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March 04, 2006
I agree
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.

Women should learn self-defense.
Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark.
Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts.
Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all.

how about:

If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 a.m., don't rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.
If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and report him as a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, and sons of friends that it's not okay to rape someone.

Don't just tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x,y or z.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, repost it. It's that important.
Posted by AnneZook at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)
March 03, 2006
They wrote it

A few must-read links tonight.

The leaders we have been looking for are us." I have always said we should be looking at John Edwards.

A timeline of torture and lies.

I don't know if I'll Take the Pledge or not. Because I agree with Ahistoricality. I don't like the implication that the Left wouldn't do that anyhow, because it's just so not true.

Fiscal responsibility can get you in trouble.

And too much food safety can do the same.

Avedon Carol has More interesting stuff.

Jerome gives us Past Progressive, II

Posted by AnneZook at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)
NOW what?

Why did lawyers for a Guantanamo detainee withdraw their request that a USofA Army General involved in the situation "be called to testify"?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)
Impeach Bush

Is the law a law or is it a piece of toast?

But torture is something else. When Americans start pulling people's fingernails out with pliers and poking lighted cigarettes into their palms, then we need to come back to basic values.

For anyone who missed Garrison Keillor the first time around.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)
There's nothing the matter with Kansas

Democrats and Middle America: What's the Real Problem?

A fascinating article saying that the reason we can't figure out why the Democrats aren't focused and on-message is because.... Well, mostly it's because we keep misunderstanding who the Democrats were, which has a lot to do with what they've become.

Basically, we're having the wrong arguments, arguing about people voting for or against their economic interests or voting their religion instead of, let's say, an extension of the social equality this country is supposedly based on.

Many interesting ideas come up.

If voters like your position on the issues and dislike your cultural affinities, you win votes by making people focus on substance. You must tone down cultural appeals, identify issues that affect everyday lives, and sharpen differences over those issues until people pay attention. That’s why Hillary Clinton’s foray into foreign policy is so futile. Hawkish gestures remake her image about as much as Paris Hilton’s sojourn on an Arkansas farm makes her seem folksy. The intensely polarizing cultural dimension of Senator Clinton’s persona remains unchanged, sure to overshadow the substance of her platform and dominate voter attitudes toward her presidential candidacy.

This is an excellent example, but can I ask us to give it up on Hillary? I really don't think she's our candidate.

It’s not as if Democrats can talk about economics and simply ignore culture. The oft-cited “traditional Democratic” electoral appeal based purely on economics is a myth—and one rather recently hatched. In reality, the New Deal Democratic Party was a hybrid. It bore the fruits of a European-style class party, but its branches were grafted onto the trunk of a nineteenth-century American party organized around sectional and ethnic allegiances. Together with union members and distressed farmers, it covered a spectrum that included southern whites, from tenant farmers to plantation owners, and Irish Catholic businessmen alongside their working-class coreligionists.

By its nature, this mixture had a limited lifetime. With policies trimmed back to reconcile opposing interests, class politics lost vigor.

Makes perfect sense. One of the issues that we can't seem to get around is how to mobilize the lower classes without telling people that they're, well, lower class.

This just isn't an approach that works in today's society.

If Democrats were to remain a majority party, something new was needed. As this dilemma became clear in the seventies, the party faced a choice. It could, as Bayard Rustin and Michael Harrington had suggested a decade earlier, become a genuinely class-based party with program to match, along the lines of European social democracy. Or it could pursue what was called the New Politics, a coalition of minorities with a newly radicalized stratum of students and the educated. The New Politics strategy, in its pure form, was quickly discredited by George McGovern’s crushing defeat in the 1972 election. But opposition to a class-based party was too strong for the alternative strategy to be chosen, and the party dithered.

And we dither still.

Anyhow, the article goes on to discuss the rise of the "centrist" Democrats.

The suggestion that we rebuild the "Democratic majority" by being "sensitive" on "cultural preferences" sounds like trouble to me, but much of the rest of the article should make you think.

(As long as you're over there, you might want to glance at, The Democrats’ Opportunity: Are They Ready?. It annoyed me more than it impressed me but then I've never understood why the corrupt, fraud-riddled, scandal-plagued Reagan years were the target of so much political veneration.

