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PeaceNikki

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Gender: Female
Current location: Wisconsin
Member since: Sat Apr 14, 2007, 05:49 PM
Number of posts: 27,985

Journal Archives

What Ben Affleck missed in the Islamophobia debate

http://ffrf.org/news/blog/item/21513-what-ben-affleck-missed-in-the-islamophobia-debate-with-bill-maher-and-sam-harris

The missing piece of this puzzle is a basic assumption about religion Ben et. al. are mistakenly making. Their analogy of religion to race fails. Religion is not like race. Religion is an idea—a faith-based idea lacking any evidence—or a set of ideas to which one willingly adheres. Race can't be changed; religion can. All you have to do is change your mind. Think for yourself and you can be free from religion.

.....

Ideas dictate behavior, skin color does not. And religion is a set of common ideas to which one willingly subscribes. The caveat to this, and perhaps the hang up for Affleck, was noted by Maher and has been noted by Harris many times in the past. Religion is often an accident of birth and, in the case of Islam, leaving that religion can be lethal. Maher correctly observed that some Muslims are afraid to leave their religion and are even "afraid to speak out because [Islam]'s the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book." This spiritual blackmail is disgusting, but it belies the simplicity of treating religion only as a set of ideas. In other words, leaving Islam and saying that you are no longer a Muslim—that you no longer adhere to that set of ideas—is not easy for that religion. However, this caveat is not enough to substantiate Affleck, Kristal, and Steele's claims of bigotry against Maher and Harris.

Affleck himself admitted that we must criticize bad ideas, "of course we do!" Harris and Maher see Islam, as Harris put it, as "the mother lode of bad ideas" and criticize those ideas. But Affleck sees Harris and Maher as attacking Muslims. Harris and Maher are attacking Islam, the set of ideas which Muslims self-identify as subscribing to. Without doubt, there are internecine conflicts within Islam—arguments about which is the true Islam. But both sides recognized this. Harris laid out concentric circles of people who consider themselves Muslims with the ISIS–like extremists at the middle. And Kristal and Steele noted people and friends they know who are in Harris's outer circles. But again, Kristal and Steele's anecdotal evidence does not invalidate Maher and Harris's criticism of ideas: such as the idea that apostasy should be a capital crime. An idea that more than 3/4 of Egyptian Muslims agree with (that statistic actually embodies the differences among Muslims and the anecdotes raised).

Of course Islamophobia exists. A self-appointed vigilante killing a Sikh after mistaking him for a Muslim—he wanted to go out and "shoot some towelheads"—is an example of that fear running wild after 9/11. But criticizing the religion itself, pointing out its barbaric tenets, and explaining the penalties for apostasy are not examples of Islamophobia. What Maher and Harris were saying was not Islamophobic, they were simply speaking critical truths about a set of cruel, misogynistic ideas.


- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/blog/item/21513-what-ben-affleck-missed-in-the-islamophobia-debate-with-bill-maher-and-sam-harris#sthash.53QeJT85.KylQ0Dvb.dpuf

I agree with Andrew.

Are welfare, food stamps, open heart surgery and root canals not "good things" because they aren't

the ideal outcome?

These and abortion ARE all "good things".

Why Reverse Racism Isn't Real

This came across my FB feed this AM and I couldn't help but put it in the context of DU.

I spend a lot of time on the internet. I write in various places on the internet, I interact in lively and active commenting communities at different websites, and I partake in a multitude of online forums that have an ongoing and pretty continuous stream of communication between the contributors. Ya know what I’ve noticed? Any time a PoC starts to talk about their experiences with racism, a white person chimes in to derail the conversation and talk about their own experiences with ‘reverse racism.’ And yes, I’m going to say ‘any time’ and not ‘sometimes’ because I have never once been in an internet dialogue amongst commenters and observed a PoC bring up their experience with real, actual, systemic or overt racism and not encountered a white person trying to make it all about their experiences with perceived racism. Not once. It happens every time. Ya know what else? That shit is tired, played out, and incorrect. So let’s talk about why reverse racism isn’t real and why white people need to let that one go.

Racism exists when prejudice+power combine to form social constructs, legislation and widespread media bias that contribute to the oppression of the rights and liberties of a group of people. Racism is systemic, institutional, and far reaching. It is the prevalence of racism within social structures and institutional norms, along with implicit and explicit enforcement by members of a group, that allows racism to run rampant and unchecked. America is a country seeped in white privilege, and our social structure is built on colonization and forced slave labor that then turned into further systemic and ongoing oppression of PoC. We have a culture that presents whiteness as the norm and all else as ‘other’ or different. White is presented as the beauty ideal, the main face in the media (unless we’re talking about criminals, then PoC get unfairly misrepresented), the standard, the regular. It’s a structural problem that affects the perceptions of jurors in criminal cases, admissions to colleges, funding for public schools, welfare and food stamp programs, the redrawing of district lines that affect where we vote, who we see represented on T.V. and how, what schools people have access to, what neighborhoods people live in, an individual’s shopping experience, access to goods and services; it’s extensive and a part of the fabric that let’s whiteness remain dominant in American culture.

