Monday, November 30, 2009

No escape from Jim DeMint

...not even on holiday!

While at Borders books over the weekend (in Marietta, GA), I saw my senator's awful "book" in the politics section (Jim Demint's Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide Into Socialism) ... right above two books titled Fuck, as well as Pathologies of Power and No End in Sight. Do you call that a COINCIDENCE?

I knew yall would never believe me if I didn't take a picture of it.

Hope your holiday was good, too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leave the turkey alone!

This comic is one of many that circulate among vegetarians (in email, blogs and listservs) every year at Thanksgiving. I do not have a credit for it, but will guess that it's by Gary Larson or one of his legion of imitators. (Larson was often notably animal-centric in his comics, praised by no less than Jane Goodall.)

If you know for sure who the author/artist is, please leave a note in the comments!



Taking a short blog break for the holiday. It is also me and Mr Daisy's anniversary--we have been married 22 years! (boggle) Some of my readers are younger than my marriage!

At this point, we finish each other's sentences, just like the old married people you've seen on TV.

Have a great holiday, have a good time, party hardy, and let a turkey live!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Going Rogue

The cover of Sarah Palin's book, GOING ROGUE, shows her looking angelically up to heaven. Love the dreamy clouds and the little flag pin. (Iconography ain't just for Catholics anymore!)

How to write about awful Sarah Palin without sounding sexist? It's difficult. As a FEMINIST, it is difficult.

So I'll admit, in this matter, I kinda feel sorry for the guys, trying to come up with new terms for stone-ignorance that sound gender-neutral. Matt Taibbi's "IQ of a celery stalk" is my favorite so far.

Mr Daisy has been watching the Sarah Palin-crowds on YouTube, and that shit is depressing. Celery stalk-level IQs are attracted to Palin, since she is (as she tirelessly reminds us) one of them. Well, you'll certainly get no argument about that from me.

On Bill O'Reilly's show, Palin pluckily responded to David Brooks condescendingly tagging her as "a joke"... and I instantly winced, knowing that a New York Times writer, ANY New York Times writer, is instant hate-material out here in the heartland. In fact, David Brooks will likely be prominently featured in Palin's upcoming, inevitable campaign ads: DAVID BROOKS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES SAID I WAS A JOKE! Pure gold; some people will vote for her for that reason alone.

Matt Taibbi believes political discourse has descended to talk-radio, uber-Twitter level, suitable for the celery stalk-heads:

It doesn’t matter what the argument is about. What’s important is that once the argument starts, the two sides will automatically coalesce around the various instant-cocoa talking points and scream at each other until they’re blue in the face, or until the next argument starts.

And while some of us are old enough to remember that once upon a time, these arguments always had at least some sort of ideological flavor to them, i.e. the throwdowns were at least rooted in some sort of real political issue (war, taxes, immigration, etc.) we’ve now got a whole generation that is accustomed to screaming at cultural enemies as an end in itself, for the sheer dismal fun of it. Start fighting first, figure out the reasons later.
Indeed, I have noticed this in Mr Daisy's endless videos of tea-baggers and Sarah Palin groupies. One man insists that Barack Obama translates (!) into "antichrist" in some ancient language; another woman claims she doesn't have health insurance and doesn't need any, by God. One shakes one's head in amazement. Palin would never disown a single one of these people, as Glenn Beck also wouldn't. They openly embrace the fringe, which is the notable new thing. This turns the wacko right-wing fringe into the mainstream, which is their whole goal. It moves the political discourse (one strongly feels the need to write "political discourse" in quotes) to the far right, and makes one unwillingly more comfortable with the Black Helicopter faction.

Taibbi continues:
Sarah Palin is the Empress-Queen of the screaming-for-screaming’s sake generation. The people who dismiss her book Going Rogue as the petty, vindictive meanderings of a preening paranoiac with the IQ of a celery stalk completely miss the book’s significance, because in some ways it’s really a revolutionary and innovative piece of literature.

Palin — and there’s just no way to deny this — is a supremely gifted politician. She has staked out, as her own personal political turf, the entire landscape of incoherent white American resentment. In this area she leaves even Rush Limbaugh in the dust.

The reason for that is that poor Rush is an anachronism, in the sense that his whole schtick revolves around talking about real political issues. And real political issues are boring.
And this might be why Rush infuriates many progressives on a level that Palin can't quite reach. He brings "facts" that sound real enough, and only when one thoroughly investigates, do you see how he bends those pseudo-facts (truthiness!) to suit the conservative agenda.

He works, in short, and to argue with Rush, you have to work, too.

Palin is 100% entertainment, and there is no work involved. As Taibbi points out, Rush makes you think too hard, by comparison:
Listen to Rush any day of the week and you’ll hear him playing the old-fashioned pundit game: he goes about the dreary business of picking through the policies and positions and public statements of Democrats and poking holes in them, arguing with them, attacking them with numbers and facts and pseudo-facts and non-facts and whatever else he can get his hands on, honest or not, but at least he tries. The poor guy nearly killed himself this summer trying to find enough horseshit to arm himself with against the health care bill, coming up with various fairy tales about how state health agencies used death panels to try to kill cancer patients who just wanted to live a little longer, how section 1233 is Auschwitz all over again, yada yada yada.

Rush is no Einstein, but the man does research. It may be fallacious and completely dishonest research, but he does it all the same. His battlefield is world politics and most of the time the relevant action is taking place in Washington. As good as he is at what he does, he still has to travel to the action; he himself isn’t the action.

Sarah Palin’s battlefield, on the other hand, is whatever is happening five feet in front of her face. She is building a political career around the little interpersonal wars in the immediate airspace surrounding her sawdust-filled head. And in the process she connects with pissed-off, frightened, put-upon America on a plane that’s far more elemental than the mega-ditto schtick.

Most normal people cannot connect on an emotional level with Rush’s meanderings on how Harry Reid is buying off Mary Landrieu with pork in the health care bill. They can, however, connect with stories about how top McCain strategist and Karl Rove acolyte Steve Schmidt told poor Sarah to shut her pie-hole on election day, or how her supposed allies in the McCain campaign stabbed her in the back by leaking gossip about her to reporters, how Schmidt used the word “fuck” in front of her daughter, or even with the strange tales about Schmidt ordering Sarah to consult with a nutritionist to improve her campaign endurance when she herself knew she just needed to get out in the fresh air and run (If there’s one thing Sarah Palin knows, it’s herself!).
Grudge politics, perverted populism in these difficult economic times... tempered by just the right notes, such as having a prayerful dinner with Billy Graham.

Meanwhile, the left is bringing up the rear on the entertainment front. The left is sounding like wonky Rush and talking about, you know, solutions.

