Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Letter to Tom Harkin 

I am writing to ask you to ensure that Condoleeza Rice answers for her record as she goes to confirmation hearings to become U.S. Secretary of State. I watched her public testimony during the 9/11 commission hearings, and was appalled at how she clearly did not respect the seriousness of the situation. Within the strangely limited format of the commission hearings, her main purpose appeared to be to "run out the clock" rather than assist the commission in learning how we could improve our system in the face of large scale terrorist attacks.

I do not think the Democrats should use their precious political capital to filibuster. Rather, the confirmation hearings would be a chance for the nation to learn about the depths of the consequences we have suffered directly due to Ms. Rice's incompetence especially when it comes to diplomacy, and that we can expect little from her as Secretary of State. Indeed, we ought to be prepared for the damage that she is likely to do to our standing in the world.

I am counting on you to help us salvage something of ourselves as a country by bringing the truth to light given any opportunity.



Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Abortion brought me back 

I'm all for reducing the need for abortion in this country, but that would require the states to provide reasonably accurate and informative sex education, easy access to birth control, and support for mothers in the form of good prenatal care, child care, and jobs that pay a living wage. The right won't consider any of these, except under duress.

I didn't really understand what it was like to have other people think they own your body until I was pregnant. People noticed what I did and sometimes felt free to comment on my actions. My first doctor continually nagged me as if I were a child. I don't think the rights of women to privacy and control over their own bodies is a compelling argument to the religious right, or as I call them, assholes who happen to be christian.

I think the assholes who happen to be christian want to control women's bodies. I think it bugs them that women can make decisions about their bodies without men involved at all. If we outlaw abortion, I think it will begin the inexorable march toward more sanctions against pregnant women for all kinds of actions that might or might not be harmful to a fetus: drinking coffee or a glass of wine, exercising too much or too little, eating too much or too little. As I mentioned above, people already feel ownership.

Women, we need to get it together. Other women came before you, fought and died for the rights you take for granted. It's only normal to feel emotional when making the most important decisions in your life, whether or not to reproduce; how, when, and with whom. I, for one, have always felt utter joy to be able to make the choice, knowing that it has not always been the case. Our mothers and grandmothers were enslaved and we are free! Reproductive choice truly is the most important issue in our lives and we must stand up to the assholes who want us as their handmaids.


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