State Department briefings on Bibi ("Mrs. Mai")

Nick Kristof summarized some recent State briefings on Mukhtaran Bibi, in case you're interested. I find this situation compelling.


Uh oh.... If Oprah disses Hermes, are they gonna hafta sue her??

This makes me wonder if, like the beef dudes in Texas, Hermes is going to have to sue Oprah for the business they'll lose when she turns in all her Birkin bags. Oh dear, oh dear, what a kerfuffle.

Isnt' there anything BETTER to write about?!?! Like how Tom Cruise has seemingly gone completely batshit crazy ("You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do.") and no one is stepping in to save him from himself?! This, people, in my unprofessional opinion, is what happens when you surround yourself solely with family members and sycophants and don't read newspapers or magazines. Completely out of touch with any reality but his own. No perspective. No sense of proportion. Which is all fine except if you're in a public profession, pal, and expect people to go see your movies. Me? Knowing he now gets a percentage of the gross? Nope. No thanks. Not interested in feeding the habit. (In case you want to read about other viewpoints on Scientology than Tom's, here you go.)


Update on Bibi

Look at this: today's update on the appalling behavior of the Pakistani government in the case of Mukhtaran Bibi. How do we start a campaign to put pressure on the government to intervene on her behalf and not continue to act against her?!


Uh...I'm not judging, here, but maybe someone should sleep on the couch....

Peep this: woman stabs husband with pen, hits him with dumbbell, trying to wake him. She says she just wanted him to turn on his side. Me, I think she's a) not playing with a full deck and b) expressing an awful lot of pent up hostility for a little snoring. Believe me, I know whereof I speak, because DH is a very loud snorer (in less kind moments, I have likened the marital bed to a sawmill, with all the attendant sound effects thereof), but if an elbow doesn't work, I get up and go sleep in the guestroom. Simple solution, but maybe I'm minimizing her plight.... NOT. She's got no plight. She's got a husband with sleep apnea, no doubt, and a burgeoning mental problem of her own, evidently, but with some anger management (for her), Breathe Right nose strips (for the buzzsaw), and a Benadryl at night (for her again), perhaps this marriage can be saved.

You're gonna what now? To whom??

If Tom Cruise doesn't stop gushing soon, he's going to have to buy an all-plastic wardrobe to contain all the goo. But I suspect the gushing's just begun, now that he has gotten engaged to the radiant and adorable Katie Holmes, who, despite her cute perky cuteness, has fairly clearly lost her mind. Even being just a baby at 26 can't explain this to me in any other context than "she's getting to marry her childhood idol and perfect dreamboat" (and please don't think that if I were in her position and George Clooney popped the question, my answer would be anything other than a resounding (albeit somewhat hysterical) "YES YES YES YES") (please note that I say if I were in her position: 26, single, besotted, starved for media attention...). I'm not a subscriber to the "marry your hero" philosophy of life partner -- not that I don't admire and respect Bryan enormously, because you know I do, but I think our relationship would be unbalanced if he were my hero or I his.

I also can't think there's something more than a little creepy about getting engaged to someone you've only known for two months. TWO MONTHS. It takes me longer than that to commit to spending $250 for a purse, people. Also, I'm not even sure you should be shagging someone within two months, these days: are all their test results back? Do you have your private detective's report? Did the credit check show anything worrisome? These things take time! My grandma (may she rest in peace) used to say "Marry in haste, repent at leisure" and I suspect good ol' Tom and Katie, should they marry, will be the living embodiment of this warning. Besides which, am I the only one who's noticed that Tom has gone from Mimi (older than he) to Nicole (5 years younger) to Penelope (10 years younger) to Katie (16 years younger)? It almost seems like he's on some continuum to make sure that whoever's with him is in the submissive, whatever-you-say-Swami sort of position, n'est-ce pas?

AND what the f*** is up with the Scientology angle?!?!?! Pleeeeeeeeeease. Outrageous. You can't tell me her conservative Catholic parents back in Ohio aren't flipping their wigs over this, you just can't -- I don't care what all the publicists in the world squeeze out of them, either. Yeesh. What a mess!

Meanwhile, here's a picture I saw on Yahoo! today, and I was moved to create a false news item, which I hope you'll enjoy:

CLICK (this WAS a picture of Tom kissing Dakota Fanning very enthusiastically, but now Yahoo has replaced it with some soupy pic of TomKat together; just picture Tom with Dakota swept up in his arms, kissing her on the cheek while hugging her head.)

Apparently, if the Katie Holmes thing doesn't work out, reports say 11-year-old actress Dakota Fanning, Tom Cruise's co-star in War of the Worlds, is already reading up on Scientology, to be ready to date Tom beginning on her 18th birthday. Given Ms. Holmes' 5-year engagement to actor Chris Klein, it is surmised that a 7-year engagement to Cruise will give Ms. Fanning time to legally come of age in California, where all the actors live.


Let Terri rest in peace

Medical examiner, following the autopsy: "The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

I don't know about you, but I have enough trouble getting through the day with my brain full-size (or, I guess, presumably full-size, and, yes, I can hear you expressing your doubts!), so let me say right here that if G-d forbid anything happens to me and there's no brain function (zip, zero, no blips, nothin'), pull the plug, please. Donate my organs and corneas to people who can use them, and let me live on in your memory, but don't keep me in a hospital for 15 years and let Bryan and my parents fight over me. Hell on earth, right there. Ugh.


Free Mukhtaran Bibi!!

