30 April 2007

losing the war on terror

some dude decided to open fire in a target store here yesterday, killing two people...

to the teeth

ani difranco

the sun is setting on the century
and we are armed to the teeth
we're all working together now
to make our lives mercifully brief
and school kids keep trying to teach us
what guns are all about
confused liberty with weaponry
and watch your kids act it out
and every year now like christmas
some boy gets the milk fed suburban blues
reaches for the available arsenal
and saunters off to make the news
and the women in the middle
are learning what poor women have always known
that the edge is closer than you think
when the men bring the guns home
look at where the profits are
that's how you'll find the source
of the big lie that you and i both know so well
by the time it takes this cultural
death wish to run it's course
they're gonna to make a pretty penny
and then they're going to hell
he said the chickens all come home to roost
malcolm forecast the flood
are we really going to sleep through another century
while the rich profit off our blood
yeah it may take some doing
to see this undoing through
but in my humble opinion
here's what i suggest we do
open fire on hollywood
open fire on mtv
open fire on nbc and cbs and abc
open fire on the nra
and all the lies they told us along the way
open fire on each weapons manufacturer
while he's giving head to some republican senator
and if i hear one more time
about a fools right to his tools of rage
i'm gonna take all my friends
and i'm going to move to canada
and we're going to die of old age


23 April 2007

friends of catherine

i'm worried sick about my friend. she's been hospitalized again, for reasons that seem to keep eluding the doctors... it seems that they have an idea of what is causing the myriad of painful symptoms that are also causing her to randomly lose consciousness - but nothing is set in stone as of yet. they think it is something neurological in nature, as well as a heart condition that may require surgery at some point. the surgery sounds to be dependent on a lot of factors, though - but it is still out there as an option... this has been going on for a couple of months now. i can't even imagine what this must be like for her - or for her husband and her children. her littlest one is just a few months younger than bebe. it sounds as if they are all hanging in there ok, all things considered. it is amazing the strength and positivity that surfaces in times like this.

and because the united states collectively seems to mock the idea of affordable or universal healthcare insurance for working families - here i'am, hat in hand, asking for your help. they have no health insurance, and attempts at financial assistance have either been met or turned down up to this point.

the money aspect of all of this is adding a whole 'nother level of stress that shouldn't be. i've set up a site over at chipin for catherine with all of the details - there's also a way to donate money through the site. i set it up so that the cash raised will go directly into her account...

please feel no pressure to chip in, but if you can, and would like to, it would be greatly appreciated - even if it is just a bit. i also know that healing vibes and get well wishes sent her direction would be fantastic as well.

thank you so much!!!!!



20 April 2007

open letter to john mccain

dear john,

NOW i get it! acts of war are FUNNY - how clever and insightful and SMART of you to change the lyrics of that beach boys tune, barbara ann, to bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb iran. i now see the light, thanks to your infinite wisdom! have you seen the video of yourself yet? watch it quickly - they are getting pulled down left and right from youtube.

but i digress. bombs are FUNNY. inflicting terror on people who did nothing more than to happen to be born in a particular tiny corner of the world, and at the mercy of ass like leaders such as yourself, is FUNNY! so very, very, very funny. ah. give me a moment to catch my breath. my sides hurt from laughing so hard! to show my appreciation, i thought i'd put together a little collage for your further amusement. enjoy!

john, you whily rascal, you... the rumor on the streets of d.c. is that you'd sell ANYTHING for just one more vote, but i don't think that's true - especially after today. and i can hear what you're thinking right now - yeah - i guess in my old age, i just can't take a joke. thank you so much for enlightening me and helping me to realize the humor in all the pain and suffering and destruction that war brings with it. 9/11 was funny. oklahoma city was funny. bombing afhganistan was funny. bombing iraq was funny. and bombing iran will be funny too!


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19 April 2007

i feel like i've been neglecting you...

