etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
An American Muslim in uniform explains something non-Muslim Americans don't seem to realize.

Oh, and Daily Kos and the Harvard Study about uninsured veterans dying in greater numbers. Why is Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) fighting against health care for veterans? It can't be because of fiscal responsibility; he voted for the buyouts under Bush. He must be anti-veteran and anti-soldier: he voted against the defense appropriations bill for FY09. (Senate Roll Call Votes.)
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
From the New York Times:
"John Hope Franklin, a prolific scholar of African-American history who profoundly influenced thinking about slavery and Reconstruction while helping to further the civil rights struggle, died Wednesday in Durham, N.C. He was 94."
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
NBC was showing footage of Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, along with pictures of signage ("colored drinking fountain") from that time. It gives me chills to think that in 43 years we've come from violence against our own people to voting for Barack Obama.

Yo vote

Nov. 4th, 2008 09:40 am
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Even in a strongly Democratic precinct of a blue state, people were lining up before the polls opened at 7 am. We got there just after 7, and the line was out the door, across the front of the building, and around the side. It was a mixed population of young and old; brown, black, yellow and pink; some folks had their kids with them, or their dogs. Most people chatted quietly, or read the paper, or visited with neighbors, or browsed their blackberries. It took about an hour to get into the voting area, five minutes to get through the registration confirmation, and no time at all to vote.

For the first time in American history, we could vote for a black man. If this had been a different selection, we would have been voting historically for a woman. Either way, this was deeply meaningful and a solemn occasion for me. This election has changed politics in a profound way, and I hope the ripples continue to grow and move outwards.

I won't get nervous until tonight, when the polls begin closing and the returns start getting completed. For now, there's work to do.
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Critical Reminder:

It was not even 90 years ago when our grandmothers gained the right to vote. Read this post and remember when it was so critical that women were tortured just for asking about suffrage.

A Message for all women



This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920
that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed
nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking
for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing
went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of
'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above
her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping
for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,
Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,
beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,
when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his
guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right
to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their
food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks
until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because-
-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?
Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new
movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling
booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the
actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.
Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history,
saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk
about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought
kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said.
'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use,
my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just
younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The
right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history,
social studies and government teachers would include the movie in
their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere
else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing,
but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think
a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so
hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.
etumukutenyak: (2 pound coin DNA helix) --this is the first segment, and shows him bartering for food, in old Celtic style.

You can find the rest at Making Light:

Fascinating! I'll have to get the kid to watch and maybe he'll begin to understand the importance of money.


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