Archive for justice

Ferguson or Fallujah?

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Nicole Sandler Ferguson Fallujah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two images are shown above. One is courtesy of  Cpl Mike Escobar, taken in Fallujah, Iraq in 2005.  The other taken by reporter/photographer Danny Wicentowski of St. Louis' Riverfront Times two days ago in Ferguson, MO. Can you tell which is which?

It's getting increasingly more difficult by the day to tell the difference. Americans' civil rights have eroded to the point where we have to question whether the First Amendment exists as anything more than a historical reference any longer.

In case anyone needs a refresher,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Although there may be no written law establishing an official religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, the Supreme Court of the United States, just made it a whole lot easier for religious fanatics to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. There may be no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, but both have been seriously hampered in recent days, months and years, with no let-up in sight.

As for our "right of the people peaceably to assemble," that was excised from the Constitution - figuratively, anyway - when the peaceful Occupy Wall Street encampments were forcefully, forcibly and, in many cases, violently, destroyed and their occupants harassed, brutalized and arrested.

Finally, regarding our supposed right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, all one need do is some research into the plight of whistleblowers in the US today.

Either we fix the First Amendment or we need to just scrap the whole thing once and for all and start over again.

As for those pictures at the top of the post, the first one was from Fallujah, the second from Ferguson. Perhaps we should just realize that there's not much difference any more. Maybe we should just call them Fergustan.

On the show today

After listening to Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly and Washington Post reporter tell the stories of their arrests last night on MSNBC,

I was joined by Joshua Holland, senior digital producer at BillMoyers.com to help navigate the madness.

Stephen Goldstein, author of the Dictionary of American Political Bullshit joined in for his weekly No More Bullshit Minute. In light of the day's news, today's Bullshit term of the day was "Justice."

And finally, it's always an honor and a pleasure to talk with Harry Shearer. From playing Derek Smalls on This is Spinal Tap, to a litany of characters including Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders and more on The Simpsons, to more serious pursuits including blowing the lid off the reason New Orleans flooded from Hurricane Katrina by directing and narrating the documentary The Big Uneasy, and for so much more, Harry Shearer is one of our most talented American treasures.

I don't really need a reason to invite Harry on to the show, as I could easily talk with him for hours. But with the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation just behind us, and the US premiere of Shearer's take on Richard Nixon in Nixon's the One - lifted directly from the transcripts of his Oval Office recordings - coming soon, it was a perfect time for another chat.

Unfortunately, we were sidetracked a bit by the mess in Fergustan, so Harry will come back on for another conversation when the show is ready to premiere over here.

Tomorrow, we'll wrap up our week with the return of Greg Palast. And for Flashback Friday, it's back to 2000 for my interview with Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders ... radio or not!

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The Supreme Court Caught With Robes Down On Hidden Cam

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The United States Supreme Snort, er, Court-- are they for real? Well, just take a look at the hidden camera footage Funny or Die gathered for this "expose" on the Chief Justice and his all-boy's club. If you don't crack up watching this, you're not breathing.

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Elizabeth Warren "Constitutionally Fit" Thanks To An 1848 Multi-Tasking Mama Named Elizabeth

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Seneca Falls

image via UniteWomen.org

Seneca Falls examiner.com

I'm watching Senator Elizabeth Warren give another rousing, inspiring  speech.  I love her. I love a woman who takes action and fights for truth, justice and the American way.  Remember The American way?  Elizabeth Warren does.  And she wants us to fight for it.
via Netrootsnation:

If we push back hard, we can win. We fight, we win. We don’t win every time, but we’re learning to win. We’re learning to win and we will keep winning.

She is out there, supporting her colleagues who are running for office, promoting her book A Fighting Chance, calling out the bad guys, and demanding accountability.

It's July 2014 and the world is at war, going crazy.  Planes are being shot out of the air, rockets are being launched, fingers are being pointed and everyone is blaming everyone else.  Where is the accountability?

And as I watch this fabulous female Elizabeth Warren, I see another fabulous female Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who back in July 1848 gave quite the rousing inspiring speech at an herstoric convention, and paved the road (with a load of other fabulous females and males) for Elizabeth Warren to travel on.

See back in 1840, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was  twenty-four years old and on her honeymoon, enjoying - as she wrote in her diary - "the pleasures of the flesh".  Yes.  Her destination?  A convention. The 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London.  Peeps from aaaallll  around the world gathered to find a way to abolish slavery.

And keep in mind what travel was like in the eighteen hundreds; arduous, dangerous, nightmarish.  This was a large group of thoughtful committed citizens - to paraphrase the great Margaret Mead.

So, Elizabeth Cady Stanton - (who had the audacity to keep her maiden name - Cady -  and refused to say the word "obey" in her wedding vows) was privileged, educated, super smart and knew that this was an opportunity to really participate in the world. An opportunity provided by Henry Stanton, her brand new husband - an abolitionist - who was invited to the London Convention.

