Karmic Reverberations

Politics, human rights, and current events

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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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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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A quick note

Posted by karmalily on January 19, 2009

I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post. The end of last semester was insane (primarily due to my extraordinary procrastination abilities) and I was without an internet connection during the winter break. But now I’m back. 🙂 There will be a lot to write about this year, with our new president and  Congress, and with conflicts all over the world. As always, if you have any suggestions, post them in the comment section.

namaste

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Why do people ignore global warming?

Posted by karmalily on November 19, 2008

One of the aspects of global climate change that shocks many environmentalists is the slow or absent response from both the government and regular people. Scientists continue to release studies that show that the impact of global warming may be more severe and faster than we first though, and yet people are acting as though they either want to refuse it or they cannot do anything about it. This is particularly troubling since the only way we can tone down the effects of climate change is to step up and place strict regulations on manufacturers and also to convince people that the smallest of changes can help fix our ailing world.

Over at AlterNet, Lisa Bennett has a great article about why people are not more fixated on and working toward fixing global warming:

But now a growing number of social scientists are offering their expertise in behavioral decision making, risk analysis, and evolutionary influences on human behavior to explain our limited responses to global warming. Among the most significant factors they point to: The way we’re psychologically wired and socially conditioned to respond to crises makes us ill-suited to react to the abstract and seemingly remote threat posed by global warming. Their insights are also leading to some intriguing recommendations about how to get people to take action-including the potentially dangerous prospect of playing on people’s fears.

It feels as though the vast majority of Americans are programmed to think illogically in many situations. Other nations, such as many in Europe, are actively taking a strong stance of climate change, building wind and solar farms and implementing policies such as not selling the old-fashioned lightbulbs and using plastic bags. It’s hard to say what sort of shift will have to take place in order for Americans to change their method of thinking and decision-making, but most people can probably agree that people need to recognize on a subconscious level how serious and real global warming is and will become.

AlterNet: Are Human Beings Hard-Wired to Ignore the Threat of Catastrophic Climate Change?

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Clinton or Powell for Secretary of State?

Posted by karmalily on November 14, 2008

barack-hillary

Senator Hilary Clinton met with Barack Obama today to talk about “personal business.” However, many are speculating that this meeting was conducted in order to discuss a possible role in the future administration, such as Secretary of State.

Nothing is certain yet, but it is definitely interesting. Colin Powell’s name has also been thrown around.

There are plenty of people President-Elect Obama could choose, but if he does indeed go with either Clinton or Powell he will get a huge surge of even more support. Even though she didn’t pull enough votes to get on the democratic ticket, people admire and respect her. As they do with Colin Powell.

Obama has done well in his picks overall thus far. Unlike George Bush, who gave jobs to his unworthy cronies, Obama seems to be focusing more on who would actually be right for the job. Good job, President-Elect.

Is there anyone that you would like to see in the Secretary of State position?

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Ralph Nader Digs a Hole

Posted by karmalily on November 8, 2008

Ralph Nader has long been one of my three political heroes (the other two being Senator Russ Feingold and Representative Dennis Kucinich), but tonight I think I need to find someone new to look up to. Someone who doesn’t refer to President-Elect Barack Obama as “Uncle Tom.”

Ralph Nader has done amazingly wonderful things for consumer safety, but give up dude. As one of the commentators (yes, I know it’s FOX News, but this actually is a relevant spot of news) say at the end of that clip, you’re done. Take your racist ass elsewhere.

In case you’re not sure of what “Uncle Tom” means, here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Uncle Tom is a pejorative for a black person who is perceived by others as behaving in a subservient manner to White American authority figures, or as seeking ingratiation with them by way of unnecessary accommodation.

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