The Lady Speaks

The Rules

This one’s for all those Obama supporters out there screaming and ranting that the DNC has to “follow the rules!” and wailing and moaning that Hillary is breaking said rules.

Here’s a snippet of reality from Big Tent Democrat, who lays out the DNC’s actual rules and the consequences:

To recapitulate, a strict interpretation of the DNC Rules that follows the reasoning of the DNC Memo circulated today would require the following results:

A. The stripping of 50% of the delegates of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan.

B. The full seating of the Florida delegation.

C. Should the DNC RBC reject the safe harbor provision for Florida, then Florida would have 50% of its delegations stripped, but Barack Obama would be entitled to no delegates from Florida due to his violation of Rule 20c.1.b.

The upshot of strictly applying the rules as described above would be:

A. In Iowa, Obama, Clinton and Edwards would lose one half of their delegates. My understanding is that this would result in a net loss for Obama of 6 in his pledged delegate margin over Clinton.B. In New Hampshire, the three candidates would lose one half of their delegates with no net change in the delegate margin between Clinton and Obama.

C. In South Carolina, the three candidates would lose one half of their delegates with a net loss in Obama’s delegate margin of 9.

D. In Michigan, Clinton would gain 37 delegates. In addition there would be 28 uncommitted delegates. A net gain of 37 delegates for Clinton.

E.In Florida, if the entire delegation is seated, Clinton gains 93 delegates Obama 55, and Edwards 13. A net gain of 38 delegates for Clinton.

If instead the safe harbor provision is deemed not to apply, then Clinton gains 47 delegates, Obama 0 (due to his violation of Rule 20) and Edwards 7. A net gain of 47 for Clinton over Obama.

[Bold added for easier reading – Jenn] Read BTD’s entire post, with actual rules.

Now, the question is: Will the DNC apply their actual rules, or will they rig the game?

I can’t be there, but you can join the Rally in DC and tell the DNC to Count Every Vote.

Tell them this matters. That the rules must apply equally to all candidates. That one candidate followed their rules — despite what her opponent and his vocal, misogynistic supporters say — and will not be pushed out of this race because of their favoritism.

Tell them this race isn’t over, not by a long shot, because Hillary will continue to rise.

Dr. Maya Angelou:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

This is not the first time you have seen Hillary Clinton seemingly at her wits end, but she has always risen, always risen, much to the dismay of her adversaries and the delight of her friends.

Hillary Clinton will not give up on you and all she asks of you is that you do not give up on her.

There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you’re born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female.

But, to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies.

Hillary Clinton is a woman. She has been there and done that and has still risen. She is in this race for the long haul. She intends to make a difference in our country.

She is the prayer of every woman and man who long for fair play, healthy families, good schools, and a balanced economy.

She declares she wants to see more smiles in the families, more courtesies between men and women, more honesty in the marketplace. Hillary Clinton intends to help our country to what it can become.

She means to rise.

She means to help our country rise. Don’t give up on her, ever.

In fact, if you help her to rise, you will rise with her and help her make this country a wonderful, wonderful place where every man and every woman can live freely without sanctimonious piety, without crippling fear.

Rise Hillary.

Rise.

Another stanza of Dr. Angelou’s poem is equally appropriate to Hillary and the misogynistic hate spewed by the media and the opposition’s supporters during this campaign.

From PoemHunter:

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Rise, Hillary. Rise.

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May 29, 2008 Posted by | America, Democrats, Election '08, Politics | 2 Comments

On this Memorial Day

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
~From a headstone in Ireland, via quotegarden

Two years ago, I wrote a post for Memorial Day that I’ve never been able to top. The words came straight from my soul via my heart, and nothing I’ve written since about our veterans — living and dead — and their sacrifices has matched it. In fact, everything I’ve tried to write about Memorial Day since then has been pretty much the same thing, just dressed a little differently.

This is the 5th Memorial Day we have celebrated since El Pollo Loco and his band of minions started an unjustified war. 4082 Americans have died to accomplish a “mission” brought to them by a lying government, a cheerleading press, and a profiteering corporate structure.

I could write something about the troops who have valiantly served our nation – even when our government has chosen to turn its collective back to those who protect and defend her – but it would simply be a derivative of These Honored Dead:

[…] Servicemen and women do not choose their battles, they do not choose their enemies. They are told where to go and what to do by leaders that may or may not have their best interests at heart, by leaders who may or may not have seen combat themselves. And they do the very best they can, under circumstances the rest of us will never be able to comprehend.

