Sunday Funday Mother’s Day Funkday….

347a54415738d035b6ac126dd1758e32Happy Mother’s Day

To all you Mothers out there.

I honestly have been in  so deep a funk lately, that even the Hillary announcement has not lifted me out. Every country that is holding elections is going with right wing conservative parties…are you noticing this?

Well, Japan and England…Scotland, Israel, India, Australia, and the Not-Alberta portion of Canada. Right wing Enda Kenny of Ireland and Leader of the Fine Gael, their Conservative Party, is hoping this latest election in the UK will bode well for them in the next go round. 

3c6407eb3e1ec663b58c4beff0a1f76eHell, look at the news out of Japan lately…revisionism of history in academics? It reads like something you see going on around the campuses here in the US.

I think it starts with this constitution issue….and connects to things we talked about long ago, back when Fuckushima (spelling yes on purpose) really fucked things up…We need to talk about Abe | The Japan Times

Recent statements by the government of Shinzo Abe raise disturbing questions about decision-making in Japan. How much room is there in Abe’s political view for questioning or debate or argument, let alone dissent? Or is he just dedicated to rewriting the Constitution to remove the taint of the Occupation, allow fully-fledged military forces, and thus make Japan a “normal” country — without considering what “normal” means or its implications — and to hell with anything else?

Consider some recent actions:

fc686f638d618f500639a5b687546647• The passing in late 2013 of the secrecy law, allowing the government virtually unchallenged powers to designate information in the fields of security and diplomacy almost without limits as “secrets,” thus making topics related to the information virtually closed for public discussion.

Okay, now that article/op/ed goes into a lot of things, way beyond what I want to point out, so go and read it in full. The main thing I want to address is the Secrecy Law. 2013.

Bring it up to 2015.

Academics fail Abe administration on history | The Japan Times

On May 5, in an open letter in support of historians in Japan, an international group of 187 scholars (of which I am one) urged Japan to acknowledge and atone for the forced prostitution that occurred during wartime, stating: “Denying or trivializing” what happened to the “comfort women” is “unacceptable.”

3641cf936c3d0b96f38815fe4dbeb41dThere are many instances of sexual violence in wartime, but the letter, which has already been widely circulated on the Internet and has been the topic of numerous news reports, says, “The ‘comfort women’ system was distinguished by its large scale and systematic management under the military, and by its exploitation of young, poor and vulnerable women in areas colonized or occupied by Japan.”

The scholars note disagreement over how many women were involved, but stress that “large numbers of women were held against their will and subjected to horrific brutality” in what was a brutal and “inhumane system.” The letter goes on to call for further research that is “free from government manipulation, censorship and private intimidation.”

I asked some U.S. academics about their perspectives on government censorship in 21st-century Japan. Thomas Berger, a professor of political science at Boston University and author of the 2012 book “War, Guilt and World Politics after World War II,” had various talks and his participation in an NHK documentary cancelled due to what he believes was a combination of self-censorship and pressure from senior management.

In one publication, partially funded by a government-sponsored NGO, Berger was asked to avoid the comfort women issue. He insisted that it be left in, but it came at a cost.

c6e22134a5d4f793e45e56c3c134ba1a“I did compromise by not using the term ‘sexual slavery,’” he says, while asserting that would be something he would not agree to now. Taking issue with revisionist views, Berger believes there were tens of thousands of comfort women, including some professional prostitutes, “the majority of whom were coerced in one way or another to become comfort women and who had no possibilities for escape once they reached the front lines,” she says. Moreover, “there was a far larger pattern of sexual abuse by the Japanese Army involving millions of women, some of whom were kidnapped and kept as what we today would call sex slaves.”

2f35b1c43ac788ea08fa86969350dd85Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long lobbied for a more positive spin on Japan’s past because he thinks that the prevailing narrative unfairly stigmatizes Japan and that it is difficult to nurture pride in youth based on so-called masochistic history. Thus the government is now whitewashing the history taught in Japan’s schools by forcing textbook publishers to hue to new guidelines aimed at imposing patriotic education. As a result, the comfort women have disappeared from all but one of Japan’s middle school textbooks.

