Before the announcement of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nominee to be Supreme Court Justice, I was going to write about my annoyance of the overuse of the Constitution in argument.  That may come later in the upcoming weeks and months as this process continues, but first I wanted to dissect the sentence that have been repeated dozens of times in the past few days.

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Of course the focus on this sentence ignore the entire rest of the lecture entitled “A Latina Judge’s Voice” (whole transcript here), but first ignoring that fallacy, the line notes that she hopes the experiences she has lived as a Latina woman would help her reach a better (fuller, more comprehensive) decision than someone who has lived a privileged life (implied).

Radical, yeah? Or not.

Problem is she goes on to say:

I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable.

{…}

However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

Something critics haven’t accounted for is her acknowledge that there are different biases as a judge that she represents as a Latina woman that she is required to work through.

There is much more to the lecture, but the specific point and position that critics have taken as evidence of her racist heart is completely out of context and even out of the tiny snippit they decided to rail on.

The use of “hope” in that one sentence implies a hinderence she understands being a Latina woman can bring. Just as Michelle Obama’s words were taken out of context in the campaign. If this is the worst the conservatives have to offer, nomination seems to be a breeze. Until then, it’s a wait and see game.


I have about half a dozen half-written blogposts floating on my computer or in a notebook, but nothing seems to flow to an end, not that most of my posts are completely coherent.  I wonder if the microblogging phenomenon is hindering my ability for fully formed thoughts. My professors sure have had the displeasure (I’m sure) of reading my ill-constructed papers last semester (of which I will pay dearly, and I will often lay in bed at night contemplating my reasoning these past four months – guilt, guilt, guilt).  This isn’t a new problem for me, just one that has gotten larger lately.

In a world of increasing two-minute pop songs, this decrease in attention span will surely get us in more trouble than it’s worth. Many of my friends deplore their inability to read a book because they take too long, but continue on their path of ignorance, and the books they do read are shallow at best.  All books are not created equal, don’t let the reading lobby convince you otherwise.  This has ties to the Harry Potter Problem. Two hours or two weeks?

I think I’ll go lie out in the rain instead of exploring this futher. I’ll try to get back to a more regular posting schedule, if only for me.


I’m growing my geek-cred this weekend after an epic viewing of Star Trek.

First, I was more pumped than probably any non-Trekkie for this movie. In general, sci-fi excites me in a child-like joyful way. Second, the movie did not disappoint. Go see it if you haven’t. It’s pure awesome wrapped in pure golden entertainment.

But for this post, it’s more about my lack of sci-fi in my childhood. I’ve talked about my parents, and with the ‘being raised in an immigrant family’ situation comes the ‘not experience American pop culture the same way as your friends’. I don’t think people really appreciate how much of older pop culture they get from their parents. Although I am wise in the ways of modern entertainment to an obscene amount some of my friends would argue, and I know the general outlines of older icons, I lack the actual, physical history of watching or reading such loves. I’ve always had plans to watch Star Trek, I just never really had the chance (I’ve seen some of the show-s).  I just watched the original Star Wars this year.  Sometimes I will feign more knowledge than I hold.

It’s a slow climb both staying up with new shows/movies/music and trying to maneuver the older realms, of which sampling is harder to come by.  Usually I know enough to get by in conversation, but music is especially harder.  Not that I don’t like older things, it just takes more effort.  I wasn’t raised listening to Bob Dylan or The Stones, or watching James Bond or finding old comic books in boxes.

I’ll work on my geek quotient for the time being. This is looking to be a very sci-fi weekend. Along with more Star Trek, I’m thinking BSG is in order. (I think I’m going again with my friend tomorrow night. Rock!)

As a little sidenote, I thought Zach Quinto did a great job as Spock. The idea of Spock was always extremely attractive to me and it lived up to the promise. I’ve read some critics of Zach’s job, so I just wanted to get that out.

Social commentary links: Has Star Trek Lost Its Moral Relevance? (Newsweek) and Star Trek: The Next Generation’ eerily prescient torture episode (Slate).