Still, the article goes on to discuss the opportunity in front of the Democrats today.)

(Anyone want to lay odds on whether or not they continue to blow it?)

Anyone still in the mood to contemplate democracy and the Democrats can check out Responsibility. Community. Competence.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

I just watched a commercial for hair coloring for men.

The focus was on "real." It's "real" to the touch and "real" to the eye, so it's "real where it counts."

Commercials for women's haircolor focus on "natural." The color looks, "natural." "Only her hairdresser knows for sure."

It's an interesting difference of focus.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)
Not in his name

Ray McGovern hands the CIA back the medallion they awarded him and says he doesn't want to be associated with torture.

If German officials who were ordered to do such things in the 1930s had spoken out early and loudly enough, the German people might have been alerted to the atrocities being perpetrated in their name and tried harder to stop them. When my grandchildren ask, "What did you do, Grandpa, to stop the torture," I want to be able to tell them that I tried to honor my oath, taken both as an Army officer and an intelligence officer, to defend the Constitution of the United States - and that I not only spoke out strongly against the torture, but also sought a symbolic way to dissociate myself from it.

Another voice joins the battle.

One voice is joined by nine more but it should have been 90.

One senator who got it right was the dean of the chamber, West Virginia's Byrd, who not only voted against resuthorization but also apologized for failing to join Feingold in 2001 to oppose the Patriot Act in its original form

"There is no doubt that constitutional freedoms will never be abolished in one fell swoop, for the American people cherish their freedoms, and would not tolerate such a loss if they could perceive it," explained Byrd. "But the erosion of freedom rarely comes as an all-out frontal assault but rather as a gradual, noxious creeping, cloaked in secrecy, and glossed over by reassurances of greater security."

Posted by AnneZook at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)
Be Careful

Don't fall for it. Don't let them bait you.

It's a trap.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:01 PM | Comments (2)
On the other hand....

This story says parents should be frightened because the NCLB national test scores consistently score children as less proficient, sometimes only half as proficient, in reading as the state tests score them.

Why such a huge discrepancy? The state tests make it easier for children to shine.

"States worry about how much truth the public can handle without losing confidence in public education," Haycock said.

Knowing the determination of certain Rightwing groups to kill public education, one might suspect that this is exactly what they're hoping for.

I'm not saying public education is without fault. I'm not even saying that it doesn't need a lot of work. I'm just saying that a federal mandate that the entire range of students in our country live up to a single standard is obnoxious and unrealistic.

I'm also saying that spending $300 billion or whatever killing people in Iraq and then saying we can't afford to educate the children in this country doesn't sit well with me.

And while I'm saying things, I'm also saying that when you vote against funding for schools in your community again and again and again, you're a direct contributor to this problem.

As you are when you decide not to join the PTA in your child's school.

Education isn't magic, people. It doesn't happen at the wave of a wand.

Posted by AnneZook at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)
Guess Who?

A leader with a legislative majority in his country’s national government uses tax loopholes and cronyism to enrich himself and his family and friends at the expense of the taxpayers.

Said leader, according to the news, "rather brazenly engage[s] in a good number of rather dubious practices."

Because this isn't the USofA, it's Thailand, the citizens are turning to "direct democracy" try and solve the problem. The problem is that some are losing track of the fact that it's the system and not just the specific elected officials that's corrupt.

Ethics reform might be a good place for a country to start cleaning up the corruption.

(Lunch break over.)

Posted by AnneZook at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)
March 02, 2006
Mighty-fine blogging

John at AmericaBlog brings us a rumorish story of "Naval Aviators" being formed into a new ground unit for Iraq and sent on a hunt for those "Improvised Explosive Devices."

Via Andrew Tobias (you should read the whole post), I found this Garrison Keillor column that heaps praise on the discipline, responsibility, and maturity of those trained for the armed services. And regrets that fewer and fewer of our 'leaders' have actually undergone that experience.

Kevin at American Street pointed us toward Lewis Lapham's "The Case For Impeachment", reminding me that I have to find a copy of the March Harper's Magazine.

Matt, at ColoradoLib, is fast becoming one of my all-time favorite "local" bloggers. He's talking about the local stuff I should be paying attention to. This post is about the (Republican) Colorado House Minority Leader resigning under a cloud of serious ethical problems.

