Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Collar-Bone Of A Hare By Yeats

Would I could cast a sail upon the water
Where many a king has gone
And many a king's daughter,
And alight at the comely trees and the lawn,
The playing upon pipes and the dancing,
And learn that the best thing is
To change my loves while dancing
And pay but a kiss for a kiss.

I would find by the edge of that water
The collar-bone of a hare
Worn thin by the lapping of water,
And pierce it through with a gimlet, and stare
At the old bitter world where they marry in churches,
And laugh over the untroubled water
At all who marry in churches,
Through the thin white bone of a hare.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

So I spent the afternoon at the Hillary Clinton rally at our amazing local high school, Washington & Lee: Home of the Generals, in Arlington, Virginia. W&L, as Hillary mentioned in her speech, has been ranked the 31st best high school in all of America. It's got a v. diverse student body and some v. devoted teachers. Today was a regularly-scheduled "early release" day for the students, but hundreds and hundreds of them stood for hours in the chilly February wind in order to see Senator Clinton. I stood in a separate line, labeled "General Public" along with a couple of senior women with tears in their eyes whenever they said "first woman president," and with a bunch of PTA moms. It's been a long time since Son was in high school, so I really loved the chat about whether five advanced placement classes was too many, how much money the band boosters raised over the holidays, and which new English teacher is best.

I don't boost Arlington County enough, but it's just a fucking fantastic place to live and spending time w/ these moms reminded me of why that's so. You know moms like these. One got on her cell and called another and said, "The kids are standing here in the wind and they're starved." Twenty minutes later, the friend shows up w/ bags full of food and a few extra sweaters. Soon, she's handing out food, not just to her kids, but to kids all over the place. Then, she sorts the trash into trash v. recyclables and disposes of it, all the while making sure her daughter has the right book for homework and her husband knows to pick up the middle-school student from indoor track. Our police officers were uniformly kind and helpful to the seniors who'd been standing too long and to the press. Every kid I talked to was polite and smart and impressive as hell. The high school security guards came onto the floor and did the cheers w/ the W&L cheerleaders and the kids loved it.

Hil gave a great speech. She looked amazing, her voice sounded almost 100% recovered, and she was just so damn good at working the crowd. She stayed a long time after the speech, talking to the kids, letting them snap pics w/ their cell phones of them w/ her, and getting hugged.

Interestingly, the longest, loudest, most raucous applause came when she said she'd start bringing the troops home w/in 60 days of her inauguration. These kids sure don't think that the surge is working. The other two issues that got the most enthusiastic responses were Hil's plan to make college affordable and, interestingly, her mention of seriously fighting HIV/AIDS. Hil was introduced by our sheriff, who took the call on 9/11 when the Pentagon, which people forget is in Arlington, was attacked. I felt pretty damn good watching our Democratic woman sheriff introduce our Democratic woman candidate for president. She congratulated Hil for having been a working mom who raised a great daughter and said that Hil inspired her as a mom. You know, no one, especially the local sheriff, has ever said that about a presidential candidate before. It was v. cool. I bitch a lot, and it's justified, but once in a while it's nice to stop and realize that, well, we have come a long way, baby, to get where we got to today.

Some of my favorite moments:

*Sitting near a Hil staffer who was chatting w/ some high school girls. Staffer had an amazing command of figures such as how Hil did in California counties where the youth vote was over X percent, how Hil was expected to do in Virginia depending upon different levels of turnout, the percentage of Hispanic voters registered to vote in Arlington, etc. One girl said, "So how do you get a job like this in a political campaign?" Staffer: "First, take a lot of math and a lot of history . . . ." That's a conversation that would never have happened when I was in high school (back in the Stone Age).

*Little kid, maybe all of 10 years old, standing by the gate where Hil was going to enter. He's w/ the elementary school newspaper, he's got his notepad in his hand, and he really, really, really wants to interview Hillary. Secret Service guy tells the kid, v. nicely, "Sorry, kid, you can't get back there." Kid: "Well, who can get me back there?" Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a child raised in the DC metro area. (Maybe 20 minutes later, I see a Clinton staffer walking the kid behind the rope. Somebody ought to give the kid a job.)

*Nice young Clinton staffer comes out on stage to toss some t-shirts into the crowd. He calls on three kids from the audience to help him and asks their names. Brinn, Sophia, and Zoe. I love this place.