My problem is not, and never has been, with the men and women in uniform. It is with those who send those men and women into harm’s way without valid reason, without proper equipment and supplies. It is with those who scream themselves hoarse about supporting the troops, but cut veterans benefits in wartime and order them – in America’s name – to violate international law and their own moral code.

It is those who mistreat the American soldier while calling the rest of us unpatriotic.

What I’d like to address today is not the many sacrifices made by our military and their families. There are many fine places on the web which have excellent tributes today to the men and women who serve.

Instead, I’d like to talk about something else that’s related to Memorial Day. The lack of respect and understanding for our nation’s symbols.

This is a small town, one of those places where you’d almost automatically think, “Mom and apple pie.” Many of our area residents have served or are serving in the military. We have a strong tradition of being there when our country calls. We still have parades on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Our local supermarket’s window boasts pictures of currently-serving service personnel. Once a week, the papers prints all the addresses of those locals who are serving, so people can write and remind them of home, keep them up-to-date on local affars, keep their spirits up. A local group bakes cookies and another collects personal hygiene items for our troops.

So you would assume this is a place where the flag and symbols of our nation and of our veterans’ service are universally respected and treated with dignity.

You’d be wrong. I myself have been stunned again and again by the absolute lack of caring when it comes to these things. It’s not just that people don’t know, it’s that they don’t care to learn.

There was an incident locally that brought this to mind yet again. A cemetery’s caretakers — for whatever reasons, and there are plenty of pointing fingers and loads of excuses — after setting a policy that no “ornaments or decorations” would be allowed at gravesites, removed all the veterans’ markers from the cemetery. These are the markers on which American flags are placed prior to certain holidays – Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, and Veterans’ Day.

Worse yet, these markers were thrown – along with the various “ornaments and decorations” that were stripped from each and every final resting place – into a trash pile in a field across the road.

I am horrified by all of it. To have taken these small mementos at someone’s grave and simply dumped them?

But I am especially angry about the veterans’ markers. My father, his brothers, and my paternal grandfather are buried there, and all were veterans. I’m glad I was not one of those who discovered this horror. I cannot imagine my reaction to seeing the symbols of my family’s service ripped out and tossed in the garbage.

Would someone please explain to me how on earth it is possible for someone to not understand the deep meaning and symbolic value of those markers, to not understand that they are not merely “ornaments and decorations?”

Thankfully, due to enormous efforts by the VFW and the Legion to remap the cemetery and place new markers – each and every veteran’s grave has once again been properly marked.

Sadly, however, this is not an isolated incident. Far, far too many people have no understanding of true patriotism, and they certainly have no understanding of flag etiquette and respect.

Do we blame the schools for failing to teach students the value and meaning behind our flag? The government for failing to live up to the standards of conduct written in the Constitution and for forcing schools to cut geography and history and civics classes in order to teach to meet the standards of the NLCB tests? The media for promoting false patriotism over true debate? All of the above?

How many times have you attended an event and seen almost no one under 40 remove their hats and/or stand for the Anthem? How many times have you seen a ripped and tattered flag on a flag pole? Or seen a flag flying at night with no uplighting? Or a cotton flag flying in the rain?

Last year, I had to call harass the local Walmart for three weeks straight because they were flying the flag in darkness. The reason? The lights had malfunctioned/burned out/didn’t work, and — with the exception of a few people (including my sister) – no one cared. The first three days, the lady who answered the phone was all pleasant and reassuring, “Oh my! We’ll certainly take care of that! Thank you so much for alerting us to this!” Too bad that was her whole reaction. It wasn’t until I spoke to my sister later that I discovered my concerns hadn’t been passed on at all. So I started annoying them. Every. single. night.

Another night, my sister went into work and watched three employees drop two American flags on the floor after they’d been used for Independence Day decorations. Dropped them on the floor. (If you don’t understand why anything in the last three paragraphs is a problem, google “American flag etiquette” or “US Flag Code.”)

This Memorial Day, take time to honor our nation’s veterans of all wars, but also take some time out from the grill and the gardening and the various summer projects you might have to educate someone on the Flag and its handling. Speak up on the proper ways to honor our nation’s heroes, past and present. Talk to your children about why our national symbol and those who died for it must be held in the highest regard and treated with the highest respect.

May 26, 2008 Posted by | America, Life, Memorial Day, Military, US Military, Veterans | 2 Comments

Sexism and The Media

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

At Shakesville today, I learn that irony isn’t just dead, but has been staked, shot, knifed, and garroted.

