Sunday, October 30, 2005

First you take out their communications.

Killing Non-Corporate Controlled Communications

Telecom law needs to be monitored closely.  Changes to such law is a quick way for a fascistic state to disable the ability of all alternative perspective to communicate their ideas.  Anyone remember Michael Powell and his attempt to allow consolidation of media ownership?  Well corporate media didn't get their way in that one, but these powerful "communication" multinationals want to disable, dismember and generally eliminate any channels that might carry information that hasn't been approved of by the corporate state. 

Well, they are at it again. 

Read the details in Legislation in Washington Attacks Public Access TV

The pr spin to the basic revisions to the 1996 Telecom Act  that would be made by the Big Brother Telecommunications Bill  introduced by Ensign and McCain  can be found in the National Journal reprint of the Technology Daily article of October 18th. 

The powers that be, including the slippery John McCain (also known as the Manchurian Candidate,) are peeved at the protest community stirring up consistent trouble that has burgeoned with (finally) some media attention to things rotten in the state of denial that is our government these days.  So they haven't been successful at destroying the movement, but they aren't giving up... they are hitting our communication networks next. 

I don't make this stuff up.  Ensign and Powell probably cooked this stuff up about when they met a year ago according to a press release I found on Ensign's website that included the following:

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Las Vegas, NV – United States Senator John Ensign will join Federal Communications Commission (FCC) head Michael Powell for a Telecommunications and Internet Summit in Las Vegas. Hosted by the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada, the Summit will provide a dialogue with members of Nevada’s largest high-tech trade association, local broadcasters, and other interested groups.

At this time they were trying to kill Access Tucson. and presumably other such media stations per the precedent this would set, through legislation at the State level.  The attempt to slip it through quietly at the  state level here in Arizona failed when there was massive, loud and clear public outrage and protest.  They then tried other tactics that failed, but now they are attacking alternative media at the federal level in ways they hope no one (of importance) will notice.  They are going to kill community television if they have their way. 

Wouldn't want people to have access to views other than those approved by the State, would you.  Just ask Winston Smith.  Chilling!

Scattered information about this has been around for months, but in a very here and there not easily accessible form. Reno News and Review  covered the story in August.  There is the Indymedia story mentioned above.  You can also get more information from Alliance for Community Media, the Free Press covers this issue as well as state-by-state coverage of pending anti-access legislation. More resources can be found at access TV centers such as Chicago (CAN-TV) , New York (MNN) , and Portland (PCM TV).  [Aside:  while paddling around the Tidal Basin with CODEPINK -- a wonderful woman with a show on Access TV filmed me doing one of those.... "Hi, I'm so and so and you are watching such and such." station announcements.  What a hoot!  I wonder if it ever aired.  It won't if these corporate buggers have their way. 

Bush to be in Phoenix Novermber 28th

What kind of a welcome should we give Bush and all the Evil Arizona Aristocrats who will come out en masse to engage in their evil "let them eat cake" activities in support of Jon Kyl?

Kyl in case you don't know represents nothing but corporate interests.


October 19, 2005
Bush to give Kyl Senate campaign a November boost
Mike Sunnucks
The Business Journal

President Bush will be in Arizona next month, helping U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl's re-election efforts.

Bush will keynote an fundraiser for Kyl scheduled for Nov. 28, according to knowledgeable sources. Further details of the event are not yet available but it is expected to take place in the Phoenix area. One source said the goal is to raise $2 million for Kyl's re-election efforts.

Kyl faces a tough and very expensive reelection fight next year against Democrat Jim Pederson, a shopping center developer. The conservative Kyl is a top ally of President Bush on Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to tax cuts, social issues, repeal of the estate tax, free trade and expanded oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The battle between the conservative Republican Kyl and Pederson, the former Arizona Democratic Party chairman, is expected to be the most expensive in state history.

The contest will also center around immigration, border security and tax cuts.

Pederson is top Democratic campaign donor nationally and is expected to spend and attract substantial money on the election. He has strong ties to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, as well as national Democrats.

Kyl enjoys strong support from business interests and has already received fundraising help from former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and has an Oct. 29 fundraising picnic scheduled with Fred Thompson. Thompson is a former U.S. senator from Tennessee and is a movie and television actor.

Bush carried Arizona by 11 percentage points over Sen. John Kerry last year, but the president's approval rating in the state has dipped to 40 percent, according to a new poll by SurveyUSA.

Rising gasoline and energy prices, the troubling situation in Iraq and GOP ethics scandals have contributed to that slide.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is also backing Kyl. McCain is chairing Kyl's campaign and has already cut one television ad for his Senate cohort.


Fry's isn't the only chain getting attention for refusal to carry and fill prescriptions for emergency contraception. Target also will not fill prescriptions.

I should also clarify something I said in an earlier entry. I said,
"A young woman is forced to suffer the indignity of having a stranger pass moral judgment on her, deny her prescribed medical care and in doing so to potentially force her to have an abortion that she may not believe in or have a child conceived in rape. This is barbaric."

This statement could be miscontrued to read that I believe EC is an abortifactant which I do not and it is not. Without access to contraception and emergency contraception, conception could occur with an unwanted pregnancy resultant. Delay makes this more likely and the need for an abortion far more likely.

One comment on a recent post states,

UMC does not stock emergency contraception, which is NOT an abortifacient.

