Posts tagged with "politics" - Faerye Net 2017-01-30T07:20:02+00:00 Felicity Shoulders How to make a rain-proof sturdy protest sign (on Medium) 2017-01-30T07:20:02+00:00 2017-01-31T00:54:18+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m trying out Medium, so go read my little tutorial over there if you want to learn <a href="">how to make a protest sign</a> that stands up to rains like the Women&#8217;s March in Portland had!</p> How did we get here? 2011-03-22T12:42:20+00:00 2011-03-22T12:50:52+00:00 <p>Yesterday <a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> and I continued our Peter Weir kick (which has <a href="" target="links">already taught me</a> that Australia itself, not just its fauna, wants to eat you) by rewatching <a href="" target="links"><em>The Truman Show</em></a>. In case you don&#8217;t remember, Truman&#8217;s annoying TV-wife does forced, saccharine product-placement bits and nags him to have a kid to complete their suburban-perfection lifestyle. Her character-within-a-character is incredibly conservative, intrinsically conservative in the textbook sense: she functions to keep Truman the same; she is the caretaker of their retro, confined fantasy of a white middle-class heterosexual utopia.</p> <p>And, trying to smooth over Truman&#8217;s accidental glimpse into a backstage area through an elevator door, she tells him about an &#8220;elevator disaster downtown&#8221; caused by &#8220;those non-union workers. Monstrous!&#8221;</p> <p>I have to admit, this threw me for a moment. The climate has turned against unions so fast that this line, from a 1998 movie, seems nonsensical. Sure, thanks to a tip from <a href="" target="links">Camille Alexa</a> I know that <a href="" target="links">Ronald Reagan said unions were a basic right</a>. But in spite of his conservative canonization, Reagan was a while ago. In just 13 years, we&#8217;ve gone from an artificial shill of corporations and conservatism casually lambasting non-union labor to the <span class="caps">GOP</span> trying to break the back of unions across the country.</p> <p>I like to understand why things are happening. We all do: that&#8217;s why conspiracy theories are so popular, because lack of explanation is primally terrifying. But more, as a history nerd and someone who thinks in stories, I want to know how we got here from there. I&#8217;m going to have to read up on it, because it boggles the mind. It seems like a nationwide revolution has been accomplished by sleight-of-hand within my lifetime. How can the wind change so entirely in such a short time? Why is the history of labor in America so often hidden history, when this is a country built by greed and baptized in the sweat of workers?</p> Letter to the Beaverton School District 2010-10-05T12:45:56+00:00 2010-10-05T12:46:32+00:00 <p>As <a href="" target="links">discussed yesterday</a>, here is the letter I am sending to the Beaverton School District Superintendent.</p> <blockquote>October 4, 2010<br /> <br /> Superintendent Jerome Colonna<br /> Beaverton School District<br /> 16550 SW Merlo Road<br /> Beaverton OR 97006<br /> <br /> Dear Superintendent Colonna:<br /> I was troubled to read yesterday about the reassignment of student teacher Seth Stambaugh after he responded honestly to a child’s question about his marital status and admitted that he was gay.<br /> <br /> I attended Beaverton School District schools myself for seven years, and my sister graduated from Aloha High School. My mother was trained as a teacher and many of her friends taught or administrated in the Beaverton district. I care deeply about the district, and I was very disappointed to find out that the district in this case was Beaverton.<br /> <br /> I know that there is more pressure on public schools now than ever. It must be tempting in a case like Mr. Stambaugh’s to assuage a parent’s concerns, especially when Mr. Stambaugh is only a student teacher, not an employee. But I would urge you to overturn the decision in this case, or at least formulate a new policy that would protect other gay teachers from this situation: from being forced to deny who they are or lose their jobs.