An estimated 5 million people (5 crore) came together to create a #BiharHumanChain2018 in the Indian State of Bihar to bring awareness against child marriage and dowry.
Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, on Sunday thanked the people of Bihar for participating and forming the largest human chain against child marriage and dowry practices.
Earlier in the day, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shared a message on Twitter, saying that collective effort is required to eliminate practices of dowry and child marriage in the country and a human chain event will be organised to to show our commitment towards the cause.
Millions of people from all walks of life, age groups and professions joined hands on the streets across Bihar on Sunday to form what officials claimed was the world’s longest human chain against dowry and child marriages — the twin social evils gripping Indian society.
Authorities said more than 40 million people came out on the streets in the bone-chilling cold and stood in queues for about 30 minutes Sunday to demonstrate their resolve against the two social evils. The participants included schoolchildren, college students, teachers, officials, social activists, common men and politicians.
However, two main opposition parties in the state, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, boycotted the initiative, claiming the programme was simply a ploy to help chief minister Nitish Kumar boost his image. They said they could not show solidarity with a man who had brutally “misused the people’s mandate” by going back to partner the BJP and form a new government with its support, while the mandate was given to the erstwhile ruling Grand Alliance comprising the RJD, Congress and the Janata Dal United (JD-U) headed by Nitish Kumar.
Kumar who was the man behind the idea refused to comment on the boycott by the main opposition parties, but said the programme was against social evils in which participation of everyone was solicited. “There are already laws in place yet the twin evils continue and our purpose is to make the people aware about them,” the chief minister told the media on Sunday.
Just a few more links on this human chain…
Bihar set a record of sorts when around five crore people joined hands to form a 13,668-km long human chain in here on Sunday.
The human chain, in which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi also participated, was formed to spread awareness about two social evils – child marriage and dowry.
Apart from ruling party legislators and bureaucrats, lakhs of school and college students, teachers, lawyers and academicians took to the streets, where they lined up forming a human chain from 12 noon to 12.30 pm.
The entire event was captured by 40 drone cameras. A documentary film about the human chain will be shown in 127 cinema halls across Bihar.
This human chain has broken the record set in January 2017, when a human chain of 12,417 km was formed by around four crore people in support of the prohibition implemented by the Nitish regime.
RJD, Cong absent
The only stark difference this year was the absence of RJD and Congress leaders from the event. Only one leader from the parties – Congress MLC Ram Chandra Bharti – attended the event, making Nitish’s former partners in the Grand Alliance conspicuous by their absence.
“Nitish is one chief minister who spends crores in image-branding,” said RJD vice president Shivanand Tiwary.
Congress spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra demanded a white paper on the exorbitant expenses incurred in organising such an event.
This year, the main function was organised at Gandhi Maidan in Patna, where Nitish flagged off the event.
Similar human chains were formed in the 38 districts of the state.
Bihar’s two main opposition parties -RJD and Congress – on Sunday said that the state government’s much-trumpeted human chainagainst dowry system and child marriage turned out to be “super flop” as participation of common people could not be seen anywhere across the state.
“Only school children who were called by opening their institutions despite being Sunday, their teachers and a section of state government employees were seen standing in the human chain that remained broken here and there. Common people didn’t turn up anywhere to participate in the chain. Participation of common villagers could not be seen anywhere,” RJD’s state president Ram Chandra Purbey said, adding, “The non-participation of common people shows that CM Nitish Kumar has lost peoples’ faith.”
Last year, the same chain was formed in awareness of the campaign to ban alcohol. Only there was cooperation from among all sides of government. I have not followed the situation enough to fully grasp the entire nuance of the political climate…but I wonder just how much the actual subject of this year’s campaign…being tied to an issue like child marriage and dowry, could be a reason for the lack of full support.
Bihar has it’s problems with child marriage. Human Chain 2.0: After Battling Liquor, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Sets His Sights on Dowry – The Wire
A look at the statistics from Bihar prove just how serious and deep-rooted these issues are. According to the 2011 Census, around 3% of girls get married before the age of 14. Figures for under-age marriages from the National Family Health Survey 4 say that 39% of girls become child brides. When it comes to atrocities against women, the state ranks 26th in India, but is no. 2 in dowry-related crimes.
Between 2000 and 2015, out of total 1,15,374 dowry death cases registered in India, 17,257 cases were registered in Bihar. Beyond just cases that pertained to deaths, 18,462 cases were registered under the Dowry Prohibition Act during the same period.
The root of the problem
A complex relationship between child marriage and dowry exists in the state. Among well-to-do families, there is a growing emphasis on educating girls and letting them work. As awareness of social ills continues to grow in these circles, cases of child marriage have dropped drastically, but dowry continues to be a problem. In fact, not only is it still followed, the sums exchanging hands are astronomical at times.
Among financially weaker sections, instead of investing to educate girls, families save to pay dowry. Then, in order to not pay a heavy dowry, they opt to marry off their girls early. There is an added problem that arises from this practice: if underage brides become pregnant, there’s a heavy risk of death during the delivery of both mother and child.
More than that, there is also a market opportunity here. Every year, when the wedding season swings around, advertisements spring up everywhere indirectly indicating what would make for a good dowry present. In fact, as Geetanjali Mukherjee wrote in her book Dowry Death in India, published in 1999, advertisements even advise families on how to save on dowry. The book noted that “until recently, billboard advertisements in Bombay, for instance, made an unabashed appeal to pregnant women to take the expensive and somewhat risky amniocentesis test. It importuned them to spend 500 rupees now on the test in order to save 50,000 rupees in future on a daughter’s dowry”.
In contrast to Nitish’s earlier campaign against liquor where the administrative and legal measures worked quite well, in the case of dowry, there is not much space for the police to act proactively. Data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) tells us that approximately 60% of the dowry-related cases which reach the police are those where there has been a death. This means that most victims avoid going to the authorities, which is why despite strict laws against this practice, dowry-related crimes continue unabated, be it in Bihar or India. The number of cases of dowry deaths in India stood at 6,851 in 2001. That figure jumped to 7,634 in 2015. The same trend was observed in Bihar. During the same period, cases in Bihar increased from 859 in 2001 to 1,154 in 2015.
According to the article in The Wire, unlike the banning of alcohol…the issue of ending child marriage must deal with changing the mindset of people…
More than a law, what is required is changing personal opinions.
Nitish appears to have understood that this is the battle that matters. His campaign against dowry and child marriage will see him act more like a reformer working to swing a big changes in the opinion of the masses more than a chief minister taking the administrative route to fix the state of affairs. This is why he is personally visiting the homes of those who are getting married without the dowry angle. Along with Nitish Kumar, Sushil Kumar Modi, the deputy chief minister, used the marriage of his eldest son to set an example of a dowry-free marriage.