*One kid in the bleachers tosses his book to his friend who says, "You throw like a girl." Four different moms tap him on the shoulder and say: "Want to go outside and have a pitching contest with me?" "I throw like a girl because I am a girl. You have a problem with that?" "Don't you like girls?" and, of course, "Don't throw things." Kid backs down so fast you can't imagine.

*When Hil's delayed a bit, the principal announces that the campaign will pay overtime for the activity busses so everyone can stay.

*Hil says "I will be a Commander in Chief who uses our military as a last resort."

*Hil tells how her dad wouldn't pay for law school for her and how she financed it, anyway.

*Hil says that there should be a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and that people w/ ARMs who can pay the current rate shouldn't lose their homes.

*Hil says that, when she's president, we won't give tax breaks to companies that take jobs out of Virginia to help those companies move offshore.

*Clinton finishes her speech and dives into the crowd to the chords of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." The witch in me is delighted.

You go, girl. You go.

A Word To The Hillary Haters And The Barack Bashers

Eugene Field. 1850–1895

231. The Duel

THE GINGHAM dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t' other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate 5
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I was n't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!" 10
And the calico cat replied "mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face, 15
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Never mind: I 'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!" 20
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw—
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew! 25
(Don't fancy I exaggerate—
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day 30
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so, 35
And that is how I came to know.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Goodbye to All That -- Part the Second

I was fourteen when I sat in my bedroom with the purple gingham bedspread and ruffled curtains and read Robin Morgan's earthquake manifesto Goodbye to All That. It was, for me, like drinking ice-cold water on a hot, steamy day. It was my baptism as a feminist. It snapped on synapses in my brain that have stayed "on" all my life. It was one of the most important things that I've ever read, and I've traveled all the way around the sun almost thirty-eight times since then.

Now, Robin Morgan has written Goodbye to All That (#2). It's worth reading all the way to the end.

Goodbye To All That (#2) by Robin Morgan

February 2, 2008

“Goodbye To All That” was my (in)famous 1970 essay breaking free from a politics of accommodation especially affecting women (for an online version, see

During my decades in civil-rights, anti-war, and contemporary women’s movements, I’ve avoided writing another specific “Goodbye . . .” But not since the suffrage struggle have two communities—joint conscience-keepers of this country—been so set in competition, as the contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and Barack Obama (BO) unfurls. So.

Goodbye to the double standard . . .

—Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.

—She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor pains?)

—When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.

—Young political Kennedys—Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.—all endorsed Hillary. Senator Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him.” (Personally, I’m unimpressed with Caroline’s longing for the Return of the Fathers. Unlike the rest of the world, Americans have short memories. Me, I still recall Marilyn Monroe’s suicide, and a dead girl named Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.)

Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .

Carl Bernstein's disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid” (check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the bitch?" with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly to “How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.

Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs. If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.

Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina. I refuse to wrench my brain down into the gutter far enough to find a race-based comparison. For shame.

Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

Goodbye to the news-coverage target-practice . . .

The women’s movement and Media Matters wrung an apology from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for relentless misogynistic comments ( But what about NBC’s Tim Russert’s continual sexist asides and his all-white-male panels pontificating on race and gender? Or CNN’s Tony Harris chuckling at “the chromosome thing” while interviewing a woman from The White House Project? And that’s not even mentioning Fox News.

Goodbye to pretending the black community is entirely male and all women are white . . .

Surprise! Women exist in all opinions, pigmentations, ethnicities, abilities, sexual preferences, and ages—not only African American and European American but Latina and Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Arab American and—hey, every group, because a group wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t given birth to it. A few non-racist countries may exist—but sexism is everywhere. No matter how many ways a woman breaks free from other discriminations, she remains a female human being in a world still so patriarchal that it’s the “norm.”

So why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the centuries, even millennia, of struggle that got us this far, as black Americans, women and men, are justly proud of their struggles?

Goodbye to a campaign where he has to pass as white (which whites—especially wealthy ones—adore), while she has to pass as male (which both men and women demanded of her, and then found unforgivable). If she were black or he were female we wouldn’t be having such problems, and I for one would be in heaven. But at present such a candidate wouldn’t stand a chance—even if she shared Condi Rice’s Bush-defending politics.

