Monday, October 31, 2005

The Pros & Cons of Alito

I'm going to be very lazy and simply send you to Jill over at Feministe. She's got the goods.
Keep reading....

Samuel Alito

Dem's have already been criticized for saying Alito's nomination is "needlessly provocative". I say, if this man is indeed confirmed to be an associate Justice on the SCOTUS, women can kiss their rights goodbye.

I love what Harry Reid had to say on the matter, “President Bush would leave the Supreme Court looking less like America and more like an old boys club,” Reid added, referring to the fact that Alito is neither a woman nor a minority. Yep, Bush has managed to nominate another white guy to the SC, but I already talked about that in my previous post.

What scares me most, besides the greater chance we as Americans will end up back in the 1950s, is that Alito is a constructionist. This means he thinks the constitution says what it says and that's it, all arguments ended when the Senators signed their names to the bottom. That's like saying the Bible is valid and we should live by it 100% even though the Jewish Bible was written over 2,000 years ago.

(Agh. I made the mistake of clicking on RedState.organd now my eyes hurt, lol.)

So what this boils down to is the soon to come filibuster of Judge Alito by the Dem's and the threat of the Nuclear Option by the Repub's.

Alito was the only dissenter in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. He would undoubtedly uphold parental notification laws and vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. And let us not forget Griswold v. Conneticut.

I don't understand why the anti-choice folks can't seem realize that the way to decrease abortions throughout the world is to educate the youths that will bring forth the next generation. Outlawing a procedure that has been around since the beginning of time will do nothing to get rid of its necessity, but will only serve to make it more dangerous to obtain and experience.

Why would you make a minor have a child and then use the argument that she's not old/mature enough to decide to have an abortion? Raising a child doesn't require a certain maturity (in more ways than one)?
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Happiness is a relative term

* President first nominates a woman that wasn't anywhere close to qualified, stating he knew her heart and that she'd be the same 20 years from now

* Said president amps up the Christianity piece of her identity so the ashat pundits would like her (although it was questioned of Roberts but repubs said it wasn't fair)

* She withdraws her nomination with the spurious claim of putting undue stress on the White House when the hearing committee asked for WH documents

* And now the President has not only nominated a man, but has nominated a white man at that. Don't we have enough of these on the Supreme Court already?

* At least the 6th white man is qualified and has a consistent record of being a conservative (warning: might piss you liberals off)....oh wait, that's a bad thing!

* And I think it's very telling just how much I love politics when I got sooo bloody excited to see Barack Obama yesterday and didn't have the same reaction when I saw Eriq la Salle 2 Decembers ago when I was in L.A.
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Happy Samhain (sow-in)

I can officially say this now since it's early Monday morning.

Happy Samhain to all and to all a good night (a safe one, too)!
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

local politics

It seems Team Shrub is lost without its key puppetmasters, er, players. I believe Newsweek dubbed it "Flying Blind."

In much more exciting news, however, I got to see and hear Barack Obama in person! What I found hard to believe were the people at that rally who hadn't heard of Obama. For shame. He's only (swoon) the greatest Federal Senator ever, outside of Boxer, Clinton, etc.

He spoke of how Virginia is now becoming one of the Great States and people are watching us to see if the US is ready for a democratic leadership, especially since we aren't getting anything of the sort currently.

Of Bobby Scott, Creigh (Cree) Deeds, Leslie Byrne, Barack Obama and Tim Kaine, no one mentioned what's been happening within the republican party recently. Of course they criticized Bush, but hell, it's a democrat rally; it's not supposed to be friendly toward the "other guy."

I didn't get to write anything down because Peanut was ready to go at this point. The candidates and Senator were supposed to show up around 2:30 but didn't get there 'til 3:30. I didn't get there 'til 1:45 because I knew better. So Peanut waited through 2.5 hours of political stuff so I had to give him props for that.* However, because he had already been waiting 2 hours before they showed up, I didn't get to hear everything or stop to write anything down. Peanut did hold up a Kaine sign while perched atop my shoulders and made friends with a pretty chill dog.**

Obama told us how he was slated to lose in the Illinois primary, didn't have nearly as much money as his opponents, yet still won with a huge lead - 30 pts I think it was. For those of you who were tracking his campaign, you'll remember that his opponent, Alan Keyes, was a republican transplant and nuts.

When Bobby Scott introduced Obama, he stated Obama's belief in educating youths instead of arguing over the death penalty and how long we should keep prisoners around. I saw two women exchange a "pretty cool" look amongst themselves and I chuckled.

I'm hoping that the Times-Dispatch covers this in tomorrow mornings paper since I didn't get to write anything down.***

Something memorable was Leslie Byrne stating that Tim Kaine, Leslie Byrne and Creigh Deeds are the TLC Virginia needs. I laughed because I hadn't realized that and I've been saying their names for about a year now.

Of course what bugged me (UA!) was Obama's immediate mention of god, church and his christianity. He stated that he usually doesn't work on Sundays because it's the Sabbath and he prefers to wake up, go to church with his family then spend the day with his daughters and wife. I cringed because that right there alienates a whole group of voters who are Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc (and we have a growing number of Muslims in Virginia, too).