Nitish has undoubtedly taken on a herculean task, but there are certain doubts in the minds of the public. Is this another tactic to keep cadres busy, much like the plantation drive?
With assembly elections just a year away, there is little scope that the anti-dowry campaign will bear any electoral fruits. But if Nitish’s latest battle bears even some fruit, it’s still a step ahead in the fight for gender justice.
All the same, I feel that bringing awareness to the crisis of child marriage goes far in helping create a dialogue about an issue that will not go away any time soon.
Here are some tweets with images of the day, #BiharHumanChain2018 :
Last week Human Rights Watch came out with their World Report 2018: Fighting for Rights Succeeds | Human Rights Watch
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.
© 2017 Dar Yasin/AP
In the 643-page World Report, its 28th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that when leaders push back strongly against politicians who demonize minorities, attack human rights, and undermine democratic institutions, they can limit the advance of populists. But where mainstream politicians capitulate to a message of hate and exclusion, the authoritarian populists flourish.
“The past year showed the importance of pushing back against the threat posed by demagogues and their abusive policies,” Roth said. “As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, the best way to honor its principles is to vigorously defend them against those leaders who seek political advantage by depriving marginalized groups of the rights guaranteed for all.”
Please go to this link World Report 2018 | Status of Human Rights Around the World to read more and to look up how each of the 90 countries square up…
You may find the United States quite interesting:
The strong civil society and democratic institutions of the United States were tested in the first year of the administration of President Donald Trump. Across a range of issues in 2017, the US moved backward on human rights at home and abroad.
Trump has targeted refugees and immigrants, calling them criminals and security threats; emboldened racist politics by equivocating on white nationalism; and consistently championed anti-Muslim ideas and policies. His administration has embraced policies that will roll back access to reproductive health care for women; championed health insurance changes that would leave many more Americans without access to affordable health care; and undermined police accountability for abuse. Trump has also expressed disdain for independent media and for federal courts that have blocked some of his actions. And he has repeatedly coddled autocratic leaders and showed little interest or leadership in pressing for the respect of human rights abroad.
The individuals most likely to suffer abuse in the United States—including members of racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, children, the poor, and prisoners—are often least able to defend their rights in court or via the political process. Many vulnerable groups endured renewed attacks on their rights during the year. Other longstanding US laws and practices—particularly related to criminal and juvenile justice, immigration, and national security—continued to violate internationally recognized human rights.
Lots and lots more at the link…reading it is like going through an abbreviated list of shithole actions taken by a shithole president.
Before I end with pictures and tweets from yesterday’s marches…
One year ago Sunday, the largest single-day protest in U.S. history took place. The Women’s March, which followed the inauguration of Donald Trump, consisted of over 650 marches of roughly five million participants. The organizers were women, most protesters were women, and the targets were the misogynists of the Trump administration and their repressive policies. Protesters warned of the new government’s autocratic tendencies and planned persecution of the marginalized. Their warnings were not heeded by pundits clinging to the illusion of “checks and balances” or the “presidential pivot,” but they were right.
One year later, women remain the backbone of the opposition to President Trump, and those opposing him comprise the majority of the electorate. You would not know this from reading many U.S. media outlets, which focus disproportionately on Trump voters, with papers like the New York Times even surrendering an op-ed page to them. On Saturday, an enormously popular second women’s march caught the country by surprise, as there was little media attention to it paid beforehand despite the massive amount of preparation and participants involved.
I wanted to show you this little bit of the anti-women’s march protest going around today:
Heimbach’s Nazis are returning to Tennessee to protest the Women’s March taking place in Knoxville on Sunday. The Nazis plan to attach themselves to a competing anti-abortion “March for Life” rally. How this will pan out for the fascists is anyone’s guess, but back in October, things didn’t go well for them in the Volunteer State. Heimbach’s crew started a fight with a biracial couple in a Brentwood pub. And their two rallies only put a spotlight on the weakness of their movement and the strength of their opposition. The second event, in Murfreesboro, was a total flop. Heimbach’s Nazis bailed, scared off by hundreds of counter-demonstrators who descended on Murfreesboro’s main square.
It makes me sick.
This is an open thread…what are you reading about today?
The status quo is beginning to regroup after the initial onslaught of the #MeToo movement. Of course, it’s more effective to have women to make its case. Keeps everything polite. It’s just a bunch of women with different opinions, right?
Recently, for instance, Catherine Deneuve, who has been a movie star since the 1960s, and her co-signatories lamented the loss of sexual fun if men had to start paying attention to what women want. As Laura Kipnis points out at the end of her excellent article:
It’s the historical amnesia of the Deneuve document that’s so objectionable. To the extent that women’s bodies are still treated as public property by men, whether that means groping us or deciding what we can do with our uteruses, women do not have civic equality. To miss that point is to miss the political importance and the political lineage of #MeToo: the latest step in a centuries long political struggle for women to simply control our own bodies. …
The political requirement of the post-#MeToo moment is insisting that control of our bodies is the beginning of freedom. Not its terminus, but a starting point. Freedom needs to be more than notional, it also needs to be embodied.
Autonomy, freedom, civil rights are the substance of #MeToo.
But I wanted to address the silly end of the spectrum: the concept that somehow sex will become a robotic interaction requiring permission slips signed in triplicate.
The problem is that we (humans) don’t have a reality-based concept of what sex is.
No, really. Hear me out.
One school of thought imagines that it’s anything to do with sex organs. So, if sex organs are involved, rape and torture are somehow about sex. As if anyone spends their days dreaming about how to be brutalized. To paraphrase Kipnis a bit, “It sounds like an especially Catholic form of [sex], involving much mortification of the flesh.”
The intense stupidity of that definition has led to the recent refinement centering consent. Sex is still about using sex organs, but it has to be preceded by the people involved saying, “Oh, awright already.”
That means out-and-out crimes can’t hide behind sex, but it doesn’t solve the problem of jerks or of the social power they hold. Jill Filipovic wrote an insightful article pointing out that “sex in a misogynist world” has thousands of ways of giving women colorless unsatisfying experiences at best. They may not be assault, but they have the same philosophy: women don’t count.
#MeToo exploded at that attitude. The movement wants the end of the entire steaming pile of crap, and that’s what has some people so worried. They may not really see why sex crimes are crimes and not sex, but they’re learning to shut up about it. They’ve heard of the concept that the woman should be getting something she wants out of sex and they’re so broadminded they’re fine with that if it doesn’t require anything from them.
But the #MeToo movement is also objecting to, well, what can you call it but plain old rudeness? That lack of consideration you dump on worthless people because there’s not a damn thing they can do about it. Where will it all end? (Yes, of course those same men are quite capable of being polite to bosses and policemen, but women are so weird and mysterious, you know? They don’t understand jokes. They take offense at mistakes.) Nobody will be able to do anything and you’ll never get any sex again.
