Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Found some new blogs to read

Just what I needed, more stuff to read. Yet I think they're worthy of checking back every once in a while at least. Btw, these were found on the Bloggies website, you know, where you vote for your favorite blogs and stuff. These are some of the finalists.

What Would Tyler Durden Do? A blog keeping track of celebrities.

Baghdad Burning About stuff that happens in, well, Baghdad of course.

Ben Cruachan Blog Nature, animals, spiders....what's not to like?

Cute Overload A blog with lots of cute animal pictures to go along with the Cat in Sinks and Bee Dogs sites!

Good As You Like their byline says, "Gay and Lesbian Activism with a Sense of Humor."

Little Yellow Different says don't vote for him since he's already won 3 times and because Joe.My.God. is better.

La Coquette Hell, she lives in Paris, do we need to know anything else?

My Boyfriend is a Twat I just love the title.

Sabbah's Blog It won the Blog to Rule the World contest so it must be worth keeping on the 'ol roll.

Queerty Lots of different stuff that have one thing in common, um, being queer.

Sleepless in Sudan The blog of an aid worker in the Sudan. I just think it looks interesting.

Tokyo Girl The writing is beautiful so I'm going back if just for that.

Dooce She's a mommy blogger people and she's funny!

GirlSpoke A community of women writing about varying topics of interest.

I Don't Like You in That Way More celebrity watching so you don't have to.

Joshuaink Pretty blog combined with Brit humor.

Tree Hugger Cause the future has to be green or we're all gonna die.
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Surprise! (Not)

It's a done deal folks, Alito is now one of the Supreme's until he either retires or dies.

"Oh it's the end of the world as we know it, yeah it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." R.E.M.
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And it begins...

The Shrubites have now been painting Iran as "dangerous to America" in much the same way they tricked our entire nation into believing Iraq was part of 9/11, Hussein and bin Laden were in cohoots with one another and that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Bill Frist was on the Today Show telling Matt Lauer that Iran is an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 in how dangerous they are to America.

Yet somehow, they all seem to forget we're the only country to have used them, twice.
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Monday, January 30, 2006


To whomever searched for Bullmastiff's today and wants to know whether they are dangerous or not and what their temperment is: they are wonderful dogs and are generally sweet tempered but, like any dog (case in point the pit bull) they can become aggressive when trying to protect itself or it's family, when not treated properlyn or supervised (i.e. chained up in the backyard).

Mastiffs are commonly used on police forces and if you've ever seen Turner and Hooch, the latter was a French Mastiff.

I recommend meeting the dog you have in mind first and spending some quality time with her/him before making a decision. Make sure you see the dog in various circumstances such as outside on a leash, in a house, in a car, etc. Often people get a newly adopted dog home and forget that it can take anywhere from 1 week to 1 month for the dog(s) to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Once you adopt that dog, you thus become fully responsible for it's care.

Think of them as kids who pay you with slobbery kisses and furry hugs ; ).


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Bloggers attack!

Saturday, the WashPo acknowledged that many of us lefty bloggers have been attacking the Democrat's new reach for the center approach.

And, what I thoroughly enjoyed seeing in the NYT's was this editorials headline: Senators in need of spine. (thanks to Bush v. Choice for the link)

From the WashPo article:

Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience.
Ya think? We lefties aren't gonna vote for another Bush, that's for sure, but yes, we have been feeling disenfranchised for a while now, especially when it comes to women and minority rights. Nevermind that we've been criticizing the new Republican-Lites since before Shrub was elected for a 2nd term.

These activists -- spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns -- have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts.
And well, we have. We want to see more of Murtha's gumption, the kind that doesn't care if others will boo him, but will speak up for what is right regardless. Isn't that what Senators and Representatives were originally elected for in the first place? (You gotta love the use of flaccid, eh?)

First, liberal Web logs went after Democrats for selecting Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to deliver the response to Bush's speech next Tuesday.
This is questionable. Did we lefties really attack Dem's for choosing Kaine 'cause I don't remember seeing anything about it. I remember not being surprised because I think Kaine swings to the side of Republican-lite too much, which ultimately works for the Democrat's centrist message: Kaine is pro-life, anti-death penalty, very Catholic and anti-gay rights (he supports the Marriage Protection Act amendment that will we vote on in November).

This from the mouth of Kaine:

"Blogs can take up a lot of time if you're on them," Kaine said to reporters Thursday. "You can get a lot done if you're not bitterly partisan."
Heh. He'll get to test that *bitterly partisan* idea when he tries to work with a very Republican Lt. Governor, Bill Bolling.

At long last, the article does mention the Dem's desertion of Howard Dean, who was the favorite until they realized he might actually win and that he didn't reach to more centrist voters, but stood his ground from the very beginning. I voted for him and backed him all the way. I'm sure you aren't all that surprised. And how dare a freakin' doctor be pro-choice!

"John Kerry is beginning to bring the traditional Democratic leadership in Washington together with the untraditional netroots activists of the country," James Boyce wrote on the Huffington Post.
Meanwhile, Kerry is supposedly bringing tradition together with new-age stuff. Where has that been happening exactly? He lost the run for President but he knows his face was out there so I thinke he's still fueled off the recognition it gave him.

And he obviously plans to run again. Hopefully this means he's learned that us radicals shouldn't be left out in the middle of nowhere.

Having said all the above, I think the article was too nice. We also haven't been attacking as much as we've been criticizing. I agree with Maha in that we want the more centrist Dem's to work with us who are more to the left of center, creating a partnership if you will.

Or hell, I'm still up for creating an entirely new party of Liberals. You know, like in Canada and everywhere else on this earth.
Keep reading....


It's my sister. She's going to drive me nuts with her unorganized self.

My niece had so many ear infections when she was younger, her pediatrician told my sister that Niece had scar tissue so it was in her best interests to see an audiologist to have it checked out.

That was back in September or something.

My mom and I were out near the audiologists office that is on the faculty where I currently work, so I stopped in to make an appointment. At that time, I told the woman who helped me that my Niece had what I thought was FAMIS, a version of Medicaid designed to catch the kids that fall between the cracks. She told me to double check because they didn't take HMO's, etc.

When we got home that evening, which was back before the New Year because I had off that week, I gave the paperwork to my sister and told her to check her insurance coverage and then give the audiologists office a call.

This morning, while on their way out the door to drive my sister and niece to the appt, my mom asked my sister where the paperwork was and my sister turned around and responded, "What paperwork?"


It has been sitting on the desk in the office, still blank, since I had given it to her. This morning she shrugged and said, "Oh well, they'll give me more."

She walked out the door with me yelling behind her, "I gave the papers to you back in January. You are the one responsible for it since Niece is your kid."

Sister said she didn't want to hear it.

So...my mom and sister just called me a few minutes ago, with Sister telling me the audiologists office doesn't take FAMIS.

I'm really fucking irritated because 1) I'm the one who made the appt because her slack ass wasn't doing it; 2) I'm the one who called to reschedule to a Monday when, again, it's not my kid; 3) I even filled out most of the paperwork for her, it was just waiting on the insurance information; 4) Sister couldn't call to verify the acceptance of her insurance after I reminded her at least twice?

I think my niece has a learning disability, too. It wouldn't be surprising since my sister has ADHD and dyslexia and Niece is showing all the signs of possibly having one, just as Sister did at that same age (7years old).

What has my sister done to get any of this looked at and possibly corrected? Nothing. Yet she's mad at me because I'm being a pain in her ass and her 2nd mother. I'm the first-born so duh, that mother thing just comes out since I only had to watch her and often take care of her since forever.

