Bush (and others ) vs Women

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This forum has been kinda dead lately. Now I realize it goes in spurts and stops, but when it gets this slow I start to get concerned that it will die.

Lets bring up some controversial, interesting and brain-teasin stuff, can't we? I feel we all care enough about each other to be respectful and courteous (as oppossed to several of those lost souls over at HomesteadingToday!) :(

I'll go first: (and I especially want to hear from you good men out there! The world absolutely desperately needs you!)

Bush vs. Women By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF New York Times

The central moral struggle of the 19th century concerned slavery, and that of the 20th pitted democracy against Nazism, Communism and other despotic isms. Our own pre-eminent moral challenge will be to ease the brutality that kills and maims girls and women across much of Africa and Asia.

Alas, this summer President Bush is putting the U.S. on the wrong side of the battle lines.

Most outrageous, last month Mr. Bush cut off all $34 million in funds for the United Nations Population Fund, in all 142 countries in which it operates, because of concerns about its role in China. What does this mean on the ground?

An emergency obstetric care program was to begin this year in Burundi, where only one-quarter of births are attended by a trained midwife (almost none by a doctor) and where one woman in eight will die in childbirth.

Because of Mr. Bush's move, however, that program in Burundi has now been canceled — along with plans for midwife training in Algeria, a center to fight AIDS in Haiti and a maternal mortality reduction program in India.

Conservatives are right to object to China's often brutal one-child policy. But only Washington could come up with a solution to Chinese problems that involves killing teenage girls in Burundi.

Aside from cutting off funding for the population agency, the Bush administration is busy devastating third-world women in other ways. It is trying to block a landmark international treaty on the rights of women, even though the State Department initially backed it. The treaty, known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or Cedaw, would make no difference in America but would be one more tool to help women in countries where discrimination means death.

The Bush administration is also undercutting international efforts to use conferences to bolster support for rural health care for poor women. For example, the Bushies tied up negotiations for this month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg by insisting that documents be purged of phrases like "reproductive health services" that they think connote abortion.

President Bush has also walloped international family planning efforts by banning the use of American aid to overseas organizations that provide any information about abortions. And while Mr. Bush basked in his promise of $500 million for the global AIDS fund, his administration is making such onerous demands of the fund that none of the money can be used anytime soon.

In one crucial field, the battle against sexual trafficking, it is conservative Christians who have taken the lead in fighting on behalf of third-world women. So on this one issue has Mr. Bush shown any mettle?

No. As a reproachful letter to him from a broad range of conservative leaders pointed out on June 28, the administration record "is one of passive acceptance of the world trafficking status quo."

In the Bush administration, the assumption is that in all these cases the fundamental issue is abortions or sex. It is not.

The central issue is that 500,000 women die each year in pregnancy or childbirth; that 100 million women and girls worldwide are "missing" because they are denied adequate food or medical care, or because they are aborted or killed at birth because they are female; that 60 percent of the children kept out of elementary school are girls; that 130 million girls have undergone genital mutilation; that between one and two million girls and women are trafficked into prostitution annually.

If I'm angry, it's because those figures conjure real faces of people I've met: Aisha Idris, a Sudanese peasant left incontinent after giving birth at 14, with no midwife or prenatal care, to a stillborn child; Mariam Karega, a young woman nursing her dying baby in a Tanzanian village far from any doctor; Sriy, a smart and vibrant 13-year-old Cambodian girl who was sold into prostitution by her stepfather and by now is probably dead of AIDS.

Instead of joining the fight on behalf of Ms. Idris, Ms. Karega or Sriy, the Bush administration is allying the U.S. with the likes of Iran, Sudan and Syria to frustrate international efforts to save the lives of some of the most helpless people on earth. Somehow we have become the core of an Axis of Medieval.

****************************************************************** Those who do the least for women's rights Ellen Goodman Boston Globe Published Aug 16,2002

BOSTON -- Every year we celebrate Aug. 26, the anniversary of women's suffrage, in our time-honored tradition. Our one-woman jury assembles to dispense the Equal Rites Awards, those coveted prizes given to people who labored mightily over the last 12 months to set back the cause of women.

What a year it's been since last we met. In Afghanistan, women have begun shedding burqas and showing their faces. In America, women are injecting Botox and freezing their faces. In corporate life, the women of Enron, etc., make it seem as if whistle-blowing is in the female DNA. In the CEO's office, Martha is making a mess of her Living.

But enough nostalgia. The envelopes, please.

