Wednesday, May 30, 2007

in the news

"Why is he at large? 'Cause we haven't got him, yet, Jim. That's why. And he's hiding. And we're looking. And we will continue to look until we bring him to justice. We've brought a lot of his buddies to justice, but not him. That's why he's still at large."

-our President, in response to a reporter's question about why we have not yet apprehended Osama bin Laden, courtesy of Salon's War Room

Tuberculosis scare (and you thought that TB was so 19th century): A man was diagnosed with TB here in the states, and was asked by the Center for Disease Control to not leave the country. He then proceeded to fly from his home in Atlanta, Georgia to Paris, France for his wedding. From there he traveled throughout Europe for his honeymoon, ultimately landing in Italy, where he was instructed by the CDC to turn himself in to the Italian medical authorities because not only did he have TB, but he had specifically what is know as XDR TB, which is a particularly virulent strain of TB that is resistant to drugs and often lethal, not to mention contagious. When informed of this, the man fled to the Prague, in the Czech Republic in order to catch a flight back to Canada, since he was worried that he had been added to a no-fly list for entering the United States. From Canada, he then drove south to the United States through the Champlain, NY border crossing, down to New York City, where he eventually turned himself in to a hospital for treatment. Apparently it never occurred to him that there might be a valid reason for the CDC to put him on a no-fly list, although the CDC actually was maneuvering to send a plane to retrieve him so that he would not be stuck in Italy. Impatience knows no bounds, it seems. Nor, apparently, does stupidity. His response to all this? "I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person. This is insane to me, that I have an armed guard outside my door, when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing." Umh, that whole solitary confinement thing is kind of crucial with a contagious disease that is highly resistant to antibiotics and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, or breathing on someone. So maybe you shouldn't go on not one airplane flight, or two airplane flights, but seven airplane flights (one trans-Atlantic flight to Europe, five within Europe, and one trans-Atlantic flight back to Canada), and then drive across the US/Canadian border into Manhattan, because you're worried you would not be allowed to fly directly into the US because of your contagious disease. Duh.

Also noteworthy:
Torture is bad!
Scandal at Yale Law School!
Let's pretend there's no more oil!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

in the news

Seriously, what is it with Texas women? Today it's being reported that a young mother in Hudson Oaks, Texas, hanged herself and her four small children, one of whom survived. If you're as morbid as I am, read more here. According to CNN, "Police say Gilberta Estrada, 25, killed herself and then her children." Maybe this is the problem with Texas police. Or with CNN.

On a happier note, the Brazilian government has decided to subsidize contraceptive pills so that all women, poor and wealthy alike, will be able to afford the basic ability to determine when and how many children they have. In fact, the cost of a year's worth of pills will now be the equivalent of about $2.40. This in the immediate wake of the Pope's recent diatribes against "legalized" contraception (what ever that means) while touring South America. Pope Benedict apparently argued that this horrible legal contraception posed a threat to "the future of the peoples" of Latin America. The government of Brazil apparently has better sense.

early evening shadows

nova & friend

Monday, May 28, 2007

that old topic, abortion, again

I just sent a letter to the New York Times. I've never done this before, and no doubt it will go unpublished, but I couldn't help myself. Last week the Times ran an article, Abortion Foes See Validation for New Tactic, about the pro-life movement's success in reframing the abortion debate in terms of protecting women. This is a sea change for the far right over the past decade. Historically, most of the pro-life argument has been about protecting the fetus, not the woman, as evidenced by the fact that often enough pro-life legislation has not had health exceptions for pregnant women, and has thus been summarily defeated in the courts.

Gonzalez vs. Carhart turned this on its head. Not only is there no health exception, but, perhaps even more frightening, the court adopted the far right's new argument that women need to be protected from the potentially traumatic experience of having an abortion. The Justice Foundation collected stories from a couple thousand women who claim to have been emotionally wounded by having abortions, to have been, in fact, the "victims" of abortion, and Justice Kennedy, at least, clearly took these stories to heart. But if you figure that every year over a million women in the United States get an abortion, of course there will be a few, even a few thousand, who regret this decision.

