

. . .Archstone has been notified by the National Apartment Association of a possible terrorist threat targeting apartments and hotels. . .Attorney General John Ashcroft, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller raised the national terrorism threat level to "orange" indicating a "high risk of terrorist attacks". . .All residents are asked to be aware of any suspicious activities and report them to the local FBI Field Office. . .
Can you say "paranoia"? Blah.
Ack. Meet Alba, the genetically altered, flourescent green bunny. Art? Social statement? Highly unethical? Just plain crazy?

"For his latest work, GFP Bunny, he created a living green rabbit. With the assistance of French scientists, Kac used genetic engineering to inject a rabbit zygote with the green fluorescent protein gene --hence the work's name -- that exists in jellyfish. The result: a lovable bunny named Alba, whose fur -- under optimum frequency blue light -- glows green."
Rabbit postcards! Kick ass!
I've been feeling a little light-headed today. Not a good thing. I felt like I might pass out for a moment there when I was out with my dog just now. I'm thinking that maybe it isn't such a good idea for me to be driving into the city for the dance tonight.

I've been cleaning like crazy today and yesterday. I have my air filter out in the living room while I'm working on cleaning in here, sitting right next to the kitchen. It's rectangular shaped; maybe two and a half feet tall, two feet long, and one foot wide. It does make noise, but not all that much; comprable, maybe, to the noise that a box fan might make.

My poor dog is scared shitless of the thing. He's too scared to walk past it into the kitchen to get to his food and water, unless I actively coax him by. The minute I move away from it again, he hightails it back into the living room to hide as far away as he can possibly get. Poor puppy. :(
Brian's on strike. Mike hasn't posted anything interesting lately. If I can't peer over the fence into their lives, why should I give anyone the satisfaction of peering over into mine? I'm on strike too, then. So there.

Either that or I haven't been posting because I just haven't had anything worth saying. Or something. Blah.