31 March 2007

this and that

i'm not certain if anyone is even reading anymore, but here goes! i'm baaaa-aaack!

it seems that the house stuff that has been a major stress on our lives over the past solid 5 months is resolving somewhat for now. signing papers in an hour for a re-fi after exhausting all of our options we have at this time. looks like we got in just in time, too. what. a. mess.

i got my acceptance letter for grad school in the mail yesterday. i have to suss out financial aid stuffs now - i hope it's not too late! thanks pam - i know your letter of recommendation had something to do with this! :) and the biggest THANK YOU to all of you that read my statement and encouraged me through these last icky awful months. your kindness will never be forgotten. ever. you have no idea.

i'm starting to feel like a human again. the idea that my life is living me and not me living my life is no bueno. it isn't perfect, but it's a start. i'm also looking for a part time serving gig to supplement what we need, at least until school begins. so far, no luck. my old boss was delighted to hear from me, there just doesn't seem to be any room behind the bar just yet, at least not with my availability.



i'm really really really torn about the deadline date for withdrawing from iraq. i don't want another year to pass. i want this nightmare to end yesterday... i'm assuming that a lot of this has to do with political positioning on the part of the d's - pelosi stopped with the impeachment talk, knowing that impeachment would mean the d's would have little or no chance of taking the whitehouse in 2008. seems that this move with withdrawing troops is along the same lines. i'm a bit disappointed with move on for this reason as well. once again, the d's have let me down. not all of them, but many. i know that barbara lee and kucinich didn't vote for this plan of doing the least amount of something to placate those of us that want an end to this occupation. i know, i know... it's a start - it is something, but i can't help but feel horribly sad and torn on the whole issue. more band aids for cuts that need stitches. it wears me down. how many more have to die?

also, i've just joined up with the out of iraq bloggers! you want to come along? here's the info and i'll be updating my blogroll accordingly:

Out Of Iraq Bloggers Caucus - Reciprocal Blogroll

A group of us started organizing an "Out Of Iraq Blogroll" over at TalkLeft a while back, based on Big Tent Democrat's idea of the Out Of Iraq Bloggers Caucus.

The Blogroll is a reciprocal link list of "Out Of Iraq Bloggers" that will be posted separately from other blogrolls and displayed on each member blog to identify them as part of the Out Of Iraq Bloggers Caucus (as conceived by Armando Llorens aka Big Tent Democrat) to help increase traffic to all of the member blogs and get the message out as widely as possible
that the Iraq Debacle must be ended as soon as possible, and that there should be no more bills passed funding it beyond an established date certain for withdrawal.

The Out Of Iraq Blogroll is intended to be a roll of bloggers that are:

1) Opposed to the Iraq Supplemental Appropriations Bill.
2) Opposed to funding Bush's Iraq Occupation Debacle.
3) Committed to getting the troops home as soon as possible.
4) Determined to end George W. Bush's Iraq and Mid-East Debacle as quickly as possible.
5) Determined to restore some sanity to the world.

To join the Blogroll email me: edger10@gmail.com - I am volunteering to do my best to review blogs and initially maintain it - and as new blogs join I will keep the blogroll current at Edgeing.

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27 March 2007

one million blogs for peace tuesday

Have you convinced anyone else to change their opinion about the Iraq War?

early on, pre-invasion, while working at the bar - yes. as much as the job was a thorn in my side, it did offer me the opportunity to talk with a lot of people on a day-to-day. it amazed me - there were so many people that were under the impression that the whole of iraq had something to do with 9/11. to know that they are still out there, even today... i simply can't get my brain around it.

i can say that many of those that i talked to regularly have overwhelmingly grown to not support the iraq "war" if they were in favor at the start. i don't know if i had anything to do with that, though.

If so, describe that experience and how you convinced them.

i always had a stack of well sourced info with me to share, and a lot to say. many were receptive, i often heard, "why isn't this on the news?" the film showings helped a bunch as well. the most difficult thing was convincing people that they weren't being unpatriotic by questioning the government's motives for war. so many i spoke with seemed to carry the "you are either with us or against us" words spoken by ashcroft as an unquestionable truth - and fear. talking about the alternatives seemed to make a difference as well. pointing out that saddam hussein and bin laden were actually sworn enemies, the geo-political positioning involved, and finally, the oil control aspect all seemed to be things that got others to stop and think. the biggest was the pnac report in which the overthrow of hussein was outlined 15-16 years ago by those who were and are currently advising the president (though it is against international law to overthrow a government (?!).

If not, imagine what would change your mind if you felt differently about the War.

ah, the eternal question that haunts me. i just don't know. every time i think i have the one thing to say that can't be argued or might sway someone - or, at the very least, make them question - there seems to be a rebuttal that doesn't make sense to me - intellectually or otherwise. said rebuttals always seem to be grounded in denial, fear and attacks about my being patriotic or not supporting the troops. it gets distilled down to some sound bite repeated after being heard on fox news or some such MSM outlet.

honestly, i can't even imagine being in support of war - any war.

if i had to guess, though - on a very basic level - it would have to be pointing out the disjunct between 9/11 and what is happening/has happened in iraq.

we were horrified that anyone could take lives so easily and carelessly - not see that those who died on 9/11 were human beings with families and lives...

the same thing is happening today in iraq, as we speak. the 29% still in support of the war in the u.s. feel that those lives are faceless, foreign beings that "deserve" what they get simply because they were born where they were - they are the enemy "just because" they've spent years living under a brutal dictator that we once fully supported and backed. i defy that.

i won't condone 9/11. i also won't condone the largest keeper of Weapons of Mass Destruction IN THE WORLD doing the same to the human beings with families and lives in iraq or afghanistan.

it is the same thing. except now, we're on the giving end and putting tens of thousands of lives in more danger.

those who didn't hate us before sure do now. and i can't say that i blame them in the least bit.

all in all, it's a new sport for the supporters of war to cheer for. home v. away. it isn't that simple. it never is. and swatting at a bee hive only stands to find one getting stung in the end. i have a bebe to think about, and his future. this. is. not. what. i. want. for. him. or any other child that will inherit the short-sightedness and fear and violence this is all creating.


i also want to take a moment and direct you to a post i found via pam's place yesterday. i've been so consumed lately with all things house, that i somehow missed this. i can't stop thinking about it. i urge you to call and sign the petition if you haven't already.

the petition is here. you can contact claire mccaskill here.

i'm going to repost part of what jp posted over on les enrages - i hope it's ok with him to do so. clicking the link above will take you to the rest of it. i can't get lavena out of my mind, no matter how hard i try. please help.

