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Affirmative Action: White folks need not apply

If you’re white, don’t bother applying.

That’s the message implied for years at the bottom of applications for colleges, scholarships, grants, government and other positions thanks to Affirmative Action.

But Affirmative Action in Arizona may be finally going where it belongs: down the toilet.

Position held open for bright yellow folks without noses and coffee stains running down their head ONLY/Ryn Gargulinski
Position held open for bright yellow folks without noses and coffee stains running down their head ONLY/Ryn Gargulinski

An initiative slated for the state’s 2010 general election ballot will get rid of “discrimination against – or preferential treatment for – any individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” Both the state Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation to make this initiative a reality.

It’s about time.

“We are giving Arizonans an opportunity to tell our government to end this form of legalized discrimination once and for all,” said Chair of the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative Rachel Alexander in a June 22 news release announcing the Senate’s passage of the legislation.

While Affirmative Action may have started with good intentions, as did paving the road to hell, it ended up as simple discrimination against anyone who was not in the targeted groups needed to fill the quota.

Those “anyones” were usually white males, followed closely by white females and then all others in a group that numbered more than five.

“We’d let you into the program, but we first have to fill our quota for Aboriginal Polish Mexican women who were descended from Irish roots and have lived in Cambodia for at least two years.”

Not once has the fine print stated that preferential treatment should be given to weird female artists with short red hair.

So to heck with the whole concept.

If everyone is truly created equal, then let them compete equally and the best man – or woman – win, regardless of race, gender, religion, height, shoe size and yes, even haircut and color.

What do you think?
Have you been discriminated against thanks to “Affirmative Action”?
What happened? Did it make you beat someone up?

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Artist’s Sketchbook: RYNchimes

Part of the beauty of creating art is not knowing what the heck you’ll come up with. Such was the case when I got a request for windchimes.

After trial and error with the welder, some wire, metal hunks and wood, I threw all the error in a heap and came up with the following creation:

RYNchimes/Ryn Gargulinski
RYNchimes/Ryn Gargulinski

These RYNchimes may not sound like a symphony, but they are guaranteed not to rust, crust or bleed (although they could probably kill a small child if they fell on his head).

The biggest lesson I learned during this experiment was how incredibly awesome the Dremel rotary tool is. While I’ve used this lethal, spinning machine for sanding and grinding edges, this is the first time I’ve used it to cut through metal.

Sparks are quite pretty as long as they are not flying at your eyes.

Alternate RYNchime views.

Proof they can hang in a tree/Ryn Gargulinski
Proof they can hang in a tree/Ryn Gargulinski
Back view showing plug spring thing, long hollow thing and twisted metal thing next to the three sawed-off fence post pieces/Ryn Gargulinski
Back view showing plug spring thing, long hollow thing and twisted metal thing next to the three sawed-off fence post pieces/Ryn Gargulinski

I don’t know yet if the person likes them. If not, I have plenty of saw blades and old fence posts to cut through for the next set.

Have you ever had the joy of using a Dremel rotary tool?

For what? The instructions say not to use it for dentistry.

Did you get sparks in your eyes and go blind?

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Boycott Tucson's evil weed

Hemlock may kill you, a giant saguaro could crush your skull and poinsettias will poison your cat. But nothing is as evil as Bermuda grass.

This fast-growing and invasive turf grass should instead be classified as a weed. It’s just as ugly and unwanted.

My experience with Bermuda grass began when I bought a house with a small lawn area infused with the stuff. While at first the Bermuda grass pretended to be user-friendly and green, it soon showed its true colors: brown.

Neighbor's Bermuda lawn/Ryn Gargulinski
Neighbor's Bermuda lawn/Ryn Gargulinski

It also exhibited a number of other annoying idiosyncrasies. Like looking like regurgitated hay.

Although Bermuda grass is supposed to die off in the winter and come back in the spring, mine only seemed to get the first half right.

Yes, I watered it. Tended to it. Treated it with loving care. Then I tried to violently rip it out and re-seed with some “as-seen-on-TV” miracle grass.

Nearly two years later, I’m still ripping.

Bermuda grass has the uncanny ability to snake its roots to depths unknown. One chunk I eventually pulled up may have had some molten rock attached from the earth’s core.

Just as the grass snakes to the deep depths of the earth, roping through palm tree roots and choking anything that dares exist beneath your house, its top layer goes wild on the surface.