...oh, dearest blog. i promise i'll try harder from here on in.

i missed tuesday's blog for peace topic. i sit down and try to write about this war, and i go blank. even with a prompt. i'm so tired of it all, i just want it to stop. now. writing about anything else going on in my little teeny,tiny corner of the world seems so trivial in comparison with the events of late. so much death. so much violence. so much suffering. it almost feels disrespectful to think and write of other things, but today, i must. i need some balance. there is so much to say, and so little space in one posting - i have so many thoughts swimming about in my head, it's difficult to put them down to paper - or keyboard, as the case may be. i feel so very busy. i've not been keeping up well on my blog reading, either. baddest me. i miss everyone!

i'm headed into work my first official shift back tonight. i've also started working from home, lots of miscellaneous stuff. some data entry, some phone answering... i went to the gym for the first time this morning to try out a class i want to take once a week. needless to say - no one better sit upstairs tonight in my section if they want fast service. ha! i had no idea so much could fit into an hour long class - or that my muscles would get such the workout! and bebe, sweetest bebe... i've asked him if he would be willing to share just 1/4 of his energy level with his old mama. he replied in song, "get up, stand up! don't give upa fight!" he's apparently also too busy channeling bob marley and having the perfect thing to say (or sing) to mama just when she needs to hear it. and, most importantly, he NEVER fails to remind me to live in the moment.

here you go, bebe! i love you more than you will ever know.

p/s - words, not weapons.

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18 April 2007

virginia tech - do the math

more senseless killing that very well could have been avoided.

i just heard about this awful attack today. i caught a bit on npr about one of the professors that was killed - how he had survived the holocaust, and put himself against the door, blocking the gunman's entrance, to allow his students time to escape through the windows. i listened to the memories being shared about the others who lost their lives yesterday. i cried until i was dry.

and as i listened, i thought of other school shootings - and i kept thinking, "wonder what antidepressant he was taking?"

i just remembed to google "virginia tech shooter medicated" and lo and behold - the first result was a piece in which his parents told authorities that he had been being medicated for depression for some time and that his behavior had become more and more eratic and violent astime went on.

what the fuck is it going to take to make sure that people are being properly monitored while taking meds that the pharma companies know good and well can provoke these types of violent thoughts/actions? this isn't the first time. it won't be the last.

i also found this, written by steve wagner, the director of litigation & prosecution for the advocate group citizens commission on human rights, www.cchr.org.

29 people have been killed and 62 wounded by school shooters taking violence- and suicide-inducing psychiatric drugs. These notorious schoolyard crimes include, among others, the 2005 Red Lake Indian Reservation shooting by Jeff Weise—on Prozac, the 1999 Columbine shooting by Eric Harris—on Luvox, and a 1998 shooting in Springfield, Oregon by Kip Kinkel—on Prozac. Including Monday morning's murder in a one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, three shootings have occurred within the last week. One of these three shootings occurred at a school in Bailey, Colorado, less than an hour's drive from Columbine. Rocky Mountain News reports that outside Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado, antidepressants were recovered from shooter Duane Morrison's jeep, after he took several girls hostage and killed one of the school girls before taking his own life.

This is to say nothing of the numerous other acts of seemingly "senseless violence" carried out by adults who were later exposed as having been under psychiatric treatment, including "Unabomber" Ted Kaczinski, Michael McDermott (on Prozac when he shot and killed seven co-workers in December 2000), John Hinckley, Jr. (attempted assassination of President Reagan), Byran Uyesugi (Hawaiian Xerox employee who shot and killed seven co-workers in November 1999), Mark David Chapman (assassinated John Lennon) and many others.

Was Charles Carl Roberts IV, who murdered five Amish schoolgirls before shooting himself, on these behavior-altering drugs, like so many ofther perpetrators of "senseless violence?"

