Thursday, December 29, 2005

Looking back at 2005

"I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever." The Mayor of London, shortly after July's transit attacks.

Hello but does anyone remember the London bombings? You'd think it had never happened the way Americans don't hear about it in the news, the way Bush keeps saying the same old things over and over about the war on terror keeping us safe at home. Who's home? Isn't England part of our "homefront?" What are we really doing to prevent such attacks here?


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Who's Stroking Your Holiday?

I saw that Congress is considering a bill (or resolution?) to protect Christmas, I presume, in the context of Fox News' lovely phrase "the war on Christmas." Oh, the suffering majority! Can we please stop this war because it makes me, someone who's MINORITY religion doesn't celebrate Christmas, feel like an ENEMY of Christmas (which is wrong because I'm a big fan of the mortal Jesus, if anyone remembers him at this time of year...)

Last year I remember people getting offended when the school my niece attends changed their Christmas celebrations to Holiday celebrations. I didn't get the problem since it was a PUBLICLY FUNDED school. Jews got blamed, although I'm not aware of any up there in rural Illinois, when it was apparent to me that the real culprit against "Merry Christmas" was SECULARISM and the wish among many to keep sticky, awkward religion separate from PUBLICLY FUNDED school activities (after all, Christ isn't in Christmas much these days even for Christians, ask the Pope about it).

Why anyone cares which religions Target markets to is beyond me. And a Holiday Tree is a laughable attempt by a seller to market a tree to a larger audience, not to take Christmas out of the picture. So there's another trend that angry Christians might want to fight: opportunistic CAPITALISM! Besides, if you're hankering for a dose of Corporate-Christmas, just walk into any Starbucks and take a deep breath.

Now a bunch of conservative blogs are saying that the U.S. GOVERNMENT Post Office isn't issuing religious stamps (Madonna and Child stamps). First of all, USPS is IN FACT ISSUING MADONNA AND CHILD STAMPS. And second, they ARE ISSUING MADONNA AND CHILD STAMPS. Get yours now!

It seems to me that blogs like these are short on facts and big on fear (try to find a stone cold fact among their paranoid, bleeping threads):
What War Michelle?

And why in the world does "Happy Holidays" make someone angry? Why do you choose to see the cup half empty? Why must everyone and our government stroke YOUR holiday by name?

Merry Christmas!
Happy Chanukah!
Good Kwanza to you!
Happy New Year!
Enjoy the winter solstice (which is truly the basis for this season, and the tree, anyway...HELLO)!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush and our Constitution

Bush claims that his test for Supreme Court nominees is that they adhere to a strict interpretation, you could say literal, of the American Constitution. He talks about upholding it in one breath, while he's undermining it with his own actions--spying on Americans outside of established law (when there appears no need to do so!!!). According to John McCain, the White House can legally spy on anyone and get court approval AFTERwards (within 72 hours).

They choose not to do that, and publically admit it.

What are these fascists doing to us?

In his press brief today Bush misleadingly says they get oversight (A LIE), he says he's not using dicatorial tactics (A LIE). They basically say the truth is a lie, and lies are the truth. It's 1984 folks. We need to get these crazies out of the White House, pronto.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Let's Trust Bush and his cronies to tap our wires without oversight and in SECRET

Bush Vows to Continue Spying on Americans

Bush and his Justice Department can willy nilly spy on U.S. Citizens. Sure they say that they only spy on terrorist connections, but with Bush's caveat of, "You're with us or against us," pretty much anyone who disagrees with him falls into the terrorist file. I think that there's reason to believe that they've spied on anti-war protestors, maybe they spy on political opponents as well. Who knows? There's NO Congressional or Judicial oversight, and it's SECRET. If this program deserves the light of day, and could deter terrorists, why is it secret? King George indeed.

Wake Up America. We have a dictator and a CABAL running our government. How do we trust it?? Impeach now.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Reading between the LIES

Every time I hear the Bush administration statements and Condi Rice say something about how America does not torture, I keep thinking, "Oh, they can say that and there's still technically room for us to hire mercenaries to carry out the torture on our behalf."

Who are they trying to kid? Most Americans don't care about torture do they? So are Bush and co. saying this for Europeans because they think Europeans are stupid? It's so odd because I know they don't really care what the rest of the world thinks so they must be trying to convince Americans of something. Maybe they are saying this for the evangelists...but then there's Pat Robertson who doesn't seem to care about torture either (it's definitely an eye, or worse, for an eye for that 'we don't turn the other cheek here, Jesus' Christian).

Boys are better

Ever since I was pregnant with my son people have informed me that boys are easier to raise than girls. It's usually moms that say this--and since we were having a bit of a rough time with our screaming, hardly sleeping baby (in the beginning) it didn't mean a lot to me. And I never thought about the comment as much as I thought about how boys are thought by science to be more emotionally sensitive than girls (Shocker huh? I think that goes in large part to explain why men tend to be more violent--the suppression of emotion in boys).

The other day I ran into a man that said, "Your husband must be so glad to have a son...boys are better." I'm sure you can find such comments among those of all creeds, but let's just say he was an old, traditional man.

Hmmm. That struck me a litte. Boys are better? How do you so easily say that to a woman who used to be a girl?!

I got to thinking. What Mr. Traditional was saying isn't very far from what all the moms have been saying in an indirect way. Why have all these moms being throwing girls under the bus as "hard to raise?"

Let's just say this, people: boys and girls are different, not better. What's more, boys and boys and girls and girls are DIFFERENT!

Best to all parents and those who love children,
Urban Pink

Monday, November 21, 2005

Looking for a prostitute?

There are over a million sex slaves in the world. Lots of children and women are kidnapped to serve customers for someone else's profit. Message to "johns": Don't keep this trade alive. STOP THE DEMAND.

Murtha makes sense...

From Marjorie Cohen:

Rep. John Murtha's call for an end to the occupation was echoed by Larry Johnson, a former CIA expert on terrorism. Johnson wrote in the Booman Tribune Friday, "The Iraqi insurgency consists of at least 26 different groups and draws upon as many as 250,000 supporters. These groups represent a spectrum of beliefs ranging from secular nationalists to hard core jihadists. The only thing they agree on is that they hate the invader, which is us."

Last month, William E. Odom, Director of the National Security Agency under Reagan and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, penned an article on called "We Should 'Cut & Run.'" He wrote, "We can't prevent a civil war by staying" in Iraq. "For those who really worry about destabilizing the region, the sensible policy is not to stay the course," according to Odom.

"The American public is way ahead of the members of Congress," Murtha said. The quagmire Bush created in Iraq is draining life from our soldiers and money from our coffers.

The United States should not simply withdraw some of its troops from Iraq. The occupation must end now.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bush lies about torture

So Bush states that the United States does not torture. Has anyone asked him about CIA torture prisons in Eastern Europe, or many other countries to whom we export our prisoners to be tortured on our behalf?

McCain makes well-reasoned arguments why we should forbid torture. 1. It's unreliable, rarely credible 2. It hurts/haunts the torturer more than the tortured 3. It's against American values 3. It makes us just like our current and past enemies 4. It sets us up for the same treatment in the future by different enemies. See for his statement, and Molly Ivins points out just how tough and manly it must feel to torture powerless prisoners that our completely under your control. Wow, too bad that torture DOESN'T WORK.

My husband and I watched the 9-11 National Geographic special recently on DVD. At the end, they quote bin Laden saying, "We love death. America loves life."

Do we love war or peace? Do we love torture? If we want to be like bin Laden, we, too shall come to love violence and death.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Arnold, Bush and DeLay

So I was wrong in the post below, Arnold does have a need for money or he wouldn't have been so upset about Bush courting Californians for political donations. The current state of our state and country makes me sick. This is what I said to my friends across the nation recently:

On the political front, although I'm eagerly watching the Bush admin and the "moral" Republicans and Congress' filth rise to the surface I take no pleasure in it. It makes me sick that we've put up with this crap for years, and I'm equally disgusted with how I've begun to realize how both parties, the lobbyists, and the PACs that have proliferated in the last 5 years in Washington use division and political differences against one another to fund each other. They would all die if we actually had a unified, effective government that served the people first--they all play the same game.

Why can't we just elect efficient nerds instead of money-driven politicos? Money-driven politics. In my mind, money is not a first amendment issue (free expression). We ought to limit it or come up with a third and rational party, or a different form of governing all together. This is hardly democracy when no ones paying attention, or voting, or getting counted as a vote. And our media is only slowly gathering truth-speaking steam (and only because it's so damn hard to ignore anymore).

In California our ridiculous governor and our frightened unions have spent $ MILLIONS on advertising for single issues that shouldn't even be brought before the few voters that will turn out for it (it's a "special" election that could have been decided legislatively). It's gross to think about how that money could go to good use in our society instead--or at the very least it could stay in the hands of the families that need it (or the governor could use it to pay down our state debt that just keeps growing and growing...). We are in sorry shape.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Who knew, is Arnold a girly man?

So my husband's very angry that Arnold fears gay marriage enough to step out and veto the CA gay marriage bill and too chicken to tell us the real reason why, acting instead as if he's the protector of our courts' domains.

So I'm thinking I'm not angry because I simply want to know what got to Arnold to make him veto this.

Money? Doesn't need it. Power? Maybe he does have presidential ambitions, but his wife doesn't have them for him (according to her appearance on Oprah)--and everyone's got the feeling that we can't wait to have a real governor again someday soon.