(In one limited respect it is a valid concern. We’re dealing with a scale that goes from criminal to socially unacceptable to rude. At the nether ends of the scale, the sorts of situations where exposure or job loss or jail are good consequences, due process is a real concern. Margaret Atwood was jumped on by the twitverse for having the temerity to point that out. Due process may not always entail the full nine legal yards. It might be less formal ways of verifying the truth of complaints. But whatever its precise form, the point is to avoid lumping the innocent in with the guilty. How can anybody, whose whole complaint is an inability to find justice for themselves, insist on depriving others of justice?)
So, to return to the worry that sex as we know it will vanish and nobody will ever get any again, that would be true. If sex is something to get, there’s no part of that spectrum that’s any use to the thing being got. Not the relatively less harmful end of intravaginal masturbation, and growing worse all the way down till it disappears into criminal types of getting. That’s why Rebecca Traister in her excellent article points out that consensual sex can still be bad and quotes Dusenbery saying that what’s needed is to “promote a specific vision of what sexual equality could entail.”
Well, here’s my version of that vision.
Have you ever been with a group of good friends, sharing jokes that just get funnier and funnier until you’re all helpless with laughter? Possibly the individual jokes aren’t even all that hilarious, but the mood catches everyone and gets stronger in the sharing. If you told yourself the same joke in an empty room, it might be funny but you’d barely smile.
You see where that analogy is headed. That’s how to view sex. It’s a feeling of play, and fun, and delight, and pleasure that’s gets stronger in the sharing. And it’s definitely not the same by yourself in an empty room. Sex organs help trigger the feeling, but the feeling is the point, not the organs. Just as breath and vocal cords enable laughter. The feeling of fun is the point, not vocal exercise.
Another way the analogy is useful is to demonstrate that sex is not and cannot be on any spectrum where sharing is impossible. If the boss tells a joke and everybody has to dutifully laugh, it’s not fun at all. And that’s analogous to the relatively benign, masturbatory end of the scale of unshared sex. There’s no equivalent for the tortured end because nobody ever terrorizes someone into immobility and chokes puffs of air out of them and tries to call that laughter.
Power differentials preclude sharing, and the bigger the difference the less sharing is possible.
But wait, I hear objections at the back. Men get off. They don’t care about the rest of these fancy sex feelings.
That would be like saying sneezing is the same as laughter. It is not. Laughter happens when you’re having fun. Sneezing, like orgasm without feelings, is just a reflex. It’s a release, but it’s not exactly fun. The two are not the same. One doesn’t feel like happiness. The other does.
Besides, if getting off was the only requirement, everybody would simply masturbate. Much simpler, if the result was the same. It’s not. Instead, women turn themselves inside out and their lives upside down in the hope of sharing good time with men. And men bend the whole society into making sure women need them and will be there for them. If men didn’t care about loving feelings, they wouldn’t need to try to turn women into some kind of domestic pets trained to provide them.
Trying to keep humans as sex pets requires crosslinkage between dominance and sex. That may work to justify keeping human pets, but it doesn’t change the fundamental incompatibility between sharing fun and forcing submission. You can crosslink the use of sex organs and dominance all you want, it’ll never bring happiness. It’s like crosslinking a bicycle and a sledgehammer and expecting the combination to bake a cake. None of those things work together or achieve any result. It’s a fundamental error about what sex is.
The result is an irony floating on top of the cosmic waste that is patriarchy: you’ll only get the highs it promises when you ditch it.
The thing is, love and life and laughter will always pull people like the sun pulls the earth. People will always stream toward sex that feels good and away from pain and humiliation. Sex is in no danger. The patriarchy is.
Crossposted from Acid Test
This is going to be quick, that is what happens when a migraine is on day two…and the medicine ain’t working.
Boston Boomer is under the weather today, so I’m bringing you the round up for the day.
First up I have to start this thread with a little tongue in cheek;
Okay, now let’s get serious.
Why do I get the feeling the passengers that were “randomly” chosen for United to “reaccommodate” perhaps had a little more than a random pick behind it?
People are rallying around the passenger who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday, in response to what many see as attempts to vilify a victim.
On Tuesday, the Louisville Courier-Journal published an article reporting that the passenger, David Dao, “has a troubled history in Kentucky.” The article cites past drug-related felonies in the early 2000s, noting that the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure allowed Dao to resume practicing medicine in 2015.
Soon after the article published, many people took to social media to criticize the Courier-Journal for seemingly attempting to justify an incident in which Dao was dragged from United Express Flight 3411 by law enforcement officers. Dao suffered injuries to his face, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
None of this man’s past has anything to do with the atrocious treatment he received…but I would not put it past the company to have orchestrated the chosen 4 for just this possible situation. I bet that is part of the protocol. Pick people that can be exploited negatively in the press if you need to…
More tweets of anger at CJ and support of David Dao at that link.
Onward to the shooting and murder of two people at a California primary school.
I mentioned in a comment last week that my dad is part of this survival group, and that there was a rumor going on about the strike force heading to the Korean Peninsula…well, last night he told me the new rumor is that China is dealing with a huge number of refugees from North Korea flooding into the country because of the fear that tRump is going to blow Kim Jong Un off the planet.
I don’t know, the shit is hitting the fan.
I had to do it…
But here are some news links about all that shit.
As for the Syria and Putin and Assad shit. (The word shit has become my go to expression for everything lately, you can take a look at some of these updates.
It is all so disturbing.
Thursday evening, Trump attacked Syria, a sovereign country, with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. This act of war was done without Congressional authorization, even after Trump’s August, 2013, tweet that “Obama needs Congressional approval” before attacking Syria in nearly-identical circumstances.
The following morning, headlines like this one appeared in the business press: Raytheon, maker of Tomahawk missiles, leads premarket rally in defense stocks:
Defense and energy stocks dominated the list of premarket gainers on the S&P 500 Friday, led by Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon Corp., after U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base overnight.
Donald Trump apparently owns Raytheon stock. In May, 2016, Trump reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he owned Raytheon stock. Interestingly, this FEC report does not appear to include the extensive web of offshore anonymous shell corporations Trump uses to mask assets.
Since that filing Trump’s assets have not been sold with the proceeds placed into a “blind trust,” and there is no public record of his having otherwise sold the stock. Not only that, but Trump is able to draw cash from his “trust” at any time. He could literally have pocketed cash from his gains from attacking Syria.
Read the rest at the link.
But tRump is not only profiting on the attack in Syria. He is making money on his time off, away from, the White House:
Again, I can’t believe that nothing has been done to move forward with impeachment.
The Sessions’ Justice Department had tried to stop the ruling.
