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Tags: journalist, marie colvin, syria, those whom I admire, women
Categories : Admirable Women, Foreign Policy, Mental Wanderings, On A Serious Note, Women
A little less than a year ago I wrote about a number of women whom I admired over the course of March (Women’s History Month). Two days ago, one of them, Marie Colvin was killed in Syria where she was covering the government-mandated slaughter currently taking place there. This is what I wrote about her in 2011. The whole post is here, if you’re interested.
Marie Colvin is a correspondent for the UK Sunday Times and has been one for over twenty years. She has covered conflicts in the Balkans, Chechnya, East Timor, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, and pretty much anywhere else things are blowing up. She was on CNN reporting from Libya last week. Though I can find tons of her work, I can’t find any biographical profiles. This piece, written in 2000 for the American Journalism Review, and this five-year-old article from the New York Daily News are the best I could do. I love her work because she goes places few will and stays after most leave. Such actions make good copy, but come with some with serious risk to life and limb. In 1999, Ms. Colvin lost her left eye while covering the Sri Lankan civil war in an incident which reads remarkably like a set up. Her work has not gone without recognition. In 2010, Ms. Colvin won the British Press Award for Best Foreign Journalist of the Year.
“Serious risk to life and limb” took the form indiscriminate shelling of the area where she was staying and cost her her life. Her death can, and no doubt will, make us all discuss many things like the risks faced by combat reporters, the value of their work, and it will be factored in when discussing the horrible situation in Syria as well. One of Ms. Colvin’s last reports was about watching a child die of shrapnel wounds. I think the best way to pay tribute to what she did is to share the message the she was reporting out of Syria. A warning – the video might be too graphic for some.
Marie Colvin was a very skilled and dedicated journalist who went to some of the most volatile areas of the earth to show the true face of those conflicts. I know I can’t write a fitting commentary, so I found this interview, done in the Republic of Georgia, to close with.
Marie Colvin 1958-2012.
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Tags: 2012, 2012 elections, abortion, attack of the panderbots, elections, honest rape, political, Politics, pro choice, rape, right to choose, ron paul, the battle between left and right, WTF?
Categories : Elections, Feminist Thinking 2.0, My Own Brand of Liberalism, On A Serious Note, Politics, Rant, The Noble Nobody, Women, WTF?
I was going to post something a little more fun today, recommendation of a few good short films – maybe I’ll get to it later – but instead I’m taking on Ron Paul for fiddling around with the definition of rape.
Yes, we have been over this before. Not with Representative Paul in particular, but with his party as a whole about a year ago when the House tried (and failed) to pass legislation (H.R. 3) restricting federal funding of abortions for low-income women beyond the exceptions in the Hyde Amendment (rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother) to cover only forcible rape, incest involving a minor, and protecting the life of the mother. I wrote three separate posts on the topic and also wrote to my congresswoman. Now we’re on the same topic a year later because once again rape alone is not enough of a reason to allow a woman to decide what goes on within her own body. Here’s the clip.
Ron Paul’s position on abortion itself, as expressed here, is actually more about biological facts – that within a few hours or a few days conception may very well not have taken place and that there is no way to tell that early on – is a very reasonable one for a pro-lifer and something I would expect since he is an obstetrician. So what is this bit about “honest rape” then? Is there such a thing? Rape in general is regarded as pretty dishonest and dishonorable. Frankly, this sounds like bit of pandering to me. There is apparently some theory floating around on the right that merely being raped is not enough to warrant a woman not being mandated by the government to bear the resulting child. First the rape had to be “forcible”,but that didn’t pass. Now with Rep. Paul the rape has to be “honest”. It’s as if they’d like to parse it out of existence. There is also more than a little implied victim blaming here too. The whole idea of women “asking for it” in any number of ways and thus making a senseless act of violence seem more like a deserved punishment for not being a “good girl” was one of those baseless, archaic notions I though we had finally excised from our cultural thought process. I had hoped it was locked away in the same place our society has exiled beliefs that a woman could not sign a contract without a male co-signer and should be discouraged at every turn from pursuing a career because her place was to be in the home tending to the needs of her children and the whims of her husband. Oh how silly of me.
