Friday, March 11, 2005

Quote of the Week

Some people just love to use their right to speak freely to fret about the horrible effects that freedom might have on people who live in places where you can get your fucking tongue cut out for criticizing the government?

John from Wuzzadem, in a comment over at Ace's.

Come Together Right Now

Some of you who follow my comments sections may have encountered some comments by Library Mary. If you read her comments, you'll soon reach the conclusion that she is politically to the left of me, yet is civil in her dissent.

That's partly because she's just a damned decent person, and partly because she's one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Well, today she forwared an email to me. I have decided to post it here because it provides an opportunity to get involved in an issue I believe in:

Dear Friends,

Recently, you were moved enough by the tragedy in Sudan to visit and take action. Thank you so much for this, we're writing now to tell you about a new opportunity to make a difference.

The situation in Darfur is one of continued horror. The massacres continue, and
a "final solution" of man-made famine is looming over the 2 million refugees crammed into towns and camps.

We can stop this crime, but it will take effort. A first step is to join together to stage the largest one-day hunger strike in US history on Wednesday, March 16th. Please demonstrate your solidarity with Darfur and sorrow over enforced starvation in Sudan. Click below to sign up for the fast and put your dot and testimonial on an online map of America:

Political pressure is needed now and together we can make a difference. Next week is a big week for Darfur: new legislation (the Darfur Accountability Act) is being introduced in Congress with new measures to pressure the Sudanese government, the UN will be voting on whether to impose additional sanctions on Sudan, and Congress is also voting on how much money to budget for food aid and peacekeepers in Darfur. The moment is crucial, and yet recently our government has been easing up on pressure on Sudan. A nationwide fast sends a strong message to our leaders that we want real results for the suffering people of Darfur. Click below to participate:

Once you sign up, you can also help spread the word by forwarding this email to 5 friends, writing letters to your Congressperson, distributing a flyer (available on our website) in your community, or telling your local press about your decision to participate in the fast. Thank you so much for doing something about this horrendous tragedy. We CAN stop it.

The Res Publica Team

I have been convinced for some time that Darfur was one issue on which the Left and Right could and should agree. What's going on is genocide and must be stopped.

Sweating Bullets is Bad for Your Complexion

Since The Lad was born, TFR has been on unpaid leave. She planned on taking 3 months off. Given our income, this has been a bit of a challenge, but between depleting savings, racking up some temporary debt, other creative budgeting techniques and tightening our belts, I figured we could do it.

Until today.

Today, TFR called and gave me an update on a meeting that occurred between a coworker and her boss. Based on the outcome of that meeting, TFR will probably not be going back to the same job on May 2 as planned. Here's why:

TFR is an esthetitican. For those of you unfamiliar (namely my fellow straight males), she is trained and licensed to perform skin care services at a spa -- facials, blemish extractions, and waxing services. For you ladies, gays, and metrosexuals out there who know just how obscenely expensive yet essential these services can be, you might be interested to learn that the average commission earned by estheticians for these services is 40%-50% of the cost of the service. Based on those costs, and the amount of time it takes to provide the service, that averages out to omewhere in the neighborhood of $18 per hour here in the Eugene area.

TFR makes nowhere near that. This despite the fact that she has a phenomenal reputation -- she has clients who are not only return clients, but who refuse to see any other esthetician. Clients who have moved out of the Eugene area yet still drive down from Portland and Salem on a monthly basis to see her. She suspects, but has no way of confirming, that she's probably one of the 100 best estheticians in the state.

So it was decided by her and her coworker, who also has an excellent rep and loyal clientelle, to ask for $20 per hour, settle for $18, and quit for anything less.

The Spa owner has not given an answer yet, but the odds are it will not be satisfactory.

Which means that I may be the sole breadwinner for longer than expected. And I'm unsure that my income will be able to support us for long.

Please pray, loyal readers.