The U.S. FDA warns that antidepressants can cause suicidal ideation, mania and psychosis. The manufacturers of one antidepressant, Effexor, now warn that the drug can cause homicidal ideation. This month, a study came out in the Public Library of Science-Medicine journal, conducted by Dr. David Healy, director of Cardiff's University's North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, which found that the antidepressant Paxil raises the risk of violence. Though the study focuses specifically on Paxil, Healy reasoned that other antidepressant drugs like Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft, most likely pose the same risk of violence. "We've got good evidence that the drugs can make people violent and you'd have to reason from that that there may be more episodes of violence," Healy said.

The connection to psychiatry's violence-inducing drugs and treatments has been made in incident after incident. It is acknowedged by the FDA and reputable medical researchers. With this knowledge, one can finally put some sense into these "senseless acts."

With three such incidents in the last week alone, investigators must look in the most obvious place for the causes for such psychotic, suicidal behavior and consider the potential culpability of the psychiatrists who prescribe such drugs.

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14 April 2007

someone has to say it.

i immediately shut down when i hear that phrase. i can't help it. get cozy, we're gonna be here a minute...

i've been thinking about this all night, after reading tua's most recent blog post. i even dreamed about it.

divide and conquer. it's the oldest trick in the book.

this is what voters were aligning themselves with when they voted for the right. you don't stay on the air unless your ratings are good, unless you have a sizey fan base that agrees with what you say. watching that video up there - i was sick to my stomach. i still am as i write this. and as much as i'd like to say that we're all equal, that we are all americans - something that i believe to my core - there are many that don't feel that way and they hold positions of great power. the reality is, we simply aren't. the cards are stacked. to quote ani, "now that lynching is frowned upon, we've moved on to the electric chair." so maybe, just maybe - it isn't all dark skinned folks getting the brunt of the capitalistic system - it is the poor in general. but the dark skinned folks among us are still being disproportionally targeted - by the media, by the cops, by well-meaning light skinned folks, you name it. it is still so embedded in the culture, that it makes my mind spin. i do battle with what i was raised with from a very young age, and with what comes from the status quo from time to time myself.

imus is the tip of the ice berg.

a couple of my own experiences spring to mind. during my last 9 year stint at the bar, "guests" would throw out a hearty, "thanks, brotha!" when my friend and co-worker would bring their food to them from the kitchen, only to follow that up with racist comments and winks/knowing nods assuming that because i had light skin i agreed with their reprehensible thinking. this happened more often than not - and mostly always from the privileged that frequented the bar.

my same above mentioned friend came in one night horribly upset. he and his brother had just stopped to help a man on the highway that had blown a tire. they parked behind him, got out, and were headed his way when the man started screaming at them to get the hell back. he called them a few names. my friend kept trying to explain that they had only stopped to help, but the man only saw their skin tone and said he would call the police if they didn't stop harassing him. my friend's brother was pissed. as they drove away, he yelled back at the man - an act i'm certain only solidified the guy's fear when that wasn't the case at all. so many misunderstandings. not enough understanding...

i also think about the numerous times i've been told of crimes being committed against people i know. when the criminal is dark skinned, the teller always, with the exception of once, points that out first, as if it is to be expected from "them." in other cases, the person has always been described as "some guy," etc.

and then there was the time i was pulled over illegally for crossing some imaginary line at the wrong hour.

all i can say is - it is never as simple as black and white - there is always a huge grey area. and as for the woman that accused the duke men of raping her - i still wonder. we will never know.

i don't know what the answer is to all of this. we live in a horribly imbalanced society in a culture that embraces that which i just don't understand. i wish i had the magic wand to fix the sexist, racist, prejudiced plague. the best that little ol me can tell, it has to begin with respect. true respect. true equality, true choice and chances and options. freedom. and i don't know how to get there as a people, try as i may.

on another level - having long been a fan of rap/hip hop music, the trend of today and the prior 20 years or so really disturbs me. referring to women as bitches and ho's, putting such an emphasis on material objects and wealth at any cost... it's something i can't get with - no matter what the source. luckily, there's a whole slew of music that isn't based on that - it just doesn't seem to get any radio play. i digress. last week, i read this article:

Imus isn't the real bad guy

Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.