In this atmosphere, the only thing left to do is have at her. Eat her for dinner, engage in the same hateful nastiness that she engages is. Ridicule. But be careful. Do not be sexist, do not be ableist (concerning her disabled son Trig, although I think making fun of his name and calling him Twig is okay), do not be anti-large-family, anti-Christian, anti-Pentecostal or anti-rural. Got that? Because most lefties don't get it. Every time you engage in that behavior? She sees your anti-progressive hypocrisy and successfully uses it against us. "See?" she says to the rural hockey moms, "they really are making fun of us." And she's right.

Then again, I admit it is often too much to resist. I laughed my ass off at the Village Voice's fake "excerpts" from Palin's book:
If I wasn't so gosh-darned busy raising all my kids, I would have paid better attention to all that entrepreneural jazz. But you mothers know how that goes: you buy a car wash, and then little Plug has a loose tooth and little Geezer lost his mittens and before you know it, guess what -- the darned cars aren't getting washed, and you have to sell the thing off for a profit! And there was Todd so busy building our house out of sticks he found while he was snowmobiling, I couldn't go off playing with businesses. So I said, "Doggone-it, I'm gonna stay right here, mend socks, wipe noses, and such like." But then one day I was clipping coupons for Sunny D and I saw the ad in the paper that said they were looking for a new Mayor for Wasilla, and I guess I just got a wild hair in me.

On David Letterman:

We get to bed early in Alaska, as we have to be up before dawn to catch and skin moose, so I never saw his show. But when we heard those awful things he said about Willow, I looked up some pictures of him, and sure enough, he was the spitting image of that gap-toothed man I saw years ago when I was shopping with Willow at Out of the Closet, who offered her a Mars Bar and then reached down and rubbed her little butt. I still remember how he ran and jumped into a helicopter while I screamed and several good citizens came at him with sticks. Also, a friend played me the theme music from the show and I would swear to you it was the same music that helicopter was playing as it flew away. Folks, this is the kind of thing we're up against!
Okay, funny! But one has to walk a fine line in that kind of satire, and I think Roy Edroso (author of those pieces) managed to succeed in doing that.

As popular as she is right now, I don't have a clue how to stop her. Let's hope she's a phase, like this year's fashion or Reality-TV show... which I guess is what she really is.

Reflections on Jack Ruby

Depending upon who you read, Jack Ruby was a petty strip-club gangster or an important mobster-friend of Sam Giancana.

It was November 24, 1963.

I remember that I was sitting on a footstool, my nose approximately 8 inches from my family's black-and-white TV set. If I got too close, I couldn't see anything, but I was intent on getting just as close as I could. I wanted to see it all.

It was Sunday morning, and I remember well the hubbub of the adults in the kitchen. I was the only one in the small dining room that served as our TV room. I heard the TV-news announcer say that Lee Oswald was going to be transferred in an armored vehicle. I didn't know what an armored vehicle was, but it sounded awesome. And yet... that little guy? As a six-year-old, I was surprised that such a skinny little guy could be the villain of the hour. I had expected the president's assassin to look something like Brutus, the dastardly evil man of the Popeye cartoons... or at least, he should bear some resemblance to Lex Luthor. This skinny, slight, soft-spoken fellow who calmly denied being near Dealey Plaza? Well, he was just spooky, that's all. They kept calling him a Marxist and a communist, words I didn't yet understand but knew meant that he was a bad person. (I would say the word "communist" in 1963 had the similar gravitas of the word "terrorist" in 2009.) I was enthralled by the constant TV-coverage, the switching back and forth from Dallas to Washington... to our new president, Lyndon Johnson and then back to the basement of Dallas city jail. It was as dazzling as space travel.

Middle-American culture had changed utterly and completely in only two days.

For one thing, the TV had not always been on before. You turned on the TV to watch something, and when it was over, you turned it off. Sometimes you left it on, but usually not. Among the working classes, it was not unusual for some families not to own a TV at all. There were often anti-TV holdouts in these families; cantankerous, old-school types who thought TV was all rubbish and probably unchristian. But after this weekend? This archaic viewpoint was consigned to the dustbin of history. Back in my first-grade class, I would hear about parents who had rushed out to buy a TV at long last. They simply could not bear to be left out.

The TV had been turned on, and stayed on. It was on when I got home from school, dismissed early due to the tragedy, and it was on throughout the funeral. And it stayed on forever after.

And the TV was on as they transferred Lee Oswald to the armored vehicle, or attempted to. There was much talk about security because tensions were running extremely high; there was palpable fury throughout the city of Dallas. When police had forcibly taken Oswald from the theater where they had discovered him, hostile mobs surrounded the police car, and it was said he might have been torn to pieces if the crowd had been able to get their hands on him.

Listening to all this, I was riveted. I remember peering intently as they brought him out, my nose almost right on the screen: There he is!

And then, the inevitable disappointment: such a nonthreatening little dude he was.

I peered and peered and then... bang. Oswald was down.


It was so quick. If not for the firecracker-noise of the gun, I would never have known.

"They shot him!" I shouted, "They shot Oswald! They shot him!"

The adults stampeded as one entity, from the kitchen to the small dining room where I was. My mother, grandparents, some other relatives I have since forgotten... possibly my cousin Charlene.

"I SAW it!" I was shouting, "I SAW IT!"

SSSSSSSssssssshhhhhhhh! Everyone was shushing me. Had I really seen that? The adults' eyes were collectively popping. I felt pretty important for being the one to see it.

"He must be really mad about the president, huh?" I asked.

Nobody answered. They kept shushing me, as obviously-shaken news-announcers talked about what they had just witnessed.

And then, the adults were all looking at each other, that way adults did when they were thinking things that they would not share with children.

Finally, my grandfather said, in what I have come to call his Christian Science Wisdom voice: "Well, that really stinks."

My mother's eyes were wide, wide, wide.

My grandfather shook his head and said "Stinks!" again, rather emphatically. My mother nodded gravely back at him.

I didn't know what he meant then.

The TV-announcers were saying his name: Jack Ruby. The man's name was Jack Ruby.


Like millions of Americans that day, I saw a murder on live television. Because the murder was widely perceived as an act of justice, nobody worried about the ill effects on all of us children who saw it. And later, many years and decades later, when we began to doubt that what we saw was justice and instead wondered if it had been the silencing of a co-conspirator... nobody worried about the erosion of our morality and the consequential development of our cynicism.

But I trace it all back to that day, the day in the basement of the Dallas city jail.

They ask us, do you remember where you were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated? But I always ask, instead: What did you think when his accused murderer was pronounced dead? Because the silencing began then, the questions asked that will forever remain unanswered. (As Norman Mailer once explained the existence of the angry kids of the 60s: They hated the authority because the authority had lied.)

