Monday, May 24, 2004

our government, run by... drug addicts?

I somehow missed this way back when. This makes a total of four Bushes arrested for something related to substance abuse. I'm not sure whether to worry more that they abuse substances or that they get caught so often.

Oh yeah, and there's this

Deaf people need to get off their asses. How many Deaf people were at the March in Washington, for choice, recently? Hmmm? Anyone else interested in control over their own bodies? The Wedding March in New York ain't very different, either. Yet somehow, I didn't see anyone there. How you expect anyone to give you any fucking political support, even on cross-group issues, if you don't fucking support them? Remember what happened at Gallaudet after DPN.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

things deaf people should be worried about?

So this is supposed to have some Deaf shit in it. I've been focusing on the war and Iraq because they're, well, huge - but we still have a future of our own and a lot of things to be concerned about.

  • Who's managing the subtitling of films in this country? When I returned from a visit to the UK, I contacted one of the major subtitling groups offering to volunteer in order to help bring more subtitled movies to theaters in New York. There's really so much that could be done, that isn't. Well, I don't have the e-mail anymore so I can't quote it, but basically, they just gave me a blurb about their company with no further information. I reworded my e-mail and sent it twice more with no luck.
  • What about other forms of subtitling? Television and radio are fast being replaced by the internet. Newspapers too. You can download and watch a ton of shit. But none of it has closed captioning or subtitling, despite the fact that Quicktime and Windows Media Player have closed captioning and subtitling layers in their programs already established. We have to think about the future here.
  • The rights of Deaf children. I still believe implants are a personal choice. Therefore, I feel that distrait parents and infants are in no position to judge such a difficult issue. (I was offered the choice of Deaf school or mainstream school at 11. I didn't fully understand it then. How is a kid supposed to understand an implant?) Other countries and the EU have established "rights for Deaf children." We should be working on that. We should also have more support groups around the US composed of Deaf people and hearing parents of Deaf children to go meet new parents of a Deaf child. My mother never, ever met a Deaf person til I was about six - and I didn't know Deaf people could even drive till I went to high school. With such preconceptions about Deaf people's lives and abilities, it's no wonder doctors so easily drive through experimental, invasive and cosmetic surgeries to "defeat deafness."
  • The decreasing job market. Has anyone been exploring the problems caused by the ADA? We had so many frivolous lawsuits - some initiated by Deaf people, some initiated by unscrupulous lawyers taking advantage of Deaf people - that employers are understandably weary of hiring Deaf people. And this is part of the next one too...
  • Deaf people should be working on being in charge of Deaf services. It should have been Deaf people organising film subtitling, Deaf people arranging support groups for new parents, Deaf people teaching businesses about the ADA - not hearing people handpicked by the government, who probably view Deaf people as medical problems and burdens to be borne rather than opportunities to be plucked.

Ok, them's some thoughts. Discuss!

Friday, May 21, 2004

she liked it, she really liked it

So Chimpy enjoyed the shirt and more importantly the dinner party. Nice. phew.

I'm having a really cracked day. I mean I've done a lot of good work this week, which is totally ultra, but I've been alternately outraged, frustrated, or upset every day this week. It's really difficult to keep the engine going when it's running on overload all the time. I think I have a larger capacity than most, to be honest, but that just means I kinda go blooey all at once when I go blooey. And today I am so close to bloo, I'm green. (Bad Surdus. No puns! No puns!) At times like this one depends on one's friends to cheer one up, but today it seems all my friends are in Grumpy Bitch mode. So. No cheer.

One politically related thought: Interesting how it's okay for us to say the official American soldiers in Abu Ghraib don't represent America, but the terrorist who chopped off Nick Berg's head, in the uniform of his terrorist organization, is taken by the right wing to represent the Iraqi people.

One stupid thought: It's not the solders. It's Abu Ghraib. Seen the movie, The Shining? Like that. There's an evil spirit in the prison that reaches out and forces otherwise normal soldiers to torture people. I'm just waiting for reports of blood seeping out of the walls.

