Marine Veteran: Drafting Women is Key to Ending Gender Discrimination

From Motto Time:

By Kate Germano
Feb. 29, 2016

‘We can’t demand equality on one hand but say we should be excused from the draft solely because of our gender on the other’

The debate about whether women should be required to register for Selective Service and the misguided commentary surrounding it has made one thing clear: Many senior leaders are out of touch with the attitudes of younger Americans. I think this younger generation believes that changing the current system is a natural step toward the elimination of gender discrimination in the military and the establishment of a level playing field for citizenship in America.

The proponents of keeping women in traditional roles assume that requiring us to register for the draft will create such a hue and cry from the public that it will cause officials to reconsider the wisdom of allowing women to serve in combat.

But such comments are highly emotional at best, and at worst, they demonstrate the same benevolent sexist tendencies that have prevented American women from having equal job opportunities and equal pay for decades.

Many men (and women) of a certain era believe that women need to be protected by men because we are not emotionally or physically capable of looking after ourselves. But such individuals fail to comprehend that, in seeking to shelter women from the evils of the world, they deny women the opportunity to succeed in every aspect of society. They also fail to consider that, since the Revolutionary War, women have served in combat “under the radar” and that we possess more ability to successfully wage battle than we are routinely given credit for.

Of all of the services, the Marine Corps has been the most pedantic when it comes to diversity and cultural evolution. From racial desegregation to the abolition of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and now the integration of women into ground combat jobs, the service has historically been the slowest to embrace change.

Over the past 12 months, the online commentary from current and former Marines has revealed significant fault lines in how male Marines perceive and treat female Marines. While I was the commanding officer of the only all-female unit in the Marine Corps, I experienced incredible pushback from my superiors when it came to trying to improve the performance of my recruits and Marines. I felt my superiors were quick to apply much harsher evaluative leadership criteria to me than to my male counterparts. Their characterization of me as an abusive leader was a clear example of the damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenarios women experience every day in both the military and civilian sectors. (I was fired after being characterized as “mean” by Marines I was simply holding accountable—an expectation for any leader in the Corps.)

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An Anti-Semitism of the Left

From The New York Times:

March 7, 2016

LONDON — Last month, a co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, quit in protest at what he described as rampant anti-Semitism among members. A “large proportion” of the club “and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he said in a statement.

Chalmers referred to members of the executive committee “throwing around the term ‘Zio’” — an insult used by the Ku Klux Klan; high-level expressions of “solidarity with Hamas” and explicit defense of “their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians”; and the dismissal of any concern about anti-Semitism as “just the Zionists crying wolf.”

Noa Lessof-Gendler, a student at Cambridge University, complained last month in Varsity, a campus newspaper, that anti-Semitism was felt “in the word ‘Zio’” flung around in left-wing groups.” She wrote, “I’m Jewish, but that doesn’t mean I have Palestinian blood on my hands,” or should feel nervous “about conversations in Hall when an Israeli speaker visits.”

The rise of the leftist Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of Britain’s opposition Labour Party appears to have empowered a far left for whom support of the Palestinians is uncritical and for whom, in the words of Alan Johnson, a British political theorist, “that which the demonological Jew once was, demonological Israel now is.”

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Bernie Sanders or bust? That’s a stance based on privilege

From The Guardian UK:

People who refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton on principle may be able to ride out the storm of a Republican administration. Many of us can’t

Monday 7 March 2016

As it becomes ever more likely that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, a host of people have announced that they either won’t vote for Clinton, or won’t vote at all, if Bernie Sanders isn’t the candidate on the ballot. I believe there’s a self-righteousness about this that only people with a certain level of privilege can afford to have.

Among them is the author of the recent Huffington Post column, “The Problem With Hillary, Chez, Is I Don’t Vote Republican”. Radio show host Russ Belville wrote:

If Donald Trump wins the presidency over Hillary Clinton, it’s not the fault of people like me who won’t vote for Republicans. It’s the fault of the Democratic Party for nominating a Republican.

There’s a long list of policies that Belville and others argue keeps Clinton in step with Republicans. But anyone actually paying attention to the Democratic primary debates of this election season will have noticed that Clinton and Sanders agree on more issues than they disagree on, and that both their platforms are polar opposites to those the GOP candidates are promoting. Sanders has even pushed Clinton to the left on certain issues.

But like the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 in protest at Al Gore, Bernie-or-nobody voters are making a decision with implications that go far beyond their narrow frame of reference. To use Belville as sacrificial lamb, again:

We survived eight years of George W Bush, and though it did us a lot of harm and killed thousands of us, he didn’t appoint himself dictator and abolish the supreme court or anything crazy. Democracy continued.

Actually, had George W Bush never been elected, thousands of Americans would have never died in the Iraq war, not to mention many thousands more Iraqis. Then there is the matter of Hurricane Katrina, in which a natural disaster turned into a man-made catastrophe due to the incompetence of the Bush administration and their total lack of regard for the lives of poor black people in New Orleans.

Yes, affluent, mostly white progressives survived the last Republican regime, but those who literally cannot afford to act as piously as y’all suffered. I have critiqued the Obama administration, but to act as though he has not been an agent of change – and that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t do more good than Donald Trump – is to dance with delusion. Had many of these voters supported the Democrats in the non-presidential election years, Obama would’ve been able to promote an even more progressive agenda.

People who refuse to vote for a less-favored Democrat on principle are just punishing a second constituency unlikely to vote: those who know very little about the power they yield because they are so marginalized they feel their say doesn’t matter.

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“Global warming is now in overdrive”: We just hit a terrible climate milestone

From Grist:

4 Mar 2016

We’ve just surpassed a historic climate threshold — and the world is still heating up.

As of Thursday morning, for the first time in recorded history, average temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere briefly crossed the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius above “normal.” Eric Holthaus picked up on the momentous occasion over at Slate, adding that global warming is now “going into overdrive.”

A few degrees warmer since preindustrial averages may not seem like much, but in the grand scheme of things, it matters. Countries around the world formally agreed years ago to hold warming under the 2-degree mark, and the respected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned of the dangerous impacts of 2 degrees of  global warming.

The news comes in the wake of a parade of record-shattering temperatures. Last year was the hottest on record for the globe, and last month is looking pretty warm, too:

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