5.28.2005

A Mad Girl's Ramblings

A Mad Girl's Ramblings

I haven't been around for along time. I need to get back around to rambling. :)

12.11.2004

Indecent??

The number of complaints soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in 2003, up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years, FCC Chairman Michael Powell told Congress in February.

The number of complaints registered by the FCC is significant because it is one of the factors used to judge whether community standards had been violated.

Through early October 2004, 99.8 percent of indecency complaints -- aside from those concerning the Janet Jackson's exposed breast during the Super Bowl halftime show -- were brought by the PTC, according to an Oct. 1 FCC analysis.
really?

The Parents Television Council is the right wing nut place group that has brought on the onslaught of the complaints. Their latest campaign? The Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics. That's right. The Olympics. Sure the opening ceremony was odd, weird, incomprehensible. But indecent? Probably not.
Example:


I looked through almost all the pictures here at the Olypmics website and could not really find anything indecent. Unless you count the one pictures with almost naked statues . Basically it was just weird. Was the pregnant looking women who's belly started to glow indecent?
I don't know.

These are probably the same people who believe that the animated movie Shark Tale has a hidden homosexual agenda. Of course I haven't seen this movie but the basis of the one character being "gay" is because he's vegetarian. I guess if a shark displays abnormal behavior - we can translate that into the shark being "gay". This only perpetuates the idea that being gay is abnormal and wrong. Just like being a shark and a vegetarian is wrong. It goes against human nature, right?

Indeed. The staunchest homophobes usually are hiding the feeling that they might be gay themselves

12.10.2004

Slavery wasn't really that bad

Students at one of the area's largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived "a life of plenty, of simple pleasures."

Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was," a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.

Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery.

"You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective," he said.

------------------------------
'SOUTHERN SLAVERY, AS IT WAS'
Here are some excerpts from the booklet:

* "To say the least, it is strange that the thing the Bible condemns (slave-trading) brings very little opprobrium upon the North, yet that which the Bible allows (slave-ownership) has brought down all manner of condemnation upon the South." (page 22)

* "As we have already mentioned, the 'peculiar institution' of slavery was not perfect or sinless, but the reality was a far cry from the horrific descriptions given to us in modern histories." (page 22)

* "Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence." (page 24)

* "There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world." (page 24)

* "Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25)

* "But many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends." (page 27)

* "Nearly every slave in the South enjoyed a higher standard of living than the poor whites of the South -- and had a much easier existence." (page 30)

article from area news observer that covers parts of NC

article from Southern Poverty Law Center



Yes. Slavery is good my friends. This is completely appalling. One of the authors has lived in Idaho for over 30 years. Its very much of a romanticizing of antebellum South. Which can be glossed over easily and seen as idyllic and romantic - as long as you ignore slavery.

Some of the statements have face validity. Poor white southerners did have awful and hard lives. Some slaves were treated well and some were beaten within inches of their lives on a regular basis. And at the end of the war - the former slaves were worse of after being "freed" - often they weren't really freed - just became sharecroppers instead of slaves.

The system of slavery often pitted the slaves against each other - "For slavery aimed not only to colonize black women's bodies, sex, and sexuality, to undermine her, it sought to subvert and destory any authentic relationship between black women and black men as well as among black women themselves." ~M. Shawn Copeland

Just the idea of painting slavery as even as slightly positive thing can have completely negative consquences such as bringing up racist thoughts and basically not teaching the real history of our "great country".

Just something: One of the authors is a founding director of the League of the South (a.k.a. a nicer sounding name for a KKK type organization). The League of the South has a chapther in Killen, Alabama - where my parents house is and where I grew up!

God and Gender

Does God Need Gender Reconsignment Surgery?
And if so, will insurance cover it?


“Then she say: Tell me what you God look like, Celie.
Aw naw, I say. I’m too shame. Nobody ever ast me this before, so I’m sort of took by surprise. Besides, when I think about it, it don’t seem quite right. But it all I got. I decide to stick up for him, just to see what Shug say.
Okay, I say He big and old and tall and graybearded and white. He wear white robes and go barefooted.
Blue eyes? She ast.
Sort of blush-gray. Cool. Big though. White lashes, I say.
She laugh.
~Alice Walker, “God Is Inside you and Inside Everyone Else”


Picture God. Did you picture of an old white man with a long bread and flowing white gown standing on a mountain ready to hurl lightening bolts at unsuspecting sinners? Or something similar? Maybe God is pictured as something, but think about the words you used. God is mostly referred to as Father, Lord, King, He, Him, or other masculine terms. In the first creation story of Genesis, God created “humankind in his image.” Does this present any problems if God is only male? Should God be feminine? Should God have any gender at all? Does it even matter?

