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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From our Friends at Slept On

Proposition 1984
by Susie Day

Look at your paycheck. Did your company take out again for Iraqi quagmire-maintenance? Now, look around. Is the crime rate going up in your neighborhood? Do you suspect your nifty new iPhone is tracking your every move? Are you worried that the economic meltdown will leave you homeless, starving, and naked in the streets? Perhaps you are already homeless, starving, and naked in the streets with your new iPhone?

Would you agree there is a Problem?

You know what the Problem is, don't you? Heterosexuals. I have evidence.

Everywhere you go – there they are. Walking. Talking. Eating. Buying things. Going to the "Men" or the "Ladies" room.

Not that there's anything wrong with that sort of thing. We all have our repulsive little quirks, I suppose. Some of my best friends are straight: "heavy in the loafer"; "friends of Britney," if you will. We admire these people for their sports stadiums; their automated tollbooths; that slaphappy sit-com humor that has allowed Heterosexuals to survive centuries of hardship. But there are limits.

Marriage, for instance. Show me where in the Bible it says that two people of opposing genders, by becoming legally wed, should be able to get Social Security, Food Stamps, and Income Tax benefits.

Shocking? Yes! SIMPLY BY GETTING MARRIED, Heterosexuals derive some 1,400 entitlements – approximately 1,000 federal and 400 state – FEW OF WHICH CAN BE OBTAINED OUTSIDE THE BONDS OF LEGAL MATRIMONEY! Imagine Heterosexuals being allowed to visit spouses in hospitals; claiming joint privileges to adopt and raise children; gaining immigrant residency status; obtaining bereavement or sick leave. Disgusting!

AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE IN THE MESS WE'RE IN TODAY! These "special rights" invoked by connubially-wedded Heterosexuals have upset the natural order of things. They are against God's Plan for Us. Hark: you can almost hear God retching.

I admit they had me fooled for a while. At first, Heterosexuals appeared to be just another harmless identity group. They stayed in their place. We tolerated them. Heck, weren't we all "just people"?

Then I got up the nerve to enroll in the School of American Ballet. My application was turned down: they wanted someone whose posture was a little "straighter." The economy started to tank and several of my friends were "laid" off their jobs. A nuclear family moved into our neighborhood – and rents skyrocketed.

So I began to look around. I realized that what I had been watching was part of a carefully orchestrated plan. "They teach god-knows-what filth in our schools," I thought, "inherit each other's estates, get conjugal visits in prison – and there's nothing we can do about it."

Or was there? I got some facts. Did you know that:
* Heterosexuals comprise at least 90% of the population?

* That this "population" is teeming with huge numbers of muggers, pickpockets, corporate polluters, slumlords, child pornographers, and fascist dictators?

* It therefore follows that at least 90% of all muggers, pickpockets, corporate polluters, slumlords, child pornographers, and fascist dictators are … HETEROSEXUALS!!!


I have begun an anthropomorphic study of Heterosexuals. Oh, they start off innocently enough. As babies, Heterosexuals are often quite cute. Many of them, however, cry all night and drool a lot – the first signs that something is not right.

As Heterosexuals grow older, they watch TV for hours – depraved programs such as "Family Guy" or "MASH" reruns, designed to implant the psychosexual desire ONLY for others of the "opposite" sex. Then they go outdoors to engage in shame-based playtime activities such as "house" or "doctor." Soon, all they can think of is buying nudity-promoting hygiene products and getting a place of their own, so they can procure other Heterosexuals with whom to enjoy frequent and legal erotic relations. Thus are they indoctrinated into HETEROSEXUALITY'S MATRIMONIAL DOMINATION OF THE ENTIRE GLOBE!!!

Accident? No! Through patient research, I have uncovered a vast, international conspiracy of Militant Heterosexuals who seek total worldwide supremacy over Planet Earth! Their behavior is being constantly monitored by their Militant Heterosexual president, Big Breeder. "BIG BREEDER IS WATCHING" is one of the mottos of the Breederhood. Others include: (1) Freedom is Marriage; (2) War Is Cute When It's Between the Sexes; and (3) Ignorance Of And Alienation From My Wondrously Protean, Polymorphous Libido Is A Small Price To Pay For World Domination.

Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. So get righteous: Go up to each and every Heterosexual you see on the street. Ask them to think about the chaos in the Middle East and the economic meltdown; about domestic surveillance and starving in the streets. Tell them

THEY have caused these problems.

Then get them to give you their paychecks.


Susie Day is a SleptOn columnist and political satirist based in New York.

SleptOn Mag is an independent socio-political online journal established to promote awareness, facilitate discussion, debate and organization by providing hard hitting, thought provoking and engaging news analysis and potent commentary on politics, entertainment and culture.

SletpOn Mag is a web based magazine for and representative of a broad cross-section of the politically adept interested in an alternative source of information which is often overlooked, marginalized or excluded from the narrow focus of the dominant corporate controlled "mainstream" media, sanitized and scripted political debate and commercialized entertainment industry outlets.

SleptOn Mag will seek to harness the energy and passion of the astute observer in the struggle for peace, justice, equality and solidarity while providing uncompromised commentary, analysis and entertainment that take on the current issues in a dynamic, compelling and critical way.

Join us and let's deliver a wake up call to the world, together. No Justice ... No Sleep!!!

Fabulously Feminist Poetry

the man
--by fabulously feminist


mojo in constant flow
across from me he sits
legs crossed
swanking sock showin'
orphan orange sweater
clings to his lanky
catholic school by frame

as he speaks
the archaic beat
of human existence thus far
pulses through his boy
as his words pulse
through his hands

amid turbulence
of cigarette smoke
mingling with the steam
of double mochas
he searches my face
with italian eyes
blistering my inhibitions

with our gaze locked tightly
as I wish our bodies could be
his approving smile
elevates my spirit
to the deity proportions of a


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Urgent Action call from Amnesty International

Fear of torture or other ill-treatment--MEXICO

1) Máximo Mojica Delgado (m)
2) María de los Ángeles Hernández Flores (f), his wife
3) Santiago Nazario Lezma (m)

The three people named above, who live in Teloloapan municipality, Guerrerostate, have been arbitrarily arrested and are believed to have been beaten in custody. They are being held incommunicado and are at risk of further torture or other ill-treatment.

According to María de los Ángeles Hernández, on 27 November an unmarked car with three armed men stopped the car in which she was traveling with her husband, Máximo Mojica, and their two children. The men forced Máximo Mojica out of the vehicle and took him away, but did not identify themselves aspolice officers or show an arrest warrant. On 29 November, María de los Ángeles Hernández, received a phone call from her husband telling her he had been kidnapped and that she needed to pay a ransom of 50,000 pesos (US$2500). Later on the same day, neighbors reported that María de los Ángeles Hernández, her nephew (who was later released but is now hiding for his safety) and another man who was visitingthe family's house, Santiago Nazario Lezma, had also been taken away from her home by a number of armed men in uniforms. The armed men had arrived in seven unmarked vans without license plates. It is believed the men whodetained Máximo Mojica, María de los Ángeles Hernández and Santiago Nazario Lezma were all officers of the State Judicial Police (Policía Investigadora Ministerial).

