Thursday, May 31, 2012

on PRENDA and Dr. Tiller...

Yikes- it certainly has been a while since I posted here, hasn't it? In any case, here's a letter I was compelled to write today to my Representative, Chris Van Hollen, on the occasion of both a scheduled vote on HR 3541 and the third anniversary of Dr. George Tiller's assassination:
Rep. Van Hollen-
According to press reports, today will bring a vote on  H.R. 3541, the so-called "Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act."  As it so happens, today is also the third anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, killed in his church on a Sunday afternoon because he was an abortion provider.
Dr. Tiller is a hero of mine because he worried less about abstractions and public policy debates over abortion than he did about women's realities. He once said "Abortion is about women's hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women."   Laws such as PRENDA do nothing but attempt to legislate away women's hopes and dreams with little regard for their social realities. In other words, it does nothing to solve the problem it claims to address.
I know you have stood strong against the GOP's raids on women's rights, and I appreciate that. But I want to ask you to go one step further. Dr. Tiller did his work like everyone else, but he also made sure people knew what he was doing, and why. Too frequently, the men among us who work for reproductive justice do so quietly, without wanting to draw attention. Dr. Tiller understood that this approach helps no one. I ask that you, and the rest of the brave men in the Democratic caucus, take the airwaves and the rooftops and tell the world that you, as Dr. Tiller often said, "TRUST WOMEN". The women of this country are well and fully capable of making the right decision for them about reproduction. It should be our mission to make sure they do not face unnecessary obstacles to doing so.
Thank you for your time.
Dr. Tiller would have wanted us to stop for a minute to remember him, and then get right back to the fight. If you really want to honor him, take a minute to drop your representative a note , and then go over to to find out what you can do to help keep his legacy alive. Thanks.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Imitating Japan isn't good, but it is comforting.

My good friend Pete has asked me to remind him, from time to time, why there is in fact hope for the economy, and he therefore doesn't need to buy a gun, stash his money in the mattress and garrison inside his house. This time around, we're using Japan as an example, prompted by a recent Paul Krugman blog post.

Now, it should be pointed out that I'm no economist. This may actually provide some comfort, I don't know. Anyways, because I'm no economist, I rely on a few different websites to provide me with some insight and analysis on what's going on out there. One of my favorite sources of information lately has been Krugman. His recently updated book, "The Return of Depression Economics", focuses specifically on the Asian economic crises of the 90's, and how they relate to what's going on today.

On the surface, Krugman's blog post should frighten us. That the Obama administration is stuffed full of some of the smartest economic minds in the country, yet continues to take the same sort of half-steps that doomed Japan to a decade of economic malaise. And they need to get over that. The system is broken, but they're trying to fix it with chisels and paint where bulldozers might very well be necessary.

Anyways, that's not what I'm here to talk about. I see today's reason for Pete not to buy a gun in the very fact that despite the fact that Japan suffered through a decade of economic malaise, they did in fact come out of it, slowly and eventually. It certainly wasn't pretty, and Japan is not the power it was before, but they did not descend into anarchy and chaos. I see this as a good omen. Even if the Obama administration refuses to take strong actions (ahem!), the cycle will eventually come around and life will go on as before, although with less credit and perhaps without the US being the same sort of economic power we were before.

Perhaps it's indicative of the times that I'm trying to take a positive out of a pretty terrible negative. Polishing the proverbial turd, if you will. But if Pete doesn't buy a gun, it'll all be worth it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, people.

Point of View
by Shel Silverstein

Thanksgiving dinner's sad and thankless
Christmas dinner's dark and blue
When you stop and try to see it
From the turkey's point of view.

Sunday dinner isn't sunny
Easter feasts are just bad luck
When you see it from the viewpoint
Of a chicken or a duck.

Oh how I once loved tuna salad
Pork and lobsters, lamb chops too
'Til I stopped and looked at dinner
From the dinner's point of view.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fair warning for the squeamish: this video includes Sarah Palin. Oh, and turkeys being killed on live television. The combination of the two is enough to make one ill...

Clearly, the handlers who scripted her appearances during the campaign are long gone. But you'd think that someone would have looked at the setup for this particular "presser" and stopped things to rearrange. It's a stunning moment of stupidity. And hopefully, a reminder for some folks of how turkeys make it to their tables. :)

p.s.- this clip is spreading like absolute wildfire. i love it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia, American League MVP for 2008. Another honor well deserved, to go along with the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. I think I speak for many when I thank the baseball gods for finally giving the Red Sox a world class second baseman.

And also a congratulations to Yooooooooouk, who finished third in the MVP voting and was (in my opinion) only kept from another Gold Glove because he kept having to move from first to third and back to first, and back to third.

If I may speak for just a second specifically to Theo Epstein: Theo, you've got to pay these gents whatever they ask. Pay the men!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today wasn't the most red letter of days. I'll just leave it at that. And to add to the increasing mound of evidence that I'm not a young man, I self-medicated by watching multiple episodes of How I Met Your Mother and some Boston Legal. Ah well.

But it could be worse. Citi layed off 52,000 people today. This on top of 17,000 earlier in the year. Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA holds 68,746 people. In other words, the former Citi employees will not be able to rent out a football stadium in order to hold a reunion. That's a little crazy, don't you think?

Anyone else waiting to hear their other shoe drop?

Man, I could use a drink.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

While I'm interested to see the new James Bond movie that opened this weekend, I have to admit, what I'm really excited to see is the new Star Trek movie trailer that's premiering with it (as I write this, only the teaser is available on the website- the trailer will be online officially 11/17). The idea of re-imagining the Star Trek mythology is, I think, exciting. I'd felt for a while that the series had seemed to run its course, at least where the movies were concerned. TNG didn't seem to carry the same energy it had as a TV series into the movies, and none of the other TV series seemed to me to be worthy of a stand alone movie. So maybe this will be the kick in the pants to get things moving again. We can hope, right?