Someone with cable, tell me how this goes...
Our Handy Governor and Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson is braving the Daily Show tonight on Comedy Central.
I have no idea: Can Richardson be funny?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
She’s looking for someone to bother, she says,
belly swelling beneath pink baby-doll tee.
She points down.
This is what she’s been up to.
“School? I don’t go; I got bored.”
But now? “He works,” she says.
“I sit at home and watch tv
and call him and tell him how bored I am.
This girl, still running from her nightmares –
still dreaming them up –
too smart for school,
not smart enough to amuse herself,
to come full feminist circle,
only this girl can’t talk at dinner parties
or cook for dinner parties
or do much
of anything at all.
Scared of what she could be
and all that she never could,
she’s chosen this store-bought life
of unhappiness pre-packaged,
the tragedy bold-printed
on the family-proof label:
Take two. Wait twenty years.
Take two more.
What is failure to her
when it all means nothing,
and the disappointment
stretching my cheeks red
just enflames the word
I want to understand
what she wants,
but am afraid even this
will prove too much for her.
Why must she
want anything at all?
What can she be feeding her baby
when she barely asks anything of the air?
is bigger than she is.
She looks half an ambition away from scared,
half a lifetime away from bitter.
When she laughs,
you can hear empty streets rattle.
she does not care.
He works, she says,
and moves off to find someone else to bother.
he readies himself for her growing anger,
the baby to take its own air,
tiny fingers pushing off against her to gain speed.
I am left empty-handed,
mid-wife to her stillborn dreams.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
An organization near and dear to M3's hearts, the Albuquerque Planners Network is presenting a forum tonight that's sure to generate community, conversation, and connection. Planning always involves community, conversation, and connection... but when women are the focus, it's bound to be especially captivating. This event should be a great one, so we hope to see many of you there!
Panelists from different sectors of the planning profession will discuss
the role of gender in planning.
Thursday, March 22
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sawmill Lofts Multipurpose Room, 1801 Bellamah NW
Connie Chavez, Sawmill Community Land Trust
Paula Garcia, New Mexico Acequia Association
Bernadette Miera, Bernalillo County
Nichole Sanchez-Howell, Village of Corrales
Renee Villareal, Santa Fe County
Claudia Isaac, UNM School of Architecture and Planning (and m-pyre hero)
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
If you're only going to come to one Slam event to end the season, don't come tonight. Save yourself for the high-stakes final showdown on Saturday, April 7, 7:30 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center's Journal Theatre. We've got 600+ seats, and we want them FILLED.
If, on the other hand, you're looking for a real, live reality show drama, attend the semi-finals leading excruciatingly to the elimination of all but the final contestants to build this year's ABQ Slam Team that will compete in Austin to re-claim the National Championship title that slipped through our fingers last year.
It's gonna be a great show. Tonight at Winning Coffee you can see everyone's favorite straight-man, Don McIver, among others. This man is one of the Q's best community organizers. He's so good you probably never heard of him, but if you go to a slam poetry event, chances are his fingerprints are all over it!
If you miss tonight, you have two more semi-finals to see.
Blue Dragon II
Poetry & Beer
Brooke Von Blomberg
Then the only thing left to see (for this season, anyway) is the Grand SLAM:
And for those who love poetry and want to share, bring your favorite poem & sign up to read it at the open mic. Add a little poetry to your poetry! We all could use the education.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
In the spirit of Maggie, here are my random notes at the moment:
- I think the youtube Hilary 1984 video is brilliant. Who knows if Barack is behind it?
Social Forum. This is going to be a really great moment for social justice community based organizations. There’s a large delegation of United States organizations going, and they’re going together. That is kick-ass. Here is the short commercial that New Mexico SWOPput together to do outreach. All of you should consider going. If you can’t go, consider supporting those who are going, especially the organizations that operate on a shoestring budget.
- Speaking of incarceration, did folks notice that the U.S. State Department has released their 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights? These are our government’s annual assessments of how countries do in the area of Human Rights. Funny, I don’t see us, aka The United States, on the list. Given that we have the largest prison population in the world (by leaps and bounds) it might be useful to examine our own human rights record first and foremost. This kind of gets at one of those fundamental truths that our parents are supposed to teach us: look at yourself before throwing stones. Or something like that. Our human rights record extends beyond how we treat foreign prisoners held at
. Or I should say, it extends deep within our own country. Through neglect of poverty, the criminalization of poor people, and the turning of a blind eye to entrenched racism we allow human rights violations to happen in this country on a daily basis. And our democracy has not proven itself up to the task of correcting these realities. Guantanamo Bay
Ok, its not all politics and social justice on my mind.