So yeah, I'm really fucking irritated. Because she can't seem to do what she needs to do, like get her shit out of the office to begin with. (She has the largest room in the house yet feels she must take over the office with more of her stuff.)

Keep reading....

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chain Link Scarf

I've finished it finally. What takes so long is knitting 20 or so pieces to then sew together, creating the links just like the construction paper versions we made in elementary school.

Sorry if the pictures are fuzzy. My hands shake terribly so digital pictures and me don't always get along.

Tomorrow I'll actually be posting about real stuff, ;).
Keep reading....

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Cat and Dog Blogging

Because I have 3 of each you'll be seeing lots of them. Well, you'll be seeing a lot of Ms. Kitty and Shia because they're always up here with me at the desk. The other 2 dogs and cats don't really care about me.

This is when we still lived in Virginia Beach and tried keeping this basket full of fruit 'til we quickly realized she preferred it as a bed. Even though she had to literally squeeze herself into it.

This is Storm. She's 13 and has really bad hip/pelvis problems so is losing the use of her back legs slowly. We don't expect her to make it another year. : (

This is one of the 5 hats I've completed but I like this one the best. I've been making random hats for various charities to sell in order to raise money.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wow, this is a first

For the person in Ohio who found my blog while looking for vietnam post pardum depression in men, you probably won't find much.

You see, postpardum is a term referred to women who give birth first then get depressed second. For men to *suffer* from postpardum depression, they would have to begin giving birth. That I know of, science hasn't figured that one out yet.

So I'm thinking you were looking for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which might get you a lot closer to what you were originally looking for, yes?
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Yes Virginia, we are going backward!

Anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-safe animals, anti-hispanic/latino immigrants....

By golly, I think Virginia is trying to stay white and force all the people of color out!

The General Assembly's full Senate considered and voted on our very own Marriage Amendment Monday.

The good news is, the co-parenting bill was defeated last year and this year the copycatted* Indiana bill was defeated. So single women are still allowed to become pregnant artificially.

Also, out-of-state same-sex couples will be allowed to obtain birth certificates for all children born in Virginia with both parents names on it. Yay! Too bad same-sex couples aren't allowed to adopt children together here.

More good news is that new Governor Tim Kaine issued Executive Order 1 which includes "sexual orientation" under the public employee non-discrimination guidelines.

Whew! Our G.A. has been busy trying to restrict the rights of so many *others*! Now, onto the women!

Before the G.A. session officially began, there were only 3 anti-choice bills to be heard. Now there are 18 to last year's 13.

House Bill 163
House Bill 164
House Bill 173
House Bill 187 Killed in committee
House Bill 189 This was introduced last year on Pro-Choice Lobby Day, where 400 strong showed up to show them we disagreed with it. Needless to say it was defeated by the usual 8-7 vote.
House Bil 237 Killed in committee
House Bill 412This is an accompanyment to HB 187. Seriously. They really want to make sure *single* women can't get pregnant unless via sexual intercourse.
House Bill 868
House Bill 1151 Our very own Domestic Gag Rule
House Bill 1191 I'm kinda on the fence about this one because if Peanut had literally been wrongfully killed while in utero, I would have been pissed when I found out there was no cause for retribution. However, it's being proposed by Delegate Marshall who no doubt means to outlaw abortion.
House Bill 1199
House Bill 1232 This is something I understand as not trying to outlaw abortion, but to get at the abusers out there that beat their wives/girlfriends stomachs with baseball bats to purposely kill the fetus. I don't let Planned Parenthood know that I kind of agree with this idea.
House Bill 1274
House Bill 1308 This one is just stupid as it seeks to ban the use of school facilities for any student group that encourages or promotes sexual activity by unmarried minor students. Are they gonna ban friendships and/or clique's then?
House Bill 1472 Read this one but don't be eating or drinking anything
Senate Bill 315 How exactly is testing fetal tissue going to determine whether or not said prenancy is a result of criminal activity? Why they will test the DNA to see who the father is of course! Yet, that could only result in telling regulators the child, who must be under the age of 15 to even qualify for this test, is a victim of incest but not necessarily rape or sexual abuse.
Senate Bill 580
Senate Bill 584

Tthe 3 pro-choice bills being introduced are: Expanding Medicaid Family Planning for low-income women, free STI testing in public colleges and an encouragement for the FDA to approve Plan B for over-the-counter use. Real tough aren't they?

* Yes, I made up my own word.
Keep reading....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What they said

Once again, the peeps at Peace X Peace say it so eloquently

Also hanging in the balance is choice and abortion rights. Thank goodness Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has kids. Otherwise we'd really be looking at making choices about pregnancy, childbirth, choices, and what constitutes "undue burden" based on the experiences of a group of people who've never had a period, much less missed one. But they’re up there on the bench now, and they're making decisions that affect not just American women, but women elsewhere too. Food for thought as activists on both sides of the abortion debate feel that we are closer a "post-Roe era" than one would have dreamed of a decade ago.
Women's News: Roe Anniversary Stirs Coast-to-Coast Activism

Roe supporters know they have been losing ground.
Yahoo! News: Looking Ahead to a Post-Roe World

Among the left, there is now talk of "Roe fatigue," as one blogger put it at the Talking Points Memo Cafe this November. Abortion rights stalwarts like law professor and author Susan Estrich and columnist Katha Pollitt feel obliged to ask, as Pollitt put it in The Nation last August, "Should Roe Go?" "With the resignation of
Sandra Day O'Connor, more people are asking that question. Democratic Party insiders quietly wonder if abandoning abortion rights would win back white Catholics and evangelicals. A chorus of pundits ... argue that Roe's unforeseen consequences exact too high a price: on democracy, on public discourse, even, paradoxically, on abortion rights."

This article left me unsettled perhaps because it's got the most truth in it. It is now well known that the Democrat's have all but abandoned the pro-choice cause, hoping to win over the more moderate supporters who also tends to not be their base (but who have the most money to give).

As the above paragraph reminds us, many long time advocates claim to be suffering from Roe fatigue. They figure, fuck it, we'll just let *them* have Roe then they'll see why we defended it so fiercely to begin with. Yet, that approach could also backfire, causing our society to revert back to pre-Roe days quickly. I wasn't alive during that time, but I can sure as hell don't want to let 'em have it just to prove a point. Why take that risk? Who's to say Roe would be reinstated once chaos breaks loose? Who's to say chaos will break loose?

Gallagher is right. Roe is hardly settled law because, 33 years later, we still can't decide who is right.

The Boston Globe: On Roe v. Wade anniversary, abortion foes buoyed by hope.

must support the confirmation of Judge Alito and other jurists who will support a strict-constructionist view of the law and make it possible once and for all to end Roe v. Wade," Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, a leading House conservative, thundered to the soggy crowd.
You know, every time I see that remark, I want to remind the speaker that there are a lot of rights afforded to us that weren't in the original document so if you support a strict-constructionist view on abortion, they should take the rest away, too. It's similar to fundamentalists who only choose portions of the bible to enforce, rather than having an all or nothing approach.

''We're no longer the right-wing Christian nuts."
So says who exactly?

And how come the "right-wing Christian nuts" don't defend the hungry, neglected and/or abused children as vehemently as they do the *unborn*?

Yahoo! News via HuffingtonPost.com: Jesse Kornbluth: On Roe v Wade: Pro-Lifers Do Like Women -- Docile Women

They hate abortion, but they don't seem to mind other forms of killing. You sure don't see them, for example, mourning the state-mandated murder of that woman in a Texas hospital not long ago. But then, that woman was not only terminal, she was poor and African; God had abandoned her long ago.
See? Even he thinks like me and further cements my point.

