likeawoman: (just your opinion dude)
so, in the last televised Dem debate, Brian Williams brought up the infamous Barack Obama myspace bulletin/e-mail forward in which Obama is accused of being a secret Muslim, a radical Muslim, related to Muslims, not wanting to say the Pledge of Allegiance and otherwise being pure un-American evil.

and I thought to myself "are you fucking kidding me?"

followed by "there are rumors on the internets"

so I wondered aloud to my dear posse "is this how it is now? are presidential candidates seriously expected to answer for some random bit of internet bullshit? is Barack Obama seriously in the position of refuting a fucking myspace bulletin?"

"I wonder, if I made a bulletin that claimed that Barack Obama's REAL father was a unicorn, would he have to answer for that?"

so that's where this plan has hatched from.

I will post a bulletin claiming that Barack Obama's father is a unicorn. you will all repost it. then your friends will repost it. it will circle the internet in an act of forced memetics. we will force Barack Obama to swear to us all on national tv that he is not, in fact, half unicorn.

are you with me?

Here's the bulletin:

The totally true really real TRUTH about Barack Obama

Since the 2008 US Presidential election have started to heat up, the internet has been abuzz with discussion of what the candidates don't want us to know.

Most of these accusations have come in the form of claims that Barack Obama is a radical Muslim bent on the destruction of the US, but the REAL truth is so much more disturbing.

All claims that Barack Obama's real father was a Kenyan Muslim of the same name have been lies perpetrated to cover up the ugly reality of Obama's parentage

Barack Obama is not a Muslim...


The ugly truth is that Obama's real father was a UNICORN.

A dirty America hating UNICORN!

Can we trust a man so clearly influenced by the anti-American special interests of mythical beasts? How do we know that Obama won't go crazy and gore Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House for not being a virgin? How can we trust that he won't sacrifice national security for the wiles of a virginal maiden?

FACT: Barack Obama attends secret Unicorn meetings and believes in Unicorn supremacy

FACT: Barack Obama pretends that he was raised by his maternal family when in fact he was raised by a wild herd of Unicorns on an uncharted island in the Mediterranean

FACT: Barack Obama supporters have secretly campaigned at Renaissance
Faires on the platform of a Unicorn dominated utopia

I even checked Snopes and they confirm that Barack Obama is, in fact, half-Unicorn and secretly in bed with myriad Unicorn special interest groups!

So I say we have to stop Barack Obama before this nation is taken over by a veritable zoo of mythical beings!

He may not betray us, but WHAT IF HE DOES?

Say NO to UNICORNS! Say NO to Barack Obama.


likeawoman: (Default)

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

(also: support fictional socialist utopias run by hippos: visit Hippopolis!)
likeawoman: (Default)
when a republican releases a [white] murderer/rapist from prison and he hurts someone, it's an honest mistake made in the effort to restore justice (and take the piss out of Bill Clinton)

When Michael Dukakis became Governor of Mass., he chose not to end a prison furlough program that was already in place. Subsequently, a [black] convicted murderer named William Horton raped and robbed a woman in Maryland while on furlough. The Bush I camp took full advantage of this terrible situation and pounded into American heads that Dukakis (who was probably too short and too ethnic to be President anyway) was directly responsible for Horton's furlough and his actions on furlough. Commercials were ran mocking the "Weekend Passes" given to Mass inmates and Willie Horton's name (or at least the criminal-ified truncation thereof), and scary black face, became nationally known, and feared. Of course, trumpeting the Republican classic of "Democrats: SOFT ON CRIME" all the while,  Bush I went on to be our forty-first [white, Christian, male] president.

I wasn't old enough to really follow politics in 1988, but I remember Willie Horton.

fast forward to a post on today's Pandagon, in which we learn that Mike Huckabee, as Governor of Arkansas, was part of a conservative push to parole a [white] serial rapist. This was in the headiest of the "BLAME CLINTON" days and there were accusations that the Clinton administration in Arkansas has pushed for a tougher conviction because Clinton was distantly related to one of the rapist's victims. Not only did old Honest Huck get the man paroled, but after that man went on to rape and kill again, very near his own home, Honest Huck lied his ass off to try to deny his involvement in / understanding of / reasoning for this inexplicable (if you ignore the Clinton factor and the race factor) paroling of a serial rapist.

You're going down, Huck. Down, down, down. I can't see Giuliani or that fucking shark Romney passing up this wondrous opportunity to torpedo that Gomer Pyle looking motherfucker where he stands.

here's the Pandagon post:

His rise in the polls isn’t the only ink GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is receiving these days. Murray Waas at The Huffington Post
has obtained docs illuminating the former Arkansas governor’s role in release of a serial rapist, Wayne Dumond.

