Category: testos-terror

Sisterhood is powerful!

December 5, 2010

That was the rallying cry, back in the day. And by so claiming, and believing, they were powerful. It was an amazing period of history, when women got fed up with being exploited second-class citizens and took to the streets, the factory floors and the voting booths for their own and other womens’ lives and rights.

What happened to that power? Well, that’s another post. This one is about remembering the past when women got significant things done, not just for themselves, their own home or workplace, or their own narrow political constituency (like “feminist” Sarah Palin), but for all women everywhere (for even when their changes were ostensibly on a company, state or national level, the change in consciousness toward women was global). Just recognizing that women were a political class was an incredible revolution that rocked governments to their core.

In today’s Parade magazine I discovered a small clip about an upcoming film about a particular battle in this war for sexual equality, and how it changed everything: Made In Dagenham. To be released in this country on Dec. 17, and who knows when it will get to Oklahoma City, but look for it. Take your daughters (and sons) to see it, so they might be inspired to continue the ongoing struggle for justice and equality for all.

Rena’s got 3 ‘mama grizzly’ links about Mary Fallin’s dogwhistle during the Oklahoma gubernatorial debate

October 26, 2010

Girlfriend! You are asking for trouble when you imply that your unmarried childless opponent is — well exactly what WAS Mary Fallin implying?

Whatever it was she was signaling to Oklahoma voters, it was inappropriate, and based on Mary’s background, she really shouldn’t be slinging any family values arrows around. Hey, maybe she thought Ginni Thomas was having all the fun in the I’m-holier-than-thou backfire department!

But you know how girls are, just can’t stop attacking each other, right? Here are three examples of females whose ears perked up at Mary’s major debate fail and just had to add their ‘catty’ comments to the fray. (Frankly, I’m amazed they were so cool and reasonable in the way they completely called her out on that shit.

  1. Eleanor Swift

    Yet the Oklahoma race is between two women, and they’re both of an age where they should know better. Republican Fallin is 55; Democrat Askins is 57. They’ve seen the gains women have made in being judged on their own merits and not an outdated stereotype. The audience at the Oklahoma debate greeted Fallin’s citation of her motherhood as her key qualification with groans of displeasure, a signal that the voters have been there, done that on this particular gambit, and that even in a conservative state like Oklahoma where paeans to family values are standard fare, not having kids shouldn’t be a barrier to public service.

    The comments on this article pretty much demonstrate why Mary should not have “gone there.” I’m copying them here because I fear they may be removed by AOL.

    10:50 AM Oct 25, 2010

    * (1) vote this comment up
    * (0) vote this comment down

    I do not think Fallin, should have brought the Kids, into light. I live in Oklahoma and did not know, she had kids or had gotten married, last I heard about her, she was in the news for seeing a married man or something. I knew she was in some kind of office all the time. It seems, if she could, she should have been home with the kids more. I’m not an Askins fan, but, it seems she could do her job, better, not having to worry about children at home. When I worked, I aways worried about my child, and what was happening in his world, when I couldn’t be there.

    6:57 AM Oct 25, 2010

    If you think about it, what else does Fallin have to offer as being qualified, talk about a bag of rocks, and if if remember, she was having an affair with her current husband, (at the time he was assigned to her as her bodyguard), while one of the two was still married. One could say, we the taxpayers of Oklahoma paid for that courtship.

    10:52 AM Oct 25, 2010

    Sam a few corrections. Mary Fallin married a man named Wade Christensen last year just as she was announcing her candidacy for governor. The affair occurred with a different man back in the 90s with an Oklahoma highway patrol officer assigned to her as a bodyguard when she was lt. gov. Both were married and Fallin’s tryst was witnessed by a private investigator. During the nasty divorce that came, Fallin’s lawyer tried to falsely paint the the picture that her husband had an unnatural relationship with their minor daughter, implying incest. Mary Fallin knew that wasn’t true, but had no problems giving her own daughter the life time false reputation of being in an incestuous relationship. Some mother. Fallin runs on a family values and motherhood platform, but she is a homewrecker, an adulteress, gave her child a life long blemish, and married a man for political convenience. Her children, raised mostly by their father, and her new husband’s children, who were raised by their own mother, are all adults. She’s an embarrassment.