Hate? Hmmm. Could he be a latent girly man? Does he actually fear girly men?

He certainly looks a lot like a buff chicken homophobe to me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

TV Christian discredited yet?

BLB Mat 26: "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. "

Pat Robertson does not practice Christianity. And, he's doubly a hypocrite because he actually criticized Islam and the Koran because it can support killing...

murder is murder, Robertson.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Believe in goodness!

Oprah is a wise woman, she says, "You do not become what you want, you become what you believe."


Monday, July 04, 2005

The Government is killing us with mad agribusiness lobbyists

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agribusinesses have hamstringed our state health departments by OUTLAWING public notification of tainted meat. Federal regulations FORBID states from notifying the public with recalls, testing and labelling! OUR FOOD IS NOT PROTECTED BY OUR GOVERNMENT!

Who's looking out for you? Don't turn to our federal government first, that's for sure.

The California legislature passed a bill that allowed publicizing places that buy tainted meat. Schwarzeneger VETOED it, stating that we should work out a better deal with the government.

In January 2004 bones from a federally recalled batch of contaminated "mad cow" meat; everybody acted too late to stop a restaurant in Oakland from serving soup made with those bones. People who ingested that soup may not know they have Creutzfeldt-Jakob for years. We can thank the federal government for this risky event. Federal inspectors visited the restaurant 10 days after the recall was issued, too late to stop the soup. The state was not, is not, allowed to act alone.

**Haven't blogged in awhile--I gave birth to, and my husband and I welcomed into the world, a beautiful, loving, hungry and sometimes fussy little boy on June 17, 2005. I blog for them.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

There are more slaves in the world than ever TODAY

Did you know more than a billion children are forced into slavery (including but not limited to factory labor) or prostitution right now?

About 300,000 are child soldiers who are killing and mutilating other adults and children.

You can buy slaves in Africa for $40 each, cheaper for children, and this is a bargain without even considering that it cost about $40,000 (in today's dollars) to buy an African slave in Alabama in the 19th C. In other words, slavery is more plentiful and cheaper than ever. This is a worldwide shame.

Romania has an epidemic of childhood prostitution and paint thinner sniffing and the cops that know about it bribe johns so that the cops profit off of the children's exploitation as well. Kids in India produce marble tomb stones for Americans on the cheap.

The United States slavery "business" is the biggest black market after drugs and something else I can't remember. In other words, it's a big U.S. problem. It's estimated that 60% of U.S. goods are produced using child slaves--buy AMERICAN folks--but even then we should ask where the raw materials come from.

I gathered all of this from an Oprah episode. What does all this mean?

Adults have sold out children. Let's put our money where our mouths are, America!!! ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN, HERE AND ABROAD!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How to remove meaning from an American symbol...

I never thought you could actually take away or remove meaning from a symbol, until I received the following e-mail from my congressional representative today:

Many constituents have contacted me about amending the Constitution to prevent desecration of the United States flag. During a visit to the District over the Memorial Day recess, hundreds of veterans and their families in San Pedro, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach urged me to continue my support for flag protection while, several days later in Venice, protestors challenged my stand on the issue.

I respect the strong views expressed in the calls, letters and comments I have received, and want to respond directly to you.

Simply put, I support the First Amendment [Reader, don't stop here...], and have made some tough votes to protect it, including votes against the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Acts of 2004 and 2005, which in my view allowed for unnecessary and excessive economic censorship that unconstitutionally restricted free speech.

But the Supreme Court has recognized reasonable limits on free speech, and as the most respected and revered symbol of our nation and freedoms, I think the flag should be protected against desecration. Defiling the physical flag is abhorrent to me, and an amendment to protect it does not limit the right of Americans to express their views.

The flag is the symbol of our national heritage and serves as an important link between Americans and our history. Flags are placed on the coffins of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold the liberty and values it represents. Millions of homes - including mine - have displayed or flown flags since 9/11 as an extension of patriotism and solidarity.

I appreciate your taking time to share your views with me. Please stay in touch.


Member of Congress

Dear Rep. Jane Harman,

I am very disappointed to learn that you will be voting to restrict Americans' freedom of expression by supporting the flag desecration amendment. Please help stop the erosion of our freedoms and liberties by reconsidering your vote for this reactionary, unprincipled, amendment. This vote on free speech is about more than economic hardship, and it actually strikes at the true power of the American flag. As you vote to "protect" it, it will actually loose it's ability to symbolize freedom for all.

I wonder, what does freedom mean to you? I believe that the principle of freedom means that American symbols can be both respected, venerated and denigrated by Americans. This is one reason why America is unique and great. This freedom shows, or maybe showed, that we are fundamentally free. But today in America, peace means war, freedom means civil rights restrictions, and we are every day losing a sense of reality and truth and living in an Orwellian fantasy based not on principles of freedom and liberty, but of the political power of special interests and politically generous corporations. To me, a vote for restrictions on freedom of expression (e.g. flag "desecration," and even academic tinkering) is a serious erosion, and actual desecration, of the principles of freedom and liberty for all, and a vote for political power at the expense of these principles.

Symbols are not principles. Why should we protect symbols over our principles? That is a fundamental error in American democracy. And as powerful as symbols are, they are not life. They serve as forms of communication, as metaphors, and therefore they are very clearly SPEECH. Because they are like speech, their meaning depends completely on context, history, and interpretation.

I am an artist. Does this mean that my art involving the flag that I produced while I was living in New York, in reaction to 9-11, is a desecration of our national symbol [it is a flag with the word "comfort" literally cut out of it]? Who will make these interpretive decisions, Rep. Harman? What are the full consequences of this restriction on speech for which you are about to vote, and who will it most affect?

To me, individuals' fears of the flag being desecrated put America in a position of weakness, as if we are not strong enough to endure self-criticism. That's tough to support, and I would like to believe that our nation will always be strong enough to endure self-criticism. In spite of your optimistic justification for this vote, you can be certain that an amendment to protect the flag will in fact limit Americans' rights to express their views of America through her symbols--and that's exactly why certain people are gunning for it.

I understand that many veterans venerate the flag and think it should never be used as a symbol of dissent or protest. Their personal and emotional relationship to this symbol is something I can sympathize with but don't fully relate to through war, yet I also venerate our flag, and wish it to be a symbol of peace. However, ANY personally emotional or nationalistic reason for stifling the American tradition of freedom of speech is dangerous and not justified by our history of expanding liberties (this tradition is already being seriously undermined by the Bush administration and our Republican congress).

Thank you

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

God, politics, and a national park in Mississippi

There was an opinion in the L.A. Times by a man who argued that the difference between liberal and conservative Christians and Jews was that the conservatives actually believe that the bible is the word of G_d, and the liberals see the text as the opinions of man. Framing the interpretation of the bible this way seemed to pin liberals as "relativists" and conservatives as "purists."

The ridiculous thing is, if you really believe that the bible is purely the word of G_d, G_d is schizophrenic. Anyone who pulls "G_d's word" from the bible has to accept some things, and reject others, or else they are inherently contradicting themselves.

If you really believe that the bible teaches us pure knowledge about G_d, which would be "God's word," I believe that we underestimate the power and might of G_d, and overestimate our ability to understand G_d.

Lately, quite simply, I see conservatives using parts of the bible to justify selfishness, rigid control of individuals, and greed, while I see liberals hesitating to "use" the bible to justify a liberal agenda that is actually better for families' health and well-being, but we could, with equal claims on parts of the text, and in my mind, a much closer leaning toward Jesus' teachings.

As my husband often asks, "Why do so many Christians use the Jewish bible (to Christians, the "Old Testament") to justify conservative views, when the Christian bible basically was a type of reform of the older views?"

Even if we just use the Jewish bible alone to make a case for politics today, G_d's first covenant with life on earth was not just reserved for human beings, that covenant was with ALL life on earth. If this was G_d's word, it strongly argues that animals and other forms of life are of extreme value to him. And in both Christian and Jewish religions, people are considered G_d's hands, so we help maintain G_d's covenant with the earth. Therefore, one could argue that the conservative idea that G_d will repair whatever ever damage humans wage on nature, in a biblical sense, is an abuse of the human role within the covenant G_d has in this world.

If you haven't heard, and I doubt that CNN has covered it, Bush and Co. have given the mineral rights of a national park on the coast of Mississippi to the state. The state will now allow private oil and gas companies to drill inside a national nature preserve, a tax-payer owned property, and one with the biggest concentrations of bottle-nose dolphins in the world, among other formerly protected wildlife.

If Bush had ever been in charge of Eden he'd have been dreaming about how to export and exploit its treasures for money and comfort.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Bush bumps into real Christians...

At Calvin College

Radical Politicians and The Press hate Moderates

Good luck finding a talking head that has anything good to say about moderates who make win/win compromises. Welcome to the age of ABSOLUTISTS who can't stand to give or lose an inch. Remember that when these folks are arguing against legal abortion, universal healthcare, really saving social security, creating healthier environments, allowing religious freedom, etc.

This purism, this absolutism is consistent with Bush's view of Roosevelt at Yalta--he's telling us that if there's any downside to a negotiation then it's not worth making. As my brilliant husband observed, the United States would not have come into existance but for the compromise that our Northern forefathers made over slavery and our consititution. It was ugly, slavery is immoral, but the agreement formed our union, with many holding hope that slavery would end--and it did--but not before the slave trade was, quite sadly, written into our original constitution.