- Arundahti Roy is writing a new novel. Yes, she’s way political but her one and only novel, The God of Small Things, is about the microcosm of life. And it’s so good that she won The Booker Prize for it. I'm looking forward to her next one. Anyhow, in this article she touched on her living arrangement with her husband. Apparently they live in separate houses. To explain this she says: "Living with my own contradictions is hard enough - forcing my political views on someone else, on their lifestyle and the choices they make is not something I want to do. It distorts a relationship beyond redemption. So, I decided to have my own place." I love that recognition, and I think it can be very true. I don’t know how to best order a domestic relationship. It beats me. But I certainly understand how the merging of separate lives, with separate passions and priorities, into one space…can distort a relationship beyond redemption.
- Speaking of domestic space, spring time has me wanting to open my bedroom window but I’m afraid that I will die from a juniper attack. When will it end? I’m feeling that springtime optimism…that is oh so sweet…but the allergy attacks are hindering me big time.
- Skiing is over for another year. I sort of want to cry about that but at the same time I feel pretty good about the season. I ski’ed a lot and saw real improvement. I rocked the bumps! And before you ask, yes, it does make me feel very bourgeois. So...now its time to pull out the camping gear...anyone want to backpack way out and lay be a stream?
- As the big 40 approaches, I've decided I will enter the decade at the same weight as I entered my 30s. No, its not a big stretch. And yes, this is something I can talk about on m-pyre! We have an obesity epidemic in this country folks. Think Food. Our food is killing us. But enough of that for now...this is the non-political section of random notes. Because jogging is so darned hard on my joints these days, I've decided to take up rollerblading. Not only is it great excercise, I've been told its a great off-season sport for improving ones skiing. So you do the math. lol. Anyone want to go zooming on blades with me? Yes, zooming. :-)
Alright, I think that is it.
These two links are essential reading today. I've got lots more to say about community being the basis of morality (of course), but ... go read it in full first!
The Onion - 4 Years of Winning in Iraq retrospective issue. Hilarious. Damning. Spot-on.
- Well You Try to Reconstruct Iraq, says Defensive Dept.
- Bush Quietly Rolls Back Death Toll to Zero
- Point: This War Will Destabilize the Entire Mideast Region and Set Off a Global Shockwave of Anti-Americanism / Counterpoint: No It Won't
- And lots more...
Social living requires empathy, which is especially evident in chimpanzees, as well as ways of bringing internal hostilities to an end. Every species of ape and monkey has its own protocol for reconciliation after fights. If two males fail to make up, female chimpanzees will often bring the rivals together, as if sensing that discord makes their community worse off and more vulnerable to attack by neighbors.
Dr. de Waal believes that these actions are undertaken for the greater good of the community, as distinct from person-to-person relationships, and are a significant precursor of morality in human societies. ...
These four kinds of behavior — empathy, the ability to learn and follow social rules, reciprocity and peacemaking — are the basis of sociality.
As Dr. de Waal sees it, human morality may be severely limited by having evolved as a way of banding together against adversaries, with moral restraints being observed only toward the in group, not toward outsiders. “The profound irony is that our noblest achievement — morality — has evolutionary ties to our basest behavior — warfare,” he writes. “The sense of community required by the former was provided by the latter.”
[So racism can evolve to community! Woo-hoo! Good news, everyone. The war in Iraq is only a matter of glacial time, now! We'll definitely be ready to pull troop out in another 200,000-1,000,000 years. Hang in there, soldiers!]
Biologists are allowed an even smaller piece of the action by Jesse Prinz, a philosopher at the University of North Carolina. He believes morality developed after human evolution was finished and that moral sentiments are shaped by culture... “[R]ecognition of equal dignity for all human beings … seems to be unprecedented in the animal world.”
Dr. de Waal says, “In the actual world, we are confronted with different people who might be targets of our sympathy. And the business of ethics [and planning, hello!] is deciding who to help and why and when.”
Morality, [Dr. de Waal] writes, is “a sense of right and wrong that is born out of groupwide systems of conflict management based on shared values.” The building blocks of morality are not nice or good behaviors but rather mental and social capacities for constructing societies “in which shared values constrain individual behavior through a system of approval and disapproval.”