<br /> <br /> What Mr. Stambaugh said was not “inappropriate.” We allow, if not expect, heterosexual teachers to talk about their personal lives. I could probably tell you the marital status of each homeroom teacher who taught me in Beaverton School District elementary schools. By making the honest answer to a child’s question about Mr. Stambaugh’s marital status “inappropriate,” the District is supporting a narrow view of homosexual citizens, one that says everything they do is “sexual”. If there’s something inherently inappropriate about disclosing your marital status, then why were my <span class="caps">BSD</span> teachers overwhelmingly “Miss” and “Mrs.” rather than “Ms.”?<br /> <br /> By dignifying this parent’s concerns and reassigning Mr. Stambaugh, the district is sending a clear message. That message is that homosexuals do not belong in school, that their very identity is inappropriate. This message is not only being sent to Mr. Stambaugh, to the parents and community: it is being sent to the children. Believe me, they will understand. And when some of those children realize that they themselves are gay or bisexual, they will remember. <br /> <br /> In the light of America’s ongoing epidemic of anti-gay bullying and suicides by gay students, perhaps the Beaverton School District should reassess its policies about the discussion or avowal of homosexual identity. Perhaps Beaverton School District students would be better off knowing that gay children and teenagers don’t disappear, or have to hide, or have to leave the public sphere because they are inherently “inappropriate.” I think they could only benefit from knowing such students can grow up into public-spirited, well educated, unashamed adults like Mr. Stambaugh.<br /> <br /> Sincerely,<br /> <br /> <br /> Felicity Shoulders<br /> Former student of Elmonica and Errol Hassell Elementary Schools and Mountain View Intermediate</blockquote> On making a difference 2010-10-04T17:15:01+00:00 2010-10-04T17:15:57+00:00 <p>I <a href="" target="links">tweeted</a> yesterday about a <a href="" target="links">student teacher being reassigned for admitting he&#8217;s gay</a>. It&#8217;s a story that came to my attention <a href="" target="links">through my <span class="caps">RSS</span> reader</a> but, sadly, is local: the district where this student teacher was originally assigned is the one where I went to elementary school.</p> <p>I wrote a letter yesterday, planning to send it to the Superintendent and post it here, but an attack of cynicism shook that intention. There&#8217;s a lot of easy, feel-good (re)activism that goes on here on the interwebs. You submit your name for an online petition, retweet something, and ta-da! You are an activist! Writing one letter is sort of the same thing: drive-by activism. It&#8217;s shallow, brief, and perhaps accomplishes little but puffing up the letter-writer. Some might say one person picking up a pebble, repeated many times, will move a mountain; but it&#8217;s easier to find historical examples of dedicated mountain-movers pushing boulders over years and decades.</p> <p>But on the other hand, this news story isn&#8217;t coming from another state or another country, the vast hinterlands of Elsewhere that filter through webpages and <span class="caps">RSS</span> feeds into our consciousness. This is where I grew up. This district, thanks to the execrable <a href="" target="links">Measure 5</a> (which my family campaigned against while I was matriculating in that school district, and which is why I ultimately left), is underwritten by Portland&#8217;s tax dollar as well as Beaverton&#8217;s.</p> <p>I&#8217;m not endorsing a proximal approach to morality and politics in general, since all too often that means a cozy sort of privileged insulation. But in this case I think it&#8217;s reasonable: perhaps I can&#8217;t make a difference in every case of homophobic discrimination in the world, or even in America, without devoting my life to it. But this is my neighborhood, this is my home. If I <em>don&#8217;t</em> speak out, I&#8217;m letting this be part of my home without protest: my silence says this discrimination is acceptable. (Just like not voting at all is an extra-effective way of voting down taxes and ruining our schools! That&#8217;s a little <a href="">Measure 47</a> joke for the locals.)</p> <p>Perhaps I look a little foolish, and perhaps I&#8217;m an armchair activist. But I&#8217;m printing out my letter, and I&#8217;ll post it here tomorrow. Because this is where I live, and because <span class="caps">LGBT</span> people live here too.