What about China’s own human rights issues?

So Spielberg is out as an adviser to the Olympics because of the host country’s dealings with Darfur. Now I’m not discounting any problems in Darfur (there are valid troubles going on there) but what about China’s dealings with their own citizens? Hu Jia and his wife, Chinese human rights advocates, have been arrested/placed under house arrest for their work. Is China’s work with Darfur more relevant than their own human rights abuses? I’m just confused about this.

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Footprints

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IMG_0828, originally uploaded by evso.

I need another weekend already. I’ve been to two memorial services in three weeks. Yesterday’s service was very sweet and moving. One of the choir members sang one of my favorite pieces. While his performance wasn’t flawless, I do think the song was a great fit for the man remembered.

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My travelling year?

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IMG_0819, originally uploaded by evso.

As you know, I went to England in January. I’m planning on visiting K in New Mexico during her Spring Break (first week of April) and am also pondering a trip to California to visit Michele and Phil’s new digs there for her 30th in December. I have never travelled so much in one year.

But this is my thirtieth year (I’m still 29 right now!), so I think it’s a worthy time to go places. I have the vacation days, and I might as well use them.

I have more of my Brighton beach photos up on flickr now . . . I still have a few more to upload.

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UK trip mosaic

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UK trip mosaic, originally uploaded by evso.

I still have more photos to upload from my last full day in Brighton (which I spent on the beach with Michele’s hubby Phil snapping photos of wood that had washed on shore from a Norwegian freighter), but most of the pics from my England trip are now on flickr.

I’ll have to do another post to list all that I did while there, but you get some idea from my pictures.

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odds and ends

Sunday afternoon at church, I walked into the Sr. High classroom to start preparing for youth. One of the kids was in there with the youth choir director, listening to a slow, ponderous song on the stereo. I saw the kid had a sheet music with “Ave Maria” as the title, and I asked, “Is this Rufus Wainwright?”

The youth choir director (who is a few years younger than me) put on a somewhat surprised expression as he answered, “Yes!”

Do I not look like I know my random indie singers? I knew of Rufus Wainwright back when from Ken Burns’ “Civil War” soundtrack; he sang with his mom and aunt on a not-so-great version of “Better Times are Coming.” It was a pre-teen Rufus, scratchy mid-voice-change voice and all. I think I still have that on cassette tape, somewhere. My favorite songs on that album were: “Follow the Drinking Gourd” sung by Richie Havens, “No More Auction Block” sung by Sweet Honey on the Rock, and Kathy Mattea’s version of “Vacant Chair”. Hey, the CD is for sale on Amazon! I swear the soundtrack is worth owning just for the main theme of the series, “Ashokan Farewell.” What a haunting and lyrical instrumental piece.

In other news, I am probably not sleeping much tonight before I fly out tomorrow. My nerves are rattling; I’ll be glad when I’m in England already. I am so not looking forward to dealing with the airports.

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Dear Ms. Steinem

I was just marking your essay in the NYTimes OpEd in my Ma.gnolia when I realized I was writing too much for a simple bookmark. I have long appreciated you and your historic contribution to feminism, but I have to disagree with this essay titled “Women Are Never Front-Runners”. I’m sorry, but it’s a crock. The media has been plugging Hillary since whispers of the 2008 election began. I think they would love the idea Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton run of presidents. Also, Clinton was polling high among registered voters before the Iowa caucus. So your essay title rings false. Obviously, Clinton (a woman) was viewed as a frontrunner.

The first paragraph that asserts that America wouldn’t vote for a female version of Obama may ring more true. I’d like to think that if a woman like Obama was running that I would be more excited about this race. I might even take time off of work to go help out in New Hampshire. As it stands, I’m disappointed at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. And not because she’s a woman.

I am a feminist who wrote a fan letter (yes, I admit it) to Ms. Clinton after reading her It Takes a Village. I was so moved by that book; I have only written three fan letters in my life, and one of them was to Hillary. I remember being inspired by her role as a strong woman in the White House.

And yet, and yet. . . I was so excited when Clinton ran and won for the New York Senate seat. But then she went on to vote for war. And has yet to apologize for that.

So let’s not make a big deal about how she can’t win because she’s a woman; I think that is an easy excuse that makes no mention of her voting to go to war, her acceptance of big-money contributions, and her current phony veneer. Where has the real Hillary gone? Like Andrew Sullivan says in this piece, “She’s hiding her true feelings. We know it, she knows we know it, and there is no way out of it.”

So Ms. Steinem, I’m afraid I cannot agree with your assertion that the reason Hillary can’t win is because she is a woman. There is so much more than that going on here.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth

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Excited and fearful

Okay, so it’s like a week and a half until I venture on the furthest trip I’ve taken on my own. I fly out early Wednesday morning, spend most of the day at the Minneapolis airport (memories!) and fly out that evening to Gatwick. Michele has a basic plan for my stay in Brighton, happily a mostly low-key schedule. The only really hectic day should be the day we visit London.

So I’m obviously excited; I’ve always been enchanted by Britain, ever since my parents raised me on “Masterpiece Theatre” and “Mystery”. I watched I Claudius when I was in fifth grade! That was some crazy stuff. Anyway, you get the idea – I never thought I’ve have a chance to go there, and I can’t wait.

But then I’m also worried. What if the flight isn’t able to fly out of Minneapolis? What if my flight is delayed coming back and I have to spend the night (ack!) in Detroit?!? I have missed a flight before (because of mechanical problems) and had to spend a night in Dallas. LUCKILY I am going nowhere near DFW on this trip.

I am sadly the type of person who worries about stuff I have no control over. I’m not worried that my plane will be part of any world event or anything – I worry about scheduling! and what I will do on the plane if I can’t sleep! It’s all rather silly, but it is how I’m wired.

Hopefully as the time nears my excitement will overcome my worried nature.

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