politics

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Structural

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

The government is taking away my child benefit? But I never bothered to claim it! Drat. And this is surely just the first of countless other social supports that will be destroyed in coming months.

The longer I remain alive, the more I am aware of structural barriers to success. From the vantage point of 39 years of age, it is obvious that my scummy little urchin self was not meant to accomplish much of anything. I was certainly not meant to smash my way to the other side and start shouting that I was shackled, subverted, sabotaged. What have I ever asked for?

Something from Home: Adele Ngoy brings International Women’s Day to Portland by Emily Ambrose

Adele Ngoy pauses while hemming a pair of slacks in the workroom of her boutique, Fladel Couture in Portland, Maine, and considers what it means to be a woman. She is dressed for the fashion business, in black slacks and tasteful gold jewelry, wearing a blouse which adorned a shop mannequin a week earlier. Adele speaks in measured English, the fifth of a five language fluency, her words heavily accented by her Congolese heritage. "For me... I am happy to be a woman, and I love it. Because, there [is] something special in being a woman. Being a mother.

It's a Long Way from Columbine to Havana: An Educator Looks at Cuba by Brian Fitzpatrick

When the smoke from the Columbine High School massacre cleared, fourteen students and one teacher in my school district were dead, and dozens were wounded. Fortunately, two huge bombs that had been planted in the building didn't explode. Shock waves rippled through the culture and our educational establishment. How had American education gotten to such a terrible and tragic turn? In the wake of Columbine, all of us teachers, veteran and novice alike, were forced to make brutally painful evaluations of our educational goals and means.
 

Dreams from My Mother by Majda Gama

The cultural abyss created by 9/11 also transformed my mother. Mama Bear is how I describe the woman who reared up in support of her Arab husband and daughters. Guantanamo Bay, the invasion of Iraq and Abu Ghraib drove her from the GOP forever. As she discovered her new voice, I fell silent. I had marched in pro-Palestinian and anti-IMF rallies, but took a backseat in the anti-war movement when DC police began indiscriminate round-ups of activists, and all bystanders within proximity of the protests. My neon hair branded me politico-punk activist, but my name gave away my ethnicity; and who knew what trouble my other passport and dual citizen status would cause? As an Arab-American, would I be detained and questioned? And where, and for how long? I joked about being the first to discover if a female ward at Guantanamo existed, but I was terrified of the place. From 2003 to 2008, I stayed out of all movements; the news cycle confirmed so many fears. Life was surreal, often nightmarish. The divide between east and west that I felt within myself was mirrored in US foreign policy.

The Fairness Doctrine’ll Get You If You Don’t Watch Out by Robert N. Lee



Republicans don't hate the old American broadcast media model because it ever persecuted them or denied them a voice - they hate it because it thwarted their own desires to persecute and alienate. That's what "The Liberal Media" means, not media that displays a constant Democratic or progressive or left bias, but media that's liberal in principle and practice, in that it allows and encourages a multiplicity of voices. That’s what American conservatives hate and always hated and it shows in their choice of media, in these post-Fairness Doctrine years.

The Tragedy Of Abortion Rhetoric by Fran Varian

I came to abortion work in a rather circuitous way. It was not expected after seven years of strict Catholic schooling and twenty-one Thanksgivings full of staunchly conservative, pro-life family debates. By the time I arrived in Seattle in 1998, a newly graduated college-educated feminist, I had left all of the conservative Catholicism behind me, but I still did not anticipate that abortion work would become my passion.

Open Letter From a Teen Mama by Amy Pace

No, I don't want a hand out just 'cause I chose to have kids as a teen, but you know what? Some steady child support, a living wage, affordable healthcare, childcare, rent that did not cost a month's pay, and a gallon of gas or milk that did not cost an hour's pay would be nice. So you wanna applaud gals who choose life? Help them. Don't be a hypocrite like both the political parties who slashed support for us moms while praising our choice to carry a baby to term.

I Just Do by Victoria Law

"I don’t know how you do it," my neighbor’s girlfriend commented. My five-year-old daughter Siu Loong was at her father’s house and I had taken advantage of my free night to attend and photograph a march against police brutality, then stayed out till midnight developing the film I had shot. "I dunno. I just do," I mumbled, not knowing what else to say. But that’s not entirely true. To simply say that leaves out the resources and community I’ve gained from years of being engaged in social justice work.

The Invisible Woman by Sherry F. Colb

Then, as a freshman, I attended a pro-life film featuring young women who spoke about boyfriends or older family members who had pressured them to have their abortions. Later, these women found themselves filled with sadness and remorse, emotions that led them to join the pro-life movement. After watching the testimony of these girls, I returned to my dormitory and asked the boy I was dating what he would do if I became pregnant and chose not to abort. Without any hesitation, he said that he would leave me.

Mothers for American Values

In the 2004 presidential election, 80% of voters who chose Bush reported their #1 issue as "values."
 
The Bush administration has purposely changed the meaning of this word to reflect a particular slice of Christianity and a particular set of wedge issues, starting with fertility, abortion and gay rights and extending to science, civil liberties and more.
 

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