My grandfather was right. It certainly did stink. And the stench covered everything.

The lies of the powerful were uncovered and exposed before us, that morning in the basement of the Dallas city jail.

Some of us never forgot.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Random Friday notes

At left: Mr Cyril is now 7 months old!

Like everyone else in the USA, I am presently bustling, rustling, hustling... and trying to dig out from under mounds of email (as well as real-life junk mail), Mr Daisy's comics and kitty detritus, to prepare for the holiday week coming up.

How is everything with you?

I have decided to run for County Council, as I mentioned here. I figure it can't hurt. I know for sure I will get at least a dozen votes!

Visit the Greenville Greens page on Facebook! And if you are in Greenville County, vote for me! (Don't worry, I'll be reminding you at least a million times before the election.)

Transgender Day of Remembrance was yesterday. Please pay your respects.

Good reading for Friday:

Is Adoption a Feminist Issue? (AdoptionTalk)

Pharmaceutical Giant Paid $500,000 to Psychiatrist Who Used Chicago's Poor as Guinea Pigs (AlterNet)

New Study Shows Women Still Underrepresented in Leadership Roles (ACS Blog)

Regarding that last point... I repeat, vote for me!

I am gonna be a grandma again! Am I old or what?

Very happy and very pleased. :)


And now, our musical accompaniment for this post.

I was gonna use the following video for Tuesday's alcoholism post, and then decided it was too irreverent... I went with Hank Williams instead. Today, feeling a bit irreverent, which I once again blame on Frank Zappa's ghost (listened to Frank on Friday, of course!)... thus, I now freely offer this irreverent look at junkiedom.


1) Why on earth didn't they give Slash the Nobel prize for playing like that?

2) Axl appears rather fried, thus illustrating his familiarity with the subject matter.

3) I love when substances take "human" form; i.e. John Barleycorn, Mary Jane, Mr Brownstone, etc. (On a rather Calvinist note, this particular personification always reminds me of the Devil card in the Rider-Waite tarot deck, with the chains on the humans.)

This is live from 1988, a bit of nostalgia for you metal-heads.


Guns N' Roses - Mr Brownstone

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ethics panel finds probable cause for charges against Gov. Mark Sanford

Photo of our esteemed governor is from WJBF-TV.

I worried I was boring yall with the continuing Mark Sanford follies here in Carolina... so I laid off him for awhile. But hey, it's getting good again, so an update is in order.

My Green Party droogs disagree with me about the fate of Mark Sanford, and think tarring and feathering him takes attention away from "the real enemy" (for lack of a better term)--and there is no doubt a lot of truth to that. But some of us enjoy this sort of thing on it's own terms, and likely descend from the same people who watched public executions a couple of centuries ago. Execution-by-Media is the equivalent of public execution for our modern age. (With the added bonus of being able to smugly congratulate ourselves on how civilized we have become!)

Hang em high!

Ethics panel finds probable cause for charges against Gov. Mark Sanford
Who will get to see commission's investigative report not yet decided
By Tim Smith • Staff writer • Greenville News
November 19, 2009

COLUMBIA — Gov. Mark Sanford now knows what the State Ethics Commission believes he may have done wrong, but it will be next week before the public learns what ethics regulations the governor is accused of violating with his travel or campaign finances.

And the question of who gets to see the commission's report of its investigation remains unsettled and with it the request by House leaders to view the report and decide whether to pursue impeachment action.

After eight commissioners met behind closed doors for nearly seven hours Wednesday, the commission's executive director said only that they had found probable cause for ethics violations in the governor's case on multiple allegations.

Herb Hayden, the commission's executive director, said specific findings by the commission won't be publicly released until next week. “A finding of probable cause is not a finding of guilt,” Hayden said. “It is only one phase in the process.”


An administrative hearing at which the commission would hear Sanford's side and render a verdict as to guilt won't be scheduled until after the first of next year, Hayden said. That hearing would be closed unless Sanford agrees it should be open to the public, he said.

“As we have always maintained, Gov. Sanford supports the public release of the full and complete ethics report,” Bowers said Wednesday night. “We believe that once all of the facts have been considered, it will once again confirm that this administration has been a good steward of tax dollars and public resources.”
On November 10th, we learned that Governor Sanford has $1.7 million left in his campaign finance account and actually has the right to use these funds to pay for legal fees generated by the State Ethics Commission investigation. Do you believe?!?

Rep. Greg Delleney sponsored the impeachment resolution on Tuesday, but House Speaker Bobby Harrell decided to cut Sanford a break, announcing yesterday that barring anything new in the ethics investigation, Sanford's scandalous love-affair with his Argentinian 'soul-mate' Maria Belen Chapur was not sufficient for impeachment.

And then today, after the news from the ethics investigation, it seems Harrell has changed his tune:
House Speaker Bobby Harrell has called on Gov. Mark Sanford to release a disputed investigative report into the governor's possible ethical or criminal violations stemming from his travel and use of campaign funds.

Harrell, R-Charleston, argued a Nov. 5 S.C. Supreme Court ruling made the report public, and that Sanford is not living by standards he has demanded of others.

"We are disappointed that Governor Sanford has broken his transparency promise by keeping this court-ordered public document secret," Harrell said in a statement. "After claiming to be a leader in the transparency movement and heavily criticizing others on this issue, the Governor’s insistence on secrecy goes against all his past actions on this issue."

Harrell has asked the Supreme Court to clarify their decision about whether the House and public can access the report. Sanford's attorneys and the S.C. State Ethics Commission have until tomorrow to file arguments in the case.

Sanford has asked the Ethics Commission to prevent staff from releasing the report to lawmakers or the public, arguing it could undermine Sanford's defense. Harrell also criticized the eight Ethics commissioners for choosing to give the report to Sanford's attorneys during a closed-door session.
They gave the report to Sanford's attorneys?!?

That really stinks, doesn't it? (It stinks almost as bad as Sanford's colorful Appalachian Trail fib.)

This is what happens when right-wingers investigate right-wingers: Everybody stands around with their thumbs up their asses.

Stay tuned, sports fans!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Smoke on the Water

... is a great song as well as the name of a restaurant in downtown Greenville, SC. This is their kiosk at Fall for Greenville (street fair) last month.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Odds and Sods - St Elizabeth of Hungary edition

At left: St Elizabeth of Hungary, traditional holy card.

In the Catholic calendar, today is the Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary. She exemplifies the time when the lives of saints sounded like fabulous movies by Cecil B. DeMille:

In her short life Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she has become the patroness of Catholic charities and of the Secular Franciscan Order. The daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth chose a life of penance and asceticism when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers. This choice endeared her in the hearts of the common people throughout Europe.