This is why I distrust anyone who is a "strict textualist," someone like that could cite original intent to defend slavery today. As Judaism teaches me, our texts and our religion are both very old and new (or the active verb: reform).

I will offically convert to Judaism tomorrow. I'm thrilled!

Scary, basic truths that people ignore every day...

Kerry probably won Ohio--just begin with the fact that exit polls have always been correct before 2004 Truth Out

Bush lied about why we went to war in Iraq--and we are losing whilst encouraging further hatred toward America.

Every policy Bush advocates is motivated by greed (Wall St + Social Security) and staying in power (fillibuster + stem cells research banned by the radical right). What does appearing with children who were fertility embryos mean? Does Bush expect couples to donate their unused embryos to strangers? I really want to know.

Plastics are probably causing breast cancer and early adolescence in girls.

Mercury in our environment is causing cancer and disabilities.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

You can't believe what you read in the L.A. Times--get sources!

Fox News

It wasn't that long ago that I read an article in the L.A. Times about childhood vaccines, they either stated or quoted a doctor saying, "Vaccines are no longer made with mercury." Funny then, that we are currently asking Congress to prevent this practice!!

People, we are on our own. The U.S. corporations and government are comfy bed fellows out to rob Americans of what we earn--they spare no expense--they'll take our money, leave us in debt, and endanger our health and ruin our environment. Greed for power, power for greed...

Friday, May 13, 2005

Was World War II Worth It? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Was World War II Worth It? by Patrick J. Buchanan

As Bush's chaotic Iraqi war moves toward a civil war that will probably be won by Muslim extremists, it isn't hard to fathom why Bush would begin to uncoil and criticize an imperfect history of WWII. Bush wants to look like a pure moral warrior in comparison. Buchanan is making an effort to help a fellow philosophical "purist."

Buchanan's defense of isolationism at the cost of allowing Hitler's Germany to survive and prosper in France, etc., is another example of making the perfect (purism) the enemy of the good. We currently have a country run by imperfect politicians and framed by imperfect journalists (like the rest of us) who are nearly all greedy ideologues and narcissists who have invented a fantasy world where good and evil are pure forces (no one can possibly be good and bad, or good and imperfect) and lies to keep the facade alive are the "truth."

In this purist worldview paternalism can exist (do what I tell you to do), but cooperation (let's find a solution with our opposition) is not valued, imagined, or necessary. That is how Buchanan can "purely" rationalize that since we did not stop Stalin, we didn't need to stop Hitler. That's insane--we won what we could and there is never, ever, a perfect war. To frame FDR and Churchill's reformist policy attempts as a sell out (Stalin was the one who reneged on the liberation agreements) is unfairly judgmental of those great leaders (especially compared to today's dishonest leaders--and I think it's a bad sign when our "leaders" swat at the really important legacies of past leaders) and robs every difficult negotiation of any merit. Bush has shown us that to use this kind of argument as a justification for paternalism with other countries has simply increased the number of countries with nuclear warheads. Conservatives appear to have no patience with diplomacy until they are sure they'll lose a fight. And that's usually too late because they've started several fights that are lose/lose with their paternalistic we win/you lose threats. Most Americans would agree to fight only just wars that we can win--just like WWII--and not to pick them, but that involves using diplomacy (imperfect cooperation) a hell of a lot more than war.

Ironically, that's why we're still in Iraq. People perceive it and defend it as a just and honorable war (Hussein has been stopped), but forget that that is not why we are there, and justice is not what we have brought there. Have we brought a fantasy world of good (U.S.) vs. evil (Iraqis, Muslims) and paternalism? Yup.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

PROOF THAT BUSH and company Lied to Us

t r u t h o u t - Molly Ivins | They Lied to Us:

"On May 1, the Sunday Times of London printed a secret memo that went to the defense secretary, foreign secretary, attorney general and other high officials. It is the minutes of their meeting on Iraq with Tony Blair. The memo was written by Matthew Rycroft, a Downing Street foreign policy aide. It has been confirmed as legitimate and is dated July 23, 2002. I suppose the correct clich� is 'smoking gun.'
'C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. (There it is.) The NSC (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.' "

Living in the truth -- BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!!

t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | One of These Days:

"In my humble opinion, we need two exit strategies: one to get our forces out of Iraq, and another to get George W. Bush out of the White House and into a cellblock in The Hague. Save a bunk for Mr. Blair, too. Criminals belong in prison.
But this doesn't fit the fiction, it grates against the consensus, and it also by the way would cut significantly into media profits if they were no longer able to sell fear and war. CNN's viewership went up 500% after September 11. Have you any idea the advertising dollar-value a ratings boost like that brings along? They aren't dumb. Fear sells. Soul-scorching fear sells really well.
People ask me for solutions to this, and I don't have any that will improve things in the near term. The media needs to be re-regulated, and the fairness doctrine needs to be put back into place. In order to do this, however, we have to win a whole bunch of elections, and we have to do so by beating candidates who are supremely well-funded by these media giants. Somewhere in there we have to fix that whole pesky thing about rigged corporate-owned electronic voting machines and the end of participatory democracy as we have known it. One thing at a time, right? "

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bush's EPA doesn't follow any "culture of life" principle

EPA's Brave New World of Human Testing You have to read this to believe it. We are on the verge, if we haven't already, of allowing corporations to use humans as guinea pigs for chemical testing. The really weird part of this is I find it really hard to believe that this would actually prevent corporations from using dangerous chemicals!! They'd probably just use it to help design "independent" benign tests that artificially clear their chemicals, like they did with Nutra-Sweet (anasthesia actually prevents aspartame from being absorbed in the body, like it usually is, as it turns into a formaldehyde-like substance). Rumsfeld was Chief of Staff when the FDA cleared Nutra-Sweet--and he later wound up working (probably a highly paid "consultant" for the chemical company who produces it, Searle?.

Chilled yet? Welcome to the world of chemical foods. Makes you wonder what our "free press" is really up to, doesn't it?


Bolton's qualified? Where's their principles?

Bolton article

It's simply amazing to me that people (Republicans) can go around saying that someone is smart and qualified so, in effect, no matter what else they do (bully, lie, exaggerate, intimidate, manipulate) they deserve a job, ANY job. In this case, the job involves DIPLOMACY of which Bolton has shown NONE. So in the end, I want someone to tell me how in the world, in fact, he is QUALIFIED for a DIPLOMATIC job?? Those that defend him are only left with "he's smart," which doesn't seem particularly apparent to me, but that's a judgement call...and really ironic considering that the right doesn't seem to actually value smarty pants (at universities and in science, for instance).


Friday, May 06, 2005

Bush vs. Nature; Mind Control; Cancer

I woke up this morning listening to how Bush has or wants to carve in to every state's National Park to allow industrial profit-making. It's stunning to me how corporations are allowed to have a sense of entitlement to profit from PUBLIC lands, accorded by Repulicans, but G_d forbid a child expects publicly funded healthcare. The values practiced by Republicans are so backwards and ridiculous it's no wonder they have to lie and change the meaning of words to hide their true agendas. When will American wake up?

Yesterday I was half serious when I wondered if Electromagnetic fields are numbing our brains (cell phones, hair dryers, electrical grids, wireless technologies) and that's how we've got this outrageous government and war. These fields are believed by many scientists and doctors to cause brain damage and, low and behold, the FCC is not testing anything to find out how it affects us: EMR

Cancer rates are climbing in this country. It's very likely environmental and dietary influences that are causing this. But what are we doing for it? What studies are we actually doing for this? Nearly every day in the paper their's some chemical that's linked to cancer--mercury, plastics, cosmetics...Bush and his EPA and FDA block studies that might reveal toxic issues. They simply don't study a product and then act like it's safe. This shouldn't be government's role! Another thing that occurred to me this week--you might think that doctors would be speaking up if they knew that this or that caused cancer, and some do, but the majority of doctors are like ivory tower academics, they are more interested and trained to find solutions or cures to existing problems (disease) than to PREVENT problems from happening in the first place. DO NOT LOOK TO TRADITIONAL MEDICINE FOR PREVENTION, that's all theory and witchery to those folks--most don't see it as their role in health (despite Kaiser's nice ads). So if we can't turn to our government, and we can't turn to our doctors, we need to figure out how we can find out what is harmful to us and what is not. It's up to us people; and we should listen very closely to our observant, data-collecting scientists (carefully weighing their agendas, too).


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dobson calls women who have had abortions Nazis (implicitly)

Make no mistake that the war against abortion is a war against WOMEN--when Dobson says that abortions amount to a holocaust he is saying that aborted unborn children are the victims of Nazi-like women and doctors--outrageous:

t r u t h o u t - FOCUS: Marjorie Cohn | Right to Choice Under Nuclear Attack: " James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, decried 'six or eight very squishy Republicans' who oppose the destruction of the filibuster. Dobson, who recently compared the Supreme Court to the KKK and held it responsible for the 'biggest holocaust in world history' since Roe v. Wade was decided, called the justices 'unelected and unaccountable and arrogant and imperious and determined to redesign the culture according to their own biases and values - and they're out of control.'"

