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    • America Defeats Germany Again
      There’s a good article in Der Spiegel on the German energy/industrial crisis which is worth your time. Basically industries which have high energy costs are being crushed. In particular this means chemical and automotive, both big in Germany, but extends far further. (Indeed, the chemical industry was essentially invented by Germany in the 19th century, and […]
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Is this the hopey hopey change they told us about?

What a difference a day or two makes in D.C. Yesterday, Harry Reid and the Senate refused to seat Roland Burris because of the “taint” of being appointed by Rod Blagojevich.

Continue reading

Reject trusteeship, forget about “normal politics”

The basic cry of the [ANC Youth League] did not differ from the ANC’s first constitution in 1912. But we were reaffirming and underscoring those original concerns, many of which had gone by the wayside. African nationalism was our battle cry, and our creed was the creation of one nation out of many tribes, the overthrow of white supremacy, and the establishment of truly democratic form of government. Our manifesto stated: “We believe that the national liberation of Africans will be achieved by Africans themselves.

The manifesto utterly rejected trusteeship, the idea that the white government somehow had African interests at heart.

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, p.99.

Reject trusteeship. This is the smartest phrase I have read in a long time when it comes to a fight to ending supremacy of a minority that works against the interests of a majority. Although Nelson Mandela was writing about the liberation struggle he and his compatriots waged against white supremacy in South Africa, the idea of rejecting trusteeship is going to be critical in the long walk to full autonomy for women (and anybody who is not a straight male) in our country.

Women need to appreciate that their liberation will be achieved by women themselves.

Consider each of three great emancipation/liberation struggles of the twentieth century: the fight for civil rights for blacks in the United States; the effort to end colonial rule and caste-oppression in India; and, most significantly for the post, the fight to bring democracy to South Africa. In every case there came a turning point, when the leaders of these struggles realized that they could no longer operate within a  paradigm of “normal politics”. That is they realized that that for true social transformation to occur the emphasis had to be on transcendent politics, a willingness to fight from the outside, not from within.

None of these fights I just mentioned were fights directed toward ending misogyny or sexism ; women participated, but the struggles were not aimed at ending male supremacy; they were directed against other social ills and  led by men with some rather illiberal attitudes toward women. I’m not prepared to condemn these men – e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr., M.K. Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela – for their attitudes toward women. I prefer to learn from their experiences in bringing about major social change.

Mandela in particular is a source of knowledge and inspiration for anybody determined to see a vast social transformation, one in which an oppressed majority comes to the fore. Mandela’s own development as a social and political thinker is a lesson in coming to understand true politics. I intend to continue to share his insights as guideposts for those of us who have found 2008-09 a time in which we realize that we cannot entrust the interests of women to preexisting institutions. We are starting almost from scratch.

I cannot pinpoint a moment when I became politicized, when I knew I would spend my life in the liberation struggle. …

I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered momements, produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned our people. There was no particular day on which I said, From henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead I found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.

Long Walk To Freedom, p. 95.

Do these words resonate with you? If so you are getting ready to move beyond normal politics – for Mandela’s “politicization” was in fact a rejection of the politics as usual of his time and place; he rejected tribalism in favor of African unification, he rejected incrementalism in favor of sweeping social reform; he demanded that the people whose oppression he sought to end become empowered as both a means and end of that goal.

Let us demand the same for women. We do not need breadcrumbs from either political party – we need not beg them to protect the already withered and watered down rights to reproductive freedom that are essential to women’s autonomy; we have seen the futility of supporting their favored sons in the vain hope that they will avoid employing and highlighting those who degrade and belittle women; we have seen that they will tolerate anything from a straight male regardless of the insult bestowed on women or gay men.

To be continued…

cross-posted at Heidi Li’s Potpourri and at Founder’s Blog, 51 Percent

Weblog Awards: submitted for your approval

Have you voted yet today for Best Liberal Blog or any of our recommended finalists in other categories? If not, tap the 2008 Weblog Awards badge to the right or see myiq2xu’s early morning post below.

Here are a couple of additional blogs to consider.

In the category of Best Podcast, I can’t make my mind up between This American Life or NPR’s Planet Money. Both have been indispensible to me as a source of news on the economy and the culture in general. If it weren’t for Planet Money and Dakinikat, I’d have no idea what CDS and tranches mean. And without Ira Glass, I would have forgotten what a liberal sounds like over the past 8 years.

