Thursday, July 10, 2008

Odds and Sods - Crepe Myrtle edition

Left: The Crepe Myrtle trees are now in fabulous bloom!


Amber Rhea and I have argued about a lot of stuff, veterans included, but her post yesterday was just too great AND IMPORTANT not to mention, particularly after all the hubbub over the 4th of July, when the incident she writes about occurred:

“Support our troops” means put a fucking yellow ribbon magnet on the back of your SUV (yes, it’s so cliché to even say it at this point, we’ve all heard it before), not actually providing care and coverage to the infirm. Oh right my dad gets a piddly $200 a month benefit from the government for being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam; “oops, our bad for exposing you to a potentially deadly chemical; here’s two hundred bucks!”

And leaving the infuriating irony aside, this whole situation has brought out into the light (yet again) the stark, ugly reality of the divide between the haves and the have-nots. We can spend billions of dollars on a wall between the US and Mexico but somehow we can’t figure out how to provide comprehensive health coverage for every citizen.
Read the whole righteous rant. Amber reminds me of what some of the Ron Paul supporters have said: it isn't so much that they are "against" the war, but rather that they just don't trust the government to do it (or anything else) correctly and without bankrupting us all as a side effect.


THE CANARY COALITION is sponsoring the 2008 Relay for Clean Air on August 23rd:
We all have the right to breathe clean air and The Relay for Clean Air is the annual civil rights march staged by the Canary Coalition to focus national attention on poor air quality in the greater Appalachian Region. The Relay flag is passed from one segment to the next over the 100 mile course that stretches from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along the Blue Ridge Parkway to downtown Asheville, NC. There are segments of the Relay designed for bicycle riders, runners and for walkers. The Relay is not a race, but rather a cooperative demonstration of determination by its participants.
Here is a detailed relay schedule, and you should contact them if you want to participate!


I haven't kept up with the whole fake-Obama-birth-certificate hoopla, and I am indebted to Mattt over at Bastard.logic for providing me with a handy-dandy link-o-rama to the whole thing. Firedoglake updates us:
Only the most rabid of partisans would place their blind trust in the candidacy of a man who cannot even prove he was born. What evidence do we have that this "Barack Hussein Obama" even exists? After all, detailed investigation reveals that his name, "Barack Hussein Obama," is an anagram for either "Dread Cthulu," or else, even more frighteningly, "Tom Boerwinkle." Why, his "father's" "race" is listed as "African," when he was really Black! Ha! HAH! Heh. Ho. Hum.
The Strata-Sphere debunks the birth certificate carefully, point by point, for any lingering doubters.


Another righteous rant over at Lotus, regarding Obama's flip-flop on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):
Let it be noted clearly that Barack Obama, who previously pledged to join in a filibuster of any bill that contained telcom immunity, not only didn't join any filibuster attempt, not only voted for the damn bill, he voted in favor of cloture. It would be hard to imagine a clearer reversal of position; this is the kind of thing for which the phrase "flip-flop" was truly destined.

But what made it even worse than the bald, cruel fact of the bill's passage was the way the media treated the story. Both AP and Reuters covered the vote as simply another question of political games, of a "legislative victory" for Bush, just another version of the horse-race coverage, who's up, who's down, without any consideration of the meaning of the vote. Worse, where they did consider the bill, they got it maddeningly, grossly, infuriatingly wrong.
Yes, you are hereby ordered to read all of this rant, too.


Finally, my homegirl Renegade Evolution had a harrowing accident, getting burned whilst "fire-spinning" (oh, holy God!)... but has characteristically taken this turn of events with her usual good humor. Nonetheless, she isn't feeling too well, so send her some good vibes!

She also reports on an interesting fellow named Kyle Payne, who seems to be making the rounds of feminist Blogdonia. What's this guy on about, anyway?

Left: red and lavender periwinkle.

Well, on the face of it, Kyle appears to be a terribly earnest young man who hates porn and misogyny. Oh my, yes. He weeps actual tears of sympathy for women, blah blah blah. I figured, a young John Stoltenberg acolyte, but with a blog.

Nope. Check out what Belledame reports, courtesy of the Iowa Independent:
An Iowa blogger who claimed to use activism and education to promote “a more just and life-affirming culture of sexuality” for women, especially those women who have been victims of sexual violence, has pleaded guilty to photographing and filming a college student's breasts without her consent.

Kyle D. Payne, 22 of Ida Grove, presented his guilty plea Monday in Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County. He agreed he was guilty of felony attempted burglary in the second degree and two counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor.
Lynda Waddington :: Iowa Blogger Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman's Breasts

In documents filed with the court, Payne agrees that "with an intent to arouse my sexual desire, I photographed and filmed Jane Doe and her breast without her consent." A portion of the plea agreement stating that Payne was of sound mind when the incident took place in early 2007 was stricken from the document, leaving only the portion where Payne agrees that he is currently of sound mind.

At the time of the incident, Payne had been employed by Buena Vista University as a dormitory resident adviser. Police reports indicate that while attending to an intoxicated and unconscious female student, Payne reportedly assaulted and photographed her. The guilty plea entered Monday did not include assault charges. Tips received by police and campus security following the incident led to a 10-month investigation that resulted in Payne's arrest in February....

Payne, who identified with radical feminists like Andrea Dworkin, attended a training for feminist anti-pornography activists in January at the University of Texas in Austin. An article in the Ida County Courier stated that Payne had "written papers and given several public presentations on feminist critiques of pornography, prostitution, and the 'rape culture,' in addition to serving as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence." According to a resume previously posted on his blog, he has attended many such conferences since 2004.

Payne faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500. As a condition of the plea deal, the state has agreed that no other charges will be filed as a result of this incident. Sentencing has been set for Aug. 11.
You really can't make this stuff up!


EDIT 6:00PM--Long thread about Kyle Payne, with details on the case, accusations, unsubstantiated gossip, etc.

Listening to: The Pogues - Amadie
via FoxyTunes