I would argue against the bleakness argued in the first article (whose writing sounds a little bit juvanile and transparent in its template). The new movie has a ways to go to reach full social commentary excellence, but it isn’t completely void of substance.


The past couple weeks I’ve come to pay attention to fashion more than any other time in recent memory (of which my whole life could probably be counted). Thursday night I was busy being a student to post and Friday was spent in Seattle shopping to my heart’s content (one of the few times retail therapy actually worked on me, although I passed on this adorable dress – I’m going up again on Thursday and if it’s there I am getting it). I came away with the following:

I’m pretty satisfied with my purchases, although I wish I bought more actual clothing. This growing wardrobe of mine is getting to look pretty good, but I definitely need more tops and jewelry and I’m looking for some good rompers/short playsuits to get. All the cute ones on ebay are from Australia and I don’t know if I want to pay the shipping for that.

For more of my fashion finds, visit Ideal Scraps: Fashion and Other Consumerist Finds. I was looking through etsy jewelry today. So many great ones!

More fashion hunting for me tonight, then the news!


I am just having difficulty managing my time properly. I have a wonderful topic sketched out for Friday. Hopefully it will come out smoothly. I wrote most of it long hand as I was awake at around 3 in the morning earlier this week due to poor caffeine choices. Next week I think I’m going to write another post on Chuck; one much more coherent than my last post.

I’m just behind on everything; my emails are piling up, my readings, my papers, the amount of studying I have to get done. I am quite aware how trite all these things are, but they create stress and stress makes me not want to work, which leads to more stress. Vicious cycle of western modernity.

Okay, topic time: TWITTER.

If you know me, you probably have heard about my twitter addiction (I’ve told myself not to mention Twitter in verbal conversation for at least a month). If I could, I would go through each tweet I missed, but since I use a platform (TweetDeck on my computer and Twitterfon on my iPod, but I’m going to get Tweetie soon), it limits me to the last two hundred tweets.

I’m a little offended by the twitter backlash, to be honest. It’s a little bit everywhere. People who don’t use it seem to think it’s a junk application that only drones like. Drones and stupid people. It’s not a very compelling argument since every invention has its more embarrassing users. Just because some abuse or use it in a way you wouldn’t doesn’t make that thing useless.

I mostly use Twitter as a neato little news aggregate. I favorite links I want to read for later. I love it better than my Google Reader or Blogline.

It’s a fast way to share short information to people regardless of anyone actually reading it. If you don’t want to see what someone’s eating, don’t follow them. I don’t understand the complaints in regards to optional choices.  And CNN complaining that Twitter is over-hyping the Swine Flu needs to look the mirror. Twitter’s audience is the fraction of CNN (and other tv news stations). Cable news has done more to concentrate attention on what should be smaller stories than anything Twitter could do.

Twitter keeps me informed, most of what I need to know about the day’s news and other knick knack links, in one place. It’s also a blog, journal, or scrapbook. A place to share ideas, but in a smaller sense; maybe you need to link to another place, but it’s a place to start, not a destination. It’s an arena of conversation open to the public, so of course there will be people and tweets I don’t care to read, so I don’t read them. Oprah’s use (and therefore inflation of hype) annoys me, as does the CNN/Ashton Kutcher race to a million, but that’s not the core, that’s the hype.  And I don’t like when news programs use twitter instead of investigating the news same as I don’t like when they read blog comments several times in a day.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love the platform.

There’s no need to blame the tool when one doesn’t like the user. Learn the difference. It’s like trying to fix the symptom instead of the actual problem.  I could probably talk about this for a long time, so I will stop now and try to get some work done before I completely lose consciousness.

Some links.

Anti-Twitter

“To Tweet or Not To Tweet” (Maureen Dowd)

10 Things I Hate About Twitter (ZDNet, Zach Whittaker)

Pro-Twitter

Three Reasons To Like the Twitter Hate

In Defense of Twitter (Matt Yglesias)

How The Other Half Writes: In Defense of Twitter (BLDG BLOG) (I especially like this one.)