One funny thought: Why does Bush keep bombing STRAIGHT marriages when he's against GAY marriages? Someone give the man an explanation... unless maybe he thinks the women are men under all the veils.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

shopping sucks

Who knew getting a t-shirt printed would be so hard?

It started months ago when my friend Chimpy sighed romantically over the use of A Certain Word on Sex and the City. Well, she decided she'd like a t-shirt with the Certain Word on it. And since her graduation was recently, I, being Surdus, decided it would be fun to find a place to print it up and send it out to her.

Uh... Chimpy, I love you, don't get me wrong. But next time you graduate you're getting flowers. Hear me? FLOWERS.

I first went to the printing shop, designed how I thought it should look, and they said they'd take care of it. Mind you, it was tough to find the printing place. I knew it was on 30 and 8th, but that was it. Walked around in the rain for 20 minutes. Went to 7th on a hunch and there it was. Did all the designing, paid, left. When I went back the next day they looked at me like an idiot. Turns out I was supposed to supply a t-shirt. They didn't mention this. Went to a sports shop nearby, bought a nice black tee (which Chimpy said she wanted.) Went back to the store. "Ah! Is black! Is black!" I'm thinking, ah, t-shirt racism, but no, this wasn't the case. They charge more for black t-shirts. Why, I don't know. I asked, but they gave me an incomprehensible answer in an Indian language I can't identify. Okay. Whatever. The price wasn't an issue - it was just, hello, why didn't you mention this when I said I wanted it on a black t-shirt? Then I asked for a list of typefaces. They didn't want to let me pick a typeface. Turns out they just printed a t-shirt with one type of face and wanted to keep, er, facing it. No, I said. I wanted a certain kind of typeface, I said. Finally they let me pick it out.

I'm not even GOING to explain the problems I had explaining "hot pink." They were lucky I didn't bend them over and spank them til the color came out right.

I get the feeling they were playing with me.

Then - sorry, Chimpy - I told them it was for my girlfriend. Thought this would help quell the arguing and get me what I wanted ASAP. They gave me lots of winks (because of the Certain Word) and told me they will make it beautiful, beautiful! I'm to pick it up today at 5 pm. Pictures may appear if they get taken. Hope it's all worth it - if she loathes it I shall beat up some serious ass. I'm just cringing, thinking of all the things that could go wrong...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

freedom of bleach

Found this while reading posts on DailyKos. It’s well to remember freedom of speech is still under attack at many levels in this country, even in our educational institutions, where we’re supposed to learn certain lessons about our government and democracy. Another example is this guy, who I actually wish I could meet – Jarred sounds awesome; the NYT quotes him as saying “It’s okay to encourage student drinking, but it isn’t okay to be gay?” Lovely.

But this censorship isn’t limited to the usual liberal stuff; Christians are getting their shit censored, too. And for stuff as small as a biblical quote in a yearbook. (How’s that different from Emily Dickinson?) The general theme is, if anything is even slightly controversial, ban it. Yet this logic is counterintuitive. Schools should be places where controversy is examined, where students are given tools to examine it. Removing the controversy just gives students the kind of pablum that bores them and drums them out of schools, as James Loewen has noted in his excellent books, Lies My Teachers Told Me and Lies Across America. Controversy is the essence, not just of America, but of life itself; remove it, and kids know they’re not learning anything of value outside of maybe math class. And senseless censorship, like that employed in the Michigan case, just tells kids they’re under someone else’s control.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Fundamental Thing

If even the tenth part of Perlstein’s article is true, it means our country has entered a time of moral and mortal peril. Democracy, and the “system of checks and balances” which we learned so much about in school, has been usurped by the concerted efforts of one group. One ideology has been implanted into members of each of our government’s branches, and they have a firm foothold on the ‘fourth,’ the Media.