A woman's body is not her own. Once she is "with child," the State rules. Leave the state pregnant and come back skinny? Felony. (I don't know how they'd enforce this. Will women have to show their passports at airports, bus and train stations? Will there be checkpoints at border crossings between states? Or will the State simply insert a chip in its pregnant women that can't be removed until childbirth?)
And he makes an excellent point with regards to state laws that seek to ban abortions outright or that would make it a felony to transport any woman over state lines in order to get one. How would a state enforce that? I like the idea of inserting a chip into pregnant women; let's see a state even try to propose, much less enforce, microchiping. Not to mention, once again, how very Handmaid's Tale that idea seems. Perhaps then the *pro-lifer* women would understand why our freedom to choose is so very important.

Hey, maybe we should give them all copies of Margaret Atwood's book and let them see for themselves.
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Think of the song people. It doesn't come off as well when I type it so you'll have to do most of the imagining yourselves. (And since I have no idea what it's official title is or who sang it, I can't look it up.)

I'm sure you've noticed the colors of my blog have changed. The dark green background fits my personality so much better and the pink was beginning to seem jr. highish at best. I don't even like to wear pink.

I've also updated my blog roll from 10 blogs to about 50, lol. I don't necessarily read them everyday, but I do read them each week....when I'm not knitting of course. Soon I'll have a "Current Projects" section so you can see what I'm working on or have already completed.

I have also added a "Knitting Blogs" button in between "Political Blogs I Like" and "Archives". Check them out! (Hey, it was easier than linking them all individually.)

And, because I am such an astute defender of pit bulls and a divine animal lover, I have added several links to my sidebar in hopes to further spread the word about how wonderful pitties can be.

Now lemme know what you think!


Keep reading....

American Pit Bull Terriers

Many of you may know that I'm a lover of pit bulls. I have 1 purebred and 2 mixed breeds myself and go silly whenever I see them on the street, in PetSmart, in cars, etc.

So it should come as no surprise that I'd want to get a few of the items the Louisiana Humane Society is selling via cafépress. Their facilities were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina so anything purchased goes toward helping them to get back on their feet (or paws).

I also watch Animal Cops Detroit on Animal Planet (and Animal Cops Houston, Animal Heroe's Pheonix, Aminal Cops Miami). Why, I don't know, because it just pisses me off the way animals are treated. The Detroit investigators remove a lot of pits from homes where they've been fought and it's sad because any dog that was fought is automatically humanely euthanized regardless of age. Dogs who have lived their lives just to fight cannot be adopted out because of the huge liability they pose. Just last week, I got to see footage of a 7 month old puppy that had been used as a bait dog. Luckily the investigators got to the dog in time (someone had called it in because the dog ended up on his porch) and saved it's life.

Bait dogs, along with other animals such as raccoons or oppossums, serve only to get the pits riled up so they will be ready to fight their opponent.

You see the picture of my doggies up there, why would anyone want to treat such beautiful sweet lovin' creatures that way?

Needless to say, I can't wait to move into my own place so I can get more. I also plan to find a pit bull rescue and volunteer my services in hopes to get the word out that these dogs are wonderful pets. It's not fair to punish the entire breed when it's the owners who make the fighters, not the dogs themselves.


Keep reading....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bad Days

The day after the 2004 election, when I found out for sure Bush had won, I was in the worst mood possible.

Today I am in that same mood again and may very well stay there 'til the Shrubites are no longer in Power. Won't that be nice?

Because, you see, Alito is going to get confirmed. He's going to get confirmed because the Repulican's don't give a shit about their constituents any longer and the Democrat's are too busy pandering, or being Republican-lite, if you will. It's party line votes all the time regardless of the issue.

The Patriot Act is set to expire yet again after being continued for one month. Oh, but wait. What is that hiding in the middle of it you ask? Why, it's permission for the U.S. to have a Federal Army. TalkLeft commenters say it's already been around, but under a different name, blah blah blah. As we have seen thus far, however, Shrub loves to take things out of context (i.e. wire tapping).

Black residents in New Orleans will be getting the schtick. They supposedly will not be rebuilding the Ninth Ward and Trent Lott's house is down there so you know where priorities lie. Like the NYT's said, Smaller May Mean Whiter. If the upcoming decisions don't prove racism still exists I give up. What's the point of trying to prove it if no one is listening? After all, the debate is over which neigborhoods should be rebuilt, where should reconstruction teams set down their semi-permanent roots, and should they rebuild the Ninth Ward, the city's poorest section.

I wish I could say they plan on building it back exactly the same way, yet better, but I'm just not that stupid.

So I'm gonna stop listening to the news, knit and then play with a bunch of lovable huskies who are desperately needing baths (too cold and muddy now). While I do these things, I'm gonna pray to every god and goddess I know for hope, peace, and the continuation of my right to bodily autonomy and self-authoritative power. And that we seriously don't head toward a Handmaid's Tale era.

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commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.
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Monday, January 23, 2006

You Go Girl!

Molly Ivins takes the lack of Democratic leadership to task and explains why she will not be voting for Hillary. She spares no one and nothing. Here are some quotes but by golly, go read the whole damned thing. You shall not be disappointed.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

Here's a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes, "There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party for successful elections in 2006 and 2008."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

Maybe it's time to create a Liberal Party all our own, eh?

Keep reading....

New reads....

I found the SoapBoxGirls just a bit ago. It's a pretty blog with good content, I think.

So good in fact, that they linked to this art installation which appears on billboards in Australia. It's brings attention to hetero's and the rights we are given without question. I think it's brilliant! Could you imagine something like this showing up here? It would put the Christian Right into attack mode, because, you know, this might be encouraing young children and teenagers that being/living a homosexual lifestyle is okay and that's against god's word.

SoapBoxGirls also gave us Bee Dogs. Aren't they cute? This ranks right up there with pictures of Cats in Sinks.
Keep reading....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blogging for Choice II

Because today is the 33rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, many newspapers ran articles/editorials that discussed the subject. 2 from the NYT's were pretty good.

Three Decades After Roe, a War We Can All Support calls out the pro-choicers and likens them to the Plight of the Democrats: if we keep taking a substandard position on choice, we're going to lose it (choice I mean). Saletan says we need to declare a war on abortion and start fighting the real fight.

This is why the issue hasn't gone away. Abortion, like race-conscious hiring, generates moral friction. Most people will tolerate it as a lesser evil or a temporary measure, but they'll never fully accept it. They want a world in which it's less necessary. If you grow complacent or try to institutionalize it, they'll run out of patience. That's what happened to affirmative action. And it'll happen to abortion, if you stay hunkered down behind Roe.
He goes on to say that we need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

States of Confusion revisits the "Support Choice, Not Roe" argument proposed by Richard Cohen.
Overturning Roe and leaving the states to regulate abortion will not be the compromise that ends the debate. Rather, it will worsen it. Pro-choice and pro-life states will not enjoy an easy and untroubled coexistence, as some would like to believe. Nor will overturning Roe get the federal government, or the federal courts, out of the business of abortion jurisprudence. Instead, state regulation will make a complex legal matter even more complicated, and the divisions over abortion that much wider. If Roe is reversed, the ensuing chaos will demand a federal resolution to the abortion battle - again.
Baude claims that making abortion illegal won't solve anything because the pro-choicers and pro-lifers will still be arguing over who's right, and I agree. It's a discussion that seems to never grow old or die away; we've been arguing about it, albeit silently, since the procedure was invented long before Roe.

