I'd like to lie and say this entry is going to be good news for a change, but it's more like positive signs. Or what I think are positive signs, anyway.
Activist JudgesPresident Bush implied in his State of the Union that the only prominent Americans who support marriage equality for gays and lesbians are "activist judges." Knowing our president would never attempt to mislead the country about something so important in an address before both houses of Congress and the entire nation, we thought we'd look a little deeper at all these "activist judges" in support of marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Here's what we found:
And also Mayor Richard Daley, Governor (still can't type it with a straight face) Arnold Schwartzenegger, the NAACP's Julian Bond. . . didn't know all these people even had their JD, let alone that they were judges. My bad.
Further afield, and registration-required, Chicago Tribune | Turkey orders sermons on women's rights:
Turkey's young governing party, with roots in political Islam, has confounded critics and some supporters alike by transforming the nation's 70,000 mosques into bully pulpits from which preachers advocate women's rights and other democratic reforms.
The government's Directorate of Religious Affairs, which dictates the all-important Friday sermons, has instructed the nation's imams to turn their spiritual guidance to the arena of human rights and ridding Turkey of unwanted vestiges of traditional society.
Rather than the calls to holy war that echo through mosques in some parts of the world, worshipers here are being told that "honor killings," in which men murder female relatives suspected of tarnishing the family name, are a sin as well as against the law.
Those attending services also are hearing about formerly taboo subjects, such as a need for equality of the sexes in the home and the workplace and women's reproductive rights.
[. . .] The architect of the transformation is Ali Bardakoglu, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, which regulates religious practices in Turkey.
A former academic with a mild manner, Bardakoglu has taken the unusual step of consulting numerous women's groups and physicians as part of an effort to craft sermons addressing women's issues.
"To have the head of the Religious Affairs Ministry seeing women's rights as important may in itself bring about change," said Yakin Erturk, the new UN Human Rights Commission's representative on violence against women. "He can reach people the human-rights advocates often cannot--the 15 million men in Turkey who attend services every Friday."
Could have done without the "calls to holy war that echo through mosques in some parts of the world" bit -- wee bit too LGF-ish for my tastes -- but I find it encouraging.
By the bye, would I have to totally drop any interest in the rights of women and the GLBT contingent to be a Republican? Because that's kind of a deal-breaker. I mean, yes, the Democratic Party having a near-monopoly on the African American vote is (in some ways) damaging to African Americans, Democratics and everyone else, but since we do only have the two political parties, and most Republicans are just too fucking evil for me to consider working with 'em. . .
Right, positive thoughts.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is todayís dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first to defy history. In this complex and highly entertaining documentary, Mark Achbar, co-director of the influential and inventive MANUFACTURING CONSENT: NOAM CHOMSKY AND THE MEDIA, teams up with co-director Jennifer Abbott and writer Joel Bakan to examine the far-reaching repercussions of the corporationís increasing preeminence. Based on Bakanís book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, the film is a timely, critical inquiry that invites CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the 4corporationís inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. Featuring illuminating interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Howard Zinn and many others, THE CORPORATION charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force.
Saw it mentioned at The Liquid List, which also has an entry on that Emmett Till thing, but again, positive. And what's more positive than a documentary with Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Anita Roddick. . . no, I am being positive, honest.
Speaking of, my sunny dispostion prevents me from quoting South Africa, Israel-Palestine, and the Contours of the Contemporary World Order: An Interview With Noam Chomsky.
Anti-Arab racism in the U.S. is endemic. It is extreme. In fact, in a sense it is the only legitimate kind of racism. Harvard professors can write articles with openly racist condemnations of Arabs which are not noticed. I've sometimes given talks there in which I take those statements and put in "Jew" instead of "Arab," and people say, "My God, this is horrible. How can anyone say this?" You tell them it's just Arab, not Jew, and they relax.
Good thing, that.
Wonder if he's taken the LGF Quiz?
Yep, positive. I'll work on that.
Update: Ok, keep meaning to mention this, and keep forgetting, so here's a totally random link to the online e-comic, The Spiders. Seen most recently in a comment at either Electrolite or Making Light, I'm not sure which. Or where I'd originally seen it. But, um, it's really good. If not exactly the feel-good online e-comic of the summer. . .
Oh, right, it has bits of poems by Jalaluddin Rumi.
Let go of your worries
and be completely clear-hearted,
like the face of a mirror
that contains no images.
If you want a clear mirror,
and see the shameless truth,
which the mirror reflects.
Not that one, mind.
Oh, go look at the comic and read the poems and quit yer whining.