I am not anti-Christian. I have many wonderful, moral Christian friends. I approve of many Christian values, and what I see as Christ’s real teachings (to help those in need, to preserve and serve life.) It is clear to me that the Apostolic Congress is not Christian, however. They are fundamentally insane. They are attempting to drive a world to war, precipitating thousands if not millions of deaths, to artificially create a religious experience. It's the ultimate union of religion with the industrial age. They are assuming they can force the appearance of Christ, as if he’s a computer icon waiting to be double-clicked. i.e.:

run: christ

Even I know religion doesn’t work that way.

What’s terrifying is how easy it is to accept the information in this article as true. We’ve known about Bush’s religious fervor for a long time. I’ve already mentioned ‘Blessed Cause,’ the anti-Islam crusaders; The Brits were confuzled; Blair seemed to have caught the drug of moral superiority (Thanks, Willow from Buffy.). Apparently there was even a TV series in the UK which analyzed the problem – I’m looking for links for that now.

After some thought, it's apparent that our current leaders pose an example of the major rationale for separation of Church and State. They were not saying that religion necessarily has no place in the state, or vice versa – witness the ridiculous emphasis on removing the Ten Commandments from statues, etc. - but because religion is an ideology shared by many people which can take precedence to the ideology of democracy, rendering any attempt to prevent unilateral control of our government impossible. And while Perlstein says the problem is that Bush is depending for ideology on people who care nothing for peace, I feel that this unilateral juggernaut is really fucking terrifying.

self-analysis time

As many of you know, this blog is an experiment, and not a perfect one. My friend TheDarkKnight e-mailed me with a ton of really good feedback which I'm hoping continues. I know I can come over like a pompous ass, but I'm still what people call "a budding writer" (which makes me feel like some sort of pansy, haha, sorry, kicking myself now.) So, feedback, good.

First off, what I said about Yellowstone needs clarification. Bush did not package and sell Yellowstone, complete with bows, ribbons and mediatronic wrapping paper. According to the National Resources Defense Council's "Bush Record on National Parks," George "Hide in the Shrubbery" Bush has:

  • Systematically attacked the respected status of Yellowstone. In an inaccurate scientific report Bush tried to convince the U.N. that Yellowstone was in no environmental danger.
  • Engaged in practices which endanger the park. This includes selling all the government-owned areas around Yellowstone to private contractors for logging purposes. He's also killing all the Yellowstone Bison.
  • Cut funding The National Park Service has no money. It's all gone to Iraq.
  • Privatized the park. This is costing the park MORE money, since it has to pay for the job competitions, but also they've been selling federal water rights.
  • And then there's that snowmobile thing... Bush struck down a ban on polluting snowmobiles which not only dirty up the park but scare the animals.

I'm not much for conspiracy theories. They don't sound, to me, very different from political propoganda. But this systemic attack on the park means that Yellowstone is not going to be Yellowstone anymore. It's debatable whether it's already undergone significant change, but I've read enough biological literature to know that what you do has spreading effects. That power plant is going to kill a lot of plants, meaning animals will have no homes. When the land is bare, empty, and barren, it will be sold. And in any case, it won't be a park anymore, will it? You gonna take your kid to see a power plant and some snowmobiles? I shouldn't have said Bush sold Yellowstone. The comment was a lot stronger than saying "Bush is selling of bits of Yellowstone, and soon you won't recognize it anymore, and when you've forgotten what it used to be like, he'll sell it to private contractors." Complicated plans are less impacting than straightforward ones.

TheDarkKnight also criticized my comment that "nothing was realistic until something made it real." I should clarify I'm talking about social issues and solutions, of course. The 40-hour work week didn't appear out of nowhere. Neither did American autonomy, the abolition of slavery, and all the other wonderful dreams that seemed impossible when people conceived of them. But Americans fought and Americans made those dreams real. That's why King's speech about having a dream was so powerful. People complain about apathetic Americans-TheDarkKnight said something about that, too. But I see very little apathy in America. Walk down the street and all you hear or see are heated arguments about what's going on today. Even the Deaf community, which by and large isn't hugely affected by hearing politics, is polarized on many issues. Millions of people march and march. No, I don't see apathy. Maybe too much dedication to working within the system, and willingness to trust that the system works, rather than realizing that any good system needs to be upgraded now and then. We're good folks, we know right from wrong. We're just a little uncertain about how to go about righting wrongs... Spandex and utility belts, anyone?