When I’m online talking to people and a PoC is sharing their experience with racism, I’m listening and I am learning. This is an experience I will probably never have in my lifetime, simply because of the skin I was born into. I need to know what I can do to be a better ally and to make the world a more equal place one interaction at a time. So I observe, I listen, I join the conversation, and I try to understand. Inevitably, here comes a white person either claiming that they have a similar experience because they grew up in an all black neighborhood and got chased on the way home from school a few times, or because their black friend tried to touch their straight hair one time without permission and OMG THAT IS SO RACIST and it is the exact same thing, or some other such bullshittery, and they expect that ignorance to be suffered in silence and with respect. If you are that kid who got chased after school, that’s horrible, and I feel bad for you. And if you are that person who had another person try to touch you without your permission, that was wrong of them, and I’m sorry that happened to you. But dudes, that shit is not racism.

The situations in which you, fellow white person, were involved were unfortunate and inappropriate, this is true. But to claim that these experiences were ‘reverse racism’ both diminishes and minimalizes the real and actual experiences of PoC who really do encounter racism. There is no system of oppression in America that actively works to oppress and subjugate white people. Sorry to break it to you, but your individual suffering is just that, individual. The individuals acting against you do not have the institutionalized power to actively oppress you in every facet of your life, nor would their racism be upheld and supported by government, media, and legislation if they did. Because you’re white.


More a link: http://feminspire.com/why-reverse-racism-isnt-real/

I wonder what her DU name is. I also think the same can and should be said about sexism.

73 Years Later, Amelia Earhart Flies Again

Taking after her famous aviator namesake, Amelia Rose Earhart took off Thursday to become the youngest woman to fly a single-engine airplane around the world.

In spite of their nearly identical names — the original Amelia Earhart's middle name was Mary — there is no biological relation. But that didn't stop the modern-day Earhart from pursuing similar passions.

The 31-year-old pilot, a former traffic and weather reporter, boarded her plane in Oakland to embark on her 24,300 nautical mile journey around the globe. Early Monday morning, Earhart took off from Brazil and is now headed for Senegal.

The total trip will take just over two weeks and will cover 14 countries. She will then touch down back in Oakland.

http://twitter.com/Amelia__Earhart/status/481994460746629120/photo/1

Along the way, Earhart will be awarding scholarships to aspiring female pilots through her charity project, the Fly With Amelia Foundation.




http://mashable.com/2014/07/01/amelia-earhart-takes-off/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

She's Tweeting the whole trip. Amazing lady!! Godspeed, Amelia!

Be very very wary of broken clocks...

You cannot and should not ignore everything else he says, WHY he says it and ignore the fundamental incompatibility of Ayn Randian thinking with anything remotely resembling a progressive or even humane worldview. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even the most retrograde political candidates are capable of stringing together a few ideas that make sense. Even David “The Holocaust was made up by some Jewish script writer in Hollywood,” Duke. Libertarians want to repeal the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, and allow companies to discriminate in the name of “free association.”

This is EXACTLY equivalent to what Tim Wise stated regarding Ron Paul:

http://www.timwise.org/2012/01/of-broken-clocks-presidential-candidates-and-the-confusion-of-certain-white-liberals/

... progressives who sing the praises of Ron Paul, all because of his views on domestic spying, bailouts for banksters, and military intervention abroad, the fact that 90 percent of his political platform is right-wing boilerplate about slashing taxes on the rich, slashing programs for the poor and working class, breaking unions, drilling for oil anywhere and everywhere, and privatizing everything from retirement programs to health care doesn’t matter: the fact that he’ll ostensibly legalize drugs is enough. And this is so, even though he has merely said he would leave drug laws up to the states (which means 49 separate drug wars, everywhere except maybe Vermont, so ya know, congrats hippies!), and he would oppose spending public money on drug rehab or education, both of which you’d need more of if drugs were legalized, but why let little details like that bother you?

Yessir, legal weed and an end to the TSA: enough to make some supposed leftists ignore everything else Ron Paul has ever said, and ignore the fundamental incompatibility of Ayn Randian thinking with anything remotely resembling a progressive or even humane worldview. And this is so, even though he wouldn’t actually have the authority to end the TSA as president, a slight glitch that is conveniently ignored by those who are desperate to once again be able to take large bottles of shaving gel onto airplanes in the name of “liberty."

