February 28, 2008

Now, I am an adult...

I can't post this on my livejournal, because it's full of leftist wackos [weg], so Ith told me to post it here...

Today, I saw my first ever anti-abortion protesters in real-life [tm]. I was getting dinner at KFC, and Planned Parenthood is across the street...

I feel so grown-up now! :-)

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February 12, 2008

'The Saudi Woman is Always Guilty'

In December 2007, the Saudi English-language daily Arab News published an op-ed by Dania Al-Ghalib titled "The Saudi Woman is Always Guilty." In it, the author describes the condition of the Saudi woman, depicting her as born unwanted and held accountable for everything that happens to her in life - even though she is always the chattel of a man and has no control over anything.

The following is the article as it appeared in the Arab News.

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February 11, 2008

"Has the Archbishop gone bonkers?"

Forgive the stark clarity of my headline, but sometimes when writing about the Archbishop of Canterbury, clarity is what is needed.

A few weeks ago, I was chatting to a woman who works in an advocacy role for Muslim women in an area that, quite independently of the Bishop of Rochester, she described as a 'no-go area' for non-Muslims. Her clients were women in the process of being sectioned into mental health units in the NHS. This woman, who for obvious reasons begged not to be identified, told me: 'The men get tired of their wives. Or bored. Or maybe the wife objects to her daughter being forced into a marriage she doesn't want. Or maybe she starts wearing western clothes.There can be many reasons. The women are sent for assessment to a hospital. The GP referring them is Muslim. The psychiatrist assessing them is Muslim and male. I have sat in these assessments where the psychiatrist will not look the woman patient in the eye because she is a woman. Can you imagine! A psychiatrist refusing to look his patient in the eye? The woman speaks little or no English. She is sectioned. She is divorced. There are lots of these women in there, locked up in these hospitals. Why don't you people write about this?'

My interlocuter went very red and almost started to cry. Instead, she began shouting at me. I was a member of the press. 'You must write about this,' she begged.

'I can't,' I said. 'Not unless you become a whistle-blower. Or give me some evidence. Or something.'

She shook her head. 'I can't be identified,' she said. 'I would be killed. And so would the women.'

So there you have it. After weeks of wondering what to do, inspired by the Archbishop, I've taken her word that she is telling the truth, respected her anonymity, and written it anyway.

Via KC Anathema

Posted by Ith at 11:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Personal Update

If anyone cares. Which I'm pretty sure they don't. But.

There really isn't a whole lot to report. I was really sick over Xmas, and then again a few weeks ago. I swear I seem to get seriously ill after having major dental work done. This time, it was a root canal. It's been two months, and it still hurts. They said it can hurt up to three months after, but I'm getting tired of it all.

We went to visit the family in Utah the second week of January. Had a relaxing sort of time. I always forget how much warmed it is without the coastal dampness, even though the temperature is 20 degrees cooler.

Nin has been working lots of nights, so making dinners has been a chore, plus I haven't been feeling well, but she starts on more days this week. I'm going to try and make homemade chow mein for the first time, to go with the gyoza we got at Trader Joe's.

Movies: Enchanted!!! We adored it! Saw it twice, bought the soundtrack. It was charming and fun and struck just the right balance. Really strong marriage and family message too.

TV: Oh, the writer's strike! not that I didn't support them, but I'm still going to whine about the truncated TV season. Especially since Peter Wingfield finally got a role on 24 this season, and now we won't see him till 2009! Argh!

Speaking of Peter, Nin and I will be going to the PWFC Road Trip in Vegas this year. Should be much fun! Unfortunately, I don't think we can do Denver Worldcon.

Writing, I've been doing some. In all my series pretty much. Let's see...

I actually wrote a Highlander/Twilight Zone story. I was pretty pleased with it: Silver Service

Two 'anti-Valentine Day' stories: So Close, and Live to Tell

And I started a Queen of Swords series! I loved it when it was on, and had the urge to pick up where the series left off: Santa Elena Welcomes You

And my current Work In Progress, which utilizes the Star Trek Mirror Universe: I Remember You Not Fondly

Now you know why I haven't been so good with the blogging!

That's the recap. Now, I need to get some dinner!

Posted by Ith at 6:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 10, 2008

A Soldier & His Dogs

Two homeless Iraqi dogs – Mama and Boris – are now safely on American soil thanks to the efforts of a soldier’s family, a U.S. senator, and the Best Friends rapid response team.

Peter and doghouseSgt. Peter Neesley, on his second tour of duty with the U.S. Army, began feeding a mama dog and her two puppies when he patrolled a Baghdad neighborhood. After one of the puppies was hit by a car and killed, Peter built them a red-and-white doghouse – equipped with blankets, a mattress and an Army insignia above the door. He lured the mama dog and her remaining puppy to the doghouse, which he placed just outside the military base wall.

And then he e-mailed his family, sending them photos of the black Lab mix and her white-and-brown spotted puppy, and said he’d decided to fly the dogs home when he returned to the states in six months.

“Our family has always had dogs or cats and other little critters,” says his sister, Carey Neesley. “Peter was always bringing strays home.”

But on Christmas Day, Peter, just 28, died in his sleep in his barracks (no cause of death has been released) before he could send the dogs home. His soldier friends continued to feed Mama and Boris and watch out for them.

The rest of the story.

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February 9, 2008

'Obama, the Progressive Pragmatist?'

I thought this was an interesting article.

An excerpt:

...Here is what one successful and high-profile political consultant—one who has worked for both Democrats and Republicans—told me recently: "What most people don't understand is that Hillary is the idealist and Obama is the pragmatist."

It's an assessment that will surely surprise many people. Clinton, after all, is the "experience" candidate with five- and 10-point plans on pretty much every possible policy topic, including housing, healthcare, and technological innovation. And critics will point to her Iraq war vote in 2002 as the ultimate pragmatic political move. Obama, on the other hand, is more noted for soaring speeches about hope and unity than for Washington wonkery. He was also rated the most liberal U.S. senator in 2007 by National Journal. Yet this veteran politico was sure that if elected, Clinton would be the one, for instance, to push hard for a government-run, European-style healthcare system that would go far beyond what either she or Obama has suggested so far.

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February 8, 2008

'The Sun Also Sets'

Climate Change: Not every scientist is part of Al Gore's mythical "consensus." Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV — the sun.

An excerpt:

Back in 1991, before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.

To many, those data were convincing. Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better "eyes" with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth's climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.

And they're worried about global cooling, not warming.

Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.

Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.

Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.

This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.

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February 7, 2008

Romney Out

I guess it was inevitable [sigh] So does this mean Huckabee is going to 'do the right thing' now, and drop out? Why should Romney be the only one? Yeah, I'm seriously irritated right now, and really tired of seeing Huckabee's smug smirk on my TV.

Posted by Ith at 9:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 6, 2008

Depressing

I voted for Romney because the other guys all dropped out, and because he wasn't McCain. But the more I've seen of Romney over the last few weeks, the more I'm liking him. Which just makes this whole McCain thing even more depressing.

Here's hoping that four years form now, there will be a candidate I'll be excited about.

Posted by Ith at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 2, 2008

GAH!!

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Every time I try and choke back my dislike of McCain, there's crap like this.

Hate speech!??! Far Right? Seriously? So because I think McCain would make a terrible president, and I don't like him, that constitutes hate speech? We may as well roll up the carpets and let the Dems win because when the supposed leaders of our party have stooped to this level, it's all over already.

I thought I could hold my nose and vote for him in November, but I don't know if I can do that now. If McCain and his people would shut their mouths for maybe five minutes, they might drive away a few less voters. Oh, but I'm not 'rational', so they obviously don't want my vote anyway. Nice to know. I've voted Republican in every single election since I turned 18. But John McCain isn't interested. Good luck with that, John. hope it works out for you and your 'rational' friends.

Seriously ticked off this morning.

The full text of the email is below in the extended entry.

Brad Marston, National Chairman - McCainVictory08.com

To all:

Wow this is great to see. Political muscle is built by one person talking to one person and so on. Now it seems we have jumped to dozens of people talking to dozens more.

I urge you all to do as I have done and simply contact the stations that carry the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter et al and let them know that you are tuning them out and turning them off. If enough of us do it, they'll get the message.

I have no problem with someone supporting a different candidate. Steve Maloney supported Rudy when I was already strongly pro-McCain. But just like Rudy and McCain, we kept our discourse respectful and civil and see where we are now; working together for the betterment of our party and our country.

I believe that ultimately the frenzied hate-speec
coming from the far-right towards John McCain will backfire in much the same way Bill Clinton's attacks on Obama in South Carolina led to Obama's devastating victory over Hillary there.

I would suggest that those of us working to elect John McCain constitute the new majority in the Republican Party...what I like to term,
the Rational Right.

PS...any of you on this list who are bloggers, please send me the URL as I would love to come visit and check out your blogs.
PPS...Sheridan Folger's new e-mail address is madirishmaninc@comcast.net

Brad Marston

Brad Marston
National Chairman
McCainVictory08

Posted by Ith at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 1, 2008

I Voted

My ballot is in the mail. You all know I feel about McCain, so it probably won't be hard to figure out who I voted for. And only seven propositions this year! A one page ballot!

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