Thursday, September 30, 2004

One Last Thing...

...before I go to bed. And I know it's petty, but it bugged me.

\Mul"lah\, n.
Definition: [n] a Muslim trained in the doctrine and law of Islam; the head of a mosque

Note the subtle yet existant difference between that word and this one:

\Moo"lah\, n.
Definition: [n] informal terms for money

This is one of the smaller examples of what Kerry was just talking about in reference to the president being insensitive to other places in the world. If our leader can't even make the effort to pronounce a single vowel sound correctly, how can he convince countries who speak in the language that includes that vowel sound to side with us in a difficult struggle?
He thinks we're retarded

I can't believe George Bush just started the debate by mentioning 9/11 and WMDs in the same breath.

With all due respect, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

After all the shit that man has taken my country through, he has the gall to bring up the same old bullcrap that anyone not on crack knows is complete baloney.

9/11 changed everything, alright. It turned politics into a complete joke. If George Bush wins re-election then I will have even less faith in the American people than I did after Titanic made a billion dollars.

I am pleading with my American fellowes to keep this man out of the White House. This kind of behaivor cannot be rewarded.

Please, show them we are not the mindless sheep they think we are?
Pop Quiz

After reading this rather upsetting article, I want to ask two questions of two particular nations involved in what is often rather euphemistically called a conflict.

First up is Israel, infamous for some rather, let's say, excessive methods of crowd control.

Q. What will this child become when he grows up?
In the bloodiest incident, a tank fired a shell toward a group of gunmen, killing seven Palestinians and seriously wounding 23, including gunmen and civilians. Many of the wounded lost limbs, and at least four were under age 14, doctors said.

Kamal Adwan Hospital was overwhelmed by the influx, and doctors had to treat some patients on the blood-soaked floor and on cafeteria tables.

Ahmed Salem, 10, said the shell was fired from a tank at a U.N. school near Jebaliya's market. "I was hit and fell to the ground. The man lying next to me had no head," said the boy, who was wounded by shrapnel in the leg.
A. This child will grow up to hate Israelis.

If some gunmen are using civilian children as shields, as the army commander in Gaza goes on to suggest, is it okay to shoot right through the children to get at the gunmen?

Probably not a good idea.

Next let's ask Palestine something.

Q. How to you think the family members of these innocent victims feel about putting an end to the occupation and furthering the cause of the Palestinian people?
Three Israelis ? two soldiers and an Israeli woman jogger ? were killed in two Palestinian shooting attacks in northern Gaza.

...Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells at Gaza settlements and Israeli border towns since 2000. Most attacks caused damage and minor injuries. There have been two deadly strikes, including Wednesday's hit on the border town of Sderot that killed two children as they played on the sidewalk in a quiet neighborhood at the onset of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

...In one incident, two gunmen fired on an army observation post near Jebaliya, killing a soldier before being shot dead. Near the Jewish settlement of Elei Sinai, two attackers killed a woman jogger and an army medic who came to her aid. The gunmen were eventually killed by troops.
A. They will come to hate Palestinians and never want to withdraw from the occupied areas.

I, for one, (and feel free to disagree with me on this) think that soldiers are valid if unfortunate targets...They're soldiers after all...But it's never okay to kill innocent civilians, especially two little children who are committing no other crime but playing on the sidewalk in the neighborhood they had no choice about living in.

Is my point not clear? Let's ask two more questions.

Q. Israel, do you think these now homeless Palestinians will quietly find a new place to live and continue to live a law-abiding existence?
Army bulldozers demolished 22 homes along a relatively narrow road leading into the camp, U.N. aid officials said, apparently to widen it and allow more tanks to get through. Armored vehicles avoided the booby-trapped main street.

"A bulldozer entered our living room and demolished half the house," said Hussein al-Jamal, a resident of the camp's Block 2, adding that he and his family fled, along with many of his neighbors.
A. No, they are now more likely to affiliate themselves with some sort of anti-Israel terrorist organization.

Q. Palestine, do you think this Hamas terrorist's assertion is likely to come true?
A masked Hamas gunman carrying a rocket launcher said he expected Israeli soldiers to leave soon. "Jebaliya will be a burial ground for their soldiers," he boasted. "They will run away and we will stay."
A. No, your horrific actions against innocent people are going to turn Israeli public opinion against the cause of the people you purport to represent.

Both of you two countries are very, very stupid and probably would have failed this pop quiz.

I'll get off my soapbox now.*

*Well, I probably won't, actually.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Been there, done that

Riverbend over at Baghdad Burning has a moment most of America is familiar with.
I prepared myself for several minutes of nausea as Bush began speaking. He irritates me like no one else can. Imagine long nails across a chalk board, Styrofoam being rubbed in hands, shrieking babies, barking dogs, grinding teeth, dripping faucets, honking horns ? all together, all at once ? and you will imagine the impact his voice has on my ears.

