Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Big Picture.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
An undated photograph of Hillary Rodham, center, during her days as a student at Wellesley College, from 1965 to 1969.

This Hillary I want to vote for as president. I don't know if she's still in there somewhere, though. Some of her comments in this article make me hopeful that she's waiting, though.

From Wikipedia:


    In 1965, Rodham enrolled in Wellesley College, where she majored in political science. She served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans organization during her freshman year. However, due to her evolving views regarding the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, she stepped down from that position;she characterized her own nature as that of "a mind conservative and a heart liberal."

    In her junior year, Rodham was affected by the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and became a supporter of the anti-war presidential nomination campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy. Rodham organized a two-day student strike and worked with Wellesley's black students for moderate changes, such as recruiting more black students and faculty.

    In that same year she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association. She attended the "Wellesley in Washington" summer program at the urging of Professor Alan Schechter, who assigned Rodham to intern at the House Republican Conference so she could better understand her changing political views. Rodham was invited by Representative Charles Goodell, a moderate New York Republican, to help Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s late-entry campaign for the Republican nomination. Rodham attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, where she decided to leave the Republican Party for good; she was upset over how Richard Nixon's campaign had portrayed Rockefeller and what Rodham perceived as the "veiled" racist messages of the convention.

    Rodham returned to Wellesley, and wrote her senior thesis about the tactics of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky under Professor Schechter (which, years later while she was first lady, was suppressed at the request of the White House and became the subject of speculation as to its contents).

    In 1969, Rodham graduated with departmental honors in political science. Stemming from the demands of some students, she became the first student in Wellesley College history to deliver their commencement address. According to reports by the Associated Press, her speech received a standing ovation lasting seven minutes.

    She was featured in an article published in Life magazine, due to the response to a part of her speech that criticized Senator Edward Brooke, who had spoken before her at the commencement; she also appeared on Irv Kupcinet's nationally-syndicated television talk show as well as in Illinois and New England newspapers.

    That summer, she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez (which fired her and shut down overnight when she complained about unhealthy conditions).
By the by, HRC's thesis, "'There is only the Fight...': An Analysis of the Alinsky Model" can be read online, but you'll have to search for it yourself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I fly like paper, get high like planes."

Anyway, I couldn't explain why I'm pro-choice better than Jill at, so read her entry instead: Why I’m Pro-Choice - Blogging for Choice Part 2.

And, for some levity, this artist is my new hero: Guerilla Artist Bombs Spanish Steps With Plastic Balls.


    Mad-hatter artist Graziano Cecchini has struck again. The public-art prankster who filled the Trevi Fountain in Rome with blood-red dye last October released 500,000 brightly colored plastic balls Wednesday from the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

    The balls, similar to the ones you can jump into at a Chuck E. Cheese pizza parlor, "represented a lie told by a politician," Cecchini told the Italian press.

“Leave it all to me - I will do the right thing.”

"We forthwith acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly absolute convictions that the subject inspires. One's philosophy, one's experiences, one's exposure to the raw edges of human existence, one's religious training, one's attitudes toward life and and family and their values, and the moral standards one establishes and seeks to observe, are all likely to influence and to color one's thinking and conclusions about abortion. In addition, population growth, poverty, and racial overtones tend to complicate and not to simplify the problem."
--U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmum, Jane Roe, et. al. v. Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Jan. 22, 1973

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade - that landmark case that legally granted women the right to have an abortion but failed to account for all of the restrictions that states have thrown up in the ensuing years. Restrictions that have made abortions technically legal yet still unavailable for many girls and women in the United States.

At the moment, I am reading Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion, edited by Karen E. Bender and Nina de Gramont.

I am only half way through, but already I can state without reservation that all women should read this book.

It's a collection of personal essays by a variety of women, and by the title, I'm sure you can tell that the stories are not just about choosing to have an abortion. The stories are about a wide range of choices - and non-choices - the authors have made, from abortion - legal and illegal, to adoption, to surrogacy, to choosing *not* to have an abortion, even when a physician recommends one, to fertility issues, etc., etc.

These essays...

While reading the first essay, "The Ballad of Bobby Jo" by Jacquelyn Mitchard, I was torn between sadness and anger.

Bobby Jo Arness chooses to act as a surrogate mother for Mitchard, and the decision leads to Arness’ divorce, her being ostracized from her town, and a judge allowing her to visit her own children only on every other weekend.

And why? Why such horrid treatment to such a selfless woman, who only wanted to help another family? Because people are ignorant. Because they’re afraid of things they don’t understand or are different. And if *this* is what happens to women who should be applauded for their decisions, who helped create a life and gave it to someone else, then heaven help the rest of us.

Sometimes, most of the time, I think this world is moving backward.

Blog for Choice Day

Monday, January 21, 2008

Remembering MLK, Jr.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since I'm on vacation, I was going to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today, since it's a free admission day. But it's too cold and snowy, so I don't feel like driving all the way up there. Today will be a day spent reading, hopefully.