Monday, March 31, 2003

Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shmoperation Shmiraqi Shmreedom

I was asked the other day if I didn't think the humanitarian cause was reason enough to go to war with Iraq. Sure it is. It's just not the reason we're going to war with Iraq. There are a myriad of other countries that have horrible human rights violations that we don't seem to have a problem with. In fact, some of them are members (however dubious) of the "coalition of the willing".

Read this article.

When asked why the U.S. felt it could have countries who were criticized in the report as members of its coalition against Iraq, Powell said, "We do not believe it is inconsistent to work with nations who are willing to assist in this effort who themselves have some problems with respect to human rights that we candidly talk to them about and encourage them to change."

Uhh huh. I'm sure Saudi Arabia also talks candidly back to us and encourages us to buy their oil.

The article also notes human rights violations in China, Israel, Palestine, Colombia, Afghanistan (wait, didn't we liberate them already?), and other nations. We're not going to war with any of those nations. I'm going to "go out on a limb" here and say that "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is hideously misnamed.
We've got to keep our heads until this peace craze blows over...

U.S. troops in Iraq have apparently been watching Full Metal Jacket, or something.

U.S. troops killed seven women and children and wounded two others when they opened fire on a car packed with civilians near Najaf, Central Command war headquarters said.

Thirteen women and children were inside the vehicle, four of whom were unhurt, the U.S. military said.

This story is sad enough, but I think I've heard these things said before. From Full Metal Jacket:

Private Eightball: I guess they'd rather be alive than free. Poor dumb bastards.


Private Joker: How can you tell which ones are V.C?
Door Gunner: Anyone who runs is V.C. Anyone who stands still is well-disciplined V.C.

Private Joker: How can you shoot women and children?
Door Gunner: Easy... you don't lead 'em so much.
Door Gunner: Ain't war hell?!

I think in our media-saturated culture we're reaching in weeks a state of craziness it took years to reach in earlier wars. So perhaps what we're seeing now in Iraq is a sort of speed-Vietnam. With embedded web-cam "journalism" being pumped into us 24-7 the Iraqi people have been dehumanized completely in a matter of weeks.

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe we'll find out that the women in this vehicle were all horrible terrorist suicide bombers with ricin for blood, or something, but I don't think so.

**ADDENDUM** For another incident of Full Metal Jacket syndrome, read this horrifying story I found at Hullaballoo.

Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. "The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him."

This is sickening and very sad. I'll say again, Saddam Hussein better have Osama bin Laden hiding in his basement. He better have nuclear freaking warheads aimed at the Statue of Liberty. The world better look like freaking Star Trek after he's gone, or otherwise this war is the least justified act that the U.S. government has ever committed.
some tweaking...

Okay, I got tired of having a blog that looked exactly like 5 or 6 other blogs I could name off hand, so I changed some fonts and added some images. Hate anything? Have I rendered anything unreadable? Let me know. I am holding off on changing the links, contact, and random pages, not to mention the archives, until I decide I like it this way.

**UPDATE** Well, I stayed up half the night changing things around, and wound up changing most things right back they way they were. Oh Well.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

And soon, no drinking and no talking!

Albuquerque Clears Air With Smoking Ban

One less reason to like it here! One thing the United States really doesn't need is another California! Please, Californians, stop moving here!
I want to reserve judgement on this, but...'s really, really hard to do so. One of the things I've hoped the Bush Administration was right about, now that we have gone to war, is the fact that Iraq is hiding chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. Not that I wanted those weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein, but I wanted this war to be for a good reason.

I don't want to say those weapons are not there. But it's getting harder and harder to believe that they are there.

Intelligence officials were convinced they would find the toxin known as ricin, which is deadlier than cyanide, or the apparatus to make chemicals at the facility. In fact, they were so concerned they were planning to attack this facility before the war....Inside, they found mortar shells, medical supplies and grim prison cells but no immediate proof of chemical or biological agents.

I truly hope this war has better results than our previous one (see an earlier rant of mine) and I truly hope that it is indeed for a good reason. Who knows, in the coming weeks, or months, or, god forbid, years, we will find all sorts of weapons capable of "mass destruction" and other such buzzwords. I hope so.

