Revelations and Stuff

Posted on November 30, 2010

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I just have a lot to say today. Mostly about some articles I came across.

First, I have to talk about one that could easily be dismissed as ridiculous if it weren’t so very real… the fact that tons of people aren’t calling this out as absurd is scary.

I am a very spiritual being, and therefore I know how hard it can be to separate your faith from public policy, but this is getting to be ridiculous. I don’t know how politicians can try to create legislation based off of religious beliefs. What is the point of saying there must be separation of church and state if we don’t actually believe it and stopped pretending like we do?  First there’s this little doozy:

To be exact: She asks fellow Republicans “to focus on key issues and not get distracted filing measures that could be considered frivolous” and to prioritize economic issues “rather than legislators squabbling over immigration, weapons or social issues.”

I agree with not filing measures that are frivolous, like ones that have to do directly with the book of Revelations, for one. And I agree 100% that squabbling will get us nowhere (neither will the 2 party system, but I suppose that is besides the point this time). But how do people believe that economic issues aren’t intrinsically linked to immigration and social issues? I could probably figure out how weapons are linked too (because it’s all connected in some way shape or form), but seriously. Economics and social concerns. Those struggling for the movement have been saying for YEARS that they are the same thing. Those at the bottom of the barrel have been trying to push economic issues for so long, because they are so closely linked to the social hierarchy and marginalization of certain groups of people. Those who are disenfranchised monetarily are also those people whom society ignores or doesn’t incorporate into the everyday norms. Coincidence?

Example: 1 in 4 women will be abused or sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Social issue, yes? Women make less money than men for the same work (not to mention the discrepancies around maternity leave, childcare, etc). Economic issue, yes? In a society where money is the #1 teller of what we value, it’s obvious we don’t value women, and subsequently an environment has been built where it’s okay to treat women as inferior. Yes this was a quick summary, but if you want I can go into great detail. My point is, there is a DIRECT link between what we value monetarily and those we value in society.

Not to mention that 1 in 4 women = an epidemic of violence against women that is going virtually unchecked. But according to these fools we should worry about money instead. Great…

Oh, and about the whole, Revelations thing, Kern believes that people should be allowed to opt out of the high resolution pictures and database because “You wouldn’t know that they are identifying you and why should the government be identifying law-abiding citizens?” well, lady, can you tell me why they’ve been doing it for years? Oh, let me guess, those anti war protesters and college students were “suspicious” and deserved to be infiltrated by government agencies, arrested, have their homes torn apart, right? Because they weren’t as perfectly.. vanilla hegemonic.. as you.

I had to take that back. It’s an insult to vanilla and I think vanilla is delicious.  But seriously, the fact that she doesn’t realize that this has been happening (or thinks those it happens to deserve it) paints a pretty nasty picture of politicians. It also reminds me of this whole TSA body scanner thing. Everyone is up in arms about being screened yet nobody cared when it was just the brown people being harassed.

Next on my list is a story from BBC about prison inmates in Bangledesh who are meditating. The course is organised by the Quantum Foundation – a non-profit org. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11863168?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter). I couldn’t be more stoked about this. Meditation and inward focus can be transformative on so many levels, I hope they follow the people who are participating and see if (that) their lives after prison are different than those who opt for normal therapy. This could be big.  If successful it will be implemented across the country. Think we could take a hint? Not likely. But imagine the possibilities! 🙂

This one, not so great. A study done in South Africa shows that 1 in 3 men admit to raping someone:

“A study commissioned by the Medical Research Foundation, a group funded by the South African government, has found that one in three men inJohannesburg has committed rape at some point.

Roughly 7 percent of the men sampled admitted to participating in a gang rape.

The study also found that more than 51 percent of the 511 women surveyed had been victims of violence from men.”

I have a few problems off the bat: 1. Looking at another country through our traditionally xenophobic lens poses a huge problem.  Especially when we separate western influence from the problem. I can hear it now “oh look at those animals over there treating women so badly. Down with them!” shut it. As if South Africa has been an independent country able to grow and flourish how they please and things just happened to turn out this way. Western Influence (destruction) always goes unspoken of. Western countries have been (metaphorically) raping African land and people for centuries, and studies show that children who grow up in violent households are more likely to reproduce that violence. Now, I do not take that metaphor lightly. This is one of the VERY few times I find “rape” 100% appropriate. But seriously, we have been destroying other countries and cultures for so long, and then we are surprised when they aren’t as “civilized” as us.. civilization is privilege, folks. And our civilization isn’t all that and a bag ‘o chips, let me tell you. Which brings me to my 2nd problem: Looking at how other countries treat women takes the heat off of us. This is something even feminists and other progressives have been guilty of in the past, and I truly hope that 4th wave feminism puts an end to it (Jessica Valenti wrote a great piece about it once). Who are we to judge another culture? When we have severe social problems around gender and sexuality we have no business poo-poo-ing what other countries are doing. Especially after what our country has done to their country. My 3rd problem is that we’ll probably have to wait a loooong time for a study like this to be done here. 1 in 4 women are abused/sexually assaulted in their lifetime. On average 3-4 women are killed daily due to Intimate Partner violence. It’s an epidemic at home as well, yet nobody pays attention, but we can write articles about FGM in the middle east or rape in Africa. Why is that? Hmmm… And lastly I think the last part about 51% of the women interviewed saying they had experienced violence from men isn’t a crazy statistic but people will take it to be one. I bet numbers are the same everywhere that women are not on an equal footing with men.. and specifically that places where gender equality is taken more seriously will be the places with less instances of femicide and violence against women.

