Friday, February 28, 2003

Can I get some sister backup?

I've raised the issue of gender bias on my blog (again) and I'd really like to hear what the sisters have to say. Basically, I'm talking about bias and preference and how we choose what we choose...and I"m getting some excellent responses. As much as these discussions tire me out, I'd love to keep the communication flowing.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

My dialogue with a warrior.

I've been having an e-mail dialogue with a former military man whom I don't personally know. He is articulate and sincere. This is some of what he just wrote:
As my son prepares to go to war in the national guard as a helicopter pilot, I read your prose and remember the invective that spewed forth from the mouths of protesters during Viet Nam. Those protesters that ran to Canada, exercised their deferments in college or wrangled other ways to beat the draft. While the common soldier took the brunt of their abuse on their backs, truly innocent of all charges, most doing only what they were told as their responsibility as a citizen.

Go here to read more and my latest response to him.

He's in Our Corner

He’s new blogger Jim Culleny, who links a “thanks to blogsisters” from his new weblog post that refers to Betsy post below. He emailed me to see if we might include him in our blogroll, and of course, I had to inform him that our blogroll only links to member Blogsisters. BUT, I replied, I would be more than happy to give him some play here.

Jim lives surrounded by women he loves, including two natural daughters, one stepdaughter and three granddaughters and, he says “(as you must suspect) I can’t get away with even the slightest slip into the overbearing mandom.” No wonder he likes the likes of Blogsisters!

Jim writes commentary for the Greenfield Recorder in Greenfield, Ma. And does frequent radio commentary for wfcf.fm public radio in Amherst. He’s also had work aired over National Public Radio's All Things Considered .

If Blogsisters had an honorary membership category, he would be a prime candidate. However, since we don’t, I’m going to list his weblog, www.noutopia.com in my blogroll and invite my sistahs to consider doing the same.

He says on his new blog: I'm open to new info, odd info, funny info, perplexing links, new angles on political mendacity, the tortured logic of big heads, and reports of high & low-level public screwups (for example, the loose lips of Trent Lott)...anything good citizens ought to be made aware of. Send anything you'd like. If I can use it I will.

Sure sounds like our kinda guy. And what really sold me was linking, up front, to the following poem:

Utopia
by Wislawa Szymborska

Island where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footsteps scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathonable life.


Welcome to the blogiverse, Jim.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Powerful essay against war, by Michael Walzer

In the March 13 issue of NY Review of Books now online, there are points to convince the unconvinced. I am a subscriber--I don't know if my link will take you there, but here is the part that I like best:

We say of war that it is the "last resort" because of the unpredictable, unexpected, unintended, and unavoidable horrors that it regularly brings. In fact, war isn't the last resort, for "lastness" is a metaphysical condition, which is never actually reached in real life: it is always possible to do something else, or to do it again, before doing whatever it is that comes last. The notion of lastness is cautionary— but this is a necessary caution: look hard for alternatives before you "let loose the dogs of war."


Right now, even at this last minute, there still are alternatives, and that is the best argument against going to war.

An occasional brute, I have found myself unable to tolerate complaints by fellow humans that they are 'bored'. Should a foolhardy subject complain of boredom within my radius, I would punish them with wayward if lavishly smug pronouncements that amounted to : It's All Your Own Fault, Shiftless Dotard, The World Is An Intriguing Place.
Due to a deft act of Karmic renovation, today, I too, find myself Bored.
This may be due, in part, to my - ahem - Sabbatical. (An instance that might be less politely read as a protracted period of low-to-no employment). The Busy are terminally Interested in everything. I, by conrtast, have a great deal of time at present that will not be adequately spak filled by domestic clutter. However, as one who is (a) incorrigibly vain and (b) has enough time to concoct more elaborate theories, I have Other Ideas.
I choose to blame The War On Terror for my boredom. Boredom is the by-product of congestion, confusion and doubt. Further, it can be engendered when there is no goal or meaning in site. So, as many of us concur: 'meaning' is the first casualty of a war fought on television. The conflict, bloody as it might become in the 'real', is reduced to a flat all-commercial-free nothing. The representation of the war says nothing about actual folks or events or catastrophe and much about television itself. So it reflects itself, its own medium, endlessly. And we can see and feel nothing beyond it.
All old electronic media behave in this fashion. That is, the only real reference is to the medium itself. Which is not really a problem if someone is, for example, burbling on about the benefits of ayurvedic soap and how it has improved Nicole Kidman's skin. Or whatever. I don't necessarily crave nor pay attention to that kind of bombardment because it isn't essential or fatal. Unlike war.
It's damn dangerous when we begin to trivialise the serious. And then it just gets boring.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Very Funny.

