Loserville.com

I’m not sure why, but it just so happens that all – without exception – relationships of my acquaintances that started on the Internet seem to be a great deal for men and not so great for women. Time and time again, I see a quality woman in her 20’s, 30’s or 40’s hooking up with a mediocre guy through one of the online dating sites.

These are good looking educated ladies with career, financially independent, well-traveled, and well-read. They are beaming with joi de vivre, with lots to offer. Each and every one of them is what anyone would call a “catch.”

The men are ordinary at best, often encumbered with student loans and child support payments. Some are stuck in dead-end jobs. Others still act like “players” but expect the woman to pick up the tab on dinner date or a weekend getaway. Invariably, they consider themselves better than the woman and somehow entitled, deserving a partner who will help them out of the rut they’re in.

I see women settling for so little, content with scraps from someone else’s table. Is it desperation? Is it because of the biological clock ticking? Is it because true quality males are so hard to come by? It used to be that society pressured women into marriage in college, but times have changed and that’s no longer the case. So why, oh why is this happening? Is the Internet the reflection of the real world?

As an old hag with lots of relationship experience, most of it bad, but … still, experience, I want to tell all my fabulous women friends to aim for the stars and not pick the low hanging fruit. The guys I see you marrying, buying houses for, supporting financially, raising their children – these guys will drag you down. Ball and chain is what they are. Good looks and good sex and a fleeting thing. Then, what you’re left with is a loser that you’ll carry on your back through life, a loser who will disrespect you and resent you because you’re successful and he’s not.

Look in the mirror, take a good inventory of all your assets and great qualities. Then, look out for Number One. There’s certainly more than one fish in the sea, so don’t settle for the bottom dwelling carp. Wait for your marlin. And it is always so much better to be alone and a master of your destiny than to cling onto a loser who will suck you dry in more than one way. Peace out!

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Where Do You Stand?

wbDo you believe that our Constitution is the supreme law of the land? Read the following list of talking points, then return to the question above and answer it again.

1. Article VI of the United States Constitution states: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

2. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment around the world.

3. United States signed the Convention on April 18 1988 and ratified it on October 21 1994.

4. Therefore, as a treaty made under the authority of the United States, it is the law of the land.

5. In sum, any torture perpetrated by any persons on behalf of the United States is an unlawful act and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

6. Perpetrating these acts on Romanian, Lithuanian, Polish, or Cuban soil (the so-called “rendition” – handing over of persons to be tortured elsewhere) does not make them legal or constitutional or permissible under the UN Convention against Torture, and consequently under our own Constitution. It only demonstrates that the torturers knew well that they were violating the U.S. Constitution and attempted to avoid any legal consequences of their actions. These criminals, as well as the authorizing government officials and their foreign co-conspirators (all the way up to where “the buck stops”) ought to be tried for their crimes.

7. Every government official, from POTUS down to the lowly clerk, takes an Oath of Office, which clearly states that he or she will “to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

8. If convicted, the torturers should be made to pay in proportion to their involvement in these criminal acts. If it was up to me, they would certainly be hanged just like the 5 Japanese soldiers tried after WWII for water-boarding American POW’s. As for “I am a patriot and I was just following orders” – it did not fly in Nuremberg and it should not fly in The Hague.

Now, do you still believe in the Constitution of the United States? Unequivocally Yes? Not really? Mostly? Believe in some articles and amendments but consider other ones obsolete or no longer applicable? Sort of, except when it comes down to the topics on which I happen to opine differently? Where do you stand?

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Stupid, Stupid War!

Here I am lying from the Green Zone to Baghdad airport in a Blackhawk helicopter

Here I am flying from the Green Zone to Baghdad airport in a Blackhawk helicopter

I am not in the military but my job as a federal government employee took me to Baghdad in November 2008. I worked in one of the flashiest Saddam’s palaces and I lived in a trailer just outside, close to Saddam’s swimming pool.

As I walked to the chow hall on a sunny morning to get breakfast, I heard not-so-distant explosions. They usually came in twos: the first one to kill a number of targeted civilians and the second one to kill the first responders.

At night, occasionally an urgent message would come on a PA system: “Incoming! Incoming! Take cover!” That’s when I would slide under my cot, cover myself with the kevlar vest and place a helmet over my face. I’d lie there surrounded by dust bunnies waiting for the alarm to be called off.

In those times I would ask myself two questions: what the hell a female senior citizen like me was doing in the war zone, and what the hell we Americans were doing in Iraq. The answer to the first question was simple: both my children are active military and both already have been deployed to Iraq so when my agency was asking for volunteers I raised my hand because I wanted to experience what they went through.