None of the candidates used notecards or teleprompters. Instead, they each spoke before the crowd like they were born doing it. All of them exuded confidence which is why I'm still surprised that we are equally torn between the candidates with the usual 15% still undecided. Virginia is has been increasingly turning blue and I think the 47% for Kaine and 44% for Kilgore prove just that. Traditionally we've almost always been a red state so to elect a democratic governor again will be a huge accomplishment and possible shift.****

Obama told another story but I only got to hear some of it because Peanut was on my back whispering sweet nothings into my ear which prevented me from hearing Obama and instead having to tell Peanut, "Dude. I want to hear him, not you. I can hear you anytime, I only get 15 min to hear him." That didn't help so I put him down.

After Obama handed the microphone to Kaine, I listened for all of 5 min then left. What was so interesting is the number of people who also left after Obama finished. Because, after all, wasn't that the point of getting Barack Obama to come here?

There was a huge poster there that claimed "Obama got Karma." I guess the sign holder was thinking it rhymed or something. I do have 2 new Kaine signs to stick in my yard now, too, since the others got taken up when the county mowed the grass. I think they just took mine because it didn't have Kilgore's name on it since the people down the road have Kilgore signs and theirs were left alone.

Oh, then we went to Kroger and Target with all our Kaine, Byrne, Deeds stickers on. :)

*We went to Target afterwards in hopes of finding a pumpkin. I bought him a $5 toy which ended up being officers from the Elite Force. And while checking out the jackets, he decided to be not as smart as he can be in school and tried jumping on the front of the cart, forgetting it had wheels. He jumped, the cart rolled and Peanut went flying hitting both buttbone and back of head on the carpeted yet non padded flooring. My how he did try and play up that buttbone injury though.
**A sign that he hangs out with dogs too much: he had his puppy sniff this dogs butt, just as if they were both real dogs. Yes dogs do this when they meet each other as a sign of acknowledgement and identification, but I don't need my kid to do it with a stuffed dog vs. a real one. In public. At this rally.
***Amazingly nothing is up on their websites yet. Sheesh.
****Yes we have elected repub's many times too many: Allen and Gilmore to name 2. However, from when I can remember, there hasn't been any consistency with which party we generally elect from. It's our AAA bond rating and the fact we're in the top 5 for income that generates our red state status.
Keep reading....

Friday, October 28, 2005

Libby has resigned!

Is it of bad form to be yelling WooHoo! and dancing around one's office after reading this headline: Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment?
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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wal-Mart contradicts itself. Again.

First, we became privy to an internal memo suggesting cuts in Wal-Mart's health benefits.

Then we are told they are going to try and make their health benefits available to all.

I like this, "We have to do better and we will," spokeswoman Sarah Clark said. "But...that challenge isn't just limited to Wal-Mart."

Because Wal-Mart isn't the largest company in the US with the greatest amount of cash coming in. Nor are they the largest company with a vast majority of their employees getting some type of help from Social Services: 46% of the children of Wal-Mart employees either are on Medicaid or are uninsured.

But, the challenge isn't just limited to Wal-Mart.

Which is a fair argument, but Microsoft makes a lot of money, too, but you don't see reports of their employees starving or having inadequate health insurance (at least I don't but I could be looking in all the wrong places).

The foundation of Wally World is slowly beginning to crumble.
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Miers withdraws her nomination

Bush blames it on the request for internal White House documents.

Why did this not effect Justice Roberts also, considering senators never received those missing 15 years, right?

Shrub admits that he was reluctant to accept Miers request. Whatever. I think it's interesting that the far right republicans had such doubts about her they "were not able to overcome" yet Roberts passed with flying colors.

I think it had a lot to do with Miers inability to be pinned down to one ideology whereas Roberts had a long history of maintaining the same close-minded beliefs that all republicans must adhere to now. Sure we were missing a large chunk of his writing but what does that matter? He's adamently anti-choice (though stating during the hearings that abortion was indeed a right to privacy implied under the 14th Amendment), anti-gay, anti-right to die, anti-affirmative action...need I go on? The far right is very worried because they want her to be more like them.

Bush's conservative backers had doubts about her ideological purity, and Democrats had little incentive to help the nominee or the embattled GOP president.

She was a bad choice all around more so because she did not have the necessary experience to warrant her nomination to begin with.

Now let's just hope he still chooses a woman and its not someone like Priscilla Owen.
Keep reading....

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

He's coming. (scream)

Yep, Shrub has deemed Norfolk worthy of his attention. (As well he should since it does house the largest naval base on the east coast and we are "at war.")

Language geeks, please notice the title of his speech:

"The War on Terror and Homeland Security"

Now, I read this and think he's declaring war on himself. *sigh* One can only hope.
Keep reading....

Oh look

Shurb and his fellow white house staffers aren't finding any humor in The Onion's use of the president's seal on it's website. Oh boo hoo.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'm so excited!

Barack Obama is coming to VCU this Sunday to help garner support for our Democratic nominee for Governor, Tim Kaine. Obama has been doing a whole lot of political alignage (yep, made up my own word) because he's gonna run for Vice President in 2008. I'm excited because not only will I get to hear Obama speak, but it won't be on tv this time either and I might get to even meet him. yay!!

(Orange: I thought of you when I was given this information yesterday. I was like, Oh, I have to tell Orange!)

Update: Look! He can't be all that bad since he supports Girls, Inc.
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Rosa Parks

She died last night, in her home, at the age of 92. She will be missed yet talked about for many generations to come.
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Monday, October 24, 2005

Guess what?

Shrub is convinced that Harriet Miers will be confirmed.

I'm not so sure anymore.
Keep reading....

Personal Experiences with Sexism

I went to see North Country Friday evening after watching Doom and the last 15 min of The Fog (which, btw, don’t bother seeing ever even when it comes out on video). The ideal of sexism has been on my mind the last week as a culmination of things. I’m reading The Wilding of America for my sociology class and discussing the judicial history of sexual harassment, how the laws were decided on and defined by our nation’s court systems, including the Supreme Court. So to see North Country after having to read such cases as Monitor Savings Bank v. Vinson, I was pumped.

I wasn’t too thrilled with North Country but I attribute that to knowing about the original case already (I went on LexisNexis and read all of it). They did not mention in the movie that Jensen worked at the mines for 10 years, beginning in 1976, before the Hill-Thomas sexual harassment hearings began in 1986. She took severe abuse for 10 years. That’s a lot considering most of us, in today’s society, would not take it for 10 months let alone 10 years.

But all this talk of sexual harassment, work as a hostile environment because of sexual harassment and overt sexism even in well-meaning folks got me thinking of all the times I’ve personally had to put up with it.

Interestingly enough, the worst of it was encountered in middle/senior high school when hormones and competitiveness are at their highest. As you may have noticed by the one picture I’ve posted here, I have a scar on my chin. I’ve had the scar since I was 2, when I fell off a captain’s bed in the midst of sleep and promptly cut myself on a heating grate. I remember nothing of the experience, only what my mom tells me that happened.

During Middle/Senior High, it was joked that I had French-kissed a lawnmower, given a blowjob to a guy with a dick to wide that when he ejaculated, it busted my mouth open, I talked so much I over-expanded my lips, etc. I’ve heard a lot of nasty things about one simple scar. Together with my maiden name which is often pronounced as cock (Koch), it could be a trying day at times.

This got me thinking. I’ve seen lots of similar scars on men and, to the best of my knowledge, they didn’t get this kind of ribbing from their fellow men or women. Granted, most of the direct harassment came from the mouths of young boys trying to be cool or macho; however, that is telling of how society sees scars on the separate genders: on boys they’re cool but on girls that means they were doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing, like trying to be a boy. Being tomboyish is okay when they are kids, but by puberty, girls are supposed to want to dress up, wear makeup, do their hair and talk about boys forever.

In 7th grade I attended a school that only had room for that grade (it was very old and very small). I remember being chased around the school yard one day by a guy in one of my classes because he wanted to touch my breast. I finally ran and hid behind some teachers who were talking but they shooed me away. I didn’t tell them what was happening as I remember feeling ashamed that this could happen right there in front of teachers. I avoided that boy for the rest of the year but still never telling anyone it had happened. Upon thinking back to that incident, as well as the many others, I am amazed at how young the shame starts. It took my sister and I several weeks to tell my mom of the guy who fondled himself in front of us because, again, we felt scared and ashamed (he did it outside while all us kids were playing and when a car or adult came up, he either left or pretended he was fixing his bike).

I was the smallest person in all my classes until 10th grade. This also brought on a lot of sexual jokes because, according to many boys, I was just the right height to give blow jobs. I was 12 years old, I think, when this first started. When I got to Senior High School (it was just High school then and it started at 10th grade), I had grown to my current height of 5”6’, grown breasts and a slim figure. Suddenly it was my chest that attracted a lot of attention so harassment started on a whole new level.

By the time I graduated, I had slept with at least 10 boys despite the fact of my being a virgin ‘til I was 18 which happened after I graduated. I had dated the same boy throughout my junior year and only 1 boy for 3 months in my senior year and that was from another rival school (of which I purely enjoyed wearing his sweatshirts to my school, too).

I’ve had my ass grabbed at various stages of my life since turning 12 I think it was. My breasts are unusually large for the smallish frame I have so those get a lot of attention, too. Several times men have “accidentally” brushed up against them. (And yes, I can tell the difference between a purposely vs. accidental brush.)

Before starting school and working here at VCU, I worked at a printing plant in Fredericksburg where the floor consisted of roughly 80 men, +/-. They stared and many tried hitting on me. One guy who was married with 2 kids repeatedly asked me out until I finally told him to shut up and leave me alone. This same guy commented once on how I walked: he said that I didn’t walk like a woman because I walked with confidence, a purpose and strength. Many of the guys there dated (had sex with is a better statement) the women that came to work there whether each was married or not. One guy called me Ms. Jackson, another “juggers.” During my first week, I was introduced to 1 guy called Mr. Wood. He was embarrassed as it was someone else calling him this, but I found out later that’s what the guys indeed called him. He just didn’t want me, a lady, to know about it.

I remember reporting only 2 men to HR and that was because the harassment made me feel uncomfortable despite me telling the guys to their face to leave me alone. Word got out on the floor fast but it was nothing like what Jenson had to deal with at the mines.

After I quit that job, I found out the guys referred to me in extremely demeaning terms, though I can’t remember any of them now. I really did not like that place so was glad to get out of there. I did not look back and really, don’t miss it for anything though I do value the experience as it taught me what job to never take again.

I can’t stand going to clubs anymore because the music is overtly sexist not to mention the ass-grabbing boob-brushing experiences that run aplenty. I’ve gotten in several confrontations during the years I did go to clubs regularly – usually with men over unwanted touching.

Men as infinitely sexist are also why I’m still single, :). Sure I’m not going to find a perfectly non-sexist male out there, but I should be able to find something close.