So, some asshole has decided to create this totally "anonymous" incredibly sexist blog in which he pretends to be a real swinging stud talking about sex. Of course, it's the kind of thing that you (as a good little woman) are either supposed to ignore or laugh at (right...because if you don't laugh at sexism, then you have "no sense of humor" and you are one of those "humorless feminists.") The twist is that this site has linked a bunch of sites (including mine) with the hope (I'm assuming) of causing a stir and pissing people off.

Damn right I'm pissed off. I know I can "just not read it" (which I am doing) but the hits from that site to mine cause that site to appear as a link on my blog, so I'm unwillingly sending people there. I don't want to say anything about it on my blog, because I know by the nature of this blog that the people are not going to give a fuck if a bunch of angry women go there to shout them down. I don't want to give them the publicity they are obviously craving by linking to them, either.

So...I guess I'm just venting, but if anyone can think of something to do in retaliation, let me know.

Damnit, you know? Some people are just so fucking annoying.

Bernadette Devlin...

When I was growing up in Brookyn, NY, Bernadette Devlin was a heroine to all those Irish-Catholic kids I jumped rope with on the playground at Holy Innocents School. Devlin appealed to their working class, church-going and recently-emigrated parents, who for the longest time didn't question aloud. Devlin took no gruff from the Protestant Brit colonialists and she dared to dream of a free Northern Ireland. Many an Irish-Catholic cop, firefighter and laborer discovered a voice in Bernadette Devlin. It's been a long time since I've thought of Devlin and that community of people who found hope in her message.

Last night, I dropped on over to MaxSpeak and there I learned of Bernadette Devlin's recent US deportation.

Bernadette Devlin McCaliskey, the world-renowned Irish civil rights leader was refused entry into the United States of Ashcroft. At Chicago's O'Hare, she was told that she presented a danger and wouldn't be permitted to step foot on American soil. She begged them to recheck their computer. She insisted there had to be a mistake. She told them she came in peace. They said that Tony Blair's British government had told them by fax a different story. They said she was a risk. Yes, this is the same Devlin who at 21 became the youngest MP elected to Parliament. Deported.

Last Friday's arrival in Chicago wasn't the 55-year old grandmother's first visit to the US. Hell, no...she'd been here some 30 times before in as many years. She had come this time on a visit with her daughter and didn't expect trouble. Why on earth should she? Devlin had never before encountered difficulties, but never before was America ruled by Aschroftian justice.

Bernadette Devlin was next intimidated and harrassed before being led to a flight back home.

Here we have another big story that's left largely untold. Here again, the media is silent. Other than Jimmy Breslin and Amy Goodman, where is the American media?

Is the obvious too painful a truth to reveal: that America under George Bush has gone off the deep end?

Do we have here one of those stories that languishes for the right patriotic "hook"... or is this another case where there simply wasn't enough room in the media lineup for a true-take on crushed liberties?

So why WAS Devlin deported? Is it because she spoke out against US-British plans for a war on Iraq? That does seem to be the common demoninator in locking up or deporting activists and academics these days. Her story reminds me of Eugene Angelopoulos, a professor at the National Technical University of Athens. Have you heard about Angelopoulos' recent adventures in the Big Apple? Fasten your seat belts for this one...