In case you needed any motivation for Assignment: Teaspoon below, CNN—yes, the same outlet currently running the question “Do you agree with Sen. Hillary Clinton that the press has ignored sexism in the campaign?” without a trace of irony, unless their position is: “No, we’re not ignoring it; we’re fomenting it!”—yesterday featured a panel debating whether calling accomplished attorney and advocate, former First Lady, two-term Senator, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a “white bitch” is appropriate.

And there’s video.

Yes indeed. “The most trusted name in news” debates whether or not Hillary is right about sexism, and – to prove she’s wrong about sexism in the media coverage of the campaign – one panelist (a consultant for the GOP, no less) says it’s okay to call Hillary Clinton a bitch, because with “some women … it’s accurate.”

“Has the press ignored sexism in the campaign?”

Oh, no, dearies, you haven’t ignored it. You’ve done a pretty good job of fostering and fomenting it and giving it a platform with which to beat one candidate over the head for having the audacity to run for President while female. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

From this, I think we can see that CNN and Castellanos would approve of a poll asking, “Has the media ignored racism in the campaign?” while a panel debated whether or not it was acceptable to call Senator Obama a “n*gger” because “for some … it’s accurate.” *

– – –

* No, I am not saying it is acceptable, ever, by anyone. What I am saying is that if you substitute racism and a slur against African-Americans, you see how unacceptable “bitch” is.

I am also saying that sexism and misogyny are well-entrenched in the media. So well-entrenched that a man not only called a sitting US Senator a bitch, but claimed it was an “accurate” depiction. As Jeffrey Toobin points out in the video above, the same would not happen with regard to race.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | America, Clinton, Election '08, Media, Politics, War On Women, Women | 1 Comment

Time Once Again

Today will be yet another installment of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.”

Today’s episode will no doubt feature bunches of misogynistic television anchors, dozens of panting, genuflecting, and possibly fainting bloggers and commentors, and hundreds of troll attacks by people who will either dismiss and disrespect us poor, hysterical women – or else play that favorite concern-troll card, “Can’t We All Just Get Along (since your candidate is obviously hysterical, crazy, psycho, and a girl!)?”

Kentucky/Oregon primary day promises to be full of all the bloviating bullshit we’ve seen in previous episodes.

Watch as Obama is blown away in one state, wins by a narrow margin in yet another, and (possibly) crowns himself the nominee of 46 states – two of which (plus US territory, Puerto Rico) haven’t voted yet, and two of which are being ignored by the precious, presumptuous nominee and the DNC.

*sigh*

I’m ready though. My supplies are laid in, my ISP has been paid finally (^@#%$@ to effin’ ISPs who can’t enter a card number correctly), and I’m mentally-girded for the long, long day ahead.

Candle? Check.

Teaspoon? Check.

And for this evening, when the returns come in:

Aspirin to deal with headaches brought on by supposed journalists fawning over the Presumptuous One? Check.

Wine bottle for the drinking games? Check. (And just how many times will a “journalist” tell us it’s all over and tell Hillary Clinton to leave the race now before she destroys the party?)

Pillow to scream into so the neighbors don’t call the police thinking I’m being murdered when all I’m doing is venting my frustration with the so-called Democratic party that is forcing a candidate down our throats while trying to force another out before the convention despite the fact that no contender for the Democratic nomination was ever forced out by the party prior to the convention, no matter how badly they were losing in the delegate count…until now (see also: Jackson, Jesse and Kennedy, Edward)? Check.

Tissues because I’m just an emotional, hormonal, hysterical, angry woman who’ll probably cry again if one more of her heroes leaves his principles behind to jump on the Obandwagon (and yes, John Edwards, I’m talking to you.)? Check.

Chocolate? Check.

List of reasons why I should vote for a Democrat even if it’s one I don’t particularly like and think would be as damaging, if not more so, than George W. Bush has been? *sigh* Check.

I have a feeling I’m going to need either strong drink or large bribes to actually pull that lever come November.

May 20, 2008 Posted by | America, Clinton, Democrats, Election '08, Government, Politics, War On Women, White House | 2 Comments

Cool News!

I meant to share this sooner, but forgot!

Last week, I received the following email:

May 2, 2008

Author

The Lady Speaks blog

theladyspeaksblog@yahoo.com

Dear Author,

I am writing to request permission to reprint the material listed below in my forthcoming college textbook, Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader, sixth edition.

Pearson Longman plans to publish this college composition anthology in August 2008. It will be a soft-cover volume of about 700 pages and should retail for $50. The first printing will be 5,000 copies. I am seeking to clear permissions for its distribution throughout the United States.