  2. St. Louis Smart Mama

    Motherhood should be a valid point on a resume. Raising and caring for our next generation is important work with the potential for huge long-term impact. But just as women shouldn’t be penalized for being mothers, we also shouldn’t be penalized for not being a mother. One isn’t better than the other.

    Women are a diverse group, with different strengths, passions, and interests. We are united by our ability to have children, but we don’t need to be defined by it.

  3. PunditMom

    Listen, I’m all about taking mothers more seriously in the world of politics. But it borders on the ridiculous to set aside all other background and qualifications (Fallin is a congresswoman and Askins is Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor) of these candidates and ask people to vote on the basis of their ovaries and marital status. […]

    There are plenty of “mamas” to go around and the experiences we gain from motherhood can inspire us and propel us to run for office or to speak up or to seek change for those who need it. I know I’ve said if you want change, vote for a mom. But it is insulting to suggest that moms are by definition more qualified for political office — or anything else — than other women.

    It’s a matter of degree. In the post-Sarah Palin era, more women are embracing the “mama grizzly” moniker (even some who aren’t mothers)! But if you’re a woman candidate who wants votes from all women, there’s a motherhood line you can’t cross. And I’m afraid Mary Fallin may have jumped onto the wrong side of that one.

There are also long comment threads on, other social sites, and blogs across the land, hashing out this Fallin claim to maternal superiority, and by vast majorities, it’s a thumbs down for Mary and yes, in every case her not so family friendly past gets dredged up, and Oklahomans, women in particular, say they now will vote for Jari Askins over this. Way to go, Mary!

Rena’s got 3 things to watch on TV this week

October 25, 2010

  1. Rachel Maddow’s documentary The Assassination of Dr. Tiller, who performed abortions in Kansas (mostly) for women who were were late in their pregnancy when they discovered severe abnormalities with the fetus. Airs tonight, 8pm Central time, in the slot usually occupied by Rachel’s excellent news and commentary program. Preview available at the link above; program will be available shortly after broadcast (I presume) somewhere on the MSNBC site and through iTunes, which is how I get The Rachel Maddow Show every night.
  2. First Life With David Attenborough – the kind of show that I almost get cable for, and certainly buy the DVD (as soon as it goes on sale).

    David Attenborough is synonymous with the Natural World. From bacterium to blue whale, he has seen it all for himself. But now he embarks on the journey he always wanted to make but never thought possible — a voyage back in time to see how the first animals evolved and how they lived. Recent discoveries at fossil sites around the world over the last twenty years have propelled our understanding of the first life forms to new heights and with the emergence of ground breaking ways of visualizing them, including state of the art CGI, Attenborough will finally realize his dream and see for himself the animals that laid the foundations for all life on Earth.

    Again, preview available online at the link.

  3. That was fast! PBS’s NOVA series is presenting Emergency Mine Rescue about the recent, um, emergency mine rescue in Chile. Specially produced for those of us who like careful, time-tested analysis of thrilling life and death events. Or not. Seriously, if this didn’t have the NOVA brand on it, I would be quite skeptical, but this will detail the long process (the the Oklahoman said was purely the result of unrestricted capitalism) that proceeded the dramatic scenes we stayed up all night watching last week. Premieres Tuesday, the 26th, but check schedule for other showing. Preview at link, and NOVA’s past programs get hosted at the PBS site once they are off the air.