I really don't want another useless war committed in my name.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Anthrax? That's soo 2001.

Apparently the fact that the person who murdered several people through the mail with Anthrax powder last year was probably an American working in a lab somewhere does not faze the Bush Administration.

A Bush administration program to add at least three bioweapons labs is troubling many scientists and arms control experts, who say it can't be good to train more microbiologists in the black art of bioterror..."It's perversely increasing the risk of exposure," said Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University chemistry professor and bioweapons expert who believes one additional lab is all that is needed.

Ebright and others believe labs managed by universities could prove less secure than government facilities, which have had their own security lapses.

Many believe the anthrax attacks that killed five people and briefly paralyzed Capitol Hill in 2001 were launched by a scientist with access to one of the government's high-security facilities -- called Biosafety Level 4 labs, or BSL-4 for short.

Not to mention the runaway monkeys.

But mistrust runs deep, especially in the California college town of Davis. Lobbied intensely by vocal residents, the city council voted to oppose the school's application to build a lab.

The Davis protests reached a crescendo in February with the escape of a lab monkey, which is still missing. Davis officials said it was disease-free and probably now dead. Still, the school's $200 million bid for a BSL-4 lab has been jeopardized.

You know, Outbreak was a terrible movie. I really don't want to see it again. Especially as real life.
51 + reason why I am against the war in Iraq

I don't think these people had to die.
Welcome to Blogtopia*!

Thanks, Polizen, for putting me on your blogroll!

*TM skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, March 27, 2003

This is why nobody likes going to the movies with me.

Movie geeks, read this excellent article on the demise of the proper appreciation of great Hollywood films from the first half of the century. Philistines and dullards, stay away.
A Conversation...

Held last night at local cafe. Paraphrased from the original, but gets gist of it.

man: So, how's your father doing?

me: Well, he's currently working with a local Rabbi to establish a Jewish-Muslim dialogue. They get together once a month and don't fight about anything.

other man: Except for what's on the pizza, right?

me: heh heh

man: You know, I used to work with an Arab person, and I asked him why Arabs hate Jews. He said "Because the Koran tells me to!"

me: Well, you know, it doesn't actually say tha...

man: Yeah, the Koran says they have to hate and kill Christians, too!

me: It doesn't actually say...

other man: It doesn't matter if you're for or against the war, they still think you're an Infidel and they still want to kill you!

man: *laughter*

me: *sigh*

Monday, March 24, 2003

Government sanctioned...I mean embedded journalists

Salon (Oh, just click past the ad and stop whining) has a good article today about why "embedded journalists" are a bad thing.

With slices instead of the whole, the administration has provided action without context, lots of trees without any forest as one anchorman put it, which is exactly what the president wants. The White House knows that so long as viewers are focusing on the troops, there will be public support for the war, though the one thing the administration might not have bargained for is that when things go badly, a war in montage can look an awful lot like chaos.

Full story here.
All That Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Is it just me, or were the Oscars a complete and total freaking snore this year?!? What is the demographic they go for...themselves??? But they're all already there! The Independent Spirit Awards on Bravo were much more entertaining, and awarded better, and more artful films.

Although, I was impressed by Michael Moore's ability to go from standing ovation to booed off the stage in a matter of moments. Hollywood is so fickle. I'm sure it was just Charleton Heston booing anyway.

"Mr. Heston, why do you think the United States has more gun violence than Canada?"

"Well, we do have a higher minority population than they do."*

And people defended Heston!

*Paraphrased from Bowling For Columbine. But gets the gist of it.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Well, since he is my patron and all...

I've added TRR: The Lighter Side of Rittenhouse to the blogroll. Go read, or Jim Capozzola might take it personally!
Hey, Thanks!

To Veiled4Allah for the link!
Local Celebrity

I'm going to have to start poking fun at him. Dad has made the paper yet again.

