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It is a new year.  Some small sliver of optimism remains -

If you look at the world and say “Yes, there are enough homes for people, yes, there is enough food for people, but if we give it away for free they won’t have earned it and the economy will collapse.” Then you have chosen money (a constructed medium of exchange) over living beings who only want to continue living in peace and safety.

And I have no qualms telling you, that is the wrong choice, and you have been brainwashed by this destructive, exploitative system.

From markusbones on Tumblr.

“When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.

The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.

And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence”

— Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, 1978 Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

    Violence and child rearing should never intermingle.  With the understanding we have of the correlations of violence at an early age with future behaviour, there are no excuses for beating your child. Not one.

Ms.Betty Bowers thoughts on the 2014 Olympics.

19730911-ChileCoupMonedaBombing   Greetings gentle readers, should we not consider the first 9/11 and also mourn for its victims?  The first 9/11 essentially ruined Chile as a country; Chile was thrown backward into dictatorial hell where thousand of its citizens were systematically abducted, tortured and murdered.  Why we choose not to mourn Chile’s 9/11 is because we caused it and thus it must be erased from the historical record ASAP.

Let’s let Noam Chomsky get us up to speed on the sad state of our intellectual elites and their reaction to 9/11(s).  (italics and bolding mine)

If the responsibility of intellectuals refers to their moral responsibility as decent human beings in a position to use their privilege and status to advance the cause of freedom, justice, mercy, and peace—and to speak out not simply about the abuses of our enemies, but, far more significantly, about the crimes in which we are implicated and can ameliorate or terminate if we choose—how should we think of 9/11?

The notion that 9/11 “changed the world” is widely held, understandably. The events of that day certainly had major consequences, domestic and international. One was to lead President Bush to re-declare Ronald Reagan’s war on terrorism—the first one has been effectively “disappeared,” to borrow the phrase of our favorite Latin American killers and torturers, presumably because the consequences do not fit well with preferred self images. Another consequence was the invasion of Afghanistan, then Iraq, and more recently military interventions in several other countries in the region and regular threats of an attack on Iran (“all options are open,” in the standard phrase). The costs, in every dimension, have been enormous. That suggests a rather obvious question, not asked for the first time: was there an alternative?

A number of analysts have observed that bin Laden won major successes in his war against the United States. “He repeatedly asserted that the only way to drive the U.S. from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps was by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them,” the journalist Eric Margolis writes.

The United States, first under George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, rushed right into bin Laden’s trap. . . . Grotesquely overblown military outlays and debt addiction . . . . may be the most pernicious legacy of the man who thought he could defeat the United States.

A report from the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies estimates that the final bill will be $3.2–4 trillion. Quite an impressive achievement by bin Laden.

That Washington was intent on rushing into bin Laden’s trap was evident at once. Michael Scheuer, the senior CIA analyst responsible for tracking bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, writes, “Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us.” The al Qaeda leader, Scheuer continues, “is out to drastically alter U.S. and Western policies toward the Islamic world.”

And, as Scheuer explains, bin Laden largely succeeded: “U.S. forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s. As a result, I think it is fair to conclude that the United States of America remains bin Laden’s only indispensable ally.” And arguably remains so, even after his death.

There is good reason to believe that the jihadi movement could have been split and undermined after the 9/11 attack, which was criticized harshly within the movement. Furthermore, the “crime against humanity,” as it was rightly called, could have been approached as a crime, with an international operation to apprehend the likely suspects. That was recognized in the immediate aftermath of the attack, but no such idea was even considered by decision-makers in government. It seems no thought was given to the Taliban’s tentative offer—how serious an offer, we cannot know—to present the al Qaeda leaders for a judicial proceeding.

