foxtongue: (Default)
"This week the Georgia State Legislature debated a bill in the House, that would make it necessary for some women to carry stillborn or dying fetuses until they 'naturally' go into labor. In arguing for this bill Representative Terry England described his empathy for pregnant cows and pigs in the same situation."
The rest of the civilized world thinks this country has lost its mind. It's no wonder. Look at this list of frenzied misogyny:

1. Making women carry still-born fetuses to full term because cows and pigs do. [...]
2. Consigning women to death to save a fetus. Abortions save women's lives. [...]
3. Criminalizing pregnancy and miscarriages and arresting, imprisoning and charging women who miscarry with murder, [...]
4. Forcing women to undergo involuntary vaginal penetration (otherwise called rape) with a condom-covered, six- to eight-inch ultrasound probe. [...]
5. Disabling women or sacrificing their lives by either withholding medical treatment or forcing women to undergo involuntary medical procedures. [...]
6. Giving zygotes "personhood" rights while systematically stripping women of their fundamental rights. [...]
7. Inhibiting, humiliating and punishing women for their choices to have an abortion for any reason by levying taxes specifically on abortion, including abortions sought by rape victims to end their involuntary insemination, [...]
8. Allowing employers to delve into women's private lives and only pay for insurance when they agree, for religious reasons, with how she choses to use birth control. [...]
9. Sacrificing women's overall health and the well-being of their families in order to stop them from exercising their fundamental human right to control their own bodies and reproduction. [...]
10. Depriving women of their ability to earn a living and support themselves and their families. Bills, like this one in Arizona, allow employers to fire women for using contraception. Women like these are being fired for not.

You presume to consign my daughters and yours to function as reproductive animals.

This is about sex and property, not life and morality. Sex because when women have sex and want to control their reproduction that threatens powerful social structures that rely on patriarchal access to and control over women as reproductive engines. Which brings us to property: control of reproduction was vital when the agricultural revolution took place and we, as a species, stopped meandering around plains in search of food. Reproduction and control of it ensured that a man could possess and consolidate wealth-building and food-producing land and then make sure it wasn't disaggregated by passing it on to one son he knew was his -- largely by claiming a woman and her gestation capability as property, too.
foxtongue: (misery)
The news just went from ugly to horrific:
"When Fox arrived at the hospital, doctors told her that the baby had no heartbeat.

“They diagnosed that I was having a miscarriage. They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus], too,” she said.

“I was worried about it [when I joined the protests], but I didn’t know it would be this bad. I didn’t know that a cop would murder a baby that’s not born yet… I am trying to get lawyers.”

The Scoville heat chart indicates that U.S. grade pepper spray is ten times more painful than the blistering hot habanero pepper, according to Scientific American. While law enforcement officials regulary claim that the spray is safe, researchers at the University of North Carolina and Duke University found that it could “produce adverse cardiac, respiratory, and neurologic effects, including arrhythmias and sudden death.”

Here's a photo of Jennifer being hustled to an ambulance after being sprayed. This is from the same event that pepper sprayed Dorli Rainey, the now iconic senior citizen.

EDIT: It is possible the miscarriage report has been fabricated, but this has yet to be verified.
foxtongue: (oh?)
Essential Reading: Iceland's Ongoing Revolution.

"What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum. [...]

To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections."
foxtongue: (Default)

Yesterday was Election Day. Unfortunately, in spite of endless scandals, illegal American-style campaigning*, and being held in contempt of Parliament, The Conservative Party won a majority, striking a hot, dirty victory for the continued fast erosion of social progress.

What does this mean? No more neutral foreign policy or equal rights for gays and women, further destruction of our formerly balanced budget, the cancellation of the long form census, even more money pulled from social programs and arts and culture and given to the military and to build privatized prisons, (despite the crime rate going steadily down), (also related: jail-time for pot smokers), many, many corrupt and suspicious officials, including a Creationist chiropractor for Science Minister, no more guarantee of truth in the news, a stop to open, transparent government, an introduction of the RIAA's DMCA laws, secret meetings about a Perimeter Security pact with the USA, The Government of Canada rebranded as "the Harper Government", unsafe food laws, a repeal of abortion rights, and a government complicit with torture, climate change denial, and the debacle that was the G20 Summit.

I could go on, there are enough infractions against the rights of Canadian citizens to fill a small book, but it's too depressing. As someone mentioned so succinctly on Reddit earlier, "The key part that so many people miss is that in a democratic system, it is not simply the will of the majority the prevails. In order for the system to work, the majority must protect the rights of the minority. That is what I think people are afraid of. That's why I'm a little saddened by the results. Not because people have differing opinions from mine, but because I fear they will not protect the rights of all people." Given all evidence, I completely agree. What about you?

