Tuesday, September 02, 2008

GOP and Women

Republican Math

Like many people McCain's Veep choice

has me stumped.

A play for Hillary voters?
Palin's pro-life, wants Creationism taught
in schools, doesn't think there is scientific
proof of global warming, is against listing
the Polar Bear on the Endangered Species
List —

A wet start to counter Obama's convention
speech? Get his ratings up?

Oz wrote about McCain's alarming propensity
for crashing airplanes. See: The Wrong Stuff.
Was it a gamble, an impulse?

Or do Republicans just have weird ideas
about women?

It's not Cindy McCain's fault that she looks
like Barbie, but didn't John offer her up
to take part in a contest to be Queen of
a Biker rally — a competition that involved
topless contestants French kissing guys
in Motorcycle garb?

Or consider Bush's first pick for Supreme Court
Chief (no less) Justice, Harriette Meyer — who quickly
withdrew when it became obvious to everyone
her only qualification was loyalty to G.W.

Or Texas Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who
votes lock step with the Bush agenda. Wasn't she,
like Palin, a beauty pageant winner?

Or Kathrine Harris (Catherine the Great) who
ran for Senate after fixing the vote for Bush
in Florida in 2002.

And there's Laura Bush, the librarian who didn't
know Walt Whitman had written bitterly
in opposition to war.

Or Barbara Bush, who said Katrina refugees in
shelters in Houston probably had better accommodations
there than they were accustomed to.

Or Condi Rice —
the Russian Scholar from Stanford who gets
everything wrong.

It is not that there are no qualified women
in the Republican party. Olympia Snow,
has international experience.

Palin got her first passport
after she was elected Governor of Alaska.

I'm not alone in wondering what McCain
could possibly have been thinking when he
picked her. Here are ten disturbing things
about Palin from AlterNet.

I don't give a flip that her daughter is pregnant,
but it concerns me that Gov. Palin either lied about
whose child the four month old baby is —
or recklessly endangered his life and her own
by waiting after her water broke to deliver a speech
in Texas, then flew (while in labor) eleven hours
to Alaska, drove to her home town hospital
to deliver — a mother over 40, carrying a Downs
Syndrome baby? And the hospital records
only two births that day, neither of which
were her's.

Starting with Enron, which my family first
experienced as rolling brown outs in California,
I've been convinced that Republicans can't
count. Or if they can, the numbers don't work
unless you assume the existence of something
that's invisible.

Photos of Palin within weeks of the "birth"
of her last child show her svelt and trim.
Her daughter, at the same time, was absent
from school for several months with mono,
the kissing disease.

Apply Republican Math to a woman's gestation
cycles -- an age old trick -- and you get
Palin's announcement yesterday that her
daughter is 5 months pregnant and will
marry her childhood sweetheart and raise
the baby with the loving support of the whole

And that's cool.
It also gets Palin off the hook, if you buy it,
for the earlier rumor, that her youngest child
(4 months old) is actually her daughter's baby.
Impossible. The daughter's five months pregnant.

Women have been counting the days of
our cycles, the months of our pregancies, hours
and minutes and seconds between contractions
since there have been women. If a woman says
her baby is early (born 7 months from the wedding
day) who's going to challenge it? Who cares?

Why are we even talking about this?

Is it possible that McCain knew this beforehand,
and counted
on the distraction it would provide?
They don't have to defend
GW's record —
Iraq, the economy, the housing market crash,

the cost of oil? They just have to speak up
for a damsel
in distress?

What does this tell us about how
he makes decisions?

What does the Palin choice tell us about how
views women?

Anyhow, what do Republicans do when they are
confronted with a competent, brilliant, informed,
woman who asks questions, speaks the truth —
like Amy Goodman?

They arrest her.

©Susan Bright, 2008

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC


September 1, 2008

Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107, mike@democracynow.org

ST. PAUL, MN-Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Republican party's birth politics! Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her young pregnant daughter are poster children for Republican birth politics of populate! Neo-con writer Herbert Meyer in his intellegince briefing to CEO's entitled What in the World is Going On, lists prominent among 4 Major Transformations: Shifting Demographics of Western Civilization. He writes that as the West has adopted birth control practices and women have returned to the work force, the West has failed to keep up sufficient population to maintain growth, power and economies. Discusses Europe, the US and Japan, he proposes that birth rates increase in order that the West maintain its global dominence and economic strength, (forget that the planet's overpopulation is un-sustainable and driving global warming and environmental degredation.)

Meyer's principles and writings are wholy embraced by the Republican Party, merged with a sick overlay of religious zealousness mandating all Godfaring women to shell out babies for the GOP! A not so covert or subtle underpinning of racism is quietly wrapped up in the GOP's birth politics.

Palin and her teachings of "abstinance" rather than birth control are darlings of the GOP. Five children and a new grandchild on the way - Palin, her husband and now their well endoctrinated dauthger are doing their duty to populate for the GOP!

Sadly, no one in media is focusing on the deliberateness of the GOP's "abstinance" teachning and its birth politics. Palin's daughter is a perfect example of the known and proven fact that abstence does not work, whether for teen or adult populations. Even birth control does not work all the time - the Pill is only 99%effective and other means have lower effectiveness at preventing birth.

But Palin and her daughter are not about birth control or abortion, both issues are red herrings of the GOP's true objective, which is populating the planet with people who think like them.

So how is the GOP different from pre-WWII Nazi birth polictics? Nazi's encouraged women who thought like them, belived like them and looked like them to have more babies.



4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. Yet more shock and awe. And horror.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Zurlo sent this in:

From: Anne Kilkenny annekilkenny@hotmail.com
Date: September 1, 2008 12:20:01 AM PDT
Subject: re: SARAH PALIN

Dear friends,

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common: their gender and their good looks. :)

You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .


I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because she is a "babe".

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months.

She is "pro-life". She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym. She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out there" and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters. She's smart. Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about
5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.
During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative". During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than
They benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She
Also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city. As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs.

She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened
in the case of pressuring the State's top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he "intimidated" her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to
replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who
didn't like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her. When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one
of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission
(who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the "old boys' club" when she dramatically quit, exposing this man's ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the "bridge to nowhere" after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant
she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork".

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's
mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her. As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as "AGIA" that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State's lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior's decision to list polar bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there's a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

*"Hockey mom": true for a few years *"PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary
school, not since *"NRA supporter": absolutely true *social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill
that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional). *pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it. *"Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation

*"Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.*political maverick: not at all *gutsy: absolutely!
*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions. *has a developed philosophy of public policy: no *"a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR. *fiscal conservative: not by my definition! *pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents *pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla's history. *pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union
doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "Bad things happen when good people stay silent". Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that's life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall--they are swamped. So I can't verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000", up to 9,000. The day Palin's selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to
2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90's.

11:12 AM  

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