The New Lord’s Prayer for Republicans

August 8, 2009

[Update: well, you can tell I’m not religious. It’s the 23rd Psalm, not the Lord’s Prayer, which is being rewritten here. I won’t change the title because it will screw up the URL. If it matters to you, me being so stupid, you’ll just have to forgive me, because that’s what Jesus would do. ;-)]

From Fri Prevett via Facebook:

A HuffPo Commenter Named “JohnfromCensornati” posted this as a comment to an article I shared on my wall today written by Frank Schaeffer. It’s all kinds of awesome:

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall be a sheep.
He maketh me to shoot doctors for Life.
He leadeth me to talk about tea-bagging.
I sold him my soul.
He leadeth me down the Appalachian Trail for my soulmate’s sake.
Yea, though I face the healthcare reform bill of death, I will hear no facts for talk radio is with me.
The birthers and their lies, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a room for me in the cult house on C Street.
Thou filleth my head with paranoia.
My faux rage runneth over.
Surely self righteousness and homophobia shall follow me all the days of my life and I will wallow in the idiocy of the Hocus Pocus forever.

Teaching by example in unintended ways

March 20, 2009

Later today, I plan to head down to Grandfield Oklahoma, just this side of the Texas border, to join some students in a counter demo against the Phelps/Westboro Baptist/Gods Hates Fags nutjobs from Kansas.

A week ago I had never even heard of Grandfield, Oklahoma, and maybe you hadn’t either, but some bad (in my opinion) decisions by school officials have brought more than a little attention to the small town south of Lawton.

The short version: A teacher was using The Laramie Project, a play about the murder of Matthew Shepherd for the “crime” of being gay, in her Ethics and Street Law class (how cool to have such a class!). A few parents decided to complain, the teacher was told to stop using the play, but because the students were upset about that, she wanted to help them deal with the issue and did a kind of funeral for the production. The school superintendent, who is apparently a huge authoritarian (to put it kindly), decided the teacher was being insubordinate and eventually got her to resign.

The Phelps connection comes from their mission to protest whenever this play is mentioned.

Here are some links to state and national news stories.

USA Today
And, of course, The Oklahoman finally did get around to it on Thursday, long after the Internet was buzzing with the story, and national publications had picked it up.

I missed joining another counter demo during the recent appearance of the Phelps in Oklahoma City (after gay pastor Scott Jones led a prayer in the state legislature), so I really appreciate them coming back down to our state. I’m really beginning to think that in a way they are doing those who believe in tolerance, love and equality a real service by showing the full extreme of what anti-gay bigotry is all about. I hope those who cloak their fear and bigotry behind more “respectable” veneer really take a look at their side of the fence and see if that’s really where they want to be.

I think Sean Penn addressed those people best when accepting the Oscar for his performance as Harvey Milk, another murdered gay man:

… sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support.

Thanks to James Branum at for organizing statewide participation in the student led demo in Grandfield. I feel privileged to be able to support the courageous young people who are showing compassion and solidarity — the real “Christian” values — in the very difficult circumstances present at this time for the open-minded in Grandfield.

Is Obama poised to continue some parts of Bush’s torture policies?

February 10, 2009

Yesterday’s news out of the Justice Department in which it indicated support for Bush’s rendition program (i.e. exit visa for torture outside of US) was horrifying. I really don’t know what to make of it. I’m not a lawyer, so was kinda hoping it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.

But here’s what the lawyers think:

From the Desk of Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU
Just as we’re in court challenging the government’s use of the “state secrets” doctrine, we must also confront the doctrine on Capitol Hill.

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Yesterday, ACLU lawyers encountered a recurring — and troubling –obstacle in our lawsuit seeking justice for torture victims caught up in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. But this time, the objections were not coming from the Bush administration.

To our surprise and disappointment, the new Justice Department urged a federal appeals court to dismiss our lawsuit charging a Boeing subsidiary with providing critical support for the CIA’s rendition program based on the same “state secrets” claim that the Bush administration had repeatedly invoked to avoid any judicial scrutiny of its actions. During the course of the argument, one judge asked twice if the change in administration had any bearing on the Justice Department’s position. The attorney for the government said that its position remained the same.