Thank you, Don Imus. You've given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You've given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You've given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it's 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we're fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I'm sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent's or Snoop Dogg's or Young Jeezy's latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain't saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don't have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It's embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I'm no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

But, in my view, he didn't do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should've been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it's only the beginning. It's an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.

Somehow, we're supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers' wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.

But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?

I don't listen or watch Imus' show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it's cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they're suckers for pursuing education and that they're selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I'll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you're not looking to be made a victim.

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There's no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

thing is, it isn't just urban dark-skinned youth buying in - its the kids out in the suburbs that have a disposable income (for now) and are being "rebellious." instead of bucking the authority that needs to be bucked... i don't know that i agree with everything that whitlock puts forth - i think the trouble runs much deeper. i mean, making a quick buck off the pain and suffering of others is the american way. these artists have most likely internalized that and are simply trying to "get theirs." its also interesting to point out the sarah jones' song/poem was banned back in '99 - it was labeled "patently offensive" by the fcc, though she really did nothing more than to pull direct quotes from several popular radio hits. i'm sure you'll recognize many of them:

Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Will not happen between these thighs
Will not happen between these thighs
The real revolution ain't about bootie size
The Versaces you buys
Or the Lexus you drives
And though we've lost Biggie Smalls
Maybe your notorious revolution
Will never allow you to lace no lyrical douche in my bush
Your revolution will not be you killing me softly with fujees
Your revolution ain't gonna knock me up without no ring
And produce little future M.C.'s
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not find me in the back seat of a jeep
With L.L. hard as hell, you know
Doing it and doing and doing it well, you know
Doing it and doing it and doing it well
Your revolution will not be you smacking it up, flipping it or rubbing it down
Nor will it take you downtown, or humping around
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not have me singing
Ain't no nigger like the one I got
Your revolution will not be you sending me for no drip drip V.D. shot
Your revolution will not involve me or feeling your nature rise
Or having you fantasize
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
No no not between these thighs
My Jamaican brother
Your revolution will not make you feel bombastic, and really fantastic
And have you groping in the dark for that rubber wrapped in plastic
You will not be touching your lips to my triple dip of
French vanilla, butter pecan, chocolate deluxe
Or having Akinyele's dream, um hum
A six foot blow job machine, um hum
You wanna subjugate your Queen, uh-huh
Think I'm gonna put it in my mouth just because you
Made a few bucks,
Please brother please
Your revolution will not be me tossing my weave
And making me believe I'm some caviar eating ghetto
Mafia clown
Or me giving up my behind
Just so I can get signed
And maybe have somebody else write my rhymes
I'm Sarah Jones
Not Foxy Brown
You know I'm Sarah Jones
Not Foxy Brown
Your revolution makes me wonder
Where could we go
If we could drop the empty pursuit of props and the ego
We'd revolt back to our roots
Use a little common sense on a quest to make love
De la soul, no pretense, but
Your revolution will not be you flexing your little sex and status
To express what you feel
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Will not happen between these thighs
Will not be you shaking
And me, [sigh] faking between these thighs
Because the real revolution
That's right, I said the real revolution
You know, I'm talking about the revolution
When it comes,
It's gonna be real
It's gonna be real
It's gonna be real
When it finally comes
It's gonna be real

i do think we need a little more sarah-thinking out there in the world.

