On the floor of the United States House of Representatives, Phil Gingrey railed against the horrors of gay marriage and said:
“[W]e need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, you know, this is what’s important. This is what a father does that is maybe a little different, maybe a little bit better than the talents that a mom has in a certain area. And the same thing for the young girls, that, you know, this is what a mom does, and this is what is important from the standpoint of that union which we call marriage.”
In case you’re wondering, Phil Gingrey is not a caveman. He’s a Republican Congressman from Georgia (although the distinction between the former and latter can sometimes blur). And in case you’re wondering, this did not happen in 1813 or even 1913 but just this past week, in the year 2013. A year in which a record albeit still pathetically low number of women were elected to Congress and yet we still have prominent male politicians and political commentators arguing that incremental progress in women’s equality is a sign of the downfall of civilization, not progress.
But you might also be wondering: What would such gender classes look like? Because before we dismiss Rep. Gingrey’s grunts about raising “ideal” women and men in society, maybe we should explore what he might mean.
To begin with, there’s hunting and gathering. Traditionally, women do the gathering and men do the hunting. So, bonus for Republicans, I’m sure men will be needing more guns. As for the womenfolk, I guess the modern-day equivalent of gathering in America is going to Walmart though if women aren’t working and Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage for the men who are, I’m not sure how the women are supposed to afford anything. So in our hyper-commodified economy, does “gathering” mean shoplifting? Gonna be a real tragedy when, thanks to conservative three-strikes laws, moms who take food for their kids or socks end up with life sentences.
Okay, so maybe the gender classes would be more circa 1800s. In that era, for the first century or so of our nation’s history, women were considered the property of their husbands. That meant, for instance, that since one could do whatever one wanted with his property, marital rape was not a crime — rape of course being a topic I know Republicans don’t like to talk about but I thought I’d bring it up just in case. Also women couldn’t vote, which might come as a letdown to Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) who chaired the session at which Rep. Gingrey made his tirade and then thanked Gingrey for his remarks. Gingrey’s wife and three daughters might also want to vote and, you know, exert control over their own lives and bodies but, as Rep. Gingrey said himself, “father knows best”.
From The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cecile-richards/when-an-extreme-agenda-wi_b_3473006.html
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a nationwide ban on abortions at 20 weeks.
Just to put any doubt to rest: Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for 40 years. In that time, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the Constitution protects the right to safe and legal abortion — and that a state may not ban abortion before the point of viability outside the uterus. In fact, unconstitutional abortion bans like this one have already been blocked by federal courts this year in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, and Idaho.
What’s more, abortions that happen late in a pregnancy are extremely rare, with nearly 99 percent of all abortions taking place before 21 weeks. When a woman seeks an abortion later in pregnancy, it’s often the result of heartbreaking and unusual circumstances — the kind of situation where she and her doctor should have every medical option available.
That was true for Danielle Deaver, a mother from Nebraska. When Danielle found out she was pregnant for a second time, she was overjoyed. But 22 weeks into the pregnancy, her water broke — there was not enough amniotic fluid for her daughter to survive. After careful thought, research, medical advice, and prayer, Danielle and her husband made the agonizing decision to induce labor as soon as possible.
Here’s where an already heart-wrenching story took a turn for the worst.
Because of a law just like the one 228 members of the U.S. House of Representatives stood behind this week, Danielle’s doctor was powerless to help her. He and his legal counsel said their hands were tied — if he intervened, he could go to jail. So Danielle and her husband were forced to wait 10 days, as an infection developed, knowing that their daughter had no chance of surviving.
As Danielle puts it: “That my pregnancy ended — that choice was made by God. How to handle the end of my pregnancy — that should have been private.”
By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Radical anti-war revolutionary turned education advocate Bill Ayers said Tuesday he believed President Barack Obama should be charged with war crimes.
Ayers, who co-founded the far left revolutionary Weather Underground group, told Tom Bevan and Charlie Stone of Real Clear Politics that Obama’s use of targeted drone strikes was “absolutely” a form of terrorism.
“Every president in this century should be put on trial for war crimes,” he said. “Absolutely. Every one of them goes into an office dripping with blood and then adds to it. And yes, I think these are war crimes. I think they’re acts of terror.”
Ayers said he would give Obama a failing grade as president, though he was admittedly fond of his curious and intellectual personality.
From Counter Punch: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/24/the-silent-death-of-the-american-left/
by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
May 24-26, 2013
Is there a Left in America today?
There is, of course, a Left ideology, a Left of the mind, a Left of theory and critique. But is there a Left movement?
Does the Left exist as an oppositional political, cultural or economic force? Is anyone intimidated or restrained by the Left? Is there a counterforce to the grinding machinery neoliberal capitalism and its political managers?
We can and do at CounterPunch and in similar publications, such as Monthly Review and the New Left Review, publish analyses of capitalism and its inherent vulnerabilities, catalogue its predations and wars of military conquest and imperial exploitation. But where is our capacity to confront the daily horrors of drone strikes, kill lists, mass layoffs, pension raids and the looming nightmare of climate change?
It is a bitter reality, brought into vivid focus by five years of Obama, that the Left is an immobilized and politically impotent force at the very moment when the economic inequalities engineered by our overlords at Goldman Sachs who manage the global economy, should have recharged a long-moribund resistance movement back to life.
Instead the Left seems powerless to coalesce, to translate critique into practice, to mobilize against wars, to resist incursions against basic civil liberties, powerless to confront rule by the bondholders and hedgefunders, unable to meaningfully obstruct the cutting edge of a parasitical economic system that glorifies greed while preying on the weakest and most destitute, and incapable of confronting the true legacy of the man they put their trust in.
This is the politics of exhaustion. We have become a generation of leftovers. We have reached a moment of historical failure that would make even Nietzsche shudder.
We stand on the margins, political exiles in our own country, in a kind of mute darkness, a political occlusion, increasingly obsessed, as the radical art historian Tim Clark put it a few years ago in a disturbing essay in New Left Review, with the tragedy of our own defeat.
Consider this. Two-thirds of the American electorate oppose the ongoing war in Afghanistan. An equal amount objected to intervention in Libya. Even more recoil at the grim prospect of entering the Syrian theater.
Yet there is no antiwar movement to translate that seething disillusionment into action. There are no mass demonstrations. No systematic efforts to obstruct military recruiting. No nationwide strikes. No campus walkouts. No serious divestment campaigns against companies involved in drone technology.
Continue reading at: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/24/the-silent-death-of-the-american-left/
By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
In a wide-ranging interview with GRITtv host Laura Flanders, MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky plainly stated that President Barack Obama’s administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” all around the world.
In his view, the NSA spying scandal clearly illustrates how subservient to corporate and state power the American media has become. “There would be headlines saying this is a bad joke” if the press wanted to be truly independent, Chomsky told Flanders.
“The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism,” he went on. “In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it… All of these operations, they are terror operations.”
Chomsky continued: “People have a reaction, they don’t say, ‘Fine, I don’t care if my cousin was murdered.’ And they become what we call terrorists. This is completely understood from the highest level, that as you carry out these operations you’re generating terrorism.”
“Sometimes it’s almost surreal,” he lamented, recalling the congressional testimony of a man from Yemen who claimed a single drone strike turned his whole village against the U.S. — something the extremist Muslims in his region had failed to do.
“People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them, that’s not a surprise,” Chomsky added. “Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to acts of terror.” He went on to say the Obama administration risked a nuclear war to kill al-Qaeda financier Osama bin Laden by sending special forces troops into a sovereign nation.