Monday, April 04, 2005

Links: Big Brass Blog, Musings & Migraines, Third Wave and Chicana on the Edge

All blog additions were decided on by the panel.

Big Brass Blog was one Ron had suggested and one that you can read about in The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Under-reported stores from last week: feat: Ron (Why Are We Back in Iraq?), Pam (Big Brass Blog) and Folding Star (A Winding Road)." Pam and the others involved provide insight and commentary you might not hear elsewhere. Here's a sample of an entry by Ms. Julien on CNN's yes/no poll to whether or not Pope John Paul II should be made a saint:

Yes - the world figure most intolerant toward women's rights should be a SAINT
[. . .]
Yes - the world figure who visited Rio in Brazil, was told about the wild street children so numerous that they were shot down like dogs by the authorities, and when asked what they should do about it, said to "make more children" for the Catholic church, should be a SAINT
Yes - the world is truly heading toward the Dark Ages.

Let's also note that on Friday, Pam posted an entry entitled "CNN has lost all sense of purpose with this Pope Deathwatch coverage." Billie found that entry today and forwarded it. Obviously, Pam was about 24 hours ahead of me in calling the coverage "the deathwatch."
Here's an excerpt from that post:

This nonsense reminds me of the French and Saunders skits called "The Expert" that spoofs a talk show where French's character is called upon by Saunders's host character for wisdom.

Our second blog the panel noted is Musings & Migraines -- a site where various people post: the profressor, Lenora, ceds and red rabbit. Again, we're hearing voices that we don't hear in the mainstream. Here's Lenora on the deathwatch handwringing:

As a laspsed Catholic I can't quite bring myself to completely disregard the Pope's death. But c'mon people. This has been coming for ages. Stop mourning and rejoice that the man no longer has to suffer the indiginity of the mortal coil.

Third Wave is Jill's blog. At Third Wave, you'll find links and commentary. Here's a story Jill provides to an op-ed in The Harvard Crimson entitled "A Tale of Two KingsIs America guilty of letting Martin Luther King’s legacy die?" and by Brandon M. Terry:

Thirty-seven years ago this month, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. In the wake of King’s brutal murder, a man with the same name and same face has been elevated to a level of reverence that no other black person in American history has achieved. This other King’s birthday is a holiday, his name graces boulevards, and a honorary monument is being erected in Washington, D.C. In the meantime, the real, infinitely more complex King sits idly by, buried in the stagnant dust of college libraries lamenting his doppelganger’s decades-long turn in the spotlight.

Here's a sample of some strong commentary from Jill:

When one in five teens doesn't know that the can contract STIs from oral sex, we have a problem. While I'm heartened to see that more men are performing oral sex (sucks for the ladies and gents with male partners back in '91), safer oral sex practices simply haven't become as normalized as those for vaginal sex. Ditto for anal. A large part of it, of course, is the above-described perception that you can't get STIs from oral sex, so there's no need to use a condom or other barrier method. Another part of it, though, is a difficulty in discussing safer sex in terms of disease transmission. It's much easier to negotiate condom use for vaginal sex because there's alway the "I don't want to get pregnant" line (which is certainly valid). But there isn't much of a risk of pregnancy with oral or anal sex, and so if one partner wants to use a condom, it's clearly to avoid disease transmission. That's a tougher conversation to have, and we need to give young people the tools to be able to have it -- it's something that they will undoubtedly need at some point in their lives. Teaching kids to just forgo vaginal sex hasn't proven to be the answer.

Our fourth blog is Chicana on the Edge. This is run by Regina and she posts on a variety of topics. The panel wanted her post-election entry highlighted (you'll understand why). From
November 4, 2004:

I'm typing this into my laptop as I ride back to Chicago on the day after the election. John Kerry and John Edwards must feel like their whole lives are lying around them in pieces, everything disrupted and pointed towards a White House win that didn't happen. Didn't Edwards give up his congressional seat? I wonder what he'll do now.
I guess I think about Kerry and Edwards and their families at this moment so I won't think about how I feel. I'm so disappointed in my country right now. We are that scared. We are. I didn't want to believe it, but we are. I feel ashamed before the international community. This is my country and my president and I have to own them. I am a part of this and there's no living in denial about it, as I have for the past four years. I also feel despair, like I'm trapped inside a nightmare that I used all my energy to try to escape.
[. . .]
This is my hope: that the vision and determination that we poured into Kerry's campaign, we will now direct towards everything else there is to do, from the poverty-level families in our own cities to the Sudanese that are being systematically killed and raped in Darfur. I have learned something absolutely brand new about myself in the last couple of months: in the face of crisis, once I make the connection between the situation and my own two hands, I act. I have the time to act, I have the energy to act and I have the resources to #$%-damn act. I had just never realized the connection before. I just hadn't realized that what I do as an individual does affect others and can affect the world. My potential to affect others is being wasted every year that I assume that my responsibility as a human being only goes as far as the ends of my own fingertips.

Pretty impressive, huh? All four are. Consider checking them out and hopefully you'll find someone who speaks to you.