Archive for November, 2004

Martha Hanging with the Christian Left

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Carol Gilbert, a 57-year-old Roman Catholic nun serving time at the Federal Corrections Camp in Alderson, W.Va. with Martha Stewart, says she enjoys eating lunch with ‘ol Martha–although the setting could be better.

“We’re not talking about a tea party,” Gilbert’s attorney, Sue Tyburski, told the Rocky Mountain News for a story in Saturday’s editions. “We’re talking about a big cafeteria setting with the terrible food.”

Gilbert is serving 33 months on convictions of obstructing the national defense and damaging government property for her role in an anti-war protest at a missile silo in 2002.

Tyburski said her client she hopes the famous homemaker will write about women who have received lengthy sentences under draconian federal mandatory drug-sentencing laws.

We’re hoping a little bit of the peace activist spirit will rub off on Martha, too. Imagine the possibilities . . .

Stewart was convicted on obstruction of justice in May because apparently only men are allowed to take part in blatant insider trading. She began serving her five-month sentence at the women’s federal prison Oct. 8.

These Guys Don’t Waste Any Time

Saturday, November 27th, 2004

We thought we could blink, it being a holiday week and all, but last weekend the righties scored their first legislative victory since W’s re-election by inserting a clause into a spending bill to undermine state laws requiring hospitals to provide abortions.

The provision, a last-minute addition to a $388 billion budget bill, was approved by Congress without debate. The triumph for the religious right was condemned by Democratic senators, women’s rights activists, and other forms of intelligent life–Few members were even aware of the clause when the bill was brought to Congress on Saturday, but by then it was too late to block it.

After an uproar from Democrats, it was agreed that the Senate would hold a vote to repeal the measure in April.

And what other treats were in the budget bill? Well–more than $131 million for abstinence-only education programs. Meanwhile, they can’t afford to turn on the heat at my kid’s school.

W. has been a strong proponent of school-based sex ed that focuses on abstinence, but doesn’t include information on safe sex.

“People who are sexually abstinent have a zero chance of becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease,” said Wade Horn, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services.

Duh.

People who don’t drive cars also have a zero chance of crashing them into trees. Let’s outlaw seatbelts.

Yo Mama’s Daybook

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

(or why i ain’t been bloggin’)

Nov. 17

Kid to school

Teach memoir workshop at The Attic

Teach high school radio play class

Than freshman creative writing workshop

Make 250 sandwiches for Hip Mama anniversary

Party!

Read, drink large quantities of sangria,

run around giving out door prizes

& refilling chip bowl

Nov. 18

Holy shit! I locked Attic keys inside

Make class meet in corner of café

Oregon Book Awards

Lose to the Susan Lucci of the Oregon Book Awards.

Nov. 19

Up at 4 a.m.

Fly to Miami so kid can be in Real World-style teen sexuality special

Sequestered in hotel on island with 20 insane parents

while kids are at Real World house surrounded by hidden cameras

Someone’s Dad tells me good thing W. is saving our nation from . . .

The evil immoral gays

Nov. 20

Up at 5 a.m. Florida time

Bad hotel coffee with powdered creamer

Kid back to Real World house for day of shooting

70 staff people to wait on 20 kids

Find the two other Democrats in hotel

Relax on beach & swim in Atlantic

Get bit by jellyfish

Someone’s mom tells me that teenagers never had sex in the 1960s

Drink pina coladas

Kid gets back at midnight

Wants to know why we don’t have a staff at home

Nov. 21

Up at 5 a.m. Florida time

Bad hotel instant coffee

Go to Real World house for “group parent interview”

Unbelievably bad hair day – I look exactly like Ronald McDonald

Get mic-ed

Immediately have to pee

Sit in real-looking living room thinking we’re going to talk about parenting

Suddenly everyone starts yelling about the EPIDEMIC of oral sex among teens & this NEVER happened in our day & it’s all Bill Clinton’s & rap music’s fault & things were better when pregnant teens got sent away so our innocent angels didn’t have to look at their trashy asses

Someone’s Dad gets put out for blaming corporate America

Um . . .

Fly home

Have nervous breakdown

Nov. 22

Continuing nervous breakdown & post-traumatic reality TV stress

Drink 5 cups rocket espresso

Nauseous

But have to teach all day

Student asks if he can write poem about pimpin’ hoes

I ask another student to make his radio play more appropriate for kid-audience

He changes gang gun war to water balloon fight

Kid brings home crazy mess of a report card

Emergency parent-teacher conferences

Dad from Florida emails: “we can talk about blow jobs and dental dams and anal sex, but corporations are taboo!!? What a world . . .”

Cancel plans to go to Cali for Thanksgiving

Nov. 23

Get call from publisher saying I have to go to NYC

Check self into mental hospital

Then pack

Nov. 24

Phone & gas get turned off

Good thing Maria just finished the beautiful new Yo Mama’s Daybooks for 2005.

Pray to Our Lady of Class Struggle

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

‘Cause Resident Bush Owes the Righty Jesus Freaks Big-Time.

