Republicans Continued Assault on Women

Connecting the Dots of the GOP Assault on Women
by: Mary Wentworth, Truthout | News Analysis

At a time when women in other countries like those in newly liberated Egypt, for example, are rising up to demand their rights, we women here in the United States are struggling to keep our hard-won gains.

We might ask whether there is a link between the moves in Congress to turn back the clock and what is going on in states like Wisconsin.

Beginning in the late sixties, the women’s liberation movement succeeded in opening up the world of work to us women, demanding in the process, and in many cases getting, equal pay for equal work, allowing us a fragile economic independence. Many married women now had the choice of being a full-time homemaker or earning an income or even pursuing a career.

Critical to those of us who had paying jobs were preschool and after school childcare services. Now, House Republicans have deleted money for Head Start, a program that provides preschool daycare to children from families whose mothers out of necessity labor at minimum wage jobs outside the home. At the same time, middle-income families are hard pressed to pay for private preschool care for their children.

Perhaps our biggest victory was the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade that paved the way for legalization of abortions. Upon his retirement in 1994, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority decision, commented that it was necessary “for the emancipation of women.”

The Republican-dominated House has passed legislation that limits our access to clinics and hospitals that offer the procedure that will terminate a pregnancy.

For some of us, control over our bodies and our lives is slipping away as Republicans have also stripped funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides assistance to millions of low-income women in areas such as pregnancy counseling, sexually-transmitted diseases, contraceptive information, and other issues of concern.

In lock step with these measures, Gov. Scott Walker has launched a direct attack on working women in his state by taking away the collective bargaining rights of unionized public employees. He has exempted three unions – the police, firefighters and state troopers – that have a primarily male membership. That leaves professions that are dominated by us women – home health care workers, licensed childcare providers, employees of University Hospitals and Clinics, nurses and teachers to face the possibility of even lower wages and the eventual demise of their unions.

These actions haven’t come out of the blue. The backlash began heating up during Ronald Reagan’s two terms. One need look no further then the writings in the seventies and eighties of conservatives like George Gilder. Long-standing opposition to Aid to Families With Dependent Children, aka welfare, was rooted in conservatives’ belief that women belonged in the home, taking care of husbands and children, family members with disabilities and aging parents. Welfare, they argued, tempted women to leave their husbands and live off the state.

In a figment from his overactive imagination, Ronald Reagan often spoke of those of us who received assistance as “welfare queens riding around in Cadillacs.” The right was able to chalk one up when Bill Clinton abolished “welfare as we know it” in 1996, pushing many of us deeper into the hole of poverty and hopelessness.

Reagan also blamed us for the 1981-82 recession that occurred during his first term in office. In his almost incoherent syntax, Reagan made his remarks at a White House session with editors and broadcasters (New York Times, 4/18/82), “Part of the unemployment is not as much recession as it is the great increase in the people going into the job market, and, ladies, I’m not picking on anyone, but because of the increase in women who are working today and two-worker families and so forth.”

Ironically, Reagan’s fiscal policies had the diametrically opposite affect on his desired social agenda. He figured that his “trickle-down” economic theory would allow him to slash social services since his tax cuts to the rich would create jobs through their investment in new businesses.

While the rich speculated with their money rather than starting new businesses, jobs – many of them good-paying union jobs – started being shipped overseas under Reagan. The stagnation of wages that had begun in the seventies persisted. In the end, Reagan’s policies served to increase the number of two-earner families!

The men who self-righteously proclaim that they support “family values” are selling snake oil. If we women cannot plan our pregnancies, have no one to care for our children while we work, have employment only at subsistence wages, then we and our families are in serious trouble. While some women will be forced back into the home, financially dependent on a partner, many more will have a tougher time of it as they and their partners struggle to work more than two jobs in order to keep the family afloat. The country’s new generation of women faces many obstacles in carving out for themselves secure and satisfying lives.

In reality, conservatives are striving to shore up the worldwide patriarchal system by doing their part to keep it alive and well here in the heartland of the empire.

Based on the subordination and exploitation of women, patriarchy across the globe is kept in place through legal codes, social mores, religious practices, political isolation and economic disadvantage, thereby empowering men and solidifying their dominant position vis á vis women.

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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Truth Honesty And The American Way

“The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy.” -– George W. Bush, 2003

George Bush is a right wing evangelical fundamentalist dupe.

Happy 4th of July and thank goodness we can rotate our leaders.