Monday, May 17, 2004

hide it! hide it!

Stuff like this bothers me. Censorship sucks, man!

Seriously, we're really fucking our children over. It's part of childhood to be exposed to difficult shit and then learn, either by yourself, from your parents or your teachers, how to deal. That's how you grow up to be a responsible adult. That's life! You learn to criticize, analyze, and put things together - or you never do.

Why I think the right wing pushes censorship is because they don't want to be criticized or analyzed! I mean, you can teach children that pornography is wrong, and kids will believe it. Or you can teach them how to figure out what's wrong and right, and let them make their own decisions. But if you choose the second path, you have no power over your children anymore. They've taken steps to independence. Some parents don't like that. Some groups - like right-wingers - like it even less. Critical thinking has no place in the Gestapo.

that was a short remove from politics

apparently my outrage level hasn't been exceeded after all. look at this quote from yahoo:

Powell said he was disappointed the Arab world had not expressed greater outrage over the beheading of U.S. civilian Nick Berg, whose killer has not been found. There was "no excuse for any silence on the part of Arab leaders. I would like to have seen much higher outrage," he said.

While stressing that he did not believe the behavior of U.S. soldiers toward Iraqi prisoners was "in any way" acceptable, Powell said there could be "no comparison" between the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and the killing of Berg.

What exactly would he have liked to see? I'm confused. Even the Hezbollah went on television saying that the actions of the terrorists were reprehensible. I saw several arab groups on TV. No, I think the only reason Powell is saying this is to somehow minimize the abuse at the prison. He's right, there should be no comparison between the prison abuse and the murder of M. Berg. We should be sending out policemen with soldier support to arrest the criminal who killed him. I very strongly believe that. I do not, however, want all of our soldiers arrested! Their orders came from higher up. The people responsible for those orders should be arrested.

If however what Powell is upset about, is that this outrage is not ongoing, well, there's a reason for that, as Tom Tomorrow notes:
To summarize: the prisoner abuse story continues to dominate the news because it is an ongoing story with many unanswered questions about the actions of our military and our government--questions of direct relevance to our democratic system. And information keeps dribbling out. Congress is given access to unreleased photos, and various politicians hold press conferences--news is generated. Trials are about to commence, the defendants and their attorneys give contradictory statements to the media--more news. See how that works? The Nick Berg story, by contrast, has been covered thoroughly, and we're all horrified by it--but there's just not much more there for the media to report at this point.

(...Frankly, it occurs to me that I saw a lot of footage this week of reporters standing outside the shuttered home of Berg's parents, speculating as to whether or not funeral services had been held yet, discussing the parents' criticism of the US role in their son's death, and any other angle they could come up with, doing their absolute damndest to milk the story for all it's worth. I don't know in what parallel universe it was "ignored", but here on planet Earth it got plenty of attention. And if some new information or new angle on the story comes to light, you can rest assured that it will get plenty more.)

It's obvious that the world wants answers to the questions about Abu Ghraib. But there aren't many questions left about Berg, right now. He was killed. We know who did it. (And here's a question - are there plans to do anything about this? Or will we let al-Zarqawi get away with it, like we did Osama bin Ladin?)

Also, I think it's time to dispel the notion that anyone in our government had a plan for winning the minds and hearts of the Iraqi people. What they expected was to bomb the country, get rid of Saddam, and have the people spontaneously love them. Unfortunately, we:

  • Lied to them about support before the first Gulf War, and
  • killed over 500,000 Iraqi children between the two Gulf Wars, and
  • bombed their country pretty badly in the second Gulf War.

So, therefore, we have to work a little harder. That's logical. What would I have done? I would have had the soldiers each learn basic Arabic so they could speak to the locals. I would have sent them in with orders to befriend the locals, diffuse fears. I probably would have told them to keep their weapons, but try to make them unobtrusive. These people have been tortured by Saddam's secret police and army for years. Any gun is going to make them shy.