It is Dobson that wishes to "redesign" the culture according to his own biases and values--the courts allow us freedom (mostly). Placing legal restrictions on behavior does not allow people freedom of will or conscience--social engineering interferes with liberty. Everyone should be entitled to act or not act on their own religious views within their person and in privacy. They differ! I believe that G_d protects the souls of all unborn children, aborted or naturally terminated:

"Before I formed you in the womb I selected you, before you were born I consecrated you..."
-Jeremiah 1:5

Bush, the simple checkers guy vs. terrorism

Dennis Miller was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart displaying his limited understanding of why the Iraq war was a bad idea and the simplistic, black and white view of the world. He said that this was in fact why he supports Bush, because Bush is a "checkers" man and Kerry was a "chess" man. The chess man deliberates and makes decisions based on observation and context, but the all-mighty checkers man just moves without much thought--quicker decisions, I guess, makes for better decisions. Well, that hasn't been true in any sense, but it just shows the silly ways that Bush supporters show support for Bush. They construct elaborate examples based on personality or style rather than substance.

So yesterday, Checkers decides that he should host the Prince of Saudi Arabia at his Texas White House (the arrogance of a Western White House is inescapable). Checkers shows the world how friendly he is with the Saudi Prince by grasping his hand in a gesture that shows brotherhood among muslims (a practice that is quite common in the muslim world).

Checkers is saying, "The Saudi Prince and me are brothers."

To me, this is as inflammatory to terrorists as is our presence in Iraq. Recently, two American journalists were targeted in Saudi Arabia by anti-American Saudi terrorists--one was killed and one was paralyzed. Our cozy relationship with the royal family is obviously doing NOTHING to help our energy policy (Bush didn't dare ask the Prince, his brother, to increase their production of oil--I guess that's a chess move?) yet his "style and personality" has a huge impact on the morale of terrorists and anti-American/Israeli forces in the middle east. It recruits!! It threaten us as well as the Saudi royal family. The Saudi Prince and Bush can't see this from their red and black checkers board--ironically it really is that simple. Cause and effect...

It's time to discontinue propping up the Saudi royal family with our military and oil needs--we are not their brothers. Cousins, sure, brothers, no.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Tonight's "Justice Sunday," A High-Tech Lynching in Prime Time

The following excerpt from the excellent article in the New York Times illustrates what people who try to control, limit and condemn other people's healthy sexuality and reproduction are usually trying to hide--their own sexual crimes, perversions and on-going sexual shame:

t r u t h o u t - Frank Rich | A High-Tech Lynching in Prime Time: "Perhaps the closest historical antecedent of tonight's crusade was that staged in the 1950's and 60's by a George Wallace ally, the televangelist Billy James Hargis. At its peak, his so-called Christian Crusade was carried by 500 radio stations and more than 200 television stations. In the 'Impeach Earl Warren' era, Hargis would preach of the 'collapse of moral values' engineered by a 'powerfully entrenched, anti-God Liberal Establishment.' He also decried any sex education that talked about homosexuality or even sexual intercourse. Or so he did until his career was ended by accusations that he had had sex with female students at the Christian college he founded as well as with boys in the school's All-American Kids choir. "

Friday, April 22, 2005

Protestants, Jews Blast Frist's Evangelical TV Role

t r u t h o u t - Protestants, Jews Blast Frist's Evangelical TV Role

This is all about abortion. I am so sick of this fight between those who want women to control their own lives in privacy and those who want to control women's lives. The more I hear about it, the more I see misogyny. Not only is opposing women's right to an abortion a dismissal of an individual woman's will, health and control of her own destiny (this I consider hatred), it also makes her invisible. In their world view, a fetus belongs to everyone but her. NO MAN WOULD STAND FOR THIS. Men even stop at these parameters with other men (an equivalent would be doping sex offenders with hormonal manipulation), but we lack the same respect for women's privacy and self-control. Maybe men were let off the hook when Paul told Christian men that they would not have to get circumcized to be Christians while he made clear that wives were subservient to them (my friend Barbara pointed this out--think about it).

Many people advocate less social control on men, more social control on women.

Anti-abortionists who work to limit abortions are instrisically arguing for more control over women. It's not a harmless argument, folks. We have an attorney general in Kansas trying to get his hands on women's medical records. Again, no man would stand for that. It was illegal (not sure now because of the Patriot Act).

It is more difficult to address the religious purism that motivates people in their anti-abortionism. Although I vehemently disagree about the destiny of human souls (I believe aborted fetuses return to G_d), I can't blame people for theologically believing that every soul is in danger and might go to pergatory if it's unnaturally ended before baptism (ugh!). It's dark, but idealistic. So why not practice what they preach, model it, and teach their children to take after them. When they start forcing their religious beliefs on others we get a theocracy, not a republic. What if Jews decided to force circumcision or kosher eating on everyone? It's just not imaginable!

So to me, this fight over abortion is a time and resource waste for everyone--I'd rather be working at ways to improve the lives of women and children. But as a society we don't do that--we'd rather just blame women for all our society's ills--as many Romans did in the end (and Roman historians, mind you).

As for abortion and birth control: Live and let live. Let it be. Let women be allowed to make good and bad decisions and live with them, men are. Save your passion and influence for yourself, your family, and your community's health and well-being. What a beautiful world that would be.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Morning-After Pills Provoke Escalating Culture War

t r u t h o u t - Morning-After Pills Provoke Escalating Culture War

THIS IS MADDENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Arch-Conservative German Elected Pope

t r u t h o u t - Arch-Conservative German Elected Pope: "Born in Bavaria on April 16, 1927, the son of a police chief, he served in the Hitler Youth during World War II when membership was compulsory, according to his autobiography.
But he was never a member of the Nazi party and his family opposed Adolf Hitler's regime, biographers have said."

He still hates gays and labels other Christians (let alone Jews) as "deficient." Sounds pretty Nazi-like to me...I will pray that he's not.

I am really struck at how much PR the vatican gets. The press will follow any big dog and pony show, eh? I mean, how much does the pope really affect American lives?? How about some congressional coverage, folks??

DeLay Banks on Guns, God and Glory

t r u t h o u t - DeLay Banks on Guns, God and Glory: "DeLay's image beamed from two huge screens at each end of the banquet hall. 'When a man's in trouble or in a good fight,' he said, 'you want to have your friends around - preferably, armed.'"

What a f-ing coward...stand with him or his friends will shoot you.

The Theocrats

t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | The Theocrats: "Though we live today in an age where official hypocrisy is as common as sunlight and shadow, the reasons for Frist's looming attack on the filibuster forge new precedent in the annals of foolishness. Twelve of 204 Bush nominations to the Judiciary have been stopped by the Democrats, those twelve being far feathers on the right wing who have no place on the bench. This equals a Judicial nominee approval rate of 95%, which is a far cry from the obstructionism of the Republican Congress during Clinton's term, when one out of three seats in the Federal court system were left empty thanks to the efforts of the Gingrich brigades."

An American just said that Christ gave us the pope.

A priest who studied with Pope Benedict XVI (and who obviously worships this man) just said that Christ gave us the apostles and the pope.

Can someone illustrate to me at what point Christ appointed a pope?


Okay, so now I care about pope issues...




These are the words being battered around by those debating the philosophy of the new Pope Benedict XVI, the German son of a cop. He thinks that some idea of "relativism" is a danger to Catholic teachings because it means that there can be no certainty.


Catholic teaching relies on certainty about G_d? No, Catholic teaching relies on people having certainty about papal teachings. Catholic priests are asking the people to rely on papal teachings about G_d.

In stark contrast, Jewish teachings (particulary reformed Jews) continually question the bible and reinterpret ("reform") the text to inform how we, as individuals, see G_d as an actor through history, and today. Rabbis do not speak for G_d, and certainly don't see themselves as representations of Christ (although in my eyes they certainly have more claim to that legacy).

One might call the approach of reform "relative" and the Catholic methods "certain," but there is no way to make a judgement about anything without giving it moral relativism (difference in value) toward something else. I mean, come on, Catholics are infamous for having some sins count for more sin than others! Mortal sins are worse than other sins--that's the definition of moral relativism (see sin).

So in the end, this "philosophical" debate is not about modern philosophy at all, it's about authority.

In my eyes, this papal claim for authority has very little to do with G_d. To me, G_d is about consciousness and awareness within people (and all life forms); I do not believe that it can be given or granted to people under the limited, political terms of a human "authority."

To me, Christianity errects an enourmous number of human obstructions and hurdles that get in the way of the idea and experience of G_d (and love, and sometimes community). I've been there.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Roosevelt Was A Radical in the White House

t r u t h o u t - Herbert: A Radical in the White House

Just a good look at what the Roosevelts were all about FAIRNESS AND EQUITY among Americans. Everytime the Bush people invoke FDR's legacy as somewhat related to their own, think of the article above. They are so far from FDR's mark it's ridiculous that they even try to relate themselves to him or his legacy. Plus, Mrs. Bush has not scratched the surface of what Eleanor accomplished in her lifetime.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The importance of apologies within families

I haven't made a random observation for awhile, they've mostly been politics whereas my interests range from art to relationships (although these very often seem controversial!).

I grew up with a father who was unfaithful to my mother several times during my childhood and teen years. He was otherwise a good man, but he never apologized for this adultery to me or my brothers. I think he apologized to my mother, and this was enough for me for a long time. And I do forgive him, but it didn't dawn on me until recently (yesterday watching Dr. Phil) that he really owed his children an apology.

When I was a teenager, I learned from his poor example. I was defiantly rebellious and independent and when I made mistakes (some biggies) I did not understand or tolerate that I owed anyone an apology or even an explanation. I also felt that no one was responsible for me or my behavior but me, and therefore no one else, particulary my parents, should be notified, informed or consulted when I did something wrong. Having been brought up in a religious family (we were not spiritual by any sense), this was a very secular and fiercely independent view that I had of myself and my role in my family. It strikes me as very American, not that unusual, sad, and very disconnected from a sheltering family.