I wonder why we can't let women make their own decisions since we will know what is best for us and our lives if you just trust us a little. And allow us to follow our instincts without constantly second-guessing us. Ya know?
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Blogging for Choice

It's the 33rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade today. To celebrate, demonstrations are being held around the world, and not necessarily the friendly kind either.

What better way to celebrate a momentous occasion (because it is one regardless of what you believe), than for the Senate majority to show how anti-woman they are....they will be voting on Alito's nomination this week.

I believe a woman's reproductive freedoms will be at stake if Alito is confirmed as the swing vote will be gone. (Rumor has it that Kennedy will be the next swing voter but I'm not so sure given his conservative track record in past decisions.)

34 states have parental consent or notification laws with more on the way (Virginia has been one of these for a while now). Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia seek to outlaw abortion altogether except when carrying a pregnancy to term poses a severe health risk to the mother. As the LATimes writes, this is in direct contradiction to the ruling set forth in Roe.

Justice Henry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in Roe, had wanted to be a doctor but failed his boards so became a lawyer instead. He thoroughly researched abortion for months, including several interviews with doctors who performed the procedure. After he was satisfied, Blackmun concluded that women did indeed have the Right to Privacy under the 14th Amendment.

Privacy is not a right inherently afforded to anyone, but neither is the right to Freedom of Expression or the Right to a Belief which are assumed under the 1st Amendment. Those, like privacy, were additions, an expansion if you will. The 1st clause under the 14th Amendment does affirm that

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
and perhaps one could easily garner why it is privacy can be assumed. And that goes for everyone, not just women and their reproductive rights. (The right to privacy was also argued in the Texas sodomy case Lawrence v. Texas and if you remember correctly, Lawrence and his partner won.)

Indiana Republican Representative Troy Woodruff, author of House Bill 1096, stated that his intentions were to have “his ban appealed to the Supreme Court, in hopes that the justices will overturn Roe and give states the power to make abortion a crime.” He also states that “On an issue that's this personal, it should be decided as local as possible. “We either want these procedures, or we don’t . . . And I don't.”

How funny that a man would decide he doesn't want these *procedures* to exist when the situation that calls for such action doesn't affect him to begin with. Does he have to worry about the consequences of unprotected sex, a condom breaking or possibly the results of rape and/or incest? He might, but only because a woman could force him to pay child support even against his will. (This, of course, takes us into tricky territory which has been discussed fairly well and exhaustively here.)

But a man can still walk away at any point and disappear while the woman and her body has to invest (because there really is no choice in pregnancy is there?) every cell in her body in order to create the living being that will one day be born. Whether the woman wants the child or not really isn't as separate an issue the anti-choicer's make it out to be.

What is interesting is that a dozen or so states already have laws on their books making abortion illegal, even if it is merely theoretical and doesn't hold the weight of true law. If Roe were to be struck down “they could take effect immediately . . . subjecting abortion providers to penalties ranging from 12 months' hard labor in Alabama to 20 years' imprisonment in Rhode Island.”

I had an experience with a broken condom not that long ago and I was thanking every god, goddess and higher power under the stars (and sometimes in them) that I knew what my choices were. Then I asked myself,

What would happen to women if/when those choices are taken away? What would I have had to deal with had Plan B not been available at my local ER? Would I, who has no desire for any more children, have had to carry that hypothetical baby to term because it was a consequence of sex with the intention of procreation being absent? If so, why don't men have that same responsibility inherent to them so they, too, can deal with the same consequences?

If Alito gets confirmed, our future does not look bright at all. In fact, I predict we will quickly fall back into pre-Roe times, forced to seek abortions in rented hotel rooms or pay huge amounts of money to have doctor's perform secret abortions, otherwise called D&C's/D&E's. How about having to convince a panel of doctor’s that you do indeed need an abortion, hoping they don’t see through your lie?

Abortion has been around since, well, forever. It will never go away even if it is once again made illegal. Mortality rates among women could then skyrocket. Complications such as blood poisoning, infertility, infections in uteri, ovaries, etc., could increase thus causing life-long problems for women or result in death.

So I leave you with a link to a brief statement by 3 doctor's who performed abortions both before and after the decision of Roe v. Wade. They are part of a bigger movement called Voices for Choice, doctors who performed abortions before Roe.

And I'll say this for the umpteenth time: Perhaps we should all be focusing on ways to support women in pregnancy so they can afford the cost of care for a child or by supporting a woman's choice to not have any kids with easy access to birth control, therefore making every child a wanted child.

Think about it.
Keep reading....

Alito Supreme?

It's the title of John Stewart's take on the Alito confirmation hearings and it's hilarious.

Stewart times the 4 most talkative Democrat's to see who gets to their question first: Senator Dewine of Iowa lost. Then Stewart wonders why the Senator's are so shocked that Alito would belong to an all white male Princeton group yet, shockingly, the Senate is. . . .an all white male club that has the power to make and pass laws.

It's great stuff as per Stewart's usual. While you're there, take a look at some of the other clips. You will not be disappointed.
Keep reading....

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Medics, Poison and stuff

My Niece and Peanut were playing on a playground near the knitting shop I had just finished a class in. I sit down on the bench and listen, just in time to hear this:

Niece, medic me because my brain is poisonous.
Keep reading....

Friday, January 20, 2006

That Peanut Guy

Wednesday, over a dinner of cheese pizza for Peanut and a Mexican pizza for me (at Taco Bell), I asked him what he had learned in school that day.

Peanut: Um, I don't remember the guys name.

Me: Benjamin Franklin? (bc this is who they had been learning about. There are lots of kites hanging in the hallways to prove it.)

Peanut: No...it's a new guy.

Me: looking at him quizzically and saying, Okay, but you gotta give me somethin'. What does he look like? Is he old? Is he dead?

Peanut: I don't remember. He had the same name as George Washington, our first President.


Peanut: Yeah! That's him....

Me: He made a lot of stuff out of peanuts, like pastes, pies, butter, etc. (I sighed when he told me I was right, that it was GWC, because he's a staple in school curriculums everywhere. At least it's not African American History month yet.)

Peanut: Yeah, he was really cool.

He then proceeded to tell me about something GWC may have made but it sounded really gross so I think he was getting too many things confused. Of course I don't remember what it was now.


Yesterday, upon entering the house, he said to me: Mom, babies can't get into buckets filled with water because they will die, right?

Me: Um, yeah?

We weren't discussing anything even remotely close to that subject so I have no idea where that came from.
Keep reading....

2005 and 1998 tied for hottest year

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, 2005 tied 1998 for the hottest year. This means we broke a lot of temperature records again last year. Are we trying to see if we can put 2006 clearly in the lead?

Here in Virginia I'd swear some little person was sitting next to a switch titled Spring and Winter 'cause it's certainly feeling a lot like spring right now. Next week it's supposed to be wintery again.
Keep reading....

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bad Gas

I wish I could say that I'd boycott Exxon, ChevronTexaco and the like, but there isn't anywhere to buy gas these days that isn't associated with the major oil companies who are currently destroying the Amazon.

ChevronTexaco has thousands of miles of pipeline running through the Amazon yet the supposed maintainance and inspections hardly happen. They have run-off areas that end up sitting around, as you can see in the first picture. From the caption attached to said picture, this pool of crude has been sitting for years without a second glance.

Many children are born with physical and/or mental disabilties, both men and women are being diagnosed with cancer at what would be alarming rates here in the U.S. (think Pacific Bell). They shouldn't bathe or wash their clothes in the rivers, but don't have a choice because it's their only source of water.

The residents of the various towns say ChevronTexaco has a health clinic so they would be able to see doctors, but ultimately the company doesn't want to admit (openly) they are doing anything wrong so dismiss all of these abnormalities as the fault of heredity, malnutrition, etc.