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12 April 2007

feliz cupleanos, beautiful boy!!!!

here we are, 730 days ago today.
it is so difficult to believe he was ever so very wee! or that i could ever completely love like someone like i do.

joyeux anniversaire, bebe!!!!!!

mama is as tired tonight as she was when this shot was taken. more tomorrow. :)



10 April 2007


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photo borrowed from www.fotos.geschichtsthemen.de

What does this photo say to you about the war?

this photograph says to me, "you are responsible for this - this child's fear and pain. the knowledge that this young life will never ever be the same again. if he survived."

it also says that this war is nothing short of criminal - through and through. my government did this, not to spread democracy or save the people from a horrible dictatorship - but to further their own geo-political agendas. and money. we mustn't forget the money.

then, after it hits me with all of this, i imagine that photograph being of bebe, and i hold him very close to me, tell him i love him more than anything and i will do everything i can to make sure that he never knows what that child has seen and lived through. i tell him how important it is to respect others, no matter where they were born in the world. we are all connected. i tell him we should never hurt others purposely, that we always use our gentle hands, we should always use our words to talk through our differences. i tell him that we should stand up for what we believe in and speak for those who aren't heard - and that it is not only ok to question those in power and demand answers and action, it is necessary to do so as a citizen of the earth.

then i look at the photo again. i try to not let him see me cry.

Do you think this photo could change others' minds about the war?

if it didn't, i would seriously question said person's common, basic level of respect for life and their sense of humanity. if anyone can look at the photograph and not realize that this is what war is... and continue to support and embrace such an unnecessary act of sheer ugliness... i just can't get my brain around that.



05 April 2007

bizarro land, revisited (or) welcome back

i'am among the working again - back to the bar, i go i go. we still need a bit of money to get us into a safe area, so i called my old boss last week and asked if i may be able to pick up a few shifts here and there until school starts in august. with summer coming on and the patio opening, there are normally a few early-out slots that need to be filled - and i was angling for a day bartending shift that i thought may be available. that way, bebe can hang with daddy. my boss was thrilled, but surprised, to hear from me and said he'd do whatever he could to get me on staff. aw. i didn't know i was so missed.

i worked there for nine years as a manager/bartender, before being put on sudden bed rest while pregnant with bebe. sudden as in, "you go home right now and don't get up except to use the bathroom" sudden. i was supposed to work that night. i haven't been back in almost two years, not even for a visit. the bonus with this part-time gig is that i know the place inside and out. the not-so-bonus is i'll be serving and not bartending/managing - unless i end up filling in for someone. i hope it is all truly like riding a bike. i know i have far more patience now than i did then. teeeheeeheeee.

i went in last night to learn the new computer system that was installed after i left. piece of cake, right? let me back up.

i. had. to. leave. bebe. i thought my heart was going to break in two, even though it was only for a few hours. as i was going out the door, he started crying the dry that is reserved for the saddest of times. through his tears, he managed to choke out, "NO mommy go to work on acaputer. want mommy HOME!" it isn't as if i haven't been away from him for a half an hour or so here or there - he's never reacted like that.

i started crying as soon as i got out the door. i cried half the way to the bar. i drove through the upscale shopping area that the bar is in, in disbelief. this same day, two years ago, at the exact same time, i was heading into work. deja-vu. i thought about bebe the whole time i was there, "is he building a round castle with daddy?" "is he asking for blue juice smoothie?" "is he putting his pajamas on now?" i was completely caught off-guard by how much i missed my little man - and by how i felt like i was somehow abandoning him. i had made a promise to myself that i wouldn't fill everyone's ears with tales of bebe, and failed miserably.

i just kept telling myself how important this time will be for bebe and will to have together, just the two of them. will works so much - and while his time with bebe is often, it is spread out into small-ish increments. they had a GRAND time together. there was round castle building, guitar playing, piano playing, singing, dancing, cooking, washing dishes, folding laundry, and book reading. bebe even called me at work to say hello and "i love you, mommy!"

when i got home and opened the door, i was greeted with wild laughter, hugs, kisses and the biggest, happiest, "MOMMY!!!! MOMMY IS HOME!!!!" ever.

i felt a little ridiculous and guilty, knowing that i've been lucky to be able to be at home with bebe for as long as i have. he'll be two next week. being with him was/is really important to me. i know that many, many, many people don't even have the option.

then i saw this video today over at real's world. i cried again. i knew that i was only leaving bebe for a few hours - i can't even imagine my reality being like this - i can't imagine what the months have been like for this father and son:

bring. them. home. now.