</p> Blockquote for Choice day 2009-01-22T15:18:20+00:00 2009-01-22T15:22:14+00:00 <p>Today is <a href="">Blog for Choice</a> day. I don&#8217;t have very much to say about this year&#8217;s theme, which is pro-choice hopes for the new administration and Congress. I&#8217;m proud my state is among the states suing over the vague, sweeping, awful new <span class="caps">HHS</span> regulations, but I don&#8217;t have anything to say about it <a href="" target="links">that you couldn&#8217;t read somewhere with more authority.</a> I thought I&#8217;d mark the occasion with an interesting quote I marked with my <a href="" target="links">Book Darts</a> lately. This is from <a href="" target="links"><em>Truth &amp; Beauty</em></a> by Ann Patchett, a memoir about her friendship with late poet Lucy Grealy.</p> <blockquote>In the days before <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, I doubt that many American women were wracked with guilt over having abortions. They were too busy wondering if they were going to be butchered. So when luck went their way and they made it through the procedure safely, it was a cause for celebration rather than remorse. What legalized abortion brought to this country, along with safe medical practices, was the expectation of shame, the need to wonder if you were doing the right thing, even though you knew exactly what you&#8217;d do in the end. We could have our abortions but we had to feel horrible for the decision we made, even if it was hardly a decision at all. So while social decency compels me to say that on the train uptown we cried and cursed fate and wondered what life might be like with a baby, the truth is we did not. I could not imagine Lucy looking after a baby for an afternoon, much less a lifetime. She did not try to imagine it at all. <em>[page 128, Perennial trade paperback]</em></blockquote> <p>I don&#8217;t really have any burning comments on the passage. I just think it&#8217;s an interesting perspective from up close.</p> Suspect bodies 2008-10-08T12:59:32+00:00 2008-10-08T13:00:15+00:00 <p>Here I go again, talking about abortion. I know, this isn&#8217;t that kind of blog, right? You came here for stories, vocab, English Major stuff, and this is what you get? This is important, though, too important not to talk about. This election is crucial for many reasons, and maybe reproductive rights aren&#8217;t at the top of most people&#8217;s lists at this point. But I recently did a bunch of reading on the Supreme Court, so it&#8217;s quite present in my mind. Also, I&#8217;m female and of reproductive age, so it behooves me to pay attention.</p> <p>The next President of the United States will likely get to make more than one appointment to an already closely split Supreme Court. Many states have &#8216;trigger laws&#8217;, abortion bans that will automatically become law if Roe vs. Wade is overturned. Recently <a href="" target="links">a ban</a> was upheld by the Supreme Court that used non-medical language to vaguely define banned abortion procedures. Language in Justice Kennedy&#8217;s opinion took a paternalistic stance towards female U.S. citizens. This election holds the promise, for opponents of reproductive rights, to finally end the siege and bring the undermined ramparts down.</p> <p>But as we&#8217;ve seen recently in non-metaphorical wars, conquest does not guarantee peace or good governance. What is the roadmap for a post-Roe country? Let&#8217;s take a look at one of our potential Commanders-in-Chief on the topic.</p> <p><a href="" target="links">This is a video clip from Katie Couric&#8217;s interview with Sarah Palin</a> on <span class="caps">CBS</span> Evening News. Transcribed by me:</p> <blockquote><span class="caps">COURIC</span>: If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion. Why?<br /> <br /> <span class="caps">PALIN</span>: I am pro-life, and I&#8217;m unapologetic about my position there on pro-life, and I understand good people on both sides of the abortion debate. Now, I would counsel to choose life, I would like to see a culture of life in this country, but I would also like to see taking it one step further, not just saying &#8220;I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country&#8221; but I want then those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal for them to be supported, for adoptions to be made easier.<br /> <br /> <span class="caps">COURIC</span>: But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl&#8212;<br /> <br /> <span class="caps">PALIN</span>: if&#8212;<br /> <br /> <span class="caps">COURIC</span>:&#8212;who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion.<br /> <br /> <span class="caps">PALIN</span>: I&#8217;m saying that personally I would counsel that person to choose life despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in.</blockquote> <p>I&#8217;ve been struck when Palin is asked about her views on abortion rights &#8211; which are more restrictive than many of her fellows&#8217; &#8211; by her recurring use of the word &#8216;choice&#8217;. Even when the question is clearly about overturning Roe vs. Wade or making abortion illegal, not about actions in the current, &#8220;right to choose&#8221; environment, she says &#8220;choose.&#8221; To me, this is one indication that she, like many anti-abortion-rights activists, hasn&#8217;t fully thought out her position. Perhaps she&#8217;s been coached to use these softer terms, but just so we&#8217;re clear, <a href="" target="links">she is in favor of abortion being illegal, without rape or incest exemptions</a> (video from 2006 gubernatorial race. Incidentally, it also makes clear that she considers a teenager&#8217;s parents sovereign over any pregnancy that teen has.)</p> <p>More striking is the rest of that paragraph from the interview with Couric, available in the <a href="" target="links">unedited transcript of the interview</a>.</p> <blockquote>Palin: I&#8217;m saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And, um, if you&#8217;re asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an … abortion, absolutely not. That&#8217;s nothing I would ever support.</blockquote> <p>This question of sentencing is one that often seems to have been neglected by anti-reproductive-choice activists. In this <a href="" target="links">video</a>, demonstrators outside an Illinois clinic are asked what sentence women should receive for having an abortion. Activists who say they&#8217;ve been with the movement for two years, for five years, admit to never having considered the question at all. All of them say abortion should be illegal, that it&#8217;s killing a human being, but only one agrees that jail time should be part of the sentence. Is it murder, or not? If it&#8217;s murder, why shouldn&#8217;t women who seek or undergo abortion be imprisoned?</p> <p>These kinds of inconsistencies should give even those personally against abortion pause. The consequences have not been thought out. In a podcast I listened to the other day, a writer being interviewed (Timothy Zahn, if memory serves) said that part of a science fiction writer&#8217;s job is thinking out the consequences of things. So I&#8217;m doing my job here.</p> <p>Everything depends on where the objective line is drawn in this highly subjective arena. Roe vs. Wade uses trimesters, which are arbitrary, but laudibly objective. Palin&#8217;s position &#8211; no abortion even for rape and incest cases &#8211; draws the objective line around abortion, any abortion, ever. Which makes every young woman of fertile age a suspect. It makes it not only possible, but necessary for police to investigate every known miscarriage &#8211; even if the woman swears she wanted the baby and is devastated. It allows situations like this:<br /> <blockquote><b>(From Linda Hirshman&#8217;s excellent <a href="" target="links">article in the <em>Washington Post</em></a>:)</b> In the 1980s, when abortion was severely limited in then-West Germany, border guards sometimes required German women returning from foreign trips to undergo vaginal examinations to make sure that they hadn&#8217;t illegally terminated a pregnancy while they were abroad. According to news stories and other accounts, the guards would stop young women and ask them about drugs, then look for evidence of abortion, such as sanitary pads or nightgowns, in their cars, and eventually force them to undergo a medical examination &#8212; as West German law empowered them to do. </blockquote></p> <p>That&#8217;s <em>West</em> Germany, not the secret police-infested East Germany. The removal of this one choice, this one freedom, cascades into other freedoms. Even rape and incest exceptions are coercive: <a href="" target="links">the proposed South Dakota ban</a> would require a rape or incest victim to report the crime (regardless of her age, home situation, and the social backlash that might accompany the report) and provide <span class="caps">DNA</span> samples in order to get an abortion.