Avedon Carol said she didn't know what to name her post, but I'd have named it Failing to use their brains.

And don't miss her Bunch of links post. The very first story surprised me. Can the UsofA government tell a hotel operating in another country who they can, or cannot, rent space to? (And no, it's not USofA war protestors or Greenpeace activists or anyone dangerous like that.)

And then she links to this which is weirdly fascinating but I can't stop to go all the way through now because I have to finish this post. (Later, though.)

(Oh, just go read her blog. Every day.)

Dr. Fallon at In the Dark has also been on a roll recently.

Ex-Abu Ghraib Interrogator : Abuse Was US Policy

Americans IN THE DARK About Constitutional Rights

It looks like Lab Kat has found the story of nine crazy women who have decided that being gay in public (or, let's be very clear, being "outed" as gay by a tabloid) is deceptive advertising. Yes, they're suing. As she says, "...there is almost a zen-like quality to being this stupid."

Prometheus 6 warns the Bush Administration that there's a danger in digging up old laws hanging around on the books. Specifically: State-based impeachment.

Okay, so, Kevin Drum says to go read The Daily Howler (!) on how "modern liberals don't care about low-income kids." And, you know what? He makes some good points.

No link, but I notice that Marshall's Talking Points Memo feed to Bloglines now features an ad on every post. Ads that do not appear on the blog. Very odd. Sort of annoying. I wonder if he does it to pay for the bandwidth that the RSS feed is using or something?

Also from Kevin Drum, discussion about a post (Maxspeak) on the differences between "center" Left and "left" Left Democrats. I'm going to go read it all now.


P.S. To my regular readers:

I don't know how long I can keep up this evening blogging schedule. While it feels very virtuous not to be blogging on company time, and to be working a solid 8 hours instead, it's wearing me out to come home and think this hard.

Besides. I don't want to get this aggravated about things right before bedtime.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:32 PM | Comments (2)
Hate Kills

With police assistance.

A federal discrimination lawsuit was filed Thursday by the surviving family members of a man who died of a heart attack after the police chief allegedly prevented his friend from performing CPR.

...According papers filed in court Thursday Snead had begun performing CPR by the side of the road when Bowman arrived and told Snead to stop because Green was HIV positive.

It's important that you understand that the cop "knew" Green was HIV positive. Green was gay you see. That made him automatically HIV positive.

Green died waiting for emergency services to arrive.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)
I Miss My Country

Rolling back women's rights isn't all that's on the agenda.

Unwed couple, kids face boot by Black Jack Via AmericaBlog, who also pointed us to this story on a similar topic.

The rule, which has alarmed civil libertarians and housing activists, is among a series of attempts by municipalities across the nation to use zoning powers to deal with problems they associate with immigrants, often illegal, who have settled in suburbs, typically in shared housing to help with the rent or mortgage.

Our prisons are full but only a small percentage of the prisoners are immigrants, illegal or otherwise.

This is just more thinly veiled racism that's hitting ordinary citizens. And that makes it bad in two ways.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)
Rolling back the rights

Remember this? South Dakota? Banning abortion? Restricting, or preventing, access to emergency contraceptives? Forcing women to share "parental" rights with the men who rape them?

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour Says He Will Sign Abortion Ban

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, says he will sign a measure that bans virtually all abortions in the state should it make its way through the legislature and reach his desk. A state House committee approved the ban on a wide margin.

Mo. Court Upholds 24-Hour Abortion Wait

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the state's 24-hour waiting period for abortions, a decision that turns the focus of the legal battle to federal court.

Blunt, Anti-Abortion Group Bothered By Bill Banning Abortion.

No, they aren't bothered because this new law would ban abortion for women who have been raped, because it won't. They seem to figure it serves her right for getting raped.

Blunt said he feared an abortion ban could lock the state in a legal battle, which Missouri Right to Life said may not yet be winnable.

Not yet be winnable.

Abortion foes target 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling

Scott Fischbach, who heads Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the state's main anti-abortion group, calls the case "our state Roe v. Wade."