I can’t pick a favorite so I’m alternating my vote each day. Right now, they’re both getting beat by Econ Talk, who I’ve never heard of. So, let’s step up to bat for both of these worthy podcasts. Public radio is hurting right now, mostly because it’s starting to sound like it’s run by Republicans. But these two programs are real gems and need all the help they can get while public radio continues to undergo layoffs.

Vote here for Best Podcast

Note: this post was created on my iPhone with an iapp. Utilities are very limited and the post is likely to contain misspellings and typos. Such is life behind a corporate firewall. {sigh}

The Misogynist Feminist


One of our recent visitors from Wonkette left this little gem in the comments:

Here is the deal. I have worked for progressive feminist causes all my adult life. I defended clinics, Defended birthmothers against exploitation. i canvassed for Mondale-Ferraro and withstood verbal assaults standing up for feminism and liberalism. I read this site and I am ashamed of you ladies. This is not what I thought feminism would lead to. I used to look up to your generation of females, I used to defend you as trailblazers, but you are now just whiners. I worked for Ferraro, but If I knew back when I was 18 who Ferraro would turn into I would have been ashamed as I am now.

Clinton lost because she didn’t run a good campaign and she was up against the best campaign run in modern history. She wasted money thinking she was a shoe-in. She couldn’t get enough progressives to forgive for her war vote and her unwillingness to admit she made a mistake.

Wanna a tough loss? Try working for the Mondale campaign and living through Reagan-Bush. Grow some callouses and join a cause that is positive. You are doing squat for women on this site. You are just embarrassing us.

Wonkette may be a bunch of profane drunkard political junkies but believe it or not they have far more humanity and wit than you all have in your whole collective. You suck oxygen out anywhere you are noticed. I could hardly look at you.

Wonkette at least has fun at what it does and never takes itself seriously. They make me laugh and often. This site is only poison and ugliness. Get over yourselves and figure out how you can actually do something positive in the world. This isn’t it ladies. The world is passing you by because it refuses to revolve around you.

You are not womanhood, you don’t represent me or feminism or any kind of progress for women if this site or any Puma site is your resume.

Grow up and be real women.

Let’s see, where do I start?  First of all, if the author of that piece was 18 in 1984, she would be in her 40’s right now, placing her in the middle of the PUMA demographic.  In fact, I’m pretty sure she would be older than Riverdaughter, the author of the post she was commenting on.

Secondly, I notice that our visitor didn’t make any substantive criticism or explain what made her “ashamed” of us “ladies.”  Was it our support for freedom of choice and LGBT rights?  Our posts condemning domestic violence and sexism?  Our advocacy of universal healthcare and the 51% solution?

Thirdly, in response to the standard Obama troll refrain about Hillary, I want to point out that Hillary got more primary votes than Obama (more than any Democrat ever!) while spending less money.  And she did it with the media biased against her and in favor of Obama.

Lastly, in regards to the “humanity” of the Wonkette community, how does she explain this?  Or the misogyny filled comment threads here, here and here?  How about the hundreds of vile and disgusting Wonktard comments that have filled our spam filter for the last couple of days, like the one comparing the vaginas of PUMA women to a grilled cheese sandwich?

Is this an example of Wonkette humanity?:

Neilist says at 6:55 pm, January 6th, 2009
– ReplyThis is really sick.

I watched the gabnet.com video re advertising and the sexual objectification of women, etc. I agreed with a lot of the points made, but then I read this little gem:

“This is what the victory of Barack Obama means for women: We are all fair game. It’s fine to advocate violence against Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, over and over and over. You can win a national election by doing that, no matter how unqualified and corrupt you are. It’s also fine for Obama’s chief speechwriter to feign date rape against Hillary Clinton and not only keep his privileged position in the Administration, but to write the inaugural speech.”

I immediately decided that rape is a Good Thing.

For some people, that is.

(PUMAs: Word to the wise: Cows don’t get raped.

Even if they ask politely.

Moooooooo . . . . )

Well “mothermaven?”  What’s your explanation?