</p> <p>To my trade, then, the pondering of consequences. Imagine an America where abortion is banned outright. Imagine a young woman returning from abroad. She has been to Europe, to Japan, even to Mexico City. Her mother is with her, or her friend, or her husband. Or she is alone. The guard has chosen her carry-on for further attention. &#8220;Why did you bring slippers for such a short trip to Japan?&#8221; or perhaps &#8220;You must have thought far ahead to bring these pads with you, instead of buying them in France. Heavy-duty.&#8221; Perhaps she has already been profiled and an excuse will certainly be found. The guard asks her to come along to see the doctor.</p> <p>&#8220;Is the doctor a man or a woman?&#8221; protests the mother. &#8220;It&#8217;s against our religion&#8230;&#8221; Or the husband, trying to assert an authority even he knows is tenuous, blusters, &#8220;Is this really necessary? She&#8217;s a married woman. We took a short trip.&#8221; The female friend steps forward and loops her arm around the suspect. &#8220;We&#8217;re lesbians, okay? Why the hell would she need an abortion?&#8221; The woman alone whispers, &#8220;Please, don&#8217;t make me do this. I have <span class="caps">PTSD</span>.&#8221;</p> <p>To all these, the guard says, &#8220;I&#8217;ve heard that before. Sorry, miss. We&#8217;re going to need to take a closer look.&#8221;</p> <p>Perhaps you think I&#8217;m exaggerating, or trying to scare you. I am trying to scare you. Because I myself am scared. But this is not some extreme scenario created for propaganda purposes. This is something that has happened, in a democratic nation. In an America where you may already have to choose between <a href="" target="links">having security scan through your clothing</a> and a pat-down in order to travel, how far-fetched is this? If the objective line is drawn around all abortion, if abortion is considered murder, then a sacrifice of civil liberties like this one is not a nightmare scenario, it&#8217;s a logical step.</p> <p>If no abortion is legal, the female body is suspect. It will not matter if she has been raped. It will not matter if she has never had sex. It will not matter if she is ardently opposed to abortion, if she voted for McCain/Palin, if her religious beliefs agree with theirs. Because she <em>could</em> be lying&#8230;if women will self-mutilate or drink poison to obtain an abortion, what is a little lie? Her body does not belong to her. It belongs to the state, to the law, to the good of the community.</p> <p>I think we&#8217;ve been afraid to discuss abortion for too long in this country, with our friends, within our families. It avoids hurt feelings, avoids painful confessions, avoids bringing the epithets of a violent and vituperative debate into our living rooms. But it also allows people to duck the hard questions, to vote their personal feelings rather than consider the policy consequences. I believe strongly and passionately in the right of every person to make her own decision about when life begins, and what is right, and to govern her life and body with those beliefs. If you are less certain, reader, that you trust women to make these philosophical, religious and ethical decisions, please consider whether you are prepared to turn those decisions over to the government, body and soul. That is one of the decisions on the ballot this year.</p> <blockquote>At the heart of liberty is the right to define one&#8217;s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.<br /> <br /> <em>&mdash;<br /> Sandra Day O&#8217;Connor, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter<br /> Majority opinion, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey</em></blockquote> Keep your opinion polls off my body 2008-08-15T17:52:46+00:00 2008-08-23T09:54:19+00:00 <p>I, personally, am entirely convinced by the Health and Human Services Secretary blogging that the <a href="" target="links">leaked draft regulation</a> doesn&#8217;t have anything to do with contraception.</p> <p>After all, redefining abortion to be possible <em>before</em> implantation (&#8220;any of the various procedures &#8212; including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action &#8212; that results in the termination of life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.&#8221;) based on, I kid you not, <em>polling data</em> (&#8220;A 2001 Zogby International American Values poll revealed that 49% of Americans believe that human life begins at conception. Presumably many who hold this belief think that any action that destroys human life after conception is the termination of a pregnancy, and so would be included in their definition of the term &#8216;abortion.