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Arabs Are Always Angry

An Arab journalist friend explained, “Arabs are always angry. They always look for the bad and then harp on it.” Yahoo News 11-08-10.  Sounds like recent Republican swipes at President Obama.  In fact that’s exactly what the Republican and Right leaning, biased political media / radio pundits (think…all of Fox news, the Tea Party, and Rush Limbaugh and his ilk) have been doing consistently since Obama’s inauguration.  The amount of scurrilous, abusive and offensive crap emanating from these clowns is disgusting.  In earlier times, in this country, there would be a tremendous outcry from the common folk, and the hate-spewing guilty ones would lose their jobs.

The fundamentalist religious asshats (like Baptist minister Mike Huckabee) who support and now control the Republican Party are consistently ragging on everything our President does, conveniently forgetting how screwed up George W. Bush was and how badly he screwed over our country.  How many stories have you EVER noticed about the opposition party bitching about a President visiting a country friendly to America in the past?

The amount of vitriolic, misleading, crappy, hate-mongering speech coming from the Republican side of our political system today makes me ashamed I was a Republican supporter and voter for nearly 50 years. I voted for Bush and it has been the only vote I have ever cast that I became ashamed of (well maybe Nixon a little).  How about in the interest of fair-play we treat our present President with more respect and give him a chance…after all he has done some good things.
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War is a Racket

War is a racket and it always has been.

It is the oldest, most vicious, and most profitable con that governments all over the world use. Some wars are probably warranted, such as the war against Hitler and the Japanese empire. Some are just totally unjustified ways of killing off our children in the pursuit of some perverse national objective or business for relatives, friends, or business associates…such as the Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan debacles.

Politicians of all stripes and parties routinely lie and mislead their constituents and the whole country into believing a big lie, not admitting even to themselves that they are leading innocent people to their death and wide spread redistribution of money from taxpayers to government coffers and ultimately to their friends (and their own) bank accounts.  It is cold and cruel and calculated evil of the first order and it doesn’t seem to faze any politicians at all.

The only ones to profit are politicians, businesses, and bankers.  The profits are dollars…the losses are the deaths of our children and tens of thousands, or more, civilians who have the misfortune to be in the way. The general public pays…a few evil people make billions and the propaganda campaigns distort the actual truths so no one is held responsible for the carnage.

The real but not advertised toll of wars are newly placed gravestones, shattered minds, mangled bodies, broken homes, broken hearts, depression, economic instability, and mind-boggling tax bills for our future generations and all of these combine and contribute  to our sense of constant struggle and loss of stability in our lives.  We have a predatory government that feeds on its citizens.

For the very few the racket of war brings immense profits, but as always the cost of the operation of war is paid by us…the people who keep getting bamboozled.

Kind of reminds me of the Wall Street bailout too.  We take the losses…the billionaires take the profit.

In our current war with Iraq and Afghanistan compare what’s happening or happened there and go ahead and get really mad.  Our past and present (Bush/Obama) presidents have totally wasted billions and billions (some say Trillions) of dollars, but more importantly thousands and thousands of our young and bright sons and daughters in a useless and criminally misguided campaign. Does the word Vietnam bring back any memories to you? (We lost that one too).  And do you know what we get out of it…for the average person nothing but a tremendous tax bill that our children and grandchildren will still be paying for when we are dead and buried.

The government has effectively mortgaged our and our baby’s souls to pay for this.  We are nothing but a future source of income for the feds.

Think of what you have been duped into believing and check out the facts that both the Vietnam war and the Iraq/Afghanistan war were sold to us by our elected officials by using known falsehoods and manipulated data. Look at your Senators and Congress person and even your president…do they look concerned that thousands of our young people and as much as a million civilians in Iraq/Afghanistan have been killed in Iraq/Afghanistan? Ask them for honest opinions and see what you get.

These were/are not wars to secure American freedoms, rather they are wars of profit for a selected few…they have done nothing but divide our people, kill our young, and disillusion the nation.

How long will we as a people put up with getting swindled by our own government?