so the bar hasn't changed a bit. except i was thinking that the carpet looked too clean. i was later told it had been replaced. everything else is pretty much the same. how can so much have changed in my life over the past two years, while everything stayed the same in what was once a huge part of my life?

a new girl was working on the floor, but i've known her for years. all the usual suspects were there, minus some of the kitchen staff. the bar regulars have changed a bit, but not really - it's amazing how they all look the same. i walked down the stairs, made eye contact with my friend that replaced me, and said, "ok... this is really. weird." it was as if two different worlds had collided.

and lawwwdy! did i not ever realize before how smoky it was in there! i've quarantined my clothes for washing in a far corner of the house.

i'm fixinta head back in again and figure more of the computer stuffs out in a few... wish me luck.

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03 April 2007

OMBFP - a day late!

Try to imagine yourself as a lifelong Iraqi citizen.

it is fairly difficult for me to imagine what the life of an iraqi citizen would be like. i think such a life would be one filled with a tremendous amount of fear and pain and suffering.

*two decades of living under a brutal regime, only to have more fear, death and torture brought upon them by those claiming to liberate them. somehow the citizens of iraq are supposed to believe that those that came to "shock and awe" them are really there to help now. a psychological nightmare.
*the first u.s. led invasion that left infrastructure in shambles and resulted in sanctions that only harmed the people - sanctions that were responsible for the deaths of approximately 500,000 children.
*poisoned earth and air from the depleted uranium we use in our weapons that has sent cancer and birth deformity rates soaring.

i can't imagine what the pressures of hearing explosions and gunfire do to a person on a day to day basis. i simply can't imagine. the fear. the stress. the unknowns with no end in sight. that said...

What do you think would motivate you?

i imagine that i would want the same things that most anyone does, no matter where they are in the world. an end to the violence. a safe place to live, eat, work and sleep. love. truth. beauty. freedom from tyranny. to know that these things are all a possibility is would give me the strength to carry on and continue to have hope.

How do you think your life would change if foreign combatants left the country?

there would be hope for all of those things that were promised. as long as foreign combatants remain, violence will certainly ensue - something that the u.s. knew would happen by going in and illegally ousting a leader. while it would take awhile to bring about an atmosphere that is more stable and less destructive, the very act of the combatants leaving may provide the impetus for change. the money being spent by the occupying countries on machines of destruction and weapons of warring could be better spent building back what has been destroyed, feeding those that are hungry.

How do you think you would feel about the United States and other occupying countries?

i most certainly would be angry and would have lost any trust i may have had in the occupying countries - especially the u.s. - it would be extremely difficult to have faith in any people in positions of power. i think i would also wonder why any citizen in any of the occupying countries would support what was happening to my fellow countrypeople, my land, my family and friends. i would wonder why they were allowing their leaders to do what they have done and continue to do. i might even feel a little sorry for them and their pathetic shows of force and might. only nasty, ugly people perpetrate such crimes against humanity and then have the audacity to say they aren't keeping track of a body count - and don't lift a finger to try and help in the hospitals that are sorely understaffed and lacking basic medical supplies to care for what they've inflicted. i would wonder if they would feel the same if it were them instead of me, their families instead of mine. i think i would want them to leave.


p/s - hang up on war.

p/p/s - diplomacy, 2 - war, 0.

p/p/p/s - one million blogs for peace virtual rally #1
TODAY! you'll just need to register as a digg user, then - from OMBFP:

Here's all you have to do to participate:

1. Click this link:
http://digg.com/political_opinion/One_Million_Blogs_for_Peace (opens new window)
2. Click "digg" under the number next to the title of the article.
3. If prompted, register for Digg or login, and then repeat above steps.

If this is at all unclear to you or you would like help with this, please comment below or e-mail me. I would like to make this as easy and seamless as possible. I will also have direct links to the "digg" button on the OMBFP front page and Virtual Rally page.