Abdul Rauf Campos-Marquetti, general secretary of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said he's seen an increase in praying both at the center and in other places.
"I think strange times like this are times when communities can come together and focus on what the real issue is and that's peace and respect for each other," he said.
Campos-Marquetti has been working to keep a dialogue open between the Muslim and Jewish communities in Albuquerque.
"As a community, we encourage non-Muslims to come and speak to us and ask us what our feelings are about this situation. Don't assume we love Saddam or al-Qaida," he said.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

News Bulletin....

I just heard on MSNBC (you caught me, I was watching it again) that an American soldier is in custody for the attack on the 101st airborne division that happened a few hours ago. It was apparently an inside job. I will look for a link to a story confirming this.

**UPDATE*** Atrios has the scoop.

An American Muslim soldier is among three people being questioned in connection with a grenade and small-arms attack that injured at least 10 U.S. soldiers at Camp Pennsylvania in northern Kuwait, reports CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassman.

Oh great. A Black Muslim. More fodder for Ann Coulter.

The first paragraph of the CBS article now reads

An American soldier is among three people being questioned in connection with a grenade and small-arms attack that injured at least 16 U.S. soldiers at Camp Pennsylvania in northern Kuwait, reports CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassman, who is on the scene with the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

The word "muslim" has been excised from the article completely. Why? It will be interesting when we find out the full details of this situation.

**Okay, Another Update*** Some bloggers are already using this as an excuse to hate. I won't link to this person, but Atrios has, so if you're really that interested you can find it there.

I'm angry right now, and I may regret these words. But, I think it is entirely reasonable for Americans to suspect the loyalty of American Muslims. There is substantial evidence that their allegiances lie not with their country, but with their god.

When an American soldier, trusted, respected, takes three grenades and attempts to murder his leaders while they plan and execute a war to secure American interests, suspicion is justified.

You can call me a bigot, or a racist, or an ignorant fool. But you can't call me wrong. Not when Muslim FBI agents refuse to follow orders, not when American soldiers of the Muslim faith attempt to execute their commanding officers during wartime.

What has this disgusting, vile faith wrought?

That's funny, I think the same thing whenever John Ashcroft, or any of the sexist, backwards, born-again Christians in the current administration open their mouths.

(The above statement is a horrible generalization and I take it back.)

Seriously, if one bad Islamic American is enough to judge them all bad, then one good American Muslim, by the same logic, is enough to judge them all good. I propose we try to publicize the positive actions of Muslim Americans, in order to counter the negative attention by the press.

My example? My father, releasing doves with a Rabbi at a completely non-political peace walk (the only signs allowed were ones that read "Peace") that ran between the mosque and a synagogue. Go here for a photo.

**Final Update, I swear*** Now I hear that one of the injured soldiers in this incident has died. This is very tragic, and my heart goes out to their family. What a horrible way to lose a soldier.

I've updated the blogroll with correct links for Cooped Up and Easy Bake Coven. Plus, I've added StoutDem, TAPPED, and the below mentioned Little Red Cookbook.

And thanks to StoutDem and Sisyphus Shrugged for the recent links!

If you link to me, feel free to tell me so I can thank you! And link to you back!
Cool New Blog

Well, to me at least. Via Body and Soul I find Little Red Cookbook.

"Cake or Death, sir?"
You know, I'm really starting to like my city recently...

Did anything like this happen in larger cities like San Francisco or Chigaco when anti-war rallies took an unfortunate turn?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Police, protest organizers and Mayor Martin Chavez met Friday to discuss ways of avoiding the kind of violence-marred demonstration that occurred Thursday night near the University of New Mexico.

Organizer Eric Sirotkin said the meeting was positive, and he's confident that from now on, people can safely express their feelings about the war on Iraq, without fear of violence.


Sirotkin and police spokesman, Detective Jeff Arbogast, both said the behavior of the other side was unacceptable last night. But they said the two sides have opened the lines of communication, and Arbogast said they will continue to meet regularly. The next meeting is set for Saturday.

After watching people blow each other up on TV all day, and reading about people bulldozing other people all week, it sure is nice and refreshing to hear about opposing sides of a conflict getting along.

**UPDATE** But then again there's this.

Two teachers and a guidance counselor have been suspended after refusing to remove antiwar material from their schools in Albuquerque.