Anyway, they ran this article on May 22nd, and today they published five letters-to-the-editor in response to this article. All five letters refuted the pro-life argument that women need this protection from themselves, which I found slightly surprising, if encouraging, given that the Times, though clearly liberal in slant, does try generally to publish letters from various sides of any given debate. Either the Times was being more blatantly pro-choice than usual, or everyone with any eloquence who wrote about this article was disgusted and appalled by it. But the thing that got to me most was that all five letter writers were women. Do only women care about this issue enough to write about it? I've always found it odd that many of the big names on the pro-choice side have been women (the various presidents over the years of NOW, of Planned Parenthood, of Naral Pro-Choice America, etc.) while many of the pro-life bigwigs have been men (the leaders of Focus on the Family, the Moral Majority, the Justice Foundation, etc.) That's not to say by any means that all pro-lifers are men. Feminists for Life, for example, counts Jane Sullivan Roberts amongst its most dedicated supporters. But it's Jane Sullivan Roberts' husband, Chief Justice John Roberts, who has the actual clout to get things done, to ban ill-defined or, some would argue, non-existent medical procedures in a misguided effort to save women from themselves.

So I sent off a letter to the Times this morning, wondering about the lack of male respondents. I would hope that men, too, find this latest pro-life tactic disturbing, and I would hope that the men in my life, and the men in every woman's life, trust that we women are intelligent enough, strong enough, rational enough, to make our own decisions, and to live with the consequences of those decisions, whether we come to regret them or not.

Other articles of interest:
Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?, New York Times, 1/21/2007
Abortion Under Attack, Ms. Magazine, 2001
Abortion and Mental Health: Myths and Realities, Guttmacher Policy Review, Vol. 9, no. 3, 2006

Sunday, May 27, 2007

you were the only answer

my plans spun all around you
five years in the wrong
i am assured
my name to you
is just another word.
-m. doughty

Saturday, May 26, 2007

in the news

I had to work at the library today, though Lord only knows why we were open the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Needless to say, it was quiet. Really quiet. Less than 100 people exited the library in the eight hours we were open, according to our closing gate count, and that includes repeat offenders such as myself, Richard, and our student workers. But I did get to help one student do a little research on mental illness in the prison population here in the U.S., and apparently New York State is on the verge of becoming practically cutting edge in its treatment of mentally ill criminals! Who knew? Mental illness is rampant in American prisons. In New York State alone, more than 8,000 of the approximately 63,000 prisoners are considered to be mentally ill. Throughout the country, mentally ill prisoners are often subjected to months and months of isolation, of course worsening their already severe problems. But an agreement, as of a month ago, had been reached between Disability Advocates, Inc., the Legal Aid Society of New York, and the State of New York, which would create new standards of assessment and treatment for mentally ill prisoners in isolation, and which was awaiting final approval by a federal court. Though this agreement would apply only to New York State, New York has one of the largest state prison systems in the country, and will hopefully influence other states across the nation.

Strangely enough, the presiding judge in this case was one Gerard E. Lynch, of the Southern District of New York. I have to admit, one of the things I miss most about Chris and his family is hearing about Jerry's court cases over a delicious meal and a bottle of wine, hearing about the ins and outs of a legal system I often find completely baffling. It was a very strange feeling to come across this article today, outdated as it is, in the New York Times.

This little tidbit from today's New York Times I dedicate to Maia, aka Myster, the wonder woman of shoes if ever there was one:

NY Shoe Store Gets Its Own Zip Code
Published: May 26, 2007
Filed at 2:35 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Saks Fifth Avenue says its new shoe department is so big that it's getting its own ZIP code.

The Manhattan store is revamping its shoe department, and when it moves from the fourth floor to an 8,500-square-foot space on the eighth floor in August, customers will be able to send mail to 10022-SHOE.

''We believe it's such a big move for us it deserves its own ZIP code,'' Saks spokeswoman Lesley Langsam Kennedy said Thursday. ''We wanted to make it a destination.''

