succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, May 01, 2004

From the insert of my new "Rock Against Bush Vol. 1" cd:

"Despite a 13% unemployment rate among those aged 16-24, Bush Jr. proposed to eliminate youth opportunity grants - a program that provides job training to the nation's youth. A $225M program in 2002 is now being done away with so Bush can have more money for Iraq.

He cut funding for 375,000 low income college students and reduced Pell Grant amounts to such a severe degree that it effectively caused 84,000 students to no longer be eligible for Pell Grants. Pell amounts have been overall reduced for 1.5 million students..."


"First president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. elections)."


"He has taken 11 official executive actions to undermine reproductive rights..."


"Bush Jr. has set the record for the fewest amount of press conferences by a president since the advent of television."

Go here to order your copy! You'll get fun punk rock songs, groovy stickers, and a bonus dvd featuring "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War," "Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election," samples from the Bush in 30 Seconds contest, and more! All for the low price of $6!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

PBS Tonight

PBS is airing "The Jesus Factor" tonight; sounds like it'll be an interesting hour of television.

"The "Frontline" documentary "The Jesus Factor," on PBS tonight, raises a different issue: Do most Americans realize just how fervent the president's evangelical faith really is?"


"Once elected president, Mr. Bush went to work. 'We need common-sense judges who understand our rights were derived from God,' he says in a 2002 clip. 'And those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.'"

Does this terrify anyone else?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

War on Women

Just in case you need some hard facts when people ask why the march was necessary, from a report by the National Women's Law Center:

# The Department of Education, without explanation, "archived" Title IX guidance on preventing sexual harassment in schools, making it unavailable to administrators and parents trying to protect children from sexual harassment.

# The Administration ended the Equal Pay Initiative and has removed all materials on narrowing the wage gap from the Department of Labor's website. The Department of Justice has also dropped cases challenging sex discrimination in employment.

# The Labor Department repealed a rule to help employees obtain paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.

# The Department of Education reduced Title IX enforcement while it established a Commission to weaken athletics policies that open opportunities for female students.

# The Administration's tax cuts and resulting budget cutbacks are a double whammy for women because they cut services and programs women rely on while providing little tax assistance to low- and moderate-income women.

# Medical research is being undermined and scientific information distorted to serve an anti-abortion and anti-family planning agenda. For example, the National Cancer Institute posted information on its website that falsely suggested there may be a link between abortion and breast cancer.

# The Administration limited the role of a 55-year-old advisory committee designed to promote recruitment and retention of women in the military and appointed new members to the commission who do not support opening new opportunities to women - one of whom called the Army "a vast day-care center, full of unmarried teen-age mothers using it as a welfare home."

# The Administration has selected judicial nominees opposed to critical rights for women and girls. One judicial nominee wrote that wives must "subordinate" themselves to their husbands.

# The Administration proposed funding emergency shelters, crisis hotlines and other domestic violence services at 26% below authorized levels.

The article says the report "...documents the ways both well-publicized and carefully hidden, glaring and subtle, that the Bush Administration is rolling back women's progress in every aspect of their lives."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Fast Results

Bush had the Justice Department withdraw its request for women's medical records regarding partial birth D&E abortions. (I got the news from my NARAL newsletter, so I don't have a source for you just yet) Amazing. Imagine all the things we could have accomplished if we marched on Washington earlier in Bush's administration. Maybe the particularly offensive sections of the Patriot Act wouldn't exist. Maybe no one would have ever dared to suggest a Constitutional ban on gay marriages. Maybe our media would have the balls to stand up for us. Nevertheless, it's fucking amazing what people taking part in the democratic process can do.

Monday, April 26, 2004

GAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! I just learned that one of the busses did leave, and even got to DC in time to catch the bulk of the rally. I have no idea if I would have stuck around for another half an hour, as April and I had already agreed to give up at 2 am, but it really PISSES ME OFF that they told us no busses would be going and then one did. sigh.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Silver Lining

So it turns out my brother marched with Mom this afternoon. So that's my silver lining. Because if I had made it to the march it would have turned into a mother-daughter thing. And lovely as that would have been, I think it's awesome that it turned into a mother-son thing instead. My brother has demonstrated some chauvanistic-tendencies in the past, and I have frequently felt that he takes advantage of Mom. So taking part in this, and being there to witness Mom taking part in something that is so obviously important to her...well, I think a lot of good can come of that. I think it's important that Brad see her as a complete individual in her own right, not just His Mom. And I'm sure he saw that today. And I'm glad.