*Register a complaint against Harper for breaking the law:
foxtongue: (Default)
Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale, (and my personal favourites: Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood), slyly lampoons Harper with Election 2011, a Dark Fiction:

A vacuum cleaner salesman comes to your door. “You must buy this vacuum cleaner,” he says. “Why?” you say. “Because I know what’s good for you,” he says. “I know things you don’t know.” “What are they?” you say. “I can’t tell you,” he says, “because they’re secret. You are required to trust me. The vacuum cleaner will create jobs.”

“Where is the vacuum cleaner made?” you say. “In another country,” he says. “So the jobs will be created in another country? Not here?” you say. You believe it’s your right to query: It’s your money and, come to think of it, you pay this guy’s salary.

“Stop bickering,” he says. “I am competent. That’s my story and I’m sticking it to you.” “I’m not bickering,” you say. “I’m asking relevant questions. How much will the vacuum cleaner cost me?” “I can’t tell you that,” he says. “Why not? Because it’s more than you claimed at first?” you say. “Or because you don’t really know the cost?” “I can’t tell you that, either,” he says. “But you have to pay.”
foxtongue: (moi?)
"Wasted Vote" by Shane Koyczan

Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long have come out with a haunting new track just in time for the May 2nd polls,
reminding people that there's no such thing as a wasted vote, only a wasted election.

  • Upvote this video on Reddit.
  • Support it as a submission on bOINGbOING.
  • foxtongue: (Default)
    Much like his meditation on Being Poor, John Scalzi's Things I Don't Have To Think About Today, is a particularly moving treatise on the essence of privilege:

    Today I don’t have to think about those who hear “terrorist” when I speak my faith.
    Today I don’t have to think about men who don’t believe no means no.
    Today I don’t have to think about how the world is made for people who move differently than I do.
    Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m married, depending on what state I’m in.
    Today I don’t have to think about how I’m going to hail a cab past midnight.

    I highly suggest you click through and read to the end.
    foxtongue: (Default)
  • Richard Schiff, (Toby in the West Wing), is starring in a religious comedy about a muslim who discovers he's adopted and was born a jew, Infidel.
  • Jean-Pierre Jeunet, (of Amelie and The City of the Lost Children), has released a fantasy revenge comedy satirizing the world arms trade, Micmacs à tire-larigot.
  • Chris Morris, (of Jam and The Brass Eye), is coming out with a religious comedy about inept, young radicalized muslims in England trying to wage jihad, The Four Lions.
  • foxtongue: (geigerteller)
    Penny Red: Objectification: what if the world were different for a day?:
    Picture this. Every one of the men and boys whose images you see repeated thousands of times a day is impossibly perfect, hewn from some arcane piece of rock on the platonic plane. Not one of them is over thirty-three. In the shadow of their hard, robotic masculinity, the possibility of paunches and puppy fat and male-pattern balding is unthinkable. They rarely speak, and when they do speak, they ventriloquise; they implore you to look at them, to understand their silent semiotics of commercial masculinity; they threaten and seduce you in a boring parade of billboards, adverts, music videos.


    What is the response of the government, of the media to this trend? They say nothing. These silly young boys don't know any better than to copy what they see. And anyway, women have to worry about what they look like too! Granted that it's the men, not the women, who are judged on the basis of their appearance in public life - but then, there are so few men in politics and in business that we're bound to look at them a bit funny, aren't we? It's all in good fun, isn't it?

    Link via Alasdair.
    foxtongue: (Default)

    video found via Kevin
    Names Of the Dead:
    Every year, more than 44,000 Americans die simply because have no health insurance.

    I have created this project in their memory. I hope that honoring them will help us end this senseless loss of American lives. If you have lost a loved one, please share the story of that loved one with us. Help us ensure that their legacy is a more just America, where every life that can be saved will be saved.

    A simple yet spooky and powerful little website, Names Of the Dead is collecting precisely what it says, the names, ages, and hometowns of everyone who's died from being unable to afford healthcare. They scroll in a list on the left of the screen, white on black and gray, and it seems the names are almost endless, as every time you refresh, new names have been added.

    I just signed Congressman Alan Grayson's petition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demanding he move the Senate forward and pass health care reform now.

    I hope you'll sign too.
    foxtongue: (misery)
    via Ellen Datlow:
    A court case brought against Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida for denying a dying woman's same sex partner and their children access to her in the hospital has found for the hospital.

    Nicola Griffith urges us all to do something so that this outrage won't happen again, in her post Trembling with Rage.
    foxtongue: (Default)

    From Mike:

    If you have loved ones in Iran, my thoughts are with you and yours. I've been stuck to the Twitter feeds for a while now, and I'm worried for people.