Margaret Atwood—author of The Handmaid’s Tale and dozens of other novels, short-story collections, children’s books, works of poetry and criticism, and the new comic-book series Angel Catbird—is the subject of a lengthy and insightful profile in The New Yorker. She speaks briefly on Donald Trump’s presidency, telling New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead, “If the election of Donald Trump were fiction… it would be too implausible to satisfy readers.” It’s an insightful viewpoint from the writer of speculative fiction (her preferred term over “science fiction”), who’s penned arguably the most influential speculation through the lens of patriarchy. Atwood goes on to say:
Fiction has to be something that people would actually believe. If you had published it last June, everybody would have said, “That is never going to happen.”
This study looks like an interesting read….
Why did the Arab spring fail? Despite a number of revolutions in the Arab world, in the end only Tunisia emerged as a functioning democracy. Results from an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Gothenburg indicate that the problem might be traced partially to the lack of women’s civil rights in the region.
A new study published in the European Journal of Political Research discusses the importance of women’s rights for countries to become democratic. The researchers used a dataset developed by V-Dem, a research institution cohosted by the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the University of Notre Dame (USA). The dataset includes the state of democracy in 177 countries over the years 1900 to 2012.
The study demonstrates that countries do not become fully democratic without political and social rights for women. This is particularly true for the Arab Spring countries, where the failure to foster women’s rights compromised any attempt at democratic governance in the area.
According to Professor Staffan Lindberg, director of the V-Dem Institute, the result is important because it shows that democratic development is not gender blind: societies transitioning from authoritarian regimes strongly need women in order to develop functioning democratic governments.
This next link is for Dak, another grave for you.
The desert bloom from space….is something to see.
And I will end it on that note.
This is an open thread. I hope BB starts to feel better, and that y’all have a good afternoon.
This will be a quick post, and it won’t mention a tRump at all.
Well, except for this little tidbit…
Republicans are demanding Democratic support for Donald Trump’s nominee to the stolen Supreme Court seat, but the White House is denying some Democratic women the opportunity to even meet with him for questioning.
Not surprising when his VP won’t even have dinner with any woman other than his wife.
The vice-president’s rule is insulting for men and limiting for women. But let’s not let Pence’s sexism distract us from his whole party’s sexist agenda
Also, on that note…Mike Pence strips women of healthcare with tie-breaking Senate vote
Vice President Mike Pence just used his powers in the Senate to be the lone decider in whether or not women will have access to crucial healthcare coverage.
In a 51-50 vote, Senate Republicans — with a few members defecting to side with Democrats — just repealed an Obama-era regulation that puts states “on notice” with respect to funding Planned Parenthood health centers. The initial regulation stipulated that states that sought to deny Title X funding — which goes to groups like Planned Parenthood that provide low-income Americans with affordable family planning services — would be in violation of federal law.
The National Women’s Law Center broke down the harm that the latest decision by Vice President Pence and Senate Republicans would cause to low-income women in a recent blog post:
Breast exams—which were provided to over 1 million women nationally at Title X sites in 2015;
Other important confidential preventive care, including screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV, and health education; and
Contraceptive care and counseling that helped women avoid 904,000 unintended pregnancies, which would have resulted in 439,000 unplanned births in 2014.
The move to relieve states attempting to cut Title X grants to dry up Planned Parenthood’s funding comes on the heels of the Republicans’ embarrassing Trumpcare defeat last week, when President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposed healthcare overhaul didn’t even receive a vote in the heavily Republican House of Representatives. With Pence’s latest tiebreaker, Republicans will now no longer be 0-1 in fulfilling campaign promises related to taking away healthcare for low-income people.
What a way to end out the month that was supposed to celebrate women…
It is constantly amazing to me how the right can continue to put forth life threatening laws like this:
An Iowa state representative is under fire after saying women who miscarry after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be forced to carry their dead fetuses to term.
During a hearing Wednesday of Senate File 471, which would clear the way for a state ban on abortions after the 20-week mark, Republican Rep. Shannon Lundgren — the manager of 471 — faced a question from fellow Rep. John Forbes, a Democrat.
Noting that he has a daughter who is 20 weeks pregnant, Forbes asked that under the bill, would his daughter have to carry her child to term even if a doctor told her there was no longer a heartbeat.
“Is that good medicine?” Forbes wondered.
“This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman. It was written to save babies’ lives, giving the choice and being the voice of those babies…that don’t have one. I understand what you’re saying—this fetus, this baby, is not alive. I would concur that in that instance, if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby.”
And this isn’t all that we have seen from the GOP this week…Georgia lawmakers cruelly mocked rape survivor lobbying against harmful bill
If you REALLY want to rage, watch this clip of Ehrhart saying being “falsely accused” is just as traumatizing as being sexually assaulted.
The year is 2017 and that video above still shows the dangerous repercussions of rape culture that is perpetuated by the patriarchy attitudes that show no signs of calming down. Take this incident, which is not in this country…but illustrates the point: Wealthy Man in Mexico Acquitted of Rape Because He ‘Didn’t Enjoy It’
A judge in Mexico has acquitted one of three men accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on the grounds that, as one activist described it, he “didn’t enjoy it.”
Diego Cruz, who was 19 at the time, and three of his friends, all sons of wealthy businessmen and politicians, allegedly abducted their former high school classmate and forced her into the back of a car as she was leaving a party in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, in 2015. The girl said Cruz and another man, Jorge Coahuila, grabbed under her shirt and shorts. A third man, Enrique Capitaine, raped her, while the fourth sat there.
Though Judge Anuar González acknowledged that Cruz touched the girl’s breasts and genitals, he found that Cruz’s action was “incidental rubbing” that lacked “carnal intent,” and was therefore not assault.
And you know, the fight…is a world wide assault. Over in Britain: Anger as tampon tax is used to help fund anti-abortion group | Politics | The Guardian
Seriously…no wonder so many women over the world took the Woman’s March to heart.
But let’s hear it for the women and girls who are standing up to the right.
Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny is Little Miss Flint. She is 9 years old and lives in Flint, MI. She told me that in her free time she likes to “go on Twitter or just play with my toys or just lay down in bed, read, and play with my dollhouse, and color and draw and cheer.” She hasn’t been able to drink the water from the sink in her house for 1,071 days, because, as she put it, “you might die.”
Copeny’s story has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
The water smelled bad. It gave me a bad rash. It smelled like bleach. We couldn’t use it no more. [We used] bottled water: 36 gallons for a bubble bath and so we could brush our teeth.
More stories of women and girls standing up below…
Want to follow some body positive folks: 6 Body Positive Illustrators You Need To Know About
Self-love is for everybody! For those days then you feel like “ugh,” you need bright, cheerful reminders of how you are just perfect, just the way you are! Here are 6 of my favorite body-positive illustrators to watch for everyday inspiration to love yourself and be kind to your body!
