Saturday, December 30, 2006

What Milestone?

It is very difficult for me to believe that a truly religious, follower of Christ would utter these words:

Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror. "">

Saddam's execution is a milestone for Iraq's very democracy?

"Justified," organized, institutional, governmental murder is still murder--it is my belief that a civil society does not have the moral authority to choose to end the life of anyone (I do think this can be a personal, private individual and moral decision in a couple of circumstances). Although I am gratified to see Hussein suffer what he did to others, that suffering was short-lived and is over now. I would much rather have him suffer the humiliation of living daily in a 12 x 12 foot room for the rest of his natural life. We could all watch him suffer on the internet. Saddam's life-in-prison cam.

It makes no sense to me that a country would rule to kill anyone and call it justice. How do we, or they, derive any sense of moral order from that example? For me, executions have no moral, civil, social, or spiritual place in our universe. Saddam's publically sanctioned execution is a only going to add energy to violence and the love of death and killing (terrorists' values)--sadly, I believe that affects every one of us--whether we are for or against executions.



Christopher Hitchins points out that the execution of Hussein follows a long Iraqi tradition of murdering the former head of state, so Iraq is following that muderous tradition, it miserably pales as a milestone in a new direction of American-style democracy...

My husband also pointed out how the court "missed an opportunity" to change history...the execution ruling did not permit ANYONE, even the president of Iraq, to commute Hussein's death sentence. That is not anything like our Republic--even though we've provided diplomatic cheerleaders for this court and its decisions. The anti-death penalty KURDISH president could have commuted Hussein's sentence to life, but he was not given that historic, peace-making opportunity by the Iraqi court.

From his op-ed Keeping faith with a bloody tradition:

"It would have been no offense to justice if Hussein had been sentenced to spend the rest of his days in prison without the possibility of parole, but it would represent a break with that sanguinary tradition. And it might be no bad thing if Americans, especially those who supported the breaking of his death grip on Iraqi society, found ways of conveying their distaste for this rushed and vindictive -- and partial -- version of a process of reckoning that ought to have been sober, meticulous and untainted."


Friday, December 22, 2006

An Inconvenient Holiday

I just saw the movie in the comfort of my own flourescently lit home and will be passing along the DVD to someone with a bigger house than the apartment I live in (perhaps I should feel proud, except for the population density aspect of it!). I was thinking that this is going to be a big holiday gift/viewing time.

I was just pondering the truth of the movie in my experience over the last 15 years. The summer's were really hot when I was a child in Missouri, but England never was. I went to England in July every four years growing up. I was always cold and sometimes had to buy warmer jackets, clothes or shoes during the summer time visits. The country had a comedy program called something like Rising Damp, and that's what it was, COLD rising damp, all summer long, except on those rare occasions several random mid summer days (or day during my visit, if I was lucky) when the sun would come out for a few minutes at noon. I once went windsailing on a beautiful summer day in a full rubber suit, and I was still cold.

My cousin got married in July last summer and we spent every day in the sweltering heat, rain or no rain. That is a STARK contrast to my experiences as a child and teenager. The heatwave was unheard of for my 69 year-old English mother who was suffering incredibly, like she does here when its hot--but England doesn't normally have air-conditioning--especially in lovely seaside hotels that rent out their entire business to wedding parties. So it was exhausting and the cheerful alcoholics were much less so, and my 1 year-old child has always slept swaddled or in pajamas with feet--but he slept in England in a diaper! That was seriously strange for me--England was always a place where I needed MORE clothes. I was amazed and thankful that he slept at all, considering his SoCal little body has hardly experienced any night out of the range of 68 - 74 degrees F.

I also thought about the Mississippi flood that devastated my best friend's wedding in 1992.

Al Gore's got a point--and I couldn't be more concerned about Iceland and the Arctic. Don't melt, please! We have to start freezing them, help!

Give peace a...@#$%#?!

Okay, a friend sent this to me but it really hits home in a wierdly unrelated way.

Last night, my husband helped me see that there's nothing I can do to stop a parent when he or she speaks disrespectfully to their child in anger and in resentment. All we can do is work on our own language and style with our own child, in order to raise a healthy child and to encourage others to follow our example (that's work enough).
So, in that vein, how much can we do to stop war? How about modeling peace? Have loving sex today and maybe Princeton will measure the positive effect!

and they do blog.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Due to misleading advertising by the New Republic (they offered a digital subscription of 9.99 but charged me 29.99 instead), they have responsibly refunded my money and I got to read Andrew Sullivan's article for free. Giggle.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

How does her garden grow?

I actually paid the New Republic to read Andrew Sullivan's "Mary Cheney: Quite Contrary" and I was with him as he tore apart the conservative war against gays and campaign for hate (and the "take no position" morally bankrupt position), until the last section where he congratulates Laura Bush and Condoleezza Rice for being gay humanitarians.

Then he drove me over the edge when he suggested that Mary Cheney and her partner's family situation might be the "real pioneers of a new [gay marriage/family accepting] world."

Talk about silver bells (thumb screws) and cockleshells (very personal torture)...

I don't think there's a better illustration of the hateful hypocrisy that this administration has administered on the American public than this one.

Their example for us is, "What's okay for us and our families is MORALLY WRONG and ILLEGAL for you (or your relative or neighbor)."

And Andrew Sullivan tells that story, succinctly.

He points out that the REALITY of gay life is undermining the politics of fear that are being used against gays on the right, but then he positions Mary Cheney as an example of a REAL pioneer.

Imagine the press if that had been Rosy O'Donnel getting pregnant, or your superintendant's daughter.

When I first heard that Mary Cheney was pregnant I thought, "Wow, she gets a royal pass on this one."

Mary Cheney is so far inside the protective layers of elitism and this Presidency that I thought (I'm crazy like a fox), "Hmm, I wonder if they actually found a doctor to combine both their eggs [we've done this with female mice, which is a very underreported fact]"

So, other than that possibility, how in the world is Mary Cheney a "real" pioneer, Mr. Sullivan?

I am absolutely sure that there are hundreds of REAL pioneers that have paid more than their fair share of the REAL price for pioneering their gay marriage, their gay parenthood, or simply their gay lifestyle amidst the REAL, LEGAL and "morality"-driven threats that Sullivan's conservative "humanitarians" have looked the other way on whilst they rode that feverishly anti-gay agenda into the White House.

I will certainly point out to my children in every way possible that Mary Cheney was not a pioneer, and that nearly every single person around her fights others for what she wants for her own life. And if Cheney wants that title, she could certainly step up the rhetoric in favor of those that share her ambitions.

The silence is deafening.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Chanukah bugs

I've had an amazing time today celebrating Chanukah with my husband and son--blessings, songs, candles, dessert gifts. My Christian family has sent us gifts that have involved such thoughtfulness and love they remind me of the few times a year we get to spend together.

But this week I let myself get into an argument over Israel with a blogger who hates all religions. He argues that Jews use God to kill.

I know in my heart that the real issues here are politics, and that any maniacal soul can use religion, and in particular the Bible, to justify evils and triumphs.

I think I just let myself feel belittled for my religious choice, or my religion got belittled. Wow, I will certainly try harder to keep my act clean on that score.

I've been rather tough on Christians lately. I sincerely apologize to anyone that I may have left feeling judged for their religious choice. I do not wish to condemn a religion or a belief system, and I will try to keep my analyses very specific to certain acts and deeds.

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa!


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mr. Webb, we thank you

Above Eleanor Clift notes the bullying conversational tactics of our President, and George F. Will's Republican blindness...