Saturday, May 13, 2006

Get Your Can to Your Mailbox

Today is the annual "Letter Carrier's Food Drive"
Just put a can of soup, chili, fruit, box of mac and cheese, etc. in or near your mailbox for pick up.

NALA Food Drive

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Noble Experiment Is Over

How to Handle a Troll -- manual

I grabbed this off of HuffPo (link below).



Please be aware of the following troll signs:


1. Try to change the subject with irrelevant trivia.

2. Post official sounding "news items" with no attribution, much less a link.

3. Post a link, but it is to a right wing gossip site.

4. Post a link, but it actually proves the opposite of what the troll is claiming.

When confronting a troll, understand that reasoning with them will not work.
The best course is either:

1. Humor at their expense (a win-win in that it is enjoyable for you and irritating to the troll).

2. Examination and, where appropriate, debunking of their misbegotten talking points. This is sometimes useful if the troll's arguments have a surface plausibility.

3. Ignoring them. This is actually the most frustrating for a troll, but it also the most difficult because trolls are such tempting targets.

These tips were brought to you by the CTFA (Council for a Troll-Free America).
- Optimist, 05.11.2006


Thanks Optimist!

source: the darling little troll in the pot that I adore:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Tale of Two Children: 9 Years, 2 Presidents and 1 War Apart

Way back in 1997 the neo-cons got their knickers in a twist over a teacher keeping a 4th grader from reading "The Way Things Out to Be" by Rush Limbaugh and the "Limbaugh Letter" in the classroom during personal reading time (probably during D.E.A.R - Drop Everything And Read)

Part of the news release read:

"We are deeply concerned about these additional infringements," said Wayne Haig of Donald W. Huffman & Associates, who is handling the case for The Rutherford Institute. "School should be a place which tolerates the free discussion of different views and beliefs."

The original complaint included an incident in which teachers took Rush Limbaugh's "The Way Things Ought To Be" away from Jason when he attempted to read it during a free-reading period.

"There is no tyranny quite like the tyranny of the classroom," said Haig, "where a teacher uses her authority to censor the small voices of children with viewpoints contrary to her own. As far as school children am concerned, the teacher is the law in the classroom, and there is normally no watchdog to guard the constitutional rights of the students, We commend the Gardners for taking a stand."

In this instance I agree. I've fought for 1st Amendment rights, and I've read "The Way Things Ought To Be." If a 4th grader can read and understand it, then I don't see a problem with it. I don't agree with the what is inside the book, BUT it doesn't contain overt sexual and violent content that is too much for a 4th grader.

Fast Forward to 2006, an 11 year old girl, Molly Shoul, wants to sing Pink's "Dear Mr. President" for her school talent show. The principal is barring it after deeming it inappropriate and too political

The reasons?

The song does not mention abortion, and the profanity mentioned is the word "hell." The drug use refers to Bush's alleged conduct before he became president.

… What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away

… And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay

… I can only imagine what the first lady has to say

… You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

Another portion criticizes Bush for the war:

… How do you sleep while the rest of us cry

… How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye

Molly said Thursday she thought the song was "really cool" because it spoke about important subjects like war and homelessness.

Molly said she liked the way the song addressed the president directly

One wonders if the Neo-cons will step up and be as outraged that Freedom of Speech is being denied for this girl as they were for the boy in 1997. Probably will not, they are hypocritical that way.

But do you know what she will sing if she is not allowed to sing a song about social conscience and concern for one's fellow man? She will sing a hip hop song about 2 girls fighting over a boy. Hmmm... something more up the theocons alley.

Here's hoping that Pink contacts this little girl, and that she will be able to sing about something that means something her and that is social relevant and not some mindless drivel.

The video

keywords: Molly Shoul, Nancy Shoul, Jason Gardner

Why we will NEVER catch Osama Bin Laden (at least with the Republicans in power)

<-- Remember these days?

Well, I've come to the conculsion that it was just for show. Bush and the Republican's in congress and senate don't really want to catch him. He's too valuable to them running loose and free.
Now I'm not the first to come to this conculsion. In fact I derided Bush for being an ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) president. To me he seemed to loose interest in Afghanistan and start up on Iraq (and now maybe Iran too).
But every time the Republican's slip in the poles, they trot out "9/11" and "Osama Bin Laden." And before any election, they trot out 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, sleeper cells, unkown plot against some US city, etc, etc.
He's their new "Boogey Man." Something, some one, that the Republicans can scare US citizens with to keep them in power. If they catch Osama Bin Laden, they will loose the "face" of their boogey man, and an important tool in maintaining power, no matter how corrupt that power is.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The War on Eve and Women in General

Way back in the 1970's a fantastic book came on the scene. It was a book that caused the likes of Jerry Falwell and the “moral majority” tremble, to deride and speak of evil and caused feminists to cheer. It is sometimes hard to remember those days. We are so much more of an information rich, open and accessible society, but it’s important that those of us who remember those days impart those memories to a new generation. As the “faith based” anti-women screeds and organizations gain power, we seem to be returning to the “medieval” days of yore.