While on the campaign trail, Huckabee has claimed that he supported the 1999 release of Wayne Dumond because, at the time, he had no good reason to believe that the man represented a further threat to the public. Thanks to Huckabee’s intervention, conducted in concert with a right-wing tabloid campaign on Dumond’s behalf, Dumond was let out of prison 25 years before his sentence would have ended.

“There’s nothing any of us could ever do,” Huckabee said Sunday on CNN when asked to reflect on the horrific outcome caused by the prisoner’s release. “None of us could’ve predicted what [Dumond] could’ve done when he got out.”

But the confidential files obtained by the Huffington Post show that Huckabee was provided letters from several women who had been sexually assaulted by Dumond and who indeed predicted that he would rape again - and perhaps murder - if released.

In a letter that has never before been made public, one of Dumond’s victims warned: “I feel that if he is released it is only a matter of time before he commits another crime and fear that he will not leave a witness to testify against him the next time.” Before Dumond was granted parole at Huckabee’s urging, records show that Huckabee’s office received a copy of this letter from Arkansas’ parole board.

Even worse, Baptist minister Huckabee and his minions — lied about receiving any letters from the rape victims of Dumond.
Huckabee kept these and other documents secret because they were politically damaging, according to a former aide who worked for him in Arkansas. The aide has made the records available to the Huffington Post, deeply troubled by Huckabee’s repeated claims that he had no reason to believe Dumond would commit other violent crimes upon his release from prison. The aide also believes that Huckabee, for political reasons, has deliberately attempted to cover up his knowledge of Dumond’s other sexual assaults.

“There were no letters sent to the governor’s office from any rape victims,” Huckabee campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart said on Tuesday when contacted by the Huffington Post.

Subsequently, however, the campaign provided a former senior aide of Huckabee’s who did remember reading at least one of the letters.

In fact, since Huckabee is so public about his faith and courts the bible-beating vote, his treatment of these victims is particularly damaging. Read on after the jump.

What the public never knew, however, was that other women who had been sexually assaulted by Dumond had privately written Huckabee about their anguish. Their very private attempts at changing Huckabee’s mind, they later told the Huffington Post, were based on concerns that speaking out publicly would have been too painful and traumatizing.

One such letter was from the daughter of a Dumond rape victim:

When you ran for office, one of the reasons I voted for you was the fact you are/were a Baptist preacher. I come from a very strong Baptist background… [O]ne of my grandfathers is also a preacher. I have always been a faithful church member where I am the choir director, yet this is one event that is not so easily forgiven.

I have prayed about these feelings, but once someone hurts your mother, or daughter the way this man hurt my mother I believe that you would feel the same…

Please understand that this letter is coming from my heart…. I would love to have the chance to talk to you about this matter as a daughter of a surviving rape victim.

The woman provided Huckabee with her personal phone number in hopes that he or at least someone on his staff would call. She says that she never heard back.Go read the rest of the piece; it makes your stomach turn.

Here are links to the confidential files Huff Post obtained:
* Letter From Rape Victim, Sept. 1996
* Letter From Rape Victim’s Daughter, Sept. 1996
* Letter From Rape Victim, Sept. 1999

UPDATE: It gets even worse; how will Chuck Norris get him out of this mess? Huckabee wrote a joyous letter to Dumond about his release — “My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel that parole is the best way for your reintroduction to society to take place.”Americablog.) Dumond then went out and raped and murdered two women.

likeawoman: (Default)
thanks to [profile] hooper_x

Matt Taibbi on Mike Huckabee, Our Favorite Right-Wing Nut Job

Matt TaibbiPosted Nov 14, 2007 8:40 AM

MIKE HUCKABEE, THE LATEST IT GIRL OF THE Republican presidential race, tells a hell of a story. Let your guard down anywhere near the former Arkansas governor and he'll pod you, Body Snatchers-style — you'll wake up drooling, your brain gone, riding a back seat on the bandwagon that suddenly has him charging toward the lead in the GOP race.


likeawoman: (white privilege paris)
Just in case some of you were wondering about this interweb sensation candidate Ron Paul, who occasionally says something sane and useful but somehow thinks a return to the gold standard is a good idea (like those fox news ads: "gold has never been worth nothing." um, untrue guys.) so here it is, a list of  the stupid, terrible and sometimes strange acts of congressman Ron Paul (I'd really recommend at least skimming this):

Ron Paul's record in Congress
Sunday, November 11, 2007
-- by Dave

In the comments thread to my previous post on Ron Paul, the indispensable Trefayne compiled a series of posts on Paul's track record as a congressman, particularly those bills he sponsored or co-sponsored.

