February 28, 2005

Clear Channel's programming shift

"Clear Channel spotted an opening in the market for liberal talk, and for big radio, the color of money isn't red or blue, but green."

Nancy Skinner is broadcasting out of Detriot for the new progressive station WDTW. Booked for a show she did out of Albany when I was at Talk Radio News. Go Skinner go!

February 25, 2005

Dulce para los ojos

Voy al cine esta noche para mirar la pelicula "Diarios de Motocicleta" por la segunda vez.

El revolucionario

"You become really grateful when you discover that you don’t know shit." -Gael Garcia Bernal

Women culture development paradigm in practice

Research shows that if you help women in the third world, you help everyone.

Same ideas we've been learning in my global 180A class. Excerpt from a paper I wrote on development:

In light of the failings of capitalist development, the prospects for elevating the standard of living in the Third World seem dim. Fortunately, there are encouraging signs that some forms of development are more positive and successful than others. Too often, the needs of Third World countries are not taken into account by foreign development directors. A newer paradigm which challenges modernization theory is the basic-needs definition, which takes a more human approach to development gives “greater emphasis on health and education, and identifying the equitable distribution of wealth and resources as a development goal and strategy” (Schech and Haggis, 12). This approach is attached to standards that transcends the material, and focus on more human aspects of well-being through the provision of basic needs, taking precedence before profit. This strategy is alive in the United Nations’ Human Development Index (Schech and Haggis, 13), and a number of grassroots development movements resisting profit-based development around the world. More than profits, subsistence is presented as an end to development.

While women often bare the brunt of failed development strategies, they also are frequently integral to successful strategies centered on basic-needs. In the midst of continuous battle between Israel and Palestine, women on both sides are working together towards the development of a civic democratic society, with peace as a central tenant of development (Perry and Schenck, 136). In Colombia, madres comunitarias are viewed as the local “globalization success story,” with their counterpart being the “technomuscular capitalism” (Talcott, 30). These women are shifting the ends of development from the export of capital to meeting the immediate needs of locals.

Women are shifting the debate, creating yet another new paradigm for the notion of development, “decentering production as the chief site of political, economic, and cultural analysis” (Talcott, 4), in opposition to President Truman’s definition emphasizing production and profits as the ends to development. This new understanding of development takes gender into consideration, and acknowledges the existence of development at the local level, often led by women, in conjunction with or resistance to top down development.

Vandana Shiva has said that “development is a beautiful word, suggesting evolution from within” communities organizing at the grassroots level (Shiva, 107). Admittedly, prior to considering development from the basic-needs, self-determinist approach, I had only seen it through an antiglobalist lens, and not considered its positive implications and its prospects for success if prescribed from the local level. It is suggested that development has the ability to provide an antidote to the ills of globalization (lecture, 1/13/05). In light of having been presented with new perspective on the meaning of development, I have a greater understanding of the discourse surrounding the process, and a new sense of confidence that if the knowledge of alternate forms of development is applied, development can act as a positive force of change for people of the Third World.


Why do we see so much more of this...

Condi's new boots are made for hawkin' (you don't have to tell me, I know that was good)

...than this?


Katie, a friend from Arkansas that I met in DC, called me the other night lamenting the fact that not one of her friends had even so much as heard of the genocide in Sudan. What's wrong here?

The next big independent media battle

Community internet. All communications will come through broadband within the next few years, and for accessibility reasons, it's vital to make internet a public utility rather than something subject to corporate control and high prices. Learn more from Free Press.

February 24, 2005

Bill Moyers

An article from the Star Tribune on how theocrats and ideologues are in charge in this country--not a new revelation, but Moyers gives frightening insight into the culture behind the rapture.

He's coming to UCSB Monday!

From Russia with Love

Thanks to Mariam for this one--Putin's expression says it all.

Bush and "Pootin," who seemed none too thrilled to receive a lecture on democracy from the man who touted living "in a country where decisions made by government are wide open and people are able to call people to me to account, which many out here do on a regular basis." Transparency of governance? Where?

"You liberals are utterly clueless about the hearts and motivations of the core of your opposition"

From Daily Kos--a conservative who wants liberals to know their opponent and win lays out a game plan.

