Monday, July 31, 2006

mourning seattle

thanks to jeff hess for his side bar, i think this is the best way i to can mourn...

Pam Waechter
5713 –3 Av 5766

English Translation

Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

The Meaning of Kaddish
Having read the translation of the Kaddish Prayer, one should realize that, although Jewish Law requires that the Kaddish be recited during the first eleven months following the death of a loved one by prescribed mourners, and on each anniversary of the death (the "Yahrtzeit"), and by custom in the State of Israel by all Jews on the Tenth of Tevet ("Yom HaKaddish HaKlali'), there is no reference, no word even, about death in the prayer!
The theme of Kaddish is, rather, the Greatness of G-d, Who conducts the entire universe, and especially his most favored creature, each individual human being, with careful supervision. In this prayer, we also pray for peace - from apparently the only One Who can guarantee it - peace between nations, peace between individuals, and peace of mind.
Paradoxically, this is, in fact, the only true comfort in the case of the loss of a loved one. That is, to be able to view the passing of the beloved individual from the perspective that that person's soul was gathered in, so to speak, by the One Who had provided it in the first place.
As Beruriah, the great wife of Rabbi Meir, consoled her husband, upon the death of their two sons, with words to this effect, "A soul is comparable to an object which was given to us - to each individual, to his or her parents and loved ones, to guard and watch over for a limited time. When the time comes for the object to be returned to its rightful owner, should we not be willing to return it? With regard to our sons, let us therefore consider the matter as 'The L-rd gave, and the L-rd took back, may the Name of the L-rd be Blessed!' "

Sunday, July 30, 2006

when a woman stares...

i never know what to think about it,
i don't understand why and often avoid asking
for fear of misunderstanding, disbelief, self-degridation-
and that holds me back
(thankful for sue's presence on friday, for pointing out it was me she was staring long do i wait til i contact her?)

Song of the day: anything anne e. dechant (as i was hearing her, but hnot really paying attention. i was too busy making eye contact...)

work revisited

on monday, my supervisor told me i needed to dress better and that they were hiring more people for prn weekday work so they could use me less, hence my horrible day.

but she also asked me in the very next breath to work three more days, so i decided to suck it up and dress better (as i should) and by the end of the week i had a report that many people had made an effort to seek my supervisor out and tell her what an appropriate hard working ethical individual i am (including a couple of the docs, and the medical director for the inpatient units, who all but fawned when i thanked him for putting in a good word for me) and i also have managed to rake in around fourteen hours of overtime (yeah for time and a half)

sometimes, i really enjoy working

Song of the day: the post-graduate, over-educated out of work blues- wally pleasant

Saturday, July 29, 2006

for (the real) dr. phil (and jackie)

"you know you want us
you think were sexy...."
(and if you get this reference, you get the other three pictures we took)

Song of the day: the name game- shirley ellis

Friday, July 28, 2006

discrimination and war

Army dismisses gay Arabic linguist

Song of the day: bury my heart at woundedknee- buffy saint marie

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

new drug combination offers hope for MS patients

22 July, ( - A new drug regimen may be ideal for multiple sclerosis patients since it prevents relapse in a particularly aggressive form of the disease, according to British researchers.
A study conducted over a period of five years found that patients with the aggressive form of multiple sclerosis had a reduced relapse rate of 90% under the regime. If this finding bears out in the long run, then MS patients could hope of being able to work, travel and raise families uninterrupted.
except when getting chemo-like treatments
Researchers at the Liverpool's Walton Centre for Neurology tested the new treatment in 27 patients with an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. The patients were treated with the anti-cancer drug mitoxantrone plus Copaxone. The disease-moderating drug Copaxone is usually given in relapsing MS.
Mitoxantrone is a powerful anti-cancer drug and is very toxic. The drug can only be given in low doses. Hence researchers decided to combine it with the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which is very slow acting....The findings were nothing short of dramatic. "Patients who were just the worst of the worst did remarkably well," Boggild said. "We think we've tapped into an unexpected synergy between the two drugs that gives you more than the sum of the parts." how gestalt It must be noted that all patients had a very bad form of MS.