At the age of 14 Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia (a German principality), whom she deeply loved; she bore three children. Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan friar, she led a life of prayer, sacrifice and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing. Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land, who came to her gate.

After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades, and she was grief-stricken. Her husband’s family looked upon her as squandering the royal purse, and mistreated her, finally throwing her out of the palace. The return of her husband’s allies from the Crusades resulted in her being reinstated, since her son was legal heir to the throne.

In 1228 Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order, spending the remaining few years of her life caring for the poor in a hospital which she founded in honor of St. Francis. Elizabeth’s health declined, and she died before her 24th birthday in 1231. Her great popularity resulted in her canonization four years later.
Interestingly, in some iconography she is holding a basket of roses, and in some (as above) she is holding a basket of bread. (Bread and Roses?) Oddly, in the rose-depictions, there are poor people, but in the bread-depictions, she is alone. (?)

Now, do you think she passed out bread or roses to the poor? Hmph.

Yes, I get the symbolism, but still. This is the patron saint of the Secular Franciscans, after all!

They really should let ME run everything Church-related. (Don't you agree?) I'd straighten out the iconography, the doctrine, the personnel issues, you name it.


Some great reading out there! Linkages galore:

Amanda Marcotte has proposed something pretty radical over at Pandagon that has everyone in an uproar. For this reason, attention must be paid. (I am duly impressed when any feminist can garner this kind of reaction, frankly.)

In case you've been living in a cave and haven't heard, right-wing fundie former Myth California, Carrie Prejean, made a sex-video for her boyfriend back in the day, which has now been released to the boy-masses for their ejaculatory pleasure.

Without her consent, of course.

Amanda wonders if this isn't sexual assault:
I agree with Jeff here that it’s about time that we started viewing the release of privately made sexual photographs and videos to anyone other than their intended audience as a form of sexual assault. The motivation to do so is indistinguishable from that as a rapist---using sex as a tool to dominate and humiliate someone, while puffing up your own sense of power---and often the results could be even worse for the victim, because her assault was performed in front of a crowd. And I agree with Jeff that we need to consider Carrie Prejean’s ex-boyfriend the scum of the earth for releasing this video, and it’s true that it’s a case of sex being used against a woman to silence and humiliate her, as she’s claimed.

All that said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning something from the fact that this video exists. That the video was released in an act of sexual assault, and should be treated as such. But that doesn’t mean that the act of making the video isn’t something that also matters, when the person who made it is a spokesperson for legally controlling and punishing the sexual behavior of others. I hope we can be nuanced enough about this to see that Prejean is both a victim and a horrible hypocrite. I think it’s important to realize that all these sex scandals involving the moral scolds of society demonstrate that right wingers really do get into being moral scolds because they want to reserve sexual pleasure for themselves while denying it to others. Also, that homobigotry isn’t really about some kind of strict view of human sexuality evenly applied, but that it’s basically just bigotry and attacking people for being in a minority.

Still, I think there’s a lot of clarifying value in thinking of the release of private photos and videos as a form of sexual assault, and thinking of the women in the images as the victims of this assault. Perhaps that will cause anyone who considers publishing these sorts of things to realize that they are participating in a sexual assault if they do so, and will cause them to reconsider. And for anyone applauding a man who releases this stuff, perhaps it will cause you to reconsider.
I am thinking that "sexual assault" may not be the right word. Slander or liable? Do we need a new category for "visual assault"?

Reality TV fans recognize the "blurring" that regularly occurs when Reality-TV-subjects go out for dinner or go shopping; waiters and salesclerks who have not given their permission to be filmed, have their faces blurred, their identities protected. They also blur selected (but not all) paintings, photographs, advertisements in the background of these shows, even logos on T-shirts or baseball caps.

All of these images are "protected"--but a woman who did not consent to show her naughty bits all over the world in a video can not be protected?

What's wrong this picture?

Onyx Lynx linked to a wonderfully thoughtful post titled The Plea of Helplessness, the Refusal of Responsibility, and Today's Progressives (from the blog titled Once Upon a Time...).

I liked this, in particular:
With regard to every issue of consequence, Obama has embraced and even expanded the policies of the Bush administration that he and the progressives had claimed to profoundly oppose. From preventive detention, to increasingly intrusive surveillance at home, to the influence of "faith-based" activists and their preferred policies, to the continuing occupation of Iraq, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, which intentionally and with severe malice aforethought flows into Pakistan and threatens still wider regional destabilization, to continued confrontation with Iran via "crippling sanctions" and indefensible demands made of that country, backed up by the disgusting bullying which endlessly repeats that "all options are on the table" (thus perfectly mimicking Bush's behavior in every respect, all of which Obama and the progressives said they condemned) -- all of it is directly contradictory to what Obama and the progressives had claimed to stand for.

And what is the primary defense they offer for these stances, all of which run counter to what they said they believed in and what they repeatedly indicated they would do once they controlled the executive and legislative branches? Their defense is exactly the same defense offered by the conservatives: they can't help it. This is the best they can do. Forces over which they have no control leave them no alternative.

Those forces may be "the system" itself -- despite the rather consequential fact that they now control all the operative levers of power...
And I have already announced here that I am running for a Green Party office next year. I have jumped ship and no longer have any (genuine) faith in the Democratic party.

This is like, the fifth time (counting local elections) the Dems have totally taken me in with a charismatic, likeable, cool candidate... starting with the very first time I ever voted (for Jimmy Carter).

Check it out, and you might consider jumping ship yourself.

You MUST read Rachel's series on becoming vegetarian. I identified with so much of it: Blocked Vegetarians, Vegetarian Impulses, Bearing the Vegetarian Word, Vegetarian Pet Food, and she also includes a variety of wonderful recipes, to make everything especially excellent.

Great reading, and remember next week (don't worry, I'll remind you again) that the turkey did not do anything to you. Leave him/her alone! Have a NON-VIOLENT Thanksgiving. (Yes, we will revisit this point later, as always.)

I am huge fan of Renee's blog Womanist Musings, because like me, she sees everything as interrelated and connected. I love her polemics and her perspective.

Check out her post titled Obama Bows to Japanese Emperor Akihito:
Bowing to a foreign leader does not make him weak. It is an attempt on his part to curry favour with foreign nations that the US has angered over the last few decades. This bow while showing respect to a different culture, is predicated on the American desire to maintain its globally hegemony. The U.S has no intention of closing Okinawa, or dealing with the mass rapes that have been committed by American soldiers. No matter how diminutive these gestures might make Obama and by default the American people appear, they are token at best. Why make a big deal about a bow when it is clear that the US is still in charge of the unipolar world? Even if Obama were to kiss the feet Emperor Akihito, it would be clear to all the world which of the two men possess real power.
Read it all... in fact, you should be reading Renee every day anyway!