The whereabouts of the three were unknown until they were finally traced on 3 December to the office of the State Attorney General’s Office in the city of Acapulco, Guerrero state. They were visited on the same day by staff of Guerrero State Human Rights Commission (Comisión de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de Guerrero). The Commission reported that Máximo Mojica, María de los Ángeles Hernández and Santiago Nazario Lezma had visible bruises all over their bodies and had not had access to a lawyer of their choice. The three have not been permitted to see lawyers or relatives since this visit, and could be tortured or ill-treated while they are held incommunicado. It is not known if they have received any medical treatment. The three have still not been officially charged.

On 29 December, the home of Máximo Mojica’s brother, Pastor Mojica was also searched by armed men while hewas out and has been occupied by these men since. Pastor Mojica and his family are currently in hiding.
According to a local human rights organization, Máximo Mojica and his brother Pastor Mojica are members of a grassroots political organization “Tierra y Libertad” that works on housing rights issues. Máximo Mojica, Pastor Mojica and María de los Ángeles Hernández are all members of a teacher’s union that has been organizing demonstrations over the past few months. The family has also stated that four months ago armed men visited Máximo Mojica’s home and accused him of hiding members of an illegal armed group.
Please Help.....to find out how click HERE

Day Without a Gay

Text Color"The worldwide media attention surrounding our massive grassweb efforts for gay rights has been tremendous. Join the Impact was a HUGE success and will continue to thrive because of our efforts.
We've reacted to anti-gay ballot initiatives in California, Arizona Florida, and Arkansas with anger, with resolve, and with courage.

NOW, it's time to show America and the world how we love. Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love.

On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating love to a variety of different causes.

On December 10, you are encouraged not to call in sick to work. You are encouraged to call in "gay"--and donate your time to service!

December 10, 2008 is International Human Rights Day.
CLICK HERE to join us, and search or add to the list of human rights organizations that need our help RIGHT NOW. "

From Day Without A Gay homepage.

Fabulously Feminist News

Ugandan Legislator Urges Legalization of Abortion

Rebecca Kadaga, the Deputy Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, has recently called for the legalization of abortion in Uganda. Kadaga believes that it is possible to legalize abortion in Uganda in line with the Maputo Protocol, an agreement led by the African Union that includes provisions on women's rights.

In relation to abortion, the Maputo Protocol states: "State parties shall take all appropriate measures to protect the reproductive rights of women by authorizing medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or fetus," according to The New Vision. Uganda has not ratified the agreement, but local women's rights activists are pushing for ratification.

According to The New Vision, Kagada has reportedly said "the civil society went to the Church and mobilized religious leaders to support the cause of abortion. So it is possible, I do not want us to close the door."


Mary Jo Kilroy Wins Close Ohio House Race

Mary Jo Kilroy won a tight race for Ohio's 15th congressional district by a 2,311 vote margin and officially declared victory last night. Kilroy faced Ohio state Senator Steve Stivers, a Republican, in her second bid for a House seat. Provisional ballots put Kilroy over the top against Stivers, who was leading by 594 votes before provisional ballots were counted, according to the Washington Post. In 2006, Kilroy lost her race by only 1,062 votes against Republican incumbent, Deborah Pryce.

Kilroy was widely supported by a number of feminist groups in her current campaign and had been endorsed by the Feminist Majority PAC, National Organization for Women PAC, Emily's List, National Women's Political Caucus, Women's Action for New Directors PAC, and NARAL. Kilroy is a strong proponent of women's rights issues, including full funding of reproductive services by health insurance programs, expansion of healthcare access, and stricter enforcement of civil rights laws. She opposes the global gag rule and legislation that dismantles Roe v. Wade.

Kilroy told the Columbus Dispatch that "it's always a given that you're most vulnerable in your first re-election. I will be the first Democrat to hold the title of representative of Ohio's 15th in 40 years. I intend to keep that honor and distinction through hard work, through honorable service to the people of this district."


Kansas State Supreme Court Opinion Issued Friday in Relation to Ongoing Tiller Case

The Kansas State Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday in a lawsuit related to former Attorney General Phill Kline's conduct in an ongoing case with Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider who is one of the few late-term abortion providers in the US that serves women with troubled pregnancies and complicated health problems. The lawsuit sought to have Kline, who originally launched an investigation into Tiller’s practice in 2006, relinquish all medical records and be held in contempt of court. Though the ruling called Kline's conduct inexcusable, the only sanction against him is that he must deliver "a full and complete and understandable set of any and all materials gathered or generated by Kline and/or his subordinates in their abortion-related investigation and/or prosecution" to the Attorney General's office.

Current Kansas Attorney General Steve Six has criticized the investigation of Tiller by Kline, but has said the charges against Tiller should stand, according to the Associated Press. Tiller's attorney's filed a motion in September asking the court to either suppress evidence or dismiss the charges against Tiller because of alleged "outrageous" misconduct of the preliminary investigation into Tiller's practice by Kline and Eric Rucker, a state attorney.

Friday's opinion heavily criticized Kline's conduct: "Kline exhibits little, if any, respect for the authority of this court or for his responsibility to it and to the rule of law it husbands. His attitude and behavior are inexcusable, particularly for someone who purports to be a professional prosecutor. It is plain that he is interested in the pursuit of justice only as he chooses to define it."

Planned Parenthood of Kansas President Peter Brownlie told the Capital-Journal that "the court confirms what Planned Parenthood has said all along: Phill Kline is a zealot pursuing a lawless prosecution and misusing the people’s trust to advance a radical anti-choice political agenda."

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Chicago Sit In

A Rallying Point for Labor
--Lee Sustar reports from Chicago on how the struggle at Republic Windows & Doors took shape.

A FACTORY occupation in Chicago that began as a show of defiance by 250 workers has been transformed into a focus of national and international labor solidarity.

Grassroots activists, rank-and-file union members, labor leaders, members of Congress and Rev. Jesse Jackson have all come to Republic Windows & Doors factory just north and west of the city's downtown to show their support for the overwhelmingly Latino workforce.

In a matter of a few days, news of this fight has spread far and wide--even gaining the attention of President-elect Barack Obama, who declared that the workers' struggle was just.

The occupation of the Republic factory began December 5 when workers on the afternoon shift voted to stay in the plant rather than accept a shutdown on just three days' notice--and without the vacation pay or severance money mandated under federal and state law.

The workers, members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, were prepared to be arrested to make a statement about the Republic owners' violation of the law--and about the refusal of the company's main creditor, Bank of America (BoA), either to extend credit to the company to keep it operating or to make good on management's obligations to workers.

Republic workers are angry that BoA received $25 billion from the U.S. government as part of the Wall Street bailout--taxpayer money handed over to banks specifically to stimulate lending. Instead, the bank's Chicago managers were sitting on the money while Republic prepared to toss workers into the street and cut off their health insurance.