February 23, 2005

Actual good news out of Iraq?

A timetable for withdrawl?

Orwell of the Day

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act!”

God's politics

Jim Wallis, author of NYTimes bestseller "God's Politics" on why moral politics is more about promoting peace and helping the poor than abortion or gay marriage.

If you say so, Mr. President

From the Progress Report:

"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. Having said that, all options are on the table."
– George W. Bush, 2/22/05


"Again, all options are on the table, and – but one thing I will not allow is a nation such as Iraq to threaten our very future by developing weapons of mass destruction."
– George W. Bush, 3/13/02

The gates in Central Park

Staring at the sun

Don't Bank on Amerika

This month marks the 35th anniversary of the Bank of America burning and riots in Isla Vista. The events of February 1970 were in protest of the Vietnam war, the firing of anti-establishment Professor Bill Allen, and followed the takeover of North Hall by black students who demanded equal treatment at the newly integrated campus.

Only things that are burned around here these days are couches.

Read/listen/watch our little ghetto by the sea's proud protest history. Featuring KCSB sound! (KCSB became the first media outlet in U.S. history to be shut down by the FCC as a result of their coverage of the riots)

February 17, 2005

Brooklyn bound

I'm off to New York--maiden voyage to the big city, time to connect with my roots...

Brooklyn Bridge

The only reason I wish I had cable

The Daily Show gives a nod to bloggers in beating the mainstream media to the punch on the Jeff Gannon/JD Guckert story.

Wi-Fi bonanza

Philly hopes to have wireless internet access as part of a pioneering municipal internet service. Not surprisingly, Verizon and Comcast are protesting that they'll lose customers to the public utility, and they're arguing that the "government doesn't do service well."

But it's acceptable that relaxed FCC rules have allowed service provider consolidation, meaning fewer choices for customers, and price increases tripling the rate of inflation?

Side note: I wish they had wi-fi on airplanes...I've got a 5 hour plane ride ahead of me tomorrow morning. Meh, maybe it's better I won't be near a computer, it'll give me a chance to catch up on reading.

No shit, Sherlock

"Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists," CIA Director Porter J. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment," Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate panel.

Could it be...the great Satan?!

And these words of confidence from Rummy:

"My job in the government is not to be the principal intelligence officer and try to rationalize differences between the Iraqis, the CIA and the DIA," Rumsfeld testified. "I see these reports. Frankly, I don't have a lot of confidence in any of them."

Appropriate, considering yesterday's warnings of an imminent attack (deja vu?):

"It may be only a matter of time before al-Qaida or other groups attempt to use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons," Goss said at the Senate Intelligence Committee's annual hearing on threats.

And he said the best way to ensure against another attack was to approve Bush's $82 billion dollar defense budget. After all, fear is a great motivator.

"I remain very concerned about what we are not seeing," Mueller said in remarks he submitted to the senators.

Pattern recognition, anyone? Let's not get duped again.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

February 16, 2005

Daily Dose of the Daily Show

"By the way, 'forest of turbans' in Arabic means 'sausage fest.'"

Great Daily Show video clip archive.

A bit too close to home...

I went to DC last semester through the Fund for American Studies "Capitol Semester Program." Thinking it wouldn't be much different than the University of California's UCDC program, and excited about interning and taking classes at Georgetown, I went for it. I was accepted right after I applied, and received a scholarship. It was almost too easy.

When I got to DC in September and arrived at my cushy apartment near Union Station about a block from Capitol Hill, this is what I found:

Your friendly neighborhood Heritage Foundation.

A bell rang when I was reading George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant:

"One of the think tanks is putting up a new building. It is going to be an eight-story building with a state-of-the-art media auditorium, and one hundred apartments for interns who cannot afford apartments in Washington."

Bingo. Johnson building.

My apartment was conjoined with the Heritage Foundation (for those of you who don't know it, it's the premier right wing think tank guiding Bush administration policy). I was in the belly of the beast, and I'm sure they snickered when they read my entrance essay on U.S. dependence on oil--"we'll show her" (the Fund had actually set aside scholarship money specifically for Californians).