More wonderful wimminz, new to my blogroll: Adoption Survivor, Mnemosyne’s Forgotten Daughter, Acts of Faith in Love & Life!, The Wolf Cave, Asperger Square 8, DQ's Windmill, Carol J. Adams, anti social butterfly (IMHO), and the Queen of Progressive Twittering, Progressive Pam. Welcome All!

Have a look at these great bloggers!

Your official Odds and Sods dose of cute comes from HARLEY, who looks exactly like my legendary and beloved cat from the 70s, Zeppo. As I told Harley's mama, I am sure Harley was Zeppo in one of his previous nine lives.

Harley has a fishing pole now, and is learning manly sports. (The final pic is just TOO CUTE!)

Hope everything is going well with all of you!

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill, he sounds too blue to fly

I have had a pretty rough couple of weeks, as my plantar fasciitis reminds me that my feet are indeed the boss. When you work on your feet, you need them, and they won't be ignored.

And now, primarily for this reason, I have decided to undertake some serious weight loss. It simply can't be good to have extra weight, any extra weight, on my screaming painful footsies. (At least it might help the situation to take the proverbial load off.)

According to Wikipedia:

It has been reported plantar fasciitis occurs in two million Americans a year and 10% of the population over a lifetime. It is commonly associated with long periods of work-related weight bearing. Among non-athletic populations, it is associated with a high body mass index.
Yes, I think we know what "high body mass index" means.
The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with the first steps of the day.
This is an understatement.

Working in a store with a fabulous organic menu, I am terribly spoiled. I eat very well, although admittedly, I eat too much. As I've stated here before, I love real cream in my coffee, exotic cheeses, fancy imported organic junk--I get a discount! I also know when all the sales are... combined with my discount, I can often get expensive and scrumptious healthy foods for nearly half-price. I'm afraid I have taken full advantage of this.

I am living proof you can get fat eating nothing but healthy, vegetarian foods. Especially if we are counting cheese. (Is there any consensus concerning whether ice cream is healthy? It probably isn't.) If I had stayed very active, I probably could have handled the extra calories easily, but because I've worked on my feet, I have wanted to conserve them and not place any additional stress on my lower appendages. So I haven't.

This translates into coming home and sitting in front of the computer while nibbling exotic cheeses.

I had varicose veins zapped by a laser in 2006, since thrombosis runs in my family and several were getting alarmingly large and nearly-bulbous. The horrendous frozen-shoulder episode was in late 2004. It seemed I could barely function during these medicalized interludes, and stopped getting a lot of exercise. During the 90s, lemme tellya, I was Miss Thing, and you should have seen my fabulous calves. I could climb mountains. (((sigh)))

I realize that health-chronicles are boring, and I apologize for providing this one. But when several commenters in this thread seemed to think I was able bodied, I looked up from massaging my sick plantar fascia to laugh heartily at the very idea. Perhaps I would not be considered disabled, but able-bodied? No.

I think the two discrete categories (disabled/able-bodied) are a fiction. Physicality is a continuum... on one end, 'perfect' health (usually exemplified by youth), and on the other end, illness and debility (usually exemplified by old age). But it's very interesting to me that the people on the robust end of the spectrum are statistically most likely to engage in the risky behavior and sports that could leave them disabled. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to BE ABLE to do the things that can harm your body. (e.g.: I was far more likely to hurt myself climbing mountains than I am now, sitting in front of the computer eating cheese.)


In a comment on the post linked above, one commenter (Avalon) was critical because I have blogged about alcoholism, asserting that it is not the same as blogging about disability. (Admittedly, I had believed that it was in the same general neighborhood, at least.)

As I stated in that thread, a friend of mine once filed an EEOC complaint, claiming he was treated differently on his job after going through detox. He was allowed to file the complaint, and the EEOC regarded this as a case of possible disability-discrimination. So, I believed that alcoholism was regarded as a disability. Also, it is specifically mentioned in the Americans with Disabilities Act, although rather garbled and unclear.

Thus, I began a long post titled "Is alcoholism/addiction a disability?" ... and then decided to chuck it. Impossible to find consensus. (I honestly have no idea if it is, and now that I have begun to do some research, more confused that ever.)

The "alcoholism as illness/helpless victim of dipsomania" narrative and the "alcoholism is the result of weak-willed assholism" narrative, are at odds in the medical community (and everywhere else). In short, you can't find straight answers; to 'prove' alcoholism is a disease, one must somehow 'prove' that it is hereditary or genetic. The only way to prove such a thing would be to find the adopted alcoholics from non-alcoholic families.

From the book Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, Leigh Heather Wilson):
Much of the evidence that genetic factors may lead to alcohol dependence has come from studies on twins and children of alcoholics who were adopted at birth and raised by nonalcoholic adoptive parents. Studies like these allow researchers to begin to tease apart the special influences of nature and nurture in the development of alcohol addiction. At present it seems clear that the basis of alcoholism is partly genetic, but the genetic factors alone cannot account for the development of the disease. The real value of the nature versus nurture studies so far is that they have identified certain traits, or markers, that run in families and predispose people to alcoholic dependence. Thus, they help to identify individuals who may be at risk for developing alcohol problems.
Markers? Traits? Like those pesky traits I've talked about before, that I share with Mel Gibson?

On the flip side, we have the school of thought that believes alcoholism is just the result of being... well, BAD. (They use a variety of euphemisms for BAD, but there is no mistaking that they mean BAD.) And although I am also skeptical regarding the disease theory, there is no reason to say ridiculous things to back up your arguments. For example, from the authoritatively-named website titled Alcoholism is not a disease, I find these strange paragraphs:
Looking at the situation objectively, if alcoholism is passed through genes, the abnormality must be relatively new. As stated previously, alcoholism did not exist in the early colonization of America. In fact, it did not exist until the late 1700’s.

Some would argue that the residents of the United States are largely immigrants and as a result the alcoholism gene was introduced later in history. Meaning, the “new” citizens are not of the same family tree as those of the 1700’s.

But, its important to point out, many cultures outside of the United States do not even know what alcoholism is; they do not have a word for it. People with different cultural backgrounds do not have different genetic make-ups.

Um, what?

Has no one heard of hard-partying Falstaff? Restoration comedy, renaissance literature...endless Shakespearean comic set-pieces concerning habitual drunkenness and the consistent buffoonery that results from it? "Otis the town drunk" was not a new invention, you know.