God as Male is pervasive in Judeo-Christian culture. If God is touted as male, what consequences does this have on society? According to Rosemary Radford Ruether, a male God perpetuates the idea of a patriarchal rule in society. Man becomes God’s representative on earth and therefore Woman is second to man. This hierarchy can be seen as a pyramid of oppression where God is above the tip, and man occupies the highest position, followed by women, then children, animals, plants, and finally the bottom is occupied by nature. Following this logic, Man must rule over everything else because Man is closest to God.

Although God is mostly likely envisioned as male in the Judeo-Christian culture, in other religious traditions God is really a Goddess. In many different Native American religions had a creator who was Woman. Paula Gunn Allen, a Laguna Pueblo/Sioux Indian author, writes “At the center of all is Woman, and no thing is sacred (cooked, ripe, as the Keres Indians of Laguna Pueblo say it) without her blessing, her thinking.” This Woman spirit had many different times, and she created as well as destroys. Thought Woman, one personification, was a active force with dynamic and unimaginable power. Her power was not in giving birth to the world but thinking and therefore creating. This type of power can be paralleled with the God of the Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

When thinking of the God in the Bible and Church, most metaphors for God seem to be of masculine ones. However this is not true at all. The Inclusive Language Lectionary is a fixed selection of readings that has been revised to reflect a more inclusive views and language. The mandate from the Committee that created this lectionary is to search for “language which expresses inclusiveness with regard to human beings and which attempts to expand the range of images beyond the masculine to assist the church in understanding the full nature of God.” With this lectionary, “person” is used to replace “man” where the gender is ambiguous or where it is obviously referring to all people. Metaphors for God in the Bible refer to God as mother, midwife, bread maker, rock, love, light. God is described, in some texts, as a mother or a woman giving birth. God shows suffering, compassion, and forgiveness, which are seen as more feminine traits. Rechem, which means womb in Hebrew, is the root word for the idea of compassion and mercy (Ruether). Clearly, this goes beyond the masculine metaphors that are more often used.

Rosemary Radford Ruether takes the Jewish concept against idolatry - making pictures or graven images of God - and applies it to ascribing God a gender. Christianity tends to portray God as an man, often kinglike, in its art. This habit depicts God as similar to patriarchal roles of leadership and thus as Male. This extension, according to Ruether, creates oppressive relationships and images of God “become sanctions of evil.” She goes on to say that when the word Father is used to mean God is Male not Female, then this word turns idolatrous in nature. God should be both male and female and at the same time neither male nor female. Ruether does not want abstract constructs of God because abstractions merely conceal male centered conjectures but not correct them.

Sallie McFague also writes about the potential Female-ness of God in her essay “God as Mother.” She postulates that viewing God as only Male is idolatrous. Her reasons for using Male and Female metaphors are simply that human beings are Male and Female and therefore anyone should be able to relate to God in his or her own way. A main reason, she says, for not using female metaphors is deep-rooted fear of female sexuality. The masculine metaphors seem to lack the sexuality that the feminine metaphors exude. Female sexuality is a scary concept in Western thought.

There should a distinction between feminine metaphors and female metaphors. Feminine traits of God are passive ones such as tender, nurturing, or healing while masculine traits are active like creator, redeemer, and administrator. She maintains that female metaphors should go beyond the accepted maternal ones. Perhaps a female personification of God should look like Thought Woman.

Does revising the Bible to have more inclusive language disrupt the meaning of the Bible? The answer to that question is probably best answered no. But that does not mean that everyone is going to embrace it. God has been viewed as Male for so long. People do not like their safe and known world to interrupted. So should the Judeo-Christian God become Goddess? Or remain God but with both male and female characteristics? Does God need to go through gender reassignment surgery? I don’t think that is the answer. God is an entity greater than our understanding. Our concepts of gender (which are mostly ambiguous at best in the first place) should not define God, who is indescribable in the first place. Since using pronouns can present a problem, especially in English, maybe we should create a new lexicon of “God language” that would answer these problems. Until then, unfortunately, it seems that the majority of the believing public will still refer to God as Him or He.



Works Used:

From Weaving the Visions; New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality. Ed. Carol P. Christ & Judith Plaskow. HarperCollins Publishers; San Francisco, 1989.
Allen, Paula Gunn. “Grandmother of the Sun: The Power of women in Native America.” pp. 22-28

McFague, Sallie. “God as Mother.” pp. 139-150

Inclusive Language Lectionary Committee of the National Council of Churches “Selections from the Inclusive Language Lectionary.” pp. 163-169

Ruether, Rosemary Radford. “Sexism and God-Language.” pp. 151-162

Walker, Alice. “God is Inside You and Inside Everybody Else.” pp. 101-104

Can we say conflicting ideas?

A US soldier has pleaded guilty to murdering a severely wounded 16-year-old Iraqi, the military says.

Staff Sgt Johnny Horne Jr was convicted of unpremeditated murder of the civilian youth in Baghdad's Sadr City suburb on 18 August.