Last week, Eugene Angelopoulos arrived at JFK enroute to New York University, where he had been invited to speak at a conference on Philosophy and Politics. The Greek academic was instead detained at the airport, shackled and interrogated. He was asked to explain his views about an American war on Iraq, and immigration officials demanded to know if he was "anti-American." Ultimately, he found his way back to Athens, but his NYU stint was not to be, and he was shaken to the core.

Have you noticed that the Bush administration doesn't easily tolerate an alternative view to their own? If not, where have you been? Their message is clear: life would be so much simpler if the millions of anti-war protesters, the Devlins and Angelopoulis' of the world would simply shut the hell up.

Do you recognize this America?

I sure as hell don't. Seems to me we are deluding ourselves when comparing Bush's wholesale attack on civil liberties to the McCarthy era. Goodness, these fellows at Justice and 1600 make McCarthy look like a decent chap. We've a real police state in the making, now don't we?

This morning, the Feds are claiming that Devlin's visa had expired and that's the reason for her deportation. It's interesting to note that Devlin's papers had been checked in Ireland before she embarked for the US, and no flags were raised then. Something smells...

You know, I used to believe what my government told me. I used to move unquestioningly throughout the day. But that was long ago. I learned a thing or two from those Irish-Catholic kids on the playground, not the least of which is that patriotism is not defined by blind allegiance.

crossposted at RuminateThis

Leader of the future...


This is my daughter at the podium at the Guilford County Commissioner's meeting Feb. 6th. My daughter and I are walking in the MS Walk this April in honor of my mother, who has Multiple Sclerosis. At the commissioners' meeting, I gave a speech about MS, announced our walk team, and collected donations. Here are my experiences that night and having a family member with MS at my blog, More than Expression. Click on the side link, "Walking for MS". - Jennifer

Monday, February 24, 2003

Hello, goils...
My name is natalie, i'm a mom and a journalist, and my blog is All Facts and Opinions, a compendium of progressive news, opinionizing, protest music, the occasional recipe, and near-continual bird-flipping at the US government. Being new here, I wondered how best to say hello. My mom suggested offering trinkets. Feel free to keep, use, print out, slap on a web site, what-have-you:

© 2003, Grateful Dread Design; all rights reserved. feel free to post and share

© 2003, Grateful Dread Design; all rights reserved. feel free to post and share


Hi Betsy. In answer to your question, when dealing with "who am i," I tend to focus on the vocational and avocational as they are applicable to the theme of my site. That way you can decide how much of your personal (avocational?) info you wish to make available to the entire world. Just one solution... hope it helps.

I love all this pro-peace stuff! Blog Sisters looks to be very activist, which is WAY cool...

So glad to meet you all!

natalie r. davis
the armchair activist
all facts & opinions

Sunday, February 23, 2003

New Blog Sister question

After blogging for a month, I'm trying to write a brief "Who I am" page. Boy, is that hard! How did the rest of you decide what to put--and what not to put--in there for personal info? Or, looking at it the other way around, what are you curious about if you look at some blogger's "Who I Am" page? All advice gratefully received!

http://BetsyDevine.weblogger.com

Saturday, February 22, 2003

blog for peace

http://stopbush.crimsonblog.com

Btw, for any blogger blogskin users, they are struggling for $. I just found out and decided to put my money where my mouth is. I purchased an ad .20 per tenthousand impressions(=2.00 buck). I bought a text ad for my blog page. Still its a great resource for free blog template options. just an fyi!!!

These Are Worth A Look-See

A must see. Go to this link. No War. No Way. Take Back The Media.

I also found a web site where you may cast your vote for Bush's impeachment. There's more about this on my blog.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Another Anti-War Initiative

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is sponsoring an initiative called "Women to Women" calling on American women who oppose the war to let of women of Iraq know of our concern and actions. There is an on-line petition you can sign if you are interested in adding your voice to this effort.