A relatively easy victory for Students for Choice might be to organize around this issue. The law technically does not ban EC and there is no reasonable or logical reason why the UMC pharmacy should refuse to dispense it.

Given that a rape victim was recently denied the medication at several local private pharmacies, challenging the UMC practice would seem like a timely and prudent project for your group.

While I am not a member of the group to which he alludes, I will point both the Students for Choice and Feminist Student Network toward this post and point.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Global Gags Rules Problematic, Local Gag Rules Even More Problematic

Students for Choice at the University of Arizona have put out a call for assistance.

As most of you know, the University of Arizona has its very own gag rule. In 1974, the Arizona state legislature gave the university $5.5 million for football stadium renovations, but under the condition that the university would agree to a law prohibiting the education of the abortion procedure at any public university within the state (including, therefore, the University of Arizona). In turn, the University Medical Center does not provide abortion services, unless the life of the mother is threatened by her pregnancy.

On Saturday, November 5, the university will be holding its annual Homecoming football game. Students for Choice is taking the opportunity to "smear" campus and hand out flyers regarding this state law and what can be done about it
throughout the day during the festivities. We are taking this on as a community education campaign in order to raise awareness among university alumni, students, and the Tucson community about this generally "hush-hush" law.

Basically, we need all the help and support we can get in order to make this a largely successful event. We would greatly appreciate your participation (or your organization's participation) and/or donations for this education campaign (our goal is to hand out 1,000 to 5,000 copies of this flyer, so we mainly need help with covering the cost of these copies or getting resources where we can make copies).

The contact for Students for Choice

Thursday, October 27, 2005


DNC Meeting Rescheduled for December

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced that their Fall meeting which had been postponed following Hurricane Katrina, has been rescheduled for December 1 – 3rd, 2005 and will be held in Phoenix.


So what do you suppose the DNC needs to hear from the West Coast, Southwest, Arizona folks.... about their platform, about the leaders having no balls or ovaries, about getting our troops home now! I have to keep my eyes (and my ear to the ground -- this is Tucson after all... yee ha) open so I know where they are meeting and can keep up with whatever they release. May it have more substance than gas....

Protest Outside Fry's Supermarket in Tucson that Wouldn't Fill an EC Prescription

I attended the protest outside of the Fry's Grocery at Grant and Alvernon in Tucson on Thursday... The action was organized by Feminist Student Network and Students for Choice and co-sponsored by several local and national groups. The protest centered on the apparent refusal of a pharmacy to fill the prescription of a rape victim for emergency contraception. EC -- the term used by most health professionals for emergency contraception such as Plan B -- not the "the morning after pill" or "abortion" pill.
We need Rx not Rt.

There are differing views of what actually happened when the woman tried to fill the prescription. The facts of the situation as far as I can determine are that a rape victim walked into the pharmacy with a prescription for emergency contraception and walked out without the prescription having been filled and without knowing where she could go to get it filled. That isn't supposed to happen. Any woman who has an EC prescription is supposed to be able to either walk out of the pharmacy with the filled prescription or the name & location of a pharmacy that can fill the prescription.

What isn't clear to me is whether this abuse/failure of a woman's need for health care came about because of ignorance, personal moral conviction, or corporate policy. In any case, a problem has been identified and needs to be corrected. This is a pure and simple case about access to contraception. You can spin it however you want, but refusal to fill a contraceptive prescription is tantamount to forced pregnancy -- and that is the worst form of slavery.

The women and men at the protest were from varied walks and stages of life. There were a significant number of men of all ages at the protest, at least ten percent of group making the collective statement for choice were men. The number of protestors varied from 75 to 35 people at any given moment with people coming and going through the three hour protest that took place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. At least 100 different individuals probably participated.

I spoke with a young mother who had just been driving by and saw the protest and joined it. She told me she had never been involved in any protest and was apolitical and was not registered to vote. But she feels strongly that it is every woman's right to have access to health care so she can freely make choices that shape her life. Another woman at the other side of the reproductive spectrum said she had not been active in such events until she began to look at the corporate control of huge components of people's lives because corporations are given all the rights of people. This leads to corporate policy of businesses such as Fry's having undue control over real people's ability to have control over their own lives.

Another very significant component of the protest was the very positive feedback from passersby. As a veteran of various types of protest, I can honestly say that a dramatically larger percentage of all traffic by the protest signalled positive support of the demonstrators. It seemed that almost half of the passersbys gave positive supportive honks, thumbs up, smiles and waves. It seemed that way, but undoubtedly the percentage was smaller, but not hugely so. The negative feedback was hardly visible.

This signals a very widespread support of freedom of choice that cuts across class, race, and economy. The support for a woman's right to choose is at least five times as popular as the anti-war sentiment that is growing appreciably day by day if measured by people driving in Tucson. The DNC would be well advised to acknowledge these popular sentiments and create a strong platform that reflects the central values of the largest sections of the population: autonomy, personal authority over one's own life that translates into a pro-choice, pro-woman, pro-peace platform.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The 50 Arizona Servicemen and Women Who Have Lost Their Lives in Iraq

Camp Verde
Reeder, Edward T.
Gunnery Sergeant

Onwordi, Justin B.

Fresques, Jeremy

Byrd, Thomas H.

