Category Archives: activism

A Sunday Morning Rant

(Note: Apologies for my absence…I’ve been over at The Widdershins.)

The Blogosphere The Blogosphere

I’m still processing what I experienced on Friday night at The White House Project. It was quite exciting to be around those 100 women who are considering running for office, to hear the passion, trepidation and hope in their voices. It was also a privilege to hear the wise words of the women who have been successful (and who have failed) in the brutal world of politics. I got a good “get” from the event, too: I will have an interview with a fantastic lady,  New York State Senator Liz Krueger for you in a few weeks, as well. Teh kewl!

I’m also processing my thoughts about blogging, the Interwebs, and what they’re really good for. Seems to me, the best thing we do is opinionating, and organizing for action. We’re trying to do a little of both here at TW now, because my opinions are a little dark these days, and I’m having a really hard time trying to keep a positive attitude with all the idiocy that’s going on.

I mean, what planet was the Nobel Peace Prize Committee on? Even the Obama-supporting pundits I’m reading are having a hard time defending the complete clusterfuckiness of that award. Some, like Glenn Greenwald, are not defending it at all; others seem to be resorting to the tried-and-true tactic of skimming over the obvious ridiculousness of it all, blaming the Republicans and, in the case of the DNC, calling those who criticize the award “siding with terrorists.” (I have to admit, I find that “reporter’s” assertion that Ronald Reagan, Mr. Iran-Contra, should have gotten the award, to be quite hilarious.)

Although I sometimes can chuckle at the absurdity of things, in general, I find I have lost my sense of humor. Obama seems bound and determined to make sure that nothing benefiting the needy ever passes through Congress, all the while (successfully?) blaming the Party who is out of power and who literally can do NOTHING to prevent him from doing anything he wants to do. It is really fucking depressing, and the idea that a Republican President and Congress might be taking over again in four years hardly seems bearable, or a remotely desired outcome.

So, the last thing I want to hear right now is the smug cluckings and crowings of the Right, as Obama swiftly throws any chance of real change out the window with both hands. I’ve had to put up with those jackasses and their lying, criminal, anti-American activities for the past eight years. I don’t want to hear what they have to say, not now, not ever. I will never forgive them for Bush, for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, for the destruction of the Constitution and the economy, and most of all, for being in bed with the corporations who have ruined a far-from-perfect, but well-meaning attempt at democracy, and who have now taken over the Democratic Party leadership as well. If I have been oversensitive about that because of my red-hot hatred towards these bloviating gasbags, I do apologize.

Continue reading

Advertisements

I’m Busy at The Widdershins…

Woman At Work

Woman At Work

things are ch-ch-ch-changing over there!

Go take a look if you’re so inclined…and happy New Year to all my Jewish friends out there!

Cui Bono?

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

The lovely and talented Taggles recently sent me a very interesting press release from the ACLU. It seems that a Florida court deprived Samantha Burton, a pregnant woman, of her right to determine her own medical care, and the ACLU is a tad exercised about that fact.

Here is what happened. Ms. Burton went to a Tallahassee hospital to get treatment for a difficult pregnancy. Once she got there, someone (possibly her attending physician) informed the State of Florida that an uppity wimminz in her 25th week of pregnancy might (gasp!) be considering an abortion. The State, horrified at this exercise of free will by a private citizen with scary ladyparts, went to the Circuit Court of Leon County to implore that this travesty of justice be stopped. (snark)

The Court decided that to “protect the interests of her unborn child,” Ms. Burton did not have the right to refuse any medical care that might extend the life of her child. Ms. Burton was ordered to stay in the hospital for the duration of her pregnancy – up to 15 weeks – in order to keep her from doing anything that might harm the child.

According to the ACLU’s amicus (“friend of the Court”) brief, when Ms. Burton sensibly requested to change hospitals:

The court further ordered that “Ms. Burton’s request to change hospitals is denied as such a change is not in the child’s best interest at this time.” (Id. at 3.) The court approved the State’s wholesale control over Ms. Burton’s liberty and medical care during pregnancy on the erroneous legal premise that the “ultimate welfare” of the fetus is the “controlling factor” and was sufficient to override her constitutional rights to liberty, privacy, and autonomy. (Id. at 1.) After at least three days of this state-compelled confinement and management of Ms.Burton’s pregnancy, doctors performed an emergency cesarean section on Ms. Burton and discovered that her fetus had already died in utero. Thereafter, she was released from the hospital. (Appellant’s Ex. E, at 1; Ex. F, at 1.)