The Bush Burka

I have posted on this Hager issue at Berlin Blog. As people are tired and humorless of late, I am hoping that this visual on this very troubling issue can help gain some attention. Feel free to pass it along, with credit to my blog.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Oppose Bush's War on American Women

This has definitely been lost in the war news and I thought it worth knowing.

Whether you're Right or Left on the issue of women's reproductive rights, please consider the following...

President Bush has announced his plan to appoint Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. This position does not require Congressional approval. The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy, contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination.

The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members.

Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream of setback for reproductive technology. Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.

Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.

Hagar's mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent interest in revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) as a safe and early form of medical abortion.

Hagar recently assisted the Christian Medical Association in a "citizen's petition" which calls upon the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the name of women's health. Hager's desire to overturn mifepristone's approval on religious grounds rather than scientific merit would halt the development of mifepristone as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately affecting women, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and Cushing's syndrome. Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care including products that prevent pregnancy. For some women, such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing treatment for cancer pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition.

There is widespread concern that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health. Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee.

Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion.

American women deserve no less.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH EVERY PERSON WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS.

2. OPPOSE THE PLACEMENT OF THIS MAN BY CONTACTING THE WHITE HOUSE AND TELL THEM HE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL.

Please email President Bush at president@Whitehouse.gov or call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and say:

"I oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable. Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens women's health."

While all of our attention is riveted on Bush's global warmongering, we in the homeland are in danger of being defeated by this subversive effort.. TAKE ACTION AGAINST BUSH'S WAR ON AMERICAN WOMEN.

(double posted at kalilily.net)

Monday, February 17, 2003

The Wage Gap

I just posted this on my site and then realized it was better for here:

The wage gap between women and men is the lowest on record! (warning: NYT link) Yeehaw! Oh, yeah,except that its only because wages in general (read: predominently men's) are not keeping up with inflation. So girls, your wage gain doesn't mean you can live on what you make or that you make as much as the guy in the cube next to you, but be happy anyway!

This, for the record, is the fourth f***ing paragraph of the story:

Women's pay still lags men's in virtually every sector of the economy. Full-time female workers made 77.5 percent of what their male counterparts did last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the previous eight years, the inequality worsened slightly, to 76 percent in 2001 from 77.1 percent in 1993.

Gee, let's throw a party!

Sunday, February 16, 2003

No War

At the peace march held in Sydney yesterday (Sunday), a heavily pregnant woman wore a short shirt, baring her belly, which had the words "No War" painted on it. I wish I had caught a picture of it, but she walked by too quickly. It was a great image.

Moving Blogs

A while back, I had posted a piece asking for help as to what to do because people from my school have been nosing around my blog and a number of you wrote to me to encourage me to keep on writing as I always have done--honest, clear, straight-from-the-heart.

Well, the blog infiltration thing had turned into--or rather, intensified--a harassment campaign with the target being Yours Truly.

Blog Sisters who read my blog regularly will know that I've been having problems with a Noisy Neighbour and that the problem of this noise harassment had been dragging on for quite a few months because despite complaints, very little was done to effectively curb Noisy Neighbour even though we are all living in dorms where the priority is academic work.

Well, Noisy Neighbour found my blog despite me being anonymous and used my rants about her--also semi-anonymous--(only three in total) against me. Now, instead of addressing the problem of noise harassment that I've been suffering for almost two-thirds of the academic year, I have been punished severely and accused of verbal harassment by the school authorities when the irony of it all was that:

1. I had to rant to someone and my blog was a cathartic outlet for expressing my frustration without having to bug anyone around me.
2. I have been the one harassed for weeks.

Maybe I should count myself lucky. Other people have been fired on the account of their blogging while I have just been disciplined in private.

