Ilhan Omar’s Very Bad Tweets

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion/ilhan-omar-antisemitism.html

Left-wing anti-Semitism is a gift to the right.

By Michelle Goldberg
Feb. 11, 2019

Last October, after a crude mail bomb was found in George Soros’s mailbox, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who is now the House minority leader, tweeted, “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to buy this election!” The tweet, since deleted, was referring to Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, both of them, like Soros, Jews who are often the object of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Speaking on CNN, Steyer, who had also been sent a mail bomb, described McCarthy’s tweet as a “straight-up anti-Semitic move.”

So it was a bit rich when, last week, McCarthy posed as the indignant defender of the Jewish people, threatening to force congressional action against two freshman Democratic representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, for their criticism of Israel.

It would have been easy enough for either Omar or Tlaib to point out McCarthy’s cynical hypocrisy. Instead, Omar responded with a blithely incendiary tweet quoting Puff Daddy’s ode to the power of money: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” When an editor at The Forward, a Jewish publication, asked who Omar thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, she responded, “Aipac!,” meaning the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the United States’ most prominent pro-Israel lobby.

Consciously or not, Omar invoked a poisonous anti-Semitic narrative about Jews using their money to manipulate global affairs. This came just weeks after she’d had to apologize for a 2012 tweet in which she said that Israel had “hypnotized” the world, phrasing that also recalled old canards about occult Jewish power. Her words were a gift to Republicans, who seek to divide the Democrats over Israel, even as their president traffics in anti-Semitic imagery and stereotypes. The knives were out for Omar and she ran right into them.

On Monday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership rebuked Omar and called on her to apologize for her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters.” It was a depressing fall from grace for someone who just weeks ago was being feted as a path breaker, a refugee from Somalia who, alongside Tlaib, rose to become one of America’s first two Muslim congresswomen.

Omar herself has been subject to vicious Islamophobic smears, and has also come under attack for supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic pressure to secure Palestinian rights. Perhaps such criticism is why she’s sometimes seemed unwilling or unable to distinguish between disingenuous political pile-ons and good-faith calls to respect Jewish sensitivities. But whether from carelessness or callousness, her weekend tweets damaged her political allies and squandered some of her own hard-won power.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion/ilhan-omar-antisemitism.html

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Why Anti-Semitism on the Left Hurts Me More

This is why we have a special name for those trans hating bigots who proclaim themselves to be feminists and or lesbians.  Bigotry hurts far more when it comes from people we believe to be on the same side we are on.  We almost expect it from our enemies, but from people we think of as friends?

From Lilith:  https://www.lilith.org/blog/2019/01/why-anti-semitism-on-the-left-hurts-me-more/

By Rabbi Susan Silverman
January 24, 2019

Someone asked me incredulously if the anti-semitism on the left really upset me more/made me feel the need for a Jewish state more than the Pittsburgh. (And then went on to describe the evils of Israel.) Oh yes, yes, the anti-semitism on the left does hurt and scare me more. Not that it’s worse. Just in terms of how I feel able to function in the world, it is much more impactful.

Trump-types’ hatred of me means there are people I do not identify with who don’t want me. But when the people who are my refuge, who I want to make a home with me (meaning a home in the world), who I long to celebrate for and with when they succeed–when these people see me, Israel, Jews (except their approved Jews, maybe, relishing this potential division from each other?) as uniquely evil and worthy of being pointed out as so, Haman-style—whether we are relevant or not to the issue at hand—I fear that I have no home in the world at large.

I will always, I pray, hold onto my values for human rights and justice and compassion and fight for them in the U.S. and in Israel, and many of those values are shared with these same people. But I fear they don’t want flawed but trying hard me, us—and in fact see us as worthy of more hatred, less deserving of existence, as anyone else in this world. As generations have not wanted us before, have seen our sins as the whole of us and uniquely powerful and cruel.

I guess I can understand, now, the disbelief we read about when Jews’ friends, neighbors, compatriots turned against us in the past. I always thought now is different. It’s not.

Please don’t respond to this with any unkindness. Right now I just need support. I don’t claim to be the first of anyone to feel this way. Or that people of other groups, especially People of Color, have not also felt this way forever, and I hope I have lived a life of empathy and sisterhood in that regard. But right now am so very heartbroken and afraid.

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Felicia Elizondo’s Wild Memories of Trans Life in 60s San Francisco

When I read these stories I’m reminded how briefly I was part of any sort of “Trans-Community”.  I had different communities and a few friends who were trans and also tended to not be part of the “Trans-Community”.