An Obot State of Mind

Yes we have seen it. Yes we have witnessed it. We know all too well about the faux liberals and their tactics of sexism, misogyny, race baiting and cheating. That’s what they do. No place too low to go. No tactic too dirty to employ. No means too nasty as long it justifies their ends. They are impostors. They are conquerors and dividers employing the most disgusting strategy over and over and over again. They really aren’t too bright, but they do make a splash with their accusations of racism and their denial of the in your face sexism, why don’t you just get over it, bitches, move along nothing to see here we are the conquerors attitude that prevails in almost every obot I have ever met.

It’s really nothing new to us PUMA’s. They have been flooding our spam boxes for a full year with their filthy spew. The accusation of racism flows off us like water off a ducks back now. We know the accusation of racism is just strategy used to make people feel ashamed or embarrassed. To make people shut up about the real issues we face every single day. Expect it to get worse as it finally starts to dawn on them that their emperor has no clothes. They will lash out. They will feel like fools and look for a victim to pour their feelings of inadequacy upon. They know no other way.

Before Sarah Palin ever walked on the national stage we witnessed and fought the sexism and misogyny for eight long months. We had no friends except each other. We have stuck together and remained strong. When we witnessed another woman, Sarah Palin fall as prey to the Obot State of Mind, we stood up for her. We made a pact with each other to do everything we could to stop sexism and misogyny from creeping into our politics. Not because we agreed politically with her, but because we protest, we revolt against, because we are disgusted with those strategies and tactics.

We worked across the aisle to help rid our party of their disgusting behavior. While other members of our party basked in it. There is a principle here. Something to be admired.

So now, as we re-live the days of Obots bullying their way around the blogosphere once again, we need to stand tall and strong with Team Sarah. Team Sarah has been experiencing infiltration of their group from some people who have to much time on their hands. They are trying to infiltrate the group and use their dirty strategies to label women as racists and white supremacists. This is an Obot State of Mind. Reject it fully.

Here are examples and an explanation of the situation (via an email from Doug Collier – Team Sarah) of the type of infiltration and tactics employed by people in an Obot State of Mind:

At Team Sarah we are experiencing — and, with your help, neutralizing — an attempt to frame this community for harboring hate speech and bigotry: violations of our own Terms of Use and community standards. We have just found and documented a group of 90 invaders who are plotting to come here to post racist remarks and radical, over the top, content in an attempt to discredit us, to get you, our members, fighting each other, and to just make it difficult for us to function as a community. This is not suspicion. We have irrefutable evidence!

We know who these people are through technological traces of where they are coming from (called IP Addresses) and other means. We have the website owner’s information from the website from whence this conspiracy to vandalize our community. We have lodged a protest. And we fight on!
It is now apparent that the earlier attack on our reputation blogged at The Huffington Post was of the same nature: send in agents provocateurs to say awful things, frame us for violations of our own high standards, and treat them as “real” in order to discredit us. The smoking gun? One of the HuffPo’s claims against us is identical to what one of the website’s posters gloated about posting!

Just a few samples (we have 15 pages of documentation!) of the conspiracy in the conspirators’ own words:
Brown Moses – The idea isn’t to troll, but to agree with everyone saying insane poo poo to reinforce their belief they are the ones who are the true supporters of Sarah Palin, and those people who attempt any sort of moderation are evil Obama supporting turncoats who need to be purged. You’ll get so much insane poo poo posted then trolling will be irrelevant.
this is a pretty good point
i am trying to get them to admit to/feel more comfortable with using white nationalist rhetoric
Brown Moses -If Hillaryis44 is anything to go by the posters will eventually think they’ve pratically got direct contact with the Palin campaign thanks to the website, and anything they post will be considered by the campaign in a serious way.

I stand with Team Sarah in rebuking these tactics and people in an Obot State of Mind.

Wednesday: The Cost of Sexism

The Peapicker Mother by Dorothea LangeA lot of people don’t think there is any harm to a little bit of sexism. It’s no biggy. Actually, I don’t think many men (and some women) are aware of the sexism that occurs on a day-to-day basis that results in undermining the authority of many women. This isn’t the most overt type of sexism but it is the most pernicious.

Imagine what it is like to go to a meeting where you are one of less than a handful of females in a roomful of men. You have a presentation but as you begin to make it, several of the guys interrupt you. They smirk at some of your statements. They snicker at some prediction or proposal you make that they were previously unaware of. They terminate your presentation prematurely. When they are meeting with another department and you aren’t around, they commiserate with the other department members that you don’t know what you’re doing. They put you down.