With history mostly focusing on the achievements of men, it’s necessary to elevate the stories of women. As British historian and author Bettany Hughes states, “It’s the inconvenient truth that women have always been 50 percent of the population, but only occupy around 0.5 percent of recorded history. Physically the stories of women have been written out of history, rather than written in.”
That’s why the work of 24-year-old Zaira Funes is so important. During this year’s Women’s History Month, she fought this erasure by tweeting about inspirational Latin American women. Because the Salvadoran-American student chose to solely highlight Central America – an isthmus that’s also very familiar with erasure – she gave many a chance to learn and feel pride about barrier-breaking women from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize.
Funes included a range of athletes, activists, singers, and everything in between. To wrap up March, check out these Central American women who made history, as curated by Funes:
Go to the link to read more and check those women out.
And since I am packing this post with links on women, why not post a story on…The Real Story of Elizabeth Báthory: History’s Most Prolific Female Serial Killer
Whenever you hear this story, you’ll find plenty more questions than answers. Was Elizabeth Báthory really the most prolific female killer of all time? Was she framed, a victim of being a powerful woman in a time when that alone was enough to ruin her reputation?
Or was she as bad as they say, a woman who had her henchmen gather virgins (up to 650!) from neighboring villages in order to bathe in their blood, a practice she believed would keep her young?
As with the majority of history (especially history about women and other underrepresented categories of people), you’ll just have to read what we know and make up your own mind, because there will never be a black-and-white truth.
Well, y’all know what I mean.
Now a quick video, because it makes me laugh every time I see it.
If you are on Facebook, then follow the next couple of groups. They always have interesting post.
And if anything is said of feminism…this must be: Intersectionality
Let’s keep the women post going….
For some reason that Instagram of Alan Cumming is not showing up…this is the image btw:
We celebrated Transgender Day recently, and one story that went around the web caught my eye:
I put up three different links there…each has the same story but they all have little various details and quotes.
Lesbians are well-known for our unique ability to find a girlfriend and then turn that romantic relationship into an all-consuming life partnership — starting businesses, pursuing activism, revolutionizing social services, erecting schools, liberating marginalized groups. This is true today but has also been true since the beginning of time. Back in the day, many women were held back from activism and entrepreneurship by the demands of marriage and motherhood, making some women-loving-women uniquely able to pursue civilization-shifting ventures. (Although many managed to do both!) We’re gonna talk about some of those relationships here today.
For the purposes of this list, I defined “power couple” as a relationship through which both women were able to achieve greater professional, artistic or service-related success because of their relationship with each other. I leaned towards couples that actually made or did things together — whether that be starting a school, hosting a nightclub, creating social services for disadvantaged humans or making films. Also, as usual, the word “lesbian” is used as an adjective to describe a same-sex relationship, not the sexual orientation of the women in the relationship.
And for many of us, this next article may come as no surprise: What states have the best and worst quality of life for women.
Ladies love Hawaii! The island state is declared to have the best quality of life for women – while Utah, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have the worst
A new in-depth study by MoveHub ranked US states based on the quality of life for women who live there
The site looked at factors like gender pay gap, political representation in the state legislature, equality in education, and accessibility to health insurance
It also examined reproductive rights and the number of incidents of violence against women
States in the Northeast and West mostly fared best, while Utah and a cluster of Southern states performed worst
I also thought this was a good story to share, ‘Penis Seat’ Causes Double Takes on Mexico City Subway – The New York Times
A seat in a subway car in Mexico City’s metro system caused a stir earlier this year. There were awkward glances. Visible discomfort. Baffled looks. Some laughs. And of course, the inevitable pictures from passengers’ camera phones.
It was meant to be provocative, and it was. A seat was changed to look like the lower half of a male’s body, including the penis, part of a campaign by UN Women and the Mexico City government to raise awareness about sexual harassment on subways.
On the floor beneath the seat, there was a sign reading, “It is annoying to travel this way, but not compared to the sexual violence women suffer in their daily commutes.”
Video and more at the link.
And finally….this last story:
It’s a place where women rule, marriage doesn’t exist and everything follows the maternal bloodline. But is it as good for women as it sounds – and how long can it last?
A Mosuo woman weaves with a loom at her shop in Lijiang, China. Photograph: Chien-min Chung/Getty Images
Imagine a society without fathers; without marriage (or divorce); one in which nuclear families don’t exist. Grandmother sits at the head of the table; her sons and daughters live with her, along with the children of those daughters, following the maternal bloodline. Men are little more than studs, sperm donors who inseminate women but have, more often than not, little involvement in their children’s upbringing.
This progressive, feminist world – or anachronistic matriarchy, as skewed as any patriarchal society, depending on your viewpoint – exists in a lush valley in Yunnan, south-west China, in the far eastern foothills of the Himalayas. An ancient tribal community of Tibetan Buddhists called the Mosuo, they live in a surprisingly modern way: women are treated as equal, if not superior, to men; both have as many, or as few, sexual partners as they like, free from judgment; and extended families bring up the children and care for the elderly. But is it as utopian as it seems? And how much longer can it survive?
Go to the link and read the rest. It is fascinating.
Well, that is all I have for you today…this is an open thread..have at it.
Hello, I’ve used photos of woman boxers, or women boxing, before…it seemed appropriate with the latest assault in women’s rights out of Ohio and Texas, that images of women in boxing gear (vintage ones at that) should be the perfect accompaniment to this thread.
So focusing on women in this evening thread…
If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, it would pose a direct challenge to Supreme Court decisions that have found that women have a constitutional right to abortion until the point of viability, which is typically pegged around 24 weeks. Similar bills have been blocked by the courts. Because of this, even many antiabortion advocates have opposed such measures.
But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion nationally.
“New president, new Supreme Court justice appointees, change the dynamic,” state Senate President Keith Faber (R) told WHIO-TV after the vote. Asked if he believed it could withstand a constitutional challenge, he replied he felt “it has a better chance than it did before.”
There is one vacancy on the Supreme Court, left by Antonin Scalia, a conservative justice who died this year. Another conservative justice in his place would not likely change the dynamics of the court enough to alter the chances for such a bill. But that could change if Trump gets the opportunity during his term to appoint a replacement for one of the more liberal justices.
The vote is the latest sign that Trump’s election has energized conservatives on cultural matters, even as his campaign was built around an economic message. Social conservatives were heartened by his choice for vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), who shepherded some of the nation’s strictest laws in his state. They have watched approvingly as his cabinet picks have almost uniformly been outspoken against abortion rights.
Read the rest at the link.
Sign the petition here: Governor Kasich, you can’t just ban abortion | American Civil Liberties Union
On Tuesday, Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that would ban abortion at six weeks, or when a fetus’s heartbeat became audible. The so-called “heartbeat bill” is one of the strictest in the nation and has the potential to prevent women from getting abortions before they even know they’re pregnant, and it makes no exception for cases of rape or incest.