Well, this is from the school system that suspended a teacher for showing the film Catch-22 to her students, after the students read the book, which was required reading and on the syllabus.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Reason # 1,346,232...

The Agonist gives us this tidbit.

The 320 Tomahawk cruise missiles the U.S. Navy launched into Baghdad on March 21 cost $1.2 million each -- meaning the first massive air assault on Iraq totaled $385 million.

$385 million. In one day. Sigh.
Talking to the right-wing conservative hand

Sometimes you get the feeling that sensible dovish people could shout at the hawks all day long, and they just don't listen. Take this story about a group representing family members of victims of the September 11, called the September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

The group also condemned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime, and expressed support and concern for American troops.

But it said the resulting civilian deaths of a war on Iraq and the consequences of destroying Iraq's environment and infrastructure could lead to many deaths in the future.

To which the pro-war hawks replied;

Others disagreed with the group.

"I think it's very important that you support our troops even if you don't support the war," said Jill Pall, who founded Adam's Angels in memory of Adam Rand, a friend who died on September 11.

The group condemned Hussein and expressed support and concern for American troops, and yet they are still told they should support our troops even if they don't support the war.

Anybody see the problem here?

As a person firmly rooted on the left I'm really tired of having to say every two seconds "I support the troops even if I don't support the war," or "I'm against the occupation of Palestine but I feel suicide bombings on innocent Israelis are evil," or "I protest the actions of my government but I don't hate America," or any number of statements that should just be assumed since I'm not a raving Taliban "islamo-facist" (I cringe even using that word sarcastically, it annoys me so much)!!

Bush Administration Jumps Shark

Just a thought, but if the war in Iraq is over as quickly and painlessly as many are hoping, then what will Dubya use to distract us from the failing economy?
Bunch of savages in this town...

Just in case anyone was wondering, I was not involved in this incident.

Albuquerque police spokesman Jeff Arbogast said the protesters took over Central Avenue and began marching toward Interstate 25 Thursday night -- indicating they were going to block it. Arbogast said protesters were warned numerous times to leave the street, but began throwing things at officers. The officers then sprayed the crowd of more than 300.

Arbogast said a dozen protesters were arrested. He said the protesters at one point blocked the entrance to University of New Mexico Hospital, forcing an ambulance to find a different route.

Sigh. as someone who is against war in Iraq, I'd like to ask these people to stay off my side. Anyone who would force an ambulace to "go around" just sucks. I bet most of them were from Santa Fe, anyway.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Remember the other war?

Well, it's still going on.

About 1,000 U.S. troops launched a raid on villages in southeastern Afghanistan Thursday, hunting for members of the al-Qaida terrorist network in the biggest U.S. operation in just over a year, military officials said.

Is it just me, or is this the first time we've been involved in two unrelated wars in different places at the same time?

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Let's see...

The last time the Terror Alert level was raised to orange was during the Muslim hajj holiday. It's been raised again due to the war.

So, let me get this straight. A religious holiday that's celebrated by the joining thousands of people of every color and every nation uniting in one place in peace, and a vicious war that's misguided at best and unjust and revenge-fueled at worst?

Yeah, that's the same.

UPDATE** This article seems to have been edited by the Ministry of Truth.*

THE TERROR THREAT has been at “yellow,” the middle of the range, since last month, when it was raised for much of February because of concerns of a possible terrorist attack against U.S. interests overseas.

Uh-huh. Let's take another look at an article from that time period in February.

The conclusion of the Muslim hajj holiday period played a role in the decision to lower the threat level from orange, the second-highest level on the five-part scale, Ashcroft and Ridge said. Counterterrorism officials had noted intelligence information pointing toward a possible attack around the time of the holiday, which is in early and mid-February.

I try really, really hard to avoid the 1984 references, but they just keep presenting themselves!
The regime change will be televised.

Okay, this is going too far .

ABC has said it will do whatever is necessary to report breaking news, which could involve interrupting the Oscar telecast.

Don't they know what Americans really care about?
Time's Up

Hang on everybody, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's deadline for President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq passed Wednesday night without any sign the Iraqi leader was prepared to accept exile over a U.S.-led military attack.

