Wednesday, 23 September 2009

facing the truth in photographs...

Graphic photographs of war

This is from an article in the New York Times regarding the publishing/not publishing the photographs of war - the photographs of the wounded and dead - that IS war. I was for years after President Bush made the very bad, in my opinion, call to invade Iraq and install democracy - furious that there were no photographs of the soldiers that had given their lives for their country on the front, or even the back page, of any newspaper. It was not allowed. Read your history man! Hiding the dead does not make them any less dead.

-from the article: "Mr. Kamber added: “People have attacked me for being unpatriotic for publishing pictures of wounded and dead Americans. I find this strange. Press control — censorship — is something that happens in Communist China, in Russia. One of the cornerstones of our democracy is freedom of the press. As journalists, we need to be able to work openly and publish photos that reflect reality so that the public and government officials have an accurate idea of what is going on. They can make decisions accordingly.”

My feeling is that these photographs should be shown. The dead not only need to be ACKNOWLEDGED but honored; and we as the backers of this war (every single voting adult) must see as closely as possible what we are doing. I am not a pacifist. I was/am totally against going into and staying in Iraq because it was THE WRONG BLOODY TARGET; Afghanistan is another matter.

One of the best examples of what the West does wrong is depicted in "Charlie Wilson's War". Yes, we must go in and kill the bad guys, protect the civilians as best we may, and establish order - but then spend the same amounts of money cleaning up our mess - winning minds and hearts with schools that teach more than one religious, zealous viewpoint, and insure rights for all citizens as long as we may.

I don't believe in "forced democracy". That's what Bush (and I do think his heart was in the right place, unlike Cheney whom I consider a very bad man, the nicest thing I can say about him) had in mind in Iraq - it didn't work there, I have never seen a time in history when it did work.

I do believe that there are a few places in the world just now where all freethinking peoples must be aware of not only the danger to the citizens but also the danger to democracy at large. Yes, I think we belong in Afghanistan, and yes I believe in Colin Powell's strategy of 'overwhelming force to take our objectives'. Don't send our soldiers in handicapped.

No, I don’t think we can force democracy, but yes I think we can hold enough control over a country to make it safe for women to walk the streets as they please, to attend school, to keep weapons out of the hands of young children and give them text books and teachers instead. If after our best shot, democracy in some form (the people’s choice remember?) does not flourish or just begin, then pull the hell out.

Above all I believe anyone can be against a war, for the soldiers, and remain as patriotic as the most hate mongering, screaming, Coulter, Beck, et al.

If we are condoning this war, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, then we are responsible for every son and daughter that does not come back home; and we need to see it, to see them – to know the true cost of war is in blood not dollars.

That's what I think.

If you like my latest article for Power Room Graffiti is here.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

a night for a nap the next day!

It’s five a.m. now but when I woke it was 0330hrs. Arghh! What do you do when you can’t sleep, and I don’t mean that tossing and turning around ten or eleven p.m. but the wake up call your body turns on around three or four a.m.? My husband reads himself back to sleep; I watch movies that I have seen at least twelve times so I don’t have to listen to the dialogue, or I get up and work. Now I just need to learn the art of napping; a skill I don’t possess.

But then the rough nights when I wake from a screaming nightmare, these are more frequent than I care to admit, and do my new husband’s slumber no good, are more difficult to make a recovery, like tonight. When I tell you that I’ve had an interesting life, that means it has some hairy and downright terrifying parts as well – these apparently stay with one.

For years, when I was involved in a certain type of work, we had regular psyche evaluations and the chap I always had wrote the word “stoic” in my evaluation like it was a bad thing. I never got that. For years, I don’t even remember where I got it or when, but I have had a sampler hanging in my home: “Please understand there is no depression in this house and we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.” - Victoria, Queen of England. I found nothing unusual or troubling in this quote or philosophy.

Now my love tells me there is this condition called PTSS of which I have heard but certainly never applied to myself; and which has an amazing dearth of information on the Net. I have always taken the nightmares and the occasional bouts of grief to be payment due on my karmic debt. I’ve never done anything in that respect that I am ashamed of, or that if forced into the situation I would not do again – but violence always exacts a price, and perhaps it is higher from a woman – we are after all the ones who give life.