The brief continued:

As addressed fully below, first, the court erred as a matter of law by failing to give any real consideration to the liberty and privacy rights of Ms. Burton and instead applying what amounted to a “best interest of the fetus” standard. (emphasis mine) Such an approach turns on its head well-established standards protecting the right of every adult to make private decisions about their own medical care. Second, the court erred in equating the asserted interest in protecting fetal life to the State’s “parens patriae authority to ensure that children receive medical treatment which is necessary for the preservation of their life and health,” (see Appellant’s Ex. D, at 1), and in holding that the interest in fetal life justified confining Ms. Burton to a hospital bed and overriding her right to refuse medical treatment. Finally, applying the correct constitutional analysis, and looking to appropriate medical standards of care, it is evident that the State did not demonstrate the type of compelling interest necessary to justify the extraordinary use of involuntary confinement and forced medical treatment in this case.

I have said before that the fundiegelicals are not pro-life. They are pro-UNBORN life. They consciously and maliciously elevate the potential life of the fetus (which, ironically and sadly in this case, was already dead) over the life of the mother. Why? Because the mother is nothing, an empty vessel. She has no rights and no function except to serve at Man’s Pleasure. The Bible tells us so, somewhere. Where? Don’t bother me with such minutiae. I’m sure Jesus said it right after He said “Homosexuality is a sin” and “Abortion is murder.” A-MEN!

Continue reading

The Patriarchy and the Love Bomb: A Play in One Speculative Act.

She's Not a Feminist Either

She's Not a Feminist Either

(Note: As always, this play is born of nothing but observation, imagination and speculation. It is purely a work of fiction, although based on some actual events.)

THE SCENE: A conference room somewhere in America. It’s late 2008, and Barack Obama has just been elected. The mood is exuberant.

Sitting around the table are the charter members of the Christian Theocracy wing of the Patriarchy: all white males, of course. We don’t know many of them, but we might recognize JAMES DOBSON, DOUGLAS KMIEC and RICK WARREN among the crowd.

The conference room is decorated in Corporate Middle America, boasting an abundance of the latest in electronic wizardry. The remains of a profusion of fatty, sugary foodstuffs litters the table. The men are all talking idly, full, smug and self-congratulatory.)

DOBSON calls the meeting to order.)

DOBSON: Well, brothers, we did it! Our friend and ally, Barack Obama, has been installed in the White House and  will soon be busily accomplishing our goals. The murdering of helpless babies through contraception, abortion and stem-cell research will go no further under the new President. Faith-based initiatives will be expanded, giving greater power and glory to our cause; and as for the Homosexual Agenda, you can forget all about it. Barack has promised he will not overturn DADT, DOMA or legalize same-sex marriage. In short, my friends, we are sitting pretty!

ALL: Amen!

WARREN: Yes, we are in a great position, brother Dobson; greater than we ever thought possible. Brother Obama has given us control of the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party! Surely his reward in Heaven will be rich indeed. But I do see one small fly in our proverbial ointment: New Feminism.

DOBSON (outraged):  New Feminism? What devilish business is this?

(ALL make the sign of the cross.)

WARREN: Well, our Online Astroturf Committee tells us that there is a big group of women out there who are very angry with all the sexism they saw this past year. Frankly, I think they’re just a bunch of hysterics, but in any case, they call themselves “PUMAs.”

PATRIARCH #4: “PUMAs?” More like cougars, I’ll bet. RRRRowr!!!

(ALL LAUGH. )

WARREN (pointedly): ANYWAY, these PUMAs started off as Clinton supporters who decided they were not going to vote for Barack Obama, for whatever reason. I don’t get what their problem is – we’ve always known the primaries were a sham, or our brother Huckabee would have been the Republican nominee this year! But somehow, the PUMAs thought the Democrats were different. Honest, or something.

KMIEC: Idiots! They should have known that after the past eight years, we wouldn’t let a godless heathen witch like that Clinton creature ascend to the halls of power!

WARREN: Indeed. Well, the OAC has pretty much taken over the PUMAs by this point. Most of their sites are full of our operatives, pushing the idea that Barack Obama is a Marxist who will tax them all to death, take their guns away, and abort their unborn children against their will.

Continue reading

Have YOU Seen These Toxic Memes at a Blog Near You?