The retailer worked with the U.S. Postal Service on the new ZIP code -- but only the last four characters, which aren't necessary when mailing something, are specialized. The rest of the neighborhood shares 10022.

Saks operates 54 stores in 25 states and two stores in the Middle East.

Friday, May 25, 2007

odds & ends again

There's a war going on in Las Vegas, Nevada these days. About what, you might ask? A flag. A big ol' American flag. A flag on a 100-foot flag pole, measuring 30 feet by 60 feet. That's a damned big flag. At a Hummer dealership. The City Council has ordered the dealership to take it down, but apparently not because this oversized behemoth (by which I mean the flag, and not the Hummers, though that, too, would fit) goes against town ordinance restrictions on flag-pole height, though it does, but rather because the Hummer dealership failed to follow through on its promise to erect a veterans' memorial at the flagpole's base. The irony of erecting a veterans memorial at the base of an American flag surrounded by gas-guzzling Hummers seems to have escaped the good folks involved in this little conflict. As the dealership owner explained, "The building's oversized, the sign's oversized, the cars are oversized." So we need an extra-big flag to demonstrate our undying gratitude to the brave men and women dying for our oil.

On a happier note, the brave men and women serving us in Congress have finally (finally!) managed to pass legislation that will increase the national minimum wage, over the next two years, from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour. So now, working 40 hours a week every single week of the year will net you an amazing $15,000 per year. This is, truly, the land of milk and honey.

On a just plain strange note, the brand spanking new, state-of-the-art $27,000,000 Creation Museum is opening in Kentucky on Memorial Day, a natural history museum with a twist, if you will.

Cary Tennis again, 5/22/07:
"So how do you find yourself again and experience the 'last stage of grief' and stop loving him? It happens at some unspecified moment after you pound your fists on the wall and shatter some glasses and get the second car put in your name and paint the walls and plant the plants he never liked and go out with some friends who never knew you were even married to him. Somewhere along the way after doing what you have to do in your own way in your own time, not calling it healing and not scheduling it on a white board but just bulling your way through it with the uncomprehending determination that is sometimes called faith and sometimes called the instinct for survival and sometimes called a necessary belief in a nourishing fiction, you are going to be talking on the phone or eating or opening a window or just walking dully along and you are going to notice that he's not in your head anymore, he's not shadowing you, he's not pulling you down and you don't even care anymore about what happened or how he left, in fact you hardly notice he's gone except that it is notably quieter in the area of your heart."

And lastly, a few snapshots from Marcos' farewell party yesterday evening and Kristine's way too short visit a couple days ago on her way to Norway:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

old friends

This past weekend, between Cindy, Arielle, Ben, and myself, there were quite a few high school reminiscences flying around the room, names and places and times I hadn't thought about in a long, long time. One of the names that emerged was John Francis, a boy who befriended me suddenly in 11th grade, on the school bus heading home one sunny spring afternoon. This sweet, goofy, red-headed boy sat down in front of me, leaned around the back of the seat and said, "You're Emily McNeil, aren't you? I'm friends with Abby!" And thus began a very strange friendship.

Over the next six years or so John would intermittently appear in my life with stories of drugs, arrests, angry fathers of aggrieved girlfriends, school expulsions, family troubles, familial beatings, and worse. John got into a lot of trouble during those years, a fair amount of it of his own making. And yet somehow he kept this amazing air of innocence about him, this puppy-dog smile, and this inexplicable desire to be my friend. We had little, if anything, in common. Here I was in the honors classes, the French Club, and concertmaster of the admittedly abysmal high school orchestra, and here was John, barely scraping by and ultimately, I believe, dropping out of high school. He would disappear from this friendship for months on end, and then the phone would ring at one o'clock in the morning, waking up my mom on occasion up in Mohegan Lake, and later waking me up (or interrupting a frantic last-minute all-night paper-writing marathon) at Barnard, and even later in Philadelphia. We would talk for hours about the latest drama, but also about politics, religion, language, the classes I was taking in college, the books I was reading. He even came down to Manhattan every once in awhile, stayed with me at Barnard, was fascinated by my circle of friends, and somehow fit in with them, with us. For all that John flailed academically, he had an insatiable curiosity and desire to learn, and I think for him, I was the one person in his life who shared this desire, the one person who escaped and, just maybe, could bring him along too.

I think the last time we were in touch was during those months I spent in Philadelphia after graduating from Barnard, back in the spring of 1999. I can't even remember when I saw him last, before those last few telephone conversations. But he's someone I remember with a lot of affection, and someone I wonder about, what he's doing now, whether he's still even alive, still smiling sweetly under that tousled red hair.

i have this friend you see with bright
hair and a

crazy wild grin.
he likes to chain smoke
drive fast drop acid and swallow angry fists
full of pills.

Monday, May 21, 2007

in the news

McSweeney's has very helpfully compiled a list of the pros and cons of the top 20 Democrat and top 20 Republican potential presidential candidates. Take a gander and chuckle whilst you roll your eyes and groan out loud.

In the vein of Andrea Yates, Chante Mallard, and Clara Harris, yet another crazy woman from Texas made the news today. In this case, however, the woman in question was merely a witness to the crime, and not the perpetrator herself. CNN reports on Eva Mauldin, who claims that Satan himself made her husband microwave their baby daughter. According to Ms. Mauldin, the devil doesn't approve of her husband's attempts to become a preacher. Lord knows I wouldn't approve of this, either. Though the child survived the ordeal, Child Protective Services is trying to terminate parental custody.

Undeclared but clearly campaigning, Mike Bloomberg has a new website.

Last, but perhaps not least, and most certainly the most amusing, check out LOL President. Right now. Go. Just keep in mind that this might, to some, be mildly offensive. Don't be offended, laugh! Then maybe cringe.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

cold spring

Just got back from a lovely 24 hours away from this isle of Manhattan, visiting wonderful friends up in Cold Spring, NY. Was reprimanded by a Metro North employee for trying to take a picture of Jill on the train (who knew you're not allowed to take pictures on the train??), though was grateful to not have my new camera confiscated despite having already taken two pictures. Spent a wonderful few hours with Ari, Jill, Cindy, John, Ben, and Daniela. Ate too much scrumptious food (though weighed myself on their bathroom scale, and somehow have lost twenty-five pounds since the New Year, at least if both my mom's scale and their scale are relatively accurate... strange...), walked around their beautiful little new town, and reveled in all of the yarn that Ari so sweetly brought back for me from her trip to Ecuador in March! I think it might be almost time to learn how to make a sweater, or die trying.

Friday, May 18, 2007

weird day

Andy called unexpectedly yesterday to say he and his girlfriend, whom I have yet to meet, were going to be in town from Pittsburgh and Boston, respectively, for the weekend and would I want to get together? Somehow they are now staying at my apartment tonight, if not for the whole weekend. I, however, will be heading upstate tomorrow afternoon with Ari and Jill to finally visit Cindy & John in their new house. Perhaps Nova will like the company in my absence, and perhaps Andy & Shiry will like having the place to themselves.

I had trouble falling asleep last night, tossing and turning and admonishing Nova for snoring until the wee hours of the morning, and am now reduced to guzzling coffee in the hopes of being awake when Andy arrives around 10, if not when Shiry arrives around 11. Always the wonderful hostess, am I.

There's been a strange little car parked in front of my building the last few days. I finally snapped a shot of it as I stumbled towards the bus stop a little before 7:30 this morning.

junior high school alma mater was in the New York Times today. Not for any good reason, really, but quite an amusing one in its way.

It was graduation at Columbia this week, and Richard, that dear grumpy man, has been bringing flowers into the library that, apparently, graduating students have left behind. On Wednesday it was a bouquet of baby's breath and beautiful pink lilies. Today it was several little white rose boutonnieres, which he and Thaddeus, one of my student workers, valiantly tried to turn into a bouquet, to questionable effect.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


from Aunt Sue's scarf

from Karen's shawl

from Cindy's scarf

from Hilary's scarf

from Shanna

next projects, maybe

arches & columns scarf
seraphim shawl

This is neither here nor there, but reality TV has reached a new low with next season's "Kid Nation," in which 40 children, ages 8-15, will apparently be left in an abandoned New Mexico town for 40 days and filmed as they try to set up a new society. Lord of the Flies, anyone?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

jerry falwell, my heart bleeds for you

Jerry Falwell died this morning, apparently of cardiac arrythmia. You might have guessed I've never been a particularly big fan of sweet ol' Jerry & his Moral Majority. A few excerpts from his vast well of wisdom:

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."

"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."

"The whole global warming thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."

"It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening."

"I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One's misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status."

"The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior."

“I believe that the people of Israel are the chosen people of God.”

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'" (9/14/2001)

"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals... These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men; that's their problem."

Sunday, May 13, 2007


too painful to watch

Frank Rich's op-ed in today's Times points out the tragedy of the shift from the GOP's 2000 convention, in which the party's promise was to grow more inclusive, more diverse, and more compassionate, to its present-day incarnation. In 2000, the convention's MC was the lone black Republican congressman. Today there are no black Republicans in Congress, but we do have Karl Rove impersonating a rapper at this year's Annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner back in March.

On a happier note, Connecticut's legislature is slowly moving towards approving gay marriage, though probably not in the immediate future. Connecticut became the first state to establish civil unions for gay couples without any pressure from the courts, unlike Vermont and New Hampshire, and even Massachusetts. Many gay couples there have decided to go through with civil unions, at least until marriage is on the books, but others have decided to hold out for true marriage. As one woman explained, "We want all the trappings that go with the word. When you walk in some place and say that you are married, that means something. What would we say, that we are civilized? Unionized? It just doesn't have the same ring."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

in the park


A couple Fridays ago a small group of us library geeks went to the Heights after work for cheap happy hour beers. Though I've known at least some of these people for years, or rather have known of them, this was only the second time that I had gone out with them socially. The first time, oddly enough, was that horrible Friday back in January when I was so unceremoniously dumped over the phone. This time, needless to say, was much better.

Which brings me, sort of, to what I was wanting to write about, something that occurred to me during this evening out. We were talking about traveling, and I mentioned that we'd gone to Alaska for New Years Eve a while back, and this, as always, got a big laugh and we discussed the weather in Fairbanks in January and alcoholism rates in the great AK and skewed daylight hours and then we moved on. But what struck me as odd was my use of the word "we." Clearly in this paragraph the "we" refers to me and the other library geeks. And clearly in my head the "we" of the Alaska trip refers to me and Chris. But these people with whom I was sharing this story do not know Chris at all, do not in fact even know of Chris at all. And so I was worried that this "we" had come off as strange, as pretentious even, perhaps a weird royal sort of we. I do also realize that they probably didn't even notice, and that I have been obsessing over a small thing.

But that's the thing. In my head, in my soul, how do I begin to separate myself from this shared history? I can't go around saying "we" forever, when half of this "we" so completely extricated himself from me. And yet I am finding it very difficult to extricate myself from this shared history. Neither "I" nor "we" feels entirely honest to me at this point, though I suppose it's a good thing to be aware of this feeling of disconnect, and to be slowly moving across the spectrum towards the singular and away from the plural.

Or maybe this is all just a sign that I shouldn't talk about myself so damned much.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


One of the biggest fights I ever had with my father was about a ribbon. It was January of 1991, and I was fourteen years old, an enthusiastic little ninth grader sucked in by my high school's "support our troops" campaign on the eve of the first Bush's Gulf War. Some student group or another had taped little yellow ribbons to every locker in the school, with letters admonishing each and every one of us to tie bigger yellow ribbons around trees or mail boxes in our front yards. I, overwhelmed with patriotism, took this idea home with me only to find my father inexplicably outraged. He refused to even entertain the notion of desecrating our beautiful maple tree with a petty, hollow symbol, and was furious that the school would allow such propaganda to occur. I, never popular and not yet comfortable in that position, wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, wanted to take part in something in which everyone else was taking part, and could not understand my father's rage. It was, I think, the first time I came up against this wall in my father, this solid mass of frustration and anger and disappointment. I still don't know what he actually thought about the Gulf War itself, all two weeks of it or however long it actually was. But for the first time I began to understand the importance of symbols.

My father was drafted during the Vietnam War, put in his time in the Navy on the aircraft carrier Coral Sea and, after that, at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But he was also adamantly opposed to U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, and helped write a letter from himself and other officers on the Coral Sea to President Nixon outlining how our government was being disingenuous about our actions there and why we should withdraw. My father loved this country, the ideas and hopes behind this country, and hated that which undermined it, the special interests, the privileged and rich men in suits. But even more, perhaps, he hated the ease with which symbolism can be used to replace genuine debate. Putting up a yellow ribbon around a tree might be a nice gesture, but it is only that, a gesture, ultimately empty of actual meaning.

In the aftermath of 9/11, everyone wanted to be patriotic, to show their love of country. The president, his handlers, and his minions have taken advantage of this, and we have let them get away with it. They wrap themselves in the American flag as armor against those who would argue against them, and call the dissenters un-American, un-Patriotic, outright traitors, and, perhaps worst of all, French. In the wake of the biggest terrorist attack on American soil, they told us to go shopping, go to the theater, eat out in restaurants, and buy little magnetic yellow ribbons to display on our gas-guzzling, Middle-East dependent Hummers and SUVs. The irony of this would make me laugh if it didn't come quite so close to making me cry.

They say the terrorists want to destroy us because of our "freedoms," and then they want to ban burning the American flag. I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again. Burning the American flag in an act of protest, of righteous rage or of reasoned disagreement, gives the flag an immense amount of power. The flag is a piece of cloth, nothing more, and the flag's image is painted on pick-up trucks, festooned across fair grounds, emblazoned on do-rags and g-strings and boxer shorts. It seems to me that burning the flag out of conviction shows it more respect than wiping fried chicken grease on a 4th of July stars and stripes paper napkin. It also doesn't happen that often, and yet the symbolism of it, of burning this flag, is so potent, so powerful, that again and again certain factions in Congress have tried to ban it, and again and again the ban has been defeated.

Also when I was in high school, my friend Ari bought me a pair of Converse sneakers that sported the American flag, with the sole purpose of burning anarchy signs in them with this really cool magnifying glass-type thing we'd found on the side of the road. Some kids in our school didn't like this very much. Like I said, I was a silly adolescent girl looking for convictions and coming up with empty symbols. But the reason I've been thinking about this stuff today is that I'm reading a novel, quite a beautiful novel actually, called The Grace that Keeps this World. One of the central characters is a Vietnam veteran, and there's a moment that rings false, that jumped out at me, in reference to his return from the war, "wearing his uniform to be spat upon and given the finger." Somehow this story of veterans being spat on after returning from the war blossomed into the zeitgeist in the '70s and has remained with us to this day. There were very few, if any, actual incidents of this occurring, and yet the story of it has profoundly affected our society. Today's obsession with "supporting our troops," the political rhetoric of being "with us or against us," of accusing war protesters of damaging our men and women on the ground, that the White House tosses around with such ease, seem in some ways to be a direct descendant of this spitting thing. But I think the American people are intelligent enough to discern the difference between protesting a war they don't believe in and spitting on an individual in uniform. And I think that the American people are capable of respecting the troops while marching on Washington to end this war. I think we are learning the differences between rhetoric and truth, and Bush's less-than-30% approval ratings (and Cheney's 9% approval ratings) reflect this shift.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

quote of the day

Our dearly beloved and oh so consistent President recently sent a letter to the Speaker of the House threatening to veto any legislation that lessened restrictions on abortion, which, granted, is pretty much in line with his general views on choice. But unfortunately the way in which he chose to express these sentiments fell short of, or perhaps exceeded, his intentions. He threatened to veto any measures that "allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life." Then again, he did just veto the Iraq War funding bill, so perhaps he's more consistent than I give him credit for. Maybe next he'll start privately funding all executions as well.