Unrelated: As a tiny celebration of the President’s 100th Day in office, check out the Official White House Flickr.  There are some amazing shots, I love most of them. There are too many good ones, I hate choosing just one. Looking at the set makes me want in the White House right now, sort of like when I watch The West Wing. There are serious pictures and silly pictures; romantic, platonic. Just a great selection to look through.

Photos by Pete Souza. Chosen for the amount of people.


In honor of tomorrow’s Chuck finale, I’m writing about the new geek chic trend.  I read an article I was searching for (I thought it was on slashdot, but now I can’t find it) about how geeks may now have their time in the sun but the nerd is still ever degraded.  There is also another discussion on SlashDot about whether or not being a geek is now cool or if it’s merely pretending to be one.  I won’t comment on what side of the fence I would fall, only that I do truly love knowledge and people who seek it.

The problem with “geek” or any of the labels is their narrow scope.  Being a geek doesn’t actually mean anything other than a societal stamp on what you’re supposed to be.  It’s quite silly, really, but we all buy into it and it grows.  There are too many types of geekdom to be accurate in any sense.  Any highly passionate group of people seem to be clumped together in the geek/nerd category. (To me dork is just a term people use to describe themselves as having silly streaks.)
Starting around Napoleon Dynamite, this new surge of geek pride has enveloped this generation settling into this new geek chic lifestyle.  But to be concerned with being geek is counter to its point.  Geek life is about doing something, learning about something you love regardless of the popularity or obscurity.  Living passion is against mainstream society, which is why geekdom has been such an adversary to popular culture.  It cares about the obscure, but not because it’s obscure.  It’s not caring about what’s cool and what’s not.  So, for it to be popularized is beside the point.
Talking about labels is really difficult because there really isn’t a truth about them.  There are some strung about stereotypes that some people assume and some people don’t.  It’s a distraction and this post a little bit unnecessary but on time!
Back to Chuck Bartowski. If you haven’t seen Chuck, what’s your excuse?  It is my favorite show out right now, and hopefully it will continue to be.  As The Office seems to be losing its mockumentuary roots, Pushing Daisies lost its contract, Chuck has stayed true and grown into its skin.  It has absolutely everything I could ask for and more. I am probably the only viewere who doesn’t care about the romance between CIA agent/handler Sarah Walker and Nerd Herder Chuck Bartowski, but everything else is enough absurd, serious, sci-fi/tech-comedy mix to keep the ridiculous comedy and action grounded.
For the record I like geeks. I like coding and type, glasses, reading, bow ties, knowledge, sci-fi. I don’t like arrogance. I’m not much a gamer but I could learn.

Note About Self

25Apr09

I really don’t want this to become one of those self-glorifying blogs. I don’t want to bring myself into what I post as an individual, but only as thoughts. I’ve been trying to figure out why writing posts on specific days have been so hard. It’s not that I don’t remember – I stay up until one or two with at least one occurrence of thinking about that night’s entry, but then I go to sleep and forget soon enough.  I’ve always been good with due dates through schooling, but it has become harder and closer to the deadline than ever before, including my blog.

I’m having a hard time over what I want this to even be, and how it should look and sound (as evidenced by my incredibly minimal layout which I’ve been meaning to change since I put it up).  I bounce from most prominent topic to the next. As much as politics and television are closest to my heart, fashion has ridden high on my list of favorites. I spent a good portion of my Thursday night looking at fashion blogs and vintage shopping online (around my viewing of The Secret Garden, 1993, with my friends – and even then I was looking at the wardrobe and wanting items).

(I just found out one of my favorite shops in my hometown, Harmony Market, has closed! I was really looking forward to some fun times this summer…)

Some things I hope to do with this blog:

  • Settle into a more distinct style.
  • Use more pictures.
  • Keep better on schedule.
  • Add some flair to the layout.