Archive for August, 2006

Yay Patsy Madrid!

August 24, 2006

I was so happy to read this today on DailyKos!  Some of you might remember that I got to meet Patsy Madrid, who is running for the House of Representatives in New Mexico against cry-baby Heather Wilson, at a Peninsula Young Democrats event earlier this year.  I have to say, Patsy was a great speaker and committed to Democratic and working class values.  I was totally impressed by her cultural pride as the first Latina attorney general.  In our personal conversation, she revealed that she and her husband have visited India and have strong support among the Indian-American community in New Mexico and southern California.  She is the real deal, folks – keep an eye on her and donate money if you can!

Sen. Allen, Macacas, and Indians

August 16, 2006

Oh no, Senator Allen too? When I saw the NYT headline, “Verbal Gaffe From a Senator, Then an Apology,” I was sure it was about Biden (see below). Instead, it was about the fact that George Allen called a worker on Jim Webb‘s campaign a macaca – which I guess is either a monkey from Asia or a slur against north Africans…

Since when has it become okay to dole out stereotypes and racial slurs to South Asians on the campaign trail? And is any of this connected to this scary poll showing that a whole bunch of Americans advocate ID cards for Muslims (and presumably those of us who look like Muslims)? I hope that we as South Asians are not being used as proxies for a danger that is much broader, much vaster, and much more complicated than any one immigrant community… We need to stand up and educate our fellow citizens about our diversity, our love for America, our work ethic, and our brown pride.

Secretly, I wonder if Allen’s snafu is a way of deliberately drawing attention to the fact that Webb’s wife is Asian-American, thereby playing the racist card to appeal to sheltered Virginians afraid of foreigners and immigrants…

Biden on Indians in Delaware

August 12, 2006

Oh no – and I really like Biden too…

As usual, Wonkette’s coverage is pretty funny…

WordPress is really hard for me (really)

August 6, 2006

Recently I’ve been experimenting with a wordpress blog hosted by an outside source (as opposed to this one which is hosted by wordpress.com, hence the URL). I’ve had a really hard time trying to customize themes, the vPIP plugin for my videos seems to work on some other computers but not mine (I’d love to hear if it works for you), I’ve had a hard time changing the feed to a feedburner one, and haven’t gotten a lot of useful advice from the codex (I was told to fool with my .htaccess file, and I don’t know what it is or where to find it). Everyone always talks about how easy wordpress is, but that has simply not been my experience (although wordpress.com is pretty simple).

Currently I’m at Wordcamp, which is a bunch of wordpress users talking about wordpress. Everyone here is really nice, but a lot of the sessions I voted for that were more oriented towards beginners were nixed. It’s still interesting, and I got to meet Enric of vPIP fame and have him help me out a bit (I’ve got some problem with my Windows Media Player that neither of us could work out), but I’ve been a little disappointed. I asked if there would be some sort of a WordPress meetup that wordpress guru numero uno and fellow Texan Matt seemed interested in, but there were dozens of questions that he was also interested in, so doubt sure it will happen. Posting notes in coffeeshops asking for wordpress help in return for beer or money have so far yielded no responses, but that’s probably because Ritual Roasters doesn’t have one, torpedoing my best opportunity.

I guess I’m just frustrated because it’s been a long time since I’ve been so lost and baffled by computers. What I want to do is interview people on Caltrain on a video recorder, transfer it to my computer, edit it a bit, host it on Blip and embed it in my blog to learn about the nation and people of Caltrainistan. At each step of the way I’ve encountered major problems. My recorder has some weird a/v issue where the audio doesn’t quite link up with the video, Windows Movie Maker is unreasonably hard to download (the website lies, it’s not automatically downloaded if you have their auto update thing enabled), Blip erased my video for a day even though some folks could still see it (I couldn’t) and vPIP is still not easy as pie.

I have a hard time learning things from online tutorials and things, and I learn much better in person. Maybe if there had been a skillshare part where people could bust out their laptops and get into it I would have gotten more out of this. Then again, the folks who know a lot probably wouldn’t want to come because they’d be busy at the sessions.

As I read back over this it paints a rather dark picture. I have enjoyed myself, and its neat to be here. They even had brisket, which I love. I guess my expectations were a little high. Well, enough blogging, I’m gonna walk around and see if I can’t get some tech support lovin’ around here.

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Viva las Orlando mega-churches!

August 3, 2006

I’m home in Central Florida for a bit before heading out to Guatemala. I’ve been struck by the proliferation of gigantic evangelical churches all across the Orlando metro area – everywhere I drive, I see new ones. Perhaps it’s another reflection of the reddening of the Sunshine State? There is one skyscraper church going up at the intersection of I-4 and S.R. 436 that takes the cake – it is actually reminiscent of the famous Burj-al-Arab hotel in Dubai, strangely enough.

Here’s a funny article called “Viva Las Jesus” rating some of the biggest evangelical churches in this area. And, a classic article and slide show from Slate on the architecture of these mega-churches nationwide.

Most of the churches around here look like shopping malls or enormous warehouses, with aluminum siding, generic colors and exteriors, and extra-large parking lots. It’s pretty incredible and seems unsustainable. It makes me wonder if it’s just a trend or if it’ll last very long…