Thankfully, the indigenous peoples (various Amazonian tribes) realized the contamination and lack of responsibility was a crime and filed suit against Texaco, Inc. in 2003.

It's not surprising that Texaco, Inc. would have a different take of this problem, claiming they've spent lots of money - over $25billion - inside Ecuador between 1972 and 1993 that perhaps the locals should remember that before they start complaining. (Which, if you read their story, they acknowledge it took 9 years for the group to even get themselves a legal hearing. Gee, I wonder where that $25billion went, eh?)

I stopped reading when I got to the heading, "Colonizing the Amazon Basin" on the 3rd page. Gloriously clean pictures and happy employees can be found before that; a direct contradiction to what I've seen and not just by the Amazon Watch website.

Amnesty International has been in on the fight for years now, concerned for the indigenous people's who called the Amazon home long before oil companies figured out there was money to be made there.

As can be expected, the legal proceedings have been tied up in the courts and thus far nothing has been resolved. Not even close.

This kind of thing only succeeds in pissing me off more because, as Thomas Friedman said in his NYT's op-ed piece last week while Krugman was on vacation,

Living green is not for sissies. Sticking with oil, and basically saying that a country that can double the speed of microchips every 18 months is somehow incapable of innovating its way to energy independence - that is for sissies, defeatists and people whoare ready to see American values eroded at home and abroad.

I've blogged about our ability to come up with alternative fuels before. I've also noted that hybrid cars are quickly becoming the hot item. It's what I will be investing in when it's my turn to finally purchase a brand new car.

Friedman then goes on to claim that the biggest problem plaguing American values is Petrolism.

Petrolism is my term for the corrupting, antidemocratic governing practices - in oil states fromRussia to Nigeria and Iran - that result from a long run of$60-a-barrel oil. Petrolism is the politics of using oil income to buyoff one's citizens with subsidies and government jobs, using oil andgas exports to intimidate or buy off one's enemies, and using oilprofits to build up one's internal security forces and army to keeponeself ensconced in power, without any transparency or checks andbalances.
It's true. Instead of getting the U.S. off our dependency on oil, which would be a smart move for more than one reason, our administration lobby's to drill in ANWR or off the Virginia coast, which experts have admitted would only provide us with enough oil to begin replacing some of our imports after 10 years. For crips sake, I've got Virginia Biodiesel less than an hour away from my house so getting off oil is entirely plausible and reachable.

Friedman then goes on to say that we Americans suffer from "energy gluttony." I love that phrase, mostly because gluttony is one of those 7 deadly sins fundamentalists are always talking about.

Because we love our oil, we help support such communist countries as led by Castro. Remember how Katrina and Rite wiped out our oil refineries in the Gulf, thus creating an increase in gas prices? Not to mention the fact how opposed to communist regime's we're supposed to be.

I will step off my soap box now and go back to trying to find a oil company that I can truly stand behind and believe in. I know, I know, that's wishful thinking and it might take me a few years or 10.
Keep reading....

Call your Senators!

Keep reading....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Hampshire's Parental Notification Law a Go...Sort of

I'm disappointed but not at all surprised since O'Connor has consistently ruled in favor of parental notification laws, even when it required both parents, as long as they have a health exception for the minor woman.

What is interesting, however, is how the Supreme's ruled in this case (Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood. They didn't say the law was bad, but instead remanded it to the lower court to reconsider whether the whole law was unconstitutional. The ACLU predicts the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals will again strike down the law.

In several cases leading up to this point, O'Connor has also consistently stated that any restriction on abortion must have a health exception as it thus places an undue burden on our ability to obtain a safe and legal abortion. In the case of New Hampshire, there was only an exception for a minor's impending death but not her health.

(Alito knows this because he cited her explanation of the undue burden standard and her definition of a health exception as the lone dissenter in Casey.)

And hey, it's only a 10-page brief in which O'Connor stated, "under our cases it would be unconstitutional to apply the act in a manner that subjects minors to significant health risks."

So New Hampshire has to create a health risk clause if they want to save their Parental Notification Act.
Keep reading....


Remember the Terry Schiavo debacle? Where Trent Lott got up and said any rogue Judge would be investigated? Or how about the emergency session that was called by Congress in order to enforce an order for Terry Shiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted so she could be kept alive?

Where were these same Congressmen (it's safe to say men since, afterall, that's who it was) when 11year old Haleigh Poutre was severly beaten with a baseball bat to her head, thrown down the stairs and/or beaten with closed fists in November 2004? She's been on life support since without any hope of awakening to the life she had before this "incident."

Her stepfather has been trying to gain custody of Haleigh, claiming he is the de facto parent, and aruges that keeping her alive is in her best interest.

The thing is, if Haleigh dies, he will thus be charged with murder.

Thank heavens the Massachusetts high court recognized this fact, stating "that Strickland could not prove that his role in Haleigh's life was 'of a loving or nurturing nature, or even that it was beneficial to the child.'

As some of you may know, this case was decided in the midst of Oregon's Right to Die law that was just upheld by the SCOTUS. Haleigh has already suffered enough, why keep it going? The point of Right to Die laws mean a person gets to choose how they want to die when faced with a terminal illness, or, as in Haleigh's case, no chance of ever waking out of her persistent vegitative state.

A right to die with dignity and respect, instead of throwing up black char because it's all that's left in your body, is as much a case of bodily autonomy as is a woman's right to choose (in my opinion anyway).

But I suppose opposers to abortion and right to die laws are consistent in that they don't think any one person has the right to decide what is best for their own bodies and families.

Supporters of right to die laws, such as myself, believe an individual should be able to choose how they get on this earth and how they leave it. Having had the experience of watching a few men die of AIDs related illnesses, it's not at all enjoyable to watch someone slowly die an often painful death. I remember that B. began to show signs of dementia the sicker he got (which also happened to be as he neared death). That is hard for people to both cope and deal with while they are watching and/or taking care of someone who is dying.

It can also be hard for the person who is dying to watch her family take care of her and there is nothing she can do about it. There are times when it can get so bad, caregivers and those needing the care alike pray for a quick, silent death so as not to suffer anymore.

For me, the bottom line is that I would love to be able to choose when and how I die, but I do realize I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and die instantly. In that case, I at least get the how (fast) but not the when (when I'm 101 would be nice). I am a DNR yet I also understand that piece of paper doesn't matter when your partner or family wants to keep you alive. If I were to ever end up in a persistent vegitative state, I don't want to be kept alive for the sake of others.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian was the man who brought dr. assisted suicide into mainstream focus. Since then, several others have taken steps to offer the same practices to their community. And I believe it's a good thing.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Employees of Wal-Mart, move to Maryland!

Thank heavens for Democratic controlled state governments right? Because here is a case where Wal-Mart is clearly wrong in not providing adequate health care benefits for its employees and yet both MD's House and Senate voted along party lines yesterday because, as the spokesperson for Wal-Mart so adequately stated, the votes were driven by "partisan politics."

Nevermind that a large portion of Wal-Mart employees eat on local taxpayers dime or that several more have no health insurance coverage whatsoever.

I think is my all-time favorite saying by people who are usually in the wrong to begin with:

"This vote was never about health care," Hurst said. "In allowing a bad bill to become a bad law, the General Assembly took a giant step backward and placed the special interests of Washington, D.C., union leaders ahead of the well-being of the people they serve. And that's wrong." (emphasis mine)

Well, if the Wal-Mart's all over the world (oh, wait, they pay people in other countries better than they do here) would pay their employee's a real wage which included real benefits, take 401-k and sick leave for example, then state legislatures wouldn't have to make laws that direcly applied to them.