To die unsung would really bring you down
Although wet eyes would never suit you
Walk through no archetypal suicide
Die young is far too boring these days
- “Unsung“, Helmet

With the exception of several administration officials both past and present and every other rabid warhawk in PNAC and the American Enterprise and Cato Institutes, I can’t think of a single American who belongs in Iraq.

And 19 year-old LaVena L. Johnson certainly had no business being there.

If you do even advanced Google and Yahoo searches for LaVena Johnson, who was murdered in Balad, Iraq, a place not notable for either terrorist or insurgent activity, on July 19th, 2005, about half the hits you’ll get were written by fellow Missouri native Philip Barron, aka Shakespeare’s Sister’s Waveflux. I’m getting pissed off more and more seeing Barron going at this virtually alone in asking for real answers that explain this beautiful, intelligent, outgoing and accomplished young lady’s death.

Is it because she wasn’t a safety for the Arizona Cardinals? Was it because she wasn’t male? Or is it because she was black? Yet, these inevitable questions have, of course, already been asked. So let’s ask the questions that the United States Army, who wants to be all it can be except honest and forthcoming, has neither the balls to ask themselves nor answer for her family and the record. And before we can ask these questions, I first have to ensure that my readership knows the basic facts if they don’t already.

On July 19th, 2005, Pfc. LaVena Johnson was found dead in her tent, a single bullet wound to her left temple (she was right-handed). Her nose was broken. One of her lips was battered so badly that a mortician had to reconstruct it. Two of her front teeth were knocked loose. Her shoulder or elbow was dislocated. A trail of blood led from her tent to outside.

A slam dunk, right? You’d think even an Army sawbones half a step ahead of a civilian malpractice suit and the laziest, most jaded and indifferent Army CID officer would rule this a murder, right?

Instead, the Army initially ruled her death a “non combat-related” one as a result of a self-inflicted wound. Not officially a suicide, but a death due to an SIW. When pressed to reopen the case by a St. Louis television news station and Johnson’s parents, the Army then planted its second boot squarely and firmly in Bizarro World and ruled LaVena Johnson’s death a suicide.

And in the act of doing so, they practically begged the Johnson family to hire attorneys to force the Army to reopen the case that they’re now refusing to reopen. Basically, they’re saying, “That’s our ridiculous story and we’re sticking to it.” This, despite the fact that her CO went on record as saying that she was happy, a fact corroborated by her mother who spoke with her on the phone for an hour the day before her death.

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23 March 2007

how we should have responded to the events of 9/11/2001

"violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
~issac asimov

as per my post yesterday in response to the comments over here. thank you, krissy (if you ever see this), for stretching my brain... this is how i see it.

as i mentioned before, i was solidly against invading afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. i remember talking with a close friend that day who i find myself on the same page as politically, who was ranting and raving that we must begin "bombing the fuck" out of "them" as soon as possible. i was completely taken aback. in retrospect, i imagine that she was reacting out of fear, as most were at that time. i won't lie - i was also afraid. but i couldn't get my brain around how the use of more violence, a violence that we had just so horribly suffered, would ever bring about change or peace.

many found themselves in shock that day. i don't think that i ever was. in the realm of blowback, i was more surprised that something of that scope hadn't happened before after reading chalmers johnson's book. america has a solid history of doing whatever she wants wherever she wants without so much a please or thank you. she has been a party to some awful attrocities in the name of "freedom" and "democracy." these actions have angered many, and rightfully so. they anger me, i can't imagine being on the receiving end.

but it is NEVER OK TO UNLEASH SUCH SICKNESS on others. and that goes both ways.

we stood around asking how anyone could ever do such a thing as drive planes into buildings. we asked how anyone could ever target innocent lives - yet, what was the response? kill them! you can't reason with them! they would kill you if they had the chance! and what do you think the men that boarded those planes that day were thinking? the. same. thing.

in our quest to respond to the terrorists with war, we became the terrorists. and used that to further an agenda on more innocent people in another country that had absolutely nothing to do with any of it. yay us.

but i digress. instead of asking "why," they asked, "how do we make someone, anyone pay? RIGHT NOW!!!" to me, that isn't justice, that is revenge. and it doesn't begin to get to the root of the problem. it's a knee jerk reaction, one that keeps us in a perpetual state of war and fear and only stands to create more anger and hostility.

the men that carried out their mission on those planes died that day, along with all of their victims. i can see trying to apprehend the so called ring leader.

according to this report, the taliban agreed to extradite bin laden for trial. but that apparently wasn't good enough for the u.s.

and then there was one sided "war." never mind that most of those responsible weren't from afghanistan. never mind that the u.s. propped up such an awful regime in aiding the taliban. never mind that the c.i.a. trained, armed and funded bin laden in the 80's. but i'm sure this isn't new news to anyone reading this.

so what should the response have been?

no war.

it has to begin somewhere, somehow. in all of the pain and ugliness that surfaced that day, there was an opportunity for change. i thought i saw an awareness emerging, but i was wrong. it was quickly replaced by flag waving bravado after bush got on the t.v. and asked that we all do our part in our time of great sadness - to go shopping to get the economy going.

a statement should have been issued to the effect that we, as a country, would not respond with the same tactics used by those who fatally and psychologically wounded us. we will secure our borders and improve intelligence about possible attacks. that we would move past the use of violence as a means to settle international disputes once and for all. that as the mightiest, wealthiest nation in the world, we would take the first steps towards world peace and ensure that this wouldn't ever happen again. that we would take some time and consider the history that brought us to this point and our own roles in it. that we would leave no stone unturned in this introspective quest. we would admit our mistakes and own our responsibility. we would also become more involved in the world - educate ourselves, ask the difficult questions, demand excellence from our elected representatives. we would evolve as humans sharing the same space and time. we would "lead by example." we would listen when people like bin laden clearly outline their grievances. we would stop with the "do as i say, not as i do" hypocrisy of telling countries they can't haves nukes as we continue to make more.