From Broadly Vice:  https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/gy7kv3/felicia-elizondo-transgender-comptons-cafeteria-tenderloin-san-francisco

In the 60s, activist and entertainer Felicia Elizondo was a regular at San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria, the site of a historic 1966 riot for trans rights, and the only place she felt free as a transgender woman.

by Zackary Drucker
Dec 12 2018

Coming of age as a Mexican-American “sissy” in 1950s Texas, a “hair fairy” in 1960s San Francisco, and finally as a transsexual woman in the 1970s, Felicia Elizondo’s memories are a vivid and spectacular rendering of trans life in the latter half of the 20th century. And as an activist, historian, entertainer, and long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS, her work in the decades-long movement for trans rights is a testament to our adaptability, fortitude, and industrious ability to build community in the margins.

Felicia was a regular patron of San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria, a refuge for queens and transgender people in the 60s, and the site of the historic 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, when patrons of the diner fought back against discrimination by police. She is also featured in Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, a 2005 documentary about the uprising co-directed and produced by Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman. Her stories of time spent there reveal a particular moment and place, where trans people were able to create chosen family and thrive in each other’s care, that is still not widely recognized—even as part of LGBTQ history.

Punctuated by moments of presenting as male in the first act of her life—to avoid arrest for cross-dressing, to satisfy a male benefactor, or to prove her manhood to her mother by joining the army and serving in the Vietnam War—the interludes of Felicia’s survival are well traversed terrain for trans folks. Her memories amount to a wild and explosive ride that proves the accuracy of her nickname, Felicia “Flames.”

ZACKARY DRUCKER: Tell me about when you first came to San Francisco.

FELICIA ELIZONDO: Let me tell you a little bit about my past life, okay? I was born Felipe Alvarado Alessandro in San Angelo, Texas. I’m Mexican American. My birth certificate says that I’m white. In those days, anything that was not “colored” was white, and Black people were colored. Those days, everybody had their own community. Whites had their own community, Blacks had their community, and Latinos had their own community.

I was raised a little sissy boy. Everybody called me “joto,” “queer,” “sissy,” and all that stuff. I was wondering, how come they’re calling [that]? I don’t even know the meaning of all these words, and they’re calling me all these names just because I’m feminine. We were raised in a place where queers, sissies, and jotos were in the closet—they were pushed back somewhere. But I was very flamboyant. I had these little hot pants on before hot pants was even in style. When I was around maybe seven or eight, I was wearing hot pants, girl.

Continue reading at: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/gy7kv3/felicia-elizondo-transgender-comptons-cafeteria-tenderloin-san-francisco

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When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

There are a lot of people in this country who suffer from chronic pain.

The latest battle in the never ending War on Drugs, which is really the Prison Industrial Complex’s real purpose behind ginning up the “Opioid Crisis” which is the current version of the Meth Crisis and the Crack Cocaine Crisis.  The real Crisis is the Prison Industrial Complex is losing bodies for which it gets paid as the War on Pot winds down.

People who suffer debilitating pain are the real causalities of  Prison Industrial Complex’s “Opioid Crisis”.  People who suffer because they can no longer get their prescribed drugs that ease physical pain.

As for the Junkies… Addicts always find a way and most of these deaths are being caused by street drugs.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/09/opinion/sunday/pain-opioids.html

In an effort to reduce opioid addiction, doctors are cutting back on pain medication — and sometimes leaving patients to suffer.

Maia Szalavitz
Feb. 9, 2019

Katie Tulley suffers from an incurable bladder disorder so painful that it feels “like tearing skin off your arm and pouring acid on it, 24/7,” she said. On scans, the organ looks like an open sore.

Ms. Tulley, a 37-year-old Louisianan who used to work with autistic children, manages her pain with a fentanyl patch. The opioid gives her a few precious hours out of bed to help her parents, do online volunteer work and occasionally leave home for something other than a medical visit. “I don’t get a euphoric feeling,” she said, noting that she has lowered her dose to avoid feeling woozy and impaired.

Now, because of legal concerns about overdose risk, her doctors have considered stopping her medication, even though she has never misused it. And so, when she recently discovered a suspicious lump in her belly, she found herself hoping it was cancer. “I shouldn’t ‘want’ cancer,” she said. “But at this point it’s the only way to be treated” for her pain.

As many as 18 million patients rely on opioids to treat long-term pain that is intractable but not necessarily associated with terminal illness. In 2016, seeking to curb opioid misuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced guidelines outlining a maximum safe dosage and strongly urging doctors to avoid prescribing for chronic pain unless death is imminent. The guidelines were supposed to be voluntary and apply only to chronic pain patients seeing general practitioners. Instead, they have been widely seen by doctors as mandatory.

As a result, thousands of pain medication recipients have had their doses reduced or eliminated. But this attempt to save people from addiction is leaving many patients in perpetual pain — and thus inadvertently ruining, or even ending, lives.

A Veterans Health Administration study found alarming rates of suicidal acts “following discontinuation of opioid therapy.” Human Rights Watch recently released a report detailing the struggles of chronic pain patients in the United States to find relief and care as a result of government efforts to reduce prescriptions.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/09/opinion/sunday/pain-opioids.html

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