I hope my husband's and my child or children never feel this way. I hope that we will responsibly apologize for every wrong we do that affects our children, and that they will follow our example with others. I hope they will know that they will always have a very important role in the health and happiness of our family.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

God and perfectionism

Humans are not perfect, nor pure, not one of us. That is G_d's role. Anyone who tries in vain to be perfect is aspiring to something that cannot be accomplished in human terms. A loss of ego and greater awareness of others should be the goal of humans. This is a daily battle.

US Appears to Have Fought War for Oil and Lost It

Our UNSUCCESSFUL war for oil in plain terms:

t r u t h o u t - US Appears to Have Fought War for Oil and Lost It

Friday, April 08, 2005

Environmentalists are the true pro-lifers.

On Being Pro-Life

The Pope and patriarchy

I haven't been reading or watching anything about the pope, so every time I catch a bit of the Vatican crowds on TV, or color pictures in the newspaper of a white haired old man waving or later embalmed on a royal bed, I groan inside.

I have serious issues with wealthy displays of Catholicism, flawed Christianity and patriarchy. I believe the former do a great deal to promote the latter. Judaism has its own patriarchal mechanisms, but they are MUCH harder to find in the practice and texts of reformed Jews.

Nothing does more to promote patriarchy than the pope. You could argue that nothing does more to promote religious heirarchy than the pope, but it's much more specific than that if you happen to be female.

This glorified priest didn't believe women could serve as a representative of Christ like priests do (a problem in itself, but still). Instead, women serve Christ, and their husbands.
This glorified priest didn't believe women should use birth control, ever.
This glorified priest, if he followed Augustine's teachings, believed that women become men when they go to heaven.

How do you start from there and become a glorified representative of faith and religious purity?

Starting from nowhere, how does any, albeit influential, human become treated like a god after death?

How is this anything but vain?

How is this anything but a display of wealth and religious heirarchies?

How is it that our leaders want so desperately to be a part of this display?

I'm not angry.

I'm disgusted.

The Jesus I was taught to value would not have approved of any of this--for himself, or anyone else! And G_d said to put no idols before G_d!

I do not see Christianity or spiritual purity in this--I see very expensive tribal displays of the worship of gods on earth--and I turn away from it. Instead I think of those individuals who have lived and lost their lives for much more, say Ghandi, for a start. What did his funeral look like? Let us remember that heroes on earth are still men and women, not gods, and are definitely not every priest, rabbi, or minister.


The blog of a feminist who cooks (like me!) and who actually has been paying attention to pope TV: Pope, Croaked

Friday, April 01, 2005

A wolf in sheep's clothing

Wolfowitz to head World Bank

Wow, does this tell us that the World Bank is now an arm of the Bush "empire" or was it always? When Wolfowitz claims that helping people in need is the most important thing people can do, I think of how we're not helping needy Iraqis, or much in Darfur. I can't believe anyone bought his "I'm a nice guy" B.S.--perhaps they just don't care that it's B.S. Being nice to your family and pets, presumably, while one helps to create an on-going immoral war doesn't count as a nice guy for the world community.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Iraqi Children Fared Better under Saddam - Report

Here we are the Great United States of America, led by Bush who is erring on the side of life again by making Iraqi children suffer more than Saddam did. What's going on???? I actually think he means to consistently "error about life."

See, I've told you those who claim to be social conservatives often don't care about fetuses once they become children. I heard a conservative reporter framing the philosophy of Republican social conservatives as believing that every form of human life is equal--that a fetus or a stem cell or a brain-damaged person's life is as valuable as any fully functioning person. That's a lie, this is not their philosophy--if that were true social "conservatives" would want healthcare for American children and would care that we're killing Iraqi children. The truth is that "pro-lifers" behave as if fetuses are much more valuable than living children.

t r u t h o u t - Iraqi Children Fared Better under Saddam - Report

t r u t h o u t || George W. Bush, the Frightened Man

Think that shill is being blackmailed? Maybe...

t r u t h o u t || George W. Bush, the Frightened Man: "Virtually all the things Nixon did against me that were illegal to keep me from exposing his secret policy are now legal under the Patriot Act. Going into my doctor's office to get information to blackmail me with, wiretaps without warrants, overhearing me--all legal now. The CIA supplied the burglars in my doctor's office with disguises and with cameras and they did a psychological profile on me. That was illegal then, legal now. "

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Thursday, March 24, 2005

How deep is American hatred of women? She had it coming...

Murder a woman and get less or no jail time. Witness Robert Blake, OJ, and any number of lesser knowns who get less jail time for murdering a woman than white collar criminals get for robbing rich people. My friend Barbara said her friend was on a jury that awarded more money to a male victim than a female victim when they'd had exactly the same crime befall them.

Sodomize an unconcious drunk teenager with pool cues and a gang of young men and you might not get convicted of rape--even if you videotape it. The L.A. Times reported on this Orange County case today and quoted a juror, a woman even, worrying about whether or not the "[white] boys" really understood that what they were doing was wrong. I got this feeling that they really didn't see those young men commiting a crime--instead they saw a woman raping herself.


The message becomes: Murder women, rape girls, that's okay boys, our society will ask for no personal responsibility from you. You might not mean to do it, we might expect it, and hell, those girls probably had it coming...

Oh, and where's that Republican sense of "protection" and outrage?

DeLay and His Demagogues & a Catholic Priest on Abortion

t r u t h o u t - Dowd & Rich | DeLay and His Demagogues

My wise friend Barbara is a wonderful Catholic woman who became pro-choice (she's also pro-life) when she was 19. She was going to a Catholic private school and knew the gardener (she works for me and is currently trying to find our Latina custodian better employment and healthcare on her own time) and his wife. They had six children, being good Catholics, and the wife became pregnant with a seventh. Her doctors told her she needed a hysterectomy and carrying the child to term could kill her and/or the baby--the doctor recommended an abortion. The gardener's wife went to the priest and asked what she should do. The priest told her that she had a choice between her body and her soul; if she sought an abortion, he told her, he would excommunicate her from the Church. He was advocating that the mother of six children risk her life just for the chance to bring a new life into the world. How does anyone justify this? How does a fetus' life become disproportionally more important than an adult's life?

Barbara left before the woman gave birth. She does not know what happened to her or the baby--but Barbara has since strongly supported a woman's right to control her reproductive abilities.

This is why policy based exclusively or heavily on theology has no place in our government. And in particular, it targets women.

The New York Times > Washington > Conservatives: G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention

The New York Times > Washington > Conservatives: G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention: "There's a larger issue in play,' and Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, 'and that is the whole issue of the definition of life. The issue of when is it a life is a broader issue than just a state defining that. I don't think we can have 50 different definitions of life.' "

Incredible. I have a million definitions of life--and I think each family establishes those definitions. I think this guy advocates about 2 definitions of life...the unborn and the brain-dead. Every other life is fodder for unregulated toxins, underfunded education, lack of healthcare, etc. The life of my unborn child is only of interest and "protection" by Republicans while he is inside of me, when he is born they are absent in taking any responsiblity for his access to healthcare, safe drugs and vaccines, clean air and water, a healthy food supply, healthy relationships, education, or toxins in his toys and our furniture.

Their definition of "life" is so minimal that it is laughable. But I don't think their shallow morality is funny.

The useful question is not each of us asking, "when is it a life?" the "larger" issue and fundamental question of freedom is allowing each American to ask "How do we want to live?"

How to Turn Your Red State Blue, quote 2


t r u t h o u t - Christopher Hayes | How to Turn Your Red State Blue: "Getting my hair cut the other day, my hairdresser, a gay man in his 40s who just went back to school to become a social worker, told me about his family's politics. 'I can't even discuss politics with my siblings,' he said. 'My sister is a born-again Christian and my brother is the second best Army recruiter in the nation.' He paused for effect. 'And they say my lifestyle recruits.'
That accusation is one of the loopier bits of right-wing slander, but it's part of a larger narrative that claims the entire left is scheming non-stop to seduce and indoctrinate the unsuspecting. This is a comical bit of projection because it is the right that has so effectively created institutions to preach conservatism and win converts. "

How to Turn Your Red State Blue

t r u t h o u t - Christopher Hayes | How to Turn Your Red State Blue: " Joe Conason, in his book Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (published before the election), offers a succinct articulation of the first theory: 'Whether they now describe themselves as liberal or not, most Americans remain strongly progressive in their views about taxation, health care, education spending, Social Security, environmental protection and corporate regulation.' "

Florida House Bill Attacks 'Leftist' Professors, Allows Students to Sue over Beliefs

This is chilling. It is about growing fascism. If people can have beliefs that are never challenged, on either ideological end, they become extremist idealogues. The university is a place where biased professors teach their views and they should always get challenged! I was more left than they were in history and more right than they were in philosophy. A bill like this that attempts to eliminate "political orthodoxy" only serves to squelch debate and political challenges all around--it's toxic and the opposite of freedom. Professors and students should be free to be orthodox!!! My G-d, I went to a liberal college that had a history professor who believed that women caused the fall of Rome. Freedom exists!