You may forward permissions and replies directly to me at the above address, fax number, or email address. Should I need additional permission, please let me know to whom I should apply. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

[Name]

The blog post he’s requesting permission to reprint is from February 22, 2007 and is entitled, Is YOUR Mascot a Racial Stereotype?

My first reaction was “HOLY Hannah!” The second was, “Is this legit?” (It is. [Name] is a professor at Northeastern University in MA and also writes fiction novels under a pseudonym.)

My third reaction was, “OHMIGODSANDGODDESSES! I’m going to be in a college textbook!” I then called every single family member and I think I might have gone out and shouted it to the neighborhood.

I suppose it’s likely that my post will be in the “What Not To Do: When Blog Posts Attack!” but I suppose being in print as a bad example is still good. Like the D-list and lower actors say: “As least they spelled my name right.”

One thing I absolutely must say is: Thank you Marie Petronchak Parks! Without you as my 9th-grade English teacher, I’d be lucky to write a single coherent sentence.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | Announcements | 1 Comment

Happy Belated Mother’s Day

Yep, evil liberal blogger that I am, I failed to produce a post honoring mothers and motherhood and all those who aren’t mothers but step in to fill the breach. I’m sure it’s because I’m an anti-family, abortion-forcing, pants-wearing, male-hating feminazi. (Yes, I got an email cursing me for my failure to post and accusing me of just that. And no, it wasn’t from my mother. 🙂 )

Or it could be because I spent part of the day cleaning the house in preparation for my trip to Ohio this week, (I leave Wednesday.) and part of it reading several books from the TBR pile that’s been building up, instead reading blogs and other such.

It was a lovely Mother’s Day. I reaped my gifts from two of my three children (all of whom shall go unidentified to protect the guilty party who forgot what day it was and didn’t come home till after midnight) – a beautiful pot of narcissus and a card that made me cry from one child and an amethyst geode from another who knows her mother’s love of rocks and crystals. I also received pink and white pansies in coffee mugs from my niece and nephew, and a neat little book, “Who Else But A Mother?” and another card from my mom. In addition, I was treated to breakfast Saturday morning.

But for all those who were irritated by my failure, this one’s for you:

Continue reading

May 12, 2008 Posted by | America, Children, Family, Mother's Day, Parenting, Women | 4 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Limited free time means I haven’t been able to work on the blog as often as I’d like, plus the “primary fatigue” that set in made me want to start posting recipes rather than digging in to write anything substantive. Unfortunately, this also meant I stopped posting the FAWS and updating “Counting the Cost.” I may not get to posting much else on a regular basis, but I’ll try to remember to keep these going. –Jenn

War Pigs — Black Sabbath
1970

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgement day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has sturck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!

May 9, 2008 Posted by | Bush, Congress, Government, Iraq, Music, Politics, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

But You Have To!

From Political Ticker, via Tennessee Guerilla Women:

Do you know how difficult it is for women to stand up and say we are the best at anything? The Democratic Party has to know that women are the core, women have to be at the table and women are going to be heard as we continue in these contests until they finally end.”
— Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’m in a rather interesting mood. Pissed as hell and depressed.

I’m starting to allow my heart to realize that Hillary may not win the nomination. She’s not giving up, though, so I’m not either. Hope springs eternal, and I’m going to keep fighting for her as long as she’s willing to keep fighting.

However, I’d be stupid not to look to the future and ask myself just what I’m going to do come November. The question on everyone’s minds is: “Will the Hillary supporters become Obama supporters once the nomination is decided?”

In my mind, there are two questions: Can I support the Democratic nominee if it’s not Hillary, and can I continue to align myself the Democratic party at all after witnessing, reading, or listening to hundreds (or thousands) of misogynistic attacks on Hillary and her supporters by other members of the party ?

I can’t answer for anyone else, and I will make no attempt to dissuade anyone from their own decisions about this, but — at this point, unless something completely changes my mind between now and November — I’ll vote for Barack Obama if he’s the nominee. Any Democratic candidate is – theoretically – better than any Republican. [Theoretically meaning: what’s happened since January 2007 that is different from what happened between 2001 and 2007? Besides more hearings.]

However.

I will no longer be a registered Democrat. I am leaving the party and those members of it who have used hateful language against a Democratic candidate and against fellow Democratic voters who had the temerity not to jump on their bandwagon.

June 2008 will mark the 20th anniversary of my becoming a registered voter. I have not missed an election since I became eligible to vote, and I have always been a Democrat. Until now.