It's with this very problem in mind that I find challenging for a feminist woman to raise a boy into the mad world of assholish men: I have to teach Peanut how not to be like them whereas with a daughter I'd have to teach her how not to fall prey to such men, to gain her own independence and that she doesn't have to have a man/woman to complete her life. He's only 6 and I'm already getting overwhelmed with how society segregates itself into separate spheres. It seems its always boys v. girls or boys on one side, the girls on another.

Societal perceptions of gender roles can be both overwhelming and disheartening, breeding skepticism and cynicism in people (like me). Sometimes I really wish I could turn all of this off to become one of those "ignorance is bliss" people. Seriously. It's also why there are periods in my life where I make myself not watch the news, read blogs or newspapers and concentrate on desensitizing myself. Even we need to rest on the 7th day.

(Charlie has 2 posts up about sexism, too. Go have a peak.)
Keep reading....

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Aren't kids the greatest?

Today, when leaving the women's shelter of the YWCA, I informed Peanut we would stop off at the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut to get him a cheese pizza.

Needless to say he was thrilled, despite the fact this is an every week occurrence. This is what he said.

Peanut: You know I like cheese pizza that's what you're getting me one. You are so wonderful!

Me: Heh, remember that later when I'm telling you to go to bed.

Peanut: Well, you won't be wonderful at that time.

I chuckled to myself then rushed to the car so I could write this down in order to remember it for my blog, hehehe.
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ho hum

If you don't have enough to read, then head on over to the 1st blog Carnival of the Feminists highlighting great posts by various women bloggers (I think so anyway). Heh, maybe this will help Drum figure out where all the women bloggers are....

(Thanks to Dr.B. for the link)
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over it

I don't have much to say on the Rove/Libby thing going on right now because I'm too mad/angry/irritated/frustrated and whatever emotions go with those to have any formal coherent thoughts run spoken from my fingers and/or mouth.

The same goes with the Harriet Miers thing and her confirmed (as if we needed it) pro-life anti-everything that doesn't fit into shrub's worldview position. The very simple fact that she has absolutely no bloody experience to even be considered for such a job as Justice on the Supreme Court irritates the hell out of me, too. I just don't see what redoing the answers to the judicial questionnaire is going to prove other than her ability to lie.
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hearing voices

I have nothing else to say about what happened other than how sad it is.

Now my curiosity is starting to get the better of me so much so that I am thinking of doing personal research into mothers that kill their children as opposed to fathers who do the same, what are the differences in motive, etc. I think it will be interesting to see the results even if it only proves what I think to be the answer.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sabriye Tenberken

When 26, she traveled to Tibet and opened a school for the blind children there. It's been 7 years now and she's worried they won't make it passed the year as money has starting to come to an end.

She said donations aren't forthcoming as much because she refuses to use the pity plea. She also said she won't use the pity plea because being blind is not something to be ashamed of.

Instead, she teaches the children self-reliance, Chinese and English and how to read and write among many other things. Most importantly, she teaches them how to teach each other.

I think she definitely deserved to be included in Oprah's 8 phenominal women.

Her book, My Path Leads to Tibet, looks exciting and inspiring and has now been added to my Wish List.
Keep reading....

Young Lives for Sale

the byline says, "Why more kids are getting into the sex trade - and how feds are fighting back."

I don't like that sentence because it portrays the idea all young girls and boys are in the "sex trade" voluntarily. The article proves that many are not, but I felt the author could have done better. Most are tricked, taken, kidnapped or played into thinking they will be doing something with their lives. The fact that many had run away from abusive homes got only 1or2 sentences.

The article also says that the girls are getting younger, with 11 and 12 year olds the most sought after. This is an issue I would like to see Bush declare *war* on and fight like he truly means to win.

(Don't forget to watch Human Trafficking on Lifetime, Monday, October 24th at 9pm)

Good grief, how could I have forgotten the North American Man/Boy Love Association, eh? It's all just absolutely disgusting.
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Ahhh, sleep

new sleeping arrangements 10.17.05 001 (3)

The above has been Peanut's sleeping arrangements for the past month or so. Occassionally he groggily climbs into bed with me, but for the most part, a bed of pillows has been it. He enjoys it, somehow it gets him to sleep in a timely fashion and I guess its sort of adventurous, too.

Every once in a while he'll hang a scarf or towel between the two beds and this will become his "hammock."
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We prove just how irritatingly white southern we can be yet again. There is no official article to link to as I only saw this in the Richmond Free Press and it's not available online.

Here's the basics of the article:

The state reports that annually, they spend a mere 1.75 percent on businesses owned by minorities. The National Purchasing Institute, however, ranked the Commonwealth (or Old Dominion as we're listed in the paper) as "#1 among the 50 states in procurement operations, particularly for its innovative, computer-based electronic buying system called eVA."

I wouldn't say it is a total wash but it is my belief they (National Purchasing Institute) should have taken all means of procurement and by whom into consideration, not just that Virginia ranks in the top 5 for income brought in and all that other stuff. But what the hell do I know? I'm not into economics, obviously.

(Side note: who knew the meaning of procurement also included the "obtaining of sexual partners for another?")
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Well, well, well

We here in the U.S. have had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the busiest tropical storm/depression/hurricane season ever. Or we're tied for 1st place anyway. We just need a storm system whose name begins with an X to get it. So 1933, get ready to eat our dust!

And don't you just love how they classify these suckers?

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the worst ever. In addition to its record-tying 21 storms, the season produced Hurricane Katrina, which is likely to be the most expensive storm in history.

