A Forgotten Fight for Suffrage

From The New York Time Op-Ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/opinion/25stansell.html?ref=opinion

By CHRISTINE STANSELL
Published: August 24, 2010

LOOKING back on the adoption of the 19th Amendment 90 years ago Thursday — the largest act of enfranchisement in our history — it can be hard to see what the fuss was about. We’re inclined to assume that the passage of women’s suffrage (even the term is old-fashioned) was inevitable, a change whose time had come. After all, voting is now business as usual for women. And although women are still poorly represented in Congress, there are influential female senators and representatives, and prominent women occupy governors’ and mayors’ offices and legislative seats in every part of the United States.

Yet entrenched opposition nationwide sidelined the suffrage movement for decades in the 19th century. By 1920, antagonism remained in the South, and was strong enough to come close to blocking ratification.

Proposals for giving women the vote had been around since the first convention for women’s rights in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848. At the end of the Civil War, eager abolitionists urged Congress to enfranchise both the former slaves and women, black and white. The 14th Amendment opened the possibility, with its generous language about citizenship, equal protection and due process.

But, at that time, women’s suffrage was still unthinkable to anyone but radical abolitionists. Since the nation’s founding, Americans considered women to be, by nature, creatures of the home, under the care and authority of men. They had no need for the vote; their husbands represented them to the state and voted for them. So, in the 14th Amendment’s second section, Republicans inserted the word “male,” prohibiting the denial of voting rights to “any of the male inhabitants” of the states.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/opinion/25stansell.html?ref=opinion

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Feminist, Gender, History, Human Rights, Politics, Sexism, Social Justice, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on A Forgotten Fight for Suffrage

We are Experiencing a 1930s Style Depression

From Alternet: http://blogs.alternet.org/grantlawrence/2010/08/24/we-are-experiencing-a-1930s-style-depression/

By Grant Lawrence

Bodhi Thunder

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. I will keep telling you so in hopes it sinks in with somebody. Over the last couple of years we have been through ‘green shoots’ and a supposedly slow recovery. Well as I said often, there wasn’t any green shoots and their was never a recovery. Unless you want to call bail outs for bankers and corporations a recovery.

So the news out now is the housing market just dropped 27% in July. It probably dropped more. We know, or should know, we can’t trust government numbers.

Now many economists are beginning to rethink their double dip recessions and call the economic disaster what it is–a Depression.

The US economy is in a 1930s-style Depression, Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg said Tuesday….The 1929-33 recession saw six quarterly bounces in GDP with an average gain of 8 percent, sending the stock market to a 50 percent rally in early 1930 as investors thought the worst had passed….(source: cnbc)

The economy is in a depression and the government has used all of its resources bailing out the big banks which means there is little for the people.

Continue reading at: http://blogs.alternet.org/grantlawrence/2010/08/24/we-are-experiencing-a-1930s-style-depression/

Posted in Economic Issues. Comments Off on We are Experiencing a 1930s Style Depression

Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Weigh In on Suit

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/business/26walmart.html?hp

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: August 25, 2010

Wal-Mart Stores asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to review the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in American history, involving more than 1.5 million current or former female workers at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.

Nine years after the suit was filed, the central issue before the high court will not be whether any discrimination occurred, but whether more than a million people can even make this joint claim through a class-action lawsuit, as opposed to filing claims individually or in smaller groups. In April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled 6-to-5 that the lawsuit could proceed as a jumbo class action – the fourth judicial decision upholding a class action.

The stakes are huge. If the Supreme Court allows the suit to proceed as a class action, that could easily cost Wal-Mart $1 billion or more in damages, legal experts say.

More significantly, the court’s ruling could set guidelines for other types of class-action suits. “This is the big one that will set the standards for all other class actions,” said Robin S. Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center, an arm of the Chamber of Commerce, which has filed several amicus briefs backing Wal-Mart.