The real problem I have with The Congressman’s statement isn’t the fact that he’s talking about limiting a woman’s right to choose. He’s an anti-abortion candidate and I’m pro-choice – we’re going to disagree on that. That’s why we have different political parties. My problem is with the this pattern we are seeing more of now in which someone whose sole dominion over her own body has already been violated once has the personal autonomy violated again by the government telling her that her attack did not meet the criteria necessary for the powers that be to just leave her alone and let her make her medical decisions for herself. If it wasn’t an “honest rape”, whatever that is, the woman (Would they even call her a victim? I don’t know.) should just accept what has befallen her and begin blissfully preparing for her forced motherhood like a “good girl”. When the argument can be made that some sexual assaults do not qualify the victim to terminate a very much unwanted pregnancy, would that then have an effect on the sentencing of the rapist? If we can begin to dissect the crime of rape into degrees, what stops someone from insisting that some domestic violence cases should also be treated as less of a crime because the victim or victims somehow had it coming? What about hate crimes? Given some of the statements and incidents on the campaign trail I would wonder if crimes against groups that some find it acceptable, even patriotic, to disparage would be treated the same as those against other segments of the population which it is more taboo to voice a prejudice against? In short it isn’t Congressman Paul’s views on abortion that compelled me to write about his comment, but this idea that not all rape victims deserve to make decision about their bodies.
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Tags: 2012, 2012 elections, Funny, moon, newt gingrich, political, Politics, satire, yay for iMovie!
Categories : "Great" Moments in Modern Politics, Creativity Unleashed (Perhaps Unhinged), Elections, Funny, Just For Fun, Laughing at Those With Power, My Own Brand of Liberalism, Politics, Quest
I’ve posted a lot of long, more technical posts as of late, but I could not pass this up. This is what went through my head when I heard about Newt Gingrich’s plans for the moon and I couldn’t resist working in out in iMovie. So, without further adieu, I present to you Newt Gingrich – Space Oddity.
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Tags: arizona, gabrilelle giffords, political, Politics
Categories : Admirable Women, My Own Brand of Liberalism, On A Serious Note, Politics
I’m sure you’ve already heard, Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman who was shot by a mentally ill man last January, has announced that she will resign from Congress this week to focus on her recovery. I’m going to join in with everyone else and say that I wish her continued speed in that recovery. In her video, which I have embedded below, she says she will return. That is, of course entirely up to her, but I would love to see it happen.
Good luck, Representative Giffords.
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Tags: childishness in politics, political, political fandom, Politics
Categories : "Great" Moments in Modern Politics, Elections, Funny, Just For Fun, Laughing at Those With Power, My Own Brand of Liberalism, Politics, The Noble Nobody
It’s an election year and that means that there are a ton of people whom I can no longer discuss politics with at what is possibly the best time to discuss politics because they are now too infatuated with a particular candidate to debate sensibly. Everything is a shouting match, or IN ALL CAPS if the conversation is online, because their chosen one is 100% right all of the time and if you disagree, then you are not a true American. End. Of. Story.
I’ve said before that political fandom is not my thing so this level of devotion to someone whom they build up to be more myth than human makes no sense to me. These people always end up disappointed even if their candidate is elected because, sooner or later, something makes them realize that the one they believed to be flawless is merely human like the rest of us and has to compromise and is occasionally wrong just like the rest of us. This political possession process has begun again and I needed a laugh so I’ve found some campaign signs for fandoms which I do support.
RuPaul, not to be confused with Ron Paul. Very, very different.
Maybe one day I will be so taken by a candidate that I will fall into fandom myself, but for now this is as close as I get.