I also read the actual bill linked at the end of this article and having had a lot of academic exposure I can tell that these paranoid, controlling right-wing folks are very interested in promoting extremist professors who don't have much academic credibility. They are trying to lower the scholarly standards used to give professors tenure, and elevate religious materials, so that questionable "reasonable scholarly credentials" can count toward tenure. One can easily imagine a holocaust-denier who's written a "research" book without peer review suing a university who, justifiably, won't hire him/her.

t r u t h o u t - House Bill Attacks 'Leftist' Professors, Allows Students to Sue over Beliefs: "Students who believe their professor is singling them out for 'public ridicule' - for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class - would also be given the right to sue. "

Bush Credibility Gap Grows as Court Rejects Schiavo Case

t r u t h o u t - Bush Credibility Gap Grows as Court Rejects Schiavo Case: " In the Schiavo case, critics say that after years of review, it is hard to argue that her family did not receive an adequate hearing in the Florida courts, at least by the standards that Congress has set in other cases where it has taken a hands-off approach to state-court actions.
They question whether the steps Bush and Congress have taken to keep the Schiavo case afloat in federal court belie an ideological bias.
'I could not imagine [House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay interrupting an Easter recess to come back for special legislation because there was a possibility that someone on death row was innocent,' said Louis Michael Seidman, a professor at Georgetown Law School in Washington."

Supreme Court rejects Schiavo parents' appeal - Mar 24, 2005 - Supreme Court rejects Schiavo parents' appeal - Mar 24, 2005

Terri Schiavo's parents suffered several setbacks Wednesday:

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused by a 2-1 vote to order the tube reinserted.

The full 11th Circuit later in the day voted 10-2 not to reconsider the panel's rejection.

In Washington, the Bush administration said there was nothing more it could do. This is curious. Can't the President always issue an Executive Order? I'm not clear on the law, but if they've taken it this far, and he says we can't ever err against life, and he's the grand redeemer why can't he do this flawed and questionably democratic Christ-like act of Presidential authority for his religious base? I may not understand the law correctly, though...

A bill in the Florida Senate aimed at prolonging Terri's life failed 21-18.

The U.S. Justice Department has filed "statements of interest" supporting the parents in each court action.

The leader of Paranoia, Tom DeLay

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: March 20, 2005 - March 26, 2005 Archives

Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), March 18th 2005: "It is more than just Terri Schiavo. This is a critical issue for people in this position, and it is also a critical issue to fight that fight for life, whether it be euthanasia or abortion. I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, one thing God has brought to us [Since when does Delay speak for G_d's intentions? He ought to have said, "I believe that..." not "I tell you..." This kind of narcissistic-absolutism-speak ought to frighten all of us.] is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America. That Americans would be so barbaric [he sees no room for compassion?] as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid [Whaa..?] and starve them to death for two weeks. [I read yesterday that starving is not a painful way to die, in fact it has been shown to be a peaceful, painless, sometimes euphoric way to end life--and I'm sure that lots of elderly people naturally chose to do it]. I mean, in America that's going to happen if we don't win this fight.

"And so it's bigger than any one of us, and we have to do everything that is in our power to save Terri Schiavo and anybody else that may be in this kind of position, and let me just finish with this:

"This is exactly the kind of issue that's going on in America, that attacks against the conservative moment, against me and against many others. [He's saying that no one can disagree with his position or it is an attack against conservatism] The point is, the other side has figured out how to win and to defeat the conservative movement, and that is to go after people personally, charge them with frivolous charges,[He's projecting; Republicans do these things in spades and Democrats aren't winning anything!] link up with all these do-gooder organizations funded by George Soros, and then get the national media on their side [What national media is on "our" side? Name one! The national media is on the side of corporate and war interests]. That whole syndicate that they have going on right now is for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to destroy the conservative movement. It is to destroy conservative leaders, and not just in elected office, but leading. I mean, Ed Feulner, of the Heritage Foundation today was under attack in the National Journal. This is a huge nationwide concerted effort to destroy everything we believe in [He's wrong, we are not trying destroy anything "they" believe in, unless that's discrimination against minorities, a belief that wealth is morally superior to poverty, politicial corruption, etc. Delay is using this victim psychology to make his constituents feel threatened by different opinions. This is fascism, folks, he's trying to divide us]. And you need to look at this [Yes! Wake up America, look at this, and decide for yourself!], and what's going on and participate in fighting back."

I wonder if this means DeLay is about to lose his power. If so, he's a bad sport, obviously, and I just can't get over "The Hammer" acting like a victim of a right-wing-like conspiracy. I guess the left's effort to hold conservative people responsible for their actions is an "attack." Hmmm. I don't even think that's working yet. Does this ridiculous rant mean it is beginning to?! He can't stand transparency in government and that's what we're fighting for; there's nothing essentially wrong with conservatism if it incorporates civic responsibility. We're just not seeing any fair application of civil responsibility.

The Schiavo case is a unique power move and I'm so curious to see whether the Supreme Court has completely become a tool for the White House; I'm hopeful, but very worried about the first-time precedent set by Gore vs. Bush.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

To err on the side of life...

"Bush told a crowd in Arizona today that the brain-damaged woman's case is 'complex' with 'serious issues.' But he says in a case like that, 'it is wise to always err on the side of life.'"

He also means:

Except when you don't have enough money to pay for yours or your child's life support.

Except when you are mentally ill and are sentenced to death or have even had evidence of innocence come forward, and you remain sentenced to death when George is governor.

Except when you die from mercury poisoning emitted by coal power plants (more to come in the West thanks to Clear Skies!) or get cancer, birth defects and possibly autism. To our current government and the EPA, these health costs are nothing compared to the costs industry would have to pay to clean up their mercury dumping. Just ask.

In essence, "life" for Republicans just means stem cells, fetuses and financially secure permanently brain-damaged individuals with ties to religious fundamentalists. They do not give these lives equal weight with other lives (unwanted children, at-risk and ill children, cancer sufferers, soldiers, Iraqis) they give them all their weight in activism, money and rhetoric.

And in the end, their pro-pollution governing still puts fetuses at much greater risk for birth defects...just don't abort.

All the facts about the cynical Republican political moves

Dear MoveOn member,

On Sunday, Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, the Republican congressional leaders,
convened an emergency meeting of Congress to pass a bill that that
interferes with the Terri Schiavo tragedy. And although in five years no
other issue has prompted President Bush to return to Washington during a
vacation--including the tsunami--Bush flew back from his ranch in Texas to
sign it.[1]

Bush, Frist, and DeLay claim that they're acting out of concern for Ms.
Schiavo. But a memo intended only for Republican Senators--uncovered by
ABC News--reveals Republicans' true concern: "The pro-life base will be
excited...this is a great political issue...this is a tough issue for
Democrats."[2] This story also takes the heat off Tom DeLay, who is
facing a number of serious ethics charges and legal scandals.[3]

Americans can have different personal opinions about what should happen to
Terri Schiavo--life is precious, and this case raises some important
ethical questions. But we can all agree that that's what the courts are
for: to make the call in difficult circumstances. That's why Congress'
interference is such an ugly and shameful incident of political
grandstanding. There's no legislative purpose here, just a blatant attempt
to play politics with someone's life.

We need to tell the Republican leaders in Congress that this kind of
pandering and demagoguery will not stand. Will you sign our urgent
petition to Congress to tell them they must stop using one person's
tragedy for their own political gain, and move on to the important
business facing our country?

Sign now at:

Even many right-wing activists are concerned about Congress's interference
in this case. GOP pollster Tony Fabrizi told the L.A. Times, "It becomes a
more crystallized proof point that we are no longer the party of smaller
government. We have become a party of 'It doesn't matter what size the
government is as long as it is imposing our set of values.'"[4]

The New York Times talked to David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a
conservative research organization, who said, "When a case like this has
been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the
Supreme Court three times, the process has worked even if it hasn't given
the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in
really is a violation of federalism."[5]

Medical ethicists are also outraged at the armchair diagnoses of
Republican doctors in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist. As the Associated Press reported:

"It's disturbing that doctors who would never venture a comment about
the health of anybody from a homemade video are sitting on the floor of
Congress making declarations," said Art Caplan, chairman of the
Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania's School
of Medicine. "My own impression, from a distance, is that they've
subverted what they know to be good medicine for the aim of achieving a
political goal."[6]

And reporters are now raising questions about a right-to-die law Bush
signed as Texas governor, contradicting his position in the Schiavo case.
Just last week, the law was applied for the first time, allowing doctors
to remove a critically ill infant from life support against his mother's
wishes. According to the Houston Chronicle, this marks the first time in
American history that courts allowed a pediatric patient to die against
the wishes of their parent.[7] As the Knight Ridder News service reports:

"The mother down in Texas must be reading the Schiavo case and
scratching her head," said Dr. Howard Brody, the director of Michigan
State University's Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life
Sciences. "This does appear to be a contradiction." Brody said that, in
taking up the Schiavo case, Bush and Congress had shattered a body of
bioethics law and practice."[8]

It's time to speak up about this kind of political posturing, and ask
Congress to get back to work. Can you sign our petition to Republican
leaders in Congress to stop grandstanding on the Schiavo tragedy?

A large majority of the American public agree that Congress was wrong to
interfere in the Schiavo case, and less than a quarter believe Congress
acted out of real concern about Schiavo's life, according to an ABC
poll.[9] And the nation's editorial boards agree. Check out this sampling
from many of the nation's papers, compiled by the National Journal's

* "The U.S. legal system is not supposed to be one of legislative
'do-overs... Lawmakers may believe that they acted this weekend to
save a life, but they also took a step that diminishes the rule of
law" (Washington Post, 3/22).