At the time, I quoted Robert Fisk’s conclusion that the horrendous crime of 9/11 was committed with “wickedness and awesome cruelty”—an accurate judgment. The crimes could have been even worse. Suppose that Flight 93, downed by courageous passengers in Pennsylvania, had bombed the White House, killing the president. Suppose that the perpetrators of the crime planned to, and did, impose a military dictatorship that killed thousands and tortured tens of thousands. Suppose the new dictatorship established, with the support of the criminals, an international terror center that helped impose similar torture-and-terror states elsewhere, and, as icing on the cake, brought in a team of economists—call them “the Kandahar boys”—who quickly drove the economy into one of the worst depressions in its history. That, plainly, would have been a lot worse than 9/11.

As we all should know, this is not a thought experiment. It happened. I am, of course, referring to what in Latin America is often called “the first 9/11”: September 11, 1973, when the United States succeeded in its intensive efforts to overthrow the democratic government of Salvador Allende in Chile with a military coup that placed General Pinochet’s ghastly regime in office. The dictatorship then installed the Chicago Boys—economists trained at the University of Chicago—to reshape Chile’s economy. Consider the economic destruction, the torture and kidnappings, and multiply the numbers killed by 25 to yield per capita equivalents, and you will see just how much more devastating the first 9/11 was.

Privilege yields opportunity, and opportunity confers responsibilities.

The goal of the overthrow, in the words of the Nixon administration, was to kill the “virus” that might encourage all those “foreigners [who] are out to screw us”—screw us by trying to take over their own resources and more generally to pursue a policy of independent development along lines disliked by Washington. In the background was the conclusion of Nixon’s National Security Council that if the United States could not control Latin America, it could not expect “to achieve a successful order elsewhere in the world.” Washington’s “credibility” would be undermined, as Henry Kissinger put it.

The first 9/11, unlike the second, did not change the world. It was “nothing of very great consequence,” Kissinger assured his boss a few days later. And judging by how it figures in conventional history, his words can hardly be faulted, though the survivors may see the matter differently.

These events of little consequence were not limited to the military coup that destroyed Chilean democracy and set in motion the horror story that followed. As already discussed, the first 9/11 was just one act in the drama that began in 1962 when Kennedy shifted the mission of the Latin American militaries to “internal security.” The shattering aftermath is also of little consequence, the familiar pattern when history is guarded by responsible intellectuals.”

 

*TW Domestic violence*

As per usual with ytube, do not go read the comments as your hate of humanity will be reaffirmed.

 

churchHow many more examples do we need of the lethal nature of the supposedly “pro-life” position?  Let’s clear this up by naming them correctly, for the record, when you hear the term “Pro-life” you need to replace that with “anti-woman forced birth advocate”.  Why? Because what forced birthers are about is stripping women of their rights and of their bodily autonomy.  Beatriz, like Savita Halappanavar, is being put in mortal peril because where she lives the forced birth brigades ideas are reality, and women really do not have rights.

“The 22-year-old woman suffers from severe and complicated illnesses. Her doctors have told her that she will likely die giving birth, and the unborn child will most likely live only a few hours, but she is prevented by law from having an abortion. “They [the Supreme Court] were not convinced this is the way… they are saying Beatriz is not in danger and she must pursue the natural way of delivery and we must see what happens,” said Mata. “It isn’t just an abortion, it is a necessity,” said Mata, in an earlier interview with CBSNews.com”

Yeah.  The all male supreme court has ruled that this woman is not in danger and must continue with birth.  Their noble dedication to preserving life is noted.

Beatriz is carrying an anencephalic fetus, which means it has no brain and is only expected to survive at maximum a few hours after birth, even if she carries it to full term.  Beatriz has lupus, worsened by a kidney malfunction, and it is very dangerous for her to be pregnant.  “The doctors are saying it’s very critical because the lupus may be reactivated and if the lupus is reactivated it is very dangerous for her health,” he added.  She is now 26-weeks pregnant, and every day it becomes more risky for her to be pregnant and have an abortion at such a late stage.

This is what happens when legislate against women.  Women are endangered and their lives are at risk.

According to a 2012 report from the Central American Women’s Network, 628 women have been imprisoned in El Salvador since its anti-abortion law was enacted in 1998.  Twenty-four of these women were indicted for “aggravated murder,” after an abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth.  “The only way now is to go to the international courts,” said Mata.  Meanwhile, Beatriz awaits her fate in hospital, separated from her 14-month old son and her husband.  “Everyday, the health of Beatriz is [getting] worse. If they wait another week or two weeks, she will be too feeble to endure the operation,” said Mata.

So because of the religiously inspired pro-life fuckwittery of the Roman Catholic Church (this is what a society where they have tangible influence looks like) it is most likely Beatriz will die.

No rant today – this is too outrageous and too cold for a rant.  This is an tragic (because it is preventible) object lesson – women die and are dying because they are denied their reproductive rights and rights to bodily autonomy.

That is all.

Patriarchal Nonsense.

Patriarchal Nonsense.

How many more examples do we need to understand that our society is still in love with patriarchy and misogyny?  Adria Richards makes a reasonable gesture, calling people out for their crappy remarks, and for her trouble she is fired and gets rape and death threats.

We’re completely ready for the post-feminism society.  For-sure.  David Futrelle over at Manboobz has the story.

And so the Internet has found a new woman to hate. Most of you are probably already familiar with the Adria Richards debacle that’s developed over the past several days. If not, Jill at Feministe has a good summary of events:

Adria Richards, formerly of the company SendGrid, was at a tech conference this week when some dudes behind her made a series of inappropriate and sexual jokes. Annoyed by the pervasiveness of misogyny in the tech world, she snapped a photo of them and put in on Twitter with a complaint. One of the conference organizers spoke to the men and they apologized. Totally reasonable! Good response, PyCon. Later, one of the dudes got fired. Instead of getting mad at the company that made the choice to fire him, the internet hordes descended on Adria. She was on the receiving end of rape and death threats. Her address and phone number were published. Her blog and her company’s website came under DDoS attack. Oh and then her company, SendGrid, fired her.

Like Jill, I think firing someone for a “dongle” joke is an overreaction, to say the least. But Richards wasn’t responsible for that; indeed, she told the fired man she hoped his employer would reconsider and take him back.

 

SendGrid’s firing of Richards is far more problematic. It’s one thing to get in trouble for acting like a sexist boor; it’s quite another to get in trouble for simply pointing out someone else’s problematic behavior. Richards faced a virtual lynch mob for simply documenting an example of the everyday sexism that permeates the tech world; by firing her, SendGrid essentially sided with the mob.

Is “lynch mob” an unfair term to describe those who’ve gone after Richards? No. In this context, the term is sadly apropos, as the target of all this online “activism” is not only female but black – two strikes against her in the minds of many of her, er, “critics,” who attacked her as a “fucking nigger” as well as a “cunt.” (The more genteel racists referred to her derisively as a “diversity hire.”)”

Oh hey they are talking about this on Pharyngula as well - consider this comment:

I’m just going to go ahead and re-quote what JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness said in #74, because it bears repeating for the folks who keep insisting that Richards brought everything down on herself solely because of how she raised her objections:

Every single day, all damn day women are subjected to this kind of shit and there’s no reason to give “mercy”. We’ve done the “guys please don’t do that”, remember how that turned out? Every fucking day at work, in public, even at home with our friends and families, we’re pressured to be quiet, speak softly, which adheres to that sexist “ladylike” expectation. FUCK THAT.

What is crystal clear in our culture is that IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW A WOMAN RAISES AN OBJECTION. She can be polite, she can say, “guys don’t do that” without even naming or identifying the person she’s talking about in any way, and go on to be incessantly harassed for over a year. Polite objections by women result in the exact same onslaught of violent hate speech, death threats, and rape threats.

So keep on focusing on what Richards did to “bring this on herself.” Just understand that by doing so, YOU are contributing to this culture of misogyny and YOU are part of the problem.”

So before we get any further please take the following piece of helpful advice to heart:  Your experiences are not the experiences of others, thus take the time and really listen to what others are saying, before opining on what is going on.

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