The Bible issues several very blatant condemnations of drunkenness, and drunkards in particular. The Apostle Paul was very clear on that, and many Protestant denominations still teach that ALL alcohol consumption is wrong:
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one know not to eat.

1st Corinthians 5:11
Note the noun: drunkard. This would suggest a chronic state of affairs, rather than a few parties here and there.

If there were no alcoholics before the 1700s, how does one account for that?

And so... apologies for not being able to come down on one side or the other. Color me confused.


Believe it or not (speaking of alcoholism), he was only 29 years old when he died. And he looked so much older.

I'm so lonesome I could cry - Hank Williams (1951)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Review: The Labrys Reunion by Terry Wolverton

I had put off reading and reviewing The Labrys Reunion because I knew it was gonna get to me, big time. Flipping idly through the novel, I could see that Wolverton was attempting an authentic examination (even if in a fictional setting) of some of the tensions between second and third wave feminists, as well as a thoughtful look back at the halcyon days of the feminist movement; a time of collectives, feminist theory, direct action, brainstorming and art like The Dinner Party.

Ohhhh goodness mercy, I thought. Am I ready for this?

I wasn't.

And then, a few days ago (see humongous, unpleasant thread of a few days ago, not linking), I found myself in the mood. There I was, wondering (once again) what the hell had happened to feminism and why so many women are scared to identify with the word, or even worse, show actual hostility to the label.

I experience this phenomenon, always, as my hard work being rejected, all while the younger women benefiting from my work take full advantage of it. (I always want to say something exceptionally snarky, like--Next time, hope they make you ask your hubby's permission before you get a credit card!) They really have NO IDEA, I figured out some time ago. Civil Rights pioneers are frequently honored for their prescience; feminist pioneers are mostly shit on.

And this is one way we know how far we have to go.

I grabbed the book on my way out the door to get my car worked on this week--which is usually a several-hour affair. It was, and I buried myself in Wolverton's story, devouring it in one sitting. After being tarred and feathered by other women, I was in the perfect mood for it.

Loved it.

Yeah, she is telling our story, straight up. For example, this paragraph, which nobody could ever improve upon:

The antiwar movement was riddled with factions, but it was in the women's movement that she'd seen hand-to-hand combat. Down south, in that summer of 1965, no one had called her racist, because the pernicious face of racism had been only too clear, but at Labrys, white women who'd organized nothing more than their plane trips to get there felt free to level that charge against her. "Racist" because there were so few women of color at Labrys; "classist" because it cost money to go there; "anti-mother" because the child care facilities were seen as inadequate; "exploitative" because the child-care workers felt underpaid; "oppressive" whenever she took a stand that someone didn't like. It wasn't that she hadn't agreed with some of the charges; there was no more unanimity within the organizing collective than outside it. But how had the original purpose of Labrys--to train women in the skills of political organizing--become obliterated by the expectation that in the span of eight weeks Labrys would create a feminist utopia?

Indeed, what were we thinking?

Wolverton has reminded me.

In the story, Labrys was a 70s feminist school/collective, which could stand in for all of the feminist collectives that exploded into life during the 70s. Mine were radical feminist newspapers (which I mentioned here) and ostensibly feminist communes/households (and I briefly mentioned getting kicked out of mine here) ... for some feminists, there were dance collectives, music collectives, art collectives, teaching collectives, writer's workshops, you name it. Wolverton brings it all back. (What happened to all of that? Did all of us morph into feminist bloggers or Hillary Clinton?)

The Labrys women's "reunion" is somewhat contrived: someone has died. (NOTE: "The Big Chill" has already been done.) One of the feminist-powerhouse types has lost her daughter, a feminist-artist protege, to rape and murder. The women return in "reunion" mode to support her during this difficult time:
She'd wanted witnesses. She hadn't been able to live with the idea that her daughter's death might go unnoticed, unmourned, that Emma might pass from this world as if she'd never been. That's why, Dana reminded herself, she'd invited all these people. That's why she found herself sitting with them after all these years in a loft on the Lower East Side.
In her acknowledgments, Wolverton admits that Charlotte Sheedy told her to "put a murder in it"--and unfortunately, it does read that way, like a murder was DROPPED into the story. I would have preferred a setting like the Democratic convention, or some other progressive event where the women might have run into each other, then set up a "reunion party" of sorts. But of course, this would not have the purpose of bringing the most radical women into the story-setting, which helps to provide the fireworks.

Those of you who saw my recent Feministing comment (I do not know how to link to just one comment in a big long-ass thread, she admitted, embarrassed)--in which I became angry when a young woman wrote off GIRDLES as no big feminist issue (and I wonder how many times she had her young body crushed by one?)--will appreciate how much I identified with the older character of Peg, who rips young Kendra a new one when Kendra haughtily instructs Peg to "move on":
"You think because you're twenty-four years old you know everything?" Peg spat the words into the girl's sneer. "What do you know? Nothing! Your generation got liberation handed to you on a platter--choices, opportunities, lifestyles. When I was your age there was just one choice--marriage and motherhood, that was it. And if you didn't want that, if you had a brain and wanted your independence, you were a freak, and it was too damn bad."

Pouches of flesh swayed beneath her arms as she translated her rage into gesture. "The happiest day of my life was the day I threw away my girdle. Twenty years I wore it, every day, even if all I was doing was cleaning the house. My mother told me it was indecent not to wear it. And now I open up the pages of the newspaper, and once again they're being sold to women. 'Bodyshapers!' It's like we're going back in time!"

She hovered in front of Kendra's chair, commanding the young woman's eyes to meet hers. "And your generation says, 'What's the big deal? If we wanna wear girdles or push-up bras or lipstick--we're free to choose.' How am I supposed to feel when you celebrate the things that kept me in slavery? You spit on the symbols of my liberation! And then you tell me I'm humorless."

As determined as Kendra had been to keep the defiant smirk plastered to her lips, she could no longer maintain it in the face of Peg's outraged lamentation. She could not recall ever having felt so fervently about anything, and she felt a bit embarrassed for the older woman at the same time as she envied that intensity.

Oh wow. Ohhhh my goodness! Wolverton has been picking through my idle thoughts; how did she DO that?

And just when you think she can't get any more accurate, holy shit, she has one of them going to AA.

The sizable feminist defection to AA/NA (Narcotics Anonymous) in the 80s, was remarked upon in several feminist books, as well as (see link above) the once-indispensable Off Our Backs, but has otherwise been mostly forgotten. Wolverton, again, reminds us--and she is dead-on:
One hundred voices were already midway through the Serenity Prayer as she clattered down the steps into the musty basement that housed the AA meeting. A cluttered room crowded with folding chairs under the greenish glare of fluorescent bulbs: it felt like home.