Campoy, Isaac

Peterson, Alyssa R.

Mortenson, Marty G.
Lance Corporal

Shondee Jr., Harry N.
Private 1st Class

Wilson, Nicholas E.

Halal, Michael J.
Lance Corporal

Poston, Christopher M.
Lance Corporal

McIntosh, Joshua

Latham, William T.
Staff Sergeant

Nicolas, Dominique J.

Ehrlich, Andrew C.

White, Nathan Dennis

Wong, Elijah Tai Wah

Allen, Howard P.

Robinson, Jeremiah W.

Keith, Quinn A.
Lance Corporal

Lapka, Christopher J.

Schall, Kenneth J.

Laskowski, Matthew C.
Chief Warrant Officer

Sisung, David
Petty Officer 3rd Class

Verdugo, Russell J.
Staff Sergeant

Downey, Michael A.
Lance Corporal

Hernandez, Frank B.

Mack, Brian A.
Sergeant 1st Class

Smith, Jason E.
Lance Corporal

Thomas, Carl

Owen, Michael G.

Prewitt, Tyler D.

Reyna, Seferino J.
Private 1st Class

Queen Creek
Martens, Robert N.

San Luis
Padilla-Ramirez, Fernando

Cooke, Eric F.
Command Sergeant Major

Sierra Vista
Merila, Michael M.

Tuba City
Piestewa, Lori Ann
Private 1st Class

Huff, Sam W.
Private 1st Class

Cataudella, Sean K.

Zurheide Jr., Robert Paul
Lance Corporal

Lucero, Joshua E.
Lance Corporal

Time, Tina Safaira

Unruh, Robert Oliver

Lawrence, Jeffrey D.

Hunt Jr., Kenneth E.
Master Sergeant

Ramsey, Carson J.

Karol, Spencer Timothy

Knott, Joseph L.

Williams, Michael Jason

Each thought cuts a little deeper

My friend Ellouse sent this link to a very moving video to encourage people who may not attend a vigil tonight to honor the 2000 American soldiers who have given their lives in Iraq thus far. God/Goddess preserve us; it made me sob. It took me back to being a child in 1968 with a brother in Vietnam. A brother who was in Hue and Khe Sahn.

It's funny but so many folks who support the war presume that folks like me, who believe you have to put more effort building peace than preparing for war if you want to have a world in which it is fit to live, know nothing of war, weaponry or down and dirty reality.

I just spent an hour out at a major intersection (Grant and Campbell for you locals) holding a sign that said, "2000 Too Many!" on one side and "2K Why?" on the other. Only one guy tried to engage me in conversation about "What would happen if we just pulled out?" I understand the danger. But I also remember the evacuation of Saigon.

So at the same time I'm watching images from the funerals of some of those 2000 I also received an email from a friend who runs a security firm that contracts its services to companies in Iraq. He's back in the states recovering from an injury in an IED attack. He sent me this link from This was worn by one of his guys.

I pray that he and his group suffer no harm. But so far that hasn't worked. Look at this link and the picture of the equipment that saved one guy's life from my friend's company... unfortunately three others were lost. They are not counted in the 2000. I think private contractor deaths are around 250.
But what I wonder is why there are two levels of troops. Private and Public. Contractor and Service Personnel. And why don't our military troops have this type of protective equipment? Private wars and private forces... gives me the shivers.

I am a patriot. Hell, I'm qualified to join the DAR. My family has been here since frigging 1630. (Longer if you count the First Peoples in my Ancestory.) I take my duty as an American very seriously, way beyond any political affiliation. I am apalled that the people occupying the White House apparently were involved in treason. Robert Novak reported the identity of a NOC (an undercover intelligence operative without diplomatic immunity) and walks around like nothing has happened. Valerie Plame's outing ruined an entire operation that probably had dozens of people connected to intelligence gathering on real WMD.

What I heard on CNN - Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room - from Larry Johnson, who is former CIA in Counter-Terrorism, says that serious damage was done to our national security. This leaves us more vulnerable. Treason.

I believe it was Whitman who said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." I can be for peace, have friends who are warriors, and mourn the loss of soldiers who have given their lives in my name.

I really, really try to meet in the middle and find common ground. We have to learn to do this if we are ever to build a united and sustainable peace. We won't all think alike, ever. I get as frustrated with folks who can't attend a vigil for American Soldiers unless it is for all war dead as I do with folks who are pro-war. It is okay in my book to honor the people who were willing to give their lives to protect our freedoms. What I am not okay with is abuse of these noble folks. Bush put these folks in harm's way for personal, corporate, and political reasons... not for national security. I am outraged by that.

I'm on my way to a vigil. I am hurt by all deaths. I know what it's like to be in a miliary family, too. I'm taking the names of the Arizona soldiers killed in Iraq to the vigil with me to read if that is okay with the organizer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tucson Rape Victim Dened Emergency Contraception

My outrage is palpable! I am already depressed about the reality behind the symbolic actions in response to the 200th American serviceperson's death in Iraq when I am confronted by another chilling headline that leads me to believe I really do live in a repressive state and culture.

A young woman is forced to suffer the indignity of having a stranger pass moral judgment on her, deny her prescribed medical care and in doing so to potentially force her to have an abortion that she may not believe in or have a child conceived in rape. This is barbaric.