* "When the Founders wrote the Constitution, they devoted the largest
section to spelling out the powers of Congress. Nowhere did they
include the right to play doctor. Terri Schiavo's story is tragic
enough without political malpractice" (USA Today, 3/22).

* "The Bush administration and the current Congressional leadership like
to wax eloquent about states' rights. But they dropped those
principles in their rush to stampede over the Florida courts and
Legislature...It may be a formula for short-term political success,
but it is no way to preserve and protect a great republic" (New York
Times, 3/22).

* "Congress' unwarranted and brash effort to seize judicial power in the
case of Terri Schiavo is shameful truly a low point in its recent
history" (Kennebec Journal, 3/22).

* "What has happened here is that the GOP, famously the party favoring
limited government intervention into people's personal lives, has
inserted the federal government squarely in the middle of an
incredibly personal medical issue. And they've done it all in the name
of making sure that some of their core voters stay with them" (Athens
Banner-Herald, 3/22).

* "Terri Schiavo has the right to die ... Congress and President Bush
should be ashamed for prolonging the suffering and trying to legislate
what is clearly the authority of the courts to adjudicate" (Atlanta
Journal Constitution, 3/22).

* "Coming at a time when crucial health care services are being slashed,
it is particularly upsetting to see this kind of expensive
grandstanding on the part of congressional Republicans over one
high-profile case. This is not compassion: This is cold-blooded
political calculation" (Charleston Gazette, 3/22).

* "One by one, the bedrock conservative convictions of the national
Republican Party are giving way...yielding to the demands of a raucous
religious right that has become the Republicans' most reliable
electoral base" (Trenton Times, 3/22).

* "Washington's empathy for Schiavo centers on vying for political
points, not merely concern for one family's personal, medical plight.
That makes this unwise intervention by elected officials even more
distasteful" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/22).

* "To have the legislative and executive branches of the federal
government mobilize on a Sunday as fast as if we'd declared war in
order to intervene in a family's medical dispute is, frankly,
frightening. It's an unprecedented intrusion by the highest echelons
of federal power into a private hospital room. It's dangerous. And
more than a little Orwellian" (Augusta Chronicle, 3/22).

Let's tell Tom DeLay and Bill Frist to get back to business. Please join
us by signing the petition at the link below, and sending this message on
to your friends and family.

Together, we can restore some common sense to a Congress that's out of


--Eli Pariser and the whole MoveOn PAC Team
March 23rd, 2005


1. Schiavo case exposes political divide in U.S., Reuters AlertNet

2. GOP Talking Points on Terri Schiavo, ABC News

3. DeLay Under Fire Over Ethics, Associated Press

4. Some in GOP Fear Effort May Alienate Voters, L.A. Times

5. G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention, New York Times

6. Physicians in Congress criticized, Associated Press

7. Baby dies after hospital removes breathing tube, Houston Chronicle

8. Law Bush signed prompts cries of hypocrisy, Knight Ridder Newspapers

9. ABC News poll

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Republicans and the government they always denigrate = corruption, disabling, and dirty tricks

This is a must read of why we shouldn't trust Republicans to philosophically run government without a high degree of transparency and accountability (as if the Bush administration isn't enough f*ing proof):

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: March 20, 2005 - March 26, 2005 Archives

Welcome to Bush inflation

So, energy and food prices are getting more and more inflated. Interest rates were increased today. We're being told that these increases are "measured." That means they'll keep climbing...

Miss Clinton yet?

Cheney and Thomas Slam AARP on Social Security

t r u t h o u t - Cheney and Thomas Slam AARP on Social Security

These folks are delusional. They are asking us to hitch our wagons to the worst economy we've ever seen, even Carter didn't do this...Paul Harvey was talking about inflation and how badly our economy is doing this morning. Paul Harvey is worried about inflation, the deficit and the stockmarkets for crying out loud.

The Schiavo Case and the Islamization of the Republican Party

t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | The Schiavo Case and the Islamization of the Republican Party

Republican HYPOCRISY overflows in this case:

Interfering in the sacred bond of marriage in order to nullify the guardianship of one spouse over another.

Acting like life is sacred while they fight to wreck our environmental and thereby our physical health.

Acting like life is sacred while they don't fight to save American and innocent Iraqi lives in Iraq.

Acting like a woman's life is sacred when they are more than willing to force her to bear children (and possibly die or be crippled in childbirth) against her will.

Suddenly deciding that states' rights (legislation and rulings) don't matter when they are constantly advocating the primacy of states' rights.

Eliminating the separation between powers (Congress and the judiciary) when their own Rhenquist is one of the biggest advocates of the separation of powers.

For the second time since Gore vs. Bush, they are creating "one time" only rulings/legislation that they take pains to say shouldn't establish precedent. That's simply not principled, is purely political, lacking in responsibility for one's actions, and goes to the heart of the article above (Islamization).

I'm sure there's more....

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Schiavo and Iraq; Ban corporate campaign donations

...I have been reluctant to wade into the Terri Schiavo case...

This is an excellent view of the grandstanding that is happening among Republicans in Congress. The one comparison Kilgore fails to make is that Congressional Republicans that are pulling all stops to save a very sad case of coma-life after life are the same Republicans that are doing nothing to save very alive lives in IRAQ. Why don't they expend this much energy to bring American lives home? Who will protect the oil companies and developers profits?

I'm also beginning to notice a very obnoxious generational problem again. Boomers en masse aren't taking responsibility for their own social needs, let alone the generations that come after them. The Great Generation is dying, and with them a strong sense of civic responsibility. Those who remain are fighting for the generations after them, boomers are not. Boomers vote for tax cuts, and "screw you hippy."

By the way, we need to get corporate money out of politics NOW. Corporations spend MILLIONS each on politicians and parties which is exactly how the Arctic Wildlife Preserve got bought. Limit individuals to $1,000 each (make jail time mandatory for transgressors). Ban advertising. Give candidates a direct mail budget so that everybody has a cover letter from each candidate. Make the press accountable, have real debates, not day after day of fund raisers. It's really not that hard to make America a democracy.

Arctic Gold: How Big Oil Bought the Votes to Drill

t r u t h o u t - ECO FOCUS - Arctic Gold: How Big Oil Bought the Votes to Drill

Follow the money...even Democratic Labor Unions are capable of GREED.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Double Standard

The press and even Americans expect the Democrats to be perfect problem solvers and allow the Republicans to be devils in policy. It shows on Social Security where the President has not nailed down a plan but the press is asking Democrats for a plan! It shows when the President is actively campaigning for private accounts and basically phasing out Social Security, which has hardly any support, and he's not getting criticized by the press while Democrats are being told that they are making a tactical mistake for specifically ruling out private accounts being paid for with Social Security (which is actually the good and rational decision!).

AND the Democrats are the OPPOSITION PARTY! They are rationally opposing the President's position that private accounts are the solution to Social Security. Democrats are right on this! They have backbone, they are taking a firm position, they are taking a moral stand--in fact, they are perfectly right!! So no Democrat should be blaming Democrats for this problem!! Talking Points Memo

But Harry Reid should not have voted for the banckruptcy bill...a shame.

Friday, March 11, 2005

"What Would Jesus Drive?"

Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence behind Effort to Combat Global Warming

Wow, I'm in shock. I didn't think Christians cared about the environment anymore. The only thing I'm uncomfortable with in this article is this statement:

"Mr. Cizik said he was among many evangelicals who would support some regulation on heat-trapping gases.

'We're not adverse to government-mandated prohibitions on behavioral sin such as abortion," he said. "We try to restrict it. So why, if we're social tinkering to protect the sanctity of human life, ought we not be for a little tinkering to protect the environment?'"

Tinkering with my womb and my body is not the same thing as tinkering with standards of emission. In fact, evangelicals want to force women to produce life which is not the same as simply protecting life by asking people not to produce toxic things, even if forcing women to produce life seems to involve "protecting" a life. But one can't even safely say that the mere act of having a baby protects life--it just produces one that needs protection. Are we all advocating that our society protect born children? Environmental cleanliness is a start...

Out of Iraq NOW

We need to get our troops out of Iraq now. There is no way around the fact that our presence there alone continues the violence. It is like trying to stop a house from flooding by using a mesh screen to keep the water in the bathroom, when we turned on the tap. Bush's people are more concerned about access to the oil and business contracts than our soldiers. To them, 1,500 American lives and thousands of Iraqi lives is nothing--a meager expense and sacrifice. We should let Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Jordanians and Saudi Arabians help rebuild Iraq with financial help from us. Nothing we have done justifies our presence there.

Military Town Protests

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Contact your representatives!!

Dear Sen. Feinstein,

My husband and I truly hope that you will oppose the Bankruptcy bill set to benefit our credit card companies using outrageous interest rates and predatory lending policies. And the loopholes for the rich are also immoral and unfair! My husband and I have a goal to become debt-free through payments, but that doesn't mean we don't have sympathy for those who don't have the means to overcome the debts created while they were wooed as adolescents in college by predatory credit card companies, or who suffer from job losses or health care crises.

We are watching what Democrats do on this issue very closely. Americans are waking up to the influence corporate money is having on our politicians' votes.

[I didn't say that I expect this kind of immoral and greedy behavior from Republicans, but I mean that]

Our congress might soon say "it's ok to game the system if you're rich"

"To the extent that there is significant abuse of the system, it's concentrated among the wealthy - including corporate executives found guilty of misleading investors - who can exploit loopholes in the law to protect their wealth, no matter how ill-gotten.