Here's Trefayne:

What's more, consider Ron Paul's record in Congress. Not that he'll ever occupy the Oval Office, but what would he do after pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq? His past legislative proposals will provide some clues, and they are not friendly to progressive ideas. Here are some bills that Ron Paul has proposed, not merely voted on, but sponsored. And you can see that he tries repeatedly on certain issues, which suggests they are important to him.

-- He opposes the right of women to be free to control their own reproductive systems if they happen to live in particular states or other countries, or if they work for the Peace Corps.
Ron Paul introduces three pro-life bills

H.R.1095: To prohibit any Federal official from expending any Federal funds for any population control or population planning program or any family planning activity.

H.R.777: To prohibit any Federal official from expending any Federal funds for any population control or population planning program or any family planning activity.

H.R.1548: To prohibit any Federal official from expending any Federal funds for any population control or population planning program or any family planning activity.

H.AMDT.1003 (A024): Amendment no. 17 printed in the Congressional Record to prohibit the use of funding for abortion, family planning, or population control efforts.

H.AMDT.380 (A022): An amendment no. 9 printed in the Congressional Record to prohibit funding for population control or population planning programs; family planning activities; or abortion procedures.

H.AMDT.312 (A011): An amendment, printed as amendment No. 32 in the Congressional Record of July 16, 1997, to prohibit the use of funds appropriated in the bill for Family Planning, birth control or abortion.

H.R.4984: A bill to prohibit the use of funds for the Peace Corps to be used for travel expenses of individuals in order for abortions to be performed on those individuals.

-- He wants to erase the distinction in U.S. law between a zygote and a person
H.R.2597: To provide that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception.

H.R.1094: To provide that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception.

H.R.776: To provide that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception

H.R.392: A bill proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right to life.
likeawoman: (fucking pinko commie)
What have I learned from the fires raging across SoCal?

1. this country's number one priority is not freedom or justice or egalitarianism or the safety or comfort of its citizens; it is private property. the acquisition, protection and deification of property.

this is not christian nation, as those halfwit conservative assholes like to tout while ignoring history, both in word and practice.

this is a capitalist nation. bow down before your hummer, your mcmansion, your $700 dollar dog and your 16-year-old's birthday party, which would make any proper human sick at the waste and vulgarity. you deserve it. it's your right. it's just evidence of the meritocracy!

we are the same backward, hateful, selfish, underhanded, frightened, self-righteous Puritans who landed on New England's shores centuries ago.

being rich, being White, these are the signs of God's favor. if you are not rich, if you are not White, there is no God for you here. welcome to Amerrrrrrica.

2. New Orleans and the whole Katrina situation was a conspiracy. whether it was an explicit conspiracy with clandestine meetings and detailed forethought, or a conspiracy hatched in a moment, in the words "I think we all know what needs to be done here," it doesn't matter. the powers that be conspired to take advantage of the situation to increase their foothold even a millimeter, like they so often do.  they killed New Orleans and will resurrect on it's corpse a false city , a Branson of stolen creole culture and two dimensional attempts at the beauty and diversity of the city they killed.

New Orleans had experienced disasters like this before. a whole corps of engineers and it didn't occur to anyone that the levees were insufficient? bullshit. they knew. they sabotaged private escape attempts, they held people at gunpoint without supplies or shelter, they left thousands behind with no organized way to keep safe and healthy, not to mention fed and hydrated. they stole their insurance from them, stole their houses from them. they keep their schools closed. they keep the aid tied up or misallocated. they bring in the private contractors, the mercenaries, capitalist and otherwise.

within days of the hurricane, I listened to professors predict whitewashing, lying, gentrification and cultural destruction. within days. and so many didn't believe. so many said "but they can't do that. not with everyone watching!" as if everyone would really continue to watch.

now they've had two years of neglect and Republican politicians are capitalizing on New Orleans being washed clean of any significant dissenting presence and have criminalized virtually anyone who might stand in their way. they've got the excuses in place to bring down the mean fist of White law and order on the heads of anyone that might compromise the future safety and development of their new theme park. they've gotten their wishes and the ground is primed for big developers to reach into their big pockets and use their big money to push for a safe New Orleans for their future condo occupants. they can build bloated, tacky, anti-cultural shrines to capitalism, where homes owned through generations and hurricanes and racism and poverty had once stood. just like they told me two Septembers ago.

and we're supposed to believe, as all of this continues, as people still wait to receive aid, return home, reclaim their lives (or what could be salvaged of them) that FEMA learned something?

FEMA didn't learn anything they didn't know well before Katrina. all that matters is who matters.

I'm sure I don't have to point out the demographics of the places threatened by these fires. I'm sure you've heard the stories of horses being boarded and having to choose which car to take and all that bourgeois shit.