Nevermind the amount of people affected by the hurricane or the racial disparities uncovered by 1 single natural disaster, it's the most expensive storm ever! E-gods our capitalistic selves are going straight to H E double hockey sticks.
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

animal abusers II

The guy who used to live in the house at the bottom of the hill moved, but getting rid of his beagles before he actually left. He had kept his dogs outside, but they were in a fenced in area with actual doghouses on concrete.

What do I get to look at now, every single fucking day?

4 hounds chained to rubber barrels that sit on crates so they don't roll.

Are they trying to get me mad? Are these people seriously trying to get my blood pressure up permanantly?

And they have young children, too. Which doubly pisses me off.

So now I'm off to search for non-PETA oriented literature that says it's bad to chain a dog to anything without proper shelter (or at all) and that damnit, just don't fucking do it!
Keep reading....

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Barbie clothes for adult women?

Has anyone else seen this? It has me groaning, literally. Especially when I see such comments as this:

"Barbie has a special relationship with women," said Dickson. "It takes them back to being a little girl and fantasizing about what they're going to be in the future."
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Friday, October 14, 2005


To the young lady who, on the entire 10 minute bus ride from one campus to the other, complained/moaned/whined about Indiana being a better school than VCU - why the fuck are you here then?

Then I heard her say, "Nursing's not so bad" and immediately understood why. VCU has a very very competitive nursing school on its Medical Center Campus (of which they are currently in the process of constructing a brand new building to relocate them to).

She said people are mean here, psychotic even. Wanna know her experience? One other girl who got mad at blondie for not talking to her. You can find those types everywhere. Blondie said people were much nicer in Indiana and she had friends there.

I say Indiana is fucked up because they just tried to make it illegal for people to procreate articifially unless a doctor/team of doctors gave the okay. It didn't fly, thank goddess, but wtf? Are we seriously trying to go all Handmaid's Tale one state at a time?

(Oh yeah, links via Dr.B. and Lauren at Feministe.)
Keep reading....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

gender in the supreme court

I think having John Roberts and now Harriet Miers being noominated for the SCOTUS has been a great way to prove gender disparities not only exist, but many of the Senate still believe in gender norms/stereotypes. It's obvious in the way they are questioning Miers' ability to lead this country and are interested in her "judicial philosophy", of which she has none, but that's beside the point.

Dobson, of Focus on the Family, got invited to a special meeting with Karl Rove before Miers was nominated and, well, it's just fucking hilarious in that sad, can't-do-anything-but-chuckle-or-I'm-gonna-scream way. Because this means they were attempting to prop Miers up before we officially knew about her. I'm sure the Shrub cronies figured if they got Dobson on their side from the get-go, he'd help smooth over the fact she has absolutely no history in law-making. Sure she was a lawyer, but one that didn't live in a court room.

Anyway, I think it's interesting they are using religion as a point in which to doubt her ability to be a nonpartial Justice when Roberts is a die-hard fundamentalist conservative Catholic, but hey, we weren't allowed to talk about that.

What scares me the most is that if Miers isn't confirmed, Shurb will have the opportunity to appoint someone even worse. At least with Miers, we feel safe in knowing she'd mostly sit in the background, trying to disappear into the wallpaper. I"m afraid that if he gets a 2nd chance at this one, he won't be a *safe* with his choice.

I have a paper due at some point in my Women and the Law class. We have the option to do it on the confirmation hearings and, lucky me, I get two of 'em and I plan to compare/contast and see just how different their line of questioning is/isn't. For the first time, I'm actually looking forward to writing a paper!
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Bush lies to troops

I'm sure you've all heard of his videoconference with a few troops over in Iraq by now. It's been all over the Air America radiowaves today and Mike Mallory promises to tear into it this evening so if you get the station or can stream online, do it.

Until then, here are a few snippets from yahoo! news to get you riled up assail your ears:

"We put in motion something that can't be stopped, and that is the march of freedom,"

Um, yes it can. If the citizen's in Iraq wanted it to stop bad enough, it would stop.

"Thank you for all your work. When you get back to the United States, if I'm hanging around, come by and say hello."

I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this. If he's hanging around, come by and say hello? He doesn't let anyone near him that isn't in his clique so yeah, that'll work.

"Do the Iraqis want to fight, and are they capable of fighting?"

WTF have they been doing thus far? Praticing?

"The mission you are on is vital to achieving peace and protecting America."

I still stand by the assertion that our "peace" and "freedom" here in America were never threatened. We are killing ourselves, we are our own terrorists.

"They stand for a vision that doesn't believe in freedom; that if you don't agree with their narrow point of view, that you're subject to reprisal"

Hmm, you think this is double-speak? After all, Shrub is the man who has made the phrase, "If you're not with us, you're against us (and align with terrorists)" popular. Then he told the Taliban to "bring it on," did he not?

I can't believe I forgot this one, Bush said that in Iraq, the United States and its allies are facing "an enemy that actually has a philosophy."
"And the philosophy is so opposite of ours. It is the exact opposite of what America stands for. We stand for religious freedom and freedom to speak and womens' rights and capacity for people to realize their dreams.

It's so bass ackwards and I'm tired of hearing him spout one thing but do another.

Can he just have a breakdown, or quit, already and move on? I know impeaching him will get us Chaney, but can we try it anyway?
Keep reading....