Republican Representative Jim Buchy was a strong proponent for the bill, which he said would “encourage personal responsibility.” “What we have here is really the need to give people the incentive to be more responsible so we reduce unwanted pregnancies, and by the way, the vast majority of abortions are performed on women who were not raped,” he told Ohio Public Radio.
Buchy is a longtime proponent of restricting women’s access to abortion — in 2012, he told Al Jazeera that his ultimate goal is to ban abortion completely in the State of Ohio. Then, the reporter asked him an interesting question: “What do you think makes a woman want to have an abortion?”
He pauses. Then he says, “Well, there’s probably a lot of reas— I’m not a woman.” He laughs. “I’m thinking now if I’m a woman why would I want to get … Some of it has to do with economics. A lot of it has to do with economics. I don’t know. It’s a question I’ve never even thought about.”
President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that he would help criminalize abortion. In his postelection interview with Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” Trump doubled down, promising to appoint Supreme Court judges who will vote against abortion rights.
Well, Ohio Republicans clearly believe him and are downright excited about it — so much so that state legislators in both houses used the last few days of the lame duck session to pass a bill banning abortion after the embryo begins pumping blood, at about six weeks of pregnancy. It’s called the “Heartbeat Bill,” but that’s a bit of misnomer, since the circulatory system of an embryo that early in a pregnancy hasn’t really developed what most of us recognize as a proper heart.
Now the abortion ban is headed to the desk of John Kasich, Ohio’s governor and former Republican presidential candidate. Kasich is a hard-line opponent of abortion rights and takes a dim view of women’s health care generally. Since 2011, he has waged all-out war on abortion access, using backdoor regulatory schemes to shut down half of the state’s abortion clinics.
The only hope Ohio has, Ohio House Approves Fetal Heartbeat Bill | Mother Jones….
If the measure becomes law, it will likely fail in court.
However, in Texas…this is going on…Texas Governor Can Expect Mailbox Full Of Used Tampons After Passing Abortion Burial Law
After months of fierce opposition from pro-choice activists and the medical community, state health officials in Texas who have had their sights set on punishing women that didn’t carry their pregnancies to term after failing to make abortions more costly, as well as physically and mentally draining earlier this year, have finally succeeded.
Starting December 19th, all miscarried and aborted fetuses will need to be cremated or buried in accordance with the new law, whether the woman wanted to carry the pregnancy to term or not, and regardless of the reasons behind the termination.
Ele Chupik, a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, shared an idea that many people have taken a liking to:
It is fucking 2016…and we are still dealing with shit like this?
It is looking a lot like women are totally fucked…remember this article from November 15th? What abortion could look like in America under Donald Trump – The Washington Post
If Donald Trump’s Supreme Court of the future moves to overturn Roe v. Wade, access to legal abortion in the United States wouldn’t vanish. But it would likely become staggeringly unequal — an option only for women who happen to live in a liberal state or have the money to travel to one.
For a glimpse of this possible fate, look to the recent past. In 1970, New York became the first state to allow any woman to end a pregnancy without proving she’d been raped or that her health would fail if gestation continued.
“Women flocked there,” said Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. “But low-income women, disproportionately women of color, were trapped in anti-abortion states.”
Before the Supreme Court decided to guarantee a woman’s right to seek a legal abortion in 1973, making Roe the law of the land, the procedure was banned in 30 states. At the time New York struck down its abortion limitations, allowing women to terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks, only Hawaii offered similar access — but solely to residents.
New York, however, upheld no residency requirement. In the two years after the law changed, 60 percent of women who had abortions there came from another state. By 1972, roughly women 100,000 had left their state to get a legal procedure in New York City, according the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. An estimated 50,000 traveled more than 500 miles to reach an abortion provider in the metropolis, and nearly 7,000 trekked double that distance.
If Gov. Terry Branstad is confirmed as ambassador, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will replace him as Iowa governor. Reynolds has said if abortion is criminalized, the punishment “would be equivalent to murder.”
President-elect Trump on Wednesday announced a slew of cabinet picks, including three anti-choice nominees—one of whom will clear the way in Iowa for a new governor who has said abortion patients, if such care were to be criminalized, should be punished like people who commit “murder.”
Trump intends to nominate Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) as U.S. ambassador to China, climate-change denier Scott Pruitt to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon to the Small Business Association.
While governor, Branstad’s administration pushed through restrictions on reproductive health care, including an unconstitutional ban on telemedicine abortions. In 2015, he moved to restrictfunding for Planned Parenthood affiliates after speaking at an anti-choice rally and proclaiming that “no Medicaid-funded abortions have occurred in the state” in the previous two years.
Branstad in 2013 signed a state budget that allowed him to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a person seeking Medicaid funding for abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or life endangerment could be reimbursed.
If Branstad’s appointment is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will replace him as Iowa governor. In an interview with the Carol Daily Herald Timesin July 2010, Reynolds was asked how doctors who provide abortions and women who have them should be punished if the medical procedure were criminalized.
“Well, I think it would be equivalent to murder,” Reynolds said. “I would want to research that before I would lay specifically out what the penalties would be.” When pressed for an answer, Reynolds said, “I don’t know if it needs to be the death penalty.”
Reynolds’ office did not respond to Rewire‘s requests for comment.
Just a few more articles…on abortion.
My pregnancy was going to be high-risk already. And given what I’d already been through, I made a choice. I do not bow to shrunken gods.
Two days later, I went to a little cafe here to meet with Nadya Tolokonnikova of the Russian punk band and activist art collective Pussy Riot. The group’s 2012 guerrilla performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, which viciously mocked Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church, resulted in a two-year prison sentence for Ms. Tolokonnikova and another of its members.
I had been in South Florida for family reasons and when I saw that Ms. Tolokonnikova was swinging through Miami for Art Basel, I immediately reached out to her. I’d come to view her as an emissary from a dystopian political-media environment that seemed to be heading our way, with governmental threats against dissent, disinformation from the presidential level and increasingly assertive propagandists who stoke the perception that there can be no honest arbiter of truth.
It’s what Ms. Tolokonnikova was protesting, and it’s what led to her brutal internment, which lasted more than 20 months and ended in 2013.
Leading up to Ms. Tolokonnikova’s trial, Russian news reports carried suggestions that she and her bandmates were pawns of Hillary Clinton’s State Department or witches working with a global satanic conspiracy — perhaps linked to the one that was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, as lawyers for one of their offended accusers put it. This is what we now call “fake news.”
Pussy Riot became an international symbol of Mr. Putin’s crackdown on free speech; of how his regime uses falsehood and deflection to sow confusion and undermine critics.
Now that the political-media environment that we smugly thought to be “over there” seems to be arriving over here, Ms. Tolokonnikova has a message: “It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K.,’” she told me. “It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be O.K.”