I realize that the people of SoCal, rich and spoiled and selfish as they may be, are human beings just like the victims of Katrina. it's too bad that the converse isn't more obvious to more people.

these people don't have to worry that their insurance won't get paid or or that everyone will say "well you know that's a risk of living there" or that former first ladies will be talking about how they're better off in a refugee camp or getting turned back at county and city lines by armed government employees or that their property will be systematically stolen from them (especially since many of these people are just the kind of people who do that crap for a living). it's just such a vivid lesson in what we already knew and all I can muster is disgust and anger.

Fox News compared the QC to a summer flea market (I'm guess they don't mean like Baghdad) and gush about how well organized this all is. how FEMA learned from Katrina. we hear from refugees about how well fed they are, how safe they feel, how their pets are boarded and the calvary has arrive and how much FEMA has learned from Katrina.

if you think that this would be any different if the fires had come before Katrina, you're living a lie. the people of SoCal need to stop being complicit in this propaganda campaign to elevate FEMA. it's one thing to take the aid and be grateful, it's another to endorse their efficiency and "improvement" without giving a thought to the fact that New Orleans waits to this day and refusing to acknowledge the bold faced socio-economic differences and what they clearly imply.

it obviously isn't that they suddenly learned all of this magical coordination and efficiency, as though the day before the fires it was business as usual and now that there are fires, there's been a collective bureaucratic epiphany. to allow them to flip the script and rewrite history so that it was somehow something they couldn't possibly have been prepared for (in spite of similar disasters in history, knowledge about the state of the levies, etc) and now they've learned their lesson is just total bunk. it's really upsetting to me that so many folks from SoCal are aiding and abetting this, as though their aid (or, more realistically, their conscience) depends on it.

this country and everything it is supposed to stand for, all those constitutional values we trot out for election and rend limb from limb in the offseason, IS A LIE. it's a fucking lie. I've known this for so long and yet these kinds of failings still shock and upset me.

just a little more than two years ago, I spent nearly a week doing barely anything other than crying, watching the news and attending university panels. now I'm spending more time than I'd like watching news and finding myself enraged instead of sad. I have so many examples of why this situation is blatantly and unapologetically fucked that I can't even put them all into words at the same time.

and the real evidence? the beautiful bit of information that kills all the appeals to the benefit of the doubt and to the economics and all those excuses to avert our eyes, assuage our consciences and just thank god it's not us? Indian Reservations burn to the ground without aid. they shelter themselves, without aid. they go on ignored and not even mentioned in mainstream national media coverage. They get left behind.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

I find myself, more often than not, just taking for granted that this country is in real and permanent decline and that probably nothing can salvage it. not culturally or in any kind of "good old days"/"kids these days" kind of way. in an "empire in decline" sort of way. such is the reality of history and empires. you can't be on top forever and the U.S. has made it clear that we will sacrifice everything, down to the quality of life of our people. it is almost as though the twentieth century, and the myriad lessons to be learned therein, never happened. it is as though we can't grasp even the simplest lessons of the failures of imperialism or nationalism or authoritarianism, even as we profess to have fought them and won out for all that is good. we refuse to even see the forest for the trees on the issue of capitalism.

we just don't learn

I can't remember the last time I was so fucking  disgusted.
likeawoman: (Default)

I swiped this from [personal profile] stainedpaper, consider yourselves tagged en masse.

→ Pick your birth month.
→ Strike out anything that doesn't apply to you.
→ Underline the five-ten that best apply to you.
→ Copy to your own journal, with all twelve months under a lj-cut.
→ Tag 5 people from your friends list.

Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

Hey I didn't have to strike out many things...

likeawoman: (fucking pinko commie)
[profile] thegreatcurveasked for information on dealing with the police in situations in which they do not have a warrant but want to search your vehicle, home or person. I figure that she's not the only one who could benefit from instruction, or a refresher, on how to thwart pig shenanigans.

so I bring you the always useful and informative ACLU video, BUSTED:

this video is important to everyone. even if you have nothing to hide, it is your duty to defend your constitutional rights. it is the job of the police to protect YOU, not to undermine your rights or abuse their power. be an informed citizen!
likeawoman: (hells no)

For $82 a Day, Booking a Cell in a 5-Star Jail

Published: April 29, 2007

SANTA ANA, Calif., April 25 — Anyone convicted of a crime knows a debt to society often must be paid in jail. But a slice of Californians willing to supplement that debt with cash (no personal checks, please) are finding that the time can be almost bearable.

For offenders whose crimes are usually relatively minor (carjackers should not bother) and whose bank accounts remain lofty, a dozen or so city jails across the state offer pay-to-stay upgrades. Theirs are a clean, quiet, if not exactly recherché alternative to the standard county jails, where the walls are bars, the fellow inmates are hardened and privileges are few.