Still, I got punished on top of having my harassment problem unabated while Noisy Neighbour gets away just about scot-free.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? If the Noisy Neighbour claims that she has the right to blast her music at the expense of the neighbour's peace of mind because she has the right to relax, don't I have the right to vent my frustration when there's little effective pastoral support forthcoming from the proper authorities that should have scotched this noise harassment in the first place?

Indeed, school seems to be upholding Noisy Neighbour's right to do the former while punishing me for the latter, all because of words written in anger. Of course, they keep repeating that since it's "on the web, it doesn't matter if it's a diary, it's still public property and cannot be private".

Guess why I never let anyone in my school know about my blog in the first place? Guess why I don't splash it out on banners or try to increase site traffic?

Because it is private and anonymous. Because I know that only in anonymity can I be honest.

But it seems that anonymity is not enough anymore.

Anyway, all this is to explain why there's been very little activity or actual writing on my blog these two weeks. Not only have I been too jumpy to write as I usually do, I am currently in the process of moving to a secure server and will have a password slapped on it, at least until I leave this school. So, Blog Sisters who read my blog regularly: drop me a line by email so that I can include you in the mass email I will be sending out to regular readers with the password in it.

My old blog will still be up for a while yet just in case anyone wishes to get in touch with me about anything I blog about here. But if you want the real goods--i.e. the writing goods--, please email me to let me know.

I guess the lessons from this is:

1. Don't write things in anger.
2. People can be really nasty for no good reason.
3. It's really difficult to have faith in people.
4. There's probably little room for honesty of thought and opinion.
5. Life isn't fair.
6. Blogging can be deadly business.

Thanks for listening, Blog Sisters!

And to all the Blog Sisters who have known about this and emailed me--thank you all for your kind words.

Elaine: I might want this post taken down after a while, is that ok?

For those who dont know, the Vagina Monologues are touring the UK. I havent seen them yet, but theyre meant to be fantastic.
for tour dates and more info go to The Official UK Site or The Official USA site

Friday, February 14, 2003

Answering a Child's Questions About War & Peace

If you're taking a child to any of the antiwar protests this weekend, you may well be the object of some seemingly unanswerable questions. "Mama, look! That sign says "No War". What does 'war' mean?" The fine folks at TechnoDyke.com sympathize, and offer some advice.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

What Can I Do To Stop This Virus-Spreader?

beyerp@sunysuffolk.edu
Someone with this address keeps emailing me all kinds of viruses, which my virus-protection software catches and quarantines. Every time the email comes, it arrives from a different email address and with a different subject line. (I got the real address by going into "Properties/Details".) Is there somewhere to report this idiot?

Addendum: Heh. I figured out that the email address is at Suffolk Community College in NY, so I emailed them and reported the virus spammer. Meanwhile, does anyone know if there's some general site where one can report such stuff and get virus-spreaders in trouble?

Annika Sorenstam: Golf's Billy Jean King

So Sorenstam, the winningest female golfer of all time, and arguably the best ever, has accepted an invitation to play the world's best male golfers in a PGA tournament. She's only the second woman ever to do this.

Most of ther men have been gracious and enthusiastic, but of all people, Tiger Woods disappoints. He said he was happy to play against Sorenstam, but said he was worried that it would be bad for women's golf if Sorenstam played poorly.

Note to Tiger: I hope she kicks your sorry ass.

Al the talk is about how women have a physical disadvantage because they don't have the power off the tee. This tourney should level the playing field with its short fairways. Besides, if the important thing about golf were physical power, these guys would be weightlifters, not riding around in stupid little golf carts and wearing chinos.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Dowload Free Posters for Peace

Go here and here to www.truemajority.com to download posters that you can print out and display, share, etc. Do it!
patriots_poster1.gif

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

courtney unplugged, undressed

On Ms Love's recent Magazine Naughtiness comes;Commentary by Miss Feva I'm no prude, yet I felt embarrassed for Love while viewing these photos