The bill will require private companies with more than 10,000 employees in Maryland to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on employee health benefits or make a contribution to the state's insurance program for the poor. Wal-Mart, which employs about 17,000 Marylanders, is the only known company of such size that does not meet that spending requirement.
I truly hate Wal-Mart and one day, they too will fall and I'm hoping it will hurt.
Keep reading....

Chief Justice Roberts Dissents

The Supreme's have ruled on the Oregon Law that allowed physician assisted suicide and, in true conservative fashion, our new Chief Justice, along with Justices Scalia and Thomas, dissented while Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority (Justices O'Connor, Souter, Ginsburg, Stevens and Breyer) in a 6-3 vote.

It's rumored that Kennedy, who is usually more conservative, will be the new swing voter when Justice O'Connor retires and her replacement steps in.

Now we just need to get the Supreme's to hurry and decide on Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood so O'Connor's voice will still be heard and not Alito's.
Keep reading....

Monday, January 16, 2006

Random Readings

How come Chile, Liberia and the Phillipines (along with other countries of course) can elect women as Presidents, yet we, who tend to be more progressive than all of those countries combined, still elect white man after white man after white man?

I was very excited to read that our new Governor, Tim Kaine, is ready to attack urban sprawl and traffic. Yay!!

Did you know that more and more women are choosing to have c-sections as opposed to vaginal births? I say why mess with nature....let the birth take its natural course, only interrupting if when needed. But hey, I'm only one woman who ended up having an emergency c-section because my placenta ruptured and then my water broke. My body was aborting the fetus at 37 weeks. Granted a scheduled c-section takes the guessing game out of the When question, but isn't a pregnancy supposed to end naturally if at all possible (not withstanding abortion obviously)?
Keep reading....

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I don't think anything else needs to be said about the teens who beat up the 3 men who were homeless, thinking it was rather humorous and all that. It's sickening and I hope they pay for it dearly.
Keep reading....

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Munich Take II

I saw it tonight and wow, what a fabulous movie! I liked the graininess of the film, the sympathetic protaganist, the feeling behind the characters as they definitely were not one dimensional. I said before that it looked good and now I'm tellin' you it is good. Hurry and see it or buy it on DVD when it comes out in a few months.

Speilberg did an excellent, I think, at portraying the reasons why the Palestanians and Israeli's fight continuously. Although the film centered mostly on the Israeli take on things, it helps remind viewers that Jesus was indeed a Jew and his people want their land and safety back.

I also realized that the U.S. backs Israel for purely selfish reasons. We don't need the land nor do we care what happens to its people. We want the sanctity of it, the idea of holiness and divine righteousness is supposedly holds. Why, I do believe Israel might count as an icon.

Warning: this movie jerks your emotions all over the place and they do kill people and show it all so it's not for the anti-violence type of person.

(I wanted to see Brokeback Mountain but of course it's playing at only one theater and that's in Richmond so I may have to wait 'til it comes out on DVD. Damnit.)
Keep reading....

Friday, January 13, 2006

Spelling Bee Day

I took a break from the Alito hearings to attend the Spelling Bee at Peanut's school. Wow, it was kinda neat!

This picture of Peanut spelling his first word wrong: doctor. Instead of spelling it 'doctor, he spelled it docter. Oh well.

I do wonder if he did it on purpose though because he had talked about getting eliminated as he didn't want to go to the city-wide spelling bee. But, we didn't go over the word doctor because I just didn't think about it. We went over 'condensation,' 'exoskeleton' and 'typhoon,' but not 'doctor.' Agh.

So, having answered wrong on the first round, he got his bottle of water and came to sit with me. Thankfully, he was not upset he had lost which also makes me wonder if he had done it on purpose.

He ate lunch afterwards and then we left to go pick up something for the cats. It was by the Metro Richmond Zoo so we headed there for some warm afternoon fun! That's where the pictures of the giraffe's came from.

However, the more I go to this zoo, the more it bothers me. The gibbons where on a small island no longer than 10 feet at least in the middle of a pond. The tigers aren't even on 1 acre (maybe close to it) and have no shelter. The only animals that probably have ample room are the smaller gibbons, spider monkeys and others of their size. None of the cages have covers and most had no place for the animals to go to get out of the weather.

The zoo is slowly making changes and perhaps those are some of the changes they want to make, but it still doesn't help eleviate the sad feelings in my heart for the diminished lives of the animals in capativity.

Tigers like to play and are forever curious. The new black bear paces the fence line since his pen backs the woods. Lions need stimulation.

Who knows, maybe I just know nothing of what goes on in zoo's to begin with. I do know giraffe's have very long, pointed purple tongue's and Peanut thought it was cool to feed them for all of 2 handfuls of zoo food.


Keep reading....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Senator Schumer

He's kind of being an ass. Yes, he's asking really good questions, but he could at least let Alito attempt to answer before cutting him off doncha think? And no one likes a patronizing tone regardless of what political party they may belong to.
Keep reading....

Potentially good movie

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. But we'll see soon enough. Sometime later this month actually.

I'm not so sure because it's about a white American trying to find comedy in Iran and it seems the joke is there is no humor in Islam to find.
Keep reading....

Day 4 of Alito Hearings

  1. They're still talking about Vangaurd and Princeton. I'd be frustrated, too. Regarding the whole Vanguard case, if he had "lived up to his word" as Senator Hatch so eloquently stated, then Alito would have recused himself from the case at the very beginning. That means there shouldn't have been a motion asking him to recuse himself first.
  2. The republicans are still apologetic for the democrats line of questioning. 'Cause, you know, they never act like Senator's Kennedy and Leahy when questioning a democratic nominee.
  3. We know that Alito said no one is above or below the law, yet he pretty much believes the President shouldn't have to get approval from Congress to wage war against countries like, say, Iran.
  4. Senator Biden really does ask some hard questions, one of which stumped the otherwise quick-on-his-feet Alito.
  5. Framers said federal judges have life tenures so Alito believes that, unless we change the constitution, we're stuck with them 'til they retire and/or die.
  6. Alito's wife is finally wearing something that's non-flashy and distracting.

And it's only 10:45.

Keep reading....

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Reality of Choice

How come people had such severe reactions when a woman wrote about her choice to have a selective reduction when she found out she was pregnant with triplets, yet there wasn't so much as a splash regarding this opinion piece in November's WashPo?

As I exited the car like some kind of odd celebrity, I wasn't prepared for the older woman who shoved her face an inch from mine and screamed that I was murdering my baby. I wasn't prepared for the looks of pure hate, no, the looks that could kill. I seem to vaguely recall being warned not to make eye contact, but I did, and I saw what I thought was someone who would gladly murder me to keep me from entering the clinic.
I really like what she asked in her last paragraph:

In America, I need to know: Where is the place for people like me, who feel it is important for a civilized society to make abortion safe and available for those who need it and who also believe that the ending of a pregnancy, however it happens, also releases a tiny spirit into the air?

Where do people like her go? It seems the loudest voices are to either extreme: you're either a murderer or not pro-choice enough. I know there is a diverse bunch within the pro-choice movement, but sometimes the smaller voices get lost in all the noise.

I'm sure no one wanted to point this particular article out because it gives real proof just how hateful anti-choicers can be at clinic protests (and other places of course).
Keep reading....

More Alito

Senator's Specter and Kennedy just argued for about 10 minutes whether or not Senator Specter received the letter of request for information from Kennedy's office.

Senator Grassley has referred to us liberals as "the other side," "the left wing," "leftist members," etc. Isn't he just so nice?

And he commended Alito on his consistent answers and his job well done thus far.