Critics point out that the purpose of history is not to nurture pride and that airbrushing history is not the basis for sound education. Furthermore, promoting a propagandized version of history that fails to address the horrors Japan inflicted throughout Asia from 1931-45 leaves students poorly prepared to develop critical thinking skills and engage with others in the region. How can Japan pursue its long-standing goal of internationalization if its students are left in the dark about its past and force-fed a valorizing and exonerating history that tramples on the dignity of Japan’s neighbors? Can this jingoism serve as the basis of what the government envisions as “Super Global Universities”?

96230c69a45bd83047c79ed628684f55Hmmmm, more on this open letter here:

Historians Urge Japan to Set War Record Straight – WSJ

You can read the actual letter in full, available for download here: Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan | H-Asia | H-Net

And on the affect this situation with Japan is having on Foreign Relations.

South Korea’s Park Chides Abe But Seeks Stable Japan Ties – WSJ

Shinzo Abe’s Sorry Apology | Foreign Policy

Now think about these nations, and their fucking right wing asshole elected officials…what they stand for, who they represent, what they are doing to the people who already have a limited voice in the policies that effect the public in general. By that I mean the everyday people. Those who we used to refer to as the 99%. We, are the those who get fucked along the way….you know who we are.

2b5e4c8eb627c954dda03c32782e6b74I’m gonna narrow it down to women, children, students, the minority majority (those of the other races that will or already make up the majority, but who are not white, non-white, non- Hispanic/Native-Indian/Asian, including of course…but not limited to blacks, African-Americans, Latins, Hispanics, webbed footed, one-eyed, two headed person…who may or may not be gay, trans, bi, or lesbian…disabled, sick, mental, mad. Almost like anything you’d find in a modern Dickens novel.) The main thing being that we are not white men or white uptight women who don’t mind being trampled on and over and used by said white men of the “right kind of” faith.

7a8f132cbe08e2af6d7d0076da37f711I know we preach a lot  to the choir. Dak and BB have mentioned many times about funding for education, healthcare, housing, etc. and how the powers that be are making it harder and harder to get an education, stay healthy and keep dry.

The lord on the manor keeps his peasants and slaves from learning how to read. Keeps them feed just enough to survive so they can’t runaway….or just fat and distracted enough to ignore what is really going on right in front of them.

e74c05410ee7d3ad1591193f63b737eaAnd so many times, we have said it before, history will teach us nothing?

Back to Japan and England, Israel, and the other conservative governments agendas…

It is disturbing to me that the conservatives of other nations, like the conservative bigots of our nation, want to rewrite our  history or seem to have the audacity to blatantly rule in the Supreme Court that…Civil Rights Act is no longer needed. Women’s Rights? Sure we got that….and Equal Rights are not worthy of discussing, there is no reason to have an amendment either. Religion, of a specific brand, will only qualify for those who sit in those leather seats on the Hill and history….will teach us nothing.

21c507a9cbbcabf46681cd053e94fd6aIt is scary as shit, and it makes me worry for my daughter, what kind of Mother’s Day will she have…and what kind of Mother’s Day will be left for her daughter in those decades to come. Mother’s Day makes us think of what came before us and what will come after us…

Sorry to be such a downer today, but it is just a real lot of shitty things to see in the world.

Hope you all could post some happy mother stories, because this has been a very depressing ten years? or more?

This is an open thread.


44 Comments on “Sunday Funday Mother’s Day Funkday….”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Sky Dancing moms!

  2. RalphB says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers!

  3. bostonboomer says:

    CORRECTION: This didn’t come from Grundy’s twitter address. I was going report this person as a spammer, but the account has already been deleted.

    Saida Grundy


    May 10

    @BostonBoomer i don’t need white people like you defending me. white voices r irrelevant. wish @BU_Tweets would stop accepting whites really

    Comment edited.

  4. RalphB says:

    One note about the British elections, the SNP party which swept Scotland is right wing. They are pretty much a Labour party with Scottish nationalism thrown into the mix. Their sweep of seats would indicate to me that ultimately Scotland will go independent and will bring about the end of the UK.

    • RalphB says:

      Rather “NOT right wing”, leaving a word out really turns things around.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s looking that way. I can’t help but be sympathetic, since I have Scottish ancestry and a Scottish name.

  5. Sweet Sue says:

    Beautiful illustrations, JJ.
    Happy Mothers Day to anyone who is one or had one.

    • Beata says:

      JJ always finds the most amazing illustrations, doesn’t she? I enjoy them so much.

      Happy Mother’s Day to you, Sweet Sue.

  6. Beata says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, Sky Dancers.

    In keeping with the Mother’s Day / Scots’ theme of this post, here is the song my father used to sing to my mother. Whenever I hear it, I think of the love they once had for each other. That is a happy memory.

  7. janicen says:

    Sorry I haven’t been around much. Daughter graduated yesterday. I’m so tired but it’s the best Mothers Day present ever. Happy Mothers Day Sky Dancers!

    • Beata says:

      Congratulations to your daughter, Janice! Wishing her a wonderful future.

      • janicen says:

        Thank you Beata! It’s nice to see you on here. I hope you’re feeling okay and enjoying the beautiful spring.

        • Beata says:

          Thank you, Janice. My garden is blooming like crazy right now. My aunt says I inherited my grandmother’s green thumb. Better that than her right-wing politics! LOL.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Hi Beata,

            I just talked to my sister in Bloomington, and she told me she has already planted tomatoes! Other veggies too. It must have been very nice in Southern Indiana lately.

          • Beata says:

            It is warm, humid, and rainy here. It’s like we jumped from winter right into summer. But the gardens love it!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Congratulations to your daughter and to you!

  8. bostonboomer says:

    The Grio:

    UPDATED: Georgia school founder shocks students with racist remarks during graduation ceremony

  9. bostonboomer says:

    I’m not a mother, but today is my anniversary. I’ve been sober for 33 years today.

  10. RalphB says:

    Sigh …

    • GAgal says:

      RalphB, The first thing I noticed is the sign has horizontal and vertical lines where letters are normally inserted on a sign like this. You can tell, if you look closely that’s not true here. The letters are off the mark. The link was weird also. There is going to be a lot of spam and misdirection (as BB showed above). Please take another look at this. [moderator note: Comment updated below]

      Thanks to all of you for every single post and comment. I’m so happy to read sane commentary.

      • GAgal says:

        Any moderator, please delete my remark to Ralph. I did check the link for the third time to wonkette and it came thru finally. I apologize to Ralph and BB. Thank you.


        • bostonboomer says:

          GA gal,

          No apology is necessary. I let your comments through so you could post again in the future. Welcome!

  11. Fannie says:

    Thank you JJ. Happy Mother’s Day to you skydancers. BB, 33 years and hurt free, doesn’t get any better than that.

    Beautiful song Beata, and great memory of your parents. Janicen, so happy for your daughter’s achievement. That’s a big one today.

    I helped the grandkids make up hanging baskets for their Mothers. That was fun, and good bbq to go with. My granddaughter has been accepted in national honor society at school, she’s the soccer player and getting jazzed up about the international game in June, I think it’s with Canada.

    Getting ready to rototill up the garden tomorrow.

    Know what you mean JJ when you talk about the conservative funk going around, it’s bad, real bad.

    • Beata says:

      Fannie, it sounds like you had a very nice Mother’s Day. Good luck with your garden!

      Let’s banish that funk. Better days ahead for all of us with Hillary leading the way.

  12. NW Luna says:

    Luv the illustrations you found, JJ!