At this point, all I can do is hope George W. Bush is right. And that's depressing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

This is really annoying.

Blogger seems to be down. Or maybe it's just me. Don't know if this will even get posted.

Movable Type looks better every day!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Israeli War Crimes

Read this article I found via Alas, A Blog.

A few weeks ago, on March 3, an Israeli bulldozer killed a nine-month pregnant Palestinian woman, Nuha Sweidan, while destroying the house next door in a dilapidated Gaza refugee camp. Palestinian witnesses said that Mrs. Sweidan, 33, bled to death under the rubble as she cradled her 18-month-old daughter. Her unborn baby also died.

I have spent a long time, since my father's journey to the area, thinking about this conflict. I have come to hold the belief that the Israeli goverment, as the only Democracy in the region, needs to take responsiblity and stop acting like a terrorist orginization. You cannot act like terrorists to try to stop terrorism. Not only would you be creating a breeding ground for recruiting new suicide bombers, but you are becoming terrorists yourselves.

I will again invoke the Drug War comparison. What if a mostly white police force in my mostly hispanic neighborhood (which, to say the least, is not a good one), in order to stop the production of crystal meth decided to bulldoze an apartment where they knew there was a meth lab, one that had resulted in alot of rich white kids being addicted, and the pregnant mother next door was crushed to death by the rubble while holding an infant, do you think that would make the people in my neighborhood like white police officers, or hate them? Even if the bulldozing of the apartment with the meth lab in it ultimately would result in the reduction of drug-related crime overall?

Think about what is happening in Israel.

UPDATE: Not that it makes much of a difference, but for clarification's sake I have since learned that Nuha Sweidan's home was not destroyed because of a bulldozer tearing down a house near hers, but because of a tank destroying a home near to hers.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Land of Enchantment or Land of Entrapment?

On the one hand...

46th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2003
Max Coll

Via Atrios. This seems very cool to me, although I don't really know if it has any actual effect on anything.

Then again, on the other hand...

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Four members of a Kirtland Air Force Base security squadron are accused of burning a cross in the back yard of a southeast Albuquerque home.
The men, who are on paid leave, also are accused of participating in supremacist activities.
Kirtland's public relations director, Ralph Francis, said the men had Ku Klux Klan literature and Nazi swastikas.

Story here, via StoutDem. Never a normal news day in New Mexico.
No Comment.

Israeli Bulldozer Kills U.S. Woman, 23

"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," he said. "She waved for bulldozer to stop and waved. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled 'stop, stop', and the bulldozer didn't stop at all. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her," he said.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

This could have been my father. No immediate comment! Couldn't they at least have expressed sorrow for the loss of a life!

***UPDATE*** Alas, a Blog has an excellent post on this subject, and gives a good talking-to to someone in his comments section

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Honored Members of the Dempublicratic Party

Tom Tomorrow provides us with a list of some of the more spineless Democrats. Go read!

Friday, March 14, 2003

Look Ma, Reader Mail!

I recently had a brief email conversation regarding a reader's reaction to something I'd mentioned in this post. I found it was an interesting exchange of ideas I thought worth sharing.

Or, I'm just excited I actually got reader mail!



I'm writing in response to your comment about annoying and useless
people in the peace movement. And I agree that if I never see another
guy swinging a white haired ponytail behind him or have to listen to
Sufi drumming in a peace demo that would be just fine. (For that matter,
I wouldn't mind some occasional music at peace rallies written *after*

But I actually think the giant puppets add visual interest to marches.
After all, you are going to the Mardi Gras; now maybe you intend to miss
all the parades and just take part in the giant street party. But all
the parades include floats, many which have mounted on them, that is
right, giant puppets. (Much fancier than the ones in peace demos. Some
people put their lives into making those floats.) I think giant puppets,
and colorful costumes, and any harmless thing that adds a bit of fun to
marches should be encouraged.

Similarly sex is used to sell just about everything. Spelling out
messages in naked bodies in one of the few ways left for ordinary people
to get into mainstream media.

