Friday, August 14, 2009

Per Belledame's request, we have puppy pictures.

As history...

Here is Abbie when we first got her from the animal shelter. As you can see, she was very, very skinny. About 11lbs, and that was after the shelter had been fattening her up for a week! [She arrived there at 7lbs, she's now 16lbs.]

She soon settled into the family, learned that she was safe, learned that her food would not magically disappear from her bowl and that there would be more later. Then, her natural instinct for cuddling came to the fore. If there was thigh, she would snuggle it. If there was a lap she would wiggle into it. No one was immune to her pleading looks and polite paw nudge to make some space on the sofa, the bed, or even the floor.

And then, she discovered the joys of romping and playing with other dogs. Particularly if other dogs were willing to run.

But eventually, winter came, and she hadn't put on enough when it was cold she didn't like to go out and play as much. So we had a coat made for her by the lovely people at Blue Willow who did a fantastic job. And thus winter was saved.

Time passed and Abbie became the star pupil in her daycare (okay, that's not really what that means, but we're going to pretend it is).

She put on a few healthy pounds and became secure enough in her food source that she would discriminate between organic and non-organic foods.

With the liberal use of chicken, she's learned how to not be frightened of other people, strange dogs, loud noises, plastic bags, cars, shadows, her pillow if the light changed...Instead she has become a wonderful family member who approaches life with such joy and abandon that spending time with her can't help but lift your heart.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Beating the homeless is cruel, not cool"

Did this need to be said? Was there some indication that beating vulnerable people is fun?

Apparently yes. From CNN:

The August issue of Maxim, a youth-oriented magazine targeted at college-aged males, joked about last weekend's National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, in a blurb titled "Hunt the Homeless." The journal quipped "Kill one for fun. We're 87 percent sure it's legal."

As if we didn't need enough reasons to avoid Maxim.

Maxim...not just about sexism any more...

The scary thing (okay, so there are many scary things here, but one scary thing) is that 58 percent of these attacks are committed by children. Children for christ sake. Children are seeking out more vulnerable people to commit violence upon.

Which makes me think of this from bell hooks recently quoted by Ashley in a beautiful post about Love on Feministe particularly salient:

The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.
Is this violence by young (for the most part) men part of that psychic self-mutilation? Do they need to assert their dominance in a patriarchal world so badly that they seek out vulnerable people to prove their physical superiority? And what is making these manlings so desperate for dominance that they would brutalize another human being?

Do we have to mandate humanity training in schools along with PE and reading?

Honesty at Last

Re: The health care astroturf protests

One protester commented:

"“This isn’t just about health care,” said Carolyn Doric of Harrisburg, “it’s about political power and a means to regain political power.”"

From the NYT "Senator Goes Face to Face with Dissent"

Just sit there and ponder that for a moment. A moment of pure honesty.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Domestic Violence & Victim Blaming

So there was a post at Ren's that made my head explode and she decided to shutdown comments (understandable since was a derail in the first place), so I thought I'd continue here and everyone can feel free to be angry and vitriolic on my time.

These issues have been talked about elsewhere, so I'll start with that....

The reason "Why didn't she leave" is victim blaming - See La Lubu's comment here

"Why, on even feminist blogs, do people assume the victim to have a major flaw, rather than as a person with few resources attempting to fend for herself? Police go in with cadres of armed companions when confronting violent criminals—yet we expect DV victims to “just leave”."

A good explanation of why many victims don't file criminal charges - From DOJ

"The period between arrest and trial can be an especially dangerous and intimidating time for victims in cases of intimate partner violence. It is also a time when the criminal justice system’s legal control over defendants is limited. In most jurisdictions, defendants are released on bail while awaiting trial. And despite the court’s imposition of “no contact” conditions of bail for a majority of defendants..., experience has shown that the pretrial phase (between arrest and the trial) is the time when an accused person is most likely to try to influence the victim’s testimony and the outcome of a case. Some attempts to influence victims appear to be desperate pleas for forgiveness; others clearly involve threats of physical harm or death."

Yeah, so in short:

(1) Asking why she doesn't just leave or why she puts up with it is victim blaming because it focuses on what she should have done rather than on the actions of the abusers. It makes her responsible for what happens.

(2) It's dangerous to get a TRO or to file criminal charges. They don't just lock the abuser up immediately and throw away the key...there are things called bail and whatnot...I know...shocking.

Collection of Useful Links

For all manner of derailing -

The "Tone Argument" -