Thursday, May 28, 2009
  Sotomayor and the emotion card
Today Rueters wrote about Obama's Supreme Court nominee: "The battle over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor began to take shape on Wednesday as liberal supporters praised her as an independent legal thinker and conservatives argued she likely would rule based on her emotions rather than established precedent."

Naturally. A woman can't possibly come to a different conclusion than a man, say Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh, holds unless she is basing her opinion on emotion. As though Gingrich and Limbaugh don't invoke emotional responses to rile up their followers... Sometimes I feel like banging my head against the wall. Haven't we gotten beyond the women are emotional, men are rational fallacy? I expect to hear such things from the Taliban or Saudi MPs, not from American senators and pundits!

Senator Jeff Sessions went further saying, ""We should not confirm somebody to the Supreme Court that will allow political, personal or emotional issues to influence the decision making."

This is like saying we cannot allow ethics based on religion to color our voting. Patently ridiculous. Ethics are derived in many different ways. Freedom of conscience means we can't tell people where they have to, or cannot, derive their ethics from. One person, one vote means we can't tell people how they have to, or cannot, vote. We have the Constitution to protect religious, philosophical, racial, ethnic, etc minorities from majority tyranny.

So too, law can be interpreted in many different ways. If that weren't true, we wouldn't need a Supreme Court to begin with! Yes, interpretation is based upon the words of the legal code, but it is also based upon the judges understanding of the intention of that legal code. And one's understanding of how certain rulings will impact society, the effect they will have on the population, both majorities and minorities, effects how one rules -- whether one is conservative or liberal, rich or poor, from a majority community or a minority community. Expecting a judge to rule without reference to his or her politics, personal experience, or even her or his emotional response to an issue is like asking someone to vote without reference to their morality.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
  dual containment
I read just the first lines of an article today that was talking about the Iran-Iraq war and how it was a result of a policy of dual containment. Obviously, Iran and Iraq cannot be absolved for going along with any nudging from the US, but the callousness of a policy of dual containment -- of encouraging and supplying the arms for a war that claimed the lives of millions -- is breathtaking. And heartbreaking. There are days I cannot believe how horrible the human race can be.

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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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