His defence said the death of the injured Iraqi was a "mercy killing" in collusion with another soldier.

Under a plea bargain deal, Horne faces a maximum sentence of 10 years instead of the possibility of life in prison
bbc america article

So they get orders to shoot anything and everything, yet then they get put on trial for shooting someone?

"On the eve of the assault on Falluja, the US military ordered troops to shoot any male on the street between the ages of 15 and 50 if they were seen as a security threat, regardless of whether they had a weapon."

"The enemy can dress as a woman, the enemy can be faking to be dead," said one company commander to his marines before entering the heart of the city. "So shoot everything that moves and everything that doesn't move," he said."
from aljazeera in english

Oh its very screwy.

12.09.2004

Some more American Morality

Bush introduced Mike and Sharla Hintz, a couple from Clive, whom he said benefited from his tax plan.

Last year, because of the enhanced the child tax credit, they received an extra $1,600 in their tax refund, Bush said. With other tax cuts in the bill, they saved $2,800 on their income taxes.

They used the money to buy a wood-burning stove to more efficiently heat their home, made some home improvements and went on a vacation to Minnesota, the president said.

"Next year, maybe they'll want to come to Texas," Bush quipped.

Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor, said the tax cuts also gave him additional money to use for health care.

He said he supports Bush's values.

"The American people are starting to see what kind of leader President Bush is. People know where he stands," he said.

the article

So now the good part

A Des Moines youth pastor is charged with the sexual exploitation of a child.

KCCI learned that the married father of four recently turned himself in to Johnston police.

Rev. Mike Hintz was fired from the First Assembly of God Church, located at 2725 Merle Hay Road, on Oct. 30. Hintz was the youth pastor there for three years.

Police said he started an affair with a 17-year-old in the church youth group this spring.

the whole article

Oh yes. They are the same person. So much for family values and morals.

From Atrios's Eschaton Blog

This isn't war, this is a goddamn madhouse

What is up with this "war"? I'm talking about how its protrayed in the media. Which it really isn't. No one shows pictures of the war, except for that picture of the dirty face of a soldier smoking a cigarette. Pictures of coffins come over were banned from being shown. This war is clean. Pristine.
Actually - no no it isn't. But that's what they want you to think.
Another thing - the soldiers are being treated horrendously by the administration who sent them over to the Middle East in the first place. Reservist have no type of insurance once they get back. They have no assurance that they have the jobs back. People who've completed their military contracts are being sent back to Iraq.
One soldier came home because:"The army specialist came within inches of death last November 15, when the Humvee he was driving hit a roadside bomb, killing his sergeant. The entire left side of Gunn's body was splattered with shrapnel, his elbow was shattered and, as he lay in the US military hospital bed in Germany, he was tortured by nightmares"

And then.....they SENT HIM BACK.

His mother wrote to officals asking why her son was being sent back after he was wounded and clearly suffering from mental stress. The reply:
"After discussion of his case it was determined ... this may be in his best interest mentally to overcome his fear by facing it. Therefore, he has been cleared for redeployment."
(Article)
That is just henious. Its not like he has an irrational fear. I think fears and stress occured from almost being blown up and having his sergeant killed next to him is NOT IRRATIONAL. The overcoming your fears by facing them is what you do when you have an IRRATIONAL fear of, say, bugs.
Now 8 soldiers are suing because they believe that they've served their contract and therefore should be allowed to return home. Of the 8 only one, David W. Qualls, is the only one who is using his real name on the lawsuit. The rest, who fear retribution from the Army - including more dangerous assignments in Iraq - are described only as John Does 1 through 7. The very fact that they fear that the Army will retaliate if their contracts are extended is just wrong.
Soldiers are facing punishment because they refused to move contaminated fuel because it was a useless and potentially fatal order.
And then - The whole whacked out killings of everything.
They get order to kill anything that moves. It doesn't matter if that moving being is a three year old baby girl or a gun weilding "insurgent". Geneva Convention? What that's?

Art.24. The Parties to the conflict shall take the necessary measures to ensure that children under fifteen, who are orphaned or are separated from their families as a result of the war, are not left to their own resources, and that their maintenance, the exercise of their religion and their education are facilitated in all circumstances. Their education shall, as far as possible, be entrusted to persons of a similar cultural tradition.

Art. 31. No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties.

Art. 32. The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishments, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents.


Right, I forgot that our upcoming Attorney General called the Geneva Conventions as "quaint".

So now that Saddam's regime is gone is Iraq any better?

Election nonsense

How can we hold "free and democratic" elections when our own elections is a big freakin' mess. Ohio is having a recount. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell - also co-chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio, and he wants to oversee the recount. As Jesse Jackson says "the owner of the team can't also be the referee."