The White House will make Senator Arlen Spector fight for his job as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee after his remarks cautioning Dubya about nominating judges intent on overturning Roe V. Wade. Senator Bill Frist says Spector “must prove to his Republican colleagues” that he is the right man for the job.

It’s payback time for the Religious Right and they mean to collect in full.

I mean, imagine if you were in their position. Imagine for a moment you were some radical fringe socialist pinko leftwing freak (I know it’s hard, but stay with me here . . . ) And imagine you’d provided your Presidential(!) candidate a swing-vote buffer so they could either win the election or get close enough to believably steal it. Now imagine you were so righteous you were totally unscrupulous. Wouldn’t you be hellbent on convincing that obviously flash-in-the-pan temporary federal government to get your legislation through & stuff the courts with appointees of your guys that would remain on the bench for GENERATIONS?

Bob Jones 111–he of Bob Jones University fame–sent a sweet note of congratulations to Dubya, saying: “Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you. If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them.” Clear enough? Newsweek reports that the evangelicals “now hold daily conference calls and meetings to review a long legislative wish list: conservative judicial appointments, a federal amendment banning gay marriage, abortion restrictions, tougher obscenity laws, school vouchers” and on and on and on . . .

Joining Big Mama’s Church instead!

Yikes! Action Alert! (Updated with EPA Response)

Monday, November 15th, 2004

EPA PLANS TO USE POOR KIDS AS GUINEA PIGS IN NEW STUDY ON PESTICIDES!

The Environmental Protection Agency, led by Bush appointees, plans to launch a new study in which participating low income families will have their children exposed to toxic pesticides over the course of two years.

For taking part in these studies, each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation.

In October, the EPA received $2 million to do the study from the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry front group that includes members such as Dow, Exxon, and Monsanto.

The EPA’s Linda Sheldon says the study is vital, because so little is known about how small children’s bodies absorb harmful chemicals. But none of the EPA’s employees are offering to have their own children take part in this research project.

The Organic Consumers Association is calling on the nation’s citizens to demand the EPA forgo this project before its scheduled launch in early 2005. Sign petition by clicking here and forward this info to family and friends…

UPDATE: EPA RESPONDS

“Because protecting the health and well-being of children is of paramount importance, EPA has decided to send the Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS) for another external, independent review by an expert panel made up of members of the Science Advisory Board, the Science Advisory Panel, and the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. It is anticipated that this review will be completed and that a report will be forwarded to the Administrator in the spring of 2005. Based on this review, the Agency will reassess the study.

“As a federal agency, EPA wants all research to be transparent to the public and to be responsive to public feedback. Citizens are key stakeholders in our work. EPA makes information on current and completed research activities available to the public through various means, including the on-line Science Inventory.”

Relevant

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

Well, the progressive media is busy ignoring the in-so-many-ways over-hyped Scott Peterson trail, but I take issue with those who call the whole thing irrelevant.

The case that for a conglomeration of strange reasons captured national attention captured my attention, too.

According to a recent study by the Maryland Department of Health, HOMICIDE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN.

(Now, there’s something they don’t tell you in What to Expect When You’re Expecting).

It could have been me.

It could have been you.

Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women who are battered run as high as 25%.

That it took the Christmas disappearance of a beautiful middle class white woman to bring this fact to our attention doesn’t make it irrelevant. This is our terror and, no, we weren’t more scared after the towers fell because as women, we have always been terrorized.

And so, swirling media attention notwithstanding, old man Arafat dead and Bush reelected, it’s no surprise that so many waited held-breath to find out if even one smirking elite white man would be held accountable.

The murdered-drowned mother-goddess who washed up on the shore has a name. She is Laci Rocha. With child. She is 2,000 women every year in the U.S. alone. She is me. And she is you.

MISOGYNY: LOOK IT UP, STAMP IT OUT.

In a related story . . .



[Palestinian woman and child sitting on the rubble of their home, which was destroyed last Thursday.]

Mothers of Revolution

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Mothers of Revolution will meet this Sunday at 11 a.m. in Portland. Email me or Jessica for directions or to get on the email list for future updates even if you can’t make this meeting. We’re organizing to offer help/resources to kids being targeted by military recruiters, to fight for our reproductive freedom, & rad actions for gay rights & mama rights!

Also! Hip Mama’s 10th annniversary party is coming up November 17. Info here.

See you soon.

MOTHERS OF REVOLUTION

by Fern Capella

we are mothers but want more than the archaic relations

of man and wife isolated in suburban sedation,

shaped like claymation in lives packaged and produced for plastic presentation.

we deserve more than one standard of sanity and subversion,

more than the popular and predictable version of

selfless victim murderhood, where we slice and strip

till we’ve ripped and ripped us to rags

to gag the baby spit, pretty up that split lip or wipe blood off the floor.

we reject hyped hysteria of insidious mainstream media,

and block the desensitizing shock talk and jock stalking

violence and racial offenses from deterring our relentless

movement to radicalize our recedent enviroment.

infotainment spawns resentment by fear and filling

our inner ear for human communication with

systematic separations of race and sex classifications,

affecting our intent to interact without judgment.