I sat listening, trying not to focus too much on his face, but rather on the garbage he was reiterating for at least the thousandth time since the war. I don't usually talk back to the television, but I really can't help myself when Bush is onscreen. I sit there talking back to him- calling him a liar, calling him an idiot, wondering how exactly he got so far and how they're allowing him to run for re-election.
I have so been there. I completely understand her disbelief that Bush is still being allowed to run again. How is he not getting on a helicopter on the White House lawn just like Nixon, never to return?

To tell you the truth, I wouldn't be surprised if the U.N. sent guys in blue helmets to observe the legitimacy of our elections. After 2000 (not to mention 4 years of disastrous presidency) I often wonder if this election won't be looked upon as a dark time for democracy.

The question is, I think, will the 2000 election be a depressing nadir which we will rise above? Or is it going to be a mere prelude?

Are we going to let Bush steal the election again?

Turns out there might be reason to worry. Read this Salon article about the lengths politicians are willing to go to keep African-Americans from exercising their right to vote. The article mentions several horrible incidents from the 1980s and 1990s, and of course capping it all off with Florida in 2000.
To many African-Americans, the most notorious effort to disenfranchise blacks occurred in Florida in 2000. During the election, according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Republican state officials "failed to fulfill their responsibilities." In the aftermath of the debacle, numerous media reports surfaced of organized efforts to keep blacks away from the polls -- tales of police roadblocks erected in black neighborhoods, of election officials asking voters for unnecessary identification, of people being forcibly turned away from the polls by police. A few of these stories were discredited. Yet when the commission investigated the election, it corroborated many of them.

Floridians told the commission that they saw police cars illegally patrolling areas near polling places. They testified that in minority neighborhoods, polling places were closed early or were moved without any notice. The commission declared that election problems in Florida resulted "in an extraordinarily high and inexcusable level of disenfranchisement, with a significantly disproportionate impact on African American voters."

Much of the disenfranchisement was caused by antiquated voting machines used in minority neighborhoods; while just 11 percent of Florida's voters are African-American, more than half of the spoiled ballots -- more than 90,000 of the votes tossed out -- were cast by blacks. But another major source of disenfranchisement was the state's erroneous purging from voter rolls of thousands of suspected felons, the vast majority of whom were African-Americans. The purging occurred, the commission concluded, as a result of the "overzealous" efforts of Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris to combat voter fraud. "African American voters were placed on purge lists more often and more erroneously than Hispanic or white voters," the commission also noted. Could it be, many Democrats wonder, that Hispanic voters were not purged because, at least in Florida, they tend to vote Republican?
I honestly had no idea that the majority of 'chad failures' came from African-American voters. This is intensely suspicious to me.

If the Bush campaign people were willing to go to these lengths in 2000 when they had nothing to lose, what will they do now they've had a taste of power?

There's still hope, though. I hear Canada's quite lovely in the fall.

Monday, September 27, 2004

No Kidding, Capitan Obvious...

Colin Powell emboldens the enemy and states what is painfully obvious to anyone who hasn't been smoking something.
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell sees the situation in Iraq "getting worse" as planned elections approach, and the top U.S. military commander for Iraq says he expects more violence ahead.

Their comments Sunday followed a week in which President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi spoke optimistically about the situation despite the beheadings of two more Americans and the deaths of dozens of people in car bombings.
Iraq is getting worse. Yes, we know that. Very good, Colin. Now you get a lollipop.

Powell then goes on to spew the same old hoary chestnuts about terrorists hating freedom.
"It's getting worse," he said on ABC's "This Week." "They are determined to disrupt the election. They do not want the Iraqi people to vote for their own leaders in a free, democratic election."
Uh huh. Could it possibly be that the election is being hosted by the invaders who destroyed their homes, killed their families, and otherwise ruined their lives?

Naw, they just hate us for our freedom.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The local blogtopia (y!sctp)

Other political-minded people who have had to assure other Americans, at least once, that yes, there is a 'New' Mexico:

Democracy for New Mexico
Metaquerque (actually, already on the blogroll)
Alpert's Truth
Burque News
The Little Hedgehog
moonshine highways (not really political, but lovely photography)
and the lovely Pika at Quirky Burque, who was also already blogrolled, but deserves all the attention you can give her!

All added to the blogroll.

I cannot applaud this effort enough. To recognize the fact that a multitude of women have had abortions without shame or suffering, to realize that the availability of abortion has made so many lives better is to remove from it the stigma of something bad, tragic, or devastating. Abortion in this country has allowed women to lead better lives. To force a woman to be pregnant when she does not want to be is as limiting as wrapping her in a burqa and locking her away.

I have never had an abortion, but I have several friends and family members who have. These women are not heartless, selfish feminists or over-sexed harlots. These are normal human beings who seek what men take for granted: control over their reproductive systems. The more we can recognize the truth about abortion, that it happens to our mothers and daughters and sisters and friends, the harder it will be for old white men to take this right away from us and put us back where they think we belong.
Photograph by Ali Price. Please don't sue me!
The Blogmistress returns

After some life adjustments and a new computer, sort of, (thanks to Brian's previously unknown hardware skills) I am jumping back on the aforementioned blogging pony. Look for updates to layout and a much needed update to the blogroll coming shortly.