Member since: Tue Jul 13, 2004, 07:39 PM
Number of posts: 2,978
Number of posts: 2,978
I think some of it comes from a very sincere analysis of the roots of their faith. You saw it in some of the comments of the students at Liberty, who interpreted Bernie in the Old Testament prophet-in-the-wilderness jeremiad tradition. I was really impressed by a few of those students who really seemed to be earnestly listening.
Then you have a much more recent intensification of a century old believe on the part of a lot of millennialist evangelicals that Jesus will only return after some sort of peace in the Mideast.
You've got a natural America-first-we-hate-Nazis-and-love-all-relatives-of-Holocaust-survivors thread among more traditionally patriotic Americans (I think all reasonable people from most political groups hate Nazis and are horrified by the Holocaust), but evangelicals (if you watch their tv shows) are seriously into pointing out how much Israeli Jews have suffered (especially ones in their 80s and 90s) and how much Americans should help them. They raise money for them A LOT.
And with the whipped up anger at Muslims, evangelicals turn to Israel because they think Israel is the original victim.
The Israel right exploits this somewhat over here. I've talked to Republican Jews who tell me the the cause of Israel and the cause of America are identical.
Now, this is countered by a few centuries here of standard anti-semitism, not limited to the South, of course. But I think that's a lot less strong here than it was.
However, many contemporary evangelicals practically fetishize Jews. They don't care if they're not practicing. If they look and sound like an Old Testament Prophet (and Bernie fits the bill in a secular way), they're going to like him. If he has relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, they'll really like him. He's automatically pro-Israel, in their mind, which makes him not come across as a pacifist to these folks.
I'm not saying I agree or disagree with these interpretations, but if you study evangelicals, it's very apparent.
Had Bernie been in the tradition of a French Protestant or a Central American Catholic I think his form of democratic socialism would be less well-received. Maybe this had to be delivered by a grumpy elderly Jewish man to get these people to open their minds. Fine by me.
Posted by zazen | Fri Jan 8, 2016, 02:42 PM (2 replies)
which you then say causes us to "get into trouble."
This is the subject for a series of essays, not this thread, but is the adversity aging women face of husbands repeatedly cheating on women with younger partners strictly some random life trauma, or is it the result of systemic oppression?
What gets conveniently elided here in these discussions is the gray area between this . . . is this a personal behavior on her husband's part that we must all ignore, or is this reflective of a larger politic?
And is her coping with it an example of personal strength against a rare tragedy or reflective of millennia of ways females have had to cope with male privilege in their interpersonal relationships?
What I'm saying is that when she's invoked as this gender hero--when the 50-year-corpus of the "personal is political" is invoked to argue for the vital urgency of her candidacy--then the politics of her marriage ARE RELEVANT.
So, her supporters either need keep it out, or come clean about it.
I'd rather judge her on her policies and ideology. She's brilliant and tough as nails, but I think her neoliberal ideology is fatally flawed.
Posted by zazen | Mon Jan 4, 2016, 01:34 PM (1 replies)
I appreciate what you're saying. I'm a lifelong feminist activist and have been on the receiving end of daily sexism and lots of male violence.
I got a lot of flack here on DU in 2007 for initiating a major protest against the "Hillary Nutcracker" ads that DU was running at the time by suggesting that no one would put up with an "Obama sex toy" ad. DU pulled the ads.
I've begun solidarity threads for her recently (as a Sanders supporter).
Her recent insinuation that Sanders was intentionally sexist was the most vile misappropriation of feminism I've even seen a Democratic candidate make. As someone who's advocated for battered women and sexual abuse victims for decades I was disgusted.
This is the height of cynical privilege. It's vile to trivialize the real suffering of females to attack some of the few male allies we actually have.
She doesn't get a pass for that, or for her collusion with Wall Street and support for invading Iraq, because asshole Republicans or even some Democrats attack her. There are billions of women who've been through so much worse. A lot are dead at the hands of men.
I don't get a free pass to lie and cheat and collude with oligarchs because of the misogyny I've experienced. I certainly am not automatically qualified to be POTUS. Neither is she.
She's lost me, for good.
Posted by zazen | Wed Oct 28, 2015, 10:25 AM (2 replies)
On a deeper level, I think he also seems a LOT more resentful than his brother.
W. showed resentment when his "entitlement" was threatened, but because W was so interpersonally clueless, he was oblivious to how much people mocked him and/or how he came across.
Jeb! seems to carry a lot more agitated resentment around with him--like he's more his Mother's son. He's not just entitled and grossly under qualified like his older brother. He's conflicted about it. . . whether because he secretly knows he doesn't deserve his privileges, or because he feels he deserves more than his brother. Don't know about that.
Posted by zazen | Mon Oct 19, 2015, 03:18 PM (1 replies)
My frustration with HRC was really high going into this debate.