To my surprise, the classes were not taught by Georgetown professors, but a free market economist from George Mason, a strict constuctionalist director of Constitutional studies from libertarian CATO, and a former professor who rejected the use of the word "pollution" (because that wouldn't be Orwellian enough). None of us in the program could figure that guy out (he's subsequently been replaced).

Needless to say, the classes had a distinct ideological stance, and I quickly became an expert on conservative, more specifically libertarian philosophy. Outside of my internship with Talk Radio News (which was the most rewarding part of the experience for me, and which kept me sane), I heard barely a peep about the left. I'm inclined to agree with this guy--though it was enlightening to get such a thorough introduction to the right, and the classes ultimately helped to strengthen my own arguments (not their intention, I'm sure) "the academic program espoused conservative ideas almost to the point of propagandistic indoctrination."

The classes were so far to the right because the Fund felt as though "liberal education" was getting too liberal, and they had to fight fire with fire.

This is precisely what's going on with the the Leadership Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a couple of the groups the Fund for American Studies is affiliated with. But there is little evidence to back up the claim that campuses are overly liberal. Here, like in "faith-based" public policy (which would seem like an oxymoron given the separation of church and state) and in the media, conservatives are in power, but they talk as though they are a marginalized group, and they try to play the victim card. It's an interesting strategy that they often employ, one that progressives need to combat much more effectively.

So naturally David Horowitz (my favorite--interviewed him at Talk Radio on his book Unholy Alliance; he actually said "the left hates America" and I had to turn off the mic and laugh. Filed the interview under "douchebag") is leading a crusade against the liberal campus invasion with Students for Academic Freedom and its Academic Freedom Abuse Center which was populated with complaints by students who said their teachers were anti-American. There were a number from Santa Barbara.

In contrasting my experience here with my experience in DC, I hear both sides of an issue a lot more in my global studies courses than I did from the DC libertarians. Left to the lectures and our course readings (Ayn Rand, Calhoun, Bovard) I would have not even known there was another side. The material was not presented as opinion, but indisputable fact. You wouldn't have known there was such thing as Keynesian economics unless you did outside research (which I did eventually, and discovered that ::gasp:: minimum wage and unions actually help not only low wage workers but the economy as well by funneling more capital into it!). I ultimately ended up doing well in the courses just by (regretfully) pandering to the professor's ideology while I watched as friends tried to argue the other side to no avail, receiving mediocre grades for more effort.

Interesting that these guys are guilty of the very same offenses they accuse the left of committing. If there is any justice, they won't make headway with their bill in the Ohio state senate.

One of my favorite words.

1. asshat
One who has their head up their ass. Thus wearing their ass as a hat. Asshat.

See also:

Not to be confused with donkey beanie. Posted by Hello

February 15, 2005

Court crusade

Posted by Hello

Pat Robertson, head of the Christian Coalition, warned Senate Democrats that they'd lose their jobs if they refused to confirm Bush's judicial nominees.

"Asked during an appearance at the National Press Club to name his top three moral issues, Robertson said, 'Judges, judges, judges.'" He then added a fourth moral issue--the blow dealt to veterans, the poor, woman and children, and the general population of the U.S. by Bush's "compassionate conservative" budget. No wait, scratch that--lesbian cartoons. Yea. That's more like it.

February 14, 2005

Ani tonight at the Arlington!!

Congresswoman DiFranco

the mainstream is so polluted with lies
once you get wet, it's so hard to get dry
we're all taught how to justify
as it passes by
and it's your world
that comes crashing down
when the big boys decide
to throw their weight around
but just roll with it baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear

what if the enemy
isn't in a distant land
what if the enemy lies behind
the voice of command
the sound of war
is a child's cry
behind tinted windows,
they just drive by
all I know is that those
who are going to be killed
aren't those who preside
on capitol hill
I told him,
don't fill the front lines
of their war
those assholes aren't worth dying for

-Roll With It

The dirt on Valentine's Day

Here's what it was before Hallmark capitalized on it...

