Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sarah at Past is Prologue explains why American soldiers might be* dying of dehydration rather than risk being raped by their comrades.

*2/9/06 UPDATE: There's some speculation that this story isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here, and Here . Which would be great - i would like nothing more than to rest assured that this kind of shit IS extremely rare in our military. I'm still not convinced of that. Even if Karpinski is exaggerating, this part still bugs me: "For example, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, Sanchez's top deputy in Iraq, saw "dehydration" listed as the cause of death on the death certificate of a female master sergeant in September 2003. Under orders from Sanchez, he directed that the cause of death no longer be listed, Karpinski stated. The official explanation for this was to protect the women's privacy rights."

If, as the naysayers allege - the reports of these attacks are greatly exaggerated, and if, as they say dehydration doesn't kill that quickly (though they speculate heat stroke could), that still does not address WHAT WAS SO ODD/SENSITIVE about the manner of these women's deaths that anyone would feel the need to protect their "privacy rights" to begin with? If they died of legitimate causes then there'd be no need to cover up, would they? Why would a women's cause of death need to be hidden and not her male comrades?

Bright spot

One bright spot today... my newly adopted state just passed a gay righs bill that's been 30 years in the making. It adds sexual orientation to the list of race, sex, religion, marital status, disability and other banned discrimination categories. To noone's surprise, the hatemongers have already filed a referendum to overturn it.
Excellent primer on the inner workings/battles of the Bush Dept. of Justice vs. Cheney 'cabal'. and how that all led to the leaking of the Torture Memo, and NSA eavesdropping program.

Black Tuesday

Coretta Scott King passes and Alito gets confirmed.  I'm waiting for the 3rd tragedy fo the day....
I did my best and wrote all 4 Northwest Senators (OR before the move and WA after) but knew there was nothing we could do to stop Alito. I must say, I'm very disappointed in my new Senator Cantwell, who voted for cloture.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Cry Me a River....

I'm feeling the need to vent but life's getting in the way of googling lately so I apologize in advance for not having links to support the following rant:
The GOP and their assorted talking heads are apparently coopting one of the oldest tricks in the book to try to garner sympathy while their collective asses are in the fire... a woman's tears.  First it was Mrs. Alito bursting into tears at the confirmation hearings when (it should be noted) a Republican started with a fairly tough line of questioning regarding her hubby's character... they all spun it that the DEM senators were making the poor woman cry.  Today apparently the news is poor little Jack Abramoff's daughter burst into tears while watching the Golden Globes when George Clooney made a joke at her father's expense on national T.V.  Grampa Abramoff is now publically attacking George for making her cry and screaming to the rafters that his son's good name (and hence his own) will be cleared eventually. 
First - has not the man ALREADY BEEN CONVICTED of felonious activity?
Second, given the above, don't you think you should place the blame where it belongs - with the criminal, YOUR SON for willingly (and eagerly) committing such crimes and not on the messenger?  But no.  That would not be standard GOP operating procedure.  Which clearly states, when one is confronted with a friend/family/colleage/speaker of the house/president/terrorist's wrongdoing, one should BLAME A LIBERAL for that wrongdoing.  The criminal/perpetrator himself bears no responsibility.  You can learn a lot by watching rape trials on TV.  It's the victim's fault. 
Third - I do have sympathy for these women.  I do. I'm willing to shed a tear for their pain. But Mr. Abramoff should have thought of the consequences to his family when he chose the crooked path.  And Mrs. Alito should be well used to having her husband's character scrutinized. If she can't handle the pressure of being espoused to a public figure then maybe Mr. Alito ought to consider withdrawing his name from consideration on her behalf.  If she thinks it's tough now... wait until he starts to receive death threats from various whackjobs or does something that makees him the brunt of late night comedians. If he really loved her, he should consider that.  Don't you think?
But Fourth - and most importantly.  I'll shed a tear for them.. but that aint nothin' compared to the rivers I shall shed on behalf of the Cindy Sheehans.... the American mothers and fathers who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq.  The widows.  The orphans of those brave soldiers who won't be coming back.  The babies who will only ever get to see their parent in dusty family albums.  Or the shattered families when they DO come back with out a leg.  Or an arm - with half a soul after being stop-gap drafted back into harm's way for a cause that many don't believe in.. and were nevertheless MORE patriotic than the most ardent Bush supporter because they did their duty, and gave the ultimate sacrife ANYWAY.  For love of country and comrade.  For love of the Constitution that this administration, and their associated Alitos and Abramoffs are so willing to discard like so much toilet paper.  Then there are the Iraqi and Afghan families who live in the most primitive conditions and still run the risk every.single.day of losing someone they love to a suicide bomber or misguided American bomb.
For all of them the river of my sorrow runs deep. 
Yet the GOP talking heads want me to shed a tear for the families of Alito and Abramoff?  One.  That's all you get.  Join the military - put your life where your mouths are and I'll offer a few more.