Many of the self-pay jails operate like the secret velvet-roped nightclubs of the corrections world. You have to be in the know to even apply for entry, and even if the court approves your sentence there, jail administrators can operate like bouncers, rejecting anyone they wish.

For roughly $75 to $127 a day, these convicts — who are known in the self-pay parlance as “clients” — get a small cell behind a regular door, distance of some amplitude from violent offenders and, in some cases, the right to bring an iPod or computer on which to compose a novel, or perhaps a song

While jails in other states may offer pay-to-stay programs, numerous jail experts said they did not know of any.

“I have never run into this,” said Ken Kerle, managing editor of the publication American Jail Association and author of two books on jails. “But the rest of the country doesn’t have Hollywood either. Most of the people who go to jail are economically disadvantaged, often mentally ill, with alcohol and drug problems and are functionally illiterate. They don’t have $80 a day for jail.”

“The benefits are that you are isolated and you don’t have to expose yourself to the traditional county system,” said Christine Parker, a spokeswoman for CSI, a national provider of jails that runs three in Orange County with pay-to-stay programs. “You can avoid gang issues. You are restricted in terms of the number of people you are encountering and they are a similar persuasion such as you.”

“It seems to be to be a little unfair,” said Mike Jackson, the training manager of the National Sheriff’s Association. “Two people come in, have the same offense, and the guy who has money gets to pay to stay and the other doesn’t. The system is supposed to be equitable.”

But cities argue that the paying inmates generate cash, often hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — enabling them to better afford their other taxpayer-financed operations — and are generally easy to deal with.

The prisoners who are charged with nonviolent crimes and typically have no record are not in the best position to handle themselves in the general county facility,” Professor Goldman said.

emphasis mine throughout. may be available here after Sunday edition comes out.

I'd like to say I can't believe this, but I have no problem believing it, it just makes me sick. I'm sorry, but if jail isn't safe for "good people" who have "bad things happen to" them, maybe we should be focusing on making jail safer and more habitable, not let Whitey McDUI and Possession McFratBoy pay to get the resort version. I mean, really, is there any way to ignore the blatant classist and racist and ableist assumptions that accompany allowing certain criminals to pay for better accommodations, if they have the cash?

it reminds me of some news I heard about Michigan prisons being handed a new standard regarding the temperature of cells after a physically restrained, mentally ill prisoner DIED of hyperthermia and dehydration after 4 days in a 100+ degree cell in the Jackson complex. I wonder if he'd had a little extra cash if they could've worked out some AC for him. maybe if he'd had 80 bucks a day, he could've gotten one of the medical professionals whose job it was to monitor him to consider saving his life, instead of just ignoring his plummeting vital signs and refusal of water and food.

it's bad enough that for people of color, poor people and the mentally ill (and god help you if you're any combination of those) prison is unsafe and unhealthy and often deadly by sheer neglect. now those who have can skip out on those risks altogether.

perhaps, instead of letting certain folks buy out, we should develop a correctional system that is somewhere near humane, somewhere near habitable. maybe we should stop treating these people, often the victims of circumstance and an utter lack of power or influence (and very often non-violent drug offenders who are the victims of outdated, unrealistic, inexcusable drug policy), worse than we do cattle. maybe we should consider that all of this makes a mockery of the Eighth Amendment, a part of the document that is supposed to be at the very core of our legal system.

how can we even begin to point at China, at the Middle East, at North Korea, at the places that Americans accuse of being uncivilized, unjust and barbaric, without considering the egregious mockery that we make of human rights and our own legal system? how is it that Americans can find themselves outraged to the point of supporting a war against a nation based as much as anything on what we see as their lack of freedom while we ourselves ignore how selective our own concept of freedom is.

this country is in dire need of some serious wake up calls

ETA: it's so sad when the Onion is prescient


Sep. 11th, 2006 04:12 pm
likeawoman: (my I.Q.)
Not in My Name

Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to join
me in a moment of
silence in honor of those who died in the World Trade
Center and the
Pentagon last September 11th.

I would also like to ask you to offer up a moment of
silence for all of
those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared,
tortured, raped,
or killed in retaliation for those strikes, for the
victims in both
Afghanistan and the U.S.

And if I could just add one more thing
A full day of silence for the tens of thousands of
Palestinians who
died at the hands of U.S.-backed Israeli forces over
decades of occupation.

Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi
people, mostly
children, who have died of malnourishment or
starvation as a result of
an 11-year U.S. embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem, two months of silence for
the Blacks under
Apartheid in South Africa, where homeland security
made them aliens in
their own country

Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, where
Death rained down and peeled back every layer of
concrete, steel, earth
Skin and the survivors went on as if alive.