"Valentine was a Christian priest martyred in the third century. Some legends said he was executed for defying an edict against conducting marriages for Roman soldiers, whom the emperor believed would fight better without family ties. In one account, Valentine fell in love with his jailor's daughter and wrote her a poignant goodbye letter signed "from your Valentine."

But when the church declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine's feast day in 498 A.D., it was not trying to celebrate romance. Rather, the Church wanted to replace the existing holiday, a festival honoring Juno, the Roman goddess of love and marriage. Church fathers probably hoped as well that a Valentine holiday would undercut the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which began each Feb. 15. According to Roman custom, on Feb. 14 - the night before Lupercalia - boys would draw names from a jar to find which girls would be their sexual partner for the rest of the year."

Ah those Romans and their free love.

I believe a similar mate-selecting ritual will happen tonight at the frats down the street...probably more cheap Vodka involved than in the Greco-Roman era though.

No, this is not a Jesus reference.

The Power of Nightmares

Audio of my story on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival screening of Adam Curtis' "The Power of Nightmares."

Good news for residents of La Conchita

Since moving the rubble will increase the likelihood of another slide, "residents...will be offered a package of federal loans and grants intended to help them move."

February 13, 2005

Yay Dean!

Give a buck to the DNC.

Contribution amount:

February 11, 2005



Heather B. on the mic.

Listen at 5pm PST, Monday thru Friday.

On a related note--hilarious Strongbad college radio parody! Maybe you had to be there.


Natural remedy

A recent study shows that an extract of St. John's Wort is more effective at treating depression than leading synthetic anti-depressants like Paxil.

Drug lobbies aren't gonna like this...

Quote of the Day

From the NYTimes:

"We will take care of the child. It is very difficult to love a janjaweed, but we will try to accept him as our own."
-MOHAMMAD, whose sister Ashta gave birth after being raped by a janjaweed militia fighter in Darfur, Sudan.

The America Prospect on how the U.S. is getting in the way of progress in Sudan:
"With this critical moment in Darfur presently before us, the administration’s principled objection to the ICC has transformed into an obstructionism that costs lives."

Nothin' but blue skies

Bush's environmentally unfriendly "Clear Skies Act" was written by the corporate lobbies that stand to benefit from further deregulation. No conflict of interest there.

February 10, 2005

This woman's got balls...literally

...and not in the way you might think.

"A British woman was sentenced to two and a half years in jail Thursday for ripping off her ex-lover's testicle with her bare hands during a drunken brawl after he refused her sex."


Quote of the Day

"Honestly, I can't tell you how much easier it is to squeeze votes out of these freshmen (lawmakers) or money out of big donors when they think if they say 'no,' I'm going to put a horse head in their bed or something."

-House Majority Leader Tom "I'm not short-sighted, it's just my eyelids" Delay

"You crapped on my heart!"

They aren't kidding when they say "she died of a broken heart."

"In a study published just in time for Valentine's Day, doctors reported how a tragic or shocking event can stun the heart and produce classic heart attack-like symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs."

You forgot Poland.

"Poland has been a fantastic ally because the president and the people of Poland love freedom."
-Commander in Thief, at his ambiguous rhetorical best. He continued by saying "Lithuania, on the other hand, loves oppression."

Bush has asked Congress for $400 million to fund a real Coalition of the Bribed.

On a happier note (some of the best news to come out of the White House in eons), Bush has asked Congress to triple tsunami relief to $950 million...though he was pretty late with it.

Oh Canada...

Wal-Mart union hopes dashed...

Always low prices, always at workers' cost.

Shiney Happy People

I don't know about you, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I read about how much America is loved and how many countries are lining up to for diplomatic relations with Bush internationally:

"The whole Iranian nation is united against any threat or attack. If the invaders reach Iran, the country will turn into a burning hell for them,'' he added, as the crowd, braving heavy snow blizzards, chanted "Death to America!.''

"North Korea on Thursday declared itself a de facto nuclear power, claiming in its strongest terms to date that it had "manufactured nuclear weapons" to defend itself from the United States and saying it would withdraw indefinitely from international disarmament talks."

Bush might ask "why do they hate us?" Condi has the answer:

"Pyongyang zeroed in on Dr. Rice's testimony last month in her Senate confirmation hearings, where she lumped North Korea with five other dictatorships, calling them "outposts of tyranny."

