Karmic Reverberations

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Archive for March, 2009

Council on Women and Girls

Posted by karmalily on March 11, 2009

President Barack Obama on the creation of a new council on women:

The purpose of this Council is to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy,” said President Obama. “My Administration has already made important progress toward that goal. I am proud that the first bill I signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. But I want to be clear that issues like equal pay, family leave, child care and others are not just women’s issues, they are family issues and economic issues. Our progress in these areas is an important measure of whether we are truly fulfilling the promise of our democracy for all our people. I am confident that Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen will guide the Council wisely as its members address these important issues.

Way to go Prez!

Daily Kos

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Tibetan monks taken for “Political re-education”

Posted by karmalily on March 8, 2009

Although this is horribly upsetting, it really isn’t all that surprising. Way to go China for spitting in the face of freedom once again.

China has long been oppressing Tibet, and whenever riots or protests start to flare up they pound them down with their fists. This time is no different. 109 monks have been arrested by Chinese officials for “political re-education.” Seriously. From Times Online:

The rounding up of 109 monks from Lutsang monastery in Qinghai province, western China, is one of a series of extraordinary security measures being implemented to prevent restive Tibetans from commemorating the anniversary [of the exile of the Dalai Lama and concurrant Tibetan protests for freedom from the Chinese] with protests against Chinese rule….

…A military lockdown has been in place across Tibet for several weeks. The authorities clearly do not want to be taken by surprise, as they were on March 14 last year when hundreds of Tibetans rampaged through the streets of Lhasa, setting fire to shops and offices, hurling stones and attacking ethnic Han Chinese and Hui Muslim residents. The Government says that 22 people died before paramilitary police moved in to restore order many hours after the violence had erupted.

Things aren’t looking good for Tibet. The main problem is that no nation is willing to stand up to China and demand human rights for all Chinese citizens. Freedom is far more important than the money these nations are making from being trading partners with China.

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Obama on unemployment, credit – Weekly Address

Posted by karmalily on March 7, 2009

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The Proper Christian Wife

Posted by karmalily on March 6, 2009

I’m a pretty hard-core feminist, and this article from MotherJones about conservative Christian wives drove me nuts. Titled “The Purpose-Driven Wife,” it takes a look at the “priorities” of a good Christian wife/homemaker (God forbid a woman have a job). Here’s an excerpt:

Those priorities may include rising early to feed the family, being available anytime to satisfy a husband’s desires (barring a few “ungodly” or “homosexual” acts), seeking his approval regarding work, appearance, and leisure, and accepting that he has the “burden” of final say in arguments. After a wife has respectfully appealed her spouse’s decision – a privilege she should not abuse – she must accept his final answer as “God’s will for her at that time,” Peace advises. The godly wife must also suppress selfish desires (for romance, a career, an equitable marriage), practice addressing her spouse in soothing tones, and maintain a private log of bitter thoughts to guide her repentance. “If you disobey your husband,” Peace admonishes in The Excellent Wife, “you are indirectly shaking your fist at God.”

Let’s hear that last bit one more time: “If you disobey your husband, you are indirectly shaking your fist at God.” I don’t fucking think so.

People who have read some of my earlier posts have probably realized that I’m not a big fan of organized religion. That said, I have no problem with religion. I just think people take it too far. As Gandhi once wisely said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Living in the Bible Belt, I’ve met plenty of women who subscribe to the view that they are somehow inferior to their husbands. Although I usually feel like grabbing these women by the face and shaking them to make them understand that there’s nothing wrong about being a woman, most of the time I feel more pity than frustration. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where my mother didn’t push religion on me. I was allowed to choose a path for myself. But someone growing up in a strict fundamentalist Christian family would practically be brainwashed from birth.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fundamentalist Christianity (or, for that matter, fundamentalists of any religion) are one of the biggest threats to American democracy. Far-right fundamentalist Christians are a huge voting block, and helped the worst president in American history get elected. This group of people want to practically push Christianity down our throats – by banning books, placing religion in schools, making laws and constitutional admendments based faith. I can honestly say that I’m more scared of an America under fundamentalist values than of the terrorist-prone America that Republicans would have us believe in.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

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NY Takes Huge Step with Drug Laws

Posted by karmalily on March 4, 2009

New York has passed a bill that will get rid a set of laws known as the “Rockefeller Drug Laws.” These laws were enacted in 1973 and put insanely unnecessary regulations on drug crimes. From StopTheDrugWar.org:

…the Rockefeller Drug Laws mandate extremely harsh prison terms for the possession or sale of relatively small amounts of drugs. Though intended to target drug kingpings, most of the people incarcerated are convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses. Many of the thousands of New Yorkers in prison under these laws suffer from substance abuse problems; many other struggle with issues related to homelessness, mental illness or unemployment.