This story is about the CIA implanting electrodes into military personnells heads without their explicit and informed consent:

Nothing new. I’ve posted stories before about our government testing LSD on children and all sorts of crazy messed up stuff.  I just wonder how much evidence it will take to create a tipping point of “dammit, government agencies you can’t keep doing hella fucked up stuff behind the people’s backs just because you want to.” This is supposed to be our country, right? The land of the people.. not the government(aka: big corporations who donate)’s country. It’s as if they think they can do no wrong. But the thing is, we all fuck up. We all make mistakes individually so who is to say that a government or a corporation or an agency (comprised of multiple individuals) can’t make mistakes? How many times do we hear “oh, sorry yeah we fucked up on that one”? NEVER. Because it’s, what, a sign of weakness? I think it would show incredible strength. Stupid masculine norms. I don’t even have the time to extrapolate how I feel on this subject. It makes me think of the whole WikiLeaks scandal though. Everyone is in an outrage over this stuff. I haven’t done enough research, but what is the big deal?OH MY GOD the people are going to know what the government has really been doing! Terrifying. Almost as terrifying as the fact that people are so absorbed in this consumerist, fast-paced pop-culture culture that they don’t CARE what is happening on a large scale, or on any scale outside of their own personal lives which include what outfit to wear, how to pay the bills, and which housewife did what this week.  And almost as terrifying as the fact that the government has been doing whatever they want (with the support of corporations who are willing to fund projects) without telling the people who, you know, make up this country, what is going on. It’s madness. And then people wonder why everything is going to hell…

And speaking of WikiLeaks, here’s an article about how the media isn’t supposed to protect the government.

This article begins by talking about how there is no safe archiving on the interweb. Duh. I also find it.. ironic? Is that the right word? Funny, or at least laughable? Well I find it something that the government gets all hot and bothered when we tap them but they tap into our lives all the time! I understand that nothing I do over the internet is private. I understand that I, along with everyone else, am being monitored for “terrorism”.. Their latest word for subversive behavior. Progressive individuals and movements are used to being tapped, infiltrated, and smeared. Even assassinated. I’ve had conversations with people where we very realistically talk about how if we continue on our current path we will be targets in one way or another, because we are incredibly subversive and possibly “dangerous” to the current state of affairs. Not because we like to be dramatic, but because we understand what happens to people who go against the grain in a big way, like we plan on doing.  I’ve had conversations with people who have already had run ins with homeland security, have already been monitored. It’s crazy. So, government agencies don’t like it when we hack and spy on them, put their business out in the open for everyone, maybe they should return the favor. Not likely.

But seriously I agree with the sentiment of this article 100%.  The media is supposed to report the news, not what the government wants them to report. Freedom of speech, fuckers. So many (republican) politicians are speaking out about how this WikiLeaks debacle is treason. It is NOT our job to protect YOU.  The media is comprised (supposedly) of the people. Journalists are individual Americans who want to spread truth to others (supposedly). The media isn’t there to just back the government. But that’s exactly what has been happening and what is the perceived norm (which I think is very evident by the outrage of a media source going against the government). So now a few people are trying to take things into their own hands and you want to vilify them. Go ahead and try.  Because the few of us who do want to know the truth and believe that the people have a RIGHT to know what their government is doing “in their name” will never stop.

“Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets. Were there some overriding national jeopardy in revealing them, greater restraint might be in order. There is no such overriding jeopardy, except from the policies themselves as revealed. Where it is doing the right thing, a great power should be robust against embarrassment.”

So if these leaked documents aren’t even volatile secrets, what’s the big deal, huh? Mull it over… One comment at the bottom of the article said “more likely it is a false flag front of our own government set up to demonize and create a system to shut down all dissenting websites and views.”… what’s terrifying as a citizen is that I find it perfectly plausible that our government would do something like that. And they’re already trying. This is a GREAT case for them against net neutrality…

goodnight

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