I'm sure some of those people would have been terrorists, or US-haters. BUT - i'd much rather see the Iraqi people watching an American soldier defend himself from an attacker, than an angry American with a gun forcing people into line. And it's a MUCH better PR image.

We did some things right, but not enough. We built a couple of schools, but it was WE who built them. They weren't involved. We didn't work as partners. That was our big mistake. We never, ever tried to be their friends. We tried to do something for them, which isn't the same thing. When you do something for someone, they owe you. I don't think the Iraqis wanted a debt, this quickly, not when there was no foreseeable chance of repaying the debt.

Here's the thing. I have no training in politics. But these things are obvious to me. They seem pretty basic. I floated them to other people. Other people agree. So why the hell couldn't our 'leaders' see that? Unless maybe they had some other agenda? Maybe they didn't want us to be friends after all! Sure, this requires we not believe in the good, open hearts of our government leaders. We know they're not completely honest. Why isn't anyone floating the notion that our government never cared about winning the hearts and minds of the iraqi people? Why are we blindly believing what they say, when we know they lie? Hmmm?

And please - don't say I'm blaming America. We were all lied to. We all trusted. It's obviously not America at fault here. It's the liars. And they are trying to convince us to blame each other for all these problems. The left attack the right, the right attack the left, and the fat cats smile from the white house, and because of all this we can't get any real, firm answers....


My friend bree pointed out that Powell himself is a perfect example of the intelligence/hierarchy thing. Powell noted again and again that intelligence didn't support the "war." He knew what we were doing is wrong. But he went ahead with it, because the orders came from his president. Why? Why? Bree called him a sheep. This doesn't satisfy me. I mean, he's a four star fucking general. If anyone's able to resist sheepyness, it should be Powell. But no. He ignored the facts, his conscience, and the rationale of his own intelligence in order to follow the hierarchy. This scares and bothers me.

ahhh, sun

feeling far more tanned today... skin's gone to a deeper olive. all due to the great weekend celebrating chimpy's graduation. to a tiny extent, i was celebrating my own; but to be frank im just thrilled to have chimpy back. she was starting to turn into stressed-out mega-freako. now she can just be mega-freako.

ive come to the conclusion that i'm finished with american politics. it's come to a really sorry pass when bad shit happens but we allow it to happen because someone has a lofty position. we're intelligent beings, but instead of allowing our intelligence and logic to point out problems and resolve them, we've decided to allow position and even birth to take control. why else do we excuse the actions of bush, etc? he sold YELLOWSTONE. i mean, hello? he SOLD YELLOWSTONE. and i don't even want to think what happened to alaska. iraq is just the latest in a series of truly awful decisions which bode nothing good for this country and we let it happen because, well, he's rich, white and president, born to a president. it's a return to monarchy, not a democracy any longer. i will just wait till we become a democracy again, and then i'll be political.

and to those who say i'm not realistic, we have to do things this way, blah, blah, BLAH - yeah, i know it's not realistic. so fucking what? nothing was realistic until someone made it real. the only tradition is invention. (thanks, rachel.) seriously though. remember that "security guard" thing? the only difference between that, and our political issues today, is that the President is set up as an honorable man worthy of respect and trust. but he's not. he's just a man. and a man who's doing a bad job, especially when thousands and millions of lives are at stake, should be fired. how long do we americans have to suffer joblessness, no health care, and poor education? our childrens and families and lovers away to fight the wars of the nobility? before we finally install a government that respects and cares for all of us? that has our needs ahead of their own? if this is such an unrealistic thing to want, i might as well kill myself now. but it isn't. we have the power to make it happen. the laws and basic structure we have are good; we just need to tweak it. every program has bugs, right? and politics is a program that needs to be continually re-assessed for bugs, because the hardware it runs is continually altering. simple.

re-reading my octavia butler books. she repeatedly states that the "human contradiction" is between our intelligence and our dependence on hierarchy. we'd rather trust in the system than in our own minds. but our minds made the system in the first place, consciously or unconsciously.

working more and more on stuff for chiromeme lately, which is exhausting. funny - my mother got on the website and explored. she came back with a thumbsup, but i was reeling in shock. bit of a collision of two worlds.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Believe it or not...