"What they did in Doe v. Gomez was found an absolute right to abortion in the Minnesota Constitution, and that needs to be addressed," he said.

I'm thinking this is already far beyond a call for a tourism ban in South Dakota.

You could read Tennessee Guerilla Women, but I think this is far beyond Lysistrata. I'd hope that in 2006, our power lies outside the bedroom.

You could read Jessica at Feministing for a quote on how women forfeit their rights by deciding to have sex.

(And following the link for her post title, you read once again that these "pro-life" types don't care about the living.)

Or Erin at Feministing on the Mississippi law, featuring a quote by a lawmaker who defends his desire to ban abortion by saying he can't get pregnant. (Boggles. The. Mind.)

Pam has some good links to offer.

And don't miss Republic of T's excellent set of links.

Well? Are we convinced yet that this is a coordinated, concerted attack on the freedom of women?

Posted by AnneZook at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)
March 01, 2006
Busy Reading

I was going to blog some more, but I'm not sure there's anything to say that everyone else hasn't said about today's headlines, you know? I'll see after I get through my blogroll this evening.

I also need to take the time to read a couple of things.

The Kill Your Own Base Strategy from MyDD. Not a hugely long post, but a good one, and some good comments. I'm reconsidering my contempt for the Democratic Party, now that I'm forced to remember those years when I just shrugged off politics and assumed that life would go on much as before. That someone else was keeping an eye on the cookie jar, you know?

Once I finish the comments string there, I'm moving over to read something I hope will encourage me about what comes next.

Time to Renew Democracy

Editor's Note: In our view, two interrelated factors largely explain how the Bush administration has managed to push the United States so far in surrendering its historic concepts of democracy and freedom. One has been the control of information; the other the manipulation of fear.

As a corollary, it's our judgment that the reversal of this dangerous process depends on two initiatives – reaching the American people with important facts and replacing fear with courage. Though achieving these goals will not be easy, we believe truth can trump propaganda and courage can overcome fear.

In this guest essay, Stephen Crockett, co-host of Democratic Talk Radio, gives his assessment of what's gone wrong and what needs to be done.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)
You see?

Maybe something went horribly, fraudulently wrong in Ohio.

Maybe it didn't.

The point is, our election processes should be nearly immune from such suspicions. They should be as open, honest, and transparent as we can make them.

The processes have never been as clean as many of us thought, or hoped, or believed. But they should be getting better as we go along. Not more corrupt. Or even more open to allegations of corruption.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)
February 28, 2006
Basic Democracy




This is not a partisan issue.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

2 tiers take hold in high-wage U.S. labor

Until recently, cutbacks in the wages and benefits of hourly workers were limited mostly to unprofitable companies like failing steel mills or struggling airlines that said their survival was at stake. Now, however, even healthy and highly profitable companies like Caterpillar are engaging in the practice, and as they do so, the longstanding presumption that factory workers at successful companies can achieve a secure, relatively prosperous middle-class life for themselves and their families is evaporating.

It might be a good time to ponder the future of Labor in the USofA. Because while I don't have much objection to most of us being "white-collar" workers now and in the future, there are dangers in living in a country that doesn't produce any of the goods it needs to function.

It might be a good time to ponder the concept of "Labor" in the USofA. Just because many of us are sitting behind desks doesn't mean we're not "laboring" and that we shouldn't be standing shoulder-to-shoulder, making sure that this remains a country "of the people" and not "of the corporate personhoods."

I don't understand this, people. I gave you days to solve all of these problems. What have you been doing with yourselves?

Posted by AnneZook at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)
Corruption - 1; Obama - 0

The #1 reason that comes to mind for Democrats not supporting Barack Obama's proposed lobbying legislation is that they don't want, any more than Republicans, to be at the mercy of the voters.

After all, if you're a politician who's not owned by major lobbying interests, how do you know how you should vote?

And if you vote based on some weird thing like campaign promises, well, that just messes up the whole system, doesn't it? Because then there's all of that accountability and stuff and those voters who didn't like you the first time they hit the ballot box are sure never going to vote for you. Without lobbyists to help you create semantic spin, you'll never be able to convince your constituency that one vote meant two separate things.