I was celebrating the pivotal power at last focused on African American women deciding on which of two candidates to bestow their vote—until a number of Hillary-supporting black feminists told me they’re being called “race traitors.”

So goodbye to conversations about this nation’s deepest scar—slavery—which fail to acknowledge that labor- and sexual-slavery exist today in the U.S. and elsewhere on this planet, and the majority of those enslaved are women.

Women have endured sex/race/ethnic/religious hatred, rape and battery, invasion of spirit and flesh, forced pregnancy; being the majority of the poor, the illiterate, the disabled, of refugees, caregivers, the HIV/AIDS afflicted, the powerless. We have survived invisibility, ridicule, religious fundamentalisms, polygamy, teargas, forced feedings, jails, asylums, sati, purdah, female genital mutilation, witch burnings, stonings, and attempted gynocides. We have tried reason, persuasion, reassurances, and being extra-qualified, only to learn it never was about qualifications after all. We know that at this historical moment women experience the world differently from men—though not all the same as one another—and can govern differently, from Elizabeth Tudor to Michele Bachelet and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

We remember when Shirley Chisholm and Patricia Schroeder ran for this high office and barely got past the gate—they showed too much passion, raised too little cash, were joke fodder. Goodbye to all that. (And goodbye to some feminists so famished for a female president they were even willing to abandon women’s rights in backing Elizabeth Dole.)

Goodbye, goodbye to . . .

—blaming anything Bill Clinton does on Hillary (even including his womanizing like the Kennedy guys—though unlike them, he got reported on). Let’s get real. If he hadn’t campaigned strongly for her everyone would cluck over what that meant. Enough of Bill and Teddy Kennedy locking their alpha male horns while Hillary pays for it.

—an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.

—the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job, goodbye to George W. Bush and the destruction brought by his inexperience, ignorance, and arrogance.

Goodbye to the accusation that HRC acts “entitled” when she’s worked intensely at everything she’s done—including being a nose-to-the-grindstone, first-rate senator from my state.

Goodbye to her being exploited as a Rorschach test by women who reduce her to a blank screen on which they project their own fears, failures, fantasies.

Goodbye to the phrase “polarizing figure” to describe someone who embodies the transitions women have made in the last century and are poised to make in this one. It was the women’s movement that quipped, “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” She heard us, and she has.

Goodbye to some women letting history pass by while wringing their hands, because Hillary isn’t as “likeable” as they’ve been warned they must be, or because she didn’t leave him, couldn’t “control” him, kept her family together and raised a smart, sane daughter. (Think of the blame if Chelsea had ever acted in the alcoholic, neurotic manner of the Bush twins!) Goodbye to some women pouting because she didn’t bake cookies or she did, sniping because she learned the rules and then bent or broke them. Grow the hell up. She is not running for Ms.-perfect-pure-queen-icon of the feminist movement. She’s running to be president of the United States.

Goodbye to the shocking American ignorance of our own and other countries’ history. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir rose through party ranks and war, positioning themselves as proto-male leaders. Almost all other female heads of government so far have been related to men of power—granddaughters, daughters, sisters, wives, widows: Gandhi, Bandaranike, Bhutto, Aquino, Chamorro, Wazed, Macapagal-Arroyo, Johnson Sirleaf, Bachelet, Kirchner, and more. Even in our “land of opportunity,” it’s mostly the first pathway “in” permitted to women: Representatives Doris Matsui and Mary Bono and Sala Burton; Senator Jean Carnahan . . . far too many to list here.

Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .

Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me feel like a dork.”

Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten thestatus quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”

I’d rather say a joyful Hello to all the glorious young women who do identify with Hillary, and all the brave, smart men—of all ethnicities and any age—who get that it’s in their self-interest, too. She’s better qualified. (D’uh.) She’s a high-profile candidate with an enormous grasp of foreign- and domestic-policy nuance, dedication to detail, ability to absorb staggering insult and personal pain while retaining dignity, resolve, even humor, and keep on keeping on. (Also, yes, dammit, let’s hear it for her connections and funding and party-building background, too. Obama was awfully glad about those when she raised dough and campaigned for him to get to the Senate in the first place.)