No one has the right to intervene and deny medical care prescribed by a person's own physician. This is violent assault on a woman. Forced pregnancy. It sends chills and waves of nausea through me. Such assault is not peaceful. Peace cannot exist in a world where individual rights and decisions are usurped by the forced imposition of highly variable morality on those who subscribe to different equally moral beliefs.

For those folks who say that contraception is readily available and easily procurred, I'm saying that it isn't. A reprint of the article that originally appeared on October 23rd, 2005 can be found below or can be reached through this link.

I suggest a boycott of Fry's.

By Carla McClain

Although it is safe, effective and legal, emergency contraception - the "morning after" pill - can be hard to find in Tucson.

After a sexual assault one recent weekend, a young Tucson woman spent three frantic days trying to obtain the drug to prevent a pregnancy, knowing that each passing day lowered the chance the drug would work.

While calling dozens of Tucson pharmacies trying to fill a prescription for emergency contraception, she found that most did not stock the drug.

When she finally did find a pharmacy with it, she said she was told the pharmacist on duty would not dispense it because of religious and moral objections.

"I was so shocked," said the 20-year-old woman, who, as a victim of sexual assault, is not being named by the Star. "I just did not understand how they could legally refuse to do this."

But many stores are. A 2004 survey of more than 900 Arizona pharmacies found less than half keep emergency contraception drugs in stock, with most saying there is too little demand, but some cite moral reasons, according to the Arizona Family Planning Council.

Yet, family-planning agencies say they've seen a 60 percent increase in demand for the drug in recent years. The statistics are creating what advocates say is a frightening situation for some women. But others are glad pharmacists have a choice.

Women who report sexual assaults to police receive treatment, examination and the immediate offer of emergency contraception at a local emergency room, according to the policy of most Tucson hospitals.

But, like many sexual assault victims, the 20-year-old woman did not report the assault because she felt traumatized and guilty she had put herself in a situation that left her vulnerable. She was mistakenly locked outside a gathering at a friend's house and accepted the offer of a neighbor to stay at his place.

"This (sex) was with someone I did not even know and did not want to have intercourse with, and I am in no place now to have children," she said. "I just don't think this should be the pharmacist's decision."

The manager of the Fry's pharmacy at 3920 E. Grant Road, where the refusal occurred, offered to find another location where the prescription could be filled, according to a Fry's spokeswoman. But the young woman said she was offered no other options.

Although emergency contraception drugs have been around in one form or another for more than two decades, they remain highly controversial, with anti-abortionists and religious conservatives saying they can abort a fertilized egg.

To be taken within three to five days of unprotected intercourse, emergency contraception - also known as "Plan B" - prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg. The sooner the emergency contraception is taken after intercourse, the more effective it is.

More widespread use of emergency contraception could prevent as many as 800,000 surgical abortions a year, according to family-planning groups such as Planned Parenthood.

Controversy over emergency contraception is roiling now at the national level, with FDA scientists resigning over the agency's refusal to allow emergency contraception to be sold over the counter, without a prescription.

The issue surfaced in Arizona last winter, when Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill that would have permitted pharmacists to refuse to dispense it on moral or religious grounds.

But her veto was essentially meaningless, as most of the drugstore chains that dominate Tucson already allow that as a matter of corporate policy. Most also require that the customer be immediately referred to another pharmacist or drugstore willing to fill the prescription.

"The idea is, if our pharmacist won't dispense it, the patient will know where to go to get it," said Michael Polzin, a national Walgreens spokesman.

That same policy is in effect at all Fry's Food Store pharmacies, said Fry's spokeswoman Kendra Doyel.

On the night three weeks ago when an on-duty Fry's pharmacist refused to fill the emergency contraception prescription, the pharmacy manager offered to find another pharmacy that would, according to Doyel.

"He felt he was making every attempt to help her get what she needed. A pharmacist would never just say 'you're out of luck,' " said Doyel, who would not allow any of the Fry's employees involved in the incident to be interviewed.

But a friend with the sexual assault victim that night strongly disputed that account.

"He (the manager) said he would fill it himself if we could get there before his shift ended, within 10 minutes," said Sabrina Fladness, a University of Arizona student and owner of a computer service business.

"But we were more than 10 minutes away, so that was impossible. So he said we would have to come back the next morning" - after the shift of the refusing pharmacist ended.

"He made no provision for getting it that night," she said.

The two also attempted to obtain the drug at a Planned Parenthood clinic, but could not afford the $70 cost and apparently were not informed that Planned Parenthood will work out payment on a sliding scale fee.

"We have all kinds of compassion for a rape victim - in that case, Plan B is OK, the church has no problem with it," said Ron Johnson, with the Arizona Catholic Conference, which supports the right of any health-care worker to refuse to dispense emergency contraception and lobbied hard for passage of the Arizona law to allow it.

But the biggest roadblock to obtaining emergency contraception was that most pharmacies simply do not stock it, Fladness said. She said she called nearly 50, before finding two that had it and agreed to dispense it.

The Fry's spokeswoman could not immediately say how many of its stores had emergency contraception in stock. Polzin, the national Walgreens spokesman, said only one of the 50 Walgreens in the Tucson area did not have the drug on the shelves last week.