we are wailing flesh pressed in the spokes of mass destruction,

a physical obstruction to the crush of western justice

violently disgusted by

poverty, fast food, complacency, big business, miseducation,

racism, sexism, ageism, devisive methods of controlling mass populations

through television, media encouraged self derision, nationalism,

patriotism, fascism, genocide, and absolutely this atrocious war.

we are prepared to fight to defend our right to independent

freedoms and expressions, are always fighting in existence to destroy

the imperialistic oppression the us leaks like radiation

over our solar galaxies and star formations

and will continue to fight, babies on back and beside us on

the front lines in sight of Zion and deliverance,

vehemently resisting the reigning cysts on civilization,

persisting to eradicate the disease of greed and corruption.

we are invested in this earth,

it is worth our children’s lives, we can’t leave them to fry

salvaging poisoned pieces of water land and sky

so we won’t stop fighting till we die

that while we held breath we heaved flames against

the monstrous vehicle of lies and ecstatically

served this life opening their conscious eye

and demolishing the disguise.

we write, read, shout, breathe, battle, breed, breastfeed and bleed

for dissolution of this destructive nation.

we are Mothers Of Revolution.

Druggists Refuse to Give Out Birth-Control Pills

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

You’ve heard of “activist judges”–how about activist pharmacists? The American Pharmacists Association’s policy seems reasonable: Druggists can refuse to fill a prescription, but they must make other arrangements so patients can still get their pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist.

States from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions. Mississippi now allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas have laws that protect a pharmacist’s right to refuse to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.

In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman’s prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views.

Some advocates for women’s reproductive rights are worried that such actions by pharmacists and legislatures are gaining momentum.

“We have always understood that the battles about abortion were just the tip of a larger ideological iceberg, and that it’s really birth control that they’re after also,” says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood.

The story is in USA Today.

Journalism

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004



[Resistance is the secret of joy]

At the first meeting of my first journalism class, we studied the morning paper. Breaking news that day consisted of horrific accounts of the war in El Salvador–secret battles, mass graves. As the professor spoke, I watched a hummingbird just outside the lecture hall window. My mind wandered back to a morning seven years earlier when I’d watched an old woman with long grey braids being arrested on a San Francisco street corner for shouting this very same news through a megaphone. I thought of the boy I loved then, and the way the riot cops flung his limp body out of their way as they moved in on the old woman. The hummingbird fluttered out of sight & I thought of the boy’s face, smooth and optimistic.

Sometimes news takes a long time to break, but the truth still matters here and now.



[A 9-year-old girl recovers from a skull fracture and two broken legs in the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. A U.S. Army Bradley fighting vehicle crashed into her family's car.]

I’ll be proud to be an American when Bush is in jail.

Post-11/2 Organizing

Sunday, November 7th, 2004

Work

Think

Create

Ramble

Defend

Protest

Nurture

Educate

Kick ass

Organize

Have faith

Make books

Play music

Feed people

Fall in love

Smash the state

Audit the election

Speak truth to power

Get out of the military

Life without psychopharms

Each according to her ability

Resistance is the secret of joy

In his victory speech, Dubya claimed to be “humbled.” Humbled? Someone needs to slap that spoiled little imbecile.

In Kerry’s concession, he called for unity and healing. WTF? Like ‘hey–let’s just continue the genocide in Iraq, go out for some afternoon gay-bashing, and then shake hands’? As Osha Neumann put it, “This is no time for unity. It’s the beginning of a life-and-death struggle.”

So don’t slit your wrists & don’t move to Canada. We need you here. (Anyway, your U.S. dollars are worth almost nothing on the world market at this point—laughing stock we would be if everyone weren’t so terrorized by this guy).

After his “humbled” b.s., it was back to business for President Smirky. At his press conference, Dubya said he was ready to spend his new “political capital” & promised “to promote freedom and democracy” in the Middle East. Iraq is bracing itself for what he’s got in mind. In a field hospital outside Fallujah, Marines unloaded racks of body bags in preparation for the assault. Heavy explosions were heard in Baghdad as a government spokesman declared a 60-day state of emergency throughout most of the country.

W. didn’t mention his plans to stuff the supreme court with Jesus-freaks here in the states. Maybe he didn’t have to.

Some optimistic (in-denial?) progressive commentators say ‘don’t worry–he’ll ditch his base of born-again Klansmen ’cause he doesn’t need their votes anymore. He’ll go back to playing golf and paying off his other base–the ones who could give two shits about fundie “moral values” as long as they’re making a profit. He’ll leave Roe v. Wade alone. He’ll start thinking about “legacy” instead of eating your civil rights for breakfast.’ Doubt it. But even if ol’ Dubya’s new administration ditches the poor suckers who thought he’d lead ‘em through the end times & up to the pearly gates, what his rich-boy friends are making a profit on is this pre-emptive isolationist warmongering crusade & environmental demolition.

Post-11/2 organizing starts now. If you’re in Portland, some mothers of revolution are getting together this Tuesday Nov. 9 to strategize. Email JessiGlov5@aol.com for details. If you’ve got other stuff going on–or ideas—don’t be shy! Post ‘em here.