[Isn't that also a great definition of community-building or planning in general? I think so!]
[Isn't that also a great definition of community-building or planning in general? I think so!]
Natural selection favors organisms that survive and reproduce, by whatever means. And [morality] has provided people, with “a compass for life’s choices that takes the interests of the entire community into account, which is the essence of human morality.”[Planners as the ultimate in morality. Wow. Evolutionary pinnacle and all that. Is that why this is so damned complicated?]
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Here are some of my favorite signs from today’s anti-war march and rally. There were about 1000 people there. For a more comprehensive look at the day, see Jo Ann's pictures on SWOPblogger--they're great.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Blogging energy has been nil lately, but there's lots and lots that I've been reading and discussing and doing, so I promise I haven't been brain-dead. Before jumping on a plane, here it is, rapid-fire style:
- I wish this was me. This NYT profile of Catherine Orenstein gets me fired up in all the ways that dangerously prompt me to re-envision myself and my career. This project is brilliant, and the piece perfectly captures why Orenstein is the perfect woman to convince other women to write. Love those smart gals tearing down structural oppression.
- Movie love. I was just floored by Black Snake Moan, and I'm seriously enchanted with Craig Brewer. Actually, it's gone from blushing crush to full-on infatuation. This movie takes everything Hustle & Flow started and kicks it up about a thousand notches. I dare say Brewer's our most lyrical and honest U.S. filmmaker right now, and if you don't get it, fine. His challenge to see past stereotypes for the truth and humanity embedded there is one not suited for everybody. And besides, Gene and I will have fun sneering at you behind your back if you don't get him. :-) (And PS while we're on movies: the Alexander Payne event at the Kimo last week was great!)
- Who knew? (Probably every local but me, since I'm not really local...) But Teresa Tapia rocks. Really. This woman is tough, and I admire the hell out of her no-bullshit approach to her husband.
- A raid is a raid is a raid. Last Sunday, the Ms trekked up to Santa Fe to hear Barbara Ehrenreich speak, and the event was fabulous. Lots of chatter there about the recent immigration raids in Santa Fe, and some impressive responses from Mayor Coss and the progressive community about the networks they're establishing to help warn families in advance of future raids and to assure them of their rights. A day after the talk, I couldn't help but recall what's happening in the City Different as I read the latest from New Orleans, where FEMA is raiding mobile home parks and giving disaster-weary residents just 48 hours to leave. The parallels make my head spin, not to mention my heart hurt. Aren't we better than this?
- Dad knows best. I was chastised by my father for not being on top of the Walter Reed series as soon as it was published in the Post weeks ago, and as usual, he was right. Days after he was disappointed to hear I hadn't read the Post that weekend and predicted that people were about to be hearing a lot more about it, the outcry heated up nationwide. I think good 'ol Dad has always been my personal political barometer. Maybe he should be everyone's, too. His instincts are always right-on; someone should pay him for that.
- "You, sir, are no Michael Dukakis." This Salon piece that draws parallels between Bill Richardson and Michael Dukakis has been amusing me all week. Now, I'm biased as hell, because I was privileged enough to get to know Dukakis very well through the years in Boston, and I don't think there's a better man around. But, if the paraphrase fits...
- Plame has my vote. What political theater. Politics have been very, very fun to watch lately. Go Valerie! Go Patrick! Go David!
- Juniper sucks. This City sounds like a wheezing, sneezing, hellhole right now. And we look awful, too - at the Chama taproom the other night Jessie and I must've appeared to be crying our eyes out to each other. But no, just dealing with a constant stream of allergy tears running out of our eyes. Too bad I love gin and tonics so much. But still, I need to leave soon for juniper-free environs, at least for a weekend. Oh wait, I am! Happy trails, everyone.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Lest you think the Gonzales 8 were isolated instances, this comes via White House Briefing in the Washington Post:
Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power.This is not an indication of guilt. It's a clear indication that once again, Bush condones blurring the line between Executive Power and the other branches of government. I see he believes in checks; it's the balances he doesn't seem to recognize.
Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 [3%] involved independents, 67 [17%] involved Republicans and 298 [79%] involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Great L.A. Times article on Heather Wilson's role in the Iglesias firing that's heating up the next beltway GOP scandal, which is putting pressure on the Bush administration to:
- Fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales,
- Fire Karl Rove, and
- Stop firing competent federal judges and replacing them with toe-the-line party hacks.
