June 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
excerpt from the piece i wrote for outlaw midwives:
ok i want to go farther into why i keep a raised eyebrow toward ‘evidence based’ midwifery.
first off, there is almost no position in midwifery which does not have an acceptable amount of evidence behind it. reknown scientists, large studies, analysis of anecdotal evidence and surveys, cutting edge discoveries, fundamental scientific facts, etc. so when i watch debates between birth workers about what practices are the most ‘evidence-based’ it reminds me of being a debater in high school. i could easily argue one side or the opposite and win. and what i learned was that using the basis of evidence, i could sufficiently claim nearly anything. logic and the scientific method are tools. not truths.
June 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
1. last night was a beautiful night. more and more i find myself simply being myself in all of my social awkwardness, radical politics, temple goddess, dorky smile, bad mama, bra-less with flip flops, bookworm, philosophical debate loving self.
i had thought i would have time to paint: stay curious on my office wall before the party. but people arrived on time! what? not everyone thinks that when i say ‘around nine’ i kinda mean ‘around eleven’? ah. start the grill and hand out drinks.
we started talking about fusion music arabic meets jazz. so i put on miles davis sketches of spain. aza starts to dance in the middle of the room this amazing improvisation. she was completely into the music and the dance and the audience. starting with her eyes and then radiating through out her body. she was the embodiment of longing and reminiscence.
June 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
thinking about the relationships of the ancient nile river, indigenous nubians, industrial civilization that saw the building of the aswan dam as a victory for arab nationalism, and all of the damage that the aswan dam has caused and will cause. what is amazing is how one attack from israel could destroy cairo, just because of that dam.
btw i saw that dam. its not visually impressive. but then industrial civilization need to control existance rarely creates beauty, goodness, or truth.
excerpted from the same writer who wrote the piece on resistance as a dirty word.
Their contemporary relationship with Mubarak’s state is defined by ‘development’ and the tourism-heritage industry.
The controversial Aswan High Dam is just a few kilometres up the Nile. It was built to control the sometimes destructive annual Nile flood and to generate hydro-electricity, as well as to symbolise modern Egypt’s coming-of-age and independence. One of the triggers for Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez canal (and the imperialist aggression against Egypt which followed) was America’s cancellation of promised funds for the dam. Its construction with Soviet help was thus seen as a victory for the Arabs and the third world as well as for Egypt. But the silt which formerly fertilised the Nile banks, the Delta, and even the Mediterranean Sea is now trapped behind the dam. Without the annual replenishment of silt, the Delta is more prone to flood (as the ice caps melt, this could become an unimaginably huge problem). The lack of silt has even led to the erosion of coastlines around the eastern Mediterranean. The dam also provides an easy target for a sophisticated enemy. One Israeli bomb on the dam would result in Cairo being devastated, so I’ve been told. But as far as the Nubians are concerned, the most profound consequence of the dam was the destruction of their villages and farms and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people when Lake Nasser was formed.
Abdul-Nasser’s government made great progress in redistributing wealth and enfranchising the poor through socialist land reforms – reforms which have since been dismantled. Nasser also won important victories against imperialism. On the other hand, his was the first regime in the Arab world to build a comprehensive police state. The state imposed itself not only on café conversations but even on nature. The history of Egypt, and in some way therefore of the world, is the history of the Nile’s fertile flood. The dam which put an end to it is an example of the folly of ‘development’, the global materialist mania for control. And the dream of Egyptian and Arab independence which was dreamed in the Rapid Eye Movement of the 50s and 60s has become a nightmare of dependence today. The Egyptian state controls a degraded Nile, and the Empire controls the Egyptian state.
June 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
June 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
1. i am amazed at this ebook library. so many dead white men i have been meaning to read. really, check it out, the selection is incredible. the burgomeister’s library. it makes me want a kindle. someday. someday.
2. george galloway speaks about the attack on the mavi marmara, the investigation of israeli military actions, and the new and bigger flotilla coming to gaza in september.
3. oh hook up with me on google reader if you would like. maiamedicine on google.
4. great article on pulse: when did resistance become a bad word?
What the Western political class and its media demand of the Arabs and Muslims is acceptance of the unacceptable status quo in Israel-Palestine. To resist the status quo is to be troublesome, destabilising and irrationally violent. Resistance arises from the inadequacies of a culture and religion given to antisemitism and hysteria. In order to develop, these backward folk must give resistance up.
As for the brave passengers on the MV Rachel Corrie, I wish they had not said, “we will not resist.” I wish they had said, “We are unarmed and we have no desire to come to blows with Israeli soldiers. However, if we are hijacked by armed men in international waters or near the shore of Gaza – over which we do not recognise Israeli jurisdiction – we will resist as best we are able.” Unwittingly, the activists handed Israel ammunition for its propaganda – ‘when civilised, peaceful activists arrive we deal with them peacefully. When mad Islamist Turks attack us with sticks when we board their ship, we have no choice but to shoot them many times at close range in the back of the head.’
June 11, 2010 § 2 Comments
im not sure if ive made this clear. so please let me.
i am a really bad mother.
the latest incarnation of my bad mother status is that i take my daughter to places where people smoke. yes, that is right she breathes in second-hand smoke. thank goodness that there are people who care more about her health than i do, and refuse to hang out with us, because they dont want her exposed to their second hand smoke (sic).
actually, by that logic, what makes me a bad mother is that i let my daughter live in cairo. you know, one of the smoggiest cities in the world, where simply breathing the air is a kin to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. by that logic every mother in cairo is a bad mother.
now, dont get me wrong my daughter has spent some time in smoky environments since she was six months old. not that anyone really bothered to notice. other than n. americans. in mexico, in our favorite bars, we hung out with aza and waved to the other parents out with their kids. the only time we got the evil look was when some gringo with a waspy accent gasped at our heretical behaviour. but you know wasps, i couldnt tell if it was the interracial relationship, the public breast feeding, or the sitting in a bar with a baby. and honestly, i didnt really bother to find out.
i am a bad mama like that. kida kida.
now. you may ask why would i expose my daughter to such dangers. think of all the damage that i am causing.
okay, give me a sec, let me just exhale and think about that…
June 9, 2010 § 2 Comments
i am wondering if i really need to break down why this is not a good thing:
At a United Nations conference focusing on maternal health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a pledge for the cause. The Foundation will spend 1.5 billion dollars to improve maternal health in the countries that have very high rates of death due to pregnancy.
*gates foundation is too big to listen to folks. instead it creates hegemonic solutions to health problems that need more unique and community-led solutions/
*gates foundation tackles problems that fit a specific first world paradigm, not on the ones necessarily that most affects the local population
*it tackles health problems that are most seen as a threat to the first world, not the ones that are most impt to communities in the third world
*it invests money into corporations that are causing the problems its charitable contributions are attempting to solve
*communities ought to have the right to decide how the money is spent, not gates’ bureaucracy.
1. the bill and melinda gates foundation is the largest foundation in the world.
2. large international non governmental agencies (ingo’s) focus on one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. this is how the gates foundation is run.
3. the most crucial part of doing solidarity work is listening to people. listen. listen. listen. and then listen some more. this is what the gates foundation is horrible at, accountability and responsiveness to critique. it is too big to be able to really listen to the people they are claiming to help and support. instead of listening they have created a bureaucratic mess, full of intermediaries and ngo’s of ngo’s.