&#8217;&#8221;) is totally innocent. Now, recently studies have indicated that oral hormonal contraception, even at emergency contraception levels, doesn&#8217;t seem to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, but I&#8217;m pretty damn sure that polling data would not reflect that research, so that&#8217;s easy to get around. Science always is. Heck, the regulations are about the conscience of health care workers, so what matters isn&#8217;t whether the patient&#8217;s contraceptives prevent implantation, but whether the health care worker feels they will.</p> <p>The leaked document, by the way, is also worrying gay rights advocates who think the guidelines will allow health care workers to refuse treatment or medicine to gay and transgender patients based on their religious convictions. Woohoo!</p> <p>Here is the <a href="" target="links">leaked document</a> in <span class="caps">PDF</span>, and the Washington Post&#8217;s <a href="" target="links">original coverage</a>. Thrill to such features as (quoting the later article I first linked) &#8220;a major section of the draft regulation titled &#8216;The Problem&#8217; [that] cites state laws designed to make sure that women have access to birth control pills and Plan B.&#8221; Many of those laws are about emergency rooms providing emergency birth control to rape survivors. Isn&#8217;t it good to know our friendly <del>Gilead</del> U.S. Government really cares about its <del>handmaids</del> female citizens?</p> <p><b>Update, 8/23/08:</b> The rule has been <a href="" target="links">officially proposed</a>. This is not just dangerous because it&#8217;s vague or because it redefines scientific terms by popularity contest. It&#8217;s dangerous because the officials who are supposed to care about and provide for people&#8217;s health in this country assume &#8220;that a patient could go to another provider&#8221;, in short are unconcerned about widening the healthcare gap and denying services to those who don&#8217;t have the coverage, time off work, or transportation money to go to another provider.</p> Hypocrisy 2008-07-24T11:38:30+00:00 2008-07-24T12:51:52+00:00 <p>Yesterday, as I returned home from seeing <em>The Dark Knight</em> (huzzah!) I heard part of a rebroadcast of <a href="" target="links"><span class="caps">KQED</span></a>&#8217;s omnipresent call-in show, Forum. It was about non-profits helping Iraqis who are in danger because of the translation work they&#8217;ve done for the US forces to cut through the red tape and immigrate to the US. They had the translator who was the original inspiration for the program, one spouse of a two-spouse team that started the specific non-profit, and a rep from a Catholic charity that helps refugees of all sorts.</p> <p>So they went to calls, and I thought, &#8220;Who the hell is going to call in and say this is bad? I mean, if you&#8217;re lefty it&#8217;s saving refugees, if you&#8217;re rightward it&#8217;s supporting people who help our troops.&#8221; Umm, I was wrong. Apparently well-educated Iraqis should stay in Iraq to rebuild, never mind the pesky death threats. Apparently people who are thoroughly vetted by the military before they work as translators and by the State dept. before they immigrate are a big ol&#8217; security threat (this caller worked in a nice reference to Britain&#8217;s &#8220;problems&#8221; &#8220;after their Empire&#8221; that made it pretty obvious he thinks if you don&#8217;t let Muslim people into your country, no terrorism will ever <em>coughMcVeighcough</em> occur.) Anyway, even as I&#8217;m shaking off the horror of those calls, an even less believable one was broadcast.</p> <p>Those of you who are Americans may have had the same US History textbook I did, or at least another that reprinted a political cartoon from the early 20th century. In it, three or four well-to-do Americans cough up anti-immigrant rhetoric while their shadows show the silhouettes of their ancestors arriving with packs and bags. It&#8217;s a classic.