Apart from everything else in this story that will keep me awake nights, I want to know why the President's people didn't stop him from receiving the Pakistani official, or at a minimum see that he brought up the subject in the official meeting. (Once again, I apologize for the fact that you have to log in to see the story, but it is worthwhile.)
(Ok, I'll excerpt the salient details, trying to avoid copyright infringement in so doing.)

  • Mukhtaran Bibi was sentenced by a tribal council in Pakistan to be gang-raped because of an infraction supposedly committed by her brother. Four men raped Ms. Mukhtaran, then village leaders forced her to walk home nearly naked in front of a jeering crowd of 300. Ms. Mukhtaran was supposed to have committed suicide. Instead, with the backing of a local Islamic leader, she fought back and testified against her persecutors. Six were convicted.
  • Ms. Mukhtaran used her compensation money to start two schools in her village, one for boys and the other for girls. She enrolled the children of her attackers in the schools, to show even-handedness.
  • Ms. Mukhtaran has also become a ferocious spokeswoman against honor killings, rapes and acid attacks on women.
  • A group of Pakistani-Americans invited Ms. Mukhtaran to visit the U.S. starting this Saturday (see www.4anaa.org).
  • In reaction to this, in order to prevent the visit and any further "embarrassment" to Pakistan, Ms. Mukhtaran was placed under house arrest last Thursday, and her phone line was cut. In addition, a court released her rapists, putting her life in jeopardy. (That happened on a Friday afternoon, when the courts do not normally operate, and apparently was a warning to Ms. Mukhtaran.)
  • When she continued to use her cell phone to alert outsiders to her plight, she was arrested and [reportedly] taken to Islamabad, where reports have it that she was harangued for "embarrassing" and "shaming" Pakistan with her public displays, and informed that President Pervez Musharraf himself was very angry with her. Subsequently, she was led sobbing to detention at a secret location, where she remains. She is barred from contacting anyone, including her lawyer. Further, she has been forbidden to leave Pakistan.
  • On Friday, just as all this was happening, President Bush received Pakistan's foreign minister in the White House and praised President Musharraf's "bold leadership."

Allowing for the possibility that the events detailed above happened while GWB was meeting with the foreign minister, days have now gone by, and it is time for a polite but firm inquiry to be made into this matter. We don't hesitate to intervene in foreign affairs at will; this is a situation where conscience dictates that we insert ourselves once more. The Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Women is also making a ruckus; join in and do what you can. As dangerous a place as the Western world can be for women, there can be no words to describe the horror of what it must be to live in a society wherein women have no protections under law.


One word (but more later)



Surely this qualifies as some sort of child abuse, right??

Sorry, MJ fans, and sorry, fans of the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," but y'all know Michael Jackson is a child molester, right? Don't you? That this whole trial is not some b.s. shakedown-gone-wrong, or anything else? District attorneys, in California as well as everywhere else, don't prosecute every case the police build, you know. They have to prosecute only those cases that won't waste public money, and that have a solid chance of conviction. This means, for the non-legally-minded out there, that they have to have all their ducks in a row and be sure of the facts and of the witnesses and of the whole story, before they rush in to court. Not to mention that the little bits of what we've heard from the hijinks in Santa Maria seem like Michael's got a problem with being handsy, even if the accuser's mother is a nutcake herself -- what in the world do her delusional behaviors have to do with her son and the crimes against him, by the way, I'll never know, but whatever.

In any event, here's what has sparked my rant today: surely hauling your infant granddaughter out and decorating her to proclaim MJ's innocence is a bad idea. Can't Child Protective Services be called? (Gee, there's a thought: maybe if just ONE of the many people who knew that Michael's habits as regards kids were creepy and touchy and gross and illegal had called CPS in Santa Barbara County, rather than dancing around for years, the boy at the center of the instant prosecution might have been spared the unwelcome attentions of his favorite pop star....)
Travesty. (Oh, and p.s.? That lanyard around the neck of a baby is a dangerous item on which she could strangle herself -- maybe it might be best if grandma doesn't get to hang out with Bianca unsupervised, herself.)


Boobs are GOOD

So, while I appreciate the wish that breast-feeding moms do so discreetly, rather than unbuttoning the whole top and whipping out the girls like a buffet, and all, I honestly think there's something wrong with people who find breast-feeding "disgusting," as one nursing mother in an airport lounge overheard a man commenting about her on his cell phone. New depths to the word RUDE, ok?

That being said, I'll have more on this topic later, but read about the "lactivists" -- ha ha -- and lookit this here, for a laugh.

This here is funny -- by way of where to go on la Red*

Sometimes I troll around on the web, reading funny things other people write. It heartens me no end that there are so many people who entertain me. I take it not as a sign that I am easily amused (although I am, and my eyes follow shiny things with rather more abandon than I think reflects my actual intelligence, but that's a sad story for another day), but that there is hope for our world because irreverant witty iconoclasts abound.

I frequently read Dooce (and you should too, although you might find her over the top; I'd also like to point out that I read her years -- literally years -- before she made her way into the NYT, so don't think I'm some g.d. faddist or nothin'), and I find that I like her links. Fan of Fussy (natcherly), big fan of Defective Yeti (see his tragicomic account of the family flu), v. big fan of finslippy, et al.

Curse you, Interweb, curse you!!! There's sooooo much to reeeeeead!!!

* That there is Spanish for the Internet, although I'm damned if I know why, even 4 months of Spanish classes later. Lo siento, y'all, pero no hablo mucho espanol.