But that somewhat contradicts the formal Arizona Family Planning Council survey that found only 43 percent of Arizona pharmacies keep it in stock, with most that don't - nearly 60 percent - citing lack of demand as the reason. Another 10 percent cited moral reasons.

At the same time, officials at Planned Parenthood say they have seen a dramatic rise in demand for emergency contraception in recent years - filling more than 5,000 prescriptions for it this year, compared with 3,000 last year.


Rape victim: 'Morning after' pill denied

About the pill

● What is emergency contraception? Does it cause abortion?

● Emergency contraception, given most commonly in the two-pill formula known as "Plan B," can prevent pregnancy if taken up to five days after unprotected sex. Its success rate is 75 to 90 percent, depending on how soon it is taken - the sooner, the better. The drug can prevent ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining.

● Those who believe that life begins at conception, including the Roman Catholic Church, believe Plan B can cause abortion - when it prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg. However, family-planning advocates say it can prevent hundreds of thousands of surgical abortions by preventing pregnancy.


● Percentage of pharmacies with emergency contraception in stock, by county:

● Pima: 26-50 percent

● Maricopa: 26-50 percent

● Pinal: 26-50 percent

● Cochise: 26-50 percent

● Santa Cruz: 0-25 percent

Source: Arizona Family Planning Council survey

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It is time for a Women's Rebellion -- The Goddess told me so.

What George told the Palestinians that God told him:

Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003.

Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

Corruption is endemic in the military industrial complex.  It began in America well before Our Revolution was won.  Contractors/vendors misappropriated funds intended for supplies at Valley Forge. Halliburton and Bechtel are nothing new.

It is nice to think that our country was founded on democratic values intended to create freedom and justice for all -- and it was, sort of,  the
was  composed of landed, white males.  What our American revolution was against was "the corporation" such as The East Indian Tea company.  Our constitution was written to disempower corporate - government collusion against which individuals cannot win.  We must bring that essence of our democracy back.  The landed white male thing has continued in practice, but... our constitutional amendments have redefined that
legally.  The commerce clause and the trend to give corporations the right of individual persons are what have gotten us into serious difficulty.  The corporation has supplanted the Royal Family and East Indian Tea Company as the oppressor that treats people as simple cogs in the machine.

Women have to finish the revolution our men (of many generations ago) started.  Jane asked John to "

Remember the Ladies

."  We ladies have finally gotten to the point where we realize we are going remember ourselves.  We have to do this not just because it is the right thing to do, it is the only thing to do in the face of the coming global changes that will impact every aspect of our culture and biology.

Lakoff talks about how framing is everything.  We're reframing our lens and changing it's myopic focus.  All we are going to do is to reassert the Goddess elements of our understanding of the divine and get proportional representation of women in  our legislature. We must do this because the rate of deforestation of the world's forests has already taken us beyond the point of no return.  Global warming has already taken us beyond the point of no return.  A totally different ecosystem than the one our civilization arose within is in the process of creating itself.  If we are to exist within the emergent system of life, we must be flexible and willing to find a new balance.  Our warring sons of Abraham have shown over the last few millennia that they cannot do this.

Women must assert and impose female sensibility into governance and policy. Look at Robin Raphel and Ann Wright.  But it is not enough to trust all women.  We have to be careful to not to mistake the exception with the rule. For example -- Hillary Clinton is a hawk.  She came up through a male system and learned out "out-male" the good ol boys even though she arose to her current stature by being a strategic partner of a male politician.  I'm talking statistics.  The 30% rule is not a hard and fast one.  Look at Arizona and California for example.  This isn't a magic number but it is considered a critical mass.  Of course if those 30% are not equal participants in the process and tenure in the old boy network counts for committee assignments there will be less noticeable change than if there was real equality. 

Can there be equality when a significant percentage of people believe that God prefers their gender.  God is not an animal.  God has no gender.  People bring their own attributes into interpretation of the divine.  I believe in integration not compartmentalization of information and energy.  I have never believed that ladies and polite company never speak of sex, politics or religion.  Freedom depends on open discussion of everything.  I understand the Goddess movement.  I see feminine aspects of the divine all around me.  I see geo-ecological aspects of the divine all around me.  There is a growing movement to integrate feminine, global, and ecological concerns into politics and economics.  Makes sense to me.  As an anthropologist I know that there are many other aspects of society that are just as important as economics and politics -- take  kinship and religion and elevate their place in society and decrease the economic and political.  Better yet treat them as interdependent aspects of the humanity that we build with every action, conscious or not.  Corporations are not people.  Corporations cannot have faith.  Corporations should not be controlling politics or economics.  We have to bring family, home, food, education, health back into balance as primary concerns of how we organize our society.  Men have had their chance and and they choose to focus on politics and economics to the detriment of all the other essential aspects of society.  It is necessary to our survival to have women come back into partnership so that they can act with authority and when necessary autonomy.  Some say our political system has some hope as elements of a new balance can be found in American today.  I hope so.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

World's Women Are Not Fooled By Bush Decoy

Karen Hughes, one of the now infamous and apparently unquestioningly loyal women in Bush's inner circle, is getting a harsh dose of reality. As she travels around the world as a diplomatic envoy, she, and one presumes the Bush Cabal, is finding out that repeating a standard, well scripted text does not change reality and is only treated as though it were real here in the U.S.

Last month the Washington Post reported, "that a group of Turkish women's rights activists confronted Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes" on her first trip in the new job "with emotional and heated complaints about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, turning a session designed to highlight the empowering of women into a raw display of the anger at U.S. policy in the region." That trip took her through Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.

Her current trip to Indonesia is engendering the same sort of response from women there. According to Reuters, "U.S. goodwill envoy Karen Hughes got a earful from a group of mostly female Indonesian Muslim students on Friday, who expressed anger at the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and attacked Washington's foreign policies."

This is significant at least in my analysis because it points out that women are angry and are refusing to play the largely male established rules of polite politics. Women speaking to a woman about real world impacting policy is being covered in the media. And of course this is also significant in that the Bush inclusion of women in his inner circle and senior level appointments was probably partially done to effect perception of his administration as a diverse and fair one. No one is falling for that either.

The Bush facade is crumbling and it is ironic that Islamic women acting with authority and autonomy are pointing out the ugly truths that reside beneath that false front.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Prision, originally uploaded by Arispg.

I found this photo in association with a poem (by Arispg) about Guantanamo. Such an evocative photo. While the subject is deadly serious the photo captures attention in a way that adds a pause to anyone looking at the accompanying article. Cognitive dissonance... attractive (in the true sense of the word). I wonder if these poor creatures are Grandmothers?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

More Raging Grannies Hear The Call to Serve and are Arrested

Those Raging Grannies are at it again. Bless their hearts.18 Grandmothers Against the War, Raging Grannies and Gray Panthers were arrested at a Times Square recruiting office yesterday when they tried to enlist and sat down to wait for the recruiters to open the door. They chanted, "We insist. We Want to enlist!" A highly reliable sources such as Kiva Orabi report that at least one of the infamous Tucson Raging Grannies who received worldwide attention when they attempted to enlist on July 13th in Tucson, AZ and were arrested. (And I spoke with no less than three of the infamous Tucson Raging Grannies last night at the Pima County Arizona Voting Irregularities meeting last night.) Even the NYT picked up this story. That may be the biggested news of all! (Of course you have to be a subscriber to access No Combat for Grannies Full of Fight.

Newsday captures the ludicrous and lovely nature of the interaction when they quote Joan Wile, age 74, as saying "We tried to ring the bell at the booth, but no one answered. I saw a head poke up from behind the counter every once in a while and then duck back down. I don't know what they were afraid of. Maybe they don't know how to deal with a bunch of grannies."

Closer to home -- Tucson has apparently learned that you get so much bad p.r. with an arrest of little old ladies on trumped up charges that it just isn't worth it. Yesterday, Monday, Oct. 17 there was a Counter-Recruitment Action at the Recruiting Center on E. Broadway. The Raging Grannies, Veterans for Peace and Concerned Citizens entered the Army Recruiting office, with a pledge for the Commander to sign, committing him and all his recruiters to be honest with potential recruits...tell the truth about Risks and Potential Benefits enlistees could expect.

I wasn't there, but I'm going to try to see a video of the event tomorrow. I'll let you know what I think.

If you haven't been in Times Square to see it, there is a huge military recruiting presence there. Just take a look at how I was dwarfed by the recruiting backdrop when I was there there earlier this month.

Addendum: You can order DVD copies of the Tucson Raging Grannies at the Recruiting Center and their appearance on the Today show.

Robin Lloyd's comment from Arizona Indy Media:

Anyone who would like a DVD of the Tucson Raging Grannies doing their thing at the Army Recruitiment Center, and appearing later on the Today Show, send me a request by e-mail: $5 for shipping and handling. They're very cool!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Voting and Driving

A favorite saying of my husband's grandfather, Lorenzo "Windy" Parnell:

Voting is like driving a car. When you want it to go forward you put it in "D." When you want it to go backward you put it in "R."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Voting. Has right given way to privilege in Arizona?

Some of the attenton of the nation should begin to turn to voting rights and voting procedure this week with the appearance of Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer in court for failure to perform duty to adopt voting equipment decertification standards. The Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections site describes is thus:

Secretary of State Jan Brewer has been ordered to appear in Pima County Superior Court (110 W. Congress Street, Tucson, Arizona) on October 18, 2005 at 9:00am to explain why she has not complied with Arizona law that requires adoption of voting system decertification standards. This order is the result of a Complaint for Special Action filed on October 6, 2005 for plaintiff Thomas W. Ryan, head of Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections.

This is significant. These voting problems have been well known to the powers that be in Phoenix for quite some time. Evidenced by the November 2003 letter from The Pima county Democratics to Brewer.

Mark Crispin Miller calls Brewer "Arizona's Katherine Harris. This isn't just the cronyism of Bush administrations however. The Arizona Voting Fraud investigation has been quietly and persistently uncovering vote tampering at almost every level from precinct on up. It is methodical, factually based and is sound enough to have been called the Rosetta Stone of Election Fraud.

While some of the country may still think of Arizona as a back water, (A dried up backwater -- as all of the rivers' waters have been stolenand diverted to California, but that is another story...) it isn't. Arizona cities are at the top of the list for growth, and big companies such as Google are locating here. Enough honcho traffic comes through little old Pima County to warrant a special visit from Rove. Republicans want to keep Arizona "red." (A brief digression: "Wasn't there a McCarthy Era chant that went something like, "Better Dead than Red?") Hmmmm.
Anyway, politicos have been coming through Tucson and Phoenix like clockwork during the last few elections and even in between.