Continue Reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/business/26walmart.html?hp

Posted in Economic Issues, Employment, Feminist, Misogyny, Questioning Authority, Racism, Sexism, Social Justice, Uncategorized, Unequal Treatment, Unionization, Workers. Comments Off on Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Weigh In on Suit

NOW to President Obama: Alan Simpson Must Go

NOW Press Release

Statement of National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill

August 25, 2010

Alan Simpson is not fit to lead the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The ugliness of his disrespect for women is matched only by his dogged determination to dismantle Social Security by cutting benefits or increasing the retirement age. The National Organization for Women urges President Obama to take a stand on this issue and replace Simpson immediately.

Alan Simpson, the current co-chair of the president’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, wrote an embarrassing and inappropriate e-mail Tuesday to Ashley Carson, executive director of the Older Women’s League (OWL), berating her and the organization’s work to stop the Fiscal Commission’s assault on Social Security.

Making no secret of his contempt for Social Security recipients, Simpson states, “I’ve spent many years in public life trying to stabilize [Social Security] while people like you babble into the vapors about ‘disgusting attempts at ageism and sexism’ and all the rest of that crap.” Simpson’s hate-drenched message continues to vilify Carson by saying, “take a look at the chart on Page 6 which I hope you are able to discern if you are any good at reading graphs.”

Simpson’s surreal meltdown concludes with a wholesale condemnation of Social Security recipients: “We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million tits! Call when you get honest work!”

A “cow with 310 million tits”? For those who believe Social Security belongs to the workers who earned it, not to the government and certainly not to the Fiscal Commission, NOW announces its “Tits for an Ass” campaign. NOW will be asking our 500,000 members and supporters to use our website or Twitter account to help us buy baby bottle nipples, which we’ll hand deliver to the White House with a letter urging President Obama to fire Alan Simpson. And while he’s at it, the president should replace Simpson with a leader who will actually try to address the federal budget deficit, instead of using it as a subterfuge to cut Social Security benefits.

On this eve of Women’s Equality Day, we celebrate 90 years of women’s right to vote, but Simpson’s rant is a nasty reminder of how ageist and sexist some of our leaders still are. If Simpson does not have the decency to resign, then President Obama should relieve him of his duties.

Supporters who are on Twitter can participate by going to NOW’s “Tits for an Ass” campaign.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on NOW to President Obama: Alan Simpson Must Go

Anti-big government GOP terrified of “privatization”

Received from Dailykos mailing list

by Chris Bowers

Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:30:03 AM PDT

For a party that denounces “big government” and “socialism” at every turn, Republicans are oddly terrified of the alternative: privatization.

Case in point: Republican Senatorial candidate and former Club for Growth chair Pat Toomey. Although Toomey favors moving Social Security out of the public sector and into the stock market–aka, privatization—he will never, ever use the word privatization. Further, he will adamantly deny that he favors privatization. Consider how Toomey reacted to a question at the National Press Club yesterday when asked about Social Security privatization:

Q: Do you continue to favor privatizing Social Security?

A: I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security. It’s a very misleading — it’s an intentionally misleading term.

Privatization is exactly what Toomey supports. He wants to take Social Security money out of the public sector of the government and put it in the private sector of the stock market. That is why it is called “privatization.” The DSCC cataloged 36 instances where Toomey supported exactly that policy.

What Toomey, and most other Republicans, oppose is not actual privatization, but the word “privatization.” Republicans used to use the word when discussing their plans for Social Security but in the fall of 2002, they made the linguistic slide away from the term en masse. They did this once it became known how poorly variants on the word “private” poll in regards to Social Security. Talking Points Memo documented some Republicans making this shift:

Rep. Chris Chocola (R) of Indiana before word came down from party headquarters (Nov. 1, 2000) …

Bush’s plan of individual investment of 2 percent of the money is a start. Eventually, I’d like to see the entire system privatized. It’s not a ‘risky scheme.’

Rep. Chris Chocola (R) of Indiana after word came down from party headquarters (Sept. 3rd, 2002) …

I do not support the privatization of Social Security.