We begin this year, alas, on a militant note. Our Make War, Not Love prize goes to 200 soldiers who used their government travel charge cards at strip clubs near Army bases to pay for lap dancing and "other forms of entertainment." Your tax dollars at work. We send each of these fine fellows a nice sharp pair of scissors to cut off their . . . line of credit.

At the same time, we also give credit where it's due. We can only admire our Patriarch of the Year, or maybe we should call him the Godfather of the Year. New York mobster Antonino Parlavecchio was caught bribing guards to smuggle his sperm out of jail. For his paternal commitment to perpetuating another generation of perps, we send Tony a cake. Beware of what's inside.

Never mind fathers, is it possible that the war on terrorism is profiling mothers? The Knight in Shining Armor shield goes to the vigilant security guard who saved America by making a woman drink from three bottles of her breast milk before boarding the plane at JFK Airport. We send an instructor to help wean him from the fantasy of the lactating terrorist.

Next we fly overseas for the International Ayatollah Award. Last year, you may recall, it went to the Taliban. This year, it goes to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia. These religious police wouldn't let 15 girls out of a burning school because their hair wasn't covered and they weren't wearing abayas. In memory of their victims, we offer these men the fate of their Taliban brothers.

While we're thinking global, let us not forget the Mixed Messenger Award. This goes to our own president. The world leader who bragged about liberating women of the world now hedges, hems and haws about supporting the U.N. treaty for women's equality. We give George a mouth with one side.

Need I remind you of the intense competition for the Superstars of Sexism Cup? Many, many jocks were arrested this year while competing in the domestic violence Super Bowl, but our personal favorite was Derrick Rodgers. The linebacker for the Miami Dolphins allegedly kicked his wife in a crowded restaurant after asking her companion, "Do you know who I am?" Dear Derrick, now that we know your name, can we award you a number?

Violence? Did we say violence? The Virtual Violence Award for abuse-as-entertainment goes this year to Grand Theft Auto III. In this video game, the winning player picks up a prostitute. After she leaves the car, he can follow her, beat her to death and get his money back. To keep the fun going, we give the creator his own private stalker.

Or maybe his own cuddly toy rapist. The ABC online store wins the Media Ms-Adventure prize for selling kids a rag doll named sweetly after Todd Manning, a character in "One Life to Live" who was involved in a brutal gang rape and murder. Dear ABC: Want a Battered Barbie?

Speaking of kiddie sales, the Our Bodies, Our (Daughters') Selves citation goes to Abercrombie & Fitch for marketing thong underwear to 10-year-old girls. The un-undies have little words strategically placed like "Eye Candy" and "Wink, Wink." On its way to these folks is a bottom line that that goes flat.

The Dubious Equality Award is given annually to the people who work to end a double standard and come up with the wrong standard. We all knew and loved the sleazy reality program "The Bachelor." Now they're preparing an equally sleazy program: "The Bachelorette." Can we recommend a shotgun wedding?

Now a double-header. The Blind Justice Award goes without doubt to the Pakistani tribal council that "sentenced" a young woman to gang rape. But we have our own blind justices. Remember when Maryland Judge Durke G. Thompson told the family of an 11-year-old victim of molestation that "it takes two to tango?" He's BAAACCK! This year, he overturned a jury's rape conviction. Why? He said that the battered victim was just seeking revenge on the man who wouldn't marry her. We'd give him a blindfold but he already has one.

Finally, the Backlash Award. This perennial favorite usually goes to a member of the male persuasion. This year it goes to Kansas state Sen. Kay O'Connor, a woman who does not share our enthusiasm for celebrating Aug. 26. Just 12 months ago, this, ahem, elected official rued the day women won the vote: "The 19th Amendment is around because men weren't doing their jobs. I think that's sad."

Sad? The mother of us all, Susan B. Anthony, once said, "Failure is impossible." We send O'Connor a petit point motto for her next election campaign: "Failure is Probable."

-- Anonymous, August 16, 2002


Sorry, I don't see any controversy. Bush is a pig, plain and simple. Anyone who trumpets about "family values" and "morality", yet in his down time with his father discusses "pussy" is a stinking hypocrite, to say the very least. And, in my view, such two-faced double standards makes every thing they say suspect of being mere "political correctness" BTW, I am not one who believes that being PC is limited to liberal issues.

Does make you wonder where the "First Lady" is though doesn't it? Or perhaps, I should just be wondering where her SPINE is located. And then, diverging into my own little mean-spirited speculations, I surely do wonder if those Bush daughters are still chaste little virgins . . . . . and whether they do without birth control . . . . . urgh!