we would no longer prop up terrorist regimes. we would feed those in the world that are hungry instead. we would stop exploiting others in far away lands that make all of those plastic baubles and trinkets we think we can't live without. we would also stop defining ourselves with pricey clothing labels that also rely on the suffering of others to get to our greedy little paws. we would begin to realize that we are all connected. thomas paine said, "the world is my country; to do good is my religion." we would make friends, not more enemies. i realize that this may sound a little touchy-feely for a few of you, but... how do we know, if we never bother to try?

think about it. it would be awfully difficult to convince someone that they need to strap on a bomb and blow up americans if they had a decent quality of life and the americans were ensuring that they were fed. i'm just saying. i'm sure the anti-america recruitment process isn't so difficult these days.

we wouldn't be in iraq now.

at the very least, the violence would be contained. and all of that money squandered to line the pockets of those closest to bush could be far better spent.

but no. america wanted a team to cheer for and blood to spill instead - and some asses running the show have other things on their mind. let's just say it isn't democracy, freedom, al qaeda or justice. if that were the case, we wouldn't be in iraq now. we wouldn't still be in afghanistan playing "where's bin laden?" we wouldn't be in more danger from potential attacks today than we were on 9/11.

not to mention, i'm sure that bush wanted to detract from his failure to keep us safe. put it this way - if i were working at the bar and a guest i'd been serving killed someone in a drunk driving accident, several things could happen.
1. i would most likely lose my job. (or i would never be able to bring myself to return.)
2. the guest could sue me.
3. the family of the murdered victim could sue me.

yet, bush still has his job, along with all of the others that failed us that day. how does that make any sense?

bottom line? it wasn't about anything that they told us it was, and desperate people do desperate things.

as it stands, we are playing into the hands of those deemed terrorist. and they have something on us we don't have. patience and all the time in the world. they will wait until we're broke. they will wait until we've spent every cent and thousands more are dead. when we're at our weakest, they very well may strike again. this isn't the world i want for my bebe.

THE WORLD was out in force that day (and in the days following), mourning right along with us - offering aid, help, thoughts and prayers. now, that majority views us as the terrorists. pretty fucked up, huh? and so very sadly, what is done is done. but we can always change. so long as we live and breathe, we can always change. and peace is still a possibility.

like lennon said, war is over. if you want it.

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after these messages

we'll be right back.

i added a little kara style radio thingy in my sidebar. if you choose to not enjoy my carefully selected ear parties, all you have to do is click on that little pause button near the top of it's little box. or you can turn your volume down. or you can never ever come back again, but that might make me cry.

i swear i'm working on a post of substance. my brain has been elsewhere this week, though. (still dealing with the house mess. i. am. so. very. tired. i may be knocking off the cobwebs and heading back to barkeep again soon. i'm not sure how i feel about that just yet.)

but i digress. a comment over at get your own in a recent blog got me thinking. a reader asked her what could have been done in response to 9/11 if not war. i'm going to tackle that next. i think it's an important question and one that never really gets discussed. options to war.

that is all.


no it isn't.


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20 March 2007

bloggin' for peace tuesday


Think back four years ago, to when you first heard that the Iraq War had started.

Were you for or against the war at the time?

If you were for it, what has changed your mind over the last four years?

If you were against it, why were you against it?

i was working that night, march 20th of 2003. i'll never forget it. i looked up at the t.v. behind the bar and watched my government begin to "shock and awe" the people of iraq. i remember that i began crying immediately, for many reasons. i still do, to be honest. i remember feeling much like i did the morning of september 11th. i imagined what it must be like, to be down there, after reading about how many families were stocking up on drugs to take and give to their children to calm them when the bombing started. in that moment, there were no borders. we were all just people, drug into the battles of others that i've never even met. i was them, they were me. the newspaper people came in, they were looking for responses from people in the area as the bombing campaign began. i looked around the bar - it was surreal. many were still drinking, laughing, talking, as if nothing were happening. as if people weren't going to die a horribly painful death. i gave my cents to the reporters through my haze, which ended up being printed the next day. the guy they asked after me, a regular for the past 6 years, said he didn't care - so long as he could still "go to the gas station and get gas, go to the grocery store and get food, go to the gap and buy new clothes." my heart sank. i felt as if i'd been socked in the stomach. the tears came back with a vengance - and they didn't stop until i fell asleep that night.

i felt like a failure. i hoped with everything in me that the rest of the world knew that there were many of us that didn't want any of it to go down this way. i kept thinking, "i'm so sorry" over and over and over.

i had tried so hard in the months prior to raise awareness. i had gone to countless protests and made hundreds of copies of materials that i'd compiled and handed them out to anyone willing to take a look. i organized film showings at the bookstore. i rallied to make phone calls and write letters. i grew hoarse from speaking of such people as scott ritter, who knew there wasn't anything in iraq to be concerned about - who traveled endlessly trying to debunk bush's claims. i tried to encourage people to read the pnac's position paper, rebuilding america's defenses in the hopes that they would see the iraq invasion had been on the minds of many in the administration for over 10 years. i was invited to read a poem i'd written along with a few other poets for an npr segment about local artist's responses to the impending "war." if only enough people speak up, if only... i never gave up hope. i tried everything that i could think of.

and here were are 4 years later. in a war with no end. with blood on all of our hands that no amount of washing will ever erase.

i was also against the invasion of afghanistan, in all honesty. i'm a pacifist. i saw no point in taking aggressions out on a country of people that had little or nothing to do with 9/11. those who carried out the attacks died that day. and soon after, when talk turned to iraq, i was horrified. how dare they? then came the myriad of accusations. iraq has this! they are going to do that! blah! blah! blah! lies, lies and more lies. all i knew for sure is that war kills and destroys - that people like me, just trying to live and survive, were going to be killed brutally - on all sides of the debate. and as ani d. says, "those who call the shots are never in the line of fire."

i didn't believe the claims that iraq would be a "cakewalk" - not for one second. and i wasn't buying the idea that whatever was going to happen was even really a "war." maybe an occupation and invasion, but never a war. basically, i believed not a word coming from the mouths of those calling the above mentioned shots. but mostly? i remember the overwhelming feeling that we should, as a people, be evolved past the point of using violence to settle an international dispute. there is always another way. always. and i knew that the use of violence, whether "in return" (afghanistan) or enacted based in fiction (iraq), would only serve to validate and fuel those who "hate america" even more - those who have historically been victim to the military/economic actions of america.

i believe in words, not weapons. i believe in peace, not war.


p/s - there are 217 of us bloggers thus far - please join us!!!! and spread the word!