As a result, workers said, the decision to occupy was an easy one--whatever the consequences. Suddenly, an American factory occupation--something usually relegated to dusty labor history books about the 1930s and nostalgic speeches at union conventions--was a reality.


IF REPUBLIC'S owners considered calling the cops to evict the workers, they perhaps thought the better of it given their own obvious violation of the law.

Within a few hours, said UE International Representative Mark Meinster, the company reached an "understanding" with the union: Workers would keep the plant clean and safe, and a handful of company security guards would stay away from the cafeteria where the workers have set themselves up.

Workers have another very practical reason for guarding the plant--to make sure that management would no longer be able to move out critical equipment. In recent weeks, important and expensive gear had disappeared--including brand new presses that showed up on the loading dock one day, but were never installed.

"They said we were cross-docking," said Local 1110 Vice President Melvin Maclin, referring to the practice of taking delivery of items and shipping it out the same day. "In more than 20 years, they've never cross-docked." Maclin and other workers suspect that the owners are either selling off equipment or preparing to restart production in a separate, nonunion company--a practice perfected in the trucking industry in the late 1980s and adopted by other employers since.

Republic workers were determined it would not happen this time--not without a fight.

Hours into the occupation on Friday evening, local labor and immigrant rights activists began turning up at the plant's entrance with bags of takeout fried chicken, coffee and soda. Others who rushed over without stopping for food dug into their wallets instead, handing cash to union organizers to get more supplies. Meanwhile, more than a half-dozen TV news vans crowded the street outside as reporters prepared to do live broadcasts.

E-mail alerts, text messages and reports from the mainstream and independent media circulated around Chicago to promote a vigil to be held at Noon the next day. At the appointed hour, there were more than 300 union members and supporters on hand, as prayers gave way to an exuberant solidarity rally and fundraiser.

Rev. C.J. Hawking of the Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice committee led prayers--and revved up the crowd with her fiery pro-worker message. Several Republic workers spoke, explaining to the crowd why they decided to draw the line.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who had tried to broker a meeting between Republic management, BoA and the union--the owners didn't show--was the featured speaker.

"Somebody said to me, 'Those windows don't belong to them. What do you mean they're staying with them?'" Gutierrez told the crowd. "It seems to me that it was [the workers'] labor that put together those windows. It was their creativity, it was their work, their commitment to quality that made this company successful...Those windows belong to the workers until they are paid for."

Veterans of other labor struggles spoke--such as Rich Berg, president of Teamsters Local 743, who took office earlier this year after a long fight for democracy in a union notorious for corruption. Other speakers included James Thindwa, executive director of Chicago Jobs with Justice, and Jesse Sharkey, a delegate in the Chicago Teachers Union and member of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE), a union reform group. UE Western Region President Carl Rosen closed out the rally.


BY THAT afternoon, the Republic occupation was international news. The mainstream media, usually clueless where labor issues are concerned, got the essentials across: BoA has $25 billion of taxpayer money but it wants to cut off credit to a viable company and toss more than 250 workers on the streets.

Sunday morning saw Jesse Jackson bring 200 turkeys to workers as UE staff set up a food distribution system. "These workers deserve their wages, deserve fair notice, deserve health security," Jackson said at a press conference. "This may be the beginning of [a] long struggle of worker resistance, finally." U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky also arrived to tour the plant and pledge her support.

Barack Obama felt compelled to address the Republic struggle at his own press conference. "The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned," Obama said. "I think they're absolutely right, and understand that what's happening to them is reflective of what's happening across this economy."

While the political figures have dominated the media's attention, the crowded foyer of the plant has become a rolling solidarity meeting involving union members, social movement activists and students.

On Sunday, a young Chicago bus driver and union activist was there to show support--and make activists aware of the Chicago Transit Authority's attempts to eliminate mechanics' jobs.

Rich De Vries, business agent for Teamsters Local 705, visited the plant, as did Gerald Colby, president of the National Writers Union, who came as part of a delegation from the U.S. Labor Against the War national leadership meeting, held just outside Chicago over the weekend. "This struggle shows that working people are not going to be pushed around--that they are going to stand up for their rights--and that they have rights at the point of production," Colby said.

James Thindwa of Jobs with Justice made a similar point. "This is the end of an era in which corporate greed is the rule," he said. "This is the start of something new."

Originally appeared at Socialist Worker

From our Fabulously Feminist Friends at Feministing.com

Weekly Feminist Reader

New York judges can no longer bar people from changing their name to one that matches "the other gender."

Obama will reportedly push for ratification of the women's equal-rights treaty known as CEDAW, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Check out Sociological Images' series of posts on people of color in advertising.
On the high rate of cervical cancer in Nicaragua.

New media: Gawker lays off its lone female employee. Old media: Meet the Press will again be hosted by... a white dude. Totally shocking.

In Maine, the Senate president, House speaker, and attorney general are all women.

The Vatican still considers gay people criminals.

Shark-Fu on the conservative definition of "life" and "family."

Jessica Yee on native youth and the power and importance of native land.

Who was overlooked in the '100 Greatest Movie Characters' list? Women.

Obama's speechwriter and the "boys will be boys" defense of sexism.

Krista at Muslimah Media Watch on a truly bizarre fundraiser for Afghan women: the wine-bottle burqa. Just... wow.

How the child marriage rate in Nigeria relates to the prevalence of obstetric fistula.

Obama looks likely to appoint the first openly gay cabinet member.

Read Dan Barry's moving piece on hate crime in the wake of the election.

The New York Times reviews Alison Bechdel's new The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.

Renee remembers the women of École Polytechnique.

Ask Congress to Act Now: Reimbursement for Birth Centers

Support Antigone magazine by buying their 2009 calendar, Dreams for Women.

Action Alert: Empowering Women & Girls Against HIV/AIDS

The DC Abortion Fund is seeking emergency donations.

Sign the petition asking the Obama administration to be a pro-breastfeeding administration.

Teen Voices is looking for volunteers.

Call for papers: Representing Disability and Emotion.

Call for papers: The Palin Factor: Political Mothers and Public Motherhood in the 21st Century

Make a donation to help Cara and Marcella make it to this year's Women Action and the Media conference.

Become an ongoing supporter of Bitch by joining the B-Hive.

Join a live chat at RH Reality Check about the future of reproductive health, December 17.

Son of Nun in Chi-Town--Go to this show.....

As folks may know, Son of Nun has been barnstorming the country this past fall, and will be wrapping it right here in Chicago on December 13th.

Word of the tour has been of good-sized crowds and positive responses. It's hardly surprising that events of the past few months have turned out an increase in young heads looking for ideas to move them.

SON will be appearing with local Chicago MC Phillip Morris and Kevin Coval, who has appeared on HBO's Def Poets. Spinning the beats that night will be Selector Vanessa Beck.