I shiver when I think about it. When just the suggestion of knowing what one’s own body looked like was enough to send Falwell and his ilk to the airwaves, denouncing the book. And it did too. In one passage the book directed women to place a mirror on the floor, stand over it/ sans panties, and look at themselves. Radical, that women should be encouraged to know what their genitalia looked like. According to the Moral Majority it threatened the very existence of the United States. Funny how anything promoting and encouraging female empowerment is viewed that way.

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” was frank, to the point, and it didn’t mince words. It was ground breaking, radical, hailed and denounced! It was scandalous! Imagine telling a woman that she was in charge of her own body and not to blindly accept what a doctor a pastor etc. told her, but to ask questions. It talked about relationships (straight and lesbian), the here-to fore-only-“bad”-girls-have-one; female orgasm, it encouraged sexual pleasure and sexual health, reproduction education, mental health, to ask questions and to know themselves, both physically and mentally.

Sex wasn’t just to be fun for men it said, it was supposed to be enjoyable for women too. In many places it was a banned book, so naturally I bought one.

It told us that we were not, to use Pseudo-Adrienne's term, “birthing chattel”. We had rights, we had a voice. The Seattle Times notes “under the prevailing medical wisdom in the late 1960s, nurses whisked newborns away from their mothers without giving them a chance to bond and doctors customarily banned fathers from delivery rooms.” Our essence, being and even our medicine was dominated and defined by men.

Unfortunately some things haven’t changed. But the anti-women, forced pregnancy organizations and those who support it, want to not only end abortion, but also end education about our sexual health and contraception, and even contraception all together. (I secretly wonder if they will force me to reverse my tubule legation. )

But while some see this as a war on sex, or even a war on fucking, it’s not. Sure, making contraception illegal removes sex for pleasure, even among married couples, but it does not seek to prohibit a man from enjoying sex. The very same people, churches, sects, organizations that want to end contraception are the very same that tell a woman that she cannot refuse her husband and be a “Godly wife.”

So while the result of this retrograde abomination may make condoms more difficult to get, the end results falls harder and squarely on a woman’s shoulders. Men can always walk away, and without strengthening and aggressively going after dead beat dads, it would seem to encourage this result.

Eve’s curse or man’s folly? Are we going to roll backward even more? With this current crowd in power and our guard let down, the answer may be "yes."

Before that happens we should make sure that every public library has books on women’s health, and that they are not removed by the anti-women abstinence only crowd, we should make sure it is translated in as many languages as are spoken in the United States, and we should educate the younger generation about what it was like way back then, when we were kept from knowledge, from controling our own bodies our own destinies.

For it seems history is want to repeat itself.

See also:

I will take issue with the Seattle Times Still, many pages in "Our Bodies," carry a vestige of its counterculture origin. For instance, the section on menstruation touts old flannel shirts and T-shirts as economical alternatives to tampons and pads” One wonders what the writer, Kyung M. Song, thinks women did at the turn of the last century. My grandmother, like her sisters and mother, used towels. She said it made them “waddle.”

Should the CDC be a political tool?

In another move to make every agency in the US government suspect to the American people, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) were forced to remove two members form a recent federal panel on sexually transmitted diseases and replace them with two unvetted abstinence-only proponents.

Why? Because the panel was to focus on the failure of abstience until marriage programs. In fact one of the two panel members who were replaced was "going to talk about how abstinence programs were tied to rising STD rates." But there were no representatives on the panel to talk about how wonderful the abstinence only program is. Republicans didn't like that.

In, what may the best example of the Republican and the Bush Administration's not wanting to hear anything that in at odds with their policies, their thinking, their world view, no matter how damaging their policies are to the people of this country and to truth and trust in general, Sen. Tom Coburn's, (R-Okla.) spokesman John Hart "questioned why the CDC would present data that contradict the administration's policy."

Well, because it's the truth!

Not all of us think that government should be run by sticking your fingers in your ears and singing "la la la la la la la la la -- I'm not listening --- la la la la la la la la la," when given information you don't like. Aparently Republicans do.

So here you have it, another governmental agency that has been bent to poilitics. We no longer trust FEMA, EPA, Dept of Education, etc. etc., because they are now political tools for the Republicans and the White House. So too, it seems, is the CDC under Pres. Bush.

Is this an agency that you really want the American people to question and disregard as a political tool? Do you want the American people to ignore the CDC, espeically with a possible pandemic of H5N1 (Avian Flu) is expected to hit the US very soon?

See also:
Americablog (hat tip)
Huffington Post
Centre Daily