That's where Elizabeth Cady Stanton went on her honeymoon and that's where she met Lucretia Mott, forty-seven year old famous abolitionist and adored Quaker minister, who became Elizabeth's friend and mentor.

Ms. Mott had been invited as a delegate from The Philadelphia female Anti-Slavery Society, which she established because - as a woman - she was not allowed to speak or participate in any of the Abolitionist Meetings.

But it turned out the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention was "limited to gentlemen" and the women were

via factsonfileweb.com

constitutionally unfit for public or business meetings

and not allowed to speak or participate.

The men took a vote.  Some of them said yes, let the women participate.  But more of them, lots more, said no.  Including Elizabeth's new husband Henry Stanton.  Ooooh.  No more pleasures of the flesh for him! The women end up behind a curtain.  Behind a curtain!

So, after the meeting, walking around London, arm in arm, bonding and bitching, Lucretia and Lizzie (as Elizabeth was affectionately called), vowed to have their own meeting.

From Not for Ourselves Alone

I find it remarkable that abolitionists who so keenly feel the wrongs of the slaves should be so oblivious to the equal wrongs of their own wives, sisters, mothers, said Lizzie.

She had quite a way with words, that Lizzie.

We must hold a convention to form a society to advocate the rights of women.

And they did.  Thanks to geography and tea.

Eight years later Lizzie is a thirty-three year old, multi-tasking Mama, suffering from mental hunger and domestic drudgery, and living in Seneca Falls, a sleepy little town in upstate New York.  She gets invited to a tea party in Waterloo, the next town over. Meanwhile, Lucretia Mott goes to visit her sister in Waterloo, and gets invited to the same tea party.  Lizzie and Lucretia had not seen each other in eight years.

From Not for Ourselves Alone:

"I can find nothing to bring into play my higher faculties", she tells Lucretia.
From She's History!
"I get so angry when I see Henry going about where and how he pleases.  He can walk at will through the whole wide world or shut himself up within four walls with his books and his thoughts.  When I contrast his freedom with my bondage I am fired anew!  We must have a meeting as we discussed in London and we must do it here in Seneca Falls"!

And so a meeting was planned.

Not wanting to schlep her three little boys, who she referred to as "hellions", she called for the meeting to be held in her home town of Seneca Falls.  A working mother's practicality is the reason the first women's convention was held in Seneca Falls.
A sign was posted in the local paper;

"Women’s Right’s Convention – A convention to discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of woman will be held....in the Wesleyan Church in Seneca Falls.”

This was The First Meeting Held And Organized By American Women!
They drafted a Declaration of Sentiments, based on The Declaration Of Independence, our founding father's little list of eighteen grievances against King George.  The women just substituted men for King George.

All men and women are created equal.

But when Elizabeth had the audacity to ask for the right to vote, she stood alone.  Not even Lucretia Mott would back her up.
From Not for Ourselves Alone:

"Lizzie, thou wilt make the convention ridiculous".

But Lizzie's good friend Frederick Douglass backed her up and the right to vote  - is resolved!

From Not for Ourselves Alone:

The duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.

Watching Elizabeth Warren go after the banks and the bad guys, lobbing fact after fact, so articulately, so passionately, so brilliantly, I think of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the countless unknown fabulous females who fought and fought and pushed back hard.

Most of them died before they saw women win the right to vote.

They would adore Elizabeth Warren and I can only imagine what they would think of the most powerful country in the world holding its breath waiting for a woman to announce if she will run for President.  We've come a long way since 1848.

Of course, there's that war on women to deal with.

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Who Hurts GOP Women The Most, Men Or Women?

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"Why, I do declare," Miss Elmers said," how awfully hard these men folk make it on us demure ladies. Seems so burdensome, doesn't it now, with all those fancy big numbers and those complicated words they use. Why, it's all a woman can do to not take to the salts and feel the vapors without a man at her side to tell her what she should think. Another Mint Julep?"

If you think that awful made-up dialogue is from some old MGM costume Civil War piece, it certainly could be. But this kind of talk is actually being spewed right now as we speak. And it's being done by a North Carolina congresswoman, Renee Ellmers, who believes that the Republican Party would make more headway with women voters if it could bring policy discussions “down to a woman’s level.”

Raw Story:

The problem, she said, is that male politicians are making the policy discussion too complicated for women to understand.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” she said.

Can you really believe this woman was elected to her office in Congress? She's about as contemporary as a hooped skirt and a whale bone corset. What is going on in this country that backwards thinkers like this are being allowed to ruin the lives of other women?

North Carolina by its mere antiquated, backwards and restrictive actions has a lot to apologize for -- but Renee Elmers's election to Congress might take the cake.

Wake up people. Your votes count. Make sure you use them and use them for your best interests. You don't need someone to tell you what's right nor do you need someone to talk down to you. You deserve better than this.

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