Doors will open at the Viaduct Theatre at 7pm. Tickets are $10, but solidarity donations are also encouraged, as this will be a fundraiser for Haymarket Books, an independent publisher dedicated to social and economic justice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A bit of silliness....

funny pictures of cats with captions

more animals

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Voice of a Movement: Odetta, Activist and Singer, Dies at 77

The Voice of a Movement: Odetta, Activist and Singer, Dies at 77
by Alexander Billet

Odetta, the woman Martin Luther King dubbed "the Queen of American folk music," died on December 2nd at the age of 77. Whether it was folk, jazz, blues or soul--and she sang them all--her unmistakeable voice never failed to cut to the quick. Normally, it's a stretch to say that "music can change the world," but in Odetta's case, an exception can be made. When Rosa Parks was asked which songs meant the most to her, she said "all the songs Odetta sings." Inspiration like that is truly rare.

Her songs were crucial in forging the alliance between the 1960s folk revival and the civil rights movement. She was born Odetta Holmes in Birmingham, Alabama in 1930, on the cusp of the Great Depression. In 1937, her mother moved the family to Los Angeles, where she was noticed by classical music teachers for her unique voice and talent.

During high school she studied theatrical singing, and at 19 she landed a part in the musical Fianian's Rainbow. While on tour in San Francisco she discovered her life's calling in the city's vibrant juke-joints and bohemian coffeehouses. "We would finish our play, we'd go to the joint, and people would sit around playing guitars and singing songs. And it felt like home."

Though the path to a career in Hollywood and Broadway was open to her--or as open as it could be in segregated America--she felt her place was singing the songs of work and struggle that she had been exposed to as a child:

"In the classical music I was singing things like 'oh, swallow, swallow, flying, flying south'... it was a nice excercize but it had nothing to do with my life. The folk songs were the anger, the venom and the hatred of myself and everybody else and everything else... They were liberation songs! You're walking down life's road, society's foot is on your throat, every which way you turn you can't get from under that foot. And you reach a fork in the road and you can either lie down and die, or insist upon your life."

By the early 1950s, she had become a prominent figure in the folk revival. In 1956 she released her first solo album, Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, a collection of her version of acoustic folk and blues. The influence this album would have in the next wave of folk was immense. Bob Dylan had listened to the album before coming to Greenwich Village in the late-50s, and later claimed it was Odetta's music that made him trade in his electric guitar for an acoustic. Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Phil Ochs would claim similar influences.

In 1963, at the apex of the folk revival, she sang at the front of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom for a crowd of 250,000. It was here that she performed now-legendary versions of "Oh Freedom," "On My Way" and "We Shall Overcome." All of them, especially "Overcome," became anthems of the civil rights movement.

Though few of the songs she recorded in her almost 60-year career were originals, Odetta never failed to make them her own. Her powerful voice and heart-rending arrangements brought the songs to life. She sang with an operatic range that still never lost the gritty intensity of each songs' reality. The stilted and academic way that music is taught today turns "folk songs" into relics, bereft of all their social context and emotional impact. Odetta's versions leave no question, however, that these are songs borne in the collision of anger and hope, sadness and joy, an oppressive world and the desire for justice and equality.

As the 60s progressed, so did Odetta's range and influence. As the civil rights marches spurred the movement against the Vietnam War, the singer strongly spoke out against US involvement. Likewise, her selection of songs became more eclectic, strident and overt. In 1965, she covered "Masters of War" as well as several other songs by the young Dylan she had helped shape.

Odetta even performed a version of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" that brought her one-of-a-kind sensibility to it. Her experiments with jazz would provoke artists of that genre like Charlie Haden and Archie Shepp to push their own boundaries, and continue exploring the nexus between the musical and political.

As the decades progressed, Odetta's work regrettably faded from public view. But that didn't mean that her soulful songs lost any relevance. Case in point would be her post-Katrina version of "House of the Rising Sun." Hearing her slow, deep, smoky voice sing of "a house in New Orleans" is almost impossible to do without being brought to tears.

She continued to perform and record in later life despite her age and declining health. After Barack Obama's victory in the November elections, she was the first artist selected to perform at his inauguration. That Odetta will not get to that performance is truly tragic.

And yet, the affect she had on popular music is something we can't lose. Odetta's songs gave a voice to a movement whose moment had been a long time coming, and remind us that there are more of those moments on the horizon. She showed us that music does not come from the desire for profit or fame, and that it belongs to no single person. It belongs to anyone who believes that human beings deserve all the great and beautiful things in life.


Published at Slept On Magazine. Check these folks out, they do great work!!!

Alexander Billet is a music journalist and activist living in Chicago. He is a regular contributor to SleptOn.com, Znet, and Socialist Worker. His article on censorship in hip-hop appears in the recently published At Issue: Should Music Lyrics Be Censored for Violence and Exploitation? from Greenhaven Press. His blog, Rebel Frequencies, can be viewed at http://rebelfrequencies.blogspot.com/, and he can be reached at rebelfrequencies@gmail.com.

2009 Pro-Choice Lobby Day is Thursday, February 5!

We need YOU to help protect access to reproductive health care in Virginia.
Join Planned Parenthood in Richmond to lobby your state legislators, see votes and testimony on important issues at committee hearings, and gather with hundreds of pro-choice Virginians from around the state! No experience is necessary - training provided at lobby day.

Ride with us to Richmond! Planned Parenthood buses will depart from locations throughout the state. Please register to receive information and find out about a bus leaving from a location near you.

What: Virginia Pro-Choice Lobby Day
When: Thursday, February 5, 2009
Where: State Capitol in Richmond
Why: To protect access to reproductive health and choice

We are working on the finalized lobby day schedule but lobby day activities will include:

  • Morning welcome, legislative training and breakfast
  • Visits with your legislators
  • Attending key committee meetings to hear critical legislation
  • Breakout sessions on this year's hot issues
  • Rally with pro-choice Virginians
  • Spending the day with hundreds of pro-choice Virginians!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prop 8 The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

This is soooooo great!!!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fabulously Feminist Poetry

haphazardly parked on brady street
too close to the white line

carefree mental boxes drone on
driving to places i will never see
driven by beautiful boys
i will never know

on gum stained sidewalk
people meander by
soaking up the winter sun
walking their dogs
smoking their cigarettes
examining the bmw

my coffee is gone
my eyes bloodshot
wearily i light my last djarum
filling my lungs
exhaling its sweetness

unconsciously i pick
at the lavender armor
adorning my stubby nails
unknowingly defacing
my assertion to the world
that I have yet to completely
conferred to the conformity
demanded of me
by my esteemed institute
of higher learning

the establishment
which will ultimately
propel my existence
down the path
of righteousness
in which i too
can own my own bmw
park too close to the white line
and never again wear
lavender nail polish

Ain't I a Woman?

by Sojourner TruthDelivered
1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.


I'm working on a paper about Sojourner Truth and this is an important speech for feminists and nonfeminists alike.