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17 March 2007

blogs for peace!

...just caught wind of this over at get your own (thanks, mary!!!) and have added "spot" to the one million blogs for peace! click here to join up. you have until the 30th of this month to do so. you can also click on the 'i'm one in a million' button in my sidebar - it will get you there as well.

since i'm posting twice today, please have a looksee at my earlier post as well. any ideas will be greatly appreciated!



i KNOW you have something to say!

my pal over at ravefilmskc has a fantabulous idea! i'm posting up his call to arms - iffin you have an idea, his contact info is at the bottom.

don those thinking caps and WRITE ON!

I had never thought about doing political TV spots and sticking them on Youtube. What the hell. People will watch them.

I've got the lighting, camera, sound and editing equipment and expertise. Not a lot of time to work on concept and location and talent and all that stuff. So--

--How about anybody who's interested come up with some scripts. They need to be simple to produce in terms of cost, and need to be Youtube-friendly--ie., not a lot of complex graphics. Simple, dramatic stuff, lots of closeups. You can't have a lot of fine detail because of the high compressions and low data rate of Youtube.

I want scripts and/or ideas. You get an idea, send it to me. Don't worry about how good it may or not be, don't worry about form or writing style, etc. I can massage it.

Let's get some good political spots up there, guys! They don't have to be promoting a candidate. They do need to promote real American values (versus the fake kind the right wing neofascist fundamentalists and KorporateAmerika promote).

Anybody in KC who wants to help, in terms of finding locations, being or getting talent, helping on a shoot, coming up with ideas--get back to me. Those of you in the biz, make your own spots. We need to do this on a long term basis. No big hurry but let's get started. Who knows, we might could come up with something really cool that would generate a million hits and start getting some publicity in the disgusting mainstream media. We should commit to doing one spot a month if we get enough good ideas. Maybe that's too big a goal...maybe half a dozen or so in time to influence the election. The right wingers will be doing this by the zillions, and they have the megachurches for distribution. Youtube may not sound like much, but it could make a difference.

As Cartman said, "...he'p me...ah need h'ep...h'ep me, pleeeze...."

No idea is too far out to be considered.


p/s - go give this artist a listen. she. rocks. bill also just hipped me to her - though i remember hearing one of her songs at work and always wondered who she was... another mystery solved.

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15 March 2007

this is just way too freakin' awesome!

Demonstration Project
in Washington, D.C.


4,000 Yogic Flyers from 62 countries creating coherence, improving the quality of life and reducing violent crime

A 21 percent reduction in the most violent crime categories was reported when over 4,000 people from 62 countries gathered in July of 1993 in Washington, D.C. to practise the Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying programs. A final report by a 27-member independent team of scientists and community leaders found that the crime drop was consistent with the predicted causal role of the group of Yogic Flyers


This study shows the decrease in violent crime rate (orange line) when over 4,000 experts gathered in Washington, D.C., in July, 1993 (shown in highlighted section). Scientists took into account changes in policing, weather patterns and all major factors known to affect crime rates. This chart also shows a time-series analysis prediction without the coherence creating group. Source: Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy: Technical Report.


thanks be to brandog for hipping me to this!

read more about the maharishi effect here.

reminds me of a thich nhat hahn quote that is printed on the front of bebe's art smock i made for him... "peace is now or never."

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10 March 2007

what exactly am i supposed to be supporting?

'cause it certainly isn't this.

i don't know that i buy into the idea that men "need" sex - i'm beginning to wonder if that's simply another idea that we've internalized over time - an idea so steeped in "tradition" that we don't question it and think that it "just is." (is there any science at all behind the claim?)

but even if it is the truth, it doesn't mean that some woman/any woman is required to be on the receiving end of said need. i'm also completely disgusted and angered that grown men can't find another alternative for stress relief, no matter how horrible and stressful the situation is that they find themselves in...

there is no excuse for this.
maybe all the righties that have come after me are right - maybe i don't wholeheartedly and unquestionably support the troops after all. because if that means turning away from something as horrific and traumatic as male soldiers raping and sexually abusing female soldiers - and a military entity that provides no support to the women that have been attacked, i can't and won't.



09 March 2007

on marriage

this has come up a couple of times within the past week, first with my dear friend sophie - whom i don't get to see and rap with nearly enough - and more recently over at sicily sue's place.

marriage. so much to say, so little time... so many thoughts a-swimming about...

historically, marriage has taken the shape of many things - a necessity in which to propagate the species, and later, a selling/giving away of a woman to a man... clearly by today's standards, we've evolved past that. right?

i'm hitched. i did so for many reasons, none of which are listed above. i didn't get married so i wouldn't be alone late in life. i didn't get married to depend on my partner for money, security or stability. i saw wayyyyy too many unhappy married folks over the years at the bar - men that loathed the idea of going home at the end of a night to a wife and children he didn't know or didn't understand - possible even care about. women that were married because they thought they were supposed to be. with the divorce rate the way it is, i fear that many people just opt to settle in relationships out of some strange sense of cultural expectancy.

i was never that girl that dreamed of her wedding day and had it all planned out from the moment i was old enough to think about it. when will asked me and i said yes, it was a different sort of deal for me.

we had two seperate ceremonies. mine was first. we went to my most special place, just he and i, and asked if we could go down to the beach for a few minutes. i'd written out my promises on a piece of birch bark - all of the things that i knew i could promise to that would never change over the course of our lives together. i put months of thought into those promises, as promises are something that i never take lightly. we exchanged them on the beach, then skipped rocks to seal the deal, as i didn't need anyone or anything to officiate over our binding. it was beautiful. it. was. perfect. there were tears and laughter and memories that i hold so close and always will.

for will's part, it was a short catholic churchy ceremony, about 10 minutes long. it was important to him that a certain padre do the deed, a man that he's known for years and years - someone that was/is instrumental to his philosophical evolvement. it was nice too. there were only a handful of people there that day, as we had planned a huge bonfire party for all of our friends and family to come to a week or so later, at another dear friend's mom's house. it was wild and crazy and fun. i still don't know how i was ever cleared by the church, i was really clear that i had no religion and had no intentions of just trying one on for size. we never went to the classes and retreats, though we had to fill out some lengthy questionnaires.

there was no stress involved, whatsoever. i found an awesome dress at it's a beautiful day - our resident 'hippie' store, and my mom made me a little headband.