A year of silence for the millions of dead in Viet Nam
- a people, not
war - for those who know a thing or two about the
scent of burning
their relatives' bones buried in it, their babies born
of it.

A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos,
victims of a
war ... ssssshhhhh .... Say nothing ... we don't want
them to learn
that they are dead.

Two months of silence for the decades of dead in
Colombia, whose names,
like the corpses they once represented, have piled up
and slipped off
our tongues.

Before I begin this poem,
An hour of silence for El Salvador ...
An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua ...
Two days of silence for the Guetmaltecos ...
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their
living years.
45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal,
25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans
who found their
far deeper in the ocean than any building could poke
into the sky.
There will be no DNA testing or dental records to
identify their
And for those who were strung and swung from the
heights of sycamore
Trees in the south, the north, the east, and the west
... 100 years of
For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples
from this half of
right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen, In postcard-perfect
plots like Pine
Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or
the Trail of Tears.
Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the
refrigerator of
our consciousness ...

So you want a moment of silence?
And we are all left speechless
Our tongues snatched from our mouths
Our eyes stapled shut

A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest
The drums disintegrating into dust

Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same

And the rest of us hope to hell it won't be.
Not like it always has been

Because this is not a 9-1-1 poem
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem

This is a 1492 poem.
This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be

And if this is a 9/11 poem, then
This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971
This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South
Africa, 1977
This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at
Attica Prison, New

This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.
This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground
in ashes
This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never
The 110 stories that history chose not to write in
The 110 stories that that CNN, BBC, The New York
Times, and Newsweek
This is a poem for interrupting this program.

And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children

Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the instant messages,
Derail the trains, the light rail transit
If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through
the window of Taco
And pay the workers for wages lost
Tear down the liquor stores,
The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the
Penthouses and

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton's 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where
my beautiful
have gathered

You want a moment of silence
Then take it
Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence
Take it.
But take it all
Don't cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime.

But we,
Tonight we will keep right on singing
For our dead.

- Emmanuel Ortiz 9.11.02

I wish it was tomorrow so I could stop feeling like this
likeawoman: (joyful ani)
Opening Credits: Little Plastic Castle - Ani Difranco
Waking Up Scene: To Be Young - Ryan Adams
Car Driving Scene: Talk Show Host - Radiohead
High School Flashback Scene: Freshman - The Verve Pipe
Nostalgic Scene: New Tricks - Mary Prankster
Bitter, Angry Scene: Satin in a Coffin - Modest Mouse
Break-up Scene: Both Hands - Ani Difranco
Regret Scene: City Girl - Tegan and Sara
Nightclub/Bar Scene: Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan
Fight/Action Scene: Binge and Purge - Clutch
Sad, Breakdown Scene: Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Mellow Scene: Wild World - Cat Stevens
Dreaming About Someone Scene: Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
Dreaming Scene: Norwegian Wood - The Beatles
Sex Scene: Any Time, Any Place - Janet Jackson
Contemplation Scene: Grey - Ani Difranco
Chase Scene: Thunderkiss 65 - White Zombie
Happy Love Scene: Hotel Yorba - The White Stripes
Happy Friend Scene: We Are Going to be Friends - White Stripes
Death Scene:
Today - Smashing Pumpkins
Funeral Scene:
In My Life - The Beatles
Closing Credits:
Everything I Need - Melissa Ferrick
likeawoman: (Default)
as I'm sure many of you are aware, South Dakota banned abortion (pretty much wholesale) this March. Just to be clear, this law would not go into effect until July according to the legislation, but because it is being brought forth as a ballot initiative it will not be brought into effect unless it is affirmed by voters. even then, planned parenthood will inevitably challenge it on the grounds of it being totally unconstitutional (as outlined in Roe v. Wade and PP v. Casey, etc) and an injucntion will prevent it from going into effect until the matter has been resolved in federal court (potentially the SCotUS). the point being, abortion is still legal in South Dakota (just an fyi before we get to the issue I actually want to discuss).

so in the wake of the media insanity that this ill advised legislation brought about, Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the Pine Ridge Reservation made the following statement:

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

the statement did a lot of things. first, it drew a great deal of attention to the Oglala tribe and Pine Ridge. second, it sparked a large number of unsolicited donations from reproductive rights activists, from the US and internationally. third, it got Fire Thunder in a whole lot of trouble.

