Saturday, April 08, 2006

Critics, Celebrities Oppose Hillary For President

According to the British paper, The Guardian, celebrities are lining up against Hillary Clinton because of her pro-war stance.

Here is the short list so far:
1. Cindy Sheehan: "I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys... I will resist her candidacy with every bit of my power and strength."
2. Kathleen Turner said she "had her doubts' about Clinton's potential bid."
3. Stone said it was "too soon" for Clinton to run.
4. Clooney criticised the entire Democrat leadership, including Clinton, for lacking the backbone to speak against the Iraq war.
5. Sarandon, one of the most politically active of the Hollywood elite, was forthright: "I find Hillary Clinton to be a great disappointment. She's lost her progressive following because of her caution and centrist approach."
6. Madonna: As reported in the Daily News, quoting an Out magazine interview, she said she was equally concerned about Clinton's chances of winning. The pop icon reportedly said she thought the former first lady should "go for it" in 2008. But she wondered if the time was right for Americans to put their trust in a woman president.
7. CodePink: "She's not listening to her constituents when it comes to how they feel about the war in Iraq," said a spokeswoman for Code Pink, a women's anti-war group that is helping to organise protests wherever Clinton speaks.

Hollywood donations are nothing to scoff at, and politicians tend to curry their favor.

And in related news:
Anti-war protesters interrupted U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech at Brown University on last night by heckling the New York Democrat for four solid minutes before police escorted them out of the auditorium.

Clinton was about eight minutes into her 50-minute speech, "Women Leaders," when an unidentified man stood and shouted "Is it leadership to support the war?

And there are other critics, for example,

"They [the Dems] genuinely want someone who is going to stop complaining about the way things are and start doing something," Frank Luntz, a pollster credited with helping Newt Gingrich knock Democrats from power in 1994, said.

Therein, he said, lies a major flaw for Clinton and eight other Dems he analyzed in focus groups with 700 New Hampshire and Iowa Democrats.

"We tested all the candidates and not one of them, still, has put together a stump speech that really, truly captures ... 'Here's the problem, here's the solution.'"

He also said the New York senator was making a mistake by getting on the Democratic bandwagon of hawking religion to prove Democrats have moral values, too.

Recent Gallup polling data showed that a majority of Americans steadfastly refuse to embrace Hillary Clinton, despite her virtually unquestioned status as the presumptive 2008 Democrat presidential nominee.

I Found an Endangered Species in the Garden

While working in the garden today, this little guy popped out from under my deck to sunbathe on an old brick in the warm sun.

While he blinked and sat there, I took his picture.

This is the disappearing Texas Horned Lizard, also known as a "horny toad." He is about 3 inches long, an adolescent. You can see what appears to be small horns on his head. At one time they were so common that the early settlers made horny toad stew out of them.

They used to be prevalent all over Texas when I was a child, but now they are endangered. So I was excited to find him hanging out at my house.

Why? Because I am an organic gardener and his chances of surviving are greater here.

Some of my neighbors use companies that spray fertilizer, weed killer and ant control pesticides all over their yards. Not only can this make the yards toxic to children and animals, it kills the ants that these endangered lizards need to eat in order to survive and runs into our water table. And it can also kill the birds who eat the bugs that are exposed to these chemicals.

Was Bush Pissing in the Wind?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Tom DeLay: Breaking News in Brazos County TX

Just got an email from Juanita down in Brazos County, Texas, alerting me of this breaking news. Go to: Juanita's The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc. She will be posting photos soon.

Tom DeLay's campaign and a member of the State Republican Executive Committee called for volunteers to meet on the first floor of the parking garage and "wreck" Lampson's press conference. (Nick Lampson is the Democratic contender in Delay's district.)

One elderly Democratic woman was slightly injured when she was assaulted by a DeLay protester. The DeLay supporter first hit her in the face with a sign and then grabbed her hat and tried to pull it down over her eyes.

Think about this: Your Congressman asked his supporters to go out and assault old women. Okay, "wreck" them.

But that's all right. It's all right. They're just helping prove what a stone-cold hypocrite DeLay and his supporters are. One day DeLay laments the "polarization" in the district and how horrible it is. The next day, he calls a hit.

This reads like a scene out of The Sopranos.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Anti-War Rally in Crawford Texas April 11-16

This is a another reminder to please come to Crawford, Texas, next week for what we hope will be a huge Peace Rally when Cindy Sheehan and Gold Star Families for Peace return to Camp Casey for four days of rallies, performances, teach-ins and more. Also at the heart of this event: Vets for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Code Pink and more.

Help turn up the heat on Bush and his cronies. Drive, hitchhike, fly, bicycle, do whatever you need to do to get here. I know you may live far, far away, but this will be BIG and folks from all over the country will show up to take advantage of this opportunity to have a voice and make a stand on this issue!

Also, in a related bit of news, the group Codepink is calling for action TODAY Wednesday, April 5. Join CODEPINK in: demanding a debate on Iraq. Tell Congress to show the American troops, the American people and the Iraqi people the respect they deserve. It is time for a full debate on the war in Iraq. Tell them to sign H.Res.543, the discharge petition. Go to their link above for more information on getting involved!

Here are some more pictures of people I met on my last visit who graciously allowed me to take their picures. And, honestly, look at those blue skies, wouldn't you just love to soak up some sunshine with other peace loving activists?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Thinking About Molly Ivins and Global Warming

Molly Ivins is a great Austin writer, commentator of politics and a warm human being with a great smile. I've also seen her over the years at various functions around town and she is a very funny speaker. She writes about what she knows. She writes on AlterNet, although she is published in newspapers and other websites.