The room held an assortment of people who would come together for no other reason: men in exquisitely tailored suits sat elbow to elbow with punk girls in skull earrings and black tights full of runs. Women with elaborate coiffures and perfect aerobicized figures applauded the stories of grizzled guys with trembling hands.

There, no one cared what she looked like, if her hair was lank with rain, her shoes waterlogged. No one judged if her politics were imperfect, or what the Senator from North Carolina thought of her artwork. No one minded how crazy or scared she felt--they'd all been there.


When Gwen had first come into these rooms, she'd fought so hard against the notion of being "powerless." She had already been a feminist for a decade, had dedicated herself to overturning women's conditioned and enforced passivity and helplessness. She remembered speaking up at one meeting early on, "I am goddamn well not going to admit that I am powerless. And don't even get me started on that God 'he' thing!" She'd had enough youth and enough arrogance to think she would bring the feminist revolution to AA. Everyone had just smiled and urged her to "keep coming back," which only pissed Gwen off more.

But she had kept coming back because she'd grown tired of waking up every morning with her eyeballs aching; she didn't know how else to stop drinking. It took her more than a year to understand that "powerless" didn't mean defenseless and victimized, but was a recognition that there were things that she could not control or will away.
These are the perfect tiny snapshots and vignettes that make this book worthwhile and wonderful. I don't want to ruin the "mystery" of the murder-plot--but it is interesting (while not entirely unexpected). As always, the women argue all through the novel, validating and not-validating each other. As feminists always have.

Don't miss this one, particularly all you feminists over 40. Certainly, one of these carefully-and-lovingly-drawn heroines is you.

The Labrys Reunion by Terry Wolverton, Spinsters Ink, 235 pp.


Note: This review is dedicated to the feminist who saved my life, Kathy. I wish she could have read it... I kept thinking how much she would have enjoyed it.

I miss you so much, dear one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scary openings, etc.

I guess I shoulda used these for Halloween, but decided to save them for Friday the 13th. :)


The first is from the British anthology TV series titled Journey to the Unknown, which used to scare little Daisy to death.

Wikipedia link says:

The series had a memorably famous whistled theme tune by [famous horror moviemakers] Hammer's Harry Robinson and title sequence involving a deserted and apparently haunted Battersea fairground.

Journey to the Unknown - TV opening (1968)


Rod Serling's 70s anthology series Night Gallery was often too goofy-spooky for me, and I was still a kid. I am sure much of it is even goofier now.

But every now and then, one of them would blow your mind and you'd be up all night. My all-time favorite was "The Diary" (first episode at link, length is about 26 minutes)--which featured the ever-fabulous Patty Duke. I have thought of it at least once a month since seeing it, eons ago. Terrifying and truthful.

All of these paintings (in the opening sequence) represented a different episode and sometimes at the end of a show, the frame would freeze and morph into the painting. I loved that!

Night Gallery - TV opening (1970)


And looky what I found?! My second-favorite Night Gallery of all time, Silent Snow, Secret Snow, from the story by Conrad Aiken, narrated by Orson Welles.

A few clunky glitches in this ancient video, but well worth your while. Take a peek, I guarantee that you are in for a big treat.

Silent Snow, Secret Snow - Part I (Night Gallery)

Silent Snow, Secret Snow - Part II (Night Gallery)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Giving Statue

Main Street, Downtown Greenville, SC

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Christian license plates for SC, federal judge rules

And finally, the judge says NO.

South Carolina can't issue 'I Believe' tag, federal judge rules
By Tim Smith • Staff writer • November 10, 2009
Greenville News

COLUMBIA -- A federal judge today ordered the state to stop producing "I Believe" license plates, ruling the case is a "textbook example" of a constitutional prohibition of government endorsing a specific religion.

U.S. District Court Judge Cameron Currie, who issued a preliminary injunction against the plates in December, on Tuesday issued a permanent injunction, finding the legislation creating the plates violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution and its 14th Amendment.

She also singled out Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who pushed through the legislation.

"Whether motivated by sincerely held Christian beliefs or an effort to purchase political capital with religious coin, the result is the same," Currie wrote in her order. "The statute is clearly unconstitutional and defense of its implementation has embroiled the state in unnecessary (and expensive) litigation."
Here is my first blog post about this sordid debacle.

(I still think a bumper sticker would do just fine.)

Religious appropriation, revisited

Infant of Prague and Sacred Heart of Jesus candles are from my Flickr page.

I have written of religious appropriation before, and how very difficult it is to define. It usually starts some pretty good arguments, so let's get down to business!

I recently discovered someone on Twitter named phyrecracker, who believes Westerners practicing yoga is a racist act. She doesn't simply propose the idea, she endorses it as a fact.

Some of her tweets:

I need 2 say again: if u participate in the fuckery of yoga, our religious practice, Kali Ma will shit on you. Consider yourself warned.[1]
I'd like to c ppl RT that flaming morsel of truth rather than the pretty white smiling families
I'm sure she'll be happy she got a whole blog post, rather than a simple RT (retweet).
[to the woman practicing yoga] last thing: 4 u and any1 else who does this wack ass white ppl yoga know that u cannot achieve inner peace on a basis of racism
sweep the criticism of the Indian under the rug while you go enjoy the religious practice that white ppl steal from us

I tried this on for size, to see how it fit...especially with Christmas looming over the horizon:
I need 2 say again: if u participate in the fuckery of Christmas, our religious practice, Mother Mary will shit on you. Consider yourself warned.[2]

Of course, they will then say nothing is authentically Catholic... they will say we "appropriated" Mary from an amalgam of European goddesses, too. But of course, we can continue that particular game back to the beginning of time, can't we?

Who's on First?

I am disturbed by phyrecracker's comments because I actually adhered to some version of them myself once. As I've written before, I briefly passed through a rather hard-core Catholic phase (for me, anyway), during which I became furious when (for example) non-Catholics would listen to Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor... and when atheists or anti-Catholics listened? It would send me through the roof.

And if they actually PLAYED the music, as in, played instruments in an orchestra? LIVID. It enraged me, exactly as phyrecracker is enraged. I felt the appropriation and I felt the disrespect: IT'S A MASS, do you know what a MASS IS? It's a HOLY PRACTICE, THE REAL PRESENCE OF GOD ALMIGHTY... it is not simple entertainment, you fucks! Etc etc etc and I would inevitably hold forth in a most self-righteous fashion. (Dead Air regulars probably have some inkling of what that sounded like.)

And damn, I remember how good that felt.

