Monday, November 17, 2008

Stoned to death, in November 2008

I've read three articles now about the 13 year old girl who was stoned to death in Somalia recently. Her crime? She was raped by three armed men.

This article in the Scotland Sunday Herald was the most graphic. I hesitated to include it on my blog, but really, we can't ignore what is reality for many women in our world today. The bigger question is, what can we DO about it?

The 13-year-old girl from the Somali port city of Kismayo was taken to the police station by her aunt to report the crime. Asha was the one who was arrested. After being held for three days and tried in secret by an Islamic court, Asha was sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery.

Kismayo's rulers encouraged people to come to the football stadium to watch the execution. A lorry load of stones was laid out. Asha, dragged kicking and screaming into the stadium, was buried in the ground. With around 1000 people watching, 50 men stepped forward and started hurling the stones at Asha's head. After a few moments, the stoning was stopped.

Two nurses were asked to step forward and check if she was still alive. She was, they said, so the stoning continued.

I say we speak out against extremism. All forms of extremism carry with them the capacity to justify killing the innocent.

Have you ever thought about which form of extremism you'd prefer living under? I wonder if I'd prefer communism over religious extremism. Tough choice. I hope we are wise enough, strong enough and vocal enough to prevent either from gaining a foothold here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

End of the Day

This is a scene that often greets me after a long day away from home. I really should give up on feather comforters and feather pillows - or - perhaps I should give in to the PediPaws ads (the canine nail cutting tool) that litter my inbox every day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Graft and Greed in America?

No, not Africa. Here.

This is taken from a letter our governor sent to Henry Paulson (US Treasury Secretary). Does it make your blood boil, too? How long before greed destroys us?

· Carolina First CEO Mack Whittle retired sooner than expected. Some have surmised that Whittle’s retirement date was moved up so that his bank could apply for federal bailout money while Whittle retained his “golden parachute.” The estimated value of Whittle’s retirement package is $18 million; the deal would have been compromised if the bank had asked for a taxpayer bailout before Whittle left.

· The Federal Reserve is putting $150 billion, $27 billion more than previously extended, into AIG after an initial bailout attempt failed to stem massive losses. After the initial bailout in September, AIG treated some staff members to spa retreats in California ($440,000) and a hunting trip in England ($500,000).

· The Wall Street Journal reported last week that some $40 billion is being paid to executives of banking giants that are getting bailout payments. On top of that, Bloomberg reported that the Federal Reserve is refusing to identify who is getting $2 trillion in emergency loans.

Maybe we should slow down. We're trusting Congress to regulate, right? I'm not feeling too confident . . . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Only 12 days late

Okay, so I'm a bit behind on the blogging. I do have excuses, a great trip to Denver, a not-so-fun trip to the ER . . . But, I will try to catch up this week. Here we are before going to my friend Lori's Hallowingding, which I highly recommend! Check out the invite below, featuring art by her husband Trahern.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This Historic Day

It's great to have watched history unfold last night.

Sarah said it so well today:

"Mom, do you think when you go to heaven you still see what is happening here?"

"Maybe honey, if you're still interested in what's going on here."

"Well, I bet Martin Luther King must be very proud today if he can see what's happening down here."

I agree.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Our Newest Pet

No, I did not ask for this.

And Zion can't say opossum (who really can?), so she calls him "AWW, cute mouse."

David is not thrilled. He hates rats, and the tail just does him in. Sarah wrote me a note, telling me (with lots of hearts) to look up the National Opposum Society. Doing that now.

Turns out that opposums are not related at all to rats. They are North America's only marsupial.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote early, vote often.

Two of the three (terrific) people that read my blog have asked why I haven't been writing lately.

I hate to say it, but it's because I'm overwhelmed by the election.

Yes. I am . . . undecided.

Do I realize there are scant few hours before I must walk down the corridor of truth?

I do.

Because I have nightmares about it. More than once. In the first one, which reminded me of those dreams you have in high school that you hope NEVER to repeat, I'm standing at the bottom of a long, dimly lit, mustard yellow painted, cinder block hall. The hall fades into murky, snot-green darkness, but I know what is up there. The booth. And, I know that by the time I finish this long walk, I must make a decision. I know this because multiple disembodied voices on both sides are screaming at me, "WHAT IS YOUR DECISION??!!" overlapped with, "YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE POLL!!!"

I don't remember the second dream as vividly. But, it woke me in a cold sweat. Two am, my mind already circling, slashing at the pro/con lists like a salad shooter whirring through endive, iceberg and romaine. I was up for an hour and a half, endless circling.

I broke down and posted the dilemma on my Facebook status yesterday. I feel pretty confident in saying 49% of my friends consider themselves "liberal," while another 49% believe God rides an elephant to work each day. Two percent are either left or right leaning third-party supporters. And, while my status update drew few responses on Facebook, my email's unread messages jumped ten fold in fifteen minutes.

Judging solely based on the volume of mail for the "endive" candidate, I'm now convinced he can't lose. It was nothing short of a full blown intervention. A passionate back clapping to rid my lungs of indecision's dust. I guess my romaine friends either assume I'll see the light, or they don't care. I know my iceberg friends don't care, they are voting third party and thus . . . obviously.

I have mixed reactions to it. I'm not much for crusades, or crusaders. I don't see much black and white. It's probably the gray dust I'm drinking into my pores, though, coloring my world. Is my indecision the chicken, or the egg? From what I've seen shooting political spots, most campaigns are run by kids in their early 20s, drunk on power and enthusiasm, but hardly equipped to choose or aim world impact trajectories. I want to be hyped and thrilled and carried away, and ride the wave into our new future. And, I think it is past time for us to BE in our bright, rosy, post-modern future. But, I'm not convinced this is my train.

Instead, in steady, 13 minute cycles, I'm the idiot each side vents about. Just roll me up to the booth tomorrow, and I guess we'll see which end is up at that moment.