Sunday, December 30, 2007

huck for president?

Shake, Rattle and Roil the Grand Ol’ Coalition - New York Times
The Enduring Strength of Huckabee - Andrew Sullivan
Holy Huck, Straight out of Flannery O'Connor - Oh, Dave
Meet the Press transcript, Dec 30, 2007 - MSNBC

do you want an ex-baptist preacher for president?
Huckabee has an interesting reply when Meet the Press' Tim Russert asks him about his pastor past:

MR. RUSSERT: But where does this leave non-Christians?
GOV. HUCKABEE: Oh, it leaves them right in the middle of America. I think the Judeo-Christian background of this country is one that respects people not only of faith, but it respects people who don't have faith. The, the key issue of real faith is that it never can be forced on someone. And never would I want to use the government institutions to impose mine or anybody else's faith or to restrict. I think the First Amendment, Tim, is explicitly clear. Government should be restricted, not faith, government. And government's restriction is on two fronts: one, it's not to prefer one faith over another; and the second, it's not to prohibit the practice of somebody's religion, period.
MR. RUSSERT: So you'd have no problem appointing atheists to your Cabinet?
GOV. HUCKABEE: No, I wouldn't have any problem at all appointing atheists. I probably had some working for me as governor. You know, I think you got to realize if people want--say, "Well, you were a pastor," but I was a governor 10 1/2 years. I have more executive experience running a government. I was actually in a government position longer than I was a pastor. And if people want to know how I would blend these issues, the best way to look at it is how I served as a governor. I didn't ever propose a bill that we would remove the capitol dome of Arkansas and replace it with a steeple. You know, we didn't do tent revivals on the grounds of the capitol. But my faith is important to me. I try to be more descriptive of it. I just don't want to run from it and act like it's not important. It drives my views on everything from the environment to poverty to disease to hunger. Issues, frankly, I think the Republicans need to take a greater leadership role in. And as a Republican, but as a Christian, I would want to make sure that we're speaking out on some of these issues that I think we've been lacking in as a party and as, as a nation. [emphasis mine]

my question is, where does the separation between political animal and person of faith begin? if, as Huckabee puts it, faith is an intrinsic part of him, how can he separate that faith from future political decisions, made for a pluralistic society? Huckabee says that his evangelical past leaves non-Christians in the middle of America; i think that's fairly astute. it leaves them surrounded by a government led by an evangelical Christian and a citizenry that believes in the literal truth of the Rapture for the most part. if you were a non-Christian wouldn't you feel a little heebie-jeebie?

the attacks on huckabee from his own party are interesting, too. the times article mentions folks like limbaugh calling Huckabee a fake Republican because of his populist stances on poverty and i have to admit that i always feel sort of good about whatever makes limbaugh get his drawers in a bunch. but then i remember this is a Republican candidate we're talking about. his likeability, speechifying and surprisingly holistic views on education and poverty aside, he's still the man who's the most dangerous to a woman's reproductive freedom. again, from Meet the Press:

MR. RUSSERT: And what would happen to doctors or women who participated in abortion?
GOV. HUCKABEE: It's always the, the point of trying to say, "Are you going to criminalize it?" That's not the issue.
MR. RUSSERT: Well, if it, if it's illegal, it would be.
GOV. HUCKABEE: It would be. And I think you don't punish the woman, first of all, because it's not about--I consider her a victim, not a, not a criminal. You would...
MR. RUSSERT: But you would punish the doctor.
GOV. HUCKABEE: I think if a doctor knowingly took the life of an unborn child for money, and that's why he was doing it, yeah, I think you would, you would find some way to sanction that doctor. I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead. There's something that just doesn't ring true about the purpose of medical practice when the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath is "First, do no harm." Well, if you take the life and suction out the pieces of an unborn child for no reason than its inconvenience to the mother, I don't think you've lived up to your Hippocratic Oath of doing no harm. [emphasis mine]

like his fellow social conservatives who shudder at the thought of women controlling their own fertility, Huck stops short of saying that those women should be thrown in prison. instead, he displays his unconscious devaluing of women by calling us victims. we aren't agents in the decisions we make about our fertility, but objects at the mercy of inveigling doctors or 'inconvenience.' whether his ideas stem from his faith or just a good old lack of trust in women's autonomy, they don't bode well for women's issues; do i want this man as president, wielding the power to appoint supreme court judges?

not so much.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

bhutto assassinated!

Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally - New York Times

just shocking.
the world is really insane.

Monday, December 24, 2007

merry merry

Enough of the Hills and Woods, Can I Send Grandma an E-Card? - New York Times

merry christmas to all 7 of my readers!
instead of sleeping on an arrow mattress in my sister's tv room, i will be warmly ensconced in chicago's brutal, weird weather, drinking all sorts of sparkly things and hosting a sleepover for my friends and other holiday orphans. it's good to know that the ny times has recognized how nice it is to sometimes spend christmas on one's own.

i hope all of you have a wonderful holiday!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

cash advance

apparently, i'm brainier on this blog than my other one, which only clocked in at 'high school.'

thanks, Orange!