View more not-so-salacious pix of Courtney replete with circa '95 post-ironic porn stylist aesthetic here.
I can but concur with the nonr-too-proper Mademoiselle Feva. It is not blank morality that impels one's gaze away from a nudie Courtney. Nor is it the dimensions of her dinnerplate nipples. (Oooh. Ping.) Rather, the shame of this shoot, which features muff-waxing, inheres in its lack of hip. A decade ago, such pictures might have emerged remarkable for their riot grrl sass, nu-lib grunt, subverted porn etc. Sadly, the session's value as a cultural artefact does not exceed - well, just what it is, really: an expensively nipped, tucked chick in good shape and pushing forty and desperate, despite vaunted 'feminist' leanings, to show us all exactly how spongy-fresh and non-menopausal her female parts remain.
Personally, I'm hungry for 'statements', if they need to be made, of wild, unkempt amd assured femininity that do not involve nakedness.

Funny

I used to wring out wash and collect strays.
Now, I have better ways to spend my days.
Blog Fog or brain log,
Dirty clothes or drain haze,
Either way
Just another way time plays.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

RIP Washing Machine

I think the washing machine died. I suspected it was on its way out for a while. But then it has been living on borrowed time for eight years. That's the last time it broke, when my husband Bob was in graduate school (do I always have to measure things in student intervals? Another option for marking time is by death date. I'll think, "Howie [my pre-Rudy dog, a precious, grumpy, super-smart beagle/schnauzer] was alive. So it must have been eight years ago").

My father came up and fixed it then. I'm not sure if it is really broken this time, or if it is a belt or something minor like that. The problem is the same as in 1995, it won't spin. That time, though, it shut off after it tried to switch to spin. This time it runs for the entire cycle, it just isn't spinning. We probably will have to get a new one, since it is 16 years old and what, today, lasts even that long? I am wondering how we, or rather the delivery people, will get a new machine into the house. There are high snowbanks, a thick snow and ice blanket covering steps and the yard, and a gate to the fence that is probably frozen shut.

I wrung out the wet clothes by hand. Not a pleasant or easy task, and my hands got very cold. That was yesterday. Today, I ran another load through, a light one, just so I could watch and see exactly what happens. Sounds OK, water fills and drains, but it doesn't spin. Wrung out yet another washer full. Thought of Cherry Hill, where we had a special exhibit a couple of years ago on laundry that fascinated me and the visitors. Doing laundry was a big drudgery for women in the past. (Despite the technological improvements, and men who lend a hand, sometimes I think it still is.) Even families who weren't wealthy often had help with laundry because it was such a chore. This provided a much-needed and legitimate job for many poor and/or immigrant women. And it was something of a social time, everyone did their washing and ironing on the same two days every week - and visited outside as they dumped water and completed the back-breaking task. The invention of the washing machine was certainly labor saving - but it also meant laundry remained in the home, rather than being a service performed by a business.

I thought of Mimmie, my grandmother, who at times took in laundry, and years later, still had a wringer washer at the old house. It was a big round white tub, with legs on casters. She dragged it across the room to hook it up to the faucet of her kitchen sink. In my mind's eye I see her, feeding one piece of clothing at at time through the wringer. It generally took several passes before it was good enough to be hung on the line. Each piece came out flat as a pancake.

I sure wished I had that wringer today.

(Excerpted from Gully Brook Press)

One More Fashion Hazard

This article cautions that wearing hip-huggers may cause women and girls to get pinched nerves. Although it is probably not very common, and I tend to prefer loose clothing anyway, I have had footware-related nerve problems and can testify that it isn't fun!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Take on State of the Union

i was listening to an interview on npr today and I thought Jeff Birnbaum made a good point. He said all bush has to do is suggest policy; almost none of it, including his economic plan, will be adopted by congress, but voters will refer to it during the 2004 election. Basically the state of the union is the biggest bandstand for campaigning ever, and bush will get credit for "trying" to enact such brave plans as a hydrogen-powered car and the biggest funding initiative for AIDS relief in US history. This makes sense to me, Bush being the most political president in our history. I know that politicians have to be political, but presidents are supposed to be leaders, not manipulative power whores.