</p> <p>But this goes one further; the caller, while copiously &#8216;God bless&#8217;ing the translator and his family, told the detailed tale of how her husband fled Cuba as a child and was helped by the Catholic charities to settle in the US. &#8220;And I&#8217;m so glad they did, or I wouldn&#8217;t be married to one of the sweetest men on this Earth! But it&#8217;s a different world now&#8230;&#8221; Yes. She argued that the U.S. should not accept refugees because we have a bad job market. Yes, the wife of a previous generation&#8217;s &#8220;homeless, tempest-tossed&#8221; said that <em>refugees from persecution will take American jobs</em>. I was so speechless I couldn&#8217;t splutter.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve often thought of making a list of guidelines for &#8220;how not to come off as a total idiot on call-in shows&#8221; (thanks to the same omnipresent Forum) and perhaps rule #1 should be: before dialing, say your comment out loud. Twice. And listen.</p> "Terrorist" 2008-07-02T10:04:24+00:00 2008-07-02T10:04:24+00:00 <p>By now everyone knows that the US had to <a href="" target="links">pass a bill</a> to get Nelson Mandela and other African National Congress members off the &#8216;terror&#8217; watch list<sup><a href="#fn1">1</a></sup>. In the linked article, even the Secretary of State calls it &#8220;a rather embarrassing matter.&#8221;</p> <p>It&#8217;s not just embarrassing, it&#8217;s telling. Why were these people on the list? &#8220;The African National Congress (ANC) was designated as a terrorist organisation by South Africa&#8217;s old apartheid regime.&#8221; In other words, &#8216;terrorist&#8217; is used by governments to stigmatize those they dislike, and to decrease their credibility in the international community. &#8216;Terrorist&#8217; is an elastic term, meaning exactly what those in power say, no more or less. How else does one explain the broad swath of cybercrimes the <a href="" target="links">Patriot act</a> classifies as terrorism? If making civilians live in fear is &#8216;terrorism&#8217;, why aren&#8217;t authoritarian states around the world labelled as such? &#8216;Terror&#8217; is not the deciding factor; governmental fiat is.</p> <p>One could hope that this example, of a group formed to foment revolution against unjust rule being tarred for decades with the &#8216;terrorist&#8217; brush, might give someone in our government pause, make them wonder how meaningful the term is as it is being used; but I doubt it.</p> <p id="fn1"><sup>1</sup> It is sad that I automatically wrote this as &#8216;watchlist&#8217;, subconsciously believing it had seen enough use to become a compound word.</p> I never liked this nose anyway, hand me the bone shears! 2008-06-05T08:02:57+00:00 2008-07-24T22:11:51+00:00 <p>Someone called into <a href=""><span class="caps">KQED</span></a> yesterday morning and took one of the political analysts to task for her use of &#8216;Mrs.&#8217; to describe Senator Clinton rather than &#8216;Senator&#8217;. The analyst said she makes a point of using either rather than the overfamiliar &#8220;Hillary&#8221;. Okay, the caller has a little point there&#8230;but then she went on to say that because of the sexism exhibited by the Obama campaign, she would be voting for McCain now that Clinton is out.</p> <p>Oh dear. I mean, I think I have a pretty high awareness of sexist language, and I have heard very little from the Obama campaign. The Obama &#8220;camp&#8221;? Which includes internet trolls, sign wavers, and all sorts of hangers-on? Sure. But Obama and his campaign? The only thing I ever heard was an allegation that he shouldn&#8217;t have used the word &#8216;periodic&#8217; in a sentence about Clinton&#8217;s aggressive foreign policy, and I found it pretty thin. Whereas the Clinton campaign and their &#8220;hard-working&#8221; and anti-affirmative action dogwhistles disgusted me. I have been appalled by the misogyny of anchors, of dumb idjits on the internet, of people at rallies. But I haven&#8217;t been appalled by Obama or his people.</p> <p>But that&#8217;s a bit beside the point. This is politics, right? If this primary season had gone as expected, swimmingly in Clinton&#8217;s direction, I would have held my nose and voted for her. Because McCain is a flip-flopping hotheaded sellout. Because he hugged Bush after the vicious 2000 primary and he hasn&#8217;t stopped holding him since&#8230;and because I don&#8217;t want someone who has flopped to the anti-choice side picking the Supreme Court. How pro-woman <em>are</em> you, Forum caller? So pro-woman you&#8217;ll vote in a guy who calls his wife the <a href="" target="links">c-word</a> just to show your disgust with the misogyny of a few Obama <em>voters</em> on the internet?</p>