Fire Thunder had been unseated from her position in 05 over a variety of charges. these charged were later dismissed and she was reinstated. everything I've read on this situation in the (very limited, online) Native press suggests that it was political maneuvering.  I've gotten the impression thatFire Thunder is a very controversial leader with a strong will and a great deal of dissatisfaction for the running of Pine Ridge before her appointment.  I am ill-equipped to get into the deep, complex and still tense issues of Pine Ridge, but it is one of the most impoverished areas in the country, home to a great deal of violence toward tribe members (both on the part of our government and pro-government/pro-white -- for lack of a better term-- forces on the reservation) and was the site of the hotly contested events which led to Leonard Peltier's (wrongful, in my estimation) imprisonment. Pine Ridge has a lot of problems and the tribal council is not always unified on those problems. Fire Thunder has gained a great deal of press for, among other things, looking to reaffirm the dignity of a people undercut by government, marginalization, racism and betrayal withing the tribe. tribal politics are extremely complex in many places, and Pine Ridge was probably best known for their controversies up until this march.  (anyone who can flesh out Pine Ridge's politics is welcome to help me out -- obviously my understanding is piecemeal at best).

so, in response to the unsolicited donations and Fire Thunder's controversial statement, she was suspended again. I am less clear on whether this is an effort of the same detractors she has always had or a serious issue of misrepresenting her constituents. There has been some outcry regarding feelings that abortion is outside the traditional  values of the tribe. Some members of the council that supported her in the first challenge to her presidency are apparently not with her on this issue. Pamphlets have been circulated referring to her as "Cecilia Babykiller" a play on the name of Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee nation. needless to say, it's a complicated issue. The council also voted to ban abortion on the reservation. It is unclear if abortions could be performed under the protection of sovereignty in the event the South Dakota ban was upheld. It is also unclear how the Pine Ridge ban might be challenged, also due to the complexities of sovereignty.

but none of this is the point, exactly. the point is this

when Fire Thunder made her statement, she was flooded with donations. pro-choicers started throwing money at her immediately, in spite of her never having publicly solicited any funds. advocates with little to no understanding of tribal sovereignty, tribal politics or Pine Ridge rallied on every single feminist and choice community I am on (and countless other venues) posting Fire Thunder's contact information and encouraging support. whether or not they intended to, they fueled the fire that put Fire Thunder in the position of impeachment.

but it doesn't end there.

since news of Fire Thunder's suspension has spread, the communities are ablaze again. advocates are decrying the tribal council and demanding answers as to where their money will go. money they sent off to strangers unsolicited. money they apparently foolishly assumed they could earmark. and you know, if it was just griping, maybe I could let their foolishness go.

but it doesn't end there either.

today, this post appeared on ljforchoice. (please don't comment if you're not a member) as I'm sure you can see from my comment, I'm pretty frustrated with the whole thing. in case something has changed and you can't see my comments, here they are:

I'm not trying to be mean here, but what exactly is this intended for? you're going to call up the tribal council of a sovereign native american nation and say "hey guys, I know I'm not Oglala Sioux or a member of any nation and this decision has nothing to do with me and I don't know anything about the politics of your reservation, but I think it's shitty that you banned abortion."

has it occurred to anyone that a bunch of nosey, non-native pro-choicers calling and sending mail to shame the council may very well solidify their stance? pine ridge's politics are extremely complicated and the interviews I've read with tribal council members point directly to the fact that some members feel that Fire Thunder's move to provide abortions on the reservation (though she says now that she never meant they'd build an abortion clinic) was out of step with their traditional values.

has it ever occurred to anyone that getting involved in native politics on a reservation you know little about and sending unsolicited donations and interfering in all this might be doing more harm than good?


p.s. I'd love to hear how many of the non-natives looking to fight this matter had any idea that Pine Ridge existed before this all happened. it's one of the most famous reservations in the country and still virtually no non-natives no anything about it. frankly it comes off as more than a bit patronizing, the way there's suddenly all this concern for one of the single most impoverished areas in the country, an area that just happened to be the sight of some appalling crimes against native people only a few decades ago, over abortion. is anyone else given pause by this extremely selective concern for the Oglala Sioux?

which I feel sufficiently sums up my frustration with this. it's all just a bit too "white man's burden" for me to stomach. who the hell are these pro-choicers (most of whom I assume from past posts and comments know little to nothing about Pine Ridge) to contact the tribal council and attack their decisions? why are we entitled to interfere in the politics of a tribe already repeatedly assailed by white interference in awful ways, in order to further our own interests? am I completely off base for thinking "couldn't you all just mind your own fucking backyards?"

I'm just so frustrated with the attitude of entitlement that this whole thing smacks of. not to mention, as I pointed out in my comment, few (if any) of these people gave two shits for Pine Ridge, in spite of serious problems put upon its occupants for the past... oh... forever, until they made abortion related headlines.

