Friday AIDS Blogging
By special request -
Target shootin' with the Gun Moll of the Revolution
By special request -
The Systems Guy has known me for over a decade. He appears at the doorway of my cubicle today to do some hour-long higher form of magic, during which my workday comes to a close. He has come to our office with two new assistants. He tells me his last assistant spent ten minutes talking with me and developed an embarrassing crush. I tell the Systems Guy I'm crush-proof, but I still have to leave and my stuff is on the other side of him.
I could write you a lengthy exhortation to action or I could urge you forward in a few simple words, but I could not speak more urgently or eloquently than the formidable Digby, issuing this clarion call. The time has come for us to hold our presidential candidates accountable. It'd be great if we could hold our war criminals accountable, but you have to crawl before you can rendition an entire administration to the Hague.
Scott Horton has announced a new initiative that I think is hugely important as we move into the general election season. It may be the most important foreign policy agenda item of all and yet it's one that all the candidates are loath to talk about in any detail and which the press seems determined to let them elude.In its self-declared war on terror, the Bush Administration overturned an American legacy that stretched back to General Washington’s orders at Trenton and Princeton in 1776. The administration repudiated the order that the first and greatest Republican president issued in the heat of the Civil War, in 1863, prohibiting torture and official cruelty. The consequences have been nothing less than disastrous ...
The moral issue hovering over the 2008 election is the Bush Administration’s embrace of torture as a tool of statecraft. This mistake must be thoroughly repudiated, and the nation must undertake a vow never to repeat it. And this issue should not be allowed to divide the nation as a premise of partisan rancor. There is hope in this election year to reverse one of the most fateful decisions in our nation’s history–the decision after 9/11 to disregard America’s historic values and to use torture in the “war on terror.”
All the remaining Presidential candidates–John McCain in the Republican Party, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party–have publicly stated their opposition to the use of torture. Now each of these presidential candidates must get their parties to adopt at their Conventions a party platform plank that returns America to its historic position of absolutely rejecting torture–anywhere, on anyone, for any reason.
Reaffirming America’s commitment to existing federal laws and international treaties that ban torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under all circumstances.
Renouncing all legal interpretations and executive orders that redefine torture and permit such acts as sensory or sleep deprivation, stress positions, sexual humiliation, mock executions.
Enforcing full transparency of information about how America treats any and all detainees held by our personnel and those in our employ anywhere in the world.
Rejecting and abolishing the practice of rendering detainees abroad.
Establishing a single standard of interrogation procedures to apply to all persons held in U.S. custody or by those under U.S. control, whether C.I.A., military, or civilian.
Treating our detainees as we would have others treat detained Americans.
I've been a little tense lately. Yesterday at the family store, I re-wrapped a wedding gift twice because I kept tearing the double-thick formal paper when I folded hospital corners with extreme prejudice. Though Pete manned the register at the toy store while I womanned the till in the gift shop and we love working together, it was a long day. After work, we bicycled to my house, drove to his, gently wedged a tree into my trunk and planted it in Mom's backyard two towns away. By the time we got home, leftover Chinese under one arm, we were exhausted, determined and scheming a scheme. As we'd bicycled to the stores in the morning, I was carrying so much weight in my messenger bag I could barely breathe, let alone pedal, and damn it, I was not doing that again.
The leaves now obscure view of the city across the river, which is just as well because leaves also damp noise. The construction on Route 18, now in its eight hundredth year, encroaches closer and closer upon the domain of the river people. Any day now, busboys will be driving bulldozers, if for no other reason than that if I wake up in a drainage pipe domecile and find a gassed-up Caterpillar plus keys, obviously that's a gift from God.
Labels: Go Round And Round
This morning, I opened my eyes and immediately started hacking and sneezing. Pete said, "What is wrong with you?" I coughed and snurked. "Ah! My extreme beauty! It's not for everyone."
Wendy's dog Zaidie is six brilliant months old. You remember Zaidie -
Labels: our furry overlords
If you have recently arrived at Poor Impulse Control, welcome. The first thing to know is my relationship with Blogger is tenuous at best and hostile on a normal day; the second thing is that I have all the patience of a charging rhino. Last night, Blogger whacked me a few times and I lost interest in fighting. Coincidentally, Pete arrived at home and I developed a great interest in asking how his day went. Yesterday's post is draft writing, a sketch. I'm going to leave it up as a warning to the other posts: See what happens when Blogger fucks with me? Underdeveloped comedy! Now bring me something stationary and herbaceous.
Pete, who forgets to be scared at the right moments, has taken a shift or two at the family toy store. For my sisters, this works out great because if they get mad at him they've got me as the off-premises enforcer and on-premises comic relief. On Sunday, the town turned out for a street fair. Pete and I brought crunchy snacks because things will go right and things will go wrong and my family members will - you're not going to believe this - forget to eat. Anyway, we worked like a team of huskies inside and outside the stores. I overheard stuff.
Labels: Go Round And Round
As I run around the family store during a town-wide street fair, Johnny, our Southwest Bureau Chief, sends this report, disguised as a plea for assistance:
Labels: Jonee Jonee
Surely a sign of the End Times. Princess Drusy leeeks Mrs. Topaz and Mrs. Topaz permits this leeeking. Check for buggy Horsemen!