Kilroy Was HereSince the unexpected resignation of Governor Sarah Palin, the PUMASphere has been awash with emotion. Many of us voted McCain/Palin in protest and pain after our Party took a great candidate, the candidate we wanted and voted for, and swapped her for an unqualified, cheating, lying, Reagan-loving fundamentalist-hugger with a deep and abiding love for America’s financial institutions.

Sarah Palin is someone who has a lot of charisma and a high likeability factor. She is not in the Washington bubble, she worked hard to earn the Governorship of Alaska, she has a husband who is content to let her take the lead, and she appeared to govern from the center despite her very right-wing personal beliefs.

BUT.

What if all of that is not enough for you to run out and pledge to vote for her should she run for President against Barack Obama in 2012? What if you would rather not put all your eggs in that basket, but would prefer to work towards building an environment where Obama vs. Palin would not be our only scenario? One in which, perhaps, Hillary Clinton could run as an Independent, or maybe even another gifted (preferably female) liberal politician could arise? What if you feel that in order to run for President, Palin would have to answer to that right-wing fundamentalist base from which she draws her support, and would thus work against your interests if elected? What if you question her ability to be a true feminist, when she proudly proclaims that abortion should be outlawed even in the case of rape and incest and speaks at Right-To-Life rallies?

Well, if you have written any of these thoughts at a PUMA blog recently, you have been in for a treat: a veritable potpourri of sophisticated toxic memes, designed to throw your emotions into a tizzy, confuse your brain, and eventually cause you to throw up your hands and sit out the discussion. Can this really be a coincidence?

It seems pretty clear to me, especially after Cinie’s excellent piece about anti-feminism as an under-the-radar-movement, that the PUMASphere is being infiltrated once again by right-wingers. Their purpose is to destroy anything that might dislodge their dominance over society, and they will use any tactic WHATSOEVER to make that happen.

Continue reading

Pro-Choice Democrats – Declare Your Independence!

No, We Won't Go Back

No, We Won't Go Back

A lot of us are thinking about independence on this historic day. What does it mean for us as Americans, that despite our efforts to change the direction of the country by our traditional method of electing a President and Congress from a different Party, the country is still heading in the wrong direction at breakneck speed?

Many Democrats and people who lean to the left are realizing that Barack Obama is not whom he pretended to be. Leading the pack is the LGBT community, which is planning a massive protest on October 11th. But where, I must ask, are the pro-choice women, and the men who support them?

After Obama’s mind-blowing refusal to overturn the Bush “conscience clause,” and his breaking of his promises to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, it seemed clear that our Dear Leader was determined to embolden and empower the so-called pro-life movement even more than George W. Bush did.

Et voila, the fruits of His Labor (h/t taggles).

Nineteen pro-life House Democrats signed a letter last week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressing their opposition to any health care reform that includes abortion funding.
 
“We cannot support any health-care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan,” the letter read.
 
The congressmen did not take a position for or against the so-called “public option” feature of the health care reform bill, which involves the creation of a government-sponsored health insurance poll, but the congressmen were blunt about what they do not want.
 
“Plans to mandate coverage for abortions, either directly or indirectly (are) unacceptable,” they wrote.

Continue reading

Can the LGBT Community Save Feminism?

Help Us, LGBT Community...

Help Us, LGBT Community...

A sudden wave of tolerance is sweeping the country, it would seem. State after state is legalizing gay marriage, and even the monstrous Darth Cheney (whose daughter is gay and in a long-term committed relationship) has recently reiterated his tepid support for it.

As people who read my posts regularly are aware, I could not be MORE in favor of gay marriage. But at the same time, I am wondering:

Is yet another minority group, the LGBT Community, going to get equal rights before the biggest majority group in America – those of us who possess those famously scary ladyparts? And if so, what does that say about women and the feminist movement in general?

Is THIS really the face of feminism?

Or this?

For those in favor of women’s rights, the first 100 days of the Obama administration has been like a honeymoon. We’ve continually been reminded why we fell in love in the first place. Coming off an eight-year abusive relationship (to put it mildly), none of Obama’s kindnesses are lost on us. He seems to be the kind of guy who does what he says he’s going to do, another relief. And his gifts have not just been for the pro-choice movement either. Nearly all of Obama’s actions on reproductive rights to date have focused on preventing the need for abortion, one of his “common ground” issues. And while he’s won no fans in traditional pro-life groups, it’s an approach the majority of pro-life Americans want.

Gag me with a Ginsu, ladies!

Continue reading