Women get rehab and time with kids in prisons

I think its a really great idea and this kind of rehabilitation has a lot of research backing it up. However, why aren't the same resources and research being done about ways to rehabilitate men? Is it because women are generally in for very different reasons? Is it because most women in prisons are moms and the kids generally end up becoming a ward of the state or living with a family member whereas when fathers go to jail, the children still live with the mother?

"She's my saving grace," said Locke, 26, who says she was high on methamphetamine four years ago when she set fire to a Bemidji duplex and a trailer home over unpaid drug debts. "This little girl loves me. She's got me up on this huge pedestal, and I've got to live up to her standards."

I believe the article says 6 states currently have some kind of healthy relationship, anger management training and allow children to visit incarcerated mothers, such as Locke above who gets 1 night a month for a sleepover visit (she can have other visits, but this one she earns with good behavior).

However, funding is hard to come by for these types of programs because much of it is earmarked for death row inmates (male) and other capital punishment needs. Huh, go figure.
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Where the women at?

Just read an article over at TomPaine on the question of where women who specialize in political anythings are because they certainly aren't on tv.

It doesn't answer the question, but it does link to a great list of women who range in expertise at SheSource.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It didn't stop in Indiana

Because I'm really tired right now, therefore laziness has set in, click on the link and read for yourself how CA's court has agreed to hear arguments in a gay fertility case. (their words, kinda, not mine)
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Today proved why I don't talk to other mom's much

I have a hard time making friends with most other moms because many are in a different world than I am, and I'm not just talking about single mom vs. married mom either. There are a few I do like but in all honestly, I try not to call to much attention to myself for fear they'll find out that, technically, Peanut isn't supposed to be at that school.

So today, when another mom said hello, I politely said hello back.

Her: Where's your daughter? Is she out here today? What grade is she in? First Grade right?

Me: pointing to the swings and saying Yes.

Her: slight shocked look on her face, Oh, you have a son right?

Me: noticing the slight look of irritation because I didn't correct her, shake my head and say out loud, Yes.

Her: I'm sorry, I forgot he was a boy.

Me: It's okay, it's only a pronoun.

Her: No. It's not, it's more than that, it really is.

Me: decided to stay quiet and not go there. Not on the school's playground anyway.
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Jesus Christ

Yes, we've all heard how much Catholic Priests like little boys and nothing was done about it. But, did we know it was this bad? Hardly.

In one of the newly revealed cases, a parishioner in 1980 passed a rumor to archdiocese officials that a young boy was spending every weekend at Father Richard Henry's home. In the decade that followed, the church received additional reports about Henry, including two in 1988, one from a nun at Our Lady of the Rosary in Paramount who said that the priest was partial to boys, and the other from a layperson who said he "grabs little boys and hugs them."

And to think the Pope's biggest and worst fears are women ordained as priests. *scoff*
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Unfortunately its gonna have to be because it's really happening, er...happened.

Gang rapist's attacks unavoidable, says lawyer (their heading, not mine)

You might need a login name/password but its free and has interesting information about Australia so why not? Besides, if you didn't, you'd miss gems like this,

MSK said: "When I stopped taking medication, I never had any idea in my mind that I would be committing these problems. If anything happened, it would happen accidentally, but I was commanded to do these things."

Who'd a thunk ceasing the medication of oneself for OCD would cause you and 4 of your friends to rape a 16 and 17 year old?

Oh wait, maybe it's because the men were all Pakistani,

A violent gang rapist should have been given a lesser sentence partly because he was a "cultural time bomb" whose attacks were inevitable, as he had emigrated from a country with traditional views of women, his barrister has argued. (emphasis mine)
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Monday, October 10, 2005


The other day we had a discussion about the Pledge of Allegiance. It was quite humorous actually.

Me: You do realize you don't have to say the Pledge if you don't want to?

Peanut: But I want to.

Me: Do you know what the Pledge means? Do you know what allegiance means?

Peanut: What?

Me: It's a pledge that says you are going to support your country, no matter what. That's kinda what allegiance means, too.

Pause. Either he was thinking I'm nuts or trying to stay quiet so I'd shut up.

Me: You don't have to say "under god" either....because it wasn't in the original.

Peanut: starts reciting the Pledge, gets to the "under god" part and informs me he will say it because, "If [he] skip[s] it, [he]'ll get confused."

Can't really fault that logic, can I?

This morning we had our annual Columbus Day talk.

Me: Today is Columbus Day, do you remember who he is?

Peanut: No....

Me: He's the guy who supposedly "discovered" America but really he landed in the Bahamas, killed a few hundred Indians then took a bunch back to Spain with him.

Peanut: with an interesting look on his face, "He wasn't very nice."

Me: No, not really. Anyway, today's Columbus Day and you're probably going to do stuff in school to learn about him, that's why I told you about the real Columbus.

Peanut: But mom, Ms. S. and Ms. W. are planning a fiesta for Christopher Columbus. I wanna go to the party. The party's good right?

Again, who can fault that logic? Hmmm, party or truth? Of course 6 year olds are gonna pick the party!

But I can just see him at some random moment spewing the same stuff I've told him to his teacher and/or classmates. It's what kids do at times to let you know they really were listening.
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New Orleans Po-lice Officers

They were caught on tape beating up a 64-year old man, then claimed they've been having a rough time of it lately because of all the shit they've had to deal with. Sure. Go ahead and beat up on a 64-year old man and feel better about life, k? Oh, then make sure the veteran in your group shoves the camera person and producer who just so happens to be right there with you out of the way. Smart move.