"Blackwell co-chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio and has been widely criticized for a series of partisan decisions that have thus far indicated Bush carried the state. Exit polls by Zogby and CNN showed Ohio going for Kerry with 53% and 51% respectively, which would win him presidency in the Electoral College."

People, mostly in poor and minority areas, waited in line for hours in Ohio to vote. By hours, I mean 10 .

In testimony about the fraud that was the Ohio elections:

Fiona Mitchell said:
"The night before the election, just after midnight we received a call at the vote mob headquarters that there had been fliers posted on South Green stating that due to unprecedented voter registration turnout, voting dates had been changed by the bipartisan voting authority. Republicans and undecideds will vote on November 2nd. Democrats and undecided will vote on November 3rd. It went on to stay make sure you bring proper ID and go to the proper voting place for you.”

Other people testified that there was less voting machine that mandated. The policy is to have 1 machine for every 100 people in a precinct. Some precincts had around 1300 - so that means 13 machines right? No, more like 2.

Another thing is some machine registered more votes for Bush than registered voters in the precinct.
"Security questions were raised after a machine in Gahanna Ward 1B at the New Life Church recorded 4258 votes for Bush where only 638 voters cast ballots."

“That led to some races showing votes of negative 25 million, Munroe said,” quoting Mark Monroe, the Mahoning County election chief. "The numbers were nonsensical so we knew there were problems."

article from freepress.org
another article from freepress.org
Voter Problems Listed Out

Irony 1 = "The United States will send 100 observers to Ukraine for this month's scheduled presidential election, a rerun of voting that Ukraine's top court had found illegitimate. The U.S. observers will be part of a 960-member team fielded by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for the Dec. 26 vote. The United States will also spend $3 million toward election monitoring, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Wednesday. " link to article

Irony 2 = We can't hold free and democratic elections in our own country. How the HELL are we going to help have "free and democratic elections" in Iraq?

Morality and America

Actually the subject line has more to do with the opinion column I'm about to talk about:

Okay I don't know if anyone saw the whole Monday Night Football commerical skit with the blonde (Nicolette Sheridan) from Desperate Housewives and Terrel Owens (who is black, and this will be relevant in a second) from the Philadelphia Eagles. So the promotion skit shows the blonde coming into the locker room wearing nothing but a towel, drops the towel, and jumps into his arms and he's like "aw the team's going have to play without me." Something like that. I didn't actually see it that night but you can see it here. I don't think its anymore offensive than anything else on TV - soap operas are just as bad.
Now there is this incredibly racist syndicated writed named Sam Francis who wrote a piece about this. I'm not sure if it was published anywhere because its a completely horrible piece of neocon nativist white man trash. Some choice paragraphs to illustrate this:
"Like the Jackson-Timberlake performance, the Owens-Sheridan ad was interracial and brazenly so—if only morals and taste had been the targets, the producers could easily have found white actresses who are less obviously Nordic than the golden-locked Miss Sheridan, but Nordic is what the ad's producers no doubt wanted.
For that matter, if you only wanted to take a swipe at morals and taste, you could find a black woman to rip her towel off or replace Mr. Owens with a famous white athlete (there are still a few).
But that wasn't the point, was it? The point was not just to hurl a pie in the face of morals and good taste but also of white racial and cultural identity. The message of the ad was that white women are eager to have sex with black men, that they should be eager, and that black men should take them up on it."
"In the minds of those who produced the ad, race is at least as important as the moral and aesthetic norms their ad subverts.
To them, the race as well as the religion, the morality, and the culture of the host society are all equally hostile and oppressive forces that need to be discredited, debunked and destroyed"
"Breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction because it means the dissolution of the cultural boundaries that define breeding and the family and, ultimately, the transmission and survival of the culture itself."
I swear Archie Bunker!
The entire country (with a few exceptions of course) is turning into
And this my friends, is not a good thing at all. As the blurb on Tvland.com says:"The quintessential, all-American bigot, Archie Bunker was part of the "old guard" who failed to recognize the "melting pot" mentality of the modern world. Archie is befuddled and annoyed by anyone and everything that doesn't share his narrow view of the world. He is a brash, uneducated, blue-collar worker, and his small thinking doesn't win him a lot of friends. Archie's problems mostly stem from the changing values around him, and he consequently spends as much time with his foot in his mouth as one of his beloved cigars."
And then there's the Ediths:"Archie's devoted and dutiful wife may in fact be a bit of a "dingbat," as Archie calls her, but she is also the glue that holds the Bunker home together. Edith is yin to Archie's yang. Where he is opinionated and short-tempered, she is patient and unbiased. She is completely devoted to her husband, and sees him as a good man. She is warm in her heart, and knows how to keep her hubby happy, even though she doesn't always quite have a grasp on what is happening around her."
Why oh why?

12.08.2004

Mysterious and clean!

Posted by Hello

Trembling at the Knees

The beginning is always awkward like a first kiss.