I’d rather look forward to what a good president he might make in eight years, when his vision and spirit are seasoned by practical know-how—and he’ll be all of 54. Meanwhile, goodbye to turning him into a shining knight when actually he’s an astute, smooth pol with speechwriters who’ve worked with the Kennedys’ own speechwriter-courtier Ted Sorenson. If it’s only about ringing rhetoric, let speechwriters run. But isn’t it about getting the policies we want enacted?

And goodbye to the ageism . . .

How dare anyone unilaterally decide when to turn the page on history, papering over real inequities and suffering constituencies in the promise of a feel-good campaign? How dare anyone claim to unify while dividing, or think that to rouse U.S. youth from torpor it’s useful to triage the single largest demographic in this country’s history: the boomer generation—the majority of which is female?

Old woman are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!

We are the women who brought this country equal credit, better pay, affirmative action, the concept of a family-focused workplace; the women who established rape-crisis centers and battery shelters, marital-rape and date-rape laws; the women who defended lesbian custody rights, who fought for prison reform, founded the peace and environmental movements; who insisted that medical research include female anatomy; who inspired men to become more nurturing parents; who created women’s studies and Title IX so we all could cheer the WNBA stars and Mia Hamm. We are the women who reclaimed sexuality from violent pornography, who put childcare on the national agenda, who transformed demographics, artistic expression, language itself. We are the women who forged a worldwide movement. We are the proud successors of women who, though it took more than 50 years, won us the vote.

We are the women who now comprise the majority of U.S. voters.

Hillary said she found her own voice in New Hampshire. There’s not a woman alive who, if she’s honest, doesn’t recognize what she means. Then HRC got drowned out by campaign experts, Bill, and media’s obsession with everything Bill.

So listen to her voice:

“For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when woman and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide along women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

“Women’s rights are human rights. Among those rights are the right to speak freely—and the right to be heard.”

That was Hillary Rodham Clinton defying the U.S. State Department and the Chinese Government at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (look here for the full, stunning speech).

And this voice, age 21, in “Commencement Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham, President of Wellesley College Government Association, Class of 1969.”

“We are, all of us, exploring a world none of us understands. . . . searching for a more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating mode of living. . . . [for the] integrity, the courage to be whole, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. . . . Fear is always with us, but we just don't have time for it.”

She ended with the commitment “to practice, with all the skill of our being: the art of making possible.”

And for decades, she’s been learning how.

So goodbye to Hillary’s second-guessing herself. The real question is deeper than her re-finding her voice. Can we women find ours? Can we do this for ourselves?

“Our President, Ourselves!”

Time is short and the contest tightening. We need to rise in furious energy—as we did when Anita Hill was so vilely treated in the U.S. Senate, as we did when Rosie Jiminez was butchered by an illegal abortion, as we did and do for women globally who are condemned for trying to break through. We need to win, this time. Goodbye to supporting HRC tepidly, with ambivalent caveats and apologetic smiles. Time to volunteer, make phone calls, send emails, donate money, argue, rally, march, shout, vote.

Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all candidates running in both parties. I support her because her progressive politics are as strong as her proven ability to withstand what will be a massive right-wing assault in the general election. I support her because she knows how to get us out of Iraq. I support her because she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly “uniter” with ejaculatory politics. I needn’t agree with her on every point. I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s—and the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady stereotype and made history as a fine senator, because I believe she will continue to make history not only as the first US woman president, but as a great US president.

As for the “woman thing”?

Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

Hat tip (and a big "thank you!" to Jen in comments.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Go Vote; It's A Lovely Way To Cast A Spell

Deborah Oak explains something v. important about magic:

And when I say praying, I mean that thing we witches do of interfacing with the elements and the Mysterious Ones and asking for the energies of life to come into alignment with our vision or will. I’ve learned by experience to be both specific and broad in my spellcasting. What I truly want is neither Obama or Hilary, it’s healthcare for all, peace on earth, everyone fed, a sustainable relationship with nature, and a graceful transformation from empire to a collaborative nation amongst collaborative nations.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Hillary Clinton and I do hope that, in the end, she's the nominee. I think she'll do a better job than Barack Obama will do at this stage in his life. But Deborah does a v. good job of reminding all of us caught up in primary fever what it's really all about. It's really all about

*healthcare for all

*peace on earth

*everyone fed

*a sustainable relationgship with nature

* a graceful transformation from empire to a collaborative nation amongst collaborative nations.