I prefer Rice-a-Condi

Condi ruffling French feathers

From the NYTimes, on Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's visit to France, the land of make-quiche-not-war :

"She shocked at least some of her guests by branding Iran a "totalitarian state," said four of those who took part. She added that the free world was wrong to accept the Soviet Union on its terms during the cold war and must not make the same mistake now with Iran, they added.

A number of guests challenged her assertion, but Ms. Rice is not the type to back down. She called her characterization of Iran deliberate. A year ago, she said, she would have called Iran's Islamic Republic authoritarian. But after flawed parliamentary elections last spring that produced a conservative majority, she said, it moved toward totalitarian, a term that historians tend to use restrictively to define violently absolutist regimes that govern through terror."

Flawed elections and a conservative majority...by her criteria, Washington's looking a bit like pre-WWII Stalingrad nowadays.

February 09, 2005

Blogs abuzz

Militantly homophobic "journalist" Jeff Gannon from Talon "news" has resigned after charges of military prostitution. This guy's the Bush administration peon who sucked up to McClellan and threw softballs when White House press conferences got too hard-hitting and uh, actually adhered to some semblance of a journalistic standard. There's also questions about his ties to the Valerie Plame scandal, in which the covert CIA agent's name was leaked by the press, allegedly in retaliation for her husband's charges that the Bush administration exaggered the Iraqi threat.

It's cool if you want to be a prostitute (though I'm thinking it's especially illegal to solicit yourself to the military), whatever floats your boat, but don't be a hypocrit by bashing gays in unison with (my favorite Senator) Rick Santorum (you really must check out that link...heh), and ESPECIALLY don't act like you're an honest objective journalist when you're really Bush's bitch. Great opportunity to knock the Bush White House off their moral highground, but I doubt the "liberal media" will jump on it as much as they did that stained blue dress.

It's my blog and I'll post if I want to

So I let my inbox fill up for the last few days, avoided reading blogs and the news, and set to paper writing for midterms. Man, look what happens when I don't keep on top of things--Bush crapped out one helluva disastrous budget (cuts to damn near everything but defense), and the Israelis and Palestinians declared peace (not).

I'm feeling too burnt out to post any meaningful commentary...I'm starting to worry that maybe this thing isn't quite evolving into the scholarly thing I had envisioned. Oh but I do love the satire. If this were a big deal blog like MyDD or Eschaton, maybe someone would complain. Happily, it's not, so I'm allowed to post whatever I please. And right now, I say to you, crappy Valentine's day. It may be 5 days away, but this was too good to pass up:

"Come Monday, as you pry open your fancy, red Russell Stover box, take heed," bin Laden said. "For in the place of tasty caramels and buttercreams, you will find the flaming sword of righteous jihad!"

Mmm...that reminds me, Valentine's day candy means soon there will be Easter candy, and Cadbury Mini eggs...

February 05, 2005

Quote of the Day

"[During the State of the Union Address] numerous Republican members of Congress pointed ink dipped fingers in a no way theatrical photo-opy show of solidarity with ordinary Iraqi citizens. They continued the solidarity by spending the rest of the night shitting in a bucket in a powerless hut." -Daily Show

I love Jon Stewart.

There's never enough time

Must disengage from the laptop today, got some serious reading to do for my women culture development midterm.

Thanks for the memories

Beautiful picture of a packed red line Metro train in DC on a snow day. Wish I could've been there. Thanks to Tequila Mockingbird for sharing it.

Oh red line train, how I miss you.

i'm waiting for the train
the subway that only goes one way
the stupid thing that will
come to pull us apart
and make everybody late

Don't Google...


I searched for my name, and this is what I got:

White Hizouse Gaggle By: Ellen Ratna N Heatha - Rap ...Home Pizzle - Rap Radio News Service thats off tha hook yo. News . Im crazy, you can't phase me. White Hizouse Gaggle . Aint no stoppin' this shit nigga. By: Ellen Ratna n Poser Heather so i can get mah pimp on. Schedule . I started yo shit and i'll end yo' shit. Tha President attended ...