i love will in a way that transcends the romantic sense, that, according to joseph campbell in the power of myth, wasn't introduced into the wedded vernacular until medieval times. i was pretty horrified that our marriage license came from some office that deals with property ownership -and that we had to pay for it. i also ixnayed the obey nonsense in the vows, or any mention of ownership for that matter. no one "gave me away" - just because it's tradition, it doesn't mean that it isn't bizarro. i didn't take his last name, after 29 years, i'd grown quite fond of my own.

the thing is, it saddens me to know that anyone would ever feel pressured, consciously or unconsciously to be married. that there has to be 'that certain someone.' does there really? and why? there are so many ranges of thought regarding marriage. some view it as the oppression of women. perhaps this is another reason why the extremes are so dead set against gay marriage. it would stand to chisel another notch from the patriarchy's belt.

what if romantic love and marriage is but a myth we've all bought into?

what if we aren't meant to be with one person for all of our lives? a tradition so steeped into every aspect of our being that we simply just play a grown-up version of follow the leader, and beat ourselves up when we don't reach some societal expectation by a certain age? what if marriage is simply a tool that is used by men and women alike to further compartmentalize people?

so many of my friends and acquaintances and people over the years that i have spoken with have literally felt pain and sadness over not finding the one - a few of them i know have simply settled - and that makes me sad. i don't know that we need to. why can't we be enough for ourselves?

i had taken a break from dating for 3 years before i met will. i had been in and out of relationships for years prior, some good, some bad, and some very very very bad. i knew that some soul-searching was in order - that i needed to be enough for myself, on every level. i had gotten to the point where i knew i would be ok with just me - and i was cool with that. when i met him, it was different than anything that i had ever imagined. he's my best friend. he is so many things to me, but most importantly, my partner in all things. i don't call him my husband, because it isn't like that - at least what conditions i would put on a husband label. sometimes "hubby" slips out - a product of my own conditioning, but... conditioning is meant to be challenged. just ask violet. you. go. grrrl!!!!!

and even if marriage is some fabricated entity, and there is no such thing as love - i wouldn't trade my boo or the result of our union, the phenomenal bebe - or our life together - for. anything. in. the. world. and never would i question another's choice to fly it solo. it is all about choices and options - freedom, that is. and don't we all want to be free? i can honestly say that any level of oppression that i feel and recognize isn't coming from will.

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08 March 2007

every day should be

international women's day, just as many designated days/months should be... but, alas.

this year's theme is ending impunity for violence against women. bring THAT on!!!!

how to? "First is to send a very strong message that in today’s world women…are saying zero tolerance. A real political message that the women are tired of abuse…that anybody who abuses women sexually, battering and other forms of violence, we are calling on the authorities in the institutions to take practical action to deal with this issue. Therefore the whole issue of enforcement of the existing laws becomes very, very important in addition to ensuring that there is justice.” ~Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda

with so many holes in the current system, so little justice being served, and so many women that are victimized unable or unwilling to come forward as a result - here's to hoping that things do change for all of the women in the world. they must. in 1908, 15,000 women marched the streets of new york city seeking better pay, shorter working hours and the right to vote. one down, two to go. but the fact is, we still live in a country where gaining the right to vote is still often framed as something that was given - something that we should be so grateful for that we should pipe down on all other fronts - not a right that we should've had from the get-go.

i found this the topic in a couple of other blogs i frequent, but h/t to pam for linking me the article: speaking of impunity, the dude that decided to cuddle up next to a sleeping woman on a red eye flight out of seattle and ejaculate on her back after lifting her shirt will face a maximum of 6 months in prison. 6. months.

while this may not seem like "that big of a big deal," i beg to differ.

even though this happened close to 13 and 10 years ago now respectively, it still disgusts/angers me every time i think of it.

the first time, i had made a quick stop at a grocery store near my house after getting off work. when i parked my car, it was alone in the parking lot, save for a beat up old multi-colored pickup truck near the street. i remember it vividly, it had a pair of jumper cable handle thingies attached to the broken off antennae. i noted it as i went in, 'cause it creeped me out.

when i came out of the store, he was parked right next to me - his passenger door next to my driver's. i couldn't see anyone in the truck and i assumed he'd gone in, though i felt really weird about the whole thing. i made sure my door key was in my hand. i walked quickly to my car, turned the key and opened the door. as i was sliding in, i looked over into the truck. he was there, all scrunched down with his dick in his hand, going to town. he was reaching for his door handle and i got out of there as quick as i could. i was shaking and i alternated from being scared and pissed all the way home. like i wanted to see that guy's junk. like i wanted him to be getting off on me, on any level, without my permission.

the next time i was at the grocery, i told the manager about it.

"oh, yeah," he said "that happens all the time! mostly on sunday afternoons. they park right by the door and catch all the women coming out. i've not heard of anyone have it happen at night yet."

oh, so it's normal. that's cool. (?!)

but wait, there's more.

the second time.

a couple of years later, i had dropped a co-worker off and was headed home. i noticed that a car i didn't recognize was following me - no matter where i turned. as we approached the stop light, i double checked all my doors to be sure they were locked. he pulled into the turn lane beside me. i looked over to see him making a sex face at me, panting. he also had his junk out and was working it. i turned away and didn't react - this time i was just pissed. i tried to flag down a cop, but he sped off.

the next day as i was getting gas, i saw a cop. i told him what had happened and if there was anything i could do about it. he told me if i got his license plate number they could go question him, and, if i wasn't doing anything later that night, would i like to go have a drink? seriously. what are the odds? on all levels?

a couple of weeks after that, i was again heading home and i saw the second beater-offer pass me as i was waiting for traffic to clear to pull out. he looked right at me. i realized that i had a disposable camera in my bag and got it out. he. was. going. down. i intended on getting up next to him and taking pictures of he and his car to plaster all over town with the story of what he'd done. hopefully, he would have his gnarly junk out again and i would have proof.

i finally pulled out and though he was a ways away from me, i knew i could catch him. he was turning right at the light. i sped and turned too, heading up the hill. next thing i know, i see him parked, headlights off, facing the opposite direction in a parking lot. as i passed, he flicked his lights on and sped off the other direction. HE WAS HIDING FROM ME!

i've always been a little amazed that i had virtually the same experience, years apart, with two different people. could this be far more common than we even realize? in it's own way, though neither man never laid a hand on me - i felt very very very violated - to me, it was an act of violence, being that of an act of aggression.

needless to say - i can't imagine what that had to have been like for that woman, that he actually touched her and ejaculated ON her. and now he may face 6 months in jail? we live in a culture that says it's bad to violate women, yet, when it comes down to it, rarely is anything ever even done. and to get justice is such a battle in and of itself, it stands to further beat down women trying to do the right thing, trying to get justice and insure that what has happened to them never happens to anyone else again.

i can't even bear to think of what it must be like in the rest of the world, in times of war - where women are thought of less than human.

instead today, i have to have hope that things will change - for all my sisters here and in the world.