Quote of the day
“Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarreled with him?”—Blaise Pascal

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Protestants who are reminded of their religion do more good deeds and trust that other people will do so, as well. But when Catholics are reminded of their religion, they do less public service and are less trusting that others will do so.  Cornell News Service

Tehran, Iran:  Morals squads venture forth once more to police the cosmopolitan, fashionable and uninhibited in the name of religionYale Global Online

Former first lady Laura Bush revealed in an interview this week that she supports the legalization of same-sex marriage and abortion. The Christian Post

We Shall Abolish The Orgasm

Quote of the day

“We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”  George Orwell


No orgasms, no loyalty, no love, no laughter, no art, no literature, no science.  Sounds like a religious nut jobs wet-dream. Pat Robertson and crew would be behind this 100%.  Pat of course is a Dominionist (Sarah Palin is one also I hear), whose goal is either a nation governed by conservative Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of Biblical law…primarily the Old Testaments first 5 chapters—the Pentateuch.

“In his 1992 study of Dominion Theology and its influence on the Christian Right, Bruce Barron PhD, writes,

“In the context of American evangelical efforts to penetrate and transform public life, the distinguishing mark of a dominionist is a commitment to defining and carrying out an approach to building society that is self-consciously defined as exclusively Christian, and dependent specifically on the work of Christians, rather than based on a broader consensus.

According to sociologist Sara Diamond, the defining concept of dominionism is “that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns”. In 1989, Diamond declared that this concept “has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.”  In 1995, she called it “prevalent on the Christian Right”. Journalist Chip Berlet added in 1998 that, although they represent different theological and political ideas, dominionists assert a Christian duty to take “control of a sinful secular society.”
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

They got their wish in 2000 (as they predicted) in electing ol’ GWB.  Of course there is still that controversy over his actually being “voted” in.  From that point the religious right had control of the Republican Party.  Its members are overwhelmingly evangelical fundamentalists.  The “teabagger movement” (who are totally controlled by outsiders) is really pissed that a black-man, who they deem an Islamic Fifth Columnist,  has control of “their America”…and he was actually “voted” in…How dare those lefty liberals.

The 2012 election cycle is going to be pretty exciting.  Keep an eye out for all those Republicans who might enter the primaries.  Really scary religious fundamentalists are waiting for their chance to take over.

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A Government Gone Crazy

A Canadian citizen Peter Watts who holds a doctorate in Zoology and works as a marine biologist and also writes science fiction (six published) novels, was crossing the border back into Canada after helping a friend move to the United States when he was singled out for a search and because he asked what they were doing HE was assaulted, punched in the face, pepper sprayed and thrown in jail and HE was charged with assaulting a customs officer?????

It seems at least once every week or two I hear stories like this. Innocent people are wrongfully assaulted and charged by border guards or customs officials.  They are basically acting like Nazi SS Storm Troopers…at least they don’t have the authority to kill whomever they decide to attack, although the way they use force does sometimes cause the death of innocents.

Although I do not know the man, he is a fellow writer and a human after all, and I feel terrible that he was treated that way by paranoid American officials who have obviously gone power mad and psycho.

I have personally witnessed police officers using their power in unprofessional manners and the only consequence they have faced is a slap on the hand, and the persons that suffered at the hands of this ugly use of police power were subject to humiliation and physical abuse.

It has gotten to the point here in America that the various and sundry abusive political enforcement squads have no respect for our own people or our human rights.  They indiscriminately use massive amounts of weaponry and manpower for the slightest reason, for the slightest infraction.

We as a nation are sinking deeper and deeper in to a fascist state where there is no justice for anyone who questions the powers that be, and the only thing that matters is the unquestioned power of the federal government to do what they want…no matter how wrong they are.

It’s already admitted by the feds that they have unfettered access (no search warrants needed) to ALL citizens’ communications no matter what form they take.  Anyone who speaks out against the abuses of the federal government; you know, things like asking your congressman when the various constitutional amendments are going to be honored again, or when will Habeas corpus be reinstated in our courts, or when our elected officials will quit lying to us, will be checked out by Homeland Security or the FBI or some other lettered federal agency and put on a watch list.

We are always told that the measures the government takes to control us are for our own good, and somehow many people believe this lie and sheepishly go about their business, and if they are ever confronted by authority they just put up with whatever indignities “the man” bestows on them. This keeps up long enough and these “helpful” authorities become Overlords and we are screwed…again.

Presidential Oath or Affirmation:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Article 2 section 1, US constitution

“The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall NOT be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” Section 9, paragraph 2, US constitution.

Because of the nature of the religious warfare waged against the United States by Islamic religious personnel, are we somehow in a constant state of Invasion and the government cannot reinstate Habeas corpus?

