Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vote as if your life depended on it!!!

This is from Feministscampus.org, the largest pro-choice student network in the world. I loved it. (Anyone recognize Wilson Cruz, who played Ricky in My So Called Life?) Check it out, and when you're done, be sure to sign the voter pledge.
Also, if you haven't signed already, the "Open Letter to Sarah Palin" sponsored by Planned Parenthood is waiting for your signature. They'll be delivering it to her at the first VP debate in St Louis.

Don't forget to call your legislators to thank them for not pushing through the huge mistake of a Wall Street bailout! If they voted for it- shame them. Tell them you wont forget and the next time this bailout bill comes up for a vote that you expect them to protect your interests as their constituents. Give them a call! Emails work too, but calls are more powerful. Go to the Senate or the House of Representatives web sites and find your legislator. Call and give them an earful! We need to make our voices heard!

Michael Moore's advice on how to get involved to make sure we're heard (excerpted from his letter sent out yesterday titled "The Rich are Staging a Coup this Morning":

"1. Call or e-mail Senator Obama. Tell him he does not need to be sitting there trying to help prop up Bush and Cheney and the mess they've made. Tell him we know he has the smarts to slow this thing down and figure out what's the best route to take. Tell him the rich have to pay for whatever help is offered. Use the leverage we have now to insist on a moratorium on home foreclosures, to insist on a move to universal health coverage, and tell him that we the people need to be in charge of the economic decisions that affect our lives, not the barons of Wall Street.

2. Take to the streets. Participate in one of the hundreds of quickly-called demonstrations that are taking place all over the country (especially those near Wall Street and DC).

3. Call your Representative in Congress and your Senators. (click here to find their phone numbers). Tell them what you told Senator Obama.

When you screw up in life, there is hell to pay. Each and every one of you reading this knows that basic lesson and has paid the consequences of your actions at some point. In this great democracy, we cannot let there be one set of rules for the vast majority of hard-working citizens, and another set of rules for the elite, who, when they screw up, are handed one more gift on a silver platter. No more! Not again!

Michael Moore"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pitbull with lipstick, even to RAPE VICTIMS.

This link from USA Today is about how Governor Palin, as mayor of Wasilla, CHARGED RAPE VICTIMS FOR THEIR RAPE KITS. Yes, you read that correctly.

Here's an excerpt:

"Until the 2000 legislation, local law enforcement agencies in Alaska could pass along the cost of the exams, which are needed to obtain an attacker's DNA evidence. Rape victims in several areas of Alaska, including the Matanuska-Susitna Valley where Wasilla is, complained about being charged for the tests, victims' advocate Lauree Hugonin, of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, told state House committees, records show.

In cases when insurance companies are billed, the victims pay a deductible.

It is not known how many rape victims in Wasilla were required to pay for some or all of the medical exams, but a legislative staffer who worked on the bill for Croft said it happened. "It was more than a couple of cases, and it was standard practice in Wasilla," Peggy Wilcox said, who now works for the Alaska Public Employees Association. "If you were raped in Wasilla, this was going to happen to you."

I'd also like to point out that after these women have been raped, Palin does not want them to have access to abortion services.

Here's a Huffington Post article with further information on the issue- check it out. It has a copy of Wasilla's 1998-1999 financial budget that's cover page notes the mayor's responsibility for the budget.

I am INCENSED, OUTRAGED, DISGUSTED- there aren't enough words to describe how despicable this is, and no font/type face can symbolize my shock and utter dismay at this.

I need to hear some comments from yall. Did you know about this?? What do you think of this madness?

Sarah Palin & Hillary Clinton on SNL decrying sexism

Anyone seen this opening skit from SNL last week? HILARIOUS!!!! Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are AWESOME! They nail both Clinton and Palin. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Year Sadness

Today is September 11; a day we all know will never pass during our generation without a somber, solemn, immensely sad remembrance/commemoration/reflection on that tragic day in 2001. All day I have been listening to the radio reports of remembrance happening at ground zero, in the footprint, with the families, the various legislators and those that were reading the list of the 2900+ names of victims out loud. I listened to family members on the air with Amy Goodman, talking about how they didn't want war or violence in their names, in their loved ones' names. Democracy Now! was also interviewing Dave Isay, creator of Story Corps. He was asked by the Lower Manhattan Rebuilding Corporation to set up a Story Corps booth at the WTC site, and the Sept 11 Initiative, a mission to get at least one interview from family members of each of the victims killed during the attacks of September 11, was born.