I’m done.

But apparently, that’s just fine with certain parts of the party who tell me they don’t need my vote. Just ask Donna Brazile.

I’m just one of those typical, white, blue-collar, traditional Democratic, over-30 but not quite 40, women to whom $30 in gas savings means a lot (like, a month’s worth of one of my prescriptions, or one month’s phone bill payment, or 15 days’ worth of school lunches for one of my younger kids), who wants clear and direct answers about how a candidate intends to bring our troops home (and when!), solve the economic crisis, restore America’s reputation abroad, close Guantanamo and end America’s human rights abuses, help families who are losing their homes, end our oil dependence, secure women’s full reproductive rights, create equality in the workplace (and every place) for women, minorities, GLBTQs, create jobs, end our financial dependence on China – among many, many other vital issues. In other words: no one important or anything.

Yes, yes, I hear the cries of: “She’s pandering!”

Fuck yes, pander to me! Over the past 7 years, we’ve watched politicians pander to one – and only one – constituency: the rich and powerful. Now — Goddess forbid! — someone wants to pander to the poor, the middle-class, the families, the small businesses, the women? Well, hell yeah!

But Hope and Change© apparently means not pandering to the people in this country who are struggling and need relief from the high cost of food, gasoline, utilities, and every other goddamned thing out there. Hope and Change© aren’t about helping those who — forget making ends meet — can’t even get the ends within sight of one another.

So, when it comes time to cast my ballot, if the nominee is Barack Obama, I’ll suck it up, hold my nose, and press the switch – as an Independent. And I’ll probably, in my bitterness, proclaim as I do so, “May the Goddess have mercy on my soul.” (Yes. I am bitter. I’m bitter because I actually thought Democrats were the party of women, of labor unions, of blue-collar laborers, of the underdogs of society, and boy, I’ve been proven wrong this year.)

But between now and the nomination, I’m going to light my candle, and I’m going to use my teaspoon, and no matter how this turns out, I’m going to know I did my damnedest to elect the first female President of the United States of America.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | America, Clinton, Election '08, Government, Life, Politics, Voting, War On Women, White House, Women | 1 Comment

RIP Mildred Loving

Mildred Loving passed away today.

From the Associated Press:

Mildred Loving, a black woman whose challenge to Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down such laws nationwide, has died, her daughter said Monday.

[snip]

Loving and her white husband, Richard, changed history in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to marry. The ruling struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.

“There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause,” the court ruled in a unanimous decision.

[snip]

[…] she and Loving got married in Washington in 1958, when she was 18. Mildred told the AP she didn’t realize it was illegal.

“I think my husband knew,” Mildred said. “I think he thought (if) we were married, they couldn’t bother us.”

But they were arrested a few weeks after they returned to Central Point, their hometown in rural Caroline County north of Richmond. They pleaded guilty to charges of “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” according to their indictments.

They avoided jail time by agreeing to leave Virginia — the only home they’d known — for 25 years. They moved to Washington for several years, then launched a legal challenge by writing to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who referred the case to the American Civil Liberties Union.

In a public statement last year, on the 40th anniversary of the Loving decision, Mildred said, in part:

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.

Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights. I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

At the time the Supreme Court handed down its decision, nearly 80% of Americans disagreed with it and used Biblical justifications for doing so. Forty-one years later, those same kinds of Biblical justifications are being used against same-sex couples. And they are just as wrong and just as ignorant as they were then.

I pray we see the day when all those who love are free to join their lives together.

Thank you Mildred and Richard.

Blessed be.

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Randomness

I’m still tired, and the fluague…flu-like illness I felt coming on before my trip to New Hampshire has definitely sprouted. (NH is a beautiful state, with incredibly friendly people, but damn! Cold, rain, and possibilities of “snowstahms” on the first weekend in May?! And did I mention cold? I never thought of PA as a warm, “southern” climate till now.)

So, I’m busy feeling feverish while wracked with chills. Therefore, you shall have linkys!

Death toll in Myanmar at 4000 and could reach 10,000 or more. [CNN]

Why does Dick Cheney hate whales? [MSNBC]

Federal Air Marshals being denied boarding by airlines because they have the same name as terr’ists on the [giant useless stupid] no-fly list. [Boing-Boing]

Austrian father who imprisoned and raped his daughter for 24 years, forcing her to bear 7 children, is going to use the insanity defense. [CNN]

Toxic goo from Superfund sites being used as a fertilizer. [oh goody!] [Natasha at Pacific Views]

And now… I’m going back to bed.

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment