Via the awesome Abby Martin, we learn that as the pernicious CISPA bill stalls in Congress, it turns out that the Obama administration has already secretly authorized and put into effect the worst of the bill:
Well, knock me over with a feather. On the plus side: Abby Martin is a badass.
Speaking of badasses, Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has written one of the most succinct, well-expressed and devastating takedowns of the “principles” of economic conservatism I have seen anywhere. I was going to quote from it liberally (see what I did there?) but I will just urge you to go read it.
If you are so inclined, please go sign this petition by navy Veteran and rape survivor Trina MacDonald, urging Congress to amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to move the prosecution of military sexual assault out of the chain of command.
According to estimates from the Department of Defense, 19,000 service men and women are sexually assaulted while serving in the United States military every year. But 86% of them never report their assault—too often because seeking justice threatens their safety, their job security, and their future.
One really shouldn’t have to report one’s rape to one’s rapist—or their enablers. Go do your good deed for the day and sign the petition.
Without endorsing all of it, this is an excellent analysis of Why Things Happen that I mostly agree with. Short version: wars, lies and corruption are not the result of a “conspiracy” per se, at least not in the typical way we think of it. They are the inevitable emergent properties of a system: global capitalism.
Do powerful forces attempt to control events? Yes, they do. But these forces, in this day and age, are political representatives of a class—the capitalist-imperialist class. And they do not have total control.
Irin Carmon has an interesting and provocative piece at Salon, in which she reflects on the intersection between toxic masculinity and terrorism in the case of the Boston bombings. Does it surprise anyone that friends of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife Katherine told NPR that he “flew into rages, calling her a slut and a prostitute and throwing things at her”? Or that he was arrested for domestic violence against another woman in 2009?
“Large public acts of terrorism are very public displays of masculinity, making a statement in the biggest way possible,” says Abby Ferber, a sociologist at the University of Colorado who has studied white supremacist groups and masculinity. In her work, she said, she often encountered a “vulnerability to their sense of masculinity whether it’s their relationship with their father, their culture. And there are a limited number of ways in the culture to show your masculinity.” In the absence of the traditional forms of masculinity — including financial or social power — “you’re more likely to see extreme means. They’re showing that they’re real men, man enough to do something like this.”
This is problem #423,752 with traditional cultures — i.e. conservative cultures: gender roles are distinct and narrowly limited. Where Real Men™ are defined by their status in a hierarchy and dominance over others, masculinity becomes synonymous with power and strength, and femininity with submission and weakness. This dynamic isn’t good for anyone in a healthy and diverse society. It’s a cultural meme that is self-perpetuating. It won’t die easily.
Last but certainly not least, Glenn Greenwald has a revealing post about the San Francisco Gay Pride parade’s decision to ban any mention of Bradley Manning, while marching under the banner of some of the most corrupt corporations on the planet.
Yes, there will undoubtedly still be exotically-dressed drag queens, lesbian motorcycle clubs, and groups proudly defined by their unusual sexual proclivities participating in the parade, but they’ll be marching under a Bank of America banner and behind flag-waving fans of the National Security State, the US President, and the political party that dominates American politics and its political and military institutions. Yet another edgy, interesting, creative, independent event has been degraded and neutered into a meek and subservient ritual that must pay homage to the nation’s most powerful entities and at all costs avoid offending them in any way.
Budding fascists in the Democratic Party running the San Francisco pride parade: this is what authoritarianism looks like in the age of Obama.
I think I’ll have a refreshing cocktail. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, you godless heathens.