Ha...if only Scott McClellan could spin his shit like that.

One more for Cola, the Canadian pig-o-phile

Couldn't resist, another thing worth posting that reminded me of you. This is turning into the blog for Cola. Feel free to comment this time, I fixed the settings so you don't have to be a member. Oink!


Rumsfeld acknowledges the possibility that he could be held accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a complaint last Nov. 30 naming 10 U.S. officials, including Rumsfeld and Gonzales. Though the U.S. isn't a member of the International Criminal Court, a statute of German law allows prosecution for war crimes, regardless of the defendant's location. Could there be justice?


This is what the rest of the world watched on inauguration day, while Washington toasted their $40 million dollar glorified frat party. This little girl is spattered with her parents' blood, after they were killed for not stopping their car when U.S. troops asked. The U.S. media is grossly negligent in selectively reporting on the wounds inflicted by this administration.

February 04, 2005

Fox News, synonymous with hypocrisy

I had my first exposure to TV in a month when I went out for a sushi lunch today. Happily, Fox News was on, immediately reminding me why I don't have cable. "Your World With Cavuto" was on, and Cavuto was puckering up to James Dobson of Family First/Protect Families from the Homosexual Invasion (or something like that). He was yaking about saving babies, how the words "tolerance" and "diversity" are used to justify evil, Spongebob's sexuality, and of course, protecting children from the media driven anti-Christian corruption of society. Nothing new there.

But after the interview, Cavuto switched gears and started talking about the Superbowl, and he brought on a couple of inarticulate women in glittering lace-up bras to discuss the "Lingerie Bowl" that's competing with a "Girls Gone Wild" special on PayPer View during halftime.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for lingerie and such, but it's just so asinine to hear these guys rant about morals, and then in almost the same breath, bring on the boobs. Reminds me of the time Fox aired an uncensored scene from a porno. Oh and the time Shep Smith said "blowjob" rather than "block party." Not to mention all their talk about "protecting marriage" (from what?!) as they air reality TV shows like "Married By America"and "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" and "I'll Marry You for Five Seconds But I'm Only Doing it for Your Money" etc. My friend Neil wrote a great piece on this.

That's all for my Fox rant. For now.

Off to see The Power of Nightmares...

Write speeches for W

Wish I had this pre-State of the Union. Way too much fun.

Forget that thing about the Big Bang...

"Peer back into the deepest recesses of the heavens, and discover that the latest images of the stars confirm an all powerful Creator, not a random bang!"

The Creation Museum. Heard about it a while ago, but still worth posting. Dinosaurs walking onto Noah's Ark? Mindblowing. I mean, the structural integrity of that thing! Such craftsmanship!

And on the 5th day, God insisted that everyone take the Bible word for word, especially the part about shellfish. And homosexuality.


I wish this guy taught a course at UCSB.

"turn on a good FM radio, twiddle the dial and tune it in. There, in the intervals between stations, you hear a shushing sound. A tiny part of that sound is caused by radiation emitted just after the universe came into being , primordial light waves that stretched with the expansion of the universe and became transformed into radio waves. The Big Bang was way back then, but it's also here and now..."

Partly to blame for Abu Ghraib

This just in: Rumsfeld finds missing conscience
"he could not be expected to know all that takes place in war zones halfway around the world"
...like lack of armament for troops, insufficiently trained security forces...no, it's okay, no need to take responsibility, Mr. Secretary of Defense.

For Colafication's viewing pleasure...

Urban Dictionary defines emo thusly:

1. Emo
Genre of softcore punk music that integrates unenthusiastic melodramatic 17 year olds who don't smile, high pitched overwrought lyrics and inaudible guitar rifts with tight wool sweaters, tighter jeans, itchy scarfs (even in the summer), ripped chucks with favorite bands signature, black square rimmed glasses, and ebony greasy unwashed hair that is required to cover at least 3/5 ths of the face at an angle.

As in:
::sniff sniff:: "The Demise of the Siberian Traintracks of Our Rusty Forgotten Unblemished Love" sounds like it would make a great emo band name. ::cry::

Oh man..."so emo I could kill myself."