Yes. Someone was beheaded in Iraq by a bunch of terrorists. Sigh. Ridor said I'd defend the Iraqis again. Yes, Ridor, I defend iraqis, the same way i defend Americans. But TERRORISTS are another story. TERRORISTS are fucked up. These guys just used the prison abuse as an excuse to do what they would do anyway. The big problem with this war is, ok, terrorists will do whatever they do, BUT now we are in the Middle East and fucking it up, they can point to us and say SEE we did it because of them. But really they're doing it because of themselves. Kos says exactly what I think:

So what does the Berg murder tell us? That the prison torture scandal led to the killing? Not even close. Terrorists (and al-Zarqawi is undoubtedly one) don't need such excuses to do their dirty work.

The lesson is that not finishing the job in Afghanistan and invading Iraq with no good rationale gave Al Qaida and similar groups time to catch their breath, reorganize, and direct their efforts against a conveniently near target -- Iraq. This is the neocon "flypaper" theory in all its glory. It's working. The neocons WANTED it this way.

And they got it. Congratulations.

And in the process, the killing of thousands of innocent men, women and children by errant American bombs, artillery shells, mortars, and bullets have swelled the recruiting offices of every militia and terrorist organization in the Mideast, in and out of Iraq. Congrats with that as well. You can't have flypaper if you don't have an enemy shooting at you. So we energized our existing enemies and gave rise to new ones who didn't seem to understand that "collateral damage" is acceptable in war.

And the abuse of Iraqi prisoners -- up to 90 percent of which could be innocent according to the Red Cross -- just added fuel to the fire.

So no, the prison abuse didn't cause Berg's horrific murder. Bush's (inept) War, in all its glory, did. The Neocon agenda, in all its folly, did. The war cheerleaders now trying to use this for propaganda purposes, in all their idiocy, did.

Congrats. Your war spirals ever out of control. Good luck trying to wash the blood out of your hands.

I do think in the end the Iraqi people will be driven to commit desperate acts. Because many, many innocent Iraqi people are dying too. Problem is terrorism is a crime, not a war, but we fight it like a war, instead of a crime.

hearing habits which annoy

How many Deafies have done this:
    Met a hearing person who
  • says they're interested in you
  • but you feel tired so you don't really want to
  • lipread or write stupid notes
  • or wait 20 minutes while they fingerspell M Y N A M E I S S T U P I D
  • but when you tell them no
  • they get all upset and say it's your fault because u discriminate against the hearing.

The fact is... communication is difficult sometimes. And we usually have to do all the work. And sometimes u just wanna have a drink and relax. Every time I have a relationship with a hearing person, unless they learn at least some sign language, I have to work to communicate all the time. Relationships should be about balance. Look at me, I can write, I can read lips, I can play parcheesi, I know morse fucking code, but poor hearies can only speak. I'm not sure why. Their brains hardwired to their mouths or something. I'm not bashing them exactly, it just bothers me that I can think of 50,000 ways to communicate and they get stuck on spitting.


Yes, there's a reason for this post. I was online and had a nice little chat with someone. They wanted to meet me. I said no, they asked why, and I decided to be honest. Waste of time. This person, Marcellito, attacked me saying I hated hearing people. I got defensive and said, look, it's not true. I'm just tired. I need a BREAK. When you have to face the challenge day after day sometimes it's good to take a break... sometimes you need it, just for the sanity.

Friday, May 07, 2004


Ridor paged me yesterday calling me a hypocrite. He said:

Santini, you are hypocrite at its best. Always ready to attack the US Government when it made a mistake, but vanished when the Americans were being mutilated, abused and bombed by others.