She pointed to Russian oligarchs who helped engineer Mr. Putin’s rise to power at the end of 1999 but didn’t appreciate the threat he posed to them until they found themselves under arrest, forced into exile or forced into giving up their businesses — especially if those businesses included independent media critical of Mr. Putin (see Berezovsky, Boris; Gusinsky, Vladimir).
This article was published before the CIA reports effectively stating what we knew to be true…that Putin had a hand in the Trump election. So read the rest of that article with this new information in mind.
Of course, the United States has checks, balances and traditions that presumably preclude anything like that from happening, she acknowledged as we sat comfortably in sunny Miami Beach while it played host to a celebration of free expression (Art Basel).
“It is a common phrase right now that ‘America has institutions,’” Ms. Tolokonnikova said. “It does. But a president has power to change institutions and a president moreover has power to change public perception of what is normal, which could lead to changing institutions.”
Teen Vogue editor pulls fire alarm on Trump gaslighting: He spun ‘accusations of his falsehoods’ as bias -The important part of that link is…Teen Vogue y’all.
Donald Trump’s Harassment of a Teenage Girl on Twitter Led to Death and Rape Threats
In October 2015, then-18-year-old Lauren Batchelder asked Trump a question at a political forum in New Hampshire. “So, maybe I’m wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong, but I don’t think you’re a friend to women,” she said. Trump defended himself, and Batchelder took the mic again, asking if she’d get equal pay and access to abortion with Trump as president. Trump answered: “You’re going to make the same if you do as good of a job, and I happen to be pro-life, okay?”
Batchelder thought that was the end of it, but when she woke up the next day, she realized that the current president-elect had sent out a series of tweets about her. “The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion at No Labels yesterday was a Jeb staffer!” he tweeted. (Batchelder is not, and has never been, a staffer for Jeb Bush, though she did volunteer for his campaign.) His followers replied with screenshots of Batchelder and posted her phone number and other personal information online.
Within hours, her phone began to ring, and her email inbox and Facebook account filled with threatening messages. “I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do,” Batchelder, now 19, told the Washington Post. “He was only going to tweet about it and that was it, but I didn’t really know what his supporters were going to do, and that to me was the scariest part.”
She said the abuse has continued, prompting one Trump supporter to send her a Facebook message five days before the election that read, “Wishing I could f—ing punch you in the face. id then proceed to stomp your head on the curb and urinate in your bloodied mouth and i know where you live, so watch your f—ing back punk.”
Batchelder’s case illustrates what happens when Trump, who has more than 17 million Twitter followers, goes after a private citizen online. And far from showing restraint as his following has grown, Trump has continued the pattern. On Wednesday he attacked Chuck Jones, a union leader, who wrote in the Washington Post Thursday that his office is now receiving threats, too.
But wait, there is more…Women’s March on Washington barred from Lincoln Memorial | US news | The Guardian
For the thousands hoping to echo the civil rights and anti-Vietnam rallies at Lincoln Memorial by joining the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration: time to readjust your expectations.
That’s because the National Park Service, on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters.
The NPS filed a “massive omnibus blocking permit” for many of Washington DC’s most famous political locations for days and weeks before and after the inauguration on 20 January, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional rights litigator and the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.
But banning access to public land for protesters days after the inauguration is “extremely unique”, she said in a press conference held by the Answer [Act Now to Stop War and End Racism] Coalition.
“It hasn’t come up in any way previously, where you’ve had a groundswell of people trying to have access on the Saturday, January 21, and thousands of people want to come, and the government is saying we won’t give you a permit,” she said.
“What they’ve done is take all of these spaces out of action,” she said, many of which, the Answer Coalition noted in its press release, are “historic spaces for dissent”.
After Ilhan Omar moved to the United States in the mid-1990s — fleeing war in her native Somalia and a childhood spent in a refugee camp — she went to high school in Minneapolis, and was occasionally bullied for wearing a hijab, her father wrote.
Through decades of community activism and civic leadership, Omar fought back against such forms of intolerance. And on Election Day, proudly wearing her headscarf, she made history— winning a Minnesota statehouse race to become the nation’s first Somali American lawmaker.
But less than one month later, as she visited the nation’s capital for policy training at the White House, her historic role didn’t stop a cab driver from targeting her for her religion. Riding in a taxi en route to her hotel Tuesday, after having spent the afternoon at the White House, she “became subjected to the most hateful, derogatory, islamophobic, sexist taunts and threats” she had ever experienced, she wrote in a post on social media.
“The cab driver called me ISIS and threatened to remove my hijab,” she wrote. “I wasn’t really sure how this encounter would end as I attempted to rush out of his cab and retrieve my belongs.”
You can read that article if you want to…at the link.
I will end this post with a few videos from Facebook.
This photo of Elsie Connor looked to us as if it had been Photoshopped in a very interesting way but it wasn’t—we found a version on Getty Images and it was identical to what you see above. The image and the fact that she’s identified as an Irish boxing champion on various websites made us curious about her career, but after a bit of digging we discovered that she was actually a dancer and chorus girl, and appeared in the 1930 musical Earl Carroll’s Sketch Book, the 1929 shows Fioretta and Earl Carroll’s Vanities, and the 1928 production Here’s Howe. That’s a pretty short career, and one that lacked any starring roles, but thanks to the internet she’s famous again, looking like a real world beater. The only thing is, we doubt she was ever a boxer. We can’t be 100% sure, but with no evidence that she ever stepped into a ring, as well as a very clear understanding of how often the world wide web is world wide wrong, we suspect this is just a very, er, striking publicity photo. It dates from 1931.
I don’t know about y’all, but when I read the fuckwad shitheads Bertolucci and Brando schemed together to commit a rape for their film, it made me physically ill….Bertolucci’s justification for the Last Tango rape scene is bogus. It’s called ‘acting’ for a reason | Jessica Tovey | Film | The Guardian
That is probably why this next link really struck a nerve for me?
Artemisia Gentileschi was raped when she was 19. In her career as one of Italy’s greatest painters, she resurrected and exorcized that trauma again and again.
Give this article a full read…but here is an bit to get you going:
Once, there was a man called Holofernes. He was a general, several thousand years ago, in what is now modern-day Syria. Holofernes was doing what generals often did back then—laying siege. His target was the city of Bethulia, which was almost at the point of starvation and surrender when one occupant, a woman named Judith, formulated a plan. She seduced Holofernes through charm and the promise of information. While he slept in his bed, dead drunk, she decapitated him with two slices of a blade and brought his head back to the city in a bag.
The tale of Judith and Holofernes is an ancient and sacred one, but you won’t read it in a modern Bible. It’s not historical. It’s inaccurate. And it may have been written by a woman.