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07 March 2007

more band-aids for cuts that need stitches

it's one of those crazy days - apparently i'm singing the tune of several groups of wrong-wingers, though not for the same reasons. and i've gotta say, i'm honestly a tad surprised at the lefty/progressive community's gung-ho-ness on this one. the hpv vaccine. mind you, this is coming from someone who is currently being monitored for the last three years worth of paps coming back showing low-grade abnormality. i had one surgery to remove cancerous cells at age 17. and it doesn't look like it's going away...

here's the 'sitch, taking away all of my other issues surrounding vaccines in general:

*this vax will only "protect" (maybe) against 4 out of the 127 strains of hpv. it isn't, from all accounts, 100% effective.

*merck won't be held accountable if problems arise in future years with their new wonder-vax... merck. where have i heard that name before? oh, yeah! vioxx induced heart attacks! and lookee here - apparently some problems with the vax have already been reported:

The early reports of potential safety problems with GARDASIL raise concerns and questions that need to be addressed by government regulators, manufacturers and prescribing physicians. Specifically, the following concerns need to be addressed

Syncope, seizures and Guillian-Barre Syndrome have now been reported with hours to a week after GARDASIL vaccination. GARDASIL manufacturer, Merck, should add these serious adverse events to the product manufacturer insert.

Considering that over 20 girls have experienced syncopal episodes sometimes combined with seizures and serious injuries, physicians should consider only giving GARDASIL when the patient is safely laying down on the examining table. Because there seems to be syncopal reactions up until 15 minutes after vaccination, patients should be asked to lie down for 15 minutes after receipt of GARDASIL.

The information provided by Merck indicates that it is safe to administer GARDASIL with Hepatitis B vaccine. The prescribing information states, “Results for clinical studies indicate that GARDASIL may be administered concomitantly (at a separate injection site) with hepatitis B vaccine (recombinant). Co-administration of GARDASIL with other vaccines has not been studied.” [4] Due to the small number of girls aged 9 to 15 who appear to have been evaluated for GARDASIL safety in Merck clinical trials (fewer than 2,000) and lack of publicly available information about how many of these girls were given GARDASIL and hepatitis B vaccine simultaneously, the safety of administering GARDASIL and hepatitis B vaccine to all pre-adolescent girls is uncertain.[5]

Aside from Hepatitis B, Merck does not state that it is safe to simultaneously administer GARDASIL with any other vaccine. Considering that there are ongoing evaluations of a reported association between Menactra (meningococcal vaccine) and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and Merck does not explicitly indicate that it is safe to administer to administer GARDASIL and Menactra simultaneously, consumers and clinicians should question whether administering both GARDASIL and Menactra at the same time is safe.

Similarly, adverse reactions were reported when GARDASIL was administered with eight other vaccines: Hepatitis A, MNQ (?), MEN (Menactra), TD (Tetanus and Diptheria Toxoids), DPP (Diptheria/Pertussis/Polio), PNC Prevnar (Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate), DTaP (Diphtheria And Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine), and TDAP (Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis). Because Merck does not state that it is safe to administer simultaneously GARDASIL with any vaccine other than Hepatitis B, consumers and clinicians should question whether co-administration of GARDASIL and other vaccines is safe.

Most, if not all, of the reactions reported to VAERS were in response to the first of the three doses of GARDASIL. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) developed for HPV vaccine states that severe reactions include “any unusual condition, such as a high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness.” [6] The CDC also states that “anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to yeast, to any other component of HPV vaccine, or to a previous dose of HPV vaccine should not get the vaccine.” Which of the reactions reported to VAERS constitute a “life-threatening allergic reaction” and which, if any, of the children and young adults who experienced reactions should receive additional doses of vaccine? At the October 2006 ACIP meeting, CDC staff stated that only “three serious reports were reported to VAERS after HPV vaccination in females 14 and 16 years of age. One of these patients had vasovagal syncope and was hospitalized overnight for observation.” [7]CDC’s summary of the first 76 VAERS reports suggests that CDC doesn’t regard the remaining reports as “serious.” CDC needs to clarify which of the reactions reported to VAERS constitute contraindications to further vaccination with GARDASIL and make this information available to the public and to prescribing physicians.

What were the short and longer-term outcomes for the individuals who experienced the reactions reported to VAERS? Is there information available that would help to predict the characteristics that predispose one to be at greatest risk of experiencing a serious reaction?

The CDC’s Vaccine Information Sheet indicates that allergy to yeast is a reason to avoid taking GARDASIL. Merck notes that contraindications to the vaccine include “hypersensitivity to the active substances or to any of the excipients of the vaccine. Individuals who develop symptoms indicative of hypersensitivity after receiving a dose of GARDASIL should not receive further doses of GARDASIL.” The prescribing information provided by Merck does not specifically note that yeast allergy is a contraindication to taking GARDASIL. Government regulators and the manufacturer need to address the discrepancy between these documents and clarify the issues related to yeast allergy and make this information readily available to the public and prescribing physicians.Additionally, Merck notes that vaccine ingredients include 225 mcg of aluminum (as amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant), 0.78 mg of L-histidine, 50 mcg of polysorbate 80, and 35 mcg of sodium borate. These ingredients are not listed on the CDC’s VIS sheet. The public needs this information so that they can identify whether they have “hypersensitivities” to any of the ingredients and whether they are at risk of experiencing a serious allergic reaction. Hypersensitivities and known allergic reactions are critical pieces of information that need to be communicated to prescribing physicians in order to make the safest possible vaccination decisions…

rest of article here.
*this has been touted as a life saver for low income girls that don't have insurance... hey! i have an idea! how about offering universal HEALTHCARE and INSURANCE so that young women can instead get regular checkups? from what i understand, there are no medical tests available for detecting hpv in men. (but i can't help but wonder - if there were, are we afraid that they'll know that have it and will go ahead and spread it anyway, knowing that it could cause cervical cancer? are we more concerned, with 70% of the population being infected, that reproduction could come to a standstill? as if it isn't bad enough that this culture is completely sexually repressed.)