One patient developed acute leukemia, which is a known side effect of mitoxantrone treatment. However a majority of the multiple sclerosis patients have not had any relapses. yeah, a majority of a very very small sample

"Though there are certain risks, associated particularly with the use of Mitoxantrone, we have been able to limit these by using this agent for just a short induction period," Boggild said. "Balanced against the high risk of early disability for these patients, the outcomes appear to justify this approach."

The treatment proved to be very beneficial to 28-year-old Karen Ayres who was diagnosed with MS in 2002. The travel agent feared that she might never walk again. However four years after starting the new treatment, she has regained the full use of her body. another article states that she was 28 (my age, really) at the time of this article
"When I was lying in my hospital bed, not even able to twitch my toes, I was jealous of anyone who could walk," she said. "I really do see it as a miracle cure. I have finished a master’s degree in psychology, backpacked across five continents, and returned to work. The treatment has given me my life back."

Many patients like her have had great results, but MS experts caution that it early days yet. A three-year controlled study is being launched at 10 centers across the United Kingdom to further asses the usefulness of the combination for multiple sclerosis patients.

Dr. John Richert, vice president of the research department of the United States' National Multiple Sclerosis Society said that single drugs are proving to be of no use in MS. "It really is likely that more and more combination therapies will be used. Even though there's not sufficient data to make any kind of formal recommendation, there is enough data to say that it is reasonable to make this option available.'' i dont know, pre-avonex i was having episodes every four months, and bad ones....
Dr. Robyn Wolintz, co-director of the MS Center at Maimonides Medical Center in New York felt the problem with the study was that it was small and had no control group. "They also gave different people different doses of mitoxantrone, and that's not standard."

Multiple sclerosis is a is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) that presents as changes in sensation, visual problems, muscle weakness, depression, difficulties with coordination and speech, and pain. The disease occurs as attacks in phases and is a debilitating one.

About one of every 1000 in the population suffers from multiple sclerosis in northern Europe, continental North America, and Australasia. The incidence is much lower in Asia and South America.

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Currently drugs can only control the symptoms and prevent relapse for a controlled period of time. However the current study offers hope since patients actually experience reversal of symptoms and were relapse-free for a considerable period of time. but again, for people like me, going through chemo treatments and risking leukemia are not worth it. they need to keep looking for better things


Song of the day:

Monday, July 24, 2006


worksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksuckswor ksucksworksucksworksuckswroksucksworksuckworksucksworkssucksworksucksworksucksworksu cksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksucksworksuck sworksucksworksucksworksucksworksuckw
I HATE WORKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Sunday, July 23, 2006

the lioness at breakfast

this morning, a lost friend (lets call her lioness) made amends with me over breakfast.i have waited years for this, often unsure if i would have increased anger at her when the time came, or if understanding would overwhelm me. i realized i did not even need to hear the details to what she had to say, just her being able to speak honestly from her heart was enough to vanish stacked resentments and losses.

(the lioness's breakfast, as she would not let me photo her)
the rest of us, however were joyful, merry and in the mood to be captured:

(jeffrey and chi)

(gary and me)
sorry andy, your picture wont upload for some reason

Song of the day: peace frog-the doors

a peek at my mother's unconcious through play-therapy

my mom has been taking a workshop series at the play therapy training institute in highstown new jersey. mum was never much of one for playing, so i was excited for her to experience this type of work

well, she liked all of it, but it was the puppets that really pulled out her unconcious and she sent me these photos this morning

"molly, i couldnt believe it, when i really took a look at my puppet...

IT"S you! especially from the back.."

Song of the day: little green-joni mitchell

Friday, July 21, 2006

take a minute to understand the entire system

"I write about Wal Mart for the same reason that environmentalists write about the panthers in Florida or owls in the the Northwest, because they sit on top of the food chain they are indicators of the general health of their ecosystem."- jeff hess, from writing on the wal

this morning, i took the time to stop by my friend jeff's OTHER blog (his base is i have been very verbal about jeff's toothpaste buycott, but i think this quote sums it all up. walmart is a sign that points toward a lack of balance, and therefore malignant, social trend that allows the wealthy to get uber wealthy but leaves the poor man feeling greatful to be able to get cheap wares.
please take the time to read this article, as it not only addresses walmarts role, but the ways in which progressives increase the divide between classes and their opinion on this economic gorgon

Wow. This blog just made it into USA Today.