I often wish I could corral me some good old-fashioned fundamentalist self-righteousness these days... but I seem to be all about compromise. (I always heard this happened when you got old! Shades of GRAY predominate, God help me!) Now, you could play the Requiem Mass in a strip club and I wouldn't raise an eyebrow. (And if the stripper in question was creative enough to DRESS like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? I'd likely enjoy it myself.)

Seriously, though... at least once every Christmas season I am somewhat peeved when I see non-Christians singing OUR songs and participating in OUR holiday. [3]

But you know, that's how it is in our global times; I don't assume everyone who eats Halloween candy is a pagan. I don't assume everyone who participates in Thanksgiving dinner, believes the accompanying just-so story about pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to a common meal together, giving thanks to God/Great Spirit. I don't assume everyone who paints Easter eggs is pagan OR Christian. Some of them just want to paint eggs. The egg-painting has no additional meaning if the person painting them is simply doing this for the kids' Easter egg hunt. Playing Beethoven, Bach, Schubert and other classical music originally written for the Church, does not make you a Christian. Even though this music was created as part of Mass/Eucharistic Adoration/Benediction, most musicians nowadays (and certainly, most musicians in non-Western countries) play these pieces of music while not fully understanding what they are for and what they represent. And they can play them VERY WELL. Likewise, one can practice Yoga asanas without being religious too.

One can strike yoga poses, like musical notes, with no understanding, and still reach the desired goal. To the religious person, it may not seem exactly fair, but it is indeed so.

And does phyrecracker take December 25th off or eat candy canes? If so: How dare she participate in the fuckery of Christmas.

As one of my favorite Bible verses says, there is not one righteous, no, not one.

And what are your thoughts?


1) Kali Ma refers to the Hindu Goddess Kali.

2) A friend reading over this post offers the observation that Kali tends to be an avenging sort, while the Blessed Mother is not. In reply, I offer the fact that Mary has morphed to suit various purposes throughout the ages, including (a close second to Kali) Our Lady of Victory, popularized by scary Simon de Montfort during the Crusades.

3) Certain traditional hymns can set me off, such as Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming or O come, O come, Emmanuel--both of which seem almost blasphemous in a shopping-mall setting. Any time I hear them outside of Church? Makes me ineffably sad.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Music: The Story in Your Eyes

Extremely busy this weekend...I barely got home in time for the Mad Men season finale, which I found disappointing. In fact, I can't remember the last season finale (or any other finale) that I've enjoyed. The worst in history was Battlestar Galactica, which was so upsetting in it's overall badness that I didn't even blog about it.

Hope to get to a longer blog post tomorrow. In the meantime, I heard this on the indispensable radio show FLASHBACK as I dozed off to dreamland last night. And I was reminded of how much I love it.



The Story in Your Eyes - The Moody Blues

Friday, November 6, 2009

Woman halts Fort Hood bloodbath

At left: Police Officer Kimberly Munley (Twitter photo)

Perfect feminist post title, wouldn't you say?

Although the news out of Fort Hood is generally horrific, feminists everywhere can rejoice that A WOMAN stopped the killing.

From CNN:

Fort Hood, Texas (CNN) -- The police officer who ended the Fort Hood massacre by shooting the suspect was known as the enforcer on her street, a "tough woman" who patrolled her neighborhood and once stopped burglars at her house.

"If you come in, I'm going to shoot," Kimberly Munley told the would-be intruders last year.

It was Munley who arrived quickly Thursday at the scene of the worst massacre at an Army base in U.S. history, where 13 people were killed. She confronted the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, and shot him four times. Munley was wounded in the exchange.

That's just like her, friends and family say.

"I just felt more protected knowing she was on my street," neighbor Erin Houston said.

Munley, the mother of a 3-year-old girl, lives on a street where a lot of homes are vacant because so many residents are deployed at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We sleep a lot safer knowing she's on the block," said Sgt. William Barbrow, another neighbor.

When Bryan Munley heard that his sister-in-law thwarted the alleged gunman in a shootout, he wasn't surprised.

"There's nothing that stands in her way. It completely makes sense that she did what she did," he said from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. "It was amazing. Without her, there would have been a lot more people killed."

He added, "She is definitely a tough woman."

Munley, 34, is being treated for her wounds. Her father, former Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Mayor Dennis Barbour, said his daughter is doing well.

"Her efforts were superb," said Col. Steven Braverman, the base hospital commander.

Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, Fort Hood's commanding general, described Munley as a "trained, active first responder" who acted quickly after she "just happened to encounter the gunman."

"Really a pretty amazing and aggressive performance by this police officer," he said.

Cone said Munley and her partner responded "very quickly" to the scene -- reportedly in about three minutes.

On social networking sites, she was lauded for her actions. One Facebook fan page was called "Sgt. Kimberly Munley: A Real American Hero" and had more than 1,400 members.

"My prayers for a fast recovery as well as my sincere thanks of an outstanding job," one person wrote. One woman added, "U got some brass balls, girl ... u r my hero!!!!"

Authorities say Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire at a military processing center at Fort Hood on Thursday, killing 13 and wounding 30 others.

Cone was asked on CNN's "American Morning" whether Munley's shots brought down the assailant and stopped him from shooting.

"That's correct," Cone said. "The critical factor here was her quick response to the situation."

Bryan Munley said Munley is married to his brother, Staff Sgt. Matthew Munley. He said Matthew was in Downingtown, outside Philadelphia, visiting his family when the shootings happened. The couple, married since 2006, have a 3-year-old daughter named Jayden.

Bryan Munley said Matthew had recently been transferred to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and has done two tours in Iraq. Kimberly was trying to find a job in North Carolina and was hoping to move there soon, Matthew said.

Matthew was at Fort Bragg on Friday, trying to get a flight to Texas to see his wife.

A page on Twitter lists the name "Kim Munley" of Killeen, Texas, near Ford Hood. It has a photo of a female police officer with the name "Kim Munley" on her uniform.

Its bio blurb has particular resonance in the aftermath of the incident.

"I live a good life....a hard one, but I go to sleep peacefully @ night knowing that I may have made a difference in someone's life."
Ohhh, you sure have. May God Bless you for your self-sacrificing work.


More on Fort Hood:

Neighbors: Alleged Fort Hood gunman emptied apartment (CNN)

Letter from Fort Hood (Mother Jones)

Fort Hood shooting: police woman hailed for bravery (UK Telegraph)

Pregnant Chicago woman, Francheska Velez, among Fort Hood shooting victims (Huffington Post)

Mosques Up Security in Wake of Ft. Hood (CBS News)

What is known about Nidal Malik Hasan and Fort Hood shooting (Christian Science Monitor)

Jerome Corsi at it again, and so soon, too. (Huffington Post)