I dunno, it's just kind of burning my ass. maybe I'm wrong. what do you all think? (I'd especially love to hear from comrades I know are active in anti-racism activism, as well as my pro-choice comrades who were a bit boggled by the unsolicited craziness that started all of this)


Feb. 21st, 2006 12:43 pm
likeawoman: (all things Feminist)
There are two young men collecting money for the homeless outside the University Center. They declare that they will be "homeless for 24 hours" in order to raise awareness. They have a fridge box and a blanket, a little poster board with homeless people facts and a bucket for donations; it's a clever little diorama, really. But, what, if anything, is to be learned, is to be gained, by this little exercise? They are not homeless. Twenty-four hours in a fridge box with home and roommates and family and college and food and warmth on the horizon, real and palpable, is not homelessness. It's not even a good analogy for homelessness.

Their suffering is rooted in deprivation on the most basic level. It is the false ascetism of a day without their lives. Tomorrow, if they buy some beer, it is not political fodder for afternoon talk news. If they decide to smoke a joint, it is not generalized commentary on their status as citizens, nor a clear determiner of their place in society, it is good old fashioned college fun. (at this point, the addage "if you're a republican at 20 you have no heart, if you're a democrat at 30 you have no brain" comes to mind. I cannot say, at this moment, if that is non sequitor). Tonight, their box will not draw campus police, they will not be shooed along. If this experiment in faux empathy proves to dangerous in the balmy 25 degree weather, they will not be forced to wander the night, looking for a twenty-four hour laundromat or apartment flop of someone slightly less indigent, for fear of not waking in the morning. They can go home.

They are not huddled in the shadows of Island Park, living in a daily haze of fear, shame, desperation, isolation or addiction. They are not the object of pathetic, impotent pity. They are heroes, do-gooders, making a supposed sacrafice for the good of others. I honestly wonder if they even truly realize that Mount Pleasant has a homeless population. No shelter, one soup kitchen, and a good two dozen homeless adults, moving from downtown flops to the park to the university library to the laundromat next to the chinese buffet. Where are these people's Columbia jackets and L.L. Bean ski gloves? Those boys in that box got to wake up this morning and choose the outfits most conducive to this abominable weather, got to have a good meal yesterday and will have another tomorrow. They have nothing to fear.

We all know it will be over tomorrow, maybe a few hundred, maybe a thousand or two, raised. This 21st century pastoral, this bourgeois game, we all know it is a temporary state, a show. So what was the point of sleeping in the box? To say you did it? To convince yourself it just wasn't that bad? To feel like you "understand" the homeless experience? Is this how little college teaches us, that we think that the pervasive, omnipotent grip of class and its often silent partners, race, sex, biologically essentialist constrictures of gender, can be so easily quantified and squared away? problem solved! we all understand!

I want to stop and talk to them, but I am afraid. Afraid of what they, and what I, would say. Afraid that their pity will choke me. I am afraid that I will scream at them "this is a fucking minstrel show! have you no shame? no empathy?" so I just bite my tongue. I posted an inquiry as to the action on the cmu community, and I am sure now that I've raised an objection I will be scandalized as an awful bitch who hates everything. what else is new?

its times like this when I consider my original path as a high school english teacher. can anyone tell the class the difference between empathy and sympathy? can anyone define pity? what about pathetic? how about useless, self-indulgent, masturbatory liberal guilt, class?
likeawoman: (Default)
all photos in this post reappropriated from the talented [ profile] vicfitz82
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not bad, for a fucking pinko commie )
likeawoman: (motherfucker)
apparently recruitment officers have a lot of free time on their hands, cause that was QUICK!

SSG Olan's response )

yes Mr Olan, this is clearly about my plethora of opportunities and my privilege getting in the way of understanding what a fine opportunity dying in a foreign land in a needless war is for the poor and marginalized. It's too bad that, if not for being raised by a veteran and a bleeding heart, you might've gotten me and my brother both. you win some, you lose some, right?
likeawoman: (bush disaster)
And when you ask them, how much should we give,
oh, they only answer, more, more, more

I got a mass e-mail (don't they call that SPAM?) from an army recruiting officer today in my campus mail. it was funny to browse the names all lined up in alphabetical order in the "to:" spot. my old rommate Angie was in there. I bet she'll be just as pleased as I was to have recieved the invitation to join up. I sent a response. I try not to be such a cynical little nut that I worry that saying something will land me on a list, but it doesn't matter, since the cynical nut part knows that if there is a list, I've probably already gotten on it. I think of all the people in the military machine, I have the most trouble being diplomatic with recruiters. Its my gut reaction to think "fucking vultures". I'm not entirely sure that that's unfair of me. But I did my best to at least be respectful and moderate in the wording of my response. I'm just so sick of this fucking disgusting war.

my response )
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