A year later, everything you predicted comes to pass and it hurts your department in the end because work can’t proceed as smoothly as it should have. You get blamed for having a difficult personality that makes it hard for others to deal with you.

Ok, the scenario above has actually happened to me. I have the white paper that I painstakingly put together of the current working environment and policies to be implemented to improve it and it was completely ignored and ridiculed. The jerks, er, colleagues didn’t listen. They sympathized with the uncooperative department I had been working with to extract concessions. Nothing got done. We got screwed, majorly, when everything I predicted came true. Thank you very much, guys. It’s still a problem. They still haven’t learned. They are back to square one where they were two years ago.

The same thing happened to Hillary Clinton last year. Three months ago, during the bailout bill negotiations, she hit the morning TV circuit, speaking in her flat, midwestern policy speak (can’t you just see the Big Dawg doing a Gomez Addams on her? “Oh, Hill, I love it when you speak wonk!” ) She talked about refinancing mortgages, putting checks and balances in the bill, not handing the bankers a blank check, lowering expectations for investors, etc. And what did the guys do? Ignore her. Ridicule her. Smirk and completely dismiss everything she said. The didn’t implement any of her suggestions into the bailout bill.

Something similar happened with Sheila Bair, the head of the FDIC. Elizabeth Warren who heads up a Congressional Oversight Committee of the bailout bill described to Terry Gross’s Fresh Air recently how Bair has been working overtime to get investors to forgo the 15% return on investments they were expecting from their mortgage based tranches and how she has been rebuffed by those investors who insist on putting their short term interests first. To make matters worse, Tim Geithner, the new head of Treasury, is no fan of Bair’s and hasn’t been supporting her initiatives.

It all adds up. This morning in the NYTimes we have a picture of four guys sitting around a table to discuss the enormous deficit and an article titled, Obama Warns Trillion Dollar Deficit Potential. Let’s remember where Obama was during the negotiations of the bailout bill. He was on the campaign trail. John McCain thought the bill was serious enough that he suspended his campaign. I think McCain was acting responsibly, others think it was political opportunism. As a Republican, he was constrained by his party and his own past deregulatory rhetoric from doing much of anything about it. But he did give Obama a chance to lead on the subject. Obama’s response was inadequate and perfunctory. The bill was passed without many checks and balances. Instead of injecting liquidity into the markets, the banks lavished themselves with bonuses and sat on, are *sitting* on, the rest. That means it is harder for businesses that employ people to borrow money to operate. That means unemployment, fear, reduced spending and the beginning of a vicious cycle. Our own Dakinikat, also a girl with scary lady parts. has been reading the financial tea leaves and she agrees with Krugman. We are talking about a Depression.

Could it have been avoided? I don’t know. I *do* know that after the humiliating roll call at the DNC Convention, Hillary Clinton no longer had the wherewithal to promote much of anything. And yet, had the proposals she had obviously researched and put so much time into researching been implemented, there is little doubt that they would have slowed or prevented the situation we now face. It is clear that checks and balances would have directed the banks to lend. The HOLC plan would have gotten homeowners to pay their mortgages. Who knows? She might have worked with Sheila Bair to get the investors to take a loss on their tranches.

But all of that requires that the person making the suggestions have the support of her management or party or colleagues. Everytime her credibility is undermined by sniggering, dismissive behavior, the opportunity to make a difference in a timely fashion is lost.

So, the Obots who got erections from slam-dunking the women out of malice or stupidity this year should shut the F^&* up right about now. We’re all going to pay for it in one way or another.

Reminder: Don’t forget to register your vote for Best Liberal Blog (that would be The Confluence).  Do it HERE.

Wonktards Beware! ‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›

The big bad PUMAs are gonna get you!:

We are being MURDERED by Crooks & Liars some blog we have literally never heard of, called “Confluence,” right now. Please put a stop to this outrage.

As for our pathetic Blogstalkers:

I got yer rumproast right here!
I got yer rumproast right here!


Don’t forget, Captain Spaulding says VOTE!

For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here

For Best New Blog, vote for Uppity Woman here

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If you feel obligated to cast a vote in every category, Captain Spaulding says Ace of Spades is 2% less evil than the other nominees for “Best Conservative Blog” so you can vote for them here

Sic Semper Tyrannis


“Thus ever to tyrants”
(Artwork by State of Disbelief)