Peace is one of the most serious subjects on earth. It is always good to
deal frivolously with serious things; there is enough solemnity in the
matter - no need to be pompous in style as well. Anything that can add a
bit of lightheartedness to opposing a war is OK in my book.



To which I responded...


I think you make a good point about lightheartedness and using creativity.
(BTW, I when I went to Mardi Gras, I went to the parades with the cool
floats, and totally avoided the "Girls Gone Wild" excesses of the French
Quarter. We went to the Quarter the day after, when all the drunken
tourists and frat boys had gone home.) I thought about it, and I didn't
really want to make it seem that I didn't think that kind of stuff should be
happening at all. The definitely allow people to express themselves, and
can make people think, and probably make the world a nicer and more
interesting place to live in over all.

However, their effectiveness in actually stopping or preventing anything I
must call into question. A friend of mine was speaking to me of her
frustration with the student's peace movement she's involved in at her
university. Most of the membership was more interested in doing things like
painting their faces white and lying on the ground in the middle of campus
pretending they're dead Palestinian children. I don't believe such
activities would actually help a single Palestinian. They only preach to
the converted, and do not offer any help to anyone in need. Also, they
provide fuel to the portions of our society that would like to dismiss
movements for peace as a "bunch of wackos" etc.

I don't know, I'm of two minds on the situation. Is creativity for peace a
waste? Should our energies be focused on things that work more within the
system, like boycotts, etc? Probably a lot of the people drumming and
dancing naked for peace are also doing local work, such as volunteering at
homeless shelters or something along those lines.


To which my reader friend replied....


Hmm. I'm not going to comment on that particular tactic. (...regarding the student protest of the Palestinian situation I mentioned above...) But here is the
thing. Politicians don't do anything out of the goodness of their
hearts. They do stuff because pressure is put upon them. And one of the
ways they get pressured is if a lot people get involved in pressuring
them. So anything that attracts people to join in large numbers helps.
Also, anything that is a lot of trouble to do shows that people are
willing to put some effort on these issues. If nothing is done except
publicity stunts, of course they will be useless. But publicity stunts
in combination with other tactics can be very effective. So doing wild
and crazy things can actually help, as long as they are not the only thing.

You need a lot of people willing to boycott to make a boycott work. So
you need something to get attention so that people will hear about your
boycott. If you don't like a particular wild and crazy thing, then you
need to find another wild and crazy thing to substitute. Because they
accomplish too things - publicity ,and making activism less deadly so
people can stick to it instead of burning out. But I agree, I'd like
something less sixties hippie. The two points behind this kind of stuff
should be to attract publicity, and to make activist more fun. I think
that nudity, especially if done separately , as it has been, and not
mixed in with larger demonstrations, does get publicity. I think the
puppets help a little in terms of publicity. (I notice that most
newspapers when they cover a demo include at least one shot of a puppet.
Puppets makes good photos, and good video for TV coverage.) And I think
they help a lot in terms of keeping a demo interesting. The drumming , I
have to admit, a little goes a long way. Ditto the 60s folk songs. I'd
like to see at least half the music in a demo newer than six years old.

My feeling - in general this is a loud and raucous culture. Quiet,
civilized dialogue is not the way the to reach us. Loud, colorful, a
little bawdy - that is what I think will reach the most Americans.


I can see both of our points. However, I still maintain that most of these naked, etc., publicity stunt/protests can do more harm than good to "the movement".

Then again, maybe New Mexico isn't that bad after all!

Cooped Up points us to this amusing tidbit regarding a strip of land that once belonged to my fair state, and now is in the hands of Texas. Apparently the state senate now wants it back.

State Senator Shannon Robinson, who introduced the measure, said during debate: "There is no doubt that the people's lives in that strip would be vastly improved because they no longer would be Texans. I can see a great uplifting of their personal self worth."

Well, the chilie is definitely better this side of the border!

More here.

Real Life "Partial Birth" Abortions

Ampersand provides us with a few examples of actual stories of abortions that would be deemed illegal under the new partial-birth abortion ban that was recently passed by the senate.