This isn’t the kind of change we need if we want an America we can be proud of again.

If the judges rule in the government’s favor, our clients — who were tortured as part of the government’s rendition program –will never get their day in court.

We’re still hoping the court will rule in our favor and allow our case to move forward. But, in the meantime, we must do everything we can to end the abuse of the “state secrets” doctrine both in the courts and on Capitol Hill.

Senators Kennedy, Leahy, Specter and Representative Nadler introduced legislation in 2008 to narrow the scope of the state secrets privilege — and open the courthouse doors to people who have suffered real and legitimate harm by the government. Clearly, this legislation is needed now more than ever.

Send a message to these members of Congress to let them know you support the State Secrets Protection Act.

This crucial civil liberties bill recognizes the need to take precautions when it comes to national security. But, it also acknowledges that courts have been competently managing the balance between the security of classified information and the right to a fair trial in criminal cases for years. And, most important of all, it makes it much more difficult for the government to abuse the state secrets doctrine to escape accountability for illegal behavior.

We can’t allow any administration to invoke state secrets to hide a reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations.

Send a message to support the State Secrets Protection Act.

Yesterday, the Obama administration had an opportunity to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition. But, instead, the Justice Department opted to stay the course.

Now, we must hope that the court will assert its independence, reject the government’s false claims of state secrets, and allow victims of torture and rendition their day in court.

Thanks for standing with us as we work to pursue justice on this critical civil liberties issue.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director

P.S. The ACLU has been working on this case for years. To learn more about rendition and the people impacted, watch our short video.

© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004

And here’s another ACLU spokesperson on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight. (It’s preceded by Rachel and Kent Jones doing a little silly bit of “comedy” on the issue, which in my opinion was inappropriate for the seriousness of the problem, and not funny. But it’s the only video I could find posted this soon after the show.)

Debra Sweet from World Can’t Wait is also sounding the alarm:

Why Should the U.S. Government’s Right to Secrecy Trump the Right of People Not to be Tortured?

Binyam Mohamed is no longer a non-person, even though he’s still in Guantanamo.  After being flown around the world by the CIA, and tortured in both Pakistan and Morocco, he’s fighting the torture.  Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union have direct testimony of torture from the five who were transported in CIA sponsored flights by Jeppesen Datalan, a subsidiary of Boeing, and testimony to show that employees of Jeppesen knew they were planning flights in what has become known infamously as the “Torture Taxi.”

Yesterday, the ACLU represented Mohamed and 4 other men who were tortured and “rendered” by the CIA in the US Court of Appeals, 9th District in San Francisco.  The Bush administration had gotten a judge to throw out the men’s lawsuit against “extraordinary rendition.”  The ACLU and others hoped that the Obama administration would not stand on “national security” and let the suit go forward.

But no.  The New York Times reports today, “the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration.”  The ACLU provided testimony from Mohamed that, “he was routinely beaten, suffering broken bones and, on occasion, loss of consciousness. His clothes were cut off with a scalpel and the same scalpel was then used to make incisions on his body, including his penis. A hot stinging liquid was then poured into open wounds on his penis where he had been cut. He was frequently threatened with rape, electrocution and death.”

The World Can’t Wait continues to demand an end to torture carried on directly by the United States or its allies; the overturning of the Military Commissions Act and “enhanced” interrogation whether carried out by U.S. military, CIA, private contractors, or allied governments’ the closure of Guantanamo, Bagram and other indefinite detention facilities controlled by the United States. It believes that the rights of the people to be free of government spying supersede the secrecy rights of the government.  FULL statement here

And to repeat the action part from ACLU:

Send a message to support the State Secrets Protection Act.

Stimulating family planning

January 29, 2009

There is a great op-ed, Counting Out Women, by Melissa McEwan published today in the Guardian (UK) about Chris Matthews and the general idiocy in the US media (not to mention a huge hunk of the blogosphere) about some parts of the original economic stimulus package, in which she specifically addresses the segment from Hardball that I posted about yesterday.