I am going to stick my head in the sand and not think about G. Despicable Bush any more today, because he make my stomach hurt.

Ah, but, I did want to say this -- once upon a time, men did have all the power, voting and otherwise. There had to be men who voted to let women vote and for many other freedoms. There were/are women who have fought for women's freedoms, but men have had to join them for us to get anywhere. So I celebrate their sense of fair play, and whether they did it out of courage of their convictions or cowardly fear of "dangerous women", I celebrate them for having done it! Huzzah! :-)

-- Anonymous, August 17, 2002

Wow Joy. It'll be interesting when you get your self confidence built up and tell us what you really think without holding back or mincing words! And I was afraid to bring up a breast question! Hey, you're fifty now, you can do and say anything you want to, you've earned it but I don't understand what's so bad about discussing cats.

Wildman, (blushing)

-- Anonymous, August 17, 2002

My favorite (not) news story of the last coupla weeks points out that pregnant unmarried women in Florida, in order to give up their babies for adoption, must PUBLISH IN THE NEWSPAPERS FOR TWO WEEKS the list of all the sexual partners they have had (along with, of course, their own names). This is in order to provide the absent fathers the opportunity to claim paternity for the children (how often does this happen anyway?). So...here's this young woman...pregnant...wants to "do the right thing" and give up the baby for adoption. But she has to put her name and every guy she's had sex with in the paper.

Hmm. I would think that whoever came up with this bone-headed concept would want to rethink this...how many girls would rather have an abortion than publish their sexual history in the paper? (and it's plain naivete, I think, to assume that this punitive Scarlet Letter approach will prevent more unchosen pregnancies)...

"What a world, what a world...."

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

That IS bizarre, sheepish! I wonder what their laws on abortion are . . . I have a cyber-friend who lives in Florida, and betwixt the stuff she tells us (another group) and the things we dig up on our own, we're all convinced that Florida is the source of all weirdness! :-D

Wildman, thanks for permission to say what I think! :-D You may have noticed, I wasn't exactly waiting for it though . . . . ;-) Okay, advance warning -- don't laugh! I am a very shy person by nature. I used to laugh in disbelief at my mother when she would tell me the same thing, as she was known through out the town as one of the most outspoken mothers around. I successfully used the threat of telling HER on misbehaving playmates. Many children in town would do almost anything to escape a lecture by Mom. Now I understand perfectly . . . :-) Besides being shy by nature, I have a very well-developed sense of fair play and a strong dislike for being pushed around or seeing others be bullied. These other aspects of my personality have often eclipsed my shy side, so many don't realize it exists. Sadly, when they do see it, they think I'm just stuck up, not suffering from an attack of social collywobbles. :-( {sigh}

Besides, if I can't be brave HERE and say what I think, where can I? After all, this is a mostly a "safe" board, and none of you (except Julie and Yarrow) know where I live anyway! :-D :-P ~C8:>

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

Joy, I'm tracking your address down through cyberspace. I've got it narrowed down to one of the 48 states so far. I'm getting closer all the time. Hey, I had the whole world to search through when I started!

Wildman, (here I come)

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

Joy, you go girl!! ( I know where you live) ;)

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

Joy...I like the way you think!!! BUT...I'm ashamed to say that the whole G.D. Bush family spends their vacations here in Maine :-(!!!

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

Oh, did you mean *George W.* Bush? I was just talking about Jeb, I guess... 8-)

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

So, Wildman, does that mean I'm safe over here in Hawaii? :-D :-P

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Here's another pisser, compliments of Prez Shrub. Our Armed Services medical facilities overseas are not allowed to perform abortions, even for medical reasons. So a US service woman or spouse who needs an abortion must either go to a local hospital where the sanatary conditions are iffy (provided abortion is even legal in that particular country), or must apply for leave back stateside with all the explanations and paperwork this entails.

I don't want to get into the pros and cons of abortion. But I do think that it really sucks bigtime that members of our armed forces overseas don't have access to the same medical care that we enjoy here in the states. Some thanks for serving your country. All that talk about not wanting to use taxpayer money to fund abortions is a bullshit smokescreen IMO. I'm a taxpayer too. The government does what the government wants, listening to the taxpayer is just a convenient fiction.

If I remember correctly, isn't Shrub denying funds to the UN Population Fund based solely on a report written by a conservative Christian organization, and haven't the findings of this organization been completely discredited by numerous other sources?