I thought this was interesting and wanted to look at it. First off, I didn't vanish. On Thursday, April 1st, I wrote about the bodies of the men who died in Iraq and were maimed and mutiliated by an Iraqi mob. I was really affected by this and said:

I watch all the terrible things happening - to "us" and to "them," although they've got plenty of "us" and we've got plenty of "them." Don't think I feel any of them are excusable. The latest-dead people being dragged through the streets? It's going to be used by the American Right to justify all the people dead by the hands of our current administration (or, since we permitted their control and their actions, us) and it's going to be used by the left to justify bashing Bush, and five people will be dead and nobody will remember their names or why they were there or, you know, the little bitching noises they made in the dead of night. They'll become a political football, and nobody will care why they were killed. Nobody will interview the Iraqis who killed them.

The big difference between me and a lot of people on the news is I really wanted to find out why. Nobody seemed to be interested in finding out why. The WHY is really important to me. I don't think anyone is naturally a brutal savage. They are pushed in that direction. In this case, having your country bombed, invaded, having people picked up off the streets, having your wives and children raped made the people in Iraq a little angry, and they had a lynch mob. That is the Why. I also suspect they knew about the torture in Abu Ghairib and were pissed about that too. Come on, when the planes hit the world trade center, how pissed off were YOU? I know I was damned pissed off. UNDERSTANDING WHY IS NOT THE SAME AS EXCUSING SOMEONE.

Now, the second part, about being a hypocrite. We went into Iraq, led by Dumbya, on a string of lies which were eventually proved to be false - the weapons of mass destruction that weren't there, the stockpiled weapons in places that turned out to be hospitals or schools but were destroyed anyway. Our LAST, LAST line of defense was, we went into Iraq to help the Iraqis and save them from Saddam, who tortured and killed them. For us to go ahead and torture and kill people - with this in mind - destroys any legitimacy we had in the area. Bush was very, very stupid to allow this to happen... and very, very stupid not to predict it might have happened.

Because, like I said, it's important to understand why. And our soldiers are out in this foreign company with huge fucking spiders the size of your entire leg. They are fighting someone - they don't know who. They are told to save the Iraqis then to shoot them. Their friends are dead, their salaries are cut, and they are forced to stay in Iraq longer and longer. If something like this had not happened, I would have been very surprised. Bush made them poor, defenseless, hungry (remember the Halliburton food scandal?) and left alone in a country which is very much against them - again, something that's Bush's fault. There were so many ways he could have gained the support of the Iraqis it's ridiculous.

The big point is Rumsfield or Bush or whoever is in charge seems to really like sitting back and watching people snap. They use people to the breaking point and they destroy them. How many more Americans have to die because of their fun war games? When are we going to free the Iraqis? When are we going to move beyond this whole stupid us/them party and start COOPERATING AND GETTING THE WORK WE NEED TO DO OUT OF THE WAY? And when will we punish Dumbya for what he's done to our troops and our country?

Ridor, I don't twist facts to my agenda. We have bad leadership and yes, I do criticise that leadership. But BUSH IS NOT AMERICA. He's just the man with the hands on the reins.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Religious Right turns against Bush

The other day I was reading the Rick Perlstein's new article in the Village Voice and today i decided to check out the site he mentions, Well, stunner, because right at the top of their page is an article saying that due to the prisoner tortures we've forfeited the right to be in Iraq. Well, guys, I still think we forfeited it a long time ago, but it's nice to see you're finally waking up.

What's really shocking about this turnaround is the fact that is an anti-Muslim site as well as a pro-Bush site. Yet even they feel the invasions perpetrated on Iraqi prisoners at Saddam's old torture-house were too much.

deaf p'litics

OK mates. Question of the day: Does a Deaf person in a highly publicized role have the responsibility to be as Deaf as possible? I mean as culturally Deaf as possible. Many people would say yes. Their logic is that there are so few Deaf people out there on stage and TV screen that it's necessary for each and every Deaf person to sign fluent and beautiful ASL on the screen and be the penultimate Deaf person.