But I realized that I'd be happy with EVERY PERSON ON THAT STAGE in, yes, a Clinton-led cabinet (Webb, tightly reined, back in Defense, Chaffee at Interior, O'Malley as VP), with Sanders mobilizing monthly marches to hold their feet to the fire and help transform politics at state levels as well.
What struck me, a long-time radical feminist who opposes HRC on her neoliberal policies, is that as long as HRC can actually be REAL--can actually explain to us that she isn't just cynically manipulating people but has reasons for her reserve, her calculation, her position changes, and that she actually is human enough to get pissed off at the Republicans and has the passion to call them on their shit--I can tolerate her candidacy without flinching. In fact, I can be proud of her strength.
When she says she doesn't have a position yet on something, I can handle that if she consistently says she wants all of the information before she commits. If part of how she sincerely forms positions is that she waits to decide what reflects what the people want and what can actually get done, well, I can handle that. That's a strategy. One doesn't have to agree with it, but if there's a moral compass there, somewhere, I can handle it. I sensed last night for the first time in 15 years that she does have a moral compass.
And honestly, as much as I'm so grateful for Sanders' leadership of the nascent 21st century American economic equality movement (whatever it's going to end up being called, because it's not going away), I don't know how well that would translate into presidential leadership without a cadre of democratic socialists up and down the ticket. And I don't know how well he could manage that position. I think his role, and on some level he knows this, is as the John the Baptist/Jewish prophet-type agitator and mobilizer, and in this he's already won--we've already won--because WE'VE ALREADY GOT THE JOB. Whether we win a primary or a general election, we've got lots of work to do. The mass mobilization of Americans against the oligarchs is happening and isn't going away. A serious candidate for President is a self-avowed socialist and is mobilizing 15-20% of the electorate, many of whom are young and will become more committed to these positions as they grow older. This is awesome.
A passionate, pissed off Hillary, when held to economic populist standards by a nascent, vocal democratic socialist movement fueled through social media and community activism, will begin to get 'er done in a reasoned way. She IS highly competent across a range of fronts. She really is an impressive leader.
I do not like admitting this.
The idiot mainstream media's terror of "socialism" and their disregard of their own focus groups and polling results notwithstanding, I do see her as the next President of the United States, with Martin O'Malley as her VP (that might be the bone she has to throw to the economic populists, that and Debbie's head). He is one serious attack dog, when properly harnessed. Bernie can keep mobilizing the monthly marches to take back our country. No President alone is going to be able to do it anyway. And a President doesn't have time to mobilize--that's the job of the agitator. Bernie's better at whipping up the base than she is. We need both simultaneously.
I'll vote for Bernie in the NC primary and keep campaigning for him, because as he knows best, his candidacy is the way to begin educating other Americans that our system is broken and there are alternatives.
But this morning, I am a bit relieved, and hopeful, and reminded that we've all got our work to do. In the likely event that Sanders "loses," he and we are still "winning," because we need a lot more than the Presidency to make the changes that need to occur in this country. In that sense, let her be the negotiator, while we keep agitating. The long game is too important.
Posted by zazen | Wed Oct 14, 2015, 11:40 AM (41 replies)
The Tea Party has screamed "socialist" at Obama, a corporate Democrat, for so long without any understanding of what the term has meant historically that less informed mainstream Repubs and Democrats, raised or born during Cold War, who used to recoil at the term tend to tune it out.
I mean, when you repeatedly scream that someone with obvious pro-Wall Street policies, who steadfastly protected the free market in health care, a "socialist," many people who don't really understand the term are actually _softened_ to it. I mean, if THAT's socialism, then they don't care.
Some in the Republican party have gone more to the right because of this red-baiting against Obama and now associate anything left of rapacious unregulated capitalism with "socialism" and "communism"--but they're nuts anyway. We were never going to reach them.
Everyone else is beginning to think, "meh." It's kind of like the evolution of people around women's rights over the past 50 years. When woman-haters kept screaming "bitch" or "lesbian" or "slut" at strong women as if that's an insult (my constant experience in the 1980s--if you spoke up you had to be discredited with one of the three standard epithets), finally enough people said, so what if a woman's strong or if a woman loves other women or a woman has sexual agency? Why is that an insult? The screaming of the extremists finally backfired. The culture changed around them and what they think is an insult is either meaningless or has turned into a compliment.
And so it goes with "socialist." It's not the conversation-stopping epithet it was even 10 years ago. We can paradoxically thank the right wing crazies for some of that.
Less informed independents and more open-minded Republicans may think, well, they tell me Obama's a socialist, but I like and trust Bernie a whole lot more than Obama or Hillary, and he's actually talking about returning our lives to the prosperity of my parents and grandparents' generation, so let's try his kind of socialism.
Posted by zazen | Sun Oct 4, 2015, 10:18 AM (1 replies)
So the late Andrea Dworkin is "disgusting and horrible?" Are you a