Granted the officers in New Orleans had been working 24hour shifts, are now working 5day, 12hour shifts (now have a better place to sleep), but this does not excuse beating the shit out of a guy who most likely wasn't doing what they charged him with.

3 of the 4 officers were white with the 4th being light skinned. The guy they beat up was black. But it's not a race issue. It was both a race and an overtired/loss of control issue. So they chose to lose control on a black guy, most likely because they thought they'd get away with it.

Update: According to another article, the man wasn't drunk at all. Hmmm, interesting.

Another update: The victim also says he wasn't drunk and is baffled by what happened and why.
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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Human Trafficking

It's a 4-part miniseries showing on Lifetime beginning October 24th.

A young, single mother from Prague falls for a handsome stranger while waitressing. A beautiful teen auditions in Ukraine to be a model. In the Philippines, a 12-year-old American girl is intrigued by a local boy peddling bracelets. What do these three unsuspecting individuals have in common? They're being lured into an international sex-trafficking ring run by ruthless criminals.

The lives of these victims and others who have been abducted will never be the same; while locked away they'll be forced into prostitution, see their families threatened and worse. It's up to a rookie Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, her seasoned boss and his team to bust this operation and rescue these people.

Don't miss this gritty crime drama and emotional tale of survival. It exposes the ugly world of human trafficking that could exist in any neighborhood — even yours!

It doesn't focus on Tailand or most known locations, or even minorities in general, but it still looks damn good. Mira Sorvino might win another award for this performance. Set your timers, put a reminder sticky on your pc screen and watch what looks to be a really great tv movie about sex trafficking in the U.S.!
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Thursday, October 06, 2005

I'm not tellin'

Watch this, Romeo & Juliet, then tell me what you think.

I liked it most especially for featuring Mary J. Blige and Tamara Gray.

And people, did you know RENT is coming to a theatre near you on November 23 (and the guy from Law & Order is in it, too)? I'm so freakin' excited since everytime I try to see the play, it's sold out!
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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Legislating from the bench

This has come up repeatedly between the confirmation hearings of Chief Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Miers. Bush touted both as individuals who would "strictly interpret the laws and constitutional and would not legislate from the bench."

Could someone then please tell me why they were pissed off when judge after judge refused to hear the appeals in the Terry Schiavo case? How come Trent Lott (how could I forget the guy's whose house was destroyed that Bush can't wait to sit, once again, on his porch?) spoke of investigating those judges, claiming they were getting away with "judicial tyranny?"

And how come, after the Citizen's of Oregon voted to okay assisted suicide twice, the Bush administration brought the case to the Supreme Court yesterday anyway?

In 1997, the Supreme Court declared that persons who were/are terminally ill do not have a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide. Being as Oregon has allowed this before 1997, they filed a lawsuit in defense of their law.

The repub's cry, whine and moan about Big Government, yet they are all up in Oregon's face about what many, including me, see as a no-brainer.

According to the article, Oregon has strict regulations on the drugs and how they can be used for doctor-assisted suicide. Yet, their law has been challenged by the likes of Ashcroft, who found doctor-assisted suicide to be an "improper use of medication and violates federal drug laws."

What is also interesting is Roberts seemingly perdatious manner and tone in his first case as Chief Justice. Was he trying to show off? Was he trying to prove that he could do this?

O'Connor would definitely be the swing vote needed here to keep Oregon's law intact, alas she will most likely not be on the SCOTUS when the case is decided. Meir's, I'm sure, will be the swing vote needed to tear Oregon's law down.

Who said she wouldn't legislate from the bench?

Oh yeah, the same guy who said this, "'I've known her long enough to know she's not going to change, that 20 years from now she will be the same person with the same judicial philosophy she has today,' Bush said. 'She'll have more experience. She'll have been a judge, but nevertheless the philosophy won't change, and that's important to me.'" (emphasis mine)

As my SOCY professor asked the class this morning, isn't that an oxymoron? Legislating is what they do. If VA or the US enacts a law I think is unconstitutional, my team of lawyers will challenge it and a judge somewhere at some point will decide if the law is indeed valid or not. That sounds a lot like legislating to me.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Benefit of the Doubt

I really do try and give most anti-choicers the benefit of the doubt. I don't know why, but I blame it on trying to give most all humans I come in contact with the benefit of the doubt, too, and unfortunately, they just happen to be human.

But when I see such made up words as "defund" and "abortuary," they lose anything I was willing to give them. I wish I could link the Supreme Court Case were Operation Rescue was ordered not to impede upon various clinics and pro-choice rallies in DC in 1989. I can, however, give you the citation so if you feel the need to look it up yourself, go for it: NOW, et al., Plaintiffs, v. OPERATION RESCUE, et al., Defendants 726 F. Supp. 300; 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13496. If you can access Lexis Nexis, search for NOW v. Operation Rescue to view their SCOTUS history. It's stupidly appalling.

Anyway, here's a few exerpts at least.

Seattle, WA - On April 10, fify rescuers were tried for a rescue mission they did on November 12th, 1988 and were found guilty. At sentencing, Judge Joel Rindal asked the first rescuer, Penny Ackerett, if she would promise not to rescue [**26] for two years. She said she could not make such a commitment, so he sentenced her to one year in jail, and a $ 5,000 fine! The next man up also refused to surrender his conscience, and the judge sentenced him likewise.