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” 4th. Amendment – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

We are no longer secure in our person, papers, and effects. Government officials may at their own discretion search and seize you or your personal papers and property…no search warrant needed anymore…and you will play hell getting back any property seized.  These government officials can search anything, anything at all…with no restrictions.  They may also search your house and computer by breaking in to your property when you are not there and they can tell any neighbor who happens to see their dastardly act that they will be arrested on a felony charge if they tell you what happened while you were away.

They can retrieve your records of checked out books at the local library, the local bookstores and Amazon or Barnes and Noble, etc. online and forbid the librarian or seller from telling you. I don’t mind telling you that although I am squeaky clean as far as nefarious deeds go, I am chilled to the bone and damn mad that my countries government has and uses this power. This clandestine act is dangerously close to mind or thought control. It precisely matches cowardly acts committed by Nazi, Fascist, and Communist Secret Services forces in Europe and other far eastern parts of the world.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”
From the Declaration of Independence

Parts of the 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments are in jeopardy as well.

We are seeing an Orwellian mindset in all parts of what used to be a government of the people, and I’m really scared for my family, my friends, and my country. No one seems to give a damn any more.

Combating the Defamation of Religion

The world just keeps sliding slowly into a quagmire of human rights abuses.  Ireland recently passed a Blasphemy law that prohibits anyone from talking bad about another’s religion and wouldn’t you know it the Muslims are behind it.  In most (or probably all) Muslim controlled countries it’s against the law to write or speak against the religion or its founder Muhammad…fact is it’ll probably get you killed.

The United Nations has this non-binding resolution on “Combating the Defamation of Religion” that is intended to curtail speech that offends religion — particularly Islam.  Pakistan and the Organization of the Islamic Conference introduced the measure to the U.N. Human Rights Council in 1999. It was amended to include religions other than Islam, and it has passed every year since.

The non-binding Resolution 62/145, which was adopted in 2007, says it “notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001.”  It “stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement of religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently came out strongly against this resolution and laws around the world that make religious defamation a crime, saying that freedom of speech and religion should be equally upheld.

“Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called ‘anti-defamation’ policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion,” she said

“I strongly disagree. The United States will always… stand against discrimination and persecution… But an individual’s ability to practice his or her religion has no bearing on others’ freedom of speech,” Clinton said.

“The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faith will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse,” she added.

Other critics of the resolution believe this is a dangerous threat to freedom of speech everywhere.  There are some religious groups and free speech advocates banding together to fight this resolution which they say is being used to spread Sharia Law in the Western world and will intimidate those who would criticize Islam.

“It’s obviously intended to have an intimidating effect on people expressing criticism of radical Islam, and the idea that you can have a defamation of a religion like this, I think, is a concept fundamentally foreign to our system of free expression in the United States,” said former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

Kevin Hasson, who is founder and president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm in Washington that opposes the resolution says “It is a slap in the face of human rights law.”

“The whole idea of the defamation of religion is a Trojan horse for something else,” Hasson said. “When you talk about defamation, you talk about people being defamed and people being libeled, but ideas can’t be defamed. Ideas don’t have rights, people have rights.”

He added that “the resolution is a shield for Islamic fundamentalists who retaliate against perceived offenses and want to make Islamic Sharia law the law of the land.” He said the resolution passes under the guise of protecting religion, but it actually endangers religious minorities in Islamic countries.”

“It provides international cover for domestic anti-blasphemy laws, and there are a number of people who are in prison today because they have been accused of committing blasphemy,” said Bennett Graham, international program director with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

We have to remember that many of the governments that are pushing this idea are not democratic governments.  Citizens of Egypt or Pakistan who have been two of the prime ringleaders of this movement, are frequently put in prison or arrested for blasphemy or other “crimes” against the Muslim religion, and even if they’re not arrested (rare), the fear of being arrested creates an environment of self-censorship.”

Western democracies are arguing that a religion cannot enjoy protection from criticism because that would require a judicial ruling that its teachings are the “truth.” (I can see fundamentalists jumping all over this)

“Defamation carries a particular legal meaning and application in domestic systems that makes the term wholly unsuitable in the context of religions,” the U.S. government responded on the issue to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

We probably won’t have a problem here in the US with this absurd law because of our Constitutional Right of Free Speech, but you never know, look at what George Bush did to our most precious document.  And by the way, it’s still being abused because most of Bush’s presidential decrees that usurped some constitutional laws haven’t been rescinded.

Look out if you travel overseas though.

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