Karmic Reverberations

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Rape Victim Accused of False Report

Posted by karmalily on April 3, 2009

This is just infuriating. From The Curvature:

A woman was raped at gunpoint while working for a convenience store, and reported her rape – as, you know, cops, the government, and well-meaning people are always encouraging her and other rape victims to do. Her rape was even “real” rape – since, you know, it was at gunpoint and committed by a total stranger and therefore lacking most sufficient “gray areas.”

But still, the police did not believe the victim….

Instead, they accused her of a false report and put her in jail.

WTF?!?

First, the police and other officials should always give victims of any crime the benefit of the doubt when they first come into the station. The police are supposed to protect and serve, right? So how can they serve those who they just plain don’t give a shit about? In this particular case (and for others too) no investigation had been done. They just assumed she was a liar.

Second, as Cara at the Curvature notes,

Seemingly, it does matter that rather than doing an investigation, which likely could have verified her accusation rather easily, police instead failed to do that investigation and made their own accusation based on assumption.

Assumptions of what, I don’t know. How she was acting during reporting? How much physical evidence there was?

They had no basis to not believe the victim. They simply chose to arrest her.

And third, the worst part of this whole case is that her rapist, who could’ve been caught if they had believed the victim and went after him, raped other women after raping the victim.

Everyone knows that rape is horrible. However, there are many people who do not see all rape as rape. For example, there are people that think some women “deserve” to be raped because of their clothes. Seriously. Then there are people that don’t think rape can happen if the victim and rapist know one another. Yeah, these people are obviously fucked up, but we need to realize that there are people like this. Until all rape is taken as seriously as it should be, cases like this will continue to happen.

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Iowa Approves Same-Sex marriage!!!

Posted by karmalily on April 3, 2009

Iowa has become the third state to approve same-sex marriage. The state’s supreme court ruled that the ban that had been in place was unconstitional. From The NY Times:

The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days, making Iowa only the third state in the nation, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut, to legalize gay marriage. …

“We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law,” the Iowa justices wrote in their opinion. “If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded.”

Now we just have to work on the other 47 states. I’m thrilled about this news, but as soon as I got over my initial “woot”-ness, I remembered that in the rest of the country same-sex couples are still banned from getting married. It’s ridiculous. There is no logical reason why homosexuals should not be allowed to get married. Everyone I’ve ever argued about this with was unable to come up with a decent reason why it should be illegal. Usually, opponents just hide behind some weak religious arguments, or they are simply prejudice against homosexuals. Lame. We should be embracing love. Not discriminating against it.

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Immigrant detainee deaths ignored?

Posted by karmalily on April 2, 2009

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that immigrants are not treated well in this country. But this is unbelievable. From the NY Times:

The hand-scrawled letter from a New Jersey jail was urgent. An immigration detainee had died that day, Sept. 9, 2005, a fellow inmate wrote in broken English, describing chest pains and pleas for medical attention that went unheeded until too late.

“Death… need to be investigated,” he urged a loccal group that corresponded with foreigners held for deportation at the jail, the Monmouth County Correctional Institute in Freehold. “We care very much because that can happen to anyone of us.”

Yet like a message in a bottle tossed from a distant shore, even the fact of the detainee’s death was soon swept away.

It is completely unacceptable that in America today immigrants are still treated this badly. I’m not going to turn this into the “America was founded on immigration” argument (although it was and it is a valid point), I just want people to realize that there are human rights abuses right here in America.

In New Jersey, an Immigrant Detainee Dies, and Then Vanishes From the Records

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New Rights for Prisoners in US Afghan Prisons

Posted by karmalily on April 2, 2009

The Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees have the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal court. It was a 5-4 vote made in June of 2008. However, these same rights were never extended to prisoners kept in US-run prisons in Afghanistan.

As of today, that has changed. From the NY Times:

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that prisoners in the war on terrori can use U.S. civilian courts to challenge their detention at a military air base in Afghanistan.

U.S. District Judge John Bates turned down the United States’ motion to deny the right to three foreign detainees at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistand.

And speaking of Guantanamo, apparently Miss Universe had a grand ol’ time on her trip to the infamous prison.

We also met the Military dogs, and they did a very nice demonstration of their skills. All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how they recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting.

Yeeaaah, I’m sure the prisoners are enjoying themselves just like you Miss Universe.

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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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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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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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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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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Posted by karmalily on January 19, 2009

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I feel it would be appropiate for everyone to take a moment to think about the civil rights movement and how long we’ve come (and to realize that we still have a little ways to go before complete equality is realized). Here is MLK Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

Many people are using today as a day of service to honor MLK Jr, so if you are free today you could try volunteering somewhere and helping to make an impact in this country.

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