From our Fabulously Feminist Friends at Feministing.com

Dim Star in Dallas

The National Hockey League has decided today that using your position as a professional athlete to prove your "masculinity" by verbally trashing a woman will not be tolerated .

Dallas Stars player, Sean Avery was suspended today indeinfitely for seeking out a camera in order to deal with his own insecurities. Calling an opponent's current girlfriend his "sloppy seconds" in an interview caused outrage today in Calgary, AB Canada as well as strongly worded statements from the hockey community. Nothing like trying to prove your "manliness" by putting down your ex-girlfriend in public for no apparent reason.

I do like that the NHL didn't hesitate to suspend Avery, and how the team owner, Tom Hicks seconded the decision, stating, "I completely support the league's decision to suspend Sean Avery. Had the league not have suspended him, the Dallas Stars would have. This organization will not tolerate such behavior, especially from a member of our hockey team. We hold our team to a higher standard and will continue to do so."

Sad that 'higher standard' = decency, but the swiftness of the decison is appreciated.
Now if only there could be something done to discourage this kind of behaviour before it happens...and if only MTV would avoid giving this dude more glorifying airtime for lame behaviour...


Walgreens harasses woman buying Plan B

Consumerist brings us a story out of Oxford, MS, where a woman buying Plan B - which is sold over-the-counter to women over 18 years old - was harassed by the pharmacy staff when she tried to purchase the contraceptive.

She said the pharmacy worker started asking for proof of insurance in order to get the pill. My girlfriend refused and asked to speak to someone in charge. The pharmacist then came, and my girlfriend told him she simply wanted Plan B and that her ID should be good enough. The pharmacist then went about getting the pill, but they also seem to have a policy, a lá abortion clinics, of forcing a waiting period of an hour and giving adoption literature to the person requesting the contraceptive. Now, Plan B is just an additional spermicide, not an abortion pill, but that's another can of worms. In the end, my girlfriend demanded the Plan B immediately, and she got it, but not without a fair amount of interference on Walgreens' part. They also insisted on writing down her driver's license number. (Editor's Note: Plan B is not a spermicide, but that's besides the point.)

Proof of insurance? Adoption literature?! And writing down her driver's license number...it's all just too much. Something tells me this woman isn't the only one to be given a hard time about buying this legal contraceptive - and I'm betting not all women who went there knew that they didn't have to put up with this bullshit.

You can contact the Oxford Walgreens at (662) 513-0894 if you want to tell them what's what.

I'd also encourage folks to call the corporate offices and tell them that store number 7757 is harassing women trying to buy Plan B. You can also call them at (877) 250-5823 and ask about their company policy regarding birth control and how they make sure that their pharmacists aren't denying women medication.

Don't let them get away with this.

16 Days for Women's Rights

Many women live with indescribable fear when walking out their front door each morning. Fears of being raped or becoming the victim of a violent crime plague their lives. Women are experiencing these fears in countries throughout the world.

Each year for 16 days, from November 25 (Elimination of Violence Against Women Day) through December 10 (Human Rights Day) we ask you to stand with us as we call for an end to violence against women.

The focus of this year's 16 days action is the International Violence against Women Act (IVAWA). Amnesty International, the ENOUGH Project and several other partner organizations are standing in support of this legislation aimed at ending violence against women worldwide.


» Ask your Representative to support I-VAWA

» Ask your Senator to support I-VAWA

Learn more:

Here's what the International Violence against Women Act would mean to women around the world:

  • Increased efforts to prevent violence against women during conflict and in humanitarian settings
    Increased pressure to find perpetrators and bring them to justice
    Strengthened capacity of women's organizations working to bring such perpetrators of violence to justice
  • Increased opportunities for women, free from violence, to seek testing or treatment for HIV/AIDS or disclose their HIV status without fear
  • Increased economic and educational opportunities that would reduce the vulnerability of women at risk of violence

» Find out more facts on the International Violence against Women Act


Center for Women's Global Leadership
REPORT: It's time to put an end to violence against women on November 25
UNIFEM: United Nations Development Fund for Women
REPORT: Neither violence against women nor poverty are inevitable

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fabulously Feminist News

Today is 20th Anniversary of World AIDS Day

Worlds AIDS Day is being commemorated globally today with HIV/AIDS testing initiatives, awareness drives, and fundraising efforts. Since its discovery in the early 1980s, AIDS has killed over 25 million people and today 3.3 million are living with HIV worldwide. A United Nations report (see PDF) released earlier this year indicated that the percentage of AIDS deaths worldwide has decreased 10% though the prevalence of new infections is steady at 2.7 million per year.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation coordinated a 'One Million Tests' campaign that coordinates with World AIDS Day and seeks to test over one million people worldwide for HIV/AIDS with the assistance of more than 1,000 partner organizations. A study released last week by the World Health Organization confirms the benefits of universal testing and early treatment. This study found that annual voluntary universal HIV/AIDS testing and treatment with antiretroviral drugs immediately upon diagnosis could reduce HIV cases by up to 95 percent worldwide in 10 years, according to the Washington Post.

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, said in a statement on this year's World's AIDS Day that "empowerment is critical for an effective response, and most especially so for prevention. We must do much more to empower adolescent girls and women, both to protect themselves and to act as agents of change….In many countries, legal as well as social and cultural barriers prevent groups at risk from receiving the interventions and knowledge needed to reduce harmful behaviors."


Middle East's First Women Demining Team Trained

A demining team of 15 women, which is the first all-female demining team in the Middle East, began work yesterday detecting and removing landmines in northern Jordan. A second team of women will begin in February 2009. The women, who were trained and contracted by

Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), will work alongside all male teams to remove approximately 136,000 landmines along the Jordanian/Syrian border, according to Agence France Presse.

Each woman will earn benefits and a monthly salary equivalent to $760Lini Gazi, a spokeswoman for NPA, told Irin that "we want to show everybody that women can do anything men do." Walaa Andali, one of the newly trained deminers, told the AFP that "I know that removing landmines is going to be dangerous and might cost me my life, but at the same time, this job is feasible and might help me start my professional life."

According to The National, 50 people were injured and 3 were killed in Jordan by landmines between 2005 and 2007. In addition to posing physical threats to civilians, landmines also have economic implications because they prevent land development.


Indiana Chapter of Planned Parenthood to Offer Gift Certificates

Planned Parenthood of Indiana will offer gift certificates for their services this holiday season. The Indiana state vice president of PPFA told Indiana's CBS 10 that the decision to offer the certificates is in part because of the economic downturn: "People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table, so we know that many women especially put healthcare at their bottom of their list to do." Nearly 800,000 in the state do not have health insurance, according to the Associated Press.

PPFA of Indiana offers a range of basic health care services including annual exams that include pap smears and breast exams, dispensing of birth control prescriptions, as well as abortion services.

The gift certificates have drawn criticism from anti-choice forces. The Office for Pro-Life Ministry for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana Right to Life, and the American Life League are among the groups who have denounced the gift certificates. However, Dr. Judy Monroe, Indiana’s health commissioner, has called the certificates a "really a meaningful gift," according to the Washington Times.

Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPFA of Indiana responded in the Washington Times to charges that the certificates promote abortion: "an abortion is a tragic and urgent situation in a women's life, and gift certificates don't lend themselves to that." She also said that "even a gift certificate of $25 goes a long way toward what's potentially a life-saving but certainly just essential, basic health care for a loved one." Only 5,000 of the 92,000 patients seen annually by PPFA of Indiana receive abortion services.


Fabulously Feminist Conferences

From our Fabulously Feminist Friends at Feministing.com

Please check the a new series, "You voted, now what?" by Wiretap Magazine and the Nation highlighting the huge bump in youth energy, engagement and organizing through the Obama campaign and election and inspired by the hope that young people will embark upon a life-long careers in public service.

Here is a promo explaining the series, "You voted, now what?"

Check it out and spread the word. One way we can hold Obama accountable is demand the resources we need to keep organizing, along with stay involved ourselves.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Haiti: No protection for girls against sexual violence

27 November 2008

(Haiti) The government of Haiti is failing to protect the country’s girls against rape and sexual violence, Amnesty International said today, as it launched a report calling for authorities to recognise the severity of the problem and to fulfil its duty to protect young women.

Fifty five per cent of the 105 rapes reported so far this year were of girls aged under 18. This is according to one of the few organizations which records the number of sexual attacks on women and girls. Last year the same organization recorded 58 per cent of rapes or sexual violence involving girls aged between 19 months and 18 years. Crucially, however, the real scale of the problem is not fully known because of a lack of central figures.

Amnesty International said the police unit in charge of protecting minors, the Minors’ Protection Brigade (Brigade de Protection des Mineurs), is woefully under-staffed. In March 2008, the unit had only 12 officers to cover the entire country with not one vehicle at its disposal. If complaints are investigated, the organization said, the response of the justice system is weak and largely ineffectual.

“Sexual violence against girls, and in particular rape, is pervasive in Haiti and it can no longer be ignored,” said Gerardo Ducos, Amnesty International’s Caribbean Researcher.

“The Haitian government does not fulfil its obligations to protect girls. Given the lack of official help, it is perhaps not surprising that most of those who rape and attack girls are not brought to justice and are able to continue committing these crimes with no fear of punishment. For many girls, surviving sexual violence means keeping silent.”

The organization said that, while widespread reports of groups of armed men raping women started under the military regime between 1991 and 1994, it has now become a common practice among gangs of young men, especially in the run up to Carnival each year.

While Amnesty International recognised the country’s National Plan to Combat Violence Against Women as a step forward, it urged the Haitian authorities to implement it effectively and to fulfil their obligations under regional and international human rights law.

"We recognize that the government faces serious challenges. It is trying to strengthen development, good governance, and the rule of law - none of which could be fully achieved without the protection of girls' and women's rights,” said Gerardo Ducos.

“Leaders must address the lack of confidence in the police and the justice system so girls can rely on them when they’re seeking help and redress. There must also be a coordinated way to collect information across Haiti to measure the nature and extent of violence against girls and women and to make these results public in both official languages. The government must not turn its back on the girls of Haiti."

Amnesty International is highlighting this sexual violence in Haiti as part of its Safe Schools for Girls project within the campaign Stop Violence Against Women. The Safe Schools for Girls project is founded on the belief that the violence that girls face as they pursue their education violates their fundamental human rights. If violence against school girls goes unpunished this sends out a message to other children and society at large that violence against women and girls is acceptable and that suffering violence in silence is the norm.


This report ‘Don’t Turn Your Back on Girls: Sexual violence against girls in Haiti’ is based on research carried out by Amnesty International and interviews carried out during visits to Haiti by Amnesty International researchers in September 2007 and March 2008. Girls’ names have been changed in this report in order to protect their privacy and ensure that their security is not compromised.

Haiti is one of the few countries in the Americas region which doesn’t have specific legal provisions addressing domestic violence.

The report was launched as part of a series of workshops by Amnesty International representatives in Haiti, and as part of a global campaign of actions about women’s rights, around Women Human Rights Defenders Day on 29 November 2008.

The Stop Violence Against Women campaign pushes for the implementation of existing laws that guarantee access to justice and services, calls for new laws to be enacted that will protect women's human rights, demands an end to laws that discriminate against women, and urges the ending of violence against women perpetrated by a state and its agents.The Safe Schools for Girls project recognises that no violence against girls is justifiable and all such violence is preventable.

When girls are denied their right to education, this is often linked to other human rights violations. For example, if girls are denied their right to adequate housing by being forcibly evicted from their homes, they may not be able to attend school. If their right to the highest attainable standard of health is violated, for example if they are denied essential medication, this will adversely affect their educational opportunities. If girls are not protected from physical, psychological and sexual violence, the effect is to undermine their right to education, as well as their right to freedom from violence. Girls who are subjected to violence report that they have difficulty learning, find that their sense of self-worth is diminished, and may drop out of school altogether. Once they leave the formal education system, most will never return.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fabulously Feminist News

Emily's List Executive Director Named White House Communications Director

11/26/2008 - Ellen Moran, Executive Director of Emily's List since 2005, was named as the next White House Communications Director by President-Elect Barack Obama Saturday. Obama also revealed who will fill other key positions on his communications team. Robert Gibbs, the Obama campaign's communications director, will be Press Secretary and Daniel Pfeiffer, an Obama campaign spokesman and communications director for the transition, will be Deputy Communications Director, according to the New York Times.

Moran's selection is being called a 'surprise' in the media because she is not part of Obama's inner circle and because Emily's List strongly supported Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary contest.

In a statement, Emily's List President and Founder Ellen R. Malcom said: "We are delighted that Ellen Moran has accepted the position of Communications Director at the White House. I know she will do an excellent job for President-elect Obama, just as she has done for EMILY's List and Democratic women around the country. As Executive Director for the past two election cycles, Ellen has done a phenomenal job. She deserves tremendous credit for leading EMILY's List this election cycle as we elected the second largest group of Democratic women in American history. She has been a stalwart ally and true friend for me and I will miss working with her on a daily basis."


Florida's Gay Adoption Ban Ruled Unconstitutional by Circuit Court

11/26/2008 - A circuit court judge ruled Tuesday that a law banning gay and lesbian people from adopting children in Florida is unconstitutional. Judge Cindy S. Lederman ruled that the law violated the equal protection guarantees of the state constitution as well as the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, a federal law that seeks to ensure the safety and well-being of children in the welfare system and protect children's right to permanency. According to the New York Times the state attorney general's office plans to appeal the decision and the case could reach the Florida Supreme Court.

In her ruling, Judge Lederman wrote: "There is no question, the blanket exclusion of gay applicants defeats Florida's goal of providing dependent children a permanent family through adoption....The best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption," according to CNN.