If we get around 50+ "diggs" in the next 24 hours, we will get on the front page of one of the 100 most visited websites in the world!

Thank you all for your support and participation! Let's make this happen!



01 April 2007

sexual assault awareness month

begins today. yet another month dedicated to raising awareness that should be a year round endeavor, but still clearly needed. i'm. in.

i'll start by pointing you towards my girl, sicliy sue. she has an enormous amount of information and links compiled over at her place - specifically about rape - she is also a great source of inspiration to me and one of my oldest and dearest friends. i'am proud of her, beyond words.

the statistics seem to hold that sexual assault crimes are dropping, but who can say how many never get reported? i didn't. how many are told that nothing will be done to help them and give up after the (in)justice system put in place to protect them fails?

the national sexual violence resource center coordinates this effort, though i'm sad to report that there doesn't appear to be anything happening in my neck of the woods. i'll need to get on that. i should've done so sooner.

i find it interesting that there isn't more of a war on this kind of terrorism that plagues our culture and society. terrorism is terrorism.

here is one of sicily's older posts - one of MANY - that deserves a second read. i think her stickers are a great action for the month as well:

After my rape I wanted my voice to be heard. It is important to talk about rape. It is very important to call out the injustices we see and never stand for the mistreatment of women that have become commonplace.
And it is very important to look at what ideas mold the rapist mentality. We must work to call the norm of misogynistic attitudes and behaviors into question. We must look at our families, friends, and the media. Degrading women seems to be quite accepted these days. People also think that rape happens when a man jumps out of the bushes….but the truth is that about 80% of rapes are committed by someone you know….or by someone who met you in a trusting frame mind. Many rapes are drug facilitated these days. The coward rapist doesn’t have to beat you in to submission because he has disabled your ability to even fight back. These are tough cases when the get to go to court. The Jury is saturated with myths that it isn’t rape if he didn’t jump out of the bushes and rape and beat her.

Check out this UK Site, Truth About Rape, They show postcards that were developed by the campaign to make clear the truth about rape in an imaginative and thought-provoking way.



Truth: Men are responsible for whether they rape or not.


I have thought of 3 ways to help stop rape:

#1 Talking about it to everyone. Young and old. Most people are uncomfortable with the topic but awareness is the only way to incite change. They need to know to protect themselves. We need them to understand in order to have educated juries. We need our young girls to understand what rape is. Young girls without an understanding of a respectful, loving, and healthy sexual relationship….may not be able to grasp that they were raped. Even when it happened to me in my 30’s…. I sat in shock in the hospital staring at a police officer and a wall of pamphlets on rape…I couldn’t imagine I had been raped. The denial was so deep. I didn’t want it to have happened but it did. Anytime anyone forces sex on you with out your consent it is rape. He doesn’t have to “finish” If a man forces his penis inside you and you don’t want that …it is rape. If you have been drinking and/if your were drugged….and you couldn’t move or you were not conscious and someone was pushing himself inside you…you were raped. You cannot just chalk it up to a bad sexual experience. The message you may hear in your head…to call it a bad sexual encounter…. is the voice of our culture. That voice of our culture is degrading to women and its message of dehumanizing women moves undetected in a desensitized society… and it tells us that we are not that important…. and that anyone who wants to can push his power or his sex on you ….and you have no say in the matter. DO NOT ALLOW this world to tell you it isn’t a big deal. IT IS A HUGE PROBLEM. You are important and you have rights. You shouldn’t have to take this… or shove it down into your broken heart…you should scream and yell say “This is wrong!!!” One thing that needs to be done away with is the myth that the rapist is in the bushes. That does happen sadly but most rapes happen from someone near you in a place you thought you would have been safe.

