3-1-2004 Ridiculous recipe: Add some Hillary and a pinch of UN

Can the ridiculous get any more ridiculous? It can if you add Hillary and the UN.

***In many ways, Iraqi women are worse off than before U.S. forces ousted Saddam Hussein and are too afraid to play a big political role for fear of being a target of extremists, a senior U.N. official, Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, said on Tuesday.*** And now Hillary has said the same.

It seems that one of the women the UN was engaging in the political process was attacked and killed by terrorists (or as the UN now says "extremist.") True there were some women in Saddam's regime, scientists mostly, but just as cruel and ruthless. And in the Middle East, it is also true that Iraqi women are among the most educated.

But without any regard for the future, Noeleen and Hillary are banking on the death of one woman brave enough to try and make a difference, while forgetting the thousands that were murdered by Saddam, his sons, his military and his regime.

Here is a different perspective from one woman that made it out.

***Nidal Shaikh Shallal related some of the ways Iraqi women have suffered at the hands of Saddam.

"The Iraqi woman has lost her loved ones - husbands, brothers and fathers," Shallal said. "The Iraqi woman has endured torture, murder, confinement, execution, and banishment, just like others in Iraqi society at the hands of Saddam Hussein's criminal gang."

"The heads of many women have been publicly cut off in the streets under the pretext of being liars, while in fact they mostly belonged to families opposing the Iraqi regime. Women, especially dissident women, have been raped by members of Saddam Hussein's gang ... The wives of dissidents have been either killed or tortured in front of their husbands in order to obtain confessions from their husbands . . . Women have been kidnapped as they walk in the streets by members of the gangs of Uday and Qusay [Saddam's sons] and then raped," Shallal said.

On a personal level, Shallal and her husband had their possessions confiscated and were expelled from their home by the Iraqi regime. She was fired from her government job and her husband was jailed for four months and tortured by Iraqi military intelligence.

Shallal's brother was arrested in 1980 and her family still does not know what happened to him. Several of her cousins have been executed and as many as 882 male relatives and tribal members, the Jibour tribe, have been arrested and their fates are unknown, she said.***

So under Saddam, if you are a scientist or the wife of someone within his regime, you could be treated somewhat fairly, and that was better? It is going to take a while for the Iraqi women to get over being gun shy-they have been oppressed for years and years. I have always wondered why their human rights never mattered to groups like the NOW. And why is that Noeleen is speaking up now? I mean, I follow politics fairly well, and have done much research on the UN, and I have never heard of her group. So how well was she communicating her beliefs or what attempts were made to link together the many women's organizations that are out there to push forth women's rights? I'll tell you why. Because if Noeleen or any in her group ever told Saddam that he needs to stop treating women like property or a piece of dirt, he would laugh at her, spit on her, imprison her, rape her, then kill her. That's why!

Noeleen, women have never played a part in the government under Saddam, unless Saddam said it was okay! And the woman that was killed, Akila al-Hashemi, was killed by one of Saddam's leftover terrorists. So now because women that want to make things better are targets, Hillary and Noeleen think they would be better under Saddam. Wow. I have an idea. Hillary and Noeleen, why don't you support our troops as they hunt down the terrorists one by one, and promote Akila as the heroine that she is, rather than just another victim of the leftovers of Saddam's regime?

Hillary and Noeleen are worried about the death of one woman. Where were they before? Here's what I think. I think that they now have the opportunity to bash Bush and to try to make this a woman's issue. You decide. Two women that think women (Iraqi women of course) would be better off under Saddam or a woman that was killed by the very same person's regime she would have been better off under. I'll take Akila and the Iraqi women on this one. You can have Hillary and Noeleen. I'm sure very soon there will be a daily blotter with all the women killed since we invaded Iraq. Yeah, I know, I know. Bush lied.

Peter Jackson and the rest of the crew finally got their just deserts by sweeping 11 of 11 Oscars. I have a feeling the academy was waiting for the final flick. LotR had won all the special effects and music and cinematography and costume awards earlier, but for some reason Peter Jackson and friends had been snubbed for some of the bigger awards. I felt Fellowship of the Ring should have also won best picture, and that Jackson already should have had the best director statue for pulling together these three movies. For anyone who saw the movies (or not) watch the behind the scenes filming available on the DVD and you will get a glimpse of the incredible task the making of these movies was-from building entire towns out in the middle of nowhere and then tearing them down, to the most aggressive computer animation ever, to Andy Serkis's unbelievable portrayal of Gollum, often done in mime or in blue screen, to the miniatures, the bigatures, the costumes, the thousands of real forged weapons and armor, the weather, injuries, artwork, etc it was amazing. I do think the academy missed one award. I do not think I have seen a better performance out of a supporting actor than that of Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee. He was just awesome in the third movie. Not many folks know that during the filming of Fellowship, he was badly injured. In the scene where he chases Frodo into the boat, he stepped on a huge shard of glass in the water that ripped through the fake foot he was wearing and into his real foot. He bled out badly and had to be helicoptered to a hospital. Imagine having to first remove the prosthetic foot to get to the wound.

Hey Mark, you may want to start posting guards over there on your street. A car-jacking attempt on Thompson Street? Say what. Get out there and kick some butt. That had to be a terrible, horrible experience. Thank God everyone turned out okay. These things can sometimes go horribly wrong.

Time to get the bike out and get it tuned up. New tires for me this year. I'm going Airless tires this year. I'm tired of fixing snakebites 10 miles from home. I may also investigate a new rear cassette, more like a mountain bike. There are killer hills where I live and my gearing is made for speed and flats, not for climbing. Two Thursday's ago I did 1800 yards in the pool, and my running is upwards of two miles now, but I can't wait to get out on the Trek. The bright yellow flash going up and down route 11 will be me. It is so nice to see our countryside from a bike. I have wandered down some really cool streets, not sure where I was going, and ended up seeing some fantastic scenery.

As for the Charter School folks. Sorry to say it is never going to happen. There is no way the WB school district will allow competition. If it isn't taxes that are the excuse it will be the curriculum or library or low income students (who happen to make up a large portion of National Charter School populations) or social programs or whatever excuse happens to be handy at the time. My kids go to an old school, with old, heavily painted school carrolls, with old books, a dozen computers, teachers making less than $10k a year, a one room library, and only one day with hot lunch, yet they consistently out perform other area schools in their mastery scores and SAT scores. It would be nice to see it happen, but I'm not sure it can be done. There is always the choice of becoming a private school. Lol.

Time for some Gary Numan, 1930's Rust.
Keep the Faith.
Private Sector Dude.