This ruling comes at the heels of a defeat for gay adoption rights advocates in the November elections when a ballot measure that bans unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children was approved by voters in Arkansas. The measure aims to ban gay and lesbian couples from being foster or adoptive parents, but also applies to unmarried heterosexual couples. A similar ban is in place in Utah, where all unmarried couples are barred from adopting or fostering children.

In response to the Florida ruling, Martin Gill, who was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in the suit said that "Our family just got a lot more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving....We are extremely relieved that the court has recognized that it is wrong to deny our boys the legal protections and security that only come with adoption." Gill and his partner seek to adopt two brothers, ages four and eight, who they have raised since 2004.


International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

11/25/2008 - Today marks the United Nations' (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. According to the
UN, at least one in three women worldwide "has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime." The economic costs of domestic violence in the United States alone exceed more than $5.8 million each year.

Ines Alberdi, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) outlined in her statement today the key measures that the UN seeks to put in place to combat violence against women worldwide: "prompt police response, health and legal services, free of charge, for poor women and girls; shelter and safe options for women surviving or fleeing life-threatening situations; national hotlines available 24-hours a day to report abuse and seek protection; basic front-line services for emergency and immediate care for women and girls who have suffered abuse and rape; and accountable judiciary and national action plans to end discrimination and promote equality." UNIFEM announced yesterday that they will award $19 million in grants for 23 projects in 29 countries that aim to reduce gender-based violence.

Earlier this year, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched a campaign during the UN's 52nd Commission on the Status of Women that seeks an to end violence against women through implementing the aforementioned measures. The campaign, called UNite to End Violence against Women, will run until 2015 and calls for the cooperation of the UN, national governments, and society in general to end global violence against women.


New YWCA Survey Indicates Women’s Priorities for the Obama Administration

11/24/2008 - The YWCA released a new survey today entitled: "What Women Want: A National Survey of Priorities and Concerns". According to their press release, the survey (see PDF) interviewed 1,000 women between 18 and 70 years old by phone nationwide.

The findings indicate generational differences between younger women (18-29) and older women, namely that younger women are more concerned than older women about discrimination based on race or religion. Seventy-seven percent of women under 30 name civil rights and racial justice as top priorities for the Obama administration compared to a little over half of the older women surveyed. However, the survey indicated agreement across generations on naming violence against women as another top priority. Close to 75 percent of women want Obama to address violence against women in his first-year in office.

Lorraine Cole, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA USA, explained the generation gap on racial issues to the Associated Press: "Older women have seen more progress and are therefore more optimistic about racial status, race relations and racial justice issues in this country, so that may be part of the explanation." She added, "Young women do not have that firsthand knowledge, but only go on their personal experiences and experiences of women like them."

The YWCA survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, has a +/-4 margin of error.

Brought to you by:

Buy a cow, Change the World

To buy a cow, chickens, bees, etc. for a girl or woman, go to:

Fabulously Feminist Poetry

by Fabulously Feminist

They nicknamed me Barbie
An American icon
I didn't have her perky breasts
I didn't have her dream house
Or a boyfriend named Ken
But what I had
Like Barbie
Was a coy, painted on grin
Vague blue eyes
That never glittered
In approval of anything

They called me Barbie
Because I danced through the world
Hiding behind synthetic blond hair
Created from a bottle of
Clairol Sun Kiss Blond

I was Mattel's version of
Hitler's Aryan dream child
Able to charm the masses

And so I led them
the gentle lambs followed

They called me Barbie
Isn't that who every little girl
Wants to be?
Every girl wanted to be me
Every boy wanted to fuck me
It never occurred to me to mind

In the night
I still hear them calling
In the abstract dream world of
Junior High
I awake with a shudder
For kissing boys too soon
And making the girls aspire to be like me
A Barbie

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bra for the boys an online bestseller in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Who said bras are only for women? A Japanese online lingerie retailer is selling bras for cross-dressing men and they've quickly become one of its most popular items.

Since launching two weeks ago on Rakuten, a major Japanese web shopping mall, the Wishroom shop has sold over 300 men's bras for 2,800 yen ($30) each. The shop also stocks men's panties, as well as lingerie for women.

"I like this tight feeling. It feels good," Wishroom representative Masayuki Tsuchiya told Reuters as he modeled the bra, which can be worn discreetly under men's clothing.

Wishroom Executive Director Akiko Okunomiya said she was surprised at the number of men who were looking for their inner woman.

"I think more and more men are becoming interested in bras. Since we launched the men's bra, we've been getting feedback from customers saying 'wow, we'd been waiting for this for such a long time'," she said.

But the bra, available in black, pink and white, is not an easy sell for all men.

The underwear has stirred a heated debate online with more than 8,000 people debating the merits of men wearing bras in one night on Mixi, Japan's top social network website.

From Yahoo News

Check this messed-up shit out.....

From the wonderful crew at feministing.com....

The American Family Association has a new DVD out, "They're Coming to Your Town," so you can learn the "strategies used by gay activists" and avoid gay infiltration in YOUR town!

Yes, really.

I love how they show video shots of activists from afar like it's fucking National Geographic. Don't get too close, they're contagious!! This kind of stuff is proof of just how batshit crazy these people are. I really don't know whether to laugh or cry.

It could happen to your town.

Man: They've come out of the closet.

AFA presents a look at how a handful of homosexual activists infiltrated the Eureka Springs, Arkansas government and changed the very moral fiber of the city.

Man 2: They're taking over a place that has been known for its Christianity.

Man 1: They branded us as fundamentalists, as Christian hate bigots -

Man 2: Once homosexual activists get into power, they're not too tolerant toward other people.

Learn the strategies used by gay activists and don't let this happen to your city. This DVD is a must-teaching tool - watch, and learn how to fight a well-organized gay agenda to take over the cities of America, one city at a time.

Man 3: If it hasn't happened in your town, get ready, because it is going to happen.

Show it at home, in Sunday schools, Bible studies and community groups. Purchase your copy, or a 5 pack to share with others today, and spread the news - They're Coming To Your Town.




Love Her or Hate Her Clinton Is Said to Accept Secretary of State Position

From The New York Tiems
Published: November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat to become secretary of state in the Obama administration, making her the public face to the world for the man who dashed her own hopes for the presidency, confidants of Mrs. Clinton said Friday.

The accord between the two leading figures of the Democratic Party was the culmination of a weeklong drama that riveted the nation’s capital. President-elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton fought perhaps the most polarizing nomination battle in decades, but in recruiting her for his cabinet, Mr. Obama chose to turn a rival into a partner, and she concluded she could have a greater impact by saying yes than by remaining in the Senate.

Her selection is still to be formalized and will not be announced until after Thanksgiving. It would be yet another direction in the unlikely journey of a onetime political spouse in Arkansas who went on to build a political base of her own and become a symbol of achievement to many women.

The role, though a supporting one, would make her one of the most influential players on the international stage, and it would represent at least one more act for one of the nation’s most prominent public families, as former President Bill Clinton would also become an ad hoc member of the Obama team.