Before they broke for lunch, Senator Kennedy made sure he got the response about the letter, from both his and Senator Specter's aides, that was sent on December 20th to Specter's office on the official record.

Oh for cripes sake.
Keep reading....

Evasiveness and Alito

My brain can't even wrap around the evasiveness to which is Judge Alito right now. When a certain Senator (sadly, I can't remember who) directly asked Alito to clear up the answer he had given yesterday with regards to the Princeton alumni club he belonged to, Alito still went on a, "They took away my ROTC!" rant. Still no answer except his continuing, and convenient, case of amnesia.

The Senator of Illinois didn't appreciate Alito's unwillingness to rescind his original comment from 1985, where, in a memo, Alito stated his belief that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. I think it was the Senator of OK that said it was okay if Alito didn't want to take back this statement since it was made back in 1985 and "many of us have backtracked" from previous beliefs.

Um, should someone tell him that Alito didn't backtrack, but instead said he wouldn't rescind that comment as in he wouldn't take it back?

Why is it okay for a Republican and/or Conservative to "flip flop" yet when a Democrat or Liberal does it, they can't make up their minds and are considered wishy-washy?

Oh! the Senator of OK also said something to the effect, "I'll bet that a majority of Americans don't think it's proper for courts to use foreign law." Does he have any real numbers to back that up? Nope.

During the 15 minute break, a caller was upset that committee members were entering media reports on the record.

Another quote via Alito, "The president has authority in foreign affairs." I hope he's not referring to our current president because that statement just made me laugh.

Kennedy is up for the 2nd round now, following Specter. Both have asked some hard questions actually.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


A republican who called during the lunch reccess said this:

We need judges who will sit on our courts and bring us back to morality.
But first he likened abortion to people (aka women) who want to have sex without any of the consequences thereafter. Men have consequences thereafter? They have the option of walking away from the whole deal while women have to carry the fetus inside, her body investing every cell in order to create a living being she may or may not want. I think said caller needs to think a little harder about what actually happens after conception first, then spout off the usual fundi diatribe that abortion equals birth control.

Because, yeah, that's exactly why abortion exists.


(Alito's beginning to look a little battle weary and Spector's sounding older.)
Keep reading....

Alito hearings

If he keeps answering the way he has been thus far, he'll be confirmed without a doubt.

A few quotes from his opening statements yesterday:

"A judge can't have any agenda. A judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case. A judge certainly doesn't have a client."

"A judge's only obligation, and it's a solemn obligation, is to the rule of law."

"When I became a judge, I stopped being a praticing attorney."

"No person in this country, no matter how high or powerful, is above the law and no person in this country is below the law."

"Good judges are always open to the possibility of changing their minds based on the next brief they read or the next argument made by an attorney that's appearing before you or by a comment that is made by a colleague during the conference on the case when the judges privately discuss the case."

"Use what talent I have to serve my country by upholding the rule of law."

He's less Manchurian Candidate and more stealth than Roberts was. But seriously, he's saying all the right things although I think it's only the Republican Senators on the committee who are most sure of this fact. He's also appearing to be genuine and sincere.
Keep reading....

Monday, January 09, 2006


Virginia is trying to be like Indiana, yay.

Orange emailed me yesterday to let me know that Julie posted a piece about Delegate Marshall's attempt to stop single women (read homosexual women) from having children by any means deemed unnatural. This means doctors will not be allowed to perform in vitro, in vivo or any medical procedure on single women that would result in a pregnancy that is not originally conceived via sexual intercourse.

Agh. Why do I still live here?

At least Black won't be taking part in this General Assembly session since he lost in his bid for re-election to a Democrat.

Oh, if that weren't enough, Virginia seeks to require physicians who perform any medical procedure's on minors to notify said minor's parents. There are also the usual anti-choice bills but so far there are only 2. I'm sure they will be increased as time goes by. Cuccinelli, it appears, will not be putting TRAP out there for fear he'll be humiliated yet again, I'm sure. His proposal just happened to come up on Pro-Choice Lobby Day last year much to his dismay.

(Hey, this looks worthy of our taxpayer money, though.)

Somewhere I read that Virginia was also trying to copy Florida's Shoot first, Ask later law but I can't find it now.
Keep reading....

U.S. Women Without Borders

I don't know how many of you are aware the group exists as it's kind of new. Right now they are focusing on trafficking of women and girls and the fact there is a 1 year time limit for minor's to apply for asylum. There are so many reasons why it is wrong (not to mention limiting) to only give minors 1 year to apply for asylum after they escaped from their traffickers.

1) If a young woman has been living on the streets for that year, how and where would she find out about her chance at asylum? Will there be huge posters throughtout the city to inform them? We know the Phillipines and several other Asian cultures are big on trafficking, yet there are no advertisements to inform women and girls of their choices and rights.

The movie Human Trafficking, which was on Lifetime late last year, detailed what human trafficking was like in the U.S. when Russian girls were brought here to be prostitutes (slaves).

2) What if the young woman is brought to a country other than her own, such as from Russia to the U.S., where the language spoken is not familiar? If she doesn't know English very well, how will she know she can apply for asylum within that first year of breaking free from the trafficking "trade"? How will she know where to go as we have a completely different government going on.

3) For the common sense person, how many 16 year olds know what the laws of their state are, much less their country? Ask your random U.S. teenager and I'm sure many would have no idea who our president, vice president or Secretary of Defense is. Many don't realize we have a state and federal congress, how many members are allotted from their state, much less the name of those people.

Limiting minor women to only 1 year is constricting and asks a lot out of those who just went through hell. Girls within the "trade" are getting younger and younger which means they began totally unaware of the world around them only to be thrown into having sex with adult men who are, at times, old enough to be their father.

If this whole thing disgusts you as it does me, please sign their petition. Every signature helps and you never know when someone is going to actually listen.
Keep reading....

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I'm totally obssessed with it now probably because classes are over (at least 'til fall) and I've got lots of time on my, er, hands.

So today I went looking around this site and wow, what great stuff I could make!! Take this poncho with sleeves and a scarf attached for instance, does it not look cool?

But first, I must finish up the kids sweater I'm learning how to make. It's not something I'd put Peanut in (besides, it's too small), but some kid somewhere will love it I'm sure.

When I'm finished with said sweater and the chain link scarf I'm currently working on, I'll post pictures!

I did finish up those long fingerless gloves for my niece and she's not worn them once. *sigh*
Keep reading....

Indigenous peoples and Abramoff

I find it rather interesting that the MSM is largely ignoring the effect Abramoff's behavior has had on the Indian tribes he was supposed to help.

Led on by what they say were his false promises of political access, leaders of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, which is based here, paid Abramoff and his partners about $32 million for lobbying and other services -- more than $38,000 for each of their 837 tribal members. By their accounting, they got very little in return.
Tribal leaders trusted Abramoff would deliver a chance. That chance consisted of representation, a voice, a hope that their small reservations would be saved.

"Abramoff and his partner are the contemporary faces of the exploitation of native peoples," said David Sickey, a member of the tribal council. "In the 17th and 18th century, native people were exploited for their land. In 2005, they're being exploited for their wealth."
What Abramoff and his team did is reprehensible and they should be punished by life in prison, within the general population, too. Let them know what life is really like and that Shawshank Redemption was pure fiction. There is no excuse for exploiting a culture that, unfortunately, choose to rely on white men to get what they needed to keep that culture safe.

(I have always found it interesting that, perhaps feeling guilty for their ancestors stripping Indians of their land and dignity, our Congress decided that reservations should be allowed to have casino's and are allowed to profit heavily from them. Indians need money? Hey, let's give them tax-free casino's! This has essentially added gambling to their list of aflictions: alcohol, domestic violence, diabetes, heavy poverty, etc.)
Keep reading....