Friday, January 20, 2006

RIP Mister Wicked....

We'll take a moment of silence here at RiverRocks to mourn the passing of the great Wilson Pickett yesterday - without whom, there would be no MustangSally.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Faithful wha?

I've been loving most of Al Gore's speeches lately.  That held true for the excerpt of yesterday's that I heard replayed on the radio this morning:

"Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same."

But then I thought hey, wait a minute - WWII?  Faithful protection of our freedoms?  Tell that to the Japanese American citizens who a)lost property without due process and b) were unlawfully detained without reasonable cause. Also - my German American great grandmother lost her U.S. citizenship solely on the basis that she spoke German as her first language. And she was BORN here.
Granted, our government has since apologized to those citizens, recognized the illegality of the actions that were taken and made some attempt at restitution.   Shrub & Co. certainly aren't the first administration to take the "it's easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission" road to national security.  They're just the latest incarnation.

Let's hope this is the end of it...

"Ashcroft's directive declared that assisting suicide was not a legitimate medical purpose under the Controlled Substances Act and that prescribing federally controlled drugs for that purpose was against the federal law.

[Kennedy] said the administration maintained that the law delegated to a single officer in the executive branch "the power to effect a radical shift of authority from the states to the federal government to define general standards of medical practice in every locality."

Kennedy concluded in the 28-page opinion that the text of the federal law shows that "Congress did not have this far-reaching intent to alter the federal-state balance."

The scary thing is - when in 1970 Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act they did not have that intent, however Congress in 2006 most certainly would.  How soon do you think it will be before we see a new bill introduced in the halls of Congress trying to federalize medical practice standards?  Would solve so many tricky problems... Assisted Suicide, abortion providers, pharmacist ethics, pulling the plug ala Terry Shivo...

Blue Oregon illustrates just how much you can trust a Supreme Court nominee who is willing to say anything to get confirmed: To whit: Roverts assured Sen. Wyden before his confirmation that he would "be careful not to strip states of powers they traditionally have held" but then lookie here! He voted today with Scalia and Thomas to do precisely that.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hold on to your knickers, folks

The Critter is WALKING!  With some prompting (i.e. Daddy pulling out the training fingers once he gets going) he took 4 unassisted steps last weekend quickly followed by 4 more after we turned him back around.  The Indiana In-Laws all swore he took 2 unsupported steps whilst navigating between furniture over Christmas (when we were out watching Narnia) but we'd seen him do that a couple of time ourselves and it's more like free-falling to the next handhold, which as everyone knows - does not count. 
This, we decided in all our parental authority was the REAL THING and we actually managed to GET IT ON TAPE!  Photographic evidence that yes, indeed he was born to be a biped. 
He has started to say Mama, in addition to Dada, though it's not terribly clear if he's being specific with either.  Dada is still more common, albeit usually jumbled up with a bunch of other babble. Half the time I think he's trying to say "Dog" and not "Dad", however.  With the addition of new teeth come more linguistic possibilities and he's exploring them all.  
In other news, we *finally* signed loan papers on the new house, the sale has recorded and we start moving today.  Well, Curt & some hired muscle will start moving the heavy outdoor stuff today and the rest of the house will move tomorow with the regular movers.  This is the 3rd time I've had to reschedule the move due to lending paperwork f*ups and my patience has about evaporated.  Thank all the gods that the nice people buying our house didn't have to move immediately and were willing to rent it back to us for an extra week.
Regular ranting and raving and railing against the system should resume after I've cleared the packing peanuts out of my brain.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Best Christmas Present Ever

Originally uploaded by MsMustangsally.
Oh, and I can't forget to mention, my new nephew Aidan made his entrance to the world on Dec. 23 while we were flying somewhere over Tennessee (I think). The Critter's first First Cousin! We're hoping to introduce the two in March (Aidan's in Houston). Congrats to my bro, T and his wonderful fabulous wife, E.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Years from the Critter.

Originally uploaded by MsMustangsally.
He was quite the hit with the in-laws. It was the Duncan show all day, every day. Travelled pretty well - slept most of the time on all our flights. No screaming. Spiked a high fever the night we got to Indiana, though - very odd. No other symptoms. But was well over it by Christmas morning and charmed one and all.

All I want for Christmas is my 2 Front Teeth...

Originally uploaded by MsMustangsally.
and I got 'em! That makes four - count 'em, FOUR teethers!