Proud Mama

My six year old son decided he wanted to make his own weblog. So I got him started. Here it is:
123Luke
I just had to tell somebody! Fun, fun, fun.

Help Baron Munchausen!

This post doesn't really have anything to do with the rest -- but I'm rallying for assistance and thought perhaps this would help.

Yesterday a stray 6-12 year old Pomeranian found his way to my doorstep. He's in desperate need of medical attention and supplies. My boyfriend and I were not prepared for the financial undertaking but feel it's necessary to help Baron Munchausen (or "Munchee"). I've contacted every vet in my area (you can read, in detail, about it at my site) and no one is willing to donate medical supplies or help to this poor little misfit -- which is why I'm left to rely on the assistance of fellow bloggers and blog readers...

Please, please visit my site for more information on how you can help save this pup. Every vet I've contacted has suggested I send him to animal control where he would most likely be put to sleep -- I believe there is another way, though... And as an older dog who seems to have weathered through a lot, I believe he deserves a better option than death.

Presently he is severely malnourished, been asleep for 26 hours, refuses to eat or drink water, and is anemic due to the incredible flea population in his matted fur.

If you can help in any way, again, please visit www.line-noise.com for more information.

If you have a website, but not the funds to contribute, a link to the website would be appreciated. I amass maybe 30 unique visitors a day, which is enough for me, but not enough people to earn the donations necessary to save Munchee.

Thanks so much for your help and this space... Again, sorry for interrupting -- but we are desperate for help so I'm looking to my favorite fellow bloggers as a last option.

Thanks again,
Jacqueline Carlson

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

I made the cover of CW360.com/Blogsister done good!

Hi,

My web service article was selected from my blog post submission at CW360.com *the original hompage link lasted only 24 hours the new link has been updated!
Full Article at my here at my blog.

February 15 anti-war info

Since the comment feature seems to not be working at the moment, if you want to follow up on Jocelyn's suggestion, go to www.unitedforpeace.org, a site that shares info about where protests and marches are being held.

cyberfeministart

My thanks to my non-blogger artist friend Linda K, who pointed me to a cyberfeminism gallery that is one of the current features on www.artwomen.org.

ArtWomen.org began with two friends talking via e-mail, a feminist curator in Texas and a feminist art historian in Washington, D.C. We decided to use the Internet to bring artwomen together on line to talk about issues of current interest.

Featured now is an online gallery of cyberfeminist art. I won’t even try to describe the experience. At least check out the pieces linked from this page. Amazing, outstanding, cutting edge, creative womanstuff. (also posted on kalilily.net)

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Day of action...February 15

I just wanted to let anyone who might be opposed to an American-led war against Iraq know that there is going to be an international day of action on February 15. There are a multitude of events scheduled for that day across the globe, even in some smaller towns and cities. It shouldn't be hard to find an event near where you live.



Programmers?

Hi,

Sorry I don't mean to double post with two completely different ideas in the same week. However, If anyone from blogs sisters programs or knows programmers in the Los Angeles Area. We are looking for someone. These requirements are listed in the order of importance. For more information please visit our link at http://www.amuletc.com/Employment.asp.

Thanks!


Memorial

At the risk of appearing to promote the newly-constructed blog of a relative, I thought it significant to post here about a pseudo-relative of mine, "Aunt Ted." She was the ex-wife of my great uncle, a lady who I never managed to meet in person, but I heard a lot about her and often got Christmas cards, etc. from her. In her late 80's, she was driving from her small town in southern California to LA (not only a long drive, but pretty scary when you consider the quality of drivers in that area) to help out at a shelter and do volunteer work. She was a neat person and a sister worthy of remembering, and my dad's tribute to her is worth passing around (and heck yeah! I'm biased).

Finally!

I have finally set myself up with a computer at home, and now I can post as well as comment, since my work computer couldn't handle BloggerPro.