Bob Novak before the word came down from party headquarters (Capitol Gang, Sept. 14th, 2002 where we find Mark Shields at mid-Outrage of the Week) …

Mark Shields: In an Orwellian abuse of the language, conservatives, including even the respected Cato Institute, insist that they’re now for Social Security choice, not for dreaded ‘privatization’. Yes, and war is peace.

Robert D. Novak.

NOVAK: I’m still for privatization.

Bob Novak after the word came down from party headquarters (Crossfire, Oct. 28th, 2002) …

[Democratic consultant] Steve McMahon: I thought they were accusing the Republicans of wanting to privatize Social Security which, after all, is what Republicans wanted.

NOVAK: That’s a Democratic term.

Conservatives favor turning Social Security over to the private sector. However, they will vehemently deny wanting to privatize Social Security because it polls poorly.

With the possible exceptions of Muslims, the LGBT community, and immigrants, there may not be anything Republicans fear more than the use of the word, “privatization.” As such, Democrats need to keep hammering away at Republicans with the term. Maybe if enough Democrats do so, all of them will come to oppose privatization, too

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Thank god I’m an Atheist

Lately it seems a number  of newly emerging transsexual and transgender folks are discovering a bitter truth regarding the Catholic Church.  They hate us and wish we would never come out.  Should the closet become unbearable then we should commit suicide.

Charming really.  Being hated by an institution that seems to have a chronic problem with its priests raping and sexually abusing  children seems deliciously ironic, to say the least.

And people wonder why I am an Atheist.  Perhaps because I don’t like being a member in misogynistic hate groups.

Posted in Atheism, Catholic Church, Christo-Fascism, Islamo-Fascism, Misogyny, Pedophilia. Comments Off on Thank god I’m an Atheist

Why Doesn’t the Media Have the Guts to Attack Fox News’ Hate-Filled Witch Hunts?

By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America
Posted on August 25, 2010, Printed on August 25, 2010
http://www.alternet.org/story/147907/

Same chorus, different song.

One month after launching a jaw-dropping campaign of racial discord and warning of a looming, Obama-led “race war,” Fox News and the far-right media have turned the page of the hate hymnal and embraced a new enemy: Muslims.

Yes, the bigotry is off the charts. Yes, the purposeful misinformation is almost too plentiful to catalog. And yes, once the again the mainstream press remains mostly mum about the upsetting spectacle being played out for all to see.

The so-called “debate” in the press about the proposed Islamic center for downtown Manhattan is not a serious one. Just like the ‘debate’ in the press about racism and Shirley Sherrod was not serious. And just like the ‘debate’ in the press about Michelle Obama’s vacation was not serious.  They’re not debates. They’re hate-based witch hunts sponsored by the right wing, and reporters and pundits ought to have the guts to point that fact out.

When is the press going to acknowledge that the rules have changed, and these naked smear campaigns being launched by Fox News and the far-right press have no precedent in our politics and, more importantly, they’re changing the way our news agenda is being set?

I mean, c’mon. Pam Geller is now acting as our nation’s newsroom assignment editor?

Yes, cover the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic center — it’s a legitimate story. But in the process, don’t play dumb about the proud hate rhetoric that’s driving so much of the story. Don’t play dumb about the vicious Muslim-bashing that’s front-and-center on Fox News as it rallies its base to loathe Arab-Americans, just as it seemed to rally its base to loathe African-Americans last month.

Rather than doing the right thing, the press has taken a pass and pretended the hysterical, relentless religious bigotry that’s been let loose by the GOP press isn’t newsworthy or deeply troubling. The media silence is deafening and depressing. (And yes, exceptions are noted and appreciated.)

Trust me, folks at Fox News and friends get the message: Full steam ahead!

Eric Boehlert is is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America. He’s the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006) and Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press (Free Press, 2009). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics.

© 2010 Media Matters for America All rights reserved.

View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/147907/

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why Doesn’t the Media Have the Guts to Attack Fox News’ Hate-Filled Witch Hunts?