A look at the world through the eyes of a woman.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

John Kerry for President!

On Sunday, October 17, 2004, the New York Times as well as many other newspapers across the country, endorsed John Kerry for President. Nothing new there - I would expect the NY Times to endorse Kerry as well as say, the Boston Globe. What struck me was the language used in the endorsement. It was strong and enthusiastic and so spoke to what I am feeling - the deep, in my gut, feeling that if George Bush wins on November 2nd, that line separating church and state will not only be crossed, but broken. His appointment of right wing conservative nuts to the Supreme Court, is all but assured.

Here are some excerpts from the Ny Times editorial:

Mr. Bush installed John Ashcroft, a favorite of the far right with a history of insensitivity to civil liberties, as attorney general. He sent the Senate one ideological, activist judicial nominee after another. He moved quickly to implement a far-reaching anti-choice agenda including censorship of government Web sites and a clampdown on embryonic stem cell research. He threw the government's weight against efforts by the University of Michigan to give minority students an edge in admission, as it did for students from rural areas or the offspring of alumni.

The president who lost the popular vote got a real mandate on Sept. 11, 2001. With the grieving country united behind him, Mr. Bush had an unparalleled opportunity to ask for almost any shared sacrifice. The only limit was his imagination.

He asked for another tax cut and the war against Iraq.

We have specific fears about what would happen in a second Bush term, particularly regarding the Supreme Court. The record so far gives us plenty of cause for worry. Thanks to Mr. Bush, Jay Bybee, the author of an infamous Justice Department memo justifying the use of torture as an interrogation technique, is now a federal appeals court judge. Another Bush selection, J. Leon Holmes, a federal judge in Arkansas, has written that wives must be subordinate to their husbands and compared abortion rights activists to Nazis.

We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better.

You can read the article in its entirety at http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/opinion/17sun1.html?

Vote on November 2nd and send George Bush back to his ranch in Crawford.

Friday, October 08, 2004

conspiracy of our silence

my daughter is six and speaks of war
not toys, or school, or play
we watch the news after her bed time
because she is afraid of what she does not understand,
but more afraid from what she does

why is America killing people, mommy?
this still rings in my ears the same as it did on that beautiful fall day
when she returned from school
what do I tell her? how do I explain to this small frightened child
what I still do not have answers for
even she knows, at her age, that she, that we, are America
that in her reality, we, her parents must be part of this

we speak of peace and try to explain that not all of America
supports this war
and I end weakly about change and politics
she doesn't feel better, she is already beginning to realize
the conspiracy of our silence

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

It's always the wife...just ask Hilliary

"They use the wife to try to emascualte the candidate...They say, 'He can't even control his own wife. How can he be commander in chief?"
-Elaine Lafferty, Ms. editor, on presidential candidates' wives.

Check out this article, Laura or Teresa? Who cares? at http://www.sfgate.com/

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Massouda Jalal – Giving a Voice to Women in Afghanistan

We have to use this opportunity—it is men’s dream that women won’t participate because of security. It is our aim that women will participate.
Women’s rights activist, Kabul, August 28, 2004

Elections will be held in Afghanistan, this Saturday, October 9, 2004. For the first time ever, men and women, over the age of 18 will choose a new president.

Hamid Karzai, the US picked interim president, consultant to Unocal, with rumored ties to Halliburton, (http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/01/113169.php), will face 17 other candidates, including a woman, Massouda Jalal. The first Afghan woman ever to run for president.

Not only is Massouda Jalal fighting cultural, religious and sexual obstacles in her path to the presidency, she is literally fighting the fear and intimidation from the remnants of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the ruling warlords of her country. She is fighting the marginalization that all women face when entering an area deemed off limits.

Who is Massouda Jalal? She is a 41 year old mother of three young children. She is a pediatrician and medical lecturer at Kabul University. She has said publicly that she represents the people of Afghan and comes to this election with no blood on her hands. By all accounts, her message is simple. “…She promises to disarm the warlords, run a “healthy”, transparent government, wipe out bureaucratic corruption, and staff governmental departments with professionals and technocrats, not former generals and warlords.” She is a strong supporter of the disarmament program in Afghanistan. Her candidacy is all about change.

Read more at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5931226.

If only I had a candidate to vote for come November 2nd who believed in an open government without corruption and ties to others (Halliburton), who understands the needs of citizens and supports peace and disarmament. I would be much more excited about my vote. Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot I like about John Kerry, I just wish he would say the war in Iraq is wrong now, it was wrong then and call George Bush and his lot to an accounting for it.

It is historic that a woman is running for president in Afghanistan just three years after emerging from such a repressive government, like the Taliban. At that time women were banned from working, education, had travel restrictions and forced to wear a top-to-toe burka (a bee suit as Bill Mahrer says). “A public tarring and feathering of female sexuality” said Polly Toynbee in The Guardian (9/28/2001).

According to Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/afghanistan1004/):
“Throughout the country, militarized political factions – militias and remnants of past Afghan military forces who came into power in the wake of the Taliban’s defeat – continue to cement their hold on political power at the local level, using force, threats, and corruption to stifle more legitimate political activity and dominate the election process […] Women, both as voters and as political actors, remain marginalized.” An atmosphere of fear is still the norm for women in Afghanistan, despite some significant changes and improvements in their lives over the past couple of years.

And despite all of this, Massouda Jalal has the courage to step forward and speak her mind. Shame on us here in America,- where a woman has yet to be nominated by a major political party for the presidency. Take a moment to remember Shirley Chisholm and Patricia Schroeder, who didn’t wait to be invited to the table and stepped forward on their own to dream and run for president. When will we finally see ourselves as the candidate and stop bowing and catering to “the best choice” to represent us – which most likely isn’t Mr. President but MADAM PRESIDENT!

Check out an excellent source about the elections in Afghanistan at the the Ms Magazine online site http://www.msmagazine.com/fall2004/afghanwomen.asp. They remind us that meaningful equality requires the rule of law, that this election in Afghanistan is critical to the women and children there.

The Afghan government estimates that 10 million have registered for Saturday’s elections, less than one-half the general electorate. 41% of these registered voters in Afghanistan are women. They have the power to change things if they vote. So do we.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Emily and her new puppy, Elvis! Posted by Hello
What's A Blog? ....Maybe a Voice

I'm not real sure, yet. It's a space to vent, to explore and to share ideas. It is a living, breathing entity that is part of a digital universe, where we all can finally have a voice. I am honored to join this global community and add my voice. I am so tired of listening to distorted news media garbage, spewed at me from morning to night. Talking to me about jobs, the economy, health care, education and retirement, from people who have no idea what it is like to lose a job, make choices on your health care based on your bank account and struugle to give your child a decent education. Shut up!

I live in Cleveland, Ohio, which just received first place honors in this country's poorest city sweepstakes. People here have no job opportunities, poor educational choices and sit in the middle of the best health care facilities in the world and can't afford it. This is an election year and people still don't get it!

Blogging. I think this will be a healthier outlet for my frustrations. Maybe not.