Song of the day:

holding a baby- me and luke shell

i am somewhat afraid of newborns. when luke was two weeks old, i refused to hold him- didnt want to drop him or accidentaly toss him if i spontaniously jerked. at four weeks old, his mother decided without telling me that i should hold him while she did something and pushed him on me before either of us were ready (and boy did he cry) but by five weeks, luke and i were familiar and prepared to get a little closer

(i didnt know my nose looked like that from any angle)

building relationships-with lovers, friends, children, animals- is a process, and one i enjoy.

Song of the day: were going to be friends- white stripes

good morning soldier

this morning, the only thing i think of is you
green over skin, army boots kicking up sand
in both our hearts is the blue and white
history of david.

thank you for your courage
thank you for your life

Song of the day: hatikva

Thursday, July 20, 2006

george bush resume

hat tip to Erin for this fun piece:
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520


I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been? "Lost" and is not available.

I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam

I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.

I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry, including Enron CEO Ken Lay, I was elected governor of Texas.

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union . During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America. I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money. I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history. With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record. I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week. I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history. I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12- month period. I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period. I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.

In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President. I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations. My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.? I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip- offs in history.

I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed. I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history. I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts. I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history. I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.

I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history. I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission. I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law. I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention. I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election). I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television. I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history. I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community. I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families-in-wartime. In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends. I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security. I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD. I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view. All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view. All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. I am a member of the Republican Party.

Song of the day:fortunate son- creedence clearwater revival

how unfair to the monkey!!

Song of the day:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the mornings truth

"and ive got no illusions about you
guess what- i never did
when i say i'll take it,
i mean as is"
-ani difranco

Sunday, July 16, 2006


were going to london for my thirtieth, me and tonya!!

london is the easy part, as we have a friend working out there, its deciding where else to go within our ten days that will prove tricky. i say amsterdam-i hope to spend the actual day of my birth there, at the anne frank house most importantly, and tonya has her heart set on paris, but i am open to suggestions if anyone has any ideas on what would be most important for us to see over there in that short time

Song of the day: motion, keep me movin'- kd lang

Saturday, July 15, 2006

enter moveon.justanotherpac

i am convinced that it is important to create an open diverse environment to provide discussion and education concerning the voting rights act with no political motivations. it is up for renewel in 2007, and it is important that people know about it.

my friend jeff sent this to me last night:

From: Ben Brandzel, Political Action []
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 12:30 PM
To: Jeff Hess
Subject: Help the NAACP save the Voting Rights Act

The 1965 Voting Rights Act needs to be renewed and is headed for the Senate, where some republicans will try to run down the clock. Next week, the NAACP is sending 2000 volunteers to Washington to meet with senators, and we want to arm them with signatures and comments from thousands of supportive Americans. Will you join in?

The Good News

Late yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives overcame weeks of stall tactics from a conservative bloc of Republicans and re-authorized the Voting Rights Act! If we act now, we can help make sure it will pass in the Senate as well.

Dear MoveOn member,

A group of Republicans in the Senate are preparing to hold up the re-authorization of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—the landmark legislation that prevents partisan officials from denying minorities their right to vote. If the VRA is not reauthorized soon, it will open the door to voter discrimination in some of the highest risk areas around the country.
After the 8 hour lines, wrongly "purged" voter rolls and blatant intimidation many minority voters faced in Ohio and Florida in the last 2 elections, our nation cannot afford to make this problem any worse.
Next week, the NAACP is bringing over 2000 volunteers to Washington D.C. to walk door to door in the Senate making the case for the Voting Rights Act. You can help.
This morning, we're launching a petition asking the Senate to swiftly renew the Voting Rights Act. If you add your name now, we'll pass your signature and comments on to the NAACP volunteers to hand deliver to your Senators. Please sign today:

The 1965 Voting Rights Act is one of the greatest accomplishments of the civil rights movement. It ended the Jim-Crow era poll taxes and "literacy tests" that had been used since the Civil War to stop African-Americans from voting. It forbids intimidating minority voters away from the polls, and bans drawing district lines to divide and diffuse minority votes.1
Though most of Congress supports re-authorizing the VRA, a right-wing bloc of Republicans managed to derail the bill for over a month in the House,2 (a blockade that finally ended yesterday).3 Now, the Voting Rights Act is headed to the Senate, where, as the AP is reporting, "The objections from House conservatives are being echoed by their colleagues across the Capitol."4 It's easier for a small group to stall things in the Senate, and a delay of even a few more weeks would push it off the Senate calendar for the rest of the year.
If the VRA is not reauthorized, several key provisions will simply expire. These include the requirement to provide multi-lingual ballots in relevant areas and special scrutiny for states and counties with a clear history of voter discrimination. Perhaps most importantly, the law allowing the federal government to investigate in high risk areas when there is specific evidence of voter intimidation could be wiped off the books—simply by continuing to delay.5
The NAACP, People for the American Way and other civil rights groups have made this their top priority, and they've asked us to join the fight. This petition will be unusually effective because we'll print out your signatures and comments and give them to NAACP volunteers to hand deliver to your senators. This not only ensures that you will be heard right way, but it adds great power to the NAACP effort.
Together, we can make sure that when those volunteers stand up in Washington, it will be clear to everyone they meet that they aren't standing alone. Please add your name today:

i appreciate both the naacp and for the good works they do, and i will write my senator, but why arent they helping to educate people on what the voting rights act really contains right now, and how not all states were created equal under this act, and bringing forth ideascchanges that will improve the act instead of just saying the other guy has the wrong idea?

Song of the day:all food and creative love- rusted root

Friday, July 14, 2006


i read the article about euclid being sued for vote dilution while i was in that continuing ed. as well.

if you know me, you'd know that that this is exactly the kind of thing that will set of my inspired and vocal activist, and i began to talk about the atlanta coalition and how i want to start something here like that (i wonder why i dont just try and latch on to a movement already started, then i remember my disgust with the demcratic pary right now, and how i see the need for something fresh, and not connected to a political party)i talk about the black/jewish thing or even better, diversity in general, , and how i have even come up with some cute names that also make convenient acronyms.

the next thing i know, i have three people saying they are totally in and giving me their emails, saying to keep them informed as i get it started...on the outside, i accept this, and have already sent a thank you note....but on the inside i am panicking! everytime i sit down to work on plans, my head goes blank.

i guess i could use the fact that congress voted against easing voting restrictions on southern states as an excuse to just forget it... but i wont.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

fall 2005

so i had this continuing ed. thing for the past couple days, and something in the material made me want to go back to my groups class literature,like there was something there for me to find. i found one author in common between the two experiences, and that was good, i will start my readings with gay hendricks, but even better, i went back to my class journal, and feel ready to begin looking at the poetry so here is the original collection as they were born. read it, skip it, make editing suggestions, i dont care

floored, hoisted into dis-
ability by her good intentions
perceived responsibility
a need to anticipate.

i jumped forcefully right
back into abled.
it only strengthened our connection.

i felt it in my chest, could feel
your eyes reading my words,
my accidental words unready to be processed

i experienced it in my gut, unable to digest
your non-securing response...
i like it that you look at me so much
please dont stop.

three- 10/21/05
The long Stick jabbing
straight through our natural preserve,
supported, steady Branch on one side.
Brushed up against balancing Stone,
broken Flower smiles, smiles Blood
Red and Leafy Yellow smiles. She buries Acorn
(our continual growth) in the distant
Muddy Blue Jeans, containing the moment.

Gentle Sun shining down on Stick,
she heats the inner, sticky wood,
strokes Flower and Stone and Leaves alike,
softens Mud, Branch stirs and Seed,
she pushes her roots toward the sky.

living angles
like Sign, measured-fifty
forward and aging-
an entire language in your hands
more comfortable then eyes,
not always...
only when anxiety is high.

distracted in group-11/3/05
my poem, my cluster
left alone by a tree
by the roadside.
the sound of traffic more important-
is this true?

six- 11/10/06
anxiety head
dizzy and nauseus
everytime you spoke, hands moving or hands
paused- i am having trouble!
think, lady, find meaning in things

winter leaf. some crisper,
dying fingers carried off by the wind,
all ready. naked
stick and burried root
settle into the darkness.