#2 Report your rape. No matter how scary and hard it is to do. Encourage your friends to feel comfortable talking to you if they are ever raped. Then help them find the strength to report it. The justice system needs to see the staggering numbers and reality of rape. Also you can save another victim from being raped by stopping your rapist. Most rapists are serial rapists. Also note: Never let a police officer sway you away from pressing charges. They are often good intentioned but desensitized. Never let them tell you won’t have a chance in court…and that you should just get along with healing. Healing is important but so is justice. The way the crime of rape is handled in the real world is NOTHING like it is on TV. They don’t seem to care that much…No one jumps in the police car and hits the lights in a rush to bring him down…No one gets DNA back in 24 hours. These things take weeks, months, and years and they system is tired of the overwhelming amount of offenders they should track down. Never let the prosecution tell you they aren’t going to prosecute. They often brush off rape case because they are difficult to try and the sex crimes prosecution is overwhelmed with cases. They expect you to be too sad and exhausted to fight them. They may try to take advantage of your delicate and tired emotional state. BUT… Keep pressing them. Keep calling them . Keep emailing them. Demand answers to your questions. Demand the justice you deserve. You deserve to be heard. You deserve your day in court. You deserve justice. Don’t go away quietly. Ask who is making this decision. Ask to speak to someone above them. While most prosecutors are usually very strong, kind, and decent people who want to help you…don’t trust that they are always acting with your best interest in mind. They may take other things into mind and cloud the issue that you were raped and deserve to have your day in court. Your rapist should not walk free to rape another because an office was too busy. Sadly it can be difficult to press charges but you should. If you don’t feel strong enough to deal with the system ask a strong advocate or a friend to help you. You need someone relentless and smart. Also don’t worry about the repercussions for him. I used to worry about what his sentence would be. I couldn’t calculate in my mind what a fair punishment would be for what he did to me. I realized it is not up to me to decide that. If I am lucky he will be judged by a jury of his peers and by a judge. He must be exposed for what he is and for what he did to me. I never want him to be able to hurt another woman. What needs to be done here is for the victims to lean on the justice system. We also need stronger laws around the rape kit process at the hospitals. Any victim who was drinking or had any confusion… or issues with being conscious MUST have a urine analysis for rape drugs. The hospitals and nurses need to take more responsibility to protect the victim. It the victim is confused or not sure if they were drugged…the hospital needs to test them for the drug. It must be mandatory. I am working on getting this enacted in to law. I am sure I was drugged and I was at the hospital in time and they tested my urine for pregnancy and then threw my urine away. UNFORGIVABLE!!!!!

#3 Question the things you see and point out the perverse degradation of women and children. If you see something offensive call it out. If you see an offensive act in person call it out especially if someone is being attacked. If some nasty pervert on the street says disgusting things to you. Call it out… if you can while continuing to ensure your safety. If you see something degrading to women on TV… write to the show or to the Station. If you see it in your friends….question them and call it out! If you find an on line predator call it out. You can go to www.cybertipline.com and report people who pose a danger to children.

I have created stickers on regular 2" x 4" labels (Avery standard size 18163) that anyone can print out on their own for use. There are two labels. I put the “Stop Degrading Women” label on the offensive thing itself…like the playboy silhouette stickers. Why do men feel it is ok to drive around with a sticker of a woman (on their cars) with her body parts displayed? You don’t seem women driving around with stickers of silhouettes of men with erections!!! I put the “Stop Degrading Women” sticker anywhere I want to actually.

I usually put the “Report Your Rape” in women’s bathrooms. Sometimes I will cover an entire block of public restrooms…especially in an area with lots of bars. It can’t be considered graffiti or destruction of property because they can peel off (with a little effort)

I was also molested as a child. I have survived attempted rapes. I was the victim of a stalker. My neighbor was raped and murdered. It is a scary world of sexual predators but if we work to bring these monsters to justice…and choose to shed light on the issues….we can make things change….if even for only one child or one woman or one man.

So I just gave you ways to take action! Print out some stickers and use them.
Share it with the people you love and get the message out to the world...that these crimes will not be encouraged or tolerated!!
Empower yourself!


and by the way,

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