One increasingly popular loophole is the creation of an "asset protection trust," which is worth doing only for the wealthy. Senator Charles Schumer introduced an amendment that would have limited the exemption on such trusts, but apparently it's O.K. to game the system if you're rich: 54 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against the Schumer amendment."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Dean: Democrats Raise $3.4 Million in Three Weeks

t r u t h o u t - Dean: Democrats Raise $3.4 Million in Three Weeks

What I LOVE about this story is that Democrats raised this money without selling out our liberal principles and morals!!!!

t r u t h o u t || Nicola Calipari and the Soldier who Shot Him

t r u t h o u t || Nicola Calipari and the Soldier who Shot Him:

"Calipari is one more name added to the vengeance toll we have extracted for September 11th. Three and a half years later, we have killed in Iraq and Afghanistan about seventy times the number of people who died that day. Seventy times. When will there be enough revenge? There is no answer to that question beyond this: Not soon enough to save Nicola Calipari, who died three years ago and didn't even know it.

I do not know the name of the soldier who shot Calipari. I don't know his age, his rank, where he is from, where he trained. I am confident, however, that he did not join the military to shoot journalists and Italian secret service agents. The fact that this happened speaks to the fear that this soldier must endure because his Commander in Chief has dropped him into a meat grinder with a very large gun."

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Frank Rich: What's Missing from the News

Is it me or is Brian Williams the most self-unaware tool of big corporate America? He actually winces as he reports the banal, irrelevant news of the day, so perhaps he has some awareness of how useless he is to the American people. And Gannon is now claiming he's the victim of a gay-bashing leftist witchhunt. What?! He's the witchhunter (or was). Well, at least this gives us some hope that the truth will come to light in the American public's conciousness:

t r u t h o u t - Frank Rich: What's Missing from the News: "We still don't know how this Zelig, using a false name, was given a daily White House pass every day for two years. Last weekend, Jim Pinkerton, a former official in the Reagan and Bush I White Houses, said on 'Fox News Watch,' no less, that such a feat 'takes an incredible amount of intervention from somebody high up in the White House' and that 'some investigation should proceed and they should find that out.'
Given an all-Republican government, the only investigation possible will have to come from the press. Which takes us back to 1972, the year of Thompson's fear and loathing on the campaign trail. That was no golden age for news either. As Thompson's Rolling Stone colleague, Timothy Crouse, wrote in his own chronicle of that year, 'The Boys on the Bus,' months of stories by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein failed to 'sink in' and only 48 percent of those polled by Gallup had heard of Watergate by Election Day.
Some news organizations had simply ignored The Post's scoops 'out of petty rivalry,' Crouse wrote. Others did so because they 'feared the administration or favored Nixon in the presidential race.' Others didn't initially recognize the story's importance. (The New York Times played the Watergate break-in on page 30.) According to a superb new history of the Washington press corps, 'Reporting from Washington,' by Donald Ritchie, even Rather, then CBS's combative man in the Nixon White House, 'left the Watergate story alone at first, sure that it would fade like 'a puff of talcum powder.'' "

Friday, March 04, 2005

If this story is true, the boy's parents should be charged with child endangerment/coersion

Why does this smell like a rat? What happened to states' rights, you activist conservatives? You advocate intervening in women's lives by stopping abortions as much, or more, than someone who forces an abortion (which is also immoral):

Fox News

Bush likes going around the country...

"I like going around the country and saying folks we have got a problem..."

George W. Bush, March 2, 2005

Bush's PR tour

Bush began taking his social security "arguments" on the road today--with the help of Big Business and Karl Rove. Just think about this folks, businesses don't benefit from social security, INDIVIDIUALS DO. Why would you trust what Big Business wants over the needs of individuals? Do you honestly think that Big Business cares about your family and life? If you do, fine, but leave our government's policies out of your ridiculous fantasy.

Thus far Bush and Rove have signed up "invitation-only" audiences for his "town meetings" which means he can't handle any criticism. Wow, he's such a strong, courageous President! I wonder what excuses his supporters make-up to excuse his inability to confront dissent or defend himself. Obviously, he whines like a child, "It's hard!" or "I get that," but still, why does the leader of the "free" world get off so easy, folks?

Polls show that most people care much more about jobs and healthcare (sorry, Clinton, your healthcare proposal didn't have the same corporate support that Medicare and Social Security have!) than fixing social security.

What a big distraction before we invade Iran for our Neocon fantasizers.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dean Says Democrats 'Not Going to Concede the South'

He's such a great leader! This is so exciting! You're going to hear the truth, you Republican rascals.

Dean better watch his back. No shitting--there's a lot of money and power and crazy madness out to take over America (and they already are).

t r u t h o u t - Dean Says Democrats 'Not Going to Concede the South' - Views - Good Samaritan Gun Use

Wow, what a well-argued case for escalating violence in our homes....according to the author's logic we'll get less gun violence on the street when more people carry them (I guess this is why S. Central L.A. is so safe--or wait, maybe there aren't enough guns in L.A.) and more gun accidents at home (he doesn't mention those stats). What a wonderful offer! - Views - Good Samaritan Gun Use - U.S. & World - Serial Killers Among Us

This story shows how thin the line is between human empathy and sociopathology. It's thin, folks. Love your children, nurture them, teach them empathy by giving it to them and others.

By the way, give empathy to all children even if they are not your own. Show it. We all need it.

Peace. - U.S. & World - Serial Killers Among Us

t r u t h o u t - Senator Robert Byrd | Stopping a Strike at the Heart of the Senate

t r u t h o u t - Senator Robert Byrd | Stopping a Strike at the Heart of the Senate

Gees, everyone's hyperventilating over this. All Byrd does is say that Hitler made the illegal legal, which is exactly what the Republicans are suggesting. He doesn't say, "You nazis!" He says the policy is like a nazi policy. Good to know.

This is such a vivid illustration of context getting lost and stupid crap getting thrown around the internet. I bet you no conservatives will objectively talk about the proposed so-called "nuclear option" policy change that shuts down minority views. They'll just be going on and on saying, "How dare Byrd call Republicans nazis!!" You might think it's stupid tactic, but it's really a diversion from their nazi-like policies.

Farrakhan on Jewish Involvement in the Slave Trade

For me, becoming Jewish is the first time I've had the feeling of not being White. Hate groups consider Jews a "mud race" along with anyone else who shows difference or pigment. I hate the term "White" because it is arbitrary and pretty meaningless. How do you test for it?? People claim to be white, or seem white, or feel white, but it's really just a status, not a race. Most people are made up of all different races and creeds. I always thought Jews were white, but now I realize that racists don't think we are, and even some Jewish rhetoric distinguishes whites from Jews, so that conflicts with my definition of what it meant to be white. Is there really a concensus? No! I always thought Asians were white, but I've had Asians tell me they are not white. I've always considered Spanish people white, but Latino is a separate and proud category in L.A. Where I grew up, a person was seen as either white or black. I could say yellow and red, too, but that was always too fantastic a category and no one I ever met back then was Asian or Indian. The truth was, that most people I knew growing up were white AND black. The "black" people were not purely African, and the white people were not purely European. We were mixed and the "white" folks were in denial about it.

I've long studied and sympathized with Black American history. Finding information like this Farrakhan info is deeply troubling to me. It is such a blatant example of a powerful figure shirking leadership in favor of scapegoating and creating an enemy. It is the same psychology that white supremecist hate groups use--hatred and fear emboldens people to fight for your power for its own sake.

Another thing about this Farrakhan issue is that no one should expect Jews or anyone else to be perfect human beings. We are no more responsible for the slave trade than black kings or "white" Europeans. Simply put, the world's powerful people had a hand in it and Jews should admit our role (in whatever degree that was) as much as anyone else. If he's just asking us to take responsibility for it, we should, but what does specifically targeting Jews mean for our relationship today? That Blacks can't trust Jews and Jews can't trust Blacks? Where do we go from there?! How does America look then? Divided.

The other thing that gets lost in Farrakhan's rhetoric is the fragility of a Jewish state. Israel is the only Jewish state in the world--to be fair to the world's religions and peoples, I believe that the world has an interest in keeping a Jewish state stable and peaceful. Jews are a minority, just like black Americans. Racial wars and immigrant wars have long been part of our American history and only serve to hurt the poor and disenfranchised and make the rich richer (low wages aggravate hatred between groups) and poor communities become ghettos. Perhaps Jews and Blacks do not work to combine our domestic interests enough, but Farrakhan's words do not help us bridge that gap. He suggests that the powerful among us are all evil, and that doesn't work for either group! Besides, I'm as ready to knock extremist zionist policy wonkers out of powerful positions as the next person. Most Jews vote for Democratic issues and, based on our religious and philosophical beliefs, we want to share in helping communities--but just like other groups, there are definitely exceptions to this rule. Gee, if only Jews were the majority! But I don't think we'll be overtaking the Catholics anytime soon--maybe the Jews and the Nation of Islam should point out their dark history instead of building bridges...(I'm not serious).

So let's keep our eyes focused on the actions and policies of people, rather than the often obviously unpracticed religious backgrounds and arbitrary racial labels of groups, Mr. Farrakhan. The fights and struggles in this world are caused by competition for money and resources--races and religions are rather haphazardly draped around those two primary issues.

Farrakhan on Jewish Involvement in the Slave Trade