Song of the day:

Saturday, July 08, 2006

undefined generation

it should be simple to know what stage i am in life...late twenties, time to get married, start careers, have children.

this morning i read about a sixty two year old woman in briton who just had a baby. my mother didnt get her doctorate and start her career until i was in my early twenties (and understand i am highly proud of her and begrudge her nothing, but it is part of what i am talking about.) my generation is flailing as we leap toward the future, unable to find dependable work, appropriate healthcare, and we are moving back in with mom and dad (i recommend reading tamara draut sp?). there will be a dying social security system by the time i need help from the state.

somehow, my parents generation just doesnt want to let us take on our rightful position as we grow. erikson has been tossed out the window and life span development is left confused. and lets not forget about those younger then me, who grew up being taught to the test and having any sign of spirit medicated...

Friday, July 07, 2006

voting rights act part II: section 5

When Congress amended and strengthened the Voting Rights Act in 1982, it extended for 25 more years--until 2007--the preclearance requirement of Section 5, the authority to use federal examiners and observers, and some of the statute's language minority requirements. So, for those sections to extend past 2007, Congress will have to take action. But even if these special provisions are not renewed, the rest of the Voting Rights Act will continue to prohibit discrimination in voting....Section 5 is a special provision of the statute (42 U.S.C. 1973c) that requires state and local governments in certain parts of the country to get federal approval (known as"preclearance") before implementing any changes they want to make in their voting procedures: anything from moving a polling place to changing district lines in the county..... Under Section 5, a covered state, county or local government entity must demonstrate to federal authorities that the voting change in question (1) does not have a racially discriminatory purpose; and (2) will not make minority voters worse off than they were prior to the change (i.e. the change will not be "retrogressive").

Section 5 applies to all or parts of the following states:
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
Virginia (note: why isnt everyone on this list?)
The detailed list of "covered jurisdictions" is printed in the Code of Federal Regulations at the end of 28 C.F.R. Part 51. These are the Justice Department's Section 5 guidelines, which explain how the Section 5 review process works and help jurisdictions with terminology, deadlines and many other matters.
What is the Justice Department's role under Section 5?
Under Section 5, covered jurisdictions cannot enforce voting changes unless and until they obtain approval ("preclearance") either from the federal district court in Washington, D.C. or from the Attorney General. If the jurisdiction chooses to obtain preclearance from the Attorney General, s/he has 60 days after receiving all the necessary information to decide whether a governmental entity has shown that a proposed voting change is not discriminatory in purpose or effect.
The Justice Department investigates submissions carefully by studying documents, interviewing people in the affected community, and getting to know the facts. If the Attorney General decides that a proposed change was designed to discriminate against minority voters, or that, regardless of intent, it makes minority voters worse off than before, s/he will "object" to the change in a letter to the jurisdiction. If that happens, the change is legally unenforceable and cannot be put into effect, just as if the federal court had issued a ruling against the proposed change. If the jurisdiction disagrees with the Attorney General's objection, it can still take the matter to the federal court in Washington, D.C., where it will have to prove that its proposed change is not discriminatory either in purpose or in effect. If the Attorney General does not object, the change can be implemented. However, the Justice Department or a private party can still go to court under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and challenge the change as a racially discriminatory voting procedure.

The Voting Rights Act is not limited to discrimination that literally excludes minority voters from the polls. Section 2 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1973) makes it illegal for any state or local government to use election processes that are not equally open to minority voters, or that give minority voters less opportunity than other voters to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice to public office. In particular, Section 2 makes it illegal for state and local governments to "dilute" the votes of racial minority groups, that is, to have an election system that makes minority voters' votes less effective than those of other voters. One of many forms of minority vote dilution is the drawing of district lines that divide minority communities and keep them from putting enough votes together to elect representatives of their choice to public office. Depending on the circumstances, dilution can also result from at-large voting for governmental bodies. When coupled with a long-standing pattern of racial discrimination in the community, these and other election schemes can deny minority voters a fair chance to elect their preferred candidates.

To show vote dilution in these situations, there must be a geographically concentrated minority population and voting that is polarized by race, that is, a pattern in which minority voters and white voters tend to vote differently as groups. It must also be shown that white voters, by voting as a bloc against minority-choice candidates, usually beat those candidates even if minority voters are unified or cohesive at the polls.