COREEN COSTELLO from Agoura, California. In April 1995, seven months pregnant with her third child, Coreen and her husband Jim found out that a lethal neuromuscular disease had left their much-wanted daughter unable to survive. Its body had stiffened and was frozen, wedged in a transverse position. In addition, amniotic fluid had puddled and built up to dangerous levels in Coreen's uterus. Devout Christians and opposed to abortion, the Costellos agonized for over two weeks about their decision and baptized the fetus in utero. Finally, Coreen's increasing health problems forced them to accept the advice of numerous medical experts that the intact dilation and extraction (D&X) was, indeed, the best option for Coreen's own health, and the abortion was performed. Later, in June 1996, Coreen gave birth to a healthy son.

More examples here. Think about the serious injury, illness, or worse that could have been caused to these women. Then imagine your wife, sister, daughter, mother, grandmother, or granddaughter in their place. Then either rent or read The Handmaid's Tale and enjoy your ride down the slippery slope.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Bonus Embarrassingly Revealing Internet Quiz Result of the Week

You're Angelina may jump from thing to
thing...but you know who you are and no one
helped you to get there. You a crazy mamma

What actress are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

But I thought Tomb Raider sucked!

Via Susannah's LiveJournal
Embarrassingly Revealing Internet Quiz Result of the Week

Green - You believe that small economic units
should control the goods, and that the
government should be permissive of
"victimless crimes," respectful of
civil liberties and very strict towards big
business. You also believe in either a
socialist tax structure or more power to local
communities. You think that environmental
policies should be written into law. Your
historical role model is Ralf Nader.

Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Honestly, I find Nader annoying. I swear.

Via Amptoons.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I've been told I'm not really plucky

Perhaps things like the wanton destruction of a memorial by "Antiwar protesters" are contributing to my increasing bitterness?

Antiwar protesters burned and ripped up flags, flowers and patriotic signs at a Sept. 11 memorial that residents erected on a fence along Whittier Boulevard days after the terrorist attacks in 2001 and have maintained ever since.

A few things about this story piss me off. First, and most obviously, if you want to decry the position taken by a memorial, fine. Don't destroy it. Build a bigger, better display of your own next to it. Second, and more subtle, the fact that this article calls these vandals "antiwar protesters" does disservice to actual anti war protesters everywhere. It perpetuates the sterotype of people who are against our pending war as pointless and misguided. They were probably stupid teenagers. Call them that.

Via Red Letter Day.
Ich bin ein Albuquerquer

Okay, I gotta admit, this is kinda cool.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Oh God...

Living in New Mexico is sometimes very embarrassing.

A New Mexico legislator proposed on Monday having the state honor all extraterrestrial beings with a special day that will "celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors" to New Mexico, the measure reads.

Either we're nuts or desparate for the tourism dollars. Extreme poverty will make you do all sorts of things for money.
I'm thinking of moving to PA just to vote for him

Probably one of the better potential 2004 candidates I've heard of yet!

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Plucky Punk has re-entered the building

Okay, so I'm back, but not quite ready to go around blogging yet.

Have to play news catch-up.

Will write soon, probably tomorrow.

Meanwhile, while I get my head together, read this moving article by Gail Svirsky of the Coalition of Women for Peace.

"Why aren't you driving through?" asks the B'Tselem worker. "I don't really know," answers the man. "What do you mean, you don't know? Aren't you waiting to get through the checkpoint?" "Yes, I'm trying to get to Hebron. But the soldiers told me to wait here." "How long have you been waiting?" "Since 7 o'clock this morning." "Since 7 o'clock? But it's 5 pm! Why are they keeping you?" "I really don't know. I was just driving through and they told me to stop and get out of my car and wait on the side. I really don't know. I'm just waiting for them to let me through." After a pause. "Did you eat anything yet today?" "No, I left home early and planned to eat in Hebron..." His voice starts to break and he turns away as he struggles to keep himself from crying. After a pause. "Did you call your family? Do they know where you are?" "Yes, I called several times, the last time around 3 o'clock, but now my battery is dead." "Would you like to use my cell phone?" "No, no thank you, I told them at 3 I'd be home in a couple hours. It's 5 now. I don't want to worry them." He turns his head and tries to fight the tears.

Go read.