At that point (for whatever reason) the judge postponed sentencing until June 23, and did not yet jail any rescuers. We must write and call him immediatey. He must know that he cannot practice judicial tyranny without an uproar from teh Christian community. Please know that this type of uproar has resulted in judges acting more reasonably in other cases. Judges are supposed to dispense justice, not trample on people's lives. At least 43 of the 50 rescuers are ready to join Ackerett in jail. Many others are considering. We must try to prevent this from happening.

Yep, sentencing 50 rescuers to 1 year in jail and $50,000 for obviously doing more than simply shouting at women as they entered clinics is judicial tyranny. I shouldn't be surprised by this anymore, but I am. Blatant assholery (they're not the only ones who can make up words) just because a woman chooses abortion is, well, stupid. Calm discourse makes way more sense.

Atlanta, GA - We have been trying to work out an acceptable deal with the officials in Atlanta, in order to resolve the cases from last summer. Unfortunately, the Assistant Solicitor (D.A.) lee O'Brien is playing hardball. he [**27] wants to banish all out-of-towners from the five county area (which includes Atlanta) for two years, and wants to banish local residents from within one hundred feet of an abortuary in Atlanta.

In other words, this is like Russia. "Comrade Smith, you are banished from Moscow for two years!" This is outrageous! Equally outrageous is the trashing of local residents' constitutional rights, denying them their right to even picket in front of a killing center. Please call the solicitors' office, politely expressing your outrage. We would gladly work out a deal if they would drop the banishment.

(bold mine to denote a "new word.")

I laughed out loud when I read this one. Yep, Georgia is being compared to Russia because the Assistant Solicitor doesn't like wacky people trying to harass women going into abortion clinics, including those coming from out-of-state. Jesus F. Christ.

Beloved, may God open our eyes! We have got to see what is at stake! The liberties we take for granted, and that we hope our children will enjoy, are being steadily crushed beneath an oppressive heal. Many police, judges, prison guard and D.A.s have moved from being neutral participants in this struggle [**28] to ardent, aggressive defenders of child-killers. If they can break our [*313] back, our will, our solidarity, we will never secure justice for the children and our country will be lost. America will continue its slide into moral anarchy, and God Himself will destroy us, in part, for the blood that cries from the ground for vengenance. But if we stand against this tyranny, I believe we can turn our country around.

Honestly, I'm kind glad they think everyone is on our side. We pro-choicers (or pro-abortionists in their language) will continue down that slippery slope into the dark recesses of moral anarchy, taking our yet to be fertilized ovum with us.

I really do wish you all could see what Randall Terry submitted in his defense. He's not a woman-hater and rescue is simply his repetence for allowing abortion on demand to run amok in this country. Oh, those women going into clinics are "abortion-bound." But yet he doesn't practice discrimation against women in any way; he just ignores that a woman exists and should be acknowledged separate from the fetus she may or may not be carrying.

Of course, right now, he only practices reincarnation and/or the grand after-life. I hope he's experiencing life-after-death as a bug or something.

Operation Rescue violated that injunction and were brought back to court many times, even fined lots of money. And unfortunately, they still exist carrying about in the same manner I am sad to report. But you already knew that.
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Monday, October 03, 2005

Separate but equal in 2005?

It seems we are approaching a "Separate but Equal" government once again:

Talk about adding fuel to the proverbial fire. In the wake of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, members of the Bush administration have suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, proposed relaxing environmental regulations and suspended affirmative action for rebuilding contractors. Now, Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and other senators want to waive the McKinney-Vento Act for evacuee children. The McKinney-Vento Act requires equal treatment for homeless students.

Can we just get rid of the entire Bush administration and start over? Do the American people even get do-overs?
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Oh for Pete's Sake

Whatever happened to the, "Hey dumbass, you videotaped yourself and your buddies raping, sodomizing and humiliating a passed-out minor (she was 16). You're fucking guilty as charged" line of prosecution? And then the sentencing judge who says he'll take remorse into consideration? The guy should go directly to jail without collecting is $200 for what he and his friends did not once, but twice.

Go read sheezlebub's account of this asshole who obviously believes he is entitled to sex, no matter how he gets it. Pay close attention to his father's line of defense while you're at it. Then say it with me, "Gee, I wonder where he got his sense of entitlement from."

Fucking assholes.
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Pit Bulls, again.

I was looking at the paper for Hampton Roads for information on the resignation of the Bishop but the story of a 2 1/2 year old boy who was killed by a pit took over the front page.

It doesn't say what they did to the female with puppies or the male when they removed them from the home, but I can damned guarantee what they did: euthanized (or in this case, killed) them. And I find that deplorable.
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Nothing to say

At least not yet. I wish I could say that at least Shrub nominated a woman and that it wasn't Priscilla Owens, but I can't. 1) He knows it's the political thing to do anyway and 2) Why couldn't he take this opportunity and nominate a woman of a different ethnicity? Sadly enough, I think Harriet Miers will be confirmed without so much as a batted lash.

I'm hoping the Dem's jump on the fact she graduated from a Methodist Law School or how she's been involved with several Christian organizations throughout her adult life. On NPR this morning, they said the conservative Repub's aren't happy with her nomination either but for different reasons.

And yet still I think she'll be confirmed speedy quick just like Roberts was because there, so far, isn't anything incriminating in her past. We all know the Dem's have kind of abandoned women so I won't be looking for a lot of fanfare when it comes time for the hearings.

dKos and Drum don't have much to say about it, surprisingly.
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