The wonderful news, and it is truly, transformatively wonderful, is that the Democratic nominee will be, and the next president of the United States may very well be, a woman or an African American. Both groups have been too long denied the job.

Now, those suffragettes didn't endure force feedings, beatings, and riducule all of those years so you could sit home and not vote. Go vote in honor of your great grandmother who wasn't allowed. Carry your ancesstress with you into the voting booth. It's a lovely way to "interfac[e] with the elements and the Mysterious Ones and ask[] for the energies of life to come into alignment with [y]our vision or will.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Well, No, They Don't Necessarily HAVE To Be . . . .

A couple of years ago, I was discussing politics with my housemate Bill, and Kore, my Goddess-daughter, interrupted us.

“Who is Barbara Boxer?” she asked.

“Why Kore,” I said. “She’s our Senator!”

Kore’s eyes lit up. An expression of amazed delight stole over her face. “We have a Senate?” she said. “Like in Star Wars?”

I assured her that we do, albeit without those really cool floating chairs. Then I tried to explain to her the Senate, the House, the system of checks and balances.

“Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein are our Senators,” I told her, “And Nancy Pelosi is our representative.”

“Do they all have to be girls?” she asked.

Damn. Just, damn. I am with my mother's mother's mothers. And I am with my great-granddaughter's granddaughters.

Stay Healthy

Susun Weed discusses simple, practical steps for dealing with late-winter colds.

I try to make Susun's breast-cancer prevention cabbage once or twice a month.

Chop up cabbage, onions, and garlic and saute in olive oil. Meanwhile, soak seaweed in warm water. Add seaweed and soaking water to the sauteed vegetables. Add grated carrots and tamari sauce. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top and serve. It's delicious.

I just wish the stores sold smaller cabbages.

Signs of Spring

Daffodils pushing up on the western edge of the woodland garden. Yes, I need to do something about the ivy.

My New Name For A Blog

What res ipsa loquitor said.

[Evangelicals, such as Robertson and Falwell and Dobson, have spent the last thirty years demonizing liberals.] Why in Jesus or Allah or the Buddha's name would I reach out to anyone who's been kicking me for three days, let alone three decades? And don't tell me, "Those guys are the old guard." Instead, show me that they're not [still in charge] by laying off your efforts to control my body, my mind, and my wallet (by agitating for my tax dollars to funnel toward your unconstitutional "faith-based initiatives) and by halting your Thirty Years War against liberals. That means, among other faith-based initiatives, taking on esteemed evangelical "opinion leaders" like the Parshalls, the Parsleys, and Pastor-I-Have-A-Weekly-Call-With-The-White-House Dobson.

If evangelicals think it's time for a group hug, let them do the reaching out for once. But don't be surprised if I'm wary, dirty fucking hippie that I am. Because when people spend thirty years telling me I'm going to hell for everything from not having whatever the hell a "personal relationship with Jesus" is to enjoying sexual communion with the occasional libidinous liberal lad to whom I happen not to be married I tend to be a little suspicious of their embrace.

You know, when I was in grammar school, this miserable little bitch used to give me no end of shit for doing everything from reading on the school bus to wearing the "wrong" sneakers to living on whatever passes for the wrong side of the tracks in one of the toniest suburbs in the northeast. It wouldn't have occurred to me to "reach out" to this little shit until she'd learned some manners, shut her mouth, and got off my back, my idiotic teachers' suggestion to "be the bigger person", notwithstanding. Just saying.

So Evangelicals, you come to me and you be nice. Bring some coffee (I take it light and I don't do artificial sweeteners) and a couple of Krispy Kremes (the chocolate frosted ones, please) from the franchise at your megachurch. Then we'll see if we have anything in common.

Actually, though, res can have my doughnuts. There isn't anything those creepy evangelicals could do to cozy up to me. I wish they'd all just find another planet to go to and practice their weird, sick, unhealthy religion. I'd always be waiting for them to drop the nicey-nice routine and tie me to a stake.

My New Name For A Blog

What Barbara Ehrenreich Said. Go read the whole thing.

But you can't jump-start a car that lacks a working battery. We need less titillating talk about "stimulus" and more commitment to some fundamental repairs -- higher wages, a real safety net and a return to progressive taxation among them. The challenge isn't just to prop up stock prices but to rebuild an economy in which everyone shares the good times -- and no one is consigned to a permanent recession.