It was warm today and I was puttering around in the garden, shooting pictures and doing some light weeding, as you can see from the pictures below. I was thinking about how each leaf shooting upward from the earth was a perfect work of art.

I worried briefly how we would be able to grow enough food to feed the planet if the weather became more volatile, which I believe has begn happening. Then I came inside for lunch and saw this. Molly wrote a piece on global warming. These short paragraphs in her article stood out for me.

The political fight over global warming is over, except for the Bush administration, which has some weird problem with science in general. I'm still not sure what's behind that: I recall Rush Limbaugh and the radio right taking great glee in pooh-poohing the Kyoto treaty and the whole idea of global warming. Maybe they associated global warming with Canadians or something equally awful.

You might think some premise like, "The whole world is getting hotter, and disastrous consequences will ensue," would be more persuasive than, "I don't like Canadians, they're wusses," but I suspect part of the fun of being Rush Limbaugh is never having to say the word "responsible."

This is so accurate that I just don't have much more to add, other than right on, sister. Never having to say the word "responsible" or BE resposible is why we are in this mess with global warming in the first place.

What's Growing in Glenda's Garden

For those of you in cold climates, here is a breath of spring!

Flowers in Glenda's Garden

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tom Delay Announces He will not Run for Re-Election

In a conversation with Chris Matthews this evening, Smilin' Tom Delay Announced that he will not run for re-election.

And all the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Tommy together again.

Cake Pony

Is it just me, or does anyone else find this site strange and disturbing?

Although there is nothing on this site overtly sexual, there is implied targeting of children as sexual objects, through sexually posed cartoon pony pictures and language.

I was led to this site through an article in the BBC, which I generally find to be a safe source.

And under freedom of speech, the Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that the portayal of children as objects of sexual desire is legal if done in drawn or computer-generated imagery, since "no children are harmed in the making of such art."

They did not mention the consequences to children when pedophiles go to sites that whet their appetites for more kids to prey upon, and then go out in the real world to find them.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Commentary on Jill Carroll

Anti-Woman Language and Political Pre-Emptive Character Assassination

When ex-hostage Jill Carroll was first released there was a torrent of criticism against her for a forced taping saying that she had no beef with her captors and pointing out their small kindnesses after what must have been a grueling 82 days in captivity and the trauma of seeing her male translator murdered.

Carroll’s patriotism and veracity were called into question by bloggers and commentators like Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz, or by Aaron Margolis, among others, who compares Jill Carroll to Cindy Sheehan in saying that "she has also set herself up to be a new hero for the liberal left with her criticism of the Bush Administration." And oh, there are other speculative statements made about Jill Carroll.

There are a couple of things that come to mind as a consequence of this almost instantaneous backlash/whiplash commentary:
1. Would a man forced to make a statement in the same circumstance have suffered the same criticism? The picture of her in headscarf and Iraqi dress was pointed to repeatedly as proof that she was one with/of the terrorists. What is it about Jill Carroll that makes her seem so dangerous that an instant synchronized (?) campaign of criticism must be launched against her even before the information is all in?

Hey, guys, when was the last time you had to worry about being killed, beaten and raped because you did not wear traditional garb in a foreign country? And for all we know, her captors forced her to wear those clothes in the video. And speaking of rape, you do not know what her abductors did to her while she was in their care, nor do I, but being kidnapped by a bunch of throat-slashing murderers would be enough to create a raging case of PTSD for most anyone, male or female.

But there are some other parallels and issues here in this conservative stance that is bleeding out from between the lines and I want to address them. Because what these conservative men say against Jill speaks to their attitudes not only about women in volumes too large to ignore, but also includes political pre-emptive character assassination. This has all the flavor of Rove politics imitators at its sleaziest and none of the finesse.

Here's what I noticed right off the bat. The attack made against Jill Carroll was couched in language eerily similar to what I have seen many times used by defense attorneys when questioning the validity of rape survivors.

You've all heard the affirmative defense stance that almost always blames the rape victim by exploiting mythology about rape and women and victimization.

"Look at what she was wearing."
"You know she wanted it, after all she went there and should have known what to expect."
"Women who say no really mean yes, so you can never believe them."
"Good girls wouldn't (Take your pick) drink, go to bars, or work in Iraq in the first place. "

The social function of rape mythology and victim-blaming is to let the perpetrator off the hook. This is a language of control, by implying that the rape/or kidnap victim is in collusion with the rapist, or in this case, the terrorist. This type of language is meant to silence and discredit women like Jill by trying to force them to share the blame for being a kidnap victim.

In this case, many of these statements were made even before writers knew what was going on. It is interesting to note that the first barrage of attacks were directed at her dress. Is this just an extension of the Bush pre-emptive attack policy? Silence her just in case she MIGHT say something critical of Bush, an example of spin and damage pre-control at its most sordid.

2. I do not know what state Jill Carroll lives in, but let's pretend it’s South Dakota. If a woman in her situation was raped, came back and found herself pregnant, what then, pussilient Senators and Congressmen, what would you say about her inability to get an abortion?

Would you question her to see just how bad the rape was? Would she have to fit the definition of a rape survivor, as defined by Bill Napoli from South Dakota: To brutalize and rape, sodomize as bad as you can possibly make it, a young, religious virgin woman who was saving herself for marriage?