Hello fellow Blogsisters, I hope February is treating you all well so far. I'm afraid I have nothing more poignant to say at this point, but I thought I'd say hello properly.

Weather Update

Warning: please do not believe the little weather gismo on my site, no, not for a second. It states it's cloudy and only -5 this morning... wtf? Really? I'm sat here looking out the window at a raging storm, the snow is coming down so thick I can't see the tree ten feet away. And the wind? The wind is howling ferociously blowing said snow all over the place. Visibility is the nose in front of you face and the temp, I'm reliably informed by the thermometer on the outside window, is hovering around -3.

What's worse, we're expecting anywhere between 25-30 cm by the day's end. Though, of course, we've nothing to complain about here in QC, others to the east are experiencing a mini ice-storm and, are due to get another whopping snowfall of 30-40 cm.

What was that about Groundhog Day and Winter finishing early? Crap! I think She's just getting started.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Hey, today's yourDictionary.com Word of the Day is blog! How cool is that? They link to this nifty blog glossary too.

My thoughts on technology enabling the business of music...

An open ended question Camille raises. this post of mine from a few days ago lays out the vision I had during 99-00 when I was involved in writing about b2b marketplaces--I saw no reason why technology couldn't assist the business of music in some sort of real-time (or near real-time) online exchange. This particular area is a passion for me because of my husband's many decades in the music business, and by virtue of that, or somehow vice versa, mine. Thus my rather primitive architecture, at least by today's standards. But still, it's a dream I have.


Riddle

I have been researching the resiliant but constantly distressed peer 2 peer services. Most of which have some connection with music downloading.

Q:What does IT and Music have in common really?

A: Both are industries sorely in need of a union.

Any thoughts on this one?

Help?

Hi Blogsisters! I'm writing in a bit of a panic here because it seems that someone in my university and college has clued on to my blog and has been sending around my blog URL which has resulted in a flood of people from my university coming in to read my blog.

I know all the arguments about how a blog is subject to this sort of risk of exposure etc etc. However, at the same time, I had kept my blog a pretty private one--i.e. private from anyone in my immediate vicinity and environment--so that it can be my soapbox and small outlet for my writing and reflections on my life and rants... hence the use of a pseudonym as I explained to Elayne Riggs.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to deal with this problem? The last thing I want is people around me reading about my private thoughts. I know it sounds weird but... well, I'm sure some of you can understand about this. This blog was started as a means for my friends and family who are faraway to keep up to date with what's happening with my life. The last thing I want is to be a target for anyone in my immediate vicinity?

Does anyone know the result of going into Blogger settings to change the URL name? Would this leave me with the same blog (just with a different URL) or would be make my current blog disappear?

I don't want to stop blogging or take down my blog because I'm proud of the writing I'm been producing thus far. However, at this rate, with the URL passed around the university like wildfire, I might have to do that.

If anyone can suggest any solutions i.e. moving it, slapping password on etc and how to implement those solutions, I would greatly appreciate it. In the meantime, to all my current readers amongst the Blogsisters out there, I am not going to post very much for the next few days because I keep feeling like every word I say would incriminate myself...

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Blog Sisters Alert!

We have given permission for Blog Sister Clancy Ratliff, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, to email the Blog Sisters and ask them to participate in a pilot study that she is doing on women and blogging (including the issue of gender in the blogging community). She is doing this study because she believe blogging is an important new rhetorical practice, and, as a feminist minoring in Women's Studies, she is interested in studying blogging with respect to women. You are not obligated to participate in her study, but we hope that you will. She will share with us the results of her investigations. Watch for her email.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds,

- and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless falls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, nor even eagle flew -

And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand and touched the face of God.


What an awful loss.

Stunned

I'm sure that everyone else is as stunned by this morning's news of the space shuttle Columbia as I am. Of course my thoughts are with the families of the crew members. I hope that all of our Texas sisters are safe!