Friday, January 06, 2006

job seekers

I've begun the search for a full-time job that I would like going to everyday. I have already determined that I don't want to go corporate though the money is much better there, I have to like myself when I look in the mirror at least. Something so small I know but at least I only have to live with myself (Peanut is not aware of what mommy does at work exactly, he just knows I go there and then I get money).

Also, I have decided to apply to grad school to get a master's in Sociology. Yeah, I'm nuts. February 1st I'll be making the appt to take the GRE's and then it's up to the admissions board whether or not I begin to take classes in the fall.
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Isn't it ironic....

That DeLay's own republican peeps in Congress want him replaced, saying, "there [is] no room in the leadership for [him]"?

I find this really quite funny.
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Wal-Mart again

Now they are being accused of purposely linking African American DVD title suggestions to online customers who search for "Lord of the Apes" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Honestly, I think this was a complete mistake and misunderstanding because those searches link other titles the shopper may be interested in randomly. There is no puppet master sitting in the same room with the server saying, "Oh look! Another black person is lookin' for the monkey's! Let's make sure they can only watch their own kind on tv!"*

Really, aren't there more important things to zing Wal-Mart for, such as low wages, the amount of employees who are on state funded assistance programs, purposely hiring young people who don't realize they don't have to take that shit anymore, hiring of illegal aliens, sweatshops?

*Complete sarcasm, please don't take that seriously.
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Don't forget Alito hearings!

Day 1 of the confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito begin Monday, January 9th. I suspect this one won't be anything like what Chief Justice Roberts went through.

What Congress needs is a good dose of empathy.

Oh, you'll be able to listen/watch what happens here.
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More carnage

Add to the 130 people who were killed a few days ago in Iraq the 125 who were killed today.

Yet the Shrubites still stand by the "fact" that violence has not been escalating in Iraq, but getting better.

And this is just something I found that's a pretty good read:

One of those studies, released this fall at the United Nations, concluded that the number of armed conflicts has declined by 40 percent since the end of the Cold War. And, according to the 2005 Human Security Report, 2004 had the lowest number of conflicts in almost 30 years. That includes not only wars between countries, but civil wars and all forms of violent political conflict. Only terrorism is on the rise.

In perhaps the best news of all, the study -- funded by the governments of Sweden, Norway, Canada, Britain and Switzerland -- found the number of deaths per conflict plummeting along with the number of wars.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Peanutisms and Dogs

So, in order to do away with the melancholia that seems to be descending rapidly on this joint, I'm gonna share with you a few words o'wisdom per Peanut. Or perhaps I should call them spontaneous funnies?

A few weeks ago we were driving home yet again along a dark and dreary road. Sometimes, in order to ensure Peanut will stay awake the entire trip home, we'll have a screaming contest. When he tried to do his usual earpiercing scream but could not, he promptly said to me,

"Oh darn, I lost my girl scream!"

Two days ago we were walking in the hallway together at home. Peanut starts to tell me the story of a boy in his class that talked like a girl.

Me: "Peanut, what have I told you about that? Everyone sounds the same right now. Girls and boys don't necessarily talk different."

Him: "But mom, he may not talk like a girl, but he does sound like one."

Me: Sigh. "That's the same thing Peanut."

Then he just walked away.

Today he was the class spelling bee champion. I think it's amazing how I don't have to drill him on spelling words because he's an outstanding speller. Tonight I asked him to spell blanket, shower, together, scrub, know (tricky because of the silent 'k') and juice; he spelled them all right but had a little trouble with juice. This now means he'll be in the school spelling bee next week. Wish us luck!

Now on to the dog and cat pictures!

This little pit follows me everywhere. Essentially we rescued her from my sister's ex-boyfriend approximately 8 years ago. She still refuses to be shut-in anywhere but will stay as long as the door is open. Shia also doesn't like it when anything is thrown over her head, toward her or shoved at her. My dad and I both know the sound of our belts coming off our pants will send her running. Yeah, she has just a few emotional scars left over from the few months dumbass had her. When Peanut isn't here, she sleeps with me, curling up to fit into my curves, which essentially translates into the fact that she cuddles.

I just recently found out Ms. Kitty is a flushed calico and I've had her for at least 10 years. What's up with that? I also found out that she's got a 3/4 tattoed on her belly which means she was a breeder kitty and dumped when she no longer suited her owners. She's a very lovey cat who is at least 12 years old but you'd never guess it the way she plays at night. When I first got her back from my ex-husband (different story for another day), she would eat everything in sight, including people food. Now she is thriving and has stopped knocking cracker boxes over onto the floor (but will still knock your water glass over in an attempt to get some if her water bowl is empty).

Btw, these are just 2 of the 6 animals I have. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats. When I move out of this joint, which will be as soon as I find a full-time job, I plan on taking Shia with me and adopting another pit. Yes, we like animals. Plus, having 2 or more dogs helps with separation anxiety and helps to teach the good dogs the bad dogs new tricks. ;)
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I'm not much in the mood for blogging about the 12 miners who died when the mine collapsed, or about the 46 violations the mine had prior to the collapse, that the sole survivor is in a coma and may have brain damage or how someone screwed up and Wednesday at midnight families were told their men were alive yet 3.5 hours later the reports were rescinded. But it's nice to know where their priorities lie, isn't it?

Or that Pat Robertson has yet again proved he should not be allowed near any microphones, television crews or generally allowed on air after things happen such as the serious (massive) stroke that has left Arial Sharon in a physician induced coma because his brain was bleeding profusely.

Then there is the family of 4 who were murdered in their home Sunday, New Year's Day, here in Richmond.

And let us not forget the floods in northern California, the fires raging in Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona (which made it in the Guardian) and the overall weird weather the entire world has been experiencing lately.

People are dying everyday in Iraq due to the immense tensions present there I'm sure (sarcasm), more than 130 in two days; a skating rink roof collapses in Germany killing at least 15 people, including children (the picture attached to that link is horrifyingly truthful) and we bombed Iraq Monday night only to get it wrong....again....resulting in more civilians lives being lost to an unjust and mislead war.

Who wants to watch the news anymore if all they're gonna see is death, destruction and the ruination of the world by a vengeful Mother Nature?

Not me says I.
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Calendar of Events

I found Earth Calendar by accident last year and I love it. So I'm passing it on to you, my anonymous readership. The website lists holidays from all over the world and for every religion, even paganism.

With that said, were you aware that March 3rd is World Book Day?

Or that April 2nd is International Children's Book Day?

January 16th is Religious Freedom Day. Perhaps we should tell the fundamentalists of every religion that on this day in particular there can be no whining of secularism.

How can we have a Leif Erikson Day when supposedly Columbus was the first to discover America? And why is this such an obscure holiday when liars such as Columbus are still revered?

Seriously, check out the interesting and somewhat obscure holidays some, most or all the United States observes. Some are quite laughable, such as Sweetest Day.
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Abramoff to plead guilty

Do you think it's because he knows he's up Shits Creek without a paddle? Abramoff's guilty plea and subsequent sentencing will have huge implications on Democrats and Republicans alike since he had his hands in a lot of things.

The plea deal opens the prospect that Abramoff could provide testimony about members of Congress and congressional staffers in a wide-ranging political corruption investigation focused on his lobbying activities.
Or could it be that his co-defendant was going to testify against Abramoff in order to save his own skin?

His co-defendant in that case, Adam Kidan, agreed last month to plead guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud and to testify against Abramoff.

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