...
[you] don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”

In short, regardless of what Paul may believe on certain issues, and which may fall squarely in the orbit of that which is progressive or left, his hard-core acolytes (and the ones who would be empowered most by his success) are anything but that. They want the government to stop taking their tax dollars and “giving them” to Mexicans and blacks, or anyone of any race or ethnicity who in their mind isn’t smart enough or hard working enough to have their own private health care. They don’t want the government to help homeowners who got roped into predatory loans by banks and independent mortgage brokers: instead they blame the homeowners for not being savvy enough borrowers, or they blame government regulation for ostensibly “forcing” lenders to finance housing for minorities and poor people who didn’t deserve it.

And no, you can’t separate the man from his movement, so don’t even try.

When you support or give credence to a candidate, you indirectly empower that candidate’s worldview and others who hold fast to it. So when you support or even substantively praise Ron Paul, you are empowering libertarianism, and its offshoots like Ayn Rand’s “greed is good” objectivism, and all those who believe in it. You are empowering the fans of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, in which books they learn that altruism is immoral, and that only the self matters. You are empowering the reactionary, white supremacist, Social Darwinists of this culture, who believe — as does Ron Paul — that that Greensboro Woolworth’s was right, and that the police who dragged sit-in protesters off soda fountain stools for trespassing on a white man’s property were justified in doing so, and that the freedom of department store owners to refuse to let black people try on clothes in their dressing rooms was more sacrosanct than the right of black people to be treated like human beings.

ugh. terrible.

"She said allegations also included sexual abuse by older children, visiting priests, employees and in one instance a nun."



And it's been going on for DECADES. Just like the abuse here in the states. I have been in the Milwaukee area my whole life so the abuses and cover ups here are very well known. The stories told about the things that happened at St John's School for the Deaf in "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God" have rocked me to the core.

I will never ever ever understand how anyone with a conscience can keep supporting the RCC - let alone putting them on some fucking pedestal.

Ever.

oh, horseshit. this isn't a fucking war that one side will "win". grow up.

be fucking civil. is it that fucking hard to post here and not be on some vendetta against a poster or group of posters? this place is insane sometimes and shit like this is what makes it suck.

you're part of the problem.

Molly Ivins' takedown of Paglia is classic.

http://grigr.com/2011/09/i-am-the-cosmos/

"What we have here, fellow citizens, is a crassly egocentric, raving twit. The Norman Podhoretz of our gender. That this woman is actually taken seriously as a thinker in New York intellectual circles is a clear sign of decadence, decay, and hopeless pinheadedness. Has no one in the nation’s intellectual capital the background and ability to see through a web of categorical assertions? One fashionable line of response to Paglia is to claim that even though she may be fundamentally off-base, she has 'flashes of brilliance.' If so, I missed them in her oceans of swill."

I will c&p a reply from my thread on the topic...

My intent was never to 'drive a wedge', 'be the word police', or 'be divisive'.

I wanted to discuss the harm, stigma and confusion that can be caused by the words we choose. ESPECIALLY with people who support choice and may not realize the potential harm or that the party has updated the language. The words in question of this thread are "safe, legal and rare" - specifically taking note of the word rare. In context of abortion (not unwanted pregnancies, abortion). The national party removed it because of the fact it's open to interpretation... and all of the reasons outlined in the OP.

*I* get that you and other liberals are very very likely to fully support choice. *I* get what you *MEAN* by rare. We *all* want to make unwanted pregnancies rare... but do you not see, even a little, how using the "rare" language can be harmful? There have been massive attacks in every state on abortion since 1989. And they are getting worse. And, as such, I feel it's incredibly important to discuss how our language forms our societal beliefs and vice versa. To quote LeftyMom from another thread...


LeftyMom
19. That's the political genius and moral cowardice of the phrase.
To pro-choice people it means "unplanned pregnancies shouldn't be common, for women's sake." To the mushy middle it means "abortions for deserving women but not for those trampy other women." To anti-choicers it means "let's whittle away at legalized abortion even if we can't get a ban past the Supremes yet."

It's a political Rorschach ink blot. It means what you want it to mean.


I have had at least 2 conversations here with people who literally said, "oh, hey. wow - I really hadn't thought about it like that, I will change my language". Others have been nasty, combative, dismissive and rude. And there's been a lot in between.

Bottom line - it's a discussion. This is a discussion board. It's an important topic to me and I thought to many other DUers. Again- the word that causes confusion, anger, harm, etc was REMOVED from the party platform for these reasons. It's just weird that so many DUers are fighting it.


Here is this is the Democratic Party altered platform (with "safe, legal, rare" removed):

Protecting A Woman's Right to Choose. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman's decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.


See? It's possible to support all of the things we discussed and leave the frequency out of the policy discussion to avoid the confusion and/or potential harm.

Ideally, abortion rates drop as a byproduct of the rest but we keep the focus on what it should be. We typically don't fight to expand access to something we want to be rare.

It's not that controversial.




Carry on.
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