So on nights like this there is very little chance of returning to sleep and I’m watching “The Longest Day”. Yes, I know, interesting choice – but holy crap they have everyone in this film! I’m amazed it was made in 1962, it seems it should have been made earlier. My boys John Wayne and Robert (to die for) MItchem, as well as Henry Fonda, Eddie Albert, Paul Anka, Jean-Louis Barrault, Bourvil, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Sean Connery, Irina Demick, Fabian, Mel Ferrer, Steve Forrest, Rod Steiger, Paul Hartmann, Peter Lawford, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo, Robert Ryan, Tommy Sands, George Segal, Robert Wagner, Stuart Whitman, and on and on! It’s in black and white and the special effects are nothing like the present day but it gets your blood up if you are English, American or French I must say. Also my wedding date she said, with a significance difference of year!

Peter Crawford wears a turtleneck into battle and bagpipes lead Sir Sean Connery through the surf into battle! I love it!

Do go over to Powder Room Graffiti for me if you will and read and comment on my article. Thank you lovely readers.


Monday, 21 September 2009

go forth and comment!

I have another article today on "Powder Room Graffiti". You can click click on article. Please leave a comment and if you like it, say "oh how we would like to see her here all the time" - or something along that line eh? Thank you lovely readers.


AND I didn't write this, but wish I had...too funny.

Monday, 14 September 2009


I am thrilled that Clijsters won the U.S. Open! Huzzah and well done!!!!! And really miffed that the NYTimes did not put it on the bloody front page!

Then there's this:
Aceh passes adultery stoning law

Indonesia's province of Aceh has passed a new law making adultery punishable by stoning to death, a member of the province's parliament has said.

The law also imposes severe sentences for rape, homosexuality, alcohol consumption and gambling.

Opponents had tried to delay the law, saying more debate was needed because it imposes capital punishment.

Sharia law was partially introduced in Aceh in 2001, as part of a government offer to pacify separatist rebels.

A peace deal in 2005 ended the 30-year insurgency, and many of the former rebels have now entered Aceh's government, which enjoys a degree of autonomy from the central government in Jakarta.

“ It needs more public consultation. We need to involve the ulemas - the Islamic clerics - in drafting the law ”
Adnan Beuransah, Aceh Party
The legislation was passed unanimously by Aceh's regional legislature, said assembly member Bahrom Rasjid.

"This law will be effective in 30 days with or without the approval of Aceh's governor," he said.

The governor of Aceh, a former rebel with the Free Aceh Movement, is opposed to strict Sharia law. He had urged more debate over the bill.

'Moral degradation'

Married people convicted of adultery can be sentenced to death by stoning. Unmarried people can be sentenced to 100 lashes with a cane.

Previously, Aceh's partially-adopted Sharia law enforced Muslim dress codes and mandatory prayers.

"This law is a preventive measure for Acehnese people so that they will avoid moral degradation," said Moharriyadia, a spokesman for the Prosperous Justice Party.

A new parliament will be sworn in next month, after local polls saw the moderate Aceh Party win the most seats in the provincial assembly.

The Aceh Party has said it will review the law once the new parliament is sitting.

"It needs more public consultation. We need to involve the ulemas - the Islamic clerics - in drafting the law," said Adnan Beuransah, a spokesperson for the Aceh Party.

About 90% of Indonesia's 235 million people are Muslim, practicing a moderate form of the religion.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/09/14 14:17:14 GMT
*the Maliki Law School accepts evidence of pregnancy as proof that an unmarried woman has either committed adultery or been raped.

This did, I'm glad to say, make the first page of the BBC online - buts was over to the side in a column. hmmm

Again I say that no women are safe from abuse until all women are safe and have the freedom to live whatever life they choose. The fact that in the year 2009 there are parts of the world where nine-year-old brides are sold to old men, where the slave traffic in children of both sexes is up and running with a huge profit – surpassed only by weapons sales, is atrocious. And it is our responsibility, every single one of us to see that things change for the better.

On an entirely different subject: my weekend with my husband (the conjugal visit) was wonderful. We had such a good time.
There was lots of walking, hand holding, talking, and the really good stuff as well. We didn’t make it to the Botanical Gardens but we walked all over Cherry Creek, and down York and up Josephine streets. Getting ourselves prepped for Paris. I get back to Houston on 5 October; try to survive the heat for five days, then we are off to Paris for a week where we walk constantly.


Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Here's a partial look at my part of Denver, Colorado


Click on the photograph to take you to the album. Three miles there and three back, this is the first lap. I stop at the mall for a coffee and then return along Josephine Avenue.