It was just three weeks before election day 2006, and Rep. Heather A. Wilson was on the ropes. Opinion polls showed the New Mexico Republican trailing her Democratic opponent in a tough campaign.
One person in a good position to help Wilson was U.S. Atty. David C. Iglesias, who was investigating Democratic corruption in her home state. A late-breaking indictment of Democratic officials could help Wilson distance herself from sex and lobbying scandals plaguing the GOP in Washington.
That's why eyebrows raised when it was recently disclosed that, in the heat of her fight for political survival, Wilson called Iglesias to ask about possible indictments. So did Domenici.
Both lawmakers have denied that they called Iglesias for political purposes or pressured him. But questions about their actions have turned what might have been a narrow investigation of the Justice Department's late-2006 decision to fire Iglesias and seven other U.S. attorneys into a broader controversy about the ethical limits of lawmakers' influence on prosecutors.
Democrats see the New Mexico episode as indicative of the lengths Republicans were willing to go to gain political advantage in the crucial midterm elections that ended up changing the balance of power in Congress.
Iglesias understood that news of indictments against them would probably boost Wilson's chances.
"I was aware that public corruption was a huge battle being waged by Patricia Madrid and Heather Wilson in the 1st District," he said. "And I assiduously tried to stay out of that fight."
Thursday, March 08, 2007
This is brilliant. I think I'll bookmark it so that every time this terrible woman says something horribly offensive I can feel a little bit better about the world. Whew!
Go play "Ann Coulter Does Not Speak For Me"... trust me.
So go and hug a woman and tell her thanks. Gather all the ladies and go out on the town. Read feminist children's books to your daughters. Send out all the gender equality karma you can muster.
Every day, I mean. Today?
How about writing a check to your local domestic violence shelter, that fantastic woman running for office in your town, or the far-away women's cooperative that sells the best coffee you've ever tasted?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
In the latest episode in the ongoing torture and illegal detainment practices of the United States, U.S. military hearings begin this week for 14 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who were originally held last year in secret CIA prisons elsewhere. The fact that there was an uproar about the secret CIA prisons, that they were even exposed in the first place, does say a lot about the ability of the international community (which includes U.S. citizens) to find information and effectively pressure the U.S. government. The fact that the secret prisons existed to begin with, on the other hand, is a damning indictment of our country, particularly given how we like to make pronouncements about the human rights records of other countries.
According to the NYT, the hearings ..."are to determine formally if the prisoners, who include the accused mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and 13 others, are properly held as enemy combatants and may be tried by special military courts."
So, let's get this straight: The U.S. military is holding secret hearings in order to determine if these fellows are "enemy combatants," and I presume therefore "prisoners of war," in order to determine if they can then try them in military courts, which do not provide them with the due process all others are supposed to be afforded in the U.S. courts. Am I getting the circularity of this right?
How unbiased do folks think the U.S. military is going to be? Well, according to Bryan Whitman of the Pentagon, "I think everybody recognises these individuals are unique for the role they have played in terrorist operations and in combat operations against US forces."
That gives us a little bit of a clue.
Reading further in the press reports, we find that:
- No defense counsel will be present;
- Transcripts will be released that are heavily edited for "national security";
- No prisoners names will be released in the transcripts;
- The circumstances of their capture will not be released; and
- The Defense Department refuses to say whether or not they will release in the transcripts any allegations by the prisoners of torture.
So, essentially, there are a number of men who were abducted by the CIA and taken to secret prisons, where we all know they were tortured. They were then transferred to Guantanamo Bay after the public found out about those prisons and reacted accordingly (because many of us do operate from a set of ideals and values). Now the military is secretly determining if they get to try the prisoners in military tribunals.
Folks, our country is founded on checks and balances. The only way these prisoners get a fair shake is if another body has access to all that secret information and has equal power to check the military in these proceedings. Should that body be public? Maybe, maybe not. But it should definitely exist, and it should be completely independent.
What a beautiful event. I admit that as it drew closer and closer, I was actually wishing I could just call in sick. I was totally exhausted and had no idea where I was going to get the energy for this. Then it looked like no one was going to come. I was ready to go home.
All of a sudden, we were started, the energy flowed through the room, and we had 40 people in our audience, feeding fuel to the fire.