After having to deal with mousies in my basement celotex ceiling (and having no assurance that some aren't still there, I'm concerned about anything that's going to attract vermin...that's the one reason I haven't bought a composter. I think about it, though, every time I cut the stems out of the swiss chard. Of course I could just toss it in the bushes in the backyard for the bunnies, but would they find them? And will they care about the sand?
Sometimes, I forget to shut up. My office is populated by people of all stripes over the voting age. One is very young and gives off the factory scent of New Co-Worker.
Sometimes, I feel like I've lost my mind. CNN:
Catcalling - creepy or a compliment?
"I call it street abuse," says New York City filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West, 49. "It's unwanted attention and invasion of space."
In her 1998 documentary "War Zone," Hadleigh-West confronted catcallers and filmed their responses. Many of the men literally ran away to avoid talking to her about why they whistled or made a provocative comment. The Department of Defense has used the film since 2002 to train branches of the military about issues surrounding sexual harassment and sexism in general, she says.
"Being in a public space with a strange man who is being sexually aggressive is potentially dangerous," Hadleigh-West adds.
On the other hand, some women appreciate the attention in certain cases, like Jessica, a 31-year-old health-care educator in Los Angeles, who declined to use her last name to protect her privacy. "Yeah, it's objectifying and all, but you know, if I walked down the street and didn't have men looking me up and down and catcalling, I'd think, 'Boy I must really be getting old and dumpy,'" she says.
According to existing studies and her own findings, [researcher Holly] Kearl says, some men are simply ignorant about how their behavior is perceived. Kearl, who completed her thesis, "Direct Action, Education, Consciousness-Raising, Activism and the Internet: Methods for Combating Street Harassment," last year, thinks posting on Web sites like HollaBackNYC is preferable to resorting to anger and violence.
"A lot of men have no idea that women don't like being talked to in this way," she says. "It never crosses their mind, and yelling doesn't educate them. If you yell, they often don't understand why you are upset and so they take it personally."
Often, Kearl says, an assertive, clear response can illicit a kinder reaction than one expects.
"A lot of the time, I find guys will just say, 'Oh, okay, I didn't realize it made you feel that way. Thanks.'"
Labels: This Best Of All Possible Worlds
Yippee! New Ladytron, now playing on Altrok Radio, which reminds me of this pretty and pretty silly video for a hypnotic Ladytron song. Plainly, the record company got its Bjork on without a plan for the morning after.
Labels: Make A Joyful Noise
All hail Princess Drusy of the jade green eyes, seen here counting sheep.
Labels: our furry overlords
The United Nations suspended relief supplies to Myanmar on Friday after the military government seized the food and equipment it [sic] had already sent into the country.
Earlier, in a statement, Myanmar’s military junta said it was willing to receive disaster relief from the outside world but would not welcome outside relief workers. Nearly one week after a devastating cyclone, supplies into the country were still being delayed and aid experts were being turned back as they arrived at the airport.
In the statement, the government said it would distribute international relief supplies itself.
The U.N. World Food Program said on Friday it would resume aid flights to cyclone-struck Myanmar, despite the military government's seizure of deliveries at Yangon airport.
"The World Food Program has decided to send in two relief flights as planned tomorrow, while discussions continue with the Government of Myanmar on the distribution of the food that was flown in today, and not released to WFP," Nancy E. Roman, WFP's communications director, said in a statement.
The U.N. food agency had previously said it would suspend aid flights over the seizure.
Blogger has been giving me trouble again. I'll figure it out. In the meantime, what is it about this painting of Johnny's that I find utterly arresting? Got me! I can't stop looking at it.
The other day, I was walking across campus at the unnamed university and passed two students climbing a tree. They were talking about climbing the tree. I thought, 'If you were cats, I'd open a can of tuna.'
George Vomvolakis, lawyer for accused stalker Jack Jordan, said,
Labels: This Best Of All Possible Worlds
The blurry view from Pete's kitchen door on 3 March. Note the living room's irritating green trim and the infected snot yellow walls.
Five years and hundreds of thousands of dead later:
Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the "Mission Accomplished" message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship's crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.
"President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission," White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday. "And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year."
She said what is important now is "how the president would describe the fight today. It's been a very tough month in Iraq, but we are taking the fight to the enemy."
At least 49 U.S. troops died in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month since September when 65 U.S. troops died.
Now in its sixth year, the war in Iraq has claimed the lives of at least 4,061
members of the U.S. military. Only the Vietnam War (August 1964 to January 1973), the war in Afghanistan (October 2001 to present) and the Revolutionary War (July 1776 to April 1783) have engaged America longer.
Bush, in a speech earlier this month, said that "while this war is difficult, it is not endless."
The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said yesterday the deployment of a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf could serve as a "reminder" to Iran of American resolve to defend its interests in the region.
Gates denied the arrival of a new carrier represented an escalation, pointing out that US naval strength in the Gulf rises and falls constantly with routine naval deployments, but it comes at a time of heightened rhetoric from Washington about Iran's role in the Iraqi insurgency.
In the next few days US officers in Baghdad are expected to mount a display of recently-made Iranian arms alleged to have been seized from insurgents.
CBS News reported the Pentagon has ordered commanders to explore new options for attacking Iran and that the state department was formulating an ultimatum calling on Iran to stop arms smuggling into Iraq. The reports were denied by US officials.