Anyone aggrieved by minority vote dilution can bring a federal lawsuit to stop it. If the court decides that the effect of an election system, in combination with all the local circumstances, is to make minority votes less effective than white votes, it can order a change in the election system. For example, courts have ordered states and localities to adopt districting plans to replace at-large voting, or to redraw their election district lines in a way that gives minority voters the same opportunity as other voters to elect representatives of their choice.


voting rights act 2006

so apparently there is a rebel group in our congress, though less aggressive then any involved in an african coup, this tiny conservative cluster has been calling the VRA outdated, citing changes in the south as pointing toward a need for the change in policy.

however, if you have been reading the news coming in from the AP, an 8,000 page report that discusses the way many voters are still being disenfranchised, such as redistricting in texas (um, can we say gerrymandering), or requiring a state id or drivers license (which will affect the voting rate of poor non-white voters mostly) etc. has come out, and still these men say to nix the vra

this made me think of something i had checked out when i was living in atlanta- the atlanlta black/jewish coalition (abjc). this group was originally formed in 1982 to create awareness concerning the voting rights act, and continues to work on relationship building between these two communities. i sent an email to their leadership a couple of days ago, because i have always been interested in starting something like this around here, and i thought maybe this would be a good place to start, since i am in full agreement that the past two elections have had many instances of discrimination and maybe, maybe people are finally getting angry enough to do something about it

the abjc sent back an empty email...

link to VRA FAQ:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

some sudanese history

the latest in darfur brings more news of the janjaweed moving into to chad, and the chad government reports that they have avoided attack in the city of ade.

i finally did a little research, as i truly feel that 99% of people have no idea what the darfur conflict is about. it is really part of a second civil war, the first war starting early on after being given free rule by britian and egypt 1956. most governmental power and resource was given to the northern sudenese, which was primarily arabic.

in 1958, a military coup overthrew the government and by 1962, two rebel groups from southern sudan (which was primarily african and christian), JEM (justice and equality movment)and SPLM (sudanese people's liberation movement) were strong in the civil war and demanding the right to self govern southern sudan.

in 1969, another coup placed a man named numeiri in control, and in 1972 the addis ababa accord was signed, leaving southern sudan with self-rule

then in 1978, oil was found in southern sudan (oh, AHA!)

then in 1983, numeiri instilled shari'a law over not just islamic northern sudan, but also on southern sudan and once again, civil war broke out led by the splm.

then, in 1985, there was another coup (i am so grateful that we dont have coup's here), and this time a semi-democratic government was put in power led by sadiq al-mahdi. al-mahdi removed shari'a law and was once again working with the rebels, trying to create another agreement in addis ababa.

unfortunately, al-mahdi was a weak leader and was never able to have good control. in 1989, Al-bashir (the current governmantal leader) was a major player in yet another coup. he created a highly religious dictatorship, and once again, jem and splm(which eventually becomes the presently talked about rebel faction SLA)became active and combined. unfortunatly due to intenal conflict, strife left three factions that spend a number of years fighting against themselves.

jump up to the '90s: sudan is now exporting oil (and keep in mind, the oil is found in the south, but the north controls the government and therefor the oil)

there was a famine in 2000
there was a peace agreement in 2002...almost- really, the peace agreement movement was being encouraged by uganda as they were suffereing due to the sudanese conflict

then in 2003, two local miltias from the darfur region begin to rebel against governmental neglect and suppression (guess that shari'a finally reached them)...

from this point out, you are probably familiar with the story- the use of the janjaweed because there was a lack of military presence in darfur, of the refugees, the movement towards chad (might it have something to do with their lake?)...i did leave alot out, and you will find, if you do your own research,many more interesting and political connections, but this is enough of a history lesson for today

as for the present: from:

"The US accuses the government of backing Arab militias who have carried out a genocide against the region's black African residents.
The government denies backing the Janjaweed militias and blames the violence on the rebels, who took up arms, accusing the authorities of ignoring the region"


al qaeda more then just al-zarqawi? no way!!!

ok, forgive my sarcasm, but when zarqawi died, i knew it wouldn't make much of difference. i finally made the jump to leave yahoo (and let me tell you, old yahoo habits are hard to break), and so i have been getting most my news from the bbc. it is a very differentstory that what i have been exposed to...

"The US ambassador to Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi last month has had no impact on the violence.
But he said the killing had encouraged some insurgent groups to join government reconciliation talks."- i would site this further, except there doesnt seem to be bylines at the bbc...
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