Monday night, the night before Brewer's appearance in Tucson, there will be a public meeting to bring the varied and under-reported information to the people of Tucson, Arizona, and indeed the entire U.S. Here is the press release for the event.

Breaking News
AZ Secretary of State Jan Brewer Ordered to Appear in Court
Presentations and Q & A
of Law Suit against AZ Secretary of State Jan Brewer
Ballot-Box Irregularities Committed by Poll Workers in Tucson, Arizona

Monday, October 17, at 6:30 PM
4831 E. 22nd Street - between Swan & Craycroft, Tucson, Arizona
At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

Featured Presenters

Ted Downing, Ph.D. State Representative (LD 28) Ranking Democrat on Government Reform and Fiscal Accountability Committee, on proposed legislation.

Tom Ryan Ph.D. Founder, Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections, ( on the study of the election system used by Pima County. Dr. Ryan is the election integrity champion who has brought suit against SS Jan Brewer for failure to set standards to decertify faulty voting equipment. Brewer will appear in Pima County Superior Court in Tucson on Tuesday morning Sept.18th (tentative) to explain why she has not complied with Arizona law to adopt voting system decertification standards.

David L. Griscom Ph.D, Co-Founder AUDIT-AZ. After audit of ballot-box irregularities in Pima County, Griscom presented results at the National Election Reform Conference in Nashville, April 8, 2005, and the Houston Election Assessment Hearing, June 29, 2005.

William Risner Esq, representing Tom Ryan in suing the Secretary of State Jan Brewer due to her failure to set standards to decertify “faulty” voting equipment. Brewer is scheduled to appear in Pima County Superior Court in Tucson the Oct 18, (tentative) on Tuesday morning to explain why she has not complied with Arizona Law that requires adoption of voting system decertification standards.

Join top Arizona election reform activists to explore:
·How hacked electronic election systems can affect our election outcomes
•How election reform innovations are making a difference nationally
•How you can help
HOW our democracy is is in peril?
•We CAN NOT verify that our votes are counted as intended, since corporations with conflicts of interest count our votes on trade secret software.
•So we can never know the true will of the people.

Our mission is to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, and to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process. AUDITAZ
For More Information Contact:
Lianda Ludwig – 520 -298-2650
John R Brakey – 520 -578-5678

in Elections

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What's been happening in the Old Pueblo

A 20% increase in border deaths in the Tucson Sector in the last 12 months is a shocking and relatively unreported factoid. There was a large Border Action yesterday sponsored by

Derechos Humanos/Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras; Nogales Infantil; Promotoras de Derechos Humanos-Nogales, Son. and Tucson, AZ; No More Deaths, UA Women of Color, UA MEChA, AFSC, No One is Illegal- Vancouver, Fundación México; Just Transition; Labor Community Strategy Center; Communities for a Better Environment; Lideres Campesinas

-- but there was no coverage of it anywhere that I can find. Likewise no local outrage is evident over the record-breacking hundreds of deaths in the desert near Tucson.

I'm reprinting this article from the L.A. Times just so there is some additional coverage of the war that is being waged on the imaginary geo-political dividing line that runs through the Sonoran Desert.

And if you'd like some insight into the crazy militia nuts who want to militarize and militia-ize our borders read this recent Arizona Indy Media article.

October 1, 2005

Border Crossing Deaths Set a 12-Month Record
By Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer

TUCSON — A record 460 migrants died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the last year, a toll pushed higher by unusually hot temperatures and a shift of illegal migration routes through remote deserts.

The death total from Oct. 1, 2004, through Sept. 29 surpassed the previous record of 383 deaths set in 2000, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Arizona map —A map that accompanied an article in Saturday's Section A about immigrants' deaths in southern Arizona incorrectly identified Indian Reservation Route 15 as an interstate highway.
The dead were mostly Mexicans, many from the states of Mexico, Guanajuato and Veracruz, but also from the impoverished Southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Migrants continue to die in automobile accidents and from drownings while crossing waterways into California and Texas, but 261, or more than half the total, perished while crossing the Arizona deserts, the busiest illegal immigrant corridor along the nation's 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

The migrants, herded across the border by smugglers, have been traversing increasingly desolate stretches of desert as the Border Patrol cuts off more accessible routes.

Arizona's most dangerous crossing is a 45-mile corridor between Sasabe, Mexico, and Three Points, Ariz., where the bodies of more than 40 people were found in the washes and sand during the Border Patrol's fiscal year, which ended Friday.

"It's overwhelming" said Dr. Bruce Parks, the chief medical examiner for Pima County, which includes Tucson. Outside Parks' office, a refrigerated tractor-trailer holds 60 bodies, mostly dead migrants, an overflow from the morgue. "This is an emergency for us."

The death toll, largely the result of heat-related illnesses, was driven higher by more than 30 straight days of 100-degree-plus temperatures in parts of Arizona, according to the Border Patrol. The figures also reflect better record-keeping by the agency, which now checks regularly with coroners' offices to include bodies found by other agencies.

Border Patrol officials also blame the increase on smugglers who lead migrants into dangerous terrain without sufficient food or water. Facing stiffer enforcement, they are more likely to abandon those who falter at the first sign of trouble, agents say.