Also, I doubt if they want real ethics reform. I'd imagine that they see the current swiss-cheese system of ethics and lobbying legislation as an advantage. A little flexibility for those tricky moments when a major campaign contributor needs a bit of a favor. A few perks in return for the massive strain of casting the right votes. Rewards for the pain of having gotten the job you spent millions to secure.

Or, maybe they just don't think that former members of Congress are a good judge of what's "ethical" or "legal" behavior?

(Although I do have to say that I think a set of representatives who can be bought for a meal are pretty pathetic.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

Yes, things are getting worse.

The war in the Sudan has spilled over the borders into Chad.

And that means that there are refugees from Chad spilling over the border into Sudan.

Hint to those of you playing along at home. Things are not getting any better.

I entirely sympathize with the perspective of "African solutions for African problems but I can't see any solutions appearing. Only a bitter clinging to the past. A stubborn determination to cast blame before all else. I see eyes pointed resolutely backward, instead of toward the future.

At what point do you overrule a country's, almost a continent's wishes and intervene? Never?

Is autonomy a thing to be respected under all circumstances? No?

Where do you draw the line? Do you read these stories and conclude that Africa has, as so many of us do these days, the bad luck to be currently led by people afflicted with a blind, angry determination to see only the reality they want to see?


I am prepared to offer an incredibly generous moratorium. An amnesty, in fact.

From now on, no one in the world is allowed to start a fracas over anything that happened more than 50 years ago. (I was going to make it 25, giving myself the luxury of blaming everything that's wrong with the world on the Reagan Administration, but then I decided to be reasonable.) (More reasonable, anyhow.)

Israel exists. Enough with the fights over having stolen the land. (This is a tough one for me, personally.) Palestine, the entire Middle East, will have to learn to live with the existence of a Jewish state in their midst. Israel will have to learn to live with the reality that it exists in the midst of hostile powers.

Western empire-building happened. A lot of sins were committed along the way. Let's just all agree that little of it passes a Smell Test in 2006 and focus on how we're going to progress from here.

Slaves escaped from the USofA, fled to Haiti, and started an independent nation. Yes. Slaves ran away and got away with it. Get over it and stop meddling in Haiti's affairs. Countries have the right to select their own governments. They even have the right to elect, and then re-elect really shitty Administrations.

Ancient civilizations on the American continents were decimated and destroyed by Western "civilizations." I, myself, with my mixed heritage of German, English, African-American, and American Indian heritage am both conqueror and conquered. Because I must co-exist with me, I do not spend my life beating half myself up about it. The past cannot be changed. It can only be improved upon.

Repressive totalitarian governments contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction. As do all systems of government. Stop funding terrorists and militias under the guise of bringing down an evil government. Evil is not destroyed with evil, but if you do evil, you become evil.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:41 AM | Comments (4)
To Your Health

Us science fiction buffs have been expecting it for years. Decades, even. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant 'bacterium'.

For decades, the infections were found only in hospitals, where the constant use of different antibiotics, including the potent methicillin, made it resistant to many of the most powerful antibiotics.

In the last few years, it has emerged in gyms, jails, schools — and just about anywhere bacteria can grow. It has become a simmering problem that is largely unknown by the general population.

"I would characterize it as widespread, and in some areas it is epidemic," said Jeff Hageman, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a coauthor of two studies on staph published last year.

Yes, right here in the USofA. So, you know, those of you accustomed to thinking of new and weird diseases as things that are happening "over there somehwhere" aren't off the hook.

To gauge the prevalence of the strain, researchers at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar analyzed skin infections that showed up in their emergency room. In 2002, methicillin-resistant staph caused 29% of those infections. Two years later, the rate was 64%.

Pay attention. This could kill you faster than global warming. This could kill you faster even than the War On Terror.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
To Your Health

Us science fiction buffs have been expecting it for years. Decades, even. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant 'bacterium' that threatens to blossom into an all-out plague.

For decades, the infections were found only in hospitals, where the constant use of different antibiotics, including the potent methicillin, made it resistant to many of the most powerful antibiotics.

In the last few years, it has emerged in gyms, jails, schools — and just about anywhere bacteria can grow. It has become a simmering problem that is largely unknown by the general population.