According to Matthews, the only thing “real people” can “see” are infrastructure projects and the jobs they create – which, as has been pointed out by Linda Hirshman and discussed by Echidne here, are jobs that will disproportionately benefit men. Funding for family planning (arguably) primarily benefits women, rendering it, in Matthews’ estimation, a pointless waste of money.

Subsequently, after Wexler explains that family planning “saves, if done correctly, an enormous sum of money down the road in the healthcare system” – Matthews ignores wholly that planned and wanted children born to non-addicted women who seek out prenatal care are generally healthier children, dismisses out of hand the importance of choice, and instead accuses Wexler (and, by extension, the Democrats) of advocating “a policy of reducing the number of births”.


“It sounds a little like China,” he notes, conflating the Democrats’ plan to provide women a breadth of reproductive choices with a state-mandated reproductive limitation which has resulted in the mass murder and abandonment of female infants.

Wexler was one of the few voices, male or female, that was allowed to even push back on this nonsense on corporate media. So I suppose good for Matthews for making that possible — but it was obviously just a way for the host to make his point, if you want to call his babbling about China and infanticide a point relative to the legislation under discussion.

It is clear that conservatives would like to set up contraception now as something controversial, even shameful. They need a new pet issue to whip up their braindead base over, to keep the coffers full and the ballots filled out as instructed from the pulpit. You wait and see.

So to all the so-called liberal boys who got right on board with the GOP’s misogynist agenda, because family planning money fills clinics instead of building them, don’t wonder later how you got played once again by the culture warriors. Just read your own archives.

Keith Olbermann: Bush’s 8 disasterous years in 8 minutes

January 17, 2009

Finally, it is about over. Just two days, and we can watch watch his chickenhawk ass get out of our White House and our Capital City. Bush and his accomplices will continue to try to whitewash his “legacy” but they will fail. The best George W. Bush can hope from history is eternal ignominy. With an iota of justice applied, he will be tried and condemned to a life sentence for war crimes. But even that would not be all he deserves.

Honeymoon over

December 17, 2008

Well, that was a brief hiatus, when I didn’t feel like crying or screaming every time I heard about the latest political news.

The inauguration hasn’t even taken place yet, and already, folks like me have been slapped in the face. At least with Clinton, it came after he was in office a few days.

So here’s my first complaint letter to Obama (yes, I let the selection of Emmanuel go – figuring I’d trust the guy to know what he was doing – Ha!).

Rather than choose one of many religious figures who could have
embodied the “post-partisan” atmosphere that President-elect Obama
says he wants to promote, a divisive and hurtful one has been given a
very meaningful role. It is a grave insult to many, many people who
worked hard to elect Obama.

Rick Warren and his fanatic followers may like to think of themselves
as moderate Christians, but they are no such thing. They would like to
keep gays and lesbians as second class citizens, deny women the right
to control their own bodies, keep torture as an American value(stet — see Update 2 below) promote assassination, and
foster some more illegal wars around the world. These are public
positions that they don’t try to hide. So I can only assume that Obama
now means to embrace them too, in the name of “unity”– while
millions of Americans who believed words about “change” can now feel
used and discarded.

Putting Warren on that stage is no less than a loud “F*** you” to ALL
gay and lesbian Americans and their allies, pro-choice folks, civil
rights and antiwar activists. Obama obviously has no use for them
anymore, and will cast his lot with those who hate, divide and
discriminate. Good luck with that in 2012.

What a huge disappointment.

There are other reactions, and an email address for your own letter, at Pam’s House Blend, Americablog and Daily Kos.

Updated to fix error: Apparently Rick Warren supports assassination, not torture. My bad.

Update 2: Ah, I remembered correctly reading about his willingness to allow torture, so stet on that, just add assassination cheerleading to the original list. What a man of God, eh?