I still feel a little heartsick when I tell other people how awesome Mom said the march was, and when I read personal accounts about the march would hurt less if I had decided months ago that I couldn't attend. But planning to all along, and getting so far as to sit on the bus, and then not being there....hopefully I can turn that into appropriate anger and positive action tomorrow once I get the names and phone numbers of the bus company people.


It's been interesting to watch the tone of the coverage of the March change throughout the day. When I first tuned in around 10 this morning they were saying thousands of women were there and focused primarily on the abortion aspect of the march. Now the intro states hundreds of thousands of women and they're actually getting some of the big picture stuff about healthcare and reproductive rights in general right. It's very heartening. Also pretty cool is the fact that only a couple hundred anti-abortion protestors showed up, and some of them got arrested for protesting without a permit. God I wish I was there.

The Bus Company

Ok, here are the "facts" as I know them:
We were told to arrive at a local high school around 8 pm and that the busses were scheduled to depart around 10. So I assume that means they probably asked the bus company to arrive around 8:30 or 9. 9:30 rolled around and still no busses, but one of the leaders was on the phone with the bus bank people (not the drivers themselves) and was told they would be there in 15-20 minutes. No problem, we'd have to load a little faster than planned, but we'd still make it in time. We were estimating a 12 hour drive to DC, then 1 hour on the metro to actually get to the mall. People were supposed to start gathering on the mall around 10, the march would start at noon, then a rally from 1-4. We absolutely had to leave DC by 6 pm as our parked cars might be towed by 6 am so that teachers could park for school. Ok, so 10:30 rolls around and still no busses, but they're "right around the corner" and so we all line up and gather our things and prepare to load the busses. About 20 minutes later still no busses, so we all start putting our heavy bags down. By 11:30 most of us are sitting on the ground in the parking lot and starting to talk about contingency plans. Who's prepared to drive all night to get there? Do we have enough drivers who can stay awake? How much longer should we wait? Over the next hour people slowly start bailing out, either to drive to DC themselves or just go home. Meanwhile, our leaders have been on the phone every five minutes with the bus bank, being told the busses will be here any minute, then that the drivers are claiming to actually be here. So we send out drivers to other local schools in case they're lost and somehow don't notice the lack of 300 people waiting for them at some other school. All the drivers come back with no sign of the busses. Finally, around 1 am two busses pull into the parking lot. We're waiting for 5 total busses. It looks like only 4 are expected to arrive at all. So we start to load the first two busses. Still no sign of bus numbers 3 or 4. Half of us are now sitting on busses, half still sitting on the pavement in the parking lot. One of the leaders gets on and tells us the updated schedule - if we leave right now, we'll miss the march but make the rally. Anyone who doesn't feel like it's worth it is free to leave. Now it's close to 1:30 and no sign of busses 3 or 4. Now it looks like we'll only get about 2-3 hours on the mall. About half the bus departs for home. Bus number 3 rolls up, but now the drivers are balking because they won't have the required 8 hours between driving there and driving back. It's over. We're not going.
Now, I want to give this company the benefit of the doubt. I don't want to think they screwed us on purpose. But I just can't rationalize any plausible explanation. Even if they were completely and totally lost a) this is a local company, so they should know they're way around atlanta b) we all found the school, so it's not like it was complicated to find and c) even if that were the case, why would they claim for 5 hours to be "right around the corner"? Atlanta does have really terrible traffic and frequent accidents. But if they were stuck somewhere, again, why claim to be 15 minutes away? Why not admit to being stuck in traffic? And lastly, why weren't the busses all together? How come two arrived almost an hour before the third, and what the hell happened to numbers 4 and 5?

All right, that's all I've got. Time to head to Caribou and get some work done. I'll leave you with a quote I just heard from Janeane Garofalo on CNN -
"A touch of the misogyny."


I won't be marching tomorrow. I'm still in Atlanta. Our busses were 5 hours late. It's a long story, one I can't handle re-telling at the moment. Trying to focus on the "everything happens for a reason" mantra. Thank goodness Travers and Andy and Reese and Sanna were still awake at two am to greet April and I with hugs and margaritas and make us laugh and feel a little better. I'll be watching cnn and living vicariously through those of you lucky enough to actually get to DC. I'm with you in spirit. I'll post Monday once I have company names and individual names and phone numbers and I'll keep you posted about outcomes of my letters and phone calls, but it would be really awesome if some of you could pitch in too, once I post contact information. I just don't even have words right now for the anger and frustration I feel towards the bus company. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it's just so incredibly hard not to think they did this on purpose. I'll try to post more objective details in the days to come and you can all decide for yourselves. At least Cleo purred when I walked in the door. Someone is glad I'm here instead of there.