"I would characterize it as widespread, and in some areas it is epidemic," said Jeff Hageman, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a coauthor of two studies on staph published last year.

Yes, right here in the USofA. So, you know, those of you accustomed to thinking of new and weird diseases as things that are happening "over there somehwhere" aren't off the hook.

To gauge the prevalence of the strain, researchers at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar analyzed skin infections that showed up in their emergency room. In 2002, methicillin-resistant staph caused 29% of those infections. Two years later, the rate was 64%.

Pay attention. This could kill you faster than global warming. This could kill you faster even than the War On Terror.

This is also why we need universal access to decent health care. Because the sicknesses of others are your problem.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

Afghanistan, as I get tired of trying to remind people, was the other war. The one most people think was justified since Afghanistan is the country where there were actually terrorists.

Fresh unrest in Kabul prison riot

Fighting has resumed at Afghanistan's main prison, parts of which have been taken over by rioting detainees.

They're rioting over the appalling conditions.

Which brings us to a place where prisoners are not rioting, of, if they were, we wouldn't be told about it because we only just learned about it.

‘US has Afghan jail like Guantanamo’

Pentagon officials have described the former machine shop at Bagram Air Base, 65 km north of Kabul, as a screening centre, the Times said. "Bagram was never meant to be a long-term facility, and now it’s a long-term facility without the money or resources," an unnamed Pentagon official who knows the facility and compared it to the one at Guantanamo was quoted as saying in the daily.

How many more of these places are there? Will we ever know?

Posted by AnneZook at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)
Another Strike

I see you guys didn't manage to solve Iraq while I was gone, either.

Report: Iraq violence toll jumps to 1,300

The toll from sectarian and other violence in Iraq since the bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine has jumped to more than 1,300, far more than earlier estimates.

"Sectarian violence" seems to be becoming the USofA media's code-phrase for "mushrooming civil war."

I'll bet there are just more and more people every day who'd like to thank us, quite personally, for delivering democracy to Iraq, don't you think? Cause life sure is better when you have Rightwing-style democracy, the kind where everyone is more than eager to defend their view of god by arguing through the crosshairs of a gun.

Multiple Bombings in Baghdad Kill 41

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt at a crowded gas station Tuesday - one of five attacks that rocked Baghdad in quick succession, killing at least 41 people and wounding scores, police said.

The excitement never stops when your country is invaded by a hostile foreign power.

Former UN Human Rights Chief in Iraq Says US Violating Geneva Conventions, Jailing Innocent Detainees

...John Pace, the human rights chief for the the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, reacts to the mass killings on the ground. Pace says he believes the U.S. has violated the Geneva Conventions, is fueling the violence through its raids on Iraqi homes and is holding thousands of detainees that are for the most part innocent of any crimes.

Well, duh.

But, you know, maybe the whole thing isn't an unforseen disaster. Maybe it's not the unintended consequence of an ill-conceived war.

Maybe it was a plan.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)
What the heck?
South Dakota's Legislature completed action Friday on a bill making abortion a felony unless it is the only way to save the mother's life. Doctors could get five years in prison, though in a lingering concession to political pragmatism, the woman involved would not be penalized — at least for now.

Ummm...didn't I ask y'all to keep an eye on the wingnuts while I was gone?

In a replay of the 2004 session, the South Dakota Legislature has taken it upon itself to challenge federal law on the legality of abortion. The bill allows for no exceptions for rape or health of the mother.

The level of contempt for women inherent in this law just staggers the mind.

Its members have also decided that rapists should be allowed parental rights to the children conceived during the crime.

Got that? If you get raped in South Dakota, not only does the law require that you live with any pregnancy that results, but you'll be forced to allow the rapist into your life forever.

And pregnancies will result, there's no doubt about it, since the same group of lunatics is also pondering banning contraception.

It gives the lie to the lame excuse that these folks are "pro-life." Being "pro-life" means caring about the living. Even if those living are women.

This does not seem to be the will of the people of South Dakota. Which means it's another attack on women from the Radical Right.

What's next? Forced marriages?

I'm sorry to have to say this, but you guys didn't do much of a job keeping the lunatic fringe under control during my (brief) absence (not to Amsterdam).

Posted by AnneZook at 09:06 AM | Comments (4)