Here’s a look at what the new bill will do:

The Assembly bill (A.6085) embraces judicial discretion in sentencing and allows for rehabilitation and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The bill:

  • Restores the authority of a judge to divert some people into substance abuse treatment or other community-based programs that best address the person’s needs;
  • Provides for retroactive relief for those sentenced under the old Rockefeller sentencing scheme;
  • Creates re-entry planning services for those in prison, including services that improve access to medical assistance upon release; and
  • Establishes a “crime reduction fund” which will be used to fund prevention and treatment services.

It would be great if other states would take the initiative and take another look at drug laws. We really are living in a prison nation – our prisons and jails are overcrowded as hell. Let’s save that room for people who deserve to be in jail instead of someone with no criminal history who gets caught with a little weed.

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My thoughts on “Octomom”

Posted by karmalily on March 4, 2009

a1edef6ab68c7bfe_556469dd8c5d3016_octiesBy now I’m sure everyone has heard of Nadya Suleman, aka “Octomom.” Suleman had octuplets by way of in-vitro fertilization.  Suleman has fourteen children in total.

Suleman’s highly televised ordeal has created a lot of controversy. Mainly because she is unemployed and is receiving government assistance. One of the results of the controversy is a proposed bill in Georgia that would  “limit women under 40 to two embryos and women over 40 three.”

First of all, like others have said before me, what the hell is this woman thinking? I think welfare is incredibly helpful to those that need it, but this is one of those examples of someone seriously abusing the system. Suleman decided to have these children while she knew she couldn’t support them.

Second, and this might upset some people, having that many children is just flat-out selfish. This planet is overcrowded as it is. We’ve already reached the point at which Earth can meet the demands of the population. If you really need that many kids, why not adopt and not add to the pollution that will be caused by those new kids?

Third, as much as I want to see a reduced population, any bill limiting a woman’s decision to have children in whatever form is a kick to women’s rights.

I wish people would realize how harmful having too many children is to this world. Everytime I see a family with four or five kids the first thing that comes to my mind is how selfish these people are! It’s unethical. I made up my mind five years ago never to have children. Sure, I might want to be a mother some day, but I can adopt and give a home to a child who might otherwise move through foster homes or grow up never experiencing a good family life.

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Federal agencies to consult with wildlife biologists

Posted by karmalily on March 4, 2009

Remember in December 2008, with just one month left in office, when George Bush issued a new rule to federal agencies letting them skip meeting with wildlife biologists to determine whether or not a project would damage habitat to endangered or threatened species? Well, even though that rule is not officially off the tables just yet, President Barack Obama has suspended it while asking the secretaries of commerce and interior to take another look at Bush’s laws and decide if there should be a new law (and yeah, there should be).

It feels good to have a president who doesn’t just completely ignore the environment. I hope we see a plethora of new laws and rules put into effect by this administration in relation to better environmental standards.

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Supreme Court – citizens cannot sue government over federal lands

Posted by karmalily on March 4, 2009

According to the Supreme Court, citizens and environmental groups cannot sue the federal government over destruction to federal lands.

From Planetsave:

“Broad concerns shared by all citizens, like an interest in ‘good government’ or in the ‘health of the forests,’ are not sufficient to establish standing,” Justice Antonin Scalia noted, writing for the court’s 5-4 majority vote.

The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the Earth Island Instititute that claimed the Forest Service violated the 1992 Appeals Reform Act by not allowing public comment in situations that the service believes have little environmental impact.

This means that we cannot sue the federal government for destruction of federal lands, lands that we, the American people, essentially own and pay for. We should be able to sue to protect these areas.

And what now? How are environmentalists supposed to ensure that our government is using federal lands the way they should?

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