The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Senator Clinton, does lying have no limits?

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Presidents lie, I guess: LBJ on the Gulf of Tonkin. Nixon on Watergate. Reagan denied involvement in Iran-Contra. Clinton “did not have sex with that woman” (lots of people pay good money to not have sex like that). GWB about … oh, forget it (some of my conservative friends still believe Bush’s statements were well-intentioned mistakes, to which I say, “Dear ones, you are not looking.”)

It comes hard to me to admit all this. I clung to hope that Bush was honest much longer than I should have. It still disappoints me (yes, I’m naive and stupid.)

But friends, Hillary did not mis-speak. In her prepared comments, starting in January, and even after being called on it, she repeated a fairy tale that cast herself as a hero, bravely landing under fire, running for cover. As the girl from the Tuzsla airport recently said, “It is an ugly thing for a politician to tell lies.” Hillary brushed it off as unimportant, just a blip, a result of lack of sleep. Since January. In prepared remarks.

Let me ask you, do you accidentally tell stories about yourself running from gunfire? Wouldn’t people doubt your competence if you did?

Check me out. Here are two reporters’ takes on it. See what you think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 1, 2008 at 12:19 am

Mary Seacole: Black British Heroine

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Thanks to a Clipmarks clipper from the UK named MickFinn, I’ve been amazed by the heroic story of Mary Seacole. Here’s MickFinn’s intro:

Mary Jane Grant was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805. Her father was a Scottish soldier, and her mother a Jamaican. Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother, who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers. Although technically ‘free’, being of mixed race, Mary and her family had few civil rights – they could not vote, hold public office or enter the professions. In 1836, Mary married Edwin Seacole but the marriage was short-lived as he died in 1844.

clipped from en.wikipedia.org

Mary Jane Seacole was a mixed-race British nurse. . . Seacole was taught herbal remedies and folk medicine by her mother . . .
[O]f a nomadic disposition, on hearing of the terrible conditions of the Crimean War and certain that her knowledge of tropical medicine would be of use, she travelled to London and volunteered as a nurse . . .
Although an expert at dealing with cholera, her application to join Florence Nightingale‘s team was rejected . . . She then borrowed money to make the 4,000 mile journey alone . . .
[S]he distinguished herself, treating the wounded on the battlefield, on many occasions treating wounded soldiers from both sides while under fire . . .
Following the cessation of hostilities in 1856 she found herself stranded and almost destitute, and was saved from penury by the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces . . .
Today she is noted not only for her bravery and medical skills but as “a woman who succeeded despite the racial prejudice of influential sections of Victorian society”

A watercolour of Mary Seacole, with sleeves rolled up ready for action. c.1850.

c.1850;

The only known photograph of Mary Seacole, taken for a carte de visite by Maull & Company in London in c.1873.1873:
  blog it

I wonder how many thousands of such heroes there are, of whom I’ve never heard. You know of her?


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Written by Monte

February 13, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Posted in healthcare, Race, Women

I helped Grace’s business! UPDATE

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Comité Las AmigasUPDATE: I had the privilege of temporarily sharing fifty bucks with Grace Anuafule in west Africa, and published the post below (in July) about how easy and fun it was to start the process thru Kiva. Just two weeks ago, I received notice that Grace has completely repaid my small part and that of the others who, combined, provided an $800 loan. Ta-da! It worked! What a privilege!

And my fifty has gone on another trip now, this time to a group of women with clothing and food businesses in Paraguay (at right). And a friend of mine just began this week, too, with a couple of loans to people in Peru.

Yahoo. Surely there’s more cash around here somewhere. Hey—you wanna try it, too? Click on Kiva to find out how.


July, ’07:  This is Grace. She stands in her business, Grace Store in west Africa, where she sells food and kitchen equipment. [It’s a great photo – click it for a version that will show you much more.]I am proud to say that I have had a teeny-tiny part in the success of the Grace Store. Like so:Grace recently saw an opportunity to expand her business. She needed $800 to do it.

I heard about Kiva. Kiva connects individuals who want to loan small amounts of money with people who need small loans Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

January 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm

What’s the deadliest conflict since World War II?

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A: Congo. And it’s big:Tugelaridley.com

More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States. […] In other words, a loss of life on the scale of Sept. 11 occurring every two days, in a country whose population is one-sixth our own. … A particularly horrifying aspect of the conflict is the mass sexual violence being used as a weapon of war.

And guess who got the ball rolling:

After supporting the allies in World War II, Congo gained independence and elected Patrice Lumumba, a progressive Pan-Africanist, as prime minister in 1960. He was assassinated soon after in a plot involving the CIA. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

January 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Why pro-life should mean anti-poverty

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Rarely have I quoted someone else’s post in its entirety, but this one has so many excellent and quotable points that I wanted to give it as much daylight as possible. Please do visit God’s Politics and take part in the debate there. They might lose a few visitors by my printing more than an excerpt here – help me make it up to them.

Tackling Abortion: The Cruel Connection (by J. Christopher LaTondresse)

There is a cruel link between poverty, race, and abortion in America. Unfortunately, many pro-life advocates fail to meaningfully address this connection. Aside from age (the abortion rate is highest among girls under the age of 15) the most predictable indicator of whether or not a woman will have an abortion is her income level and ethnic background.

Before Roe vs. Wade decriminalized the procedure, many American women still had abortions, though the procedure was radically unequal in its accessibility and application. Those with available resources traveled abroad for safe procedures while low-income women relied on dangerous illegal clinics operating in the poorest neighborhoods in America.

As someone who lives and works in such neighborhoods in Washington D.C., I can tell you that simply making something illegal does not keep it from happening if there is a serious demand for it – as evidenced by the rampant drug, weapons, and prostitution trades still plaguing these communities.

I strongly believe in the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death; that all human beings are created in the image of God and are therefore of immeasurable worth. However, I also believe that we should spend more energy advocating policies that might actually reduce the abortion rate and spend less time challenging a judicial precedent unlikely to be overturned. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

October 31, 2007 at 11:25 am