"It's the Sonoran Desert, miles and miles long … and absolutely no infrastructure — roads, telephone or houses — with very little shade," said Mario Villarreal, a Border Patrol spokesman.

Immigrant rights activists say the U.S. border enforcement strategy forces migrants to take ever more isolated routes.

Activists at a memorial in Tijuana on Friday read off more than half of the names of the 3,600 migrants who have died since U.S. authorities 11 years ago beefed up enforcement in California, according to Mexican statistics. The crackdown, called Operation Gatekeeper, pushed migration routes east to the remote stretches of deserts in Arizona.

In recent years, the number of Border Patrol agents in Arizona has been increased by a third to 2,850, and the border has been fortified with extra lighting, fencing and sensors. The agency this year doubled the amount of aircraft — including helicopters and unmanned drones — patrolling the border.

Helicopters that hover over open desert areas, some agents and observers say, have driven migrants into a mesquite-covered expanse along Highway 286 that offers migrants cover from aerial sightings but is miles from the nearest town.

Special Border Patrol search units in the Tucson sector have rescued 850 migrants, 300 more than last year, according to the Border Patrol. But critics say the agency shouldn't receive credit for a strategy that inevitably creates more perilous passages.

"It's like throwing a baby into pool, jumping in with a lifesaver and claiming to be a hero," said Katherine Rodriguez, an organizer for Derechos Humanos, an Arizona-based immigrant rights group.

Some of the migrants who died came from the economically depressed states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, a region that in recent years has become a major exporter of migrants to the U.S.

Experts say people from those states are more vulnerable than other migrants because they are often indigenous people who don't speak Spanish and lack the connections to more widely used smuggling networks.

He rummages through backpacks and clothing looking for identification cards, telephone numbers or addresses that are often stitched into seams to keep thieves from finding them. Garcia once found identification papers hidden in a mayonnaise jar.

So far this year about 90 bodies found in the Tucson area have been identified, Garcia said.

But 37 dead migrants remain unidentified. Some of their photographs appear in a grim book of John Does that people searching for loved ones study. Scars, tattoos or birthmarks often lead to positive identifications.

The process is complicated because there is often little left to identify.

Some bodies end up being buried in a county graveyard. Garcia said certain dental work and distinctive regional clothing such as shin-high boots worn by people from Chiapas help in identifications.

Consular officials are hopeful that more bodies will be claimed now that the Pima County medical examiner's office takes DNA samples of skeletal remains.

Garcia said one woman found in a desolate clearing July 21 had dental bridgework distinctive of people from Chiapas. He plans to send information and photos of the woman's belongings to radio stations and city halls across Chiapas in the hopes that someone recognizes her.

"We don't have much to go on," he said. "But we'll keep trying."

The rising migrant death toll comes as the pressure for immigration reform heats up in Washington, with the Bush administration backing a guest-worker plan that some observers believe could cut illegal immigration and deaths of border crossers.

In August, the governors of Arizona and New Mexico declared states of emergency in their states, citing the cost and other hardships caused by rampant crime, drug and human-smuggling along the border.

Back Home Again in Arizona

Been back in Arizona for a couple of days now after attending a family wedding in New York that piggy-backed the D.C. protests. It seems like I have been gone for ages. While I've blogged over the last few weeks, I have not had reliable internet access nor access to mainstream, corporate televised media.

The first broadcast I watched upon my return was G.W.'s speech at the Orwellianly named National Endowment for Democracy. The NED is funded by taxpayers but does the work of highly varied corporate and union interests with no oversight or constraint. Of course this was not noted by CNN coverage (nor any other corporate "news" coverage.)

Now, a few days later, I am completely disheartened to hear that Pat "gold" and "diamonds" on the soles of his shoes who has been known for quite some time to have egregious affiliations called for the assasinationon of a democratically elected head of state on CNN spouting his Fear and Damnation misinformation in a totally unquestioned nature on CNN. I'm pissed. My husband had to calmly remind me in our agreed upon language: "You're yelling at the TV" which means -You are over the top yelling at an inanimate object, please take a breath and calm down.- Anyone reading this should send an email to Wolf Blitzer at CNN asking him why the hell he did not confront Robertson when he called Chavez's deocratically elected and popular government a "Marxist-style dictatorship" and then also let Robertson get away with comments about the "end times" and other ultra-nutso purportedly Christian psycho-babble that in my Christian worldview is effectively no different from fundamentalist Islamic hate and fear taught in Pakistani madras. I equate having this sort of vile traitor to truth justice and the REAL American way on a NEWS show to the cowardly behavior of the media until Edward R. Murrow spoke out against McCarthy. Wolf is no Edward R. Murrow. His scruples obviously were corrupted when he covered the White House beat for so many years.

Get on (write, call, dog, your local and national "news media" and do not let them get away with platform creation for "opium of the masses" (and no, I am not a Marxist, Communist, or a Socialist -- Just a pre-papal, pre-nicean Christian) style of fear mongering by servants of the current regime. And that regime is headed by dumbya (i mean dubya) who has an uncanny resemblance to the anti-Christ of the fundamentalist interpretation of the "Revelation" that bears no resemblance to the warning against Rome and abuse of interpretation that it very probably was intended to be.