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Oh no Joy, I know you're not in Hawaii because you told us that you came back. I've just got to figure out, back to where. I'll get it though. I'm now up to lesson four on my Private Eye home study course and it tells me to eliminate people who don't fit the profile so I'm eliminating all men and any woman under 50 or over 50 and anyone who's name isn't Joy. I'm also eliminating only children. . It may take a while because you wouldn't believe how big this U.S. phone directory is and how many Joy's there are or how many with just "J" something. So far I've eliminated Ala., Az., and I'm working on Calif. Boy, I'm gonna hate it when I get to Texas!

Wildman, (narrowing it down)

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Oh no Joy, I know you're not in Hawaii because you told us that you came back.

So, basically, you believe I always tell the truth? I wonder how I can profit from this naivete . . . . {very big evil grin}

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Actually, Joy is posting from a satellite base in geo-synchronous orbit. I don't think her phone is listed.

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2002

Sad But Slightly Amusing:

Treadmills of His Mind By MAUREEN DOWD

ASHINGTON — I don't know enough about what the president is up to on Iraq. But I know too much about what the president is up to on a run.

"It's interesting that my times have become faster right after the war began," Mr. Bush tells Runner's World in an exclusive interview. "They were pretty fast all along, but since the war began I've been running with a little more intensity. It helps me to clear my mind."

So the bad news is: we haven't caught Osama. The good news is: W.'s times have improved.

"Usually I run six days a week," the magazine's leggy cover boy expounds. "When I don't run, I use an elliptical trainer, lift weights and stretch. But when I run, I run hard. On Sundays, if I'm at Camp David, I'll go for a hard morning run — these days about 20:30 to 20:45 for three miles on a tough course. . . . I try to go for longer runs, but it's tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. . . . It's sad that I can't run longer. It's one of the saddest things about the presidency."

Another one of the saddest things about this presidency is that it has no voice. The greatest president of the last century could not even walk, but he recognized that he had to talk — that if the people did not understand the reasons for his actions, they could not become his partners in history.

About the grave crises facing us today, there is a deafening silence at the top. Mr. Bush's policies on the economy, the Middle East, North Korea and Iraq are obscure and even opaque, but his policy on physical fitness policy is crystal clear: "I expect the White House staff to be on time and sharp and to exercise." (Ask not what your abs can do for you. . . .)

When it comes to running the country — as opposed to running 5-K's — Mr. Bush owes his reticence to a mixture of insecurity and hauteur. Dick Cheney owes his reticence only to hauteur.

The president won't speak clearly, and the vice president won't speak to anybody whose check to the Republican National Committee hasn't cleared.

Of course, they might not want to speak too clearly since many of their true positions on corporate America (go easy), the environment (pillage) and health care (help drug companies) don't comport with what many Americans say they want.

This summer, while the administration has been scaring jittery Americans about Saddam's chemical, biological and nuclear wantonness, the president has given few interviews. He has granted one-on-ones only on topics like running and brush-clearing, designed to burnish his image as a Reaganesque frontiersman.

Usually, such lifestyle features are meant to humanize a tough leader. But with W., we hear more about the soft stuff than the hard stuff. He's all slaw, no ribs.

In Crawford, Scott Lindlaw, an Associated Press reporter, was permitted to watch Mr. Bush wield a chain saw on cedars — "Oh, baby!" the president cried — and jog at dawn.

"Bush does not like chitchat when he jogs," Mr. Lindlaw wrote. "Spotting a herd of cattle, he says simply, `Bovine.' Minutes pass before he says another word."

At the risk of sounding feline, I must say that "bovine" leaves me supine and is not fit for "Nightline," much less "Frontline."

In California on Friday, the president delivered the Delphic news that his policy on Iraq would become clear "as time goes on." And, oh, yes, Saddam is a threat. That is so vague, even Saddam would agree with it.

The president disingenuously accuses the press of churning up trouble about Iraq. It was the Bushies themselves who churned up trouble about Iraq here and abroad — revving things up too soon, before they knew exactly what they wanted to do (and before Gen. Karl Rove starts the 2004 campaign). Slapping on war paint before they had a war plan.

Bush senior did coalition building. Junior does anti-coalition building, knitting together a coalition of allies that are opposed to his ideas.

We don't know what sort of war matιriel the Pentagon is shipping to the Persian Gulf, but we do know the president ships his treadmill everywhere he goes. "Even when I travel, there's always a treadmill in my room," he says. "I have a treadmill on Air Force One. On long trips — for example, when I went to Europe recently — I ran for 90 minutes on the flight over there. When I came back from China, I ran on the flight."

Who says the president isn't focused on his foreign trips?

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2002

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