*360 bucks for the series of shots. hmmm... guess that's cheaper than providing health insurance/care to all. never mind.

*3,700 women die each year from cervical cancer. it is said that 1/2 of the women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer haven't had a recent pap test. wait. i guess that goes back to health care point too. but how many women die from other diseases? 489,000 will die from heart disease. heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in america, hands down. where's the vaccine for that?

*the biggest thing that gets me? the almost victim blaming feel to the whole debate. it isn't as if you catch hpv by opening a door after someone else that is infected sneezes on it and you rub your eye.

IT IS BEING SPREAD PRIMARILY BY MEN. so why should women be forced (granted, i'm assuming there will be an opt-out option that no one will know about much like the other vaccines, but still...) to have a potentially harmful vaccination that will expire by the time they reach the age where they will become sexually active? boosters for life? where is the role of men in all of this, beyond they don't like to wear condoms, 'cause it doesn't "feel right"?

it's probably somewhere around here: speaking of victim blaming, i read a fantastic piece today over on alternet. the author claims that, "blasting women with warnings about getting drunk in public does little to help them and sidesteps men's responsibility for sexual assault." i have to agree.

In 1992, while I was an undergraduate, I was raped by a fellow student while we were both drunk. He was not a date. I didn't even like him when we were sober. But we were at a party together, a party at which I tried too hard to "keep up" with my friends in the alcohol department and wound up far more drunk than I wanted to be. So I went back to my room. And he followed me. And then he raped me.

Looking back, I can imagine a number of social or institutional interventions which might have helped prevent this attack from happening. But none of them includes the approach that so many articles on this subject take, which is to "raise awareness" among young women that getting drunk in public puts them at greater risk of exploitation and sexual assault.

Why is this an impotent approach? For all the same reasons abstinence-only education does nothing to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (and may even contribute to it).

Very few people of any age or gender go out and drink enough to get drunk thinking it's a responsible thing to do. However true it may be that it's safer not to get drunk (approximately 70 percent of rapes among college students involve alcohol or drug use), it's not like young women don't already hear about the risks from parents, college administrations, the nightly news, or any of the 25 "CSI" or "Law and Order" clones on TV.

In fact, for many young people of all genders, drinking is a form of rebellion, appealing exactly because of all the warnings that come along with it.

Three Positive Steps

So what would have worked? No one can say for sure, but here are three things that would have given me a fighting chance:

1. Hold boys and men responsible.

Let's look a little more closely at that correlation between rape and alcohol. That's not a correlation between female drinking and rape. It's a correlation between all drinking and rape. In fact, studies have shown that it's more likely that a male rapist has been drinking than that his female victim has. So if we want to raise awareness about the links between drinking and rape, we should start by getting the word out to men that alcohol is likely to impair their ability to respond appropriately if a sexual partner says "no." When was the last time you read that article in any kind of publication?

The silence around men's drinking is, of course, part of a much larger "boys will be boys" culture, one which played a large part in my assault. The party I attended was for a men's sports team; the coaches provided the alcohol. Try to imagine them doing that for a women's sports team.

This is the very culture that supports acquaintance rape to begin with, the very culture feminists have been working to dismantle for decades. Holding boys and men accountable is no quick fix. But when we discuss drinking and rape and neglect to shine the light on men's drinking, we play into the same victim-blaming that makes it so easy for men to rape women in the first place.

Similarly, we should be teaching men that the best way to avoid becoming a rapist is to seek positive consent, as opposed to just leaving it up to a woman to say "no."

Meanwhile, there are some things we should be doing to keep ourselves safe in the short term, including:

2. Promote a more sophisticated, pleasure-affirming message.

This means going beyond advocating "abstinence."

Yes, tell young women that when it comes to preventing sexual violence, not drinking is safer than drinking.

But stop there, and you're setting up a false and impossible choice between sobriety and rape. Drinking can be a lot of fun, both chemically and socially, and most of us will choose immediate pleasure over the abstract risk of violence or death, at least some of the time. Plus, the more adults warn against something, the more appealing it is as an act of rebellion.

Give All the Information

Instead, let's try the safer sex education approach: Treat young women as people who can make informed decisions by giving them all the information. A message that might sound something like this:

a. The safest thing to do is not to drink at all.

b. If you decide to drink, it's safer to do it in moderation and-or in the company of a friend you trust to look out for you. (Not just someone you know. Nearly 80 percent of rape victims know their attackers.)

c. For the times you may choose to get properly sauced, or your friend turns out to be not as reliable as you'd hoped, and for times you may be sober and need to know anyhow, learn how to defend yourself against sexual coercion and assault.

Which brings us to:

3. Teach widespread, effective self-defense skills to women and girls.

I never even tried to shove that guy off of me, something that I now know I could have easily done, even drunk, even if he was bigger than me, which honestly, he wasn't. But it never occurred to me there was anything I could do physically to protect myself. Why? Not because I was drunk. Because literally no one my whole life had told me that my body could work in my own defense (and many, many messages had told me to the contrary).

Women Can Use Their Own Bodies

And yet it's true; women and girls can keep themselves safe using our very own bodies. No pepper spray. No whistles. Even women who don't work out, or are "overweight" or are physically impaired.

It both is and isn't mystifying why more women don't know this.

The parts of our culture that rely on violence against women as a tool to keep everyone "in their place" work hard to keep us from knowing.

But women often play a role in this unknowing, whether out of discomfort with the process involved in learning, fear that it may work for others but not us, and other complex reasons. (For more on this phenomenon, read Anastasia Higginbotham's excellent article "Kicking and Shrugging -- Why do we resist self-defense?" in Bitch magazine.)

Regardless of this resistance, we must all learn how to defend ourselves and insist that our schools and other public institutions teach all girls and women the same skills and not just for our own safety. Because the most practical way to reduce the risk of rape for all women is to create a culture in which the rapist has to worry that he'll get hurt.