The story struck a chord with Artemisia Gentileschi, one of Italy’s greatest artists during the 17th century. As a teenager, she had been raped. The trial was public and protracted, and Gentileschi was tortured during her testimony. Like Judith, she was portrayed as a slut instead of a hero. And also like Judith, Gentileschi wrote for herself a heroic narrative that would only ever be truly appreciated long after she had died.
That is all folks, sorry for the tardiness.
It’s Monday! It’s cold, gloomy, drizzly, thundering, and gray here in Swampland. I’m trying to decide when exactly we get to start the America Held Hostage Day count. At the moment, I’m holding out hope on a few bits of good news so I’m going to start on that note.
A judge has ordered a Presidential Election recount in Michigan so Trump and the Michigan AG can stew in their evil soup with their evil hearts.
A federal judge has ordered Michigan election officials to begin a massive hand recount of 4.8 million ballots cast in the presidential election at noon Monday.
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a ruling just after midnight Monday in favor of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who sought to let election officials bypass a two-business-day waiting period that would have delayed start of the recount until Wednesday morning.
Goldsmith’s order said the recount “shall commence and must continue until further order of this court.” Goldsmith wrote.
The deadline to finalize the vote total for the Electoral College is Dec. 13 and federal election law requires a period of “safe harbor” for presidential electors before the presidency is finalized on Dec. 19.
The manual recount process was scheduled to begin Wednesday as specified by state law, and in a rare Sunday hearing in federal court, Goldsmith had questioned the harm posed by waiting.
“Defendants shall instruct all governmental units participating in the recount to assemble necessary staff to work sufficient hours to assure that the recount is completed in time to comply with the ‘safe harbor’ provision,” of federal election law.
Senate Democrats may actually be steeling themselves for a fight over nominations if you believe what’s being reported on Tiger Beat on the Potomac. Will enough of them stall the Republican menace headed our way? There’s an old church down the street dedicated to St. Jude built during the yellow fever days. Maybe I should adopt that altar for awhile.
Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office.
Multiple Democratic senators told POLITICO in interviews last week that after watching Republicans sit on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court for nearly a year, they’re in no mood to fast-track Trump’s selections.
But it’s not just about exacting revenge.
Democrats argue that some of the president-elect’s more controversial Cabinet picks — such as Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary — demand a thorough public airing.
“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” fumed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”
Senate Democrats can’t block Trump’s appointments, which in all but one case need only 51 votes for confirmation. But they can turn the confirmation process into a slog.
The latest abomination of appointing a political lackey with absolutely no credentials for the job is Ben Carson to HUD. It appears that Trump is just going to fill the cabinet with one Heckuva Job Brownie after another. I don’t see much point in excerpting the bad news which you can go read at the NPR link if you so choose.
First Americans have won a concession from the Army Corps of Engineers. The agency will find a way to avoid the land of a sovereign nation of Lakota. The Feds have denied the permit to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Federal officials have denied the final permits required for the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced it would instead conduct an environmental impact review of the 1,170-mile pipeline project and determine if there are other ways to route it to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a statement.
“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The announcement comes one day before the Army Corps of Engineers’ deadline for demonstrators to leave the protest site. The governor of North Dakota had also issued an emergency evacuation order.
Protestors have clashed with police, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a Sunday statement that the Department of Justice “will continue to monitor the situation in North Dakota in the days ahead” and stands “ready to provide resources to help all those who can play a constructive role in easing tensions.”
One of the weirdest things to come out of the trend of right wingers to completely fall for fake news happened in the District this weekend. A whack from NC with a very large gun showed up at a restaurant to investigate a supposed child sex ring Hillary Clinton was running at the location. How dumb exactly are these Trump-Billies and how dangerous are they?
A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” a false election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign.
The incident caused panic, with several businesses going into lockdown as police swarmed the neighborhood after receiving the call shortly before 3 p.m.
Police said 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch, of Salisbury, N.C., walked in the front door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed a firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee. The employee was able to flee and notify police. Police said Welch proceeded to discharge the rifle inside the restaurant; they think that all other occupants had fled when Welch began shooting.
Welch has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Police said there were no reported injuries.
Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said police arrived on the scene minutes after the first call, set up a perimeter and safely arrested Welch about 45 minutes after he entered the restaurant.
This shooter lives in a conspiracy theory hell realm.
One of the key pieces of “evidence,” for example, comes from the emails WikiLeaks says came from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. The emails include references to pizza. The conspiracy theory holds that based on how frequently pizza comes up, “pizza” must be code for pedophilia.
Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis told NPR that the entire theory is “an insanely complicated, made-up, fictional lie-based story” that people in the “reality-based” community quickly dismissed as an “insane sort of joke.”
But on the fringes of the Internet, some people have been taking it seriously. The restaurant has received hundreds of death threats. Now it has had an actual armed assault.
You can wonder no further when I saw that I avoid going to Jefferson Parish whenever possible. This is a white flight community of some of the worst looking strip malls and houses you could ever imagine. It’s also home to the folks that think Steve Scalise and David Duke are election material.
A former Jets Player was gunned down in a road rage incident and the Sheriff has basically let the man go because he may be “standing his ground”. New photo imagines of the scene show that to be highly unlikely. What isn’t likely but well documented is that we still need the Black Lives Matter movement more than ever. The white dude that shot the former player and black man has been cited for road rage incidents before.’
New details are emerging about 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, the man who confessed that he shot and killed former NFL player Joe McKnight in New Orleans last Thursday, an apparent road rage incident. According to the Jefferson Parish sheriff, Gasser was arrested at the same intersection a decade ago for another road rage incident in which he allegedly followed a victim and punched him several times. NBC’s Blake McCoy reports for TODAY.
The man who was attacked by Gasser was spit on but not shot. Try guessing the key variable in this scenario that saved his life.
As of Saturday night, no charges had been brought against Gasser, who was released Thursday night by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office after questioning. The decision to release Gasser without pressing charges has prompted outrage on social media and led to questions about Louisiana’s stand-your-ground law.
In recent days, McKnight’s family members, friends, teammates and supporters have expressed grief and outrage over the killing. At a candlelight vigil held Saturday night at the Lincoln Manner Gym in Kenner where McKnight first made a name for himself as a high school football standout, around a dozen speakers expressed anguish over the road-rage-prompted fatal shooting.
“It was senseless,” U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune at the vigil. “You’re in a car with the ability to drive away, with the ability to roll your windows up, and you feel the only choice you have is to shoot three times? I can’t comprehend that.”
I can only imagine how bad it’s going to get for all of us that don’t fall into the neat little category of “safe” that only the mind of a Trump-Billy can conjure. We can only look forward to more incidents of white male violence against minorities and women. I’d be willing to be the kathouse on it.
That’s it for me today! Please share what you’re reading! I hate to just keep raining bad news on your head like the weather down here rains the cold. So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?