Friday, December 14, 2007


this is utterly unbelievable - except i believe it because haven't we heard (some version of) this story before?

if you haven't already received the MoveOn alert, here it is:
Jamie Leigh Jones was a 20-year-old woman working in Iraq for a subsidiary of Halliburton when she was drugged and brutally gang-raped by several co-workers.
The next day, Halliburton told her that if she left Iraq to get medical treatment, she could lose her job.1
Jamie's story gets even more horrific: For the last two years, she's been asking the US government to hold the perpetrators accountable. But the men who raped her may never be brought to justice because Halliburton and other contractors in Iraq aren't subject to US or Iraqi laws. They can't be tried for a crime in any court.2
This is one of the most disturbing stories we have come across in a while. We're calling on Congress to investigate Jamie's case, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law so this can't happen again. If hundreds of thousands of us speak out against this outrageous story, we can force Congress to take action.

Can you sign the petition? ... Clicking below will add your name.

After you sign, please forward this email to friends, family and colleagues—we all need to speak out together.

When you get an email from us, it doesn't usually include a graphic description of a brutal attack. But when we heard this story, we knew we had to do something about it.
Here's how Jamie described what happened after the attack:
I awoke the next morning in the barracks to find my naked body battered and bruised. I was still groggy from whatever had been put in my drink. I was bleeding... After getting to the clinic and having a rape kit performed...I was locked in a container with no food, no way to call my parents, and was placed under armed guard by Halliburton.3

Jamie's attackers aren't the only ones exploiting a legal loophole to get away with their violent crimes. Another female employee of Halliburton says she was raped by her co-workers in Iraq.4 Employees of Blackwater, another private contracting firm in Iraq, were accused of killing innocent Iraqi civilians, and that incident turned into an international scandal. Worst of all, they may never be punished.5
Private contractors in Iraq are making massive amounts of money, operating above the law and are accountable to no one. This has to stop.
Congress needs to act now to bring these contractors under the rule of law. If they don't, nothing will prevent a case like Jamie's from happening again. No man or woman working in Iraq should have to fear that they can be attacked without consequences.

Please sign on to the petition: "Congress must investigate the rape of Jamie Leigh Jones and others, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law." Clicking below adds your name:

Thanks for all you do,
–Nita, Wes, Karin, Marika, and the Political Action Team

Friday, December 14th, 2007

"Halliburton hit in rape lawsuit," New York Daily News, December 11, 2007
2. "Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR," ABC News, December 10, 2007
3. Jamie's Journal, The Jamie Leigh Foundation
"Female ex-employees sue KBR, Halliburton—report," Reuters, June 29, 2007
5."Blackwater Probe Narrows Focus to Guards," Associated Press, December 8, 2007

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

for the sake of honesty

why can't we, as a nation, just admit that we torture people?
it would make things so much easier.

no more linguistic acrobatics as pundits and analysts weigh the correctness of 'torture' vs. 'enhanced techniques.'
no more propaganda about revealing secrets to the 'enemy' during a closed door session of the Senate. (is the Senate the 'enemy'?)

it would be such a relief to have our cowboy of a president throw a press conference and say, "Look, y'all. We torture. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but we do it anyway. We strap down these young fellers and do things to them that Michael Vick just got sent to prison for doing. But it's ok, because we're America and we think that's what we need to do. You don't like it? Well, too bad."

if we admitted we tortured people we could finally relieve ourselves of the burden of being Democracy's shining light. we could stand tall knowing we are the type of country that literally hurts other people. it's a dubious distinction but one that could make us either really macho tough or really psycho sick. it's like we're living in The Portrait of Dorian Gray, you know? as a nation, we do these horrible sickening things but the picture of ourselves is just as glowing, youthful and full of beauty as it was when we were sort of innocent of such things. but we're so used to looking at the picture of our youth we've forgotten that our nation's true face is warty, full of pus and ravaged by our ... what? our sin? our immorality? our forgetfulness that we aren't supposed to be like some dirty ignorant totalitarian country with a secret police force putting the screws to people?
and if we admitted that we torture people then we, the people, would have an opportunity to ask ourselves if this is really what we want to be and we, the people, could finally begin to demand some change instead of watching the Torture Word Choice Wars like it was some frickin' tennis match.

abu ghraib almost made us look at our true face but it was too easy to blame that ugliness on some poor trashy enlisted men and women. this could be our next opportunity to come to grips with who we are as a country.
how much you wanna bet we're going to find another excuse to ignore our nature again?

Questions Linger After Hayden Testimony

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Sorority Pledge? I Swore Off Sisterhood - New York Times

i'm back in the saddle, sort of.
but this mornng, came across a very good Modern Love column about the damage some women do to one another.
i remember writing about how harsh we women seem to be with one another and i've honestly tried to interrogate myself whenever i find myself dismissing a woman because she doesn't fit the mold i have in my head of what makes a woman worthwhile. stay at home mothers, pregnant teenagers, bitchy bosses (ok, they deserve my disdain) - i've tried to ease up a little. but i don't think i've ever emotionally crippled someone. i don't think my friends have, either.

i belong to a small, yet tight circle of women friends in chicago, and these women are as close to me as my own family. for the past month, i've enjoyed these friends of mine as they've brought me books, music, Dr. Who, cookies, magazines and gossip while i've been laid up recovering. we all live different types of lives (one of us just got engaged and one of us would rather poke her eyes out than get married) but we don't judge one another. we certainly don't attack another woman when she's been treated the way the author was treated in this article.

anyway, it only confirmed why i hated sororities when i was at ucla.
and made me glad i have the friends that i have.