(sicely sue
is still raising money for home alive over at her place... if you're so inclined, stop over and kick her down a few bucks. use your money for good, not evil. she only is lacking a couple hundred more bucks. yay!!!)

my fear in all of this is that quick "fixes," such a vaccinating against hpv and telling women not to drink too much in public is pulling our attentions away from where they should be, and placing a blame in a place where it doesn't solely belong... both of these issues are often framed as women's issues - but in reality, aren't they equally, if not more, men's issues?

pass the band-aids.

and lastly - there's a new flick out about nader i was just hipped to. looks interesting! i saw him speak a couple of times in '99 when i worked on his campaign - he was such an inspiring speaker!!!

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06 March 2007

i heard this song today

on the radio, in the car. i rarely have the car and had to make two mildly lengthy treks to drop my hunny bunny at work and pick him back up. i ventured away from npr after hearing about poor poor poor scooter (does anyone else hear the WAHHHHmbulance coming to give him a ride to jail? jackass.), at the chiding of bebe's "more songs! more songs!" from the backseat.

ah, the eternal wisdom of bebe - indeed, more songs!

but this song - well, it stopped me in my proverbial tracks. there was no brake-slamming-induced-20 car-pile-up or anything like that - it was all in my head - but that's where it matters, right? there i go - digressing again...

his voice... his voice... then the lyrics whopped me. anyone else know of him? any album suggestions?

"There Is So Much More"

When I heard the news
My heart fell on the floor
I was on a plane on my way to Baltimore
In these troubled times its hard enough as it is
My soul has known a better life than this

I wondered how so many could be in so much pain
While others don't seem to feel a thing
Then I curse my wiseness and I get so damned depressed
In a world of suffering why should I be so blessed

I heard about a woman who lives in Colorado
She built a monument of sorts behind her garage door
Where everyday she prays for all whom are born and all whose souls have passed on
Sometimes my trouble gets so thick
I can't see how I'm going to get through it
But then I would rather be stuck up in a tree
Than be tied to it

Do do do do do
I know
There is so much more

I don't feel comfortable with the way my clothes fit
I can't get used to my body's limits
I got some fancy shoes to try and kick away these blues
They cost a lot of money but they aren't worth a thing
I want to free my feet from the broken glass and concrete
I need to get out of this city
Lay upon the ground and stare a hole in the sky
Wondering where I go when I die
When I die

editing - adding one more i just found:

"Ain't No Reason"

There ain't no reason things are this way
It's how they' always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way
We do it every day

Preachers on the podium speakin' of saints
Prophets on the sidewalk beggin' for change
Old ladies laughin' from the fire escape
Cursin' my name

I got a basket full of lemons and they all taste the same
A window and a pigeon with a broken wing
You can spend your whole life workin' for something
Just to have it taken away

People walk around pushin' back their debts
Wearin' paychecks like necklaces and bracelets
Talkin' 'bout nothin', not thinkin' 'bout death
Every little heartbeat, every little breath

People walk a tightrope on a razor's edge
Carryin' their hurt and hatred and weapons
It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen
Or a thought or a word or a sentence

There ain't no reason things are this way
It's how they' always been and they intend to stay
I don't know why I say the things I say
But I say them anyway

But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes

Prison walls still standin' tall
Some things never change at all
Keep on buildin' prisons, gonna fill them all
Keep on buildin' bombs, gonna drop them all

Workin' your fingers bare to the bones
Breakin' your back, make you sell your soul
Like a lung that's filled with coal
Suffocatin' slow

The wind blows wild and I may move
But politicians lie and I am not fooled
You don't need no reason or a three-piece suit
To argue the truth

The air on my skin and world under my toes
Slavery stitched into the fabric of my clothes
Chaos and commotion wherever I go
Love I try to follow

Love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes

There ain't no reason things are this way
It's how they' always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way
We do it every day

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05 March 2007

the liberal media strikes again!

methinks we need way more of this, especially considering that the u.s. liberal media won't bother to cover such newsworthy events as the peace delegation (representing some 50 million plus americans) that made it's way to iran in the latter part of february. since peace seems to be a liberals only area - you can imagine my utter confusion. alternet has the scoop; here's a snip:

In late February 2007, delegates representing the National Council Of Churches, which has roughly 45 million members, and other religious groups traveled to Iran and met with top Iranian religious and political leaders, in hopes of increasing trust and reducing tensions that might lead to war between the US and Iran. On Monday February 26th the delegation gave a Washington press conference about the trip. Beyond a vitriolic New York Post parody of the delegation Not a single major US media venue has opted to cover the story.

liberal. media. my. ass.

and apparently, bush was right. "money trumps peace" goes ditto for the media. fancy that. peace isn't profitable.

speaking of the media ... fox nEWWWW's darling ann coulter has opened her pie-hole again, and the new york times was quickest to report on this:

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”


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03 March 2007

it's a quote and hopeful solutions and action kinda day...

"terrorism is the war of the poor and war is the terrorism of the rich." ~peter ustinov

"our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. to deprive it of oxygen. to shame it. to mock it. with out art, our music, our literature, our stubborness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness - and our ability to tell our own stories, not the ones that we've been brainwashed to believe.

the corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they're selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitablility. remember this: we be many and they be few. they need us more than we need them. another world is not only possible, she is on her way. on a quiet day, i can hear her breathing." ~arundahti roy

in the spirit of solutions and hope - get a load of this magazine!


women are being denied plan b contraception in cases of rape, sometimes legally! this is completely unacceptable. from care2.com:

A few days ago, South Dakota lawmakers dropped a bill that would have allowed Emergency Contraception information to rape survivors. Their reason? They didn't want it to be seen as an abortion ban. [1]

This is a frustrating development, because every state should allow rape survivors access to emergency contraception, regardless of its policy on abortion.

Emergency contraception (EC), or Plan B, is simply a concentrated dose of ordinary birth-control pills. Because EC is effective only within the first 72 hours of sexual contact, making it available at hospitals is the best opportunity for us to protect these women at a time when they need us the most.

Legislation called the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act ("CARE": H.R.464) would ensure that access to EC is included as standard emergency care treatment.

hop on over and sign this petition.

*although care2 totally bummed me out a few years back in their choices for "good" places to spend your money (they surprisingly included a bunch of places that depend on the harmful exploitation of people worldwide in the making of certain products and clothing - WALMART?!?!), i do believe that there are good resources on their site. you can sign up for action alerts (broken down into categories that match your own interests and passions) and whatnot - they also have an online greeting card section.

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