    But I'm also encouraged. Tactics like the Iranian government's would have worked just fine 20 years ago. (Chile comes to mind.) Locking down the networks and cutting off the professional journalists would have had the effect that they intend - without the world watching, the worst of the protestors could be dealt with ruthlessly, and the rest intimidated into submission. But not now. Using one pesky little network protocol, the people on the ground in this insurgency have managed to circumvent the information wall, and force their way into the public eye.

    The government's response now will have to be carefully measured against this unprecedented new level of visibility. They will have to quell the protests peacefully somehow, or else they'll have to resort to acts of mass violence on YouTube.
    (note: Violence has already happened in many places.)

    If you want to chip in your network resources for this underground news conduit, they could sure use your help. All the major IM networks are now blocked for Iranian users, as well as services like Blogger and Twitter. Getting news, photos and footage out through this network is risky business for the people providing them, and there is a frantic cat-and-mouse proxy server game going on between the censors and the bloggers. You can put your own machine to work in this infowar, and better their chances of evading capture.

    First, rock a Twitter account, and make it look Iranian. GMT+3:30. (Think, 'I'm Spartacus.') Cruise over here and learn how to set up a proxy server on your machine. Once you've done that, DO NOT TWEET ABOUT IT IN PUBLIC. The censors are watching Twitter closely, and the moment they see someone post a new proxy for Iran, it goes on the block list and becomes useless. Instead, send it privately to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they'll distribute it discreetly to bloggers.

    This is the first time that tools like this have been used on this scale. Here's hoping that Twitter can give us a new and ubiquitous form of political accountability. All eyes are on Ahmadinejad, and I sure hope he can feel them.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    I tie our hair together in looping knots, gold twined with red and purple, my hair wrapped in his like set gemstones. We match our garnet earrings, I think, we match and are beautiful, here in this place, this tent of our tangled hair, in this moment where we've erased the entire world but ourselves.

    I think of the violence in Iran, the students shot for protesting, the plain clothes agitators hired by the police state to enact violence in the name of the wronged, and I am especially glad for this small green hill, our hair braided together, our eyes shining together like light. Such perspective is deeply important to me. There are no fires here, no government shootings, no rigged elections for despots. We are not threatened here in Canada, the country we've made of a million languages, stronger together, we are safe here, and no matter how complex or stressful our lives might be, we will not die from politics. We are not persecuted and can help those that are.

    How to fight from afar: seemingly levelheaded advice on aiding the protests online #iranelection via Eliza
    #iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners

    The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through twitter.

    1. Do NOT publicise proxy IP’s over twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag. Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran. If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran.

    2. Hashtags, the only two legitimate hashtags being used by bloggers in Iran are #iranelection and #gr88, other hashtag ideas run the risk of diluting the conversation.

    3. Keep you bull$hit filter up! Security forces are now setting up twitter accounts to spread disinformation by posing as Iranian protesters. Please don’t retweet impetuosly, try to confirm information with reliable sources before retweeting. The legitimate sources are not hard to find and follow.

    4. Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.

    5. Don’t blow their cover! If you discover a genuine source, please don’t publicise their name or location on a website. These bloggers are in REAL danger. Spread the word discretely through your own networks but don’t signpost them to the security forces. People are dying there, for real, please keep that in mind.

    6. Denial of Service attacks. If you don’t know what you are doing, stay out of this game. Only target those sites the legitimate Iranian bloggers are designating. Be aware that these attacks can have detrimental effects to the network the protesters are relying on. Keep monitoring their traffic to note when you should turn the taps on or off.

    7. Do spread the (legitimate) word, it works! When the bloggers asked for twitter maintenance to be postponed using the #nomaintenance tag, it had the desired effect. As long as we spread good information, provide moral support to the protesters, and take our lead from the legitimate bloggers, we can make a constructive contribution.

    Please remember that this is about the future of the Iranian people, while it might be exciting to get caught up in the flow of participating in a new meme, do not lose sight of what this is really about.

  • Images from Iran, unfiltered, unedited - this is reality.
  • The BBC has turned green in support of the Tehran protesters.
  • Sullivan running "a constantly updated feed of the best tweets [from] the resistance, real time."
  • Reuters: The US State Dept is asking Twitter to delay their maintenance plans.
  • foxtongue: (Default)
    via jwz:

    You are being lied to about pirates
    In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since - and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

    Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

    Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury - you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply.

    At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation - and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

    This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia - and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".


    Mar. 3rd, 2009 12:18 pm
    foxtongue: (misery)
    THE LINE: a true story

    written and presented by Winston Rowntree of Virus Comix

    foxtongue: (see the sky)
    "As always, there is an excellent selection of images from the Inauguration over at The Big Picture." link via [ profile] mshades

    Spectators in Times Square watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office during his inauguration

    Residents of Kibera, one of the poorest quarters in Nairobi gather to watch the inauguration ceremony

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center

    Guests at the "Biden Home States Ball" record the moment as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance


    foxtongue: (Default)

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