I am still searching for an answer to that second question, one that would make sense, that is. We haven’t won a war since 1945, yet old men in Washington are still eager to send our young in harm’s way. For what? And I don’t want to hear about how they are fighting there for my freedom, as my freedom has never gone to Iraq. There have never been any Al-Qaida there either. The 9-11 hijackers were not from Iraq but from a country we consider our ally: Saudi Arabia. Yet, we did not invade Saudi Arabia. We invaded Iraq instead. We did kill their bloody dictator but was his life really worth thousands of our young soldiers lives?

Iraq wanted us out of there just as now Afghanistan wants us out. One of my sons is about to deploy to Afghanistan — to fight yet another war that we are losing. I yet have to hear a reasonable explanation as to what the hell are we doing invading foreign lands at such a great cost in lives and monies that could be used to advance America’s future here at home.

Our presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan is contributing to the hatred of our country by Arabs all over the world. It is the main reason why Al-Qaida has such an easy time recruiting suicide bombers and future terrorists who will harm us the day the proverbial chickens come home to roost. Every time our drones kill civilians in Afghanistan there are more and more people who will hate us forever. These drones kill a few terrorists here and there but nearly 90% of casualties (the so-called collateral damage) are civilians, including many children. We need a new batch of politicians who can weigh in the pros and the cons of these operations and put a stop to our expansionist imperialistic ambitions.

IMG_0024

This is a photo of the camp where I stayed, set up within Saddam’s date palms patch in front of al-Qaṣr al-Ǧumhūriy (Republican Palace). In April 2008, a DoS accountant was killed when his trailer at that very camp was directly hit by a Hown rocket lobbed in by the insurgents. I was lucky to survive my war zone experience, but so many were not. May that be food for thought, assuming there still are a few thinking heads remaining in our government.

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Madame Eva’s Morbid 2013 Predictions

I posit that the following five men will meet their maker in the year 2013, only two of them regretfully so:

1. Thai king Bhumibol — because he’s been in poor health for many years and because he’s old and frail

2. Hugo Chavez — because his Cuban cancer cure is not working or he wouldn’t need that many rounds of therapy

3. Stephen Hawking — because his incurable progressive disease is bound to eventually extinguish the last glimmer of his illustrious life

4. Pope Benedict XVI — because not much has changed in the corrupt and conniving Vatican since the times of Borgias; furthermore, the cardinals already got away with murder once in recent history when they assassinated John Paul I

5. Fidel Castro — because if I had the power, I would have gladly “wished him into cornfield” decades ago, before he bestowed the everlasting misery (called “Cuban Revolution”) on 3 generations of citizens and ran a country of 11 million into the ground (“Ya es hora, camarada”)

 

Update #1: Hugo Chavez died on March 5, 2013 (one out of 5 accuracy — nothing to write home about)

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On Conception and Contraception

Roughly half way into the woman’s menstrual cycle her egg leaves the follicle and a hormone is released to thicken the lining of her uterus. The egg takes about 24 hours to move through the Fallopian tube waiting for a sperm to fertilize it. If a sperm finds its way to where the egg is, fertilization occurs; otherwise, the egg disintegrates in the uterus.

Fertilized egg (called morula or zygote) starts dividing into many cells within 24 hours as it moves through the Fallopian tube towards the uterus, which takes three to four days. The clump of cells at this stage is called blastocyst (a zygote becomes a blastocyst approximately on a fifth day after fertilization).

The next step, called the implantation, consists of the egg attaching itself to the wall of the uterus. Implantation can be completed as early as eight days or as late as 18 days after fertilization, but usually takes about 14 days. Between one-third and one-half of all fertilized eggs never fully implant.

If implantation is successful, within a week a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can be found in woman’s blood. It is made by the cells that eventually become the placenta. This is the hormone detected in a pregnancy test. An implanted blastocyst is now commonly referred to as embryo.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the term “conception” properly means implantation; a pregnancy is considered to be established only when the process of implantation is complete. The medical community has long been clear: pregnancy is established when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the wall of a woman’s uterus.

There exist two kind of emergency contraception: a morning-after pill and an IUD insertion. These can be used to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex. Neither method will work if a woman is already pregnant. Emergency contraception is not abortion.

To recap: morning-after pill does not end pregnancy (fertilized egg that has implanted). Depending on specific circumstances (mainly: timing), it may do one of the following: delay or prevent ovulation, block fertilization, or keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Hence, it is not an abortion pill. Therefore, if you need it, take it and stop losing sleep over it and if you happen to be Catholic, you don’t even have to confess (unless you have sinned in some other fashion, of course).

Women who use emergency contraception are not killing any babies. A non-implanted blastocyst will be on its merry way out, regardless whether it was prevented from implanting by a pill or by Mother Nature herself (remember 1/3 to 1/2 of them never implant anyway). Even if you have been indoctrinated to believe that life begins at conception, it is wise to know precisely what conception is and when it actually occurs: at implantation. Amen!

Note: I felt compelled to provide this information to all my friends and whoever else may read my blog because I recently ran into an adult person who is quite devout but blissfully ignorant when it comes to biology, chemistry, human anatomy, medicine, etc. and who got all her so-called “scientific knowledge” in church, where folk are evidently taught such subjects by equally blissfully ignorant clergy.

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Equal Pay for Equal Work — how to go about getting it

Women in the United States get paid 70 cents for every dollar men get paid for doing the same work. That may be an eye-opening statistic to some but it is no news to me. For 32 years I worked in information technology, in three different countries, climbing through the career echelons and progressively earning more and more money.

My last job was that of a Quality Assurance Engineer at one of the largest financial institutions in America. At the cusp of my IT career I was making $185,000 a year, which 12 years ago was a pretty nice pay. I was an independent consultant and I had to go through an agency that would hassle up a job for me and then take a hefty ongoing commission if the client agreed to use my services.

Every year or so I would renegotiate my rate with the agency owner. I would tell her that I couldn’t care less for how much she invoiced the client company or what was the size of her cut (both very confidential bits of data). However, if I ever found out that she paid me a single dollar per hour less than she paid one of my male colleagues, I would make that information very public and she would have a hard time finding a respectable company in that part of the country ever willing to even take her phone calls. This strategy worked wonders. I was thus not too surprised when one April morning, over a cup of java, Grace (her real name) generously offered me a 9.5% rate increase even though I would have gladly taken just 8%. We both knew what happened and we left the meeting feeling that a mutually beneficial agreement was reached.

The point I am trying to make is that women should not sheepishly wait for the men to pass the laws that will even the playing field for us. Women ought to individually stand up an demand those rights often and loudly. We should not have to state the obvious that equal work deserves equal pay, but take the reins and refuse to be victimized financially, physically, and in every other way.

Which reminds me of a fellow I met and was mildly interested in dating several years ago. We had some sort of an argument and he warned me: “Careful, because I hit!” I said I did not need to be careful because nobody hits me and lives to talk about it. I told him he may hit women who allow to be hit, but this one does not and it’s not going to happen. That, naturally, was the last time I saw the creep.

Let us not wait another few decades until the zeitgeist catches up to reality. Let’s not waste time or money in lobbying or marching in the street — both proven to be pretty futile tactics. Let’s demand the rights we deserve and let’s insist on them and things will start happening much quicker that through any government laws or intervention. As Betty Friedan so eloquently stated: “You can’t be given equality; you have to assume it.”

 

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Planet Romney

“Ann Romney never worked a day in her life” — said Hilary Rosen, and it was like stirring a hornet’s nest, with all politicians and wanna-be’s alike up in arms saying how raising children is hard work. Sure it is. It is even harder when a mother holds two jobs, commutes on a bus, can’t pay the bills with what she’s earning and can’t better herself, school being a luxury out of her reach. Ann Romneys of this world are clueless when it comes to knowing what it’s like to be a working class mother in today’s America. That is what Hilary Rosen meant and no apology ought to be expected or given.

As much as Ann Romney would like to present herself as a coal-miner’s grand-daughter (gag me!), I don’t think even the most feeble-minded of us are buying it.  It is one thing to direct the servants, the nannies, the housekeepers, and the personal assistants and it is quite another to scrub your floors, do your dishes, cook your meals, wash your clothes, stand in lines, and put in an 8-hour work shift, day in and day out, then to come home and do the remaining house chores, as no paid domestic help will do them for you.

Ann Romney and her husband would like us to believe that they are just like us and that she CHOSE to be a stay-home mom while all those other women (career or not) chose to work instead, maybe finding their children to be too much of a bother to handle 24/7. Isn’t it nice to have such a choice? Isn’t it nice to choose whether to drive two Cadillacs or a Mercedes and a Porsche? To vacation in Hawaii or in Aspen? To build a car elevator or to take the stairs from the garage instead? Anne Romney’s world is full of such choices. Decisions, decisions … The rest of us, however, more often than not are faced with a choice to pay our electric bill or to eat this week. To have Grandma babysit or to leave the kids with the neighbor again. Personally, I and every woman I know live on a different planet from that of Ann Romney’s and we all know for a fact that we will never bump into her in a laundromat or a Wal-Mart store.

As for her MS and cancer that she overcame — good for her, but why is that brought up again and again, by herself, by her husband, and by the media? All human beings have to deal with sickness at one time or another in our lives and to play it as a sympathy card is just pathetic.

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