"It takes more than a pair of balls to make a man." -Ciré, Mooladé

The movie was so so good...

Moolaadé is the uplifting tale of African women who defy tradition and the mandates of their patriarchal tribe in ending the practice of female genital mutilation. The story begins with four girls escaping their “purification” ceremony and seeking asylum with Collé, a tribesman’s wife who refused to allow her daughter Amastou to be “cut.” Collé gives the girls shelter and casts a spell of protection, or Moolaadé, over them. When Ibrahima Doucuré, the wealthy heir and future leader of the village returns to marry Amastou, the elders decry Doucuré’s marrying a “Bilakoro” and demand that an excision be performed on Amastou and the other girls. Already having lost three of the six girls that fled their “purification,” the women band together, rise up against the village leaders, and successfully pronounce the end of the violent and often deadly practice.
This film artfully portrays women’s agency, and women’s ability to rise up and enact positive change, despite attempts to disenfranchise them. As those responsible for sustaining their households and families, Collé and the other women are empowered leaders of the community that won’t be “tamed.” They showed that it would take more than beatings and the confiscation of their radios to silence them; their minds were free, and as they proclaimed, “how do you lock up something invisible?” I found their use of the radio as a tool of their resistance noteworthy, especially in the context of globalization. Usually western influence is viewed as something inherently detrimental to indigenous peoples. The film presented an often approached ethical dilemma—is it right to disrupt cultures whose traditions prescribe human rights violations? Happily, Moolaadé offered these questions, as well as hope, in that change can come from within.

February 03, 2005


My letter to the editor was published in the Daily Nexus today, eee! I wrote it in response to this douchebag. They edited my response for space, here's what they left out:

This is in response to Christopher Rice’s piece regarding liberals disrespecting our troops. Do you take pride in regurgitating slogans you read off bumper stickers on SUVs? “Freedom isn’t free.” “Proud to be an American.” “Support our troops.” What simplistic statements. When the price of freedom starts to erode freedom itself (i.e. US PATROIT act), then it’s time to question that price.

Don't you feel enlightened having seen it in its totality? Riiight...not a big deal, I know, but I worked hard crafting those 300 words, so it was swell seeing them printed.

Off to see a screening of the film Moolaade now, I'm doing a story on it for KCSB so I'll post about it later.

On a lighter, sexier note...

Firemen and strippers, oh my!

Dammit, why are they always named Heather?

Read between the lines about freedom and sunshine and gumdrops

Fact checking the State of the Union.

Let's roll

Thought I'd start off with a quote.

"I will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer."
Shrub on Social Security

Oh really? Then why not
-cut benefits modestly (as opposed to the guaranteed 30-50% benefit cuts guaranteed by Bush's plan, regardless of if you decide to risk your ass in the stock market) by modifying the formula used to calculate cost-of-living increases
-raise the cap on the amount of income subject to the payroll tax (from $90,000 to $200,000)
-increase the age of retirement slightly
-reform the federal estate tax to exempt those who make less than $3.5 million ($7 million per couple), and devote the tax entirely to SS--99.7% of Americans would be exempt, and almost half the projected shortfall would be closed

But no, you're right, spending trillions to privatize a program that is currently seeing a surplus makes more sense, my mistake.


3am, been futzing with side bars since 10...crackblog is already consuming precious life energy I probably should be devoting to midterms.

All I've got is an introductory course in java under my programming belt, so it's been pretty much trial and error. Any suggestions for concise online guides would be appreciated.

Assuming this newborn sleeps through the night (it's started calling to me before I've even closed my browser) and I can wake up at a decent hour, I'll start posting something meaningful in the morning.


February 02, 2005

Blogress born

First the Facebook and now a blog...ah, the never-ending caravan of bandwagons I'll jump onto. I'm planning on using this as an outlet for political commentary, first and foremost, along with other random musings. Although this will probably be no more than a cricket shit on the infinitely vast blogosphere, it'll be gratifying to incorporate some more writing into the daily routine, and I can always use another excuse to spend more time in cyberspace. At the very least, this is a step up from my ill-fated live journal.

into the wild blue yonder