These women were amazing. All different, all individual, yet somehow as we heard story after story, the picture of women's pivotal role in social change, in our communities, came into focus. There was a fabulous discussion, too. The audience was right there with the hard questions -- "You've taken on such big issues. Most days do you feel optimistic or depressed?" and "Given that so much has actually gone backward from the 60s, how do you still keep working and pushing to move forward?"
Here were some of the great lines of the night (some may be paraphrased, I admit):
- "Consciousness creates choices." -- Joann Bejar
- "I ask myself three questions about the way I spend my money, my time, and my relationships: 1) Is it giving me as much fulfillment as I put in? 2) It is in alignment with my values? 3) Is it in alignment with my purposes?" -- Margo Ganster
- "We ask our teens: How can you cause social change? How can you get beyond limitations? What are your core beliefs that hold you back?" -- Myra Murphy-Jacobs
- "Working for Corporate America is a little like jumping in with the wolves, but it's giving me the tools that companies have used for years to get ahead." -- Dory Wegryzn
- "I'm driven by desperation. But you have to do what you can with two small hands. You just have to keep flailing them until people see." -- Naomi Natale
- "I had dreams of my own, but for 27 years in an abusive relationship, I could not see people, even though I like being with others, or leave the house, or do anything. When I divorced my husband, it was like I was reborn again." -- Sandra Montes
- "Non-profits have a problem. They're too territorial about their projects. As long as they're fighting each other over crumbs, they will never succeed. And until we face the issues of race and gender -- which I've seen in every non-profit -- we can't move forward together." -- Dory Wegryn
- "We're in a better space than we ever have been before. We're at the tipping point, and we're right there where we need to be when this system stops working." -- Joann Bejar
- "I've faced a lot of hardships in my life. I ask myself: How do I harness this energy of sorrow? I have a promise to myself -- a dream, a vision: That we can powerfully and effectively communicate to the extent that we wake up the compassion for each other that will energize us to work for change. We teach a workshop to teens that focuses on 'awakening the dreamer, changing the dream.'" -- Myra Murphy-Jacobs
- "I've made a choice to read success stories." -- Margo Ganster
- "I focus on our successes. I refuse to think about everything that still needs to be done. That's overwhelming. I'm stubborn. If someone says I can't do something, I do the opposite." -- Sandra Montes
- "Be silent and notice what interests you. Follow that until you know what you need to know. Then move on to the next thing." -- Margo Ganster
- "We've faced lots of barriers, namely politics and men." -- Sandra Montes
- "In our organization, we have no hierarcy. We share the same title. When there's a problem or someone's uncomfortable, we talk about it. When somebody hears you, frequently nothing has to change." -- Margo Ganster
And that, dear friends, is exactly the power of events like last night. Sometimes when you make the space for people to tell their stories and be heard, nothing has to change. Sometimes, that's all that has to happen for change to begin.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
TODAY,March 6 at 6 pm, the NHCC is hosting Women in Action, a panel discussion of local women activists, artists, and entrepreneurs, also as part of Women & Creativity. This one's near and dear to my little political heart. The panel includes:
- Dory Wegryzn, who was instrumental in forming the Sawmill Community Land Trust,
- Sandra Montes, who's fought tirelessly for the rights of Pajarito Mesa residents in Albuquerque's South Valley,
- Joann Bejar, who's done everything from being a filmaker, labor organizer, to mom,
- Naomi Natale, who created the Cradle Project -- an art project that calls attention to and raises funds for children orphaned by disease and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa,
- Myra Murphy-Jacob of Sustainable Global Leadership Alliance, which trains and sends leaders to other countries, where they help train others as leaders in sustainable, eco- and community-friendly business practices, and
- Margo Ganster of Green It!, a local company that helps other companies to incorporate ways to be "green," adding to the sustainability of our economy & our environment
Libby's verdict came back: Guilty of 4 of 5 counts, including lying about his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity:
- two counts of perjury,
- one count of making false statements and
- one count of obstruction of justice,
Oh, boy, oh, boy. What will the fall out be??? One can only hope for a great game of dominoes.
Monday, March 05, 2007
No time this morning to speculate, but NM is smack-dab in the center of D.C. gossip today, half because of Domenici's recent admission of tampering in an ongoing investigation of NM Democrats and half because of David Brooke's musings (subscription required) about Richardson's presidential candidacy. Apparently, Richardson's the one to watch.
The evil Heather Wilson is lurking stage left in all of this. Senator Wilson? Shudder.