Most of the lawn may remain dead, especially where you want it to be lush and green. But long tendrils of the stuff will thrive around the edges, pushing through gravel, onto patios and disrupting ornamental stepping stones and lawn borders.

Bermuda tendrils on lawn borders/Ryn Gargulinski
Bermuda tendrils on lawn borders/Ryn Gargulinski

I think one tendril strangled a pack rat.

After several reseedings and weekly patch-ups, my lawn still has large areas of brown and crispy Bermuda grass. When even Sawyer, Mr. Dig-Dug Dog can’t unearth the stuff, you know it’s bad.

My lawn with remaining Bermuda patches/Ryn Gargulinski
My lawn with remaining Bermuda patches/Ryn Gargulinski

Bermuda grass rating (1-10): Negative 1,056
I bet even bufflegrass is more fun than this stuff.

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Fascinating facts about the death penalty

Arizona hits the top of list twice for fascinating death penalty facts – once for ripping off a woman’s head and again for being the last state to use the gas chamber.

Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski

In addition to being featured in a movie I watched last night, the death penalty came up twice this morning. It surfaced as the possible punishment for the driver of the van that crashed and killed 11 illegal immigrants and again as a desired punishment for the alleged killer of the 7-year-old Ajo girl.

I’ve usually been behind the death penalty, although I have to agree with the comment from one astute reader who said: “I have yet to see a victim return to their former state of health by killing the killer.”

Whether you are for or against the death penalty is not the point of this post. The point is to share some compelling death row facts.

Talking about the death penalty also seemed more fun than rewriting another press release. So here we go:

Hanging:

Hanging was the preferred method of execution in Arizona until 1930, when it was outlawed following a mishap. Prisoner Eva Dugan was taken to the gallows where she was dropped down to hang and her head popped off.

Firing range:

Contrary to popular belief, the person about to be executed doesn’t get to stand against a wall with a jazzy blindfold on. He is instead seated, with his head and waist strapped to the chair. He is outfitted with a hood, has a little cloth target stuck to his chest right above his heart and is surrounded by sand bags to absorb the blood as five guys take shots at him with rifles.

Electric chair:

Electric chairs blast people with anywhere between 500 and 2000 volts. A subway system’s third rail averages around 700 volts. Those executed by the electric chair are outfitted with a diaper because they inevitably soil their pants.

Gas chamber:

The first gas chamber experiment failed because executioners didn’t realize they would need the chamber part. Nevada executioners in 1924 tried to pump cyanide into Gee Jon’s cell to kill him, but the thing wasn’t airtight and he kept on ticking. Thus the chamber was constructed.

Arizona was the last state to use the gas chamber in an execution, although it is available as an alternative method in others, with the death of Walter LaGrand in 1999.

Lethal injection:

While lethal injection is the most preferred current mode of execution, it does have its problems. Since doctors are not allowed to perform executions (it’s not ethical), the folks sticking the needles into the prisoner often miss the vein and hit a muscle, causing a big delay and a lot of pain.

Others who are being executed have damaged veins that are hard to find, thanks to years of intravenous drug abuse, again delaying the process.

Much of this information was found at: Michigan State University and Death Penalty Information Center

Do you know any fascinating death row facts? Please share them by commenting below.

What would you pick as your last meal?

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A Dad’s Day duck and mom’s dead chicken

Dear dad got a duck for Father’s Day. Not because he hunts, but because I wanted to go with a traditional Father’s Day image, which leaves us with a mere three choices: ducks, neckties or a pipe (the smoking kind, not the type that you use to bash in a skull).

Dad's Day duck/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
Dad's Day duck/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski

Dad was fascinated with his duck, even though he admitted at first glance he thought it a pelican. He also promised not to let the darling duck befall the same fate as the chicken I made my mom for Mother’s Day.

WARNING: The following sequence of photos contains disturbing images.

Some of you may have seen this horrific montage which I posted around Mother’s Day, but I post it again in the hopes of saving chickens who cross the road in the future.

Mom claims she was trying to help the chicken cross the road, but these photos disclose otherwise.

Chicken minding its own business/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken minding its own business
Chicken being coaxed to death/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken being coaxed to doom
Chicken making the fatal decision/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken making the fatal decision
Alas!/Ryn Gargulinski
Alas!

What did you get your dad for Father’s Day? A duck? A necktie? A pipe?

Did your mom ever kill a chicken?

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