The sometimes awkward dance between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in the eight days since he invited her to Chicago for a meeting culminated in a telephone call on Thursday. Before the call, Mrs. Clinton was skeptical about the prospect of joining the cabinet, said her confidants, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the situation. But Mr. Obama addressed her concerns about access, personnel and other issues, leading her to conclude she should take the job, they said.

“She’s ready,” one of Mrs. Clinton’s confidants said. The first meeting in Chicago “was so general” that she needed to have a better sense of how she would fit into Mr. Obama’s administration, and the call helped her “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together, the confidant said.

Mr. Obama’s advisers said that although no offer had been formally accepted, her nomination was “on track” and would probably be announced after the holiday. Mrs. Clinton’s Senate office broke a week of silence to acknowledge the talks but cautioned that they had not been made final.

“We’re still in discussions, which are very much on track,” said her spokesman, Philippe Reines. “Any reports beyond that are premature.”

Mr. Obama wants to announce the members of his national security team at once. Advisers said he was weighing whether to make retired Gen. James L. Jones, a former Marine commandant and NATO supreme commander, his national security adviser, installing a formidable counterweight to Mrs. Clinton. The president-elect was still trying to decide whether to keep Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on an interim basis or install another choice to run the Pentagon right away.

The choice of Mrs. Clinton pleased many in the Democratic establishment who admire her strength and skills, and they praised Mr. Obama for putting the rancor of the campaign behind him. “Senator Clinton is a naturally gifted diplomat and would be an inspired choice if she is chosen by President-elect Obama as secretary of state,” said Warren Christopher, who held that job under her husband.

But it could also disappoint many of Mr. Obama’s supporters, who worked hard to have him elected instead of Mrs. Clinton and saw him as a vehicle for changing Washington. Mr. Obama argued during the primaries that it was time to move beyond the Clinton era and in particular belittled her claims to foreign policy experience as a first lady who circled the globe.

Advisers said Mr. Obama concluded after the election that the problems confronting the nation were so serious that he needed Mrs. Clinton’s stature and capabilities as part of his team, notwithstanding their past differences. The bitterness that inhabited the Obama team for much of the year has faded with time, advisers said.

And many of the aides working on the transition with Mr. Obama are not campaign veterans with scars from the primaries, but rather former Clinton administration officials like Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, and John D. Podesta, the transition co-chairman, who admire Mrs. Clinton.

For Mrs. Clinton, becoming secretary of state would require her to sacrifice the independence that has come with a Senate seat and the 18 million votes she collected in the primary season. She has found it liberating the last eight years to speak for herself, not as someone’s spouse. But friends said she could still have her voice while subordinating her ambitions to Mr. Obama’s agenda.

“Hillary Clinton will always be seen as her own person,” said Mickey Kantor, a longtime friend who served as commerce secretary in her husband’s administration. “But you know, Hillary Clinton’s a terrific lawyer. She knows how to represent a client, and she’s good at it. And I don’t have any doubt in my mind that she’ll be a team player.”

Mrs. Clinton had to accept that she might never become president, a former aide said. “There’s a very small chance that she could run again,” he said. “You’re not going to be the president, so you want to make sure your next few years, which may be your last in public life, really make a mark.”

Two advisers to Mrs. Clinton said she was concerned about establishing her role in the administration before agreeing to the job. She wanted assurances that she would have direct access to Mr. Obama and not need to go through a national security adviser, they said. And she wanted the authority to pick her own staff at the State Department.

This was particularly important because her relationships with members of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy team fractured during the bruising primary season. Gregory B. Craig, a longtime friend of the Clintons who broke with them to back Mr. Obama and helped savage her foreign policy background during the primaries, was selected as White House counsel and removed from direct involvement with the secretary of state.

Mrs. Clinton wanted to avoid the situation that faced another celebrity chosen as secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, who found hawks like John R. Bolton given top jobs under him after he took the job under President Bush.

“Powell had to take neocons like Bolton, and that just created problems,” said one Clinton adviser. “On the other hand, it would be dreadful if only Clinton loyalists worked at State and Obama loyalists at the N.S.C.,” the National Security Council.

It is also not clear how Mrs. Clinton’s selection would affect the role and influence of Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., whose expertise in foreign policy was a main reason Mr. Obama chose him for the job.

Another complication was Mr. Clinton, whose extensive business and philanthropic activities around the world could pose conflicts of interest. Lawyers for both sides spent days combing through his finances and crafting guidelines for his future activities.

People close to the vetting said Mr. Clinton turned over the names of all 208,000 donors to his foundation and library and agreed to every condition requested by Mr. Obama’s transition team, including restrictions on his paid speeches and his role at his international foundation. The lawyers agreed to notify all of the donors that their identities would be revealed to the Obama team, but it was not clear if they would all be made public.

Mrs. Clinton would bring a distinctive background to the State Department. As first lady, she traveled the world for eight years, visiting more than 80 countries, not only meeting with foreign leaders but also visiting villages, clinics and other remote areas that rarely get on a president’s itinerary.

While Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama agree most of the time on foreign policy, during the campaign she made a point of highlighting their differences, seeking to paint him as unsophisticated. Now those differences will be brought into stark relief as she seeks to become into Mr. Obama’s emissary to the world.

On Iran, for instance, Mrs. Clinton staked a position during the primaries to the right of Mr. Obama. She voted in favor of a measure more hawkish than what even most of the Bush administration had been willing to venture, asking Mr. Bush to declare Iran’s 125,000-member Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization. Mr. Obama did not show up to vote that day but said that if he had, he would have opposed the bill.

Many Iran experts criticized the bill, saying it was similar to Iran’s declaring the United States military a terrorist organization because it carried out Mr. Bush’s orders. Even some members of the Clinton campaign’s foreign policy team at the time privately disagreed with the vote.

But the bigger fight between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama was over the issue of talking to Iran, which Mrs. Clinton could soon find at the top of her portfolio. When during a debate Mr. Obama termed “ridiculous” the notion of not talking to adversaries, Mrs. Clinton sharply criticized him, calling that position “irresponsible and frankly naïve.”

The difference between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama on the issue is more perception than reality, advisers to both now say. Mr. Obama has said he would have a lower-level envoy do preparatory work for a meeting with Iran’s leaders first, and Mrs. Clinton has said she favors vigorous diplomacy and lower-level contacts as well.

“She’s not against talking to enemies; it was a question of how it’s done,” said Martin Indyk, the former United States ambassador to Israel. “That was the critical issue.”

On Israel, the other chronic foreign policy issue that will bedevil the next secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton would bring baggage as well. She is seen as fiercely loyal to Israel, which can be both a plus and a minus, Middle East experts say.

While her pro-Israel record as a senator from New York might cause her to be viewed with suspicion in the Arab world, it could give her credibility to ask Israel to make tough choices for peace.


Wow. So, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this and how I feel about it. Would love to hear what other people think, so please, comment away.....