Friday, March 28, 2008

Snow in Late March in Seattle

It is, for the second time this week, snowing here on Capital Hill in Seattle, and I'm still coughing and sneezing and otherwise miserable with the Cold That Would Not Go Away. The winter, it seems endless...

In the meantime, let me toss you a few links. Kelley Eskridge sent me this one:

Labor of Love by Thomas Beatie. The transgendered Beatie, who is legally male and legally (i.e., officially) married to a woman, is pregnant and carrying a child.

Inter Press Service has an article on a report by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) to the United Nations Human Rights Council: "There have been “huge harassments of human rights organisations and defenders have been increasingly subject to abusive and suppressive actions by government actors… in the majority of Arab countries, particularly Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia." The article notes:

The U.S. and other Western governments have had close ties with Arab governments in the Middle East and North Africa for many years. These ties have grown closer since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on Sep. 11, 2001.

But since the administration of President Ronald Reagan (1981-89), promoting democracy and freedom in the Arab world has been a staple in U.S. political rhetoric. The rhetoric has ratcheted up significantly during the administration of President George W. Bush. In his second inaugural address, Bush said, “It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

The gap between the Bush Administration's rhetoric and its actions is derisible. A letter to the Washington Post from Venezuela's Communications Minister, also published on the site, by its proximity prompted me to do a bit of a compare-and-contrast exercise. Imagine, if the Bush administration held its democracy-hating allies to the standards of Venezuela... (Well no, actually, I can't imagine it ever doing that. They wouldn't be allies any longer if they did.)

And finally, the best link of all, with thanks to Josh Lukin: an excellent, intense six minutes of an interview with James Baldwin on YouTube.

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