Tonight, I am watching PBS which is airing "New York Remembers 9/11" a collection of short segments with surviving victims, perished victims' families and individuals related to the Towers as legislators, administrators, emergency workers, etc. I am watching a part of the segment which is all about health in lower Manhattan since the attacks for those who were emergency medical responders, undocumented immigrants who were hired by private contractors with federal money to clean the buildings and all the people who spent time around ground zero in the months after the attacks. It makes me incredibly sad and tearful to hear these stories, see these pictures, relive these traumas. But as sad as it makes me feel, it is so right to remember.

We must remember, but not in the pro-vengeance way some who tout the "we will never forget" motto do. We, who are alive and able to, must remember the people who were lost, the lives that were tragically disrupted, the heroism shown that day and since, and the fact that violence and hate are what ended these lives. We should not encourage and sponsor more violence or hate in their names- it will never bring them back. We must honor their memories by working to spread understanding and cross cultural communication, working to stop violence and hate, terrorist, street, state-sponsored, domestic, sexual or otherwise. What better way could we honor the victims than to create a more peaceful, loving world that they would be proud of?

As happens each year around the anniversary, stock is taken of how safe the country is or isn't in the years since, the general public mood towards the so-called "war on terror," osama bin laden's continued freedom/evasion of capture, and the annual increase in profiling of and racism/discrimination/violence towards American Muslims, Arab Americans, Sikh Americans and South Asian Americans. This year is no different, except that discrimination and racism towards American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim is getting even more accepted and in fact, being codified into federal law.
This opinion piece from the Hartford Courant is a good article about this strengthening, inherently un-American practice. It's called "Will America Tolerate Anti-Muslim Discrimination?"
Check it out. I'd love to hear some feedback. Some more articles reflecting the chilling of opportunity, access to resources and blatant racism and discrimination that Muslims are facing all over America, throughout American life, follow as well. I hope to blog more about this when I have some time to do the topic, along with the growing body of work both reporting and analyzing this phenomenon, justice.

The first one is a recent article by Omad Safi from Beliefnet about Senator Barack Obama's Muslim Outreach Advisor/Coordinator getting sacked less than a week after being hired due to inferred suspicions about his completely innocent and necessary ties to the American Muslim community. It's called "Obama and the Kevin Bacon Game of Persecuting Muslims" from the Progressive Revival blog on Beliefnet.

There was once a little school called the Khalil Gibran International Academy that planned to open as the first dual language (bilingual) Arabic/English charter school in New York city that was planned with great hope and some fanfare, only to get sidelined and virtually destroyed by racist right wing attack dogs who claimed it would be a bastion of Islamist thought and would indoctrinate children to become Islamist sympathizing terrorists. Does this story ring a bell or sound familiar? The school's wonderful, perfectly suited headmaster, Debbie Almontaser, was removed from the school because of this racist smear attack campaign against her led by the absolute shithead Daniel Pipes.
(Don't know who he is? Find out. He might next choose to profile and smear you, whomever you are, just because you are reading this blog, written by an American Muslim. According to Pipes, being an American Muslim by definition makes you a bad American and an Islamist sympathizer. Pipes thinks that by speaking to, hearing from, reading words written, spoken or thought of by a Muslim makes YOU a sympathizer too. What a fucking idiot. But yeah- find out who he is, if you don't know. He also believes that regular, moderate, everyday Muslims and the people that know and love them are ""providing the political cover for jihad." )
The school was completely changed and not allowed to adhere to its originally Dept of Education approved mission of immersion bilingual Arabic education that also focused on Arabic culture and history. It has been moved from a central, public transportation accessible area in Brooklyn in a largely Arab American community to a far flung neighborhood, with little allowed involvement of concerned parents.
Just some updated context to bring you up to speed of what has happened since the below NY Times articles were written.
Some articles about this topic:
"Head of City's Arabic School Steps Down Under Pressure"
"Critics Cost Muslim Educator Her Dream School"

Hope everyone was able to remember and observe this seventh September 11 anniversary with some clarity and quiet, and leaves you with some peace.

Here is the link to today's Democracy Now! show that I mentioned before. It is really a wonderful reflection of the full circle of life since the attacks.

May God grant all those affected by the attacks peace and solace and bring some sanity back to our foreign policy.