Aside from the fact that that's an unreachable goal - everyone's going to have criticism - I just find the whole premise false. Who's to say who the "perfect" Deaf person is? Language is a starting point, but not an end, in this discussion - after all, we all weave back and forth between languages, like any other minority group does. Cultural behaviors are a little better, but these vary widely from discrete phyle to discrete phyle.

The person in question is from a strong Deaf background. Went to a Deaf school, Deaf mother, etc., etc. Instead of going to the media and saying, "This is what a strong Deaf background can produce - someone who operates in both worlds," there are people pointing fingers at this man and saying, "He's not Deaf enough." Well, screw 'em; they're not on stage, and they don't want to or choose to operate in both worlds. My friend does, and he does so precisely because he is Deaf enough. Because he gains strength from his Deaf friends and community and a lifetime of history with other Deaf people from whom he's learned a ton of things. It's always, always difficult working on the edge of cultures, in the places between where you can fall off; and all such choices are worthy of respect-both for the long struggle of identity development they require, and the eventual gold they produce.

I have to face similar choices in writing my fiction. Do I follow the political line of what is best for Deaf people, or the moral line of what is best for the character and plot I'm working on? I try to keep the focus on the character, not the politics. This results sometimes in very odd situations and results in my fiction. But I refuse to write straight-edge fiction, about one world or the other: I choose to work in all worlds, where possible. In such a framework partisanship can't survive very long. Only in polarized situations, which are inherently false, can such straight-edge fiction survive. The hope is for gold, and a kind of development both of my identity and the character's.

'Nuff for now. Back to hell and politics.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Real fucken democracy

In A People's History of the American Revolution Ray Raphael describes early American armies. Apparently the refused to move or obey orders without everyone agreeing on what to do, together. They didn't want to obey the rich upper class who were their officers, noting that such people would have little care for their lives. They wanted some kind of control in what they were doing on a daily basis. Eventually, Washington shot a lot of them just to get them out of the way, and the American army submitted to the rule of more men with fake hair.

Just pointin out. And there's this - isn't that just FUCKING cool? I mean, if there was a draft for this kinda army, I might be willin to be part of it...

deaficult, haha

Nice analogy made to dad, here recaptured in its original glory:

Look, if we hire someone to guard our building, and our building gets robbed, we fire the guard. We don't say, Oh, poor guard, nobody could have expected that. His job is to protect the building. If he fails, he's out. Now, one of the jobs of the president is to protect the building that is our country. When September 11th went down he wasn't guarding us. We got plenty of evidence to show he made our situation worse. But he copped a pity plea and we said Oh, poor Bush, nobody could have imagined we'd be hurt. Hello? Terrorists have been making threats against us for decades. What's unusual about Bush isn't that he worked hard against terrorism. What's unusual is that an attack happened when he was president. His eyes weren't open, he was asleep at the wheel, he let us down, and he put through a brilliant ploy to turn his failure into glory. Instead of being the security guard who failed, who was fired, he became a flawed hero, and we all like a flawed hero. But the fact is he is a security guard, our building got robbed, and he's still there. And sooner or later another terrorist attack is going to happen, and the man who failed to protect us so dismally the first time is still going to be in office. Whatcha think? Is President Failure going to stop the next attack? Bets?

Today's news roundup and more about Surdus

So today Bush promised to punish those who killed and tortured Iraqis. We're going to send a ton more soldiers over there. We have no money. Bush is asking for more money.

Me, I'm spending more time on my artwork and writing. If we survive the escalating attacks sure to result when the Iraqi citizens realize they've been screwed over again, I want to be able to leave a memento to the world. Seriously, like I said to my friend bree over the weekend, we bombed them for ten years, abandoned them when they went to war (those 300,000 mass graves?) killed 500,000 of their children (remember Madeleine Albright saying it was necessary?) destroyed their major cities, stole their art, destroyed their access to utilities, the safety of women to walk at night, now we're raping and beating them, and we're expecting them to "grow up?" Maybe Americans don't believe people of different colors should have rights, but dammit, at least try to pretend they're human beings long enough to guess what their reactions to being hurt, hurt, and hurt again are going to be.