Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's takes and thanks to Mike, Nina, C.I. and Rebecca for listening to my musings (later in this post) and insisting that they stay in.
"Bush Suggests Troops To Remain in Iraq Until At Least 2009" (Democracy Now!):
President Bush has indicated US troops are likely to stay in Iraq until at least 2009. Speaking at a White House press conference Tuesday -- his second this year -- Bush said whether US troops are withdrawn from Iraq will be up to future US presidents and Iraqi governments to decide. Bush also defended the job performance of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld amid growing calls for his resignation. But Bush left open the possibility for future changes, saying "I'm not going to announce it right now."
"I'm not going to announce it right now" generally means "I have nothing to say." Not, "I'm sitting on an announcement" but "there is no announcement." And why should there be? He's not going to get rid of Rumsfeld who's done his part to create chaos in Iraq. That's what he wanted.
"White House Steers Millions in Federal Grants to Conservative Groups" (Democracy Now!):
The Washington Post is reporting the Bush administration has funneled millions of dollars in federal grant money to conservative groups that support its social policies. Using faith-based programs and other government initiatives, the Bush administration has steered at least $157 million to groups that support the President's views on issues such as abortion and gay marriage. According to the Post, most of the funding came through government programs enacted after the Bush administration took office. In scores of cases, small antiabortion centers have received federal funding that doubled or tripled their operating budgets. Democratic Congressmember Chet Edwards of Texas called the grant funding one of the largest patronage programs in American history.
I'm thinking back to all the attacks on women's medical services over the years. Not just on abortion, but all medical services for women. The 'vangicals always scream, "I don't want my money going for that!" So why is America putting up with faith-based programs being funded?
I know Joe Lieberman loves it -- there's no bad program he's never loved -- well, maybe a few, he didn't love but still spent a wild weekend with.
Why is the government in the business of funding churches? And what about the church's who allow GREED to enter into the picture? A church's work is supposed to be funded by the congregation. But then a church's work isn't supposed to be about electing a president and churches tossed that out the window as well.
I was talking to C.I., on the phone, about the women in Iraq today. Did you catch KPFA's The Morning Show? Andrea Lewis interviewed Faiza Al-Araji about the changes in Iraq since the inception of the illegal war. If you missed it and would like to hear it, click here.
But what we were talking about was how quickly it changed, life for women in Iraq. Iraq wasn't Afghanistan, until we invaded. Women had rights and they participated in public life (without burkas). Thanks to Bully Boy, that's changed.
It (and the second item above from Democracy Now!) made it so clear that Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is something we need to take seriously. You encourage unrest and chaos while allowing fundamentalists free reign and women's rights are a thing of the past. That's not unlikely in this country as 'vangicals are handed out millions and treated as though their thoughts are sacrosanct.
For centuries, people have grappled with faith, with the Bible specifically, but our modern day 'vangicals think they have all the answers and have figured out everything that people before them couldn't. That's perfectly in keeping with their ahistorical ignorance.
These 'vangicals and their beliefs that every word in the Bible is the word of the Lord and every word is literal.
And I started to think about 9/11 and how all we heard about were the "firemen" and the "policemen." Not fire fighters, not police officers. As though women were absent that day.
In chaos, were commentators own prejudices being displayed? In chaos, do they latch on to their stereotypical notions of "strength"?
Consider this "musings" and far from the shores of coherent thought but as I listened to the interview and thought about events in the United States, I realized that it's very easy to get comfy with the rights we've won. But it's been a long struggle to get to the point we're at now.
And I thought about how "strength" notions (stereotypical) caused many to line up behind Bully Boy after 9/11 (after he stopped running around the country and actually returned to DC).
These are things to ponder when you realize how quickly the rights and status of women have been destroyed in Iraq. I think we do have to be watchful.
Here's an item C.I. mentioned on the phone.
"Supreme Court Considers Requiring Abuse Victims to Appear in Court" (Feminist Wire Daily):
In a decision that could have severe ramifications for victims of domestic violence, the Supreme Court is considering whether plaintiffs in abuse cases are required by the Constitution to appear in court -- something that many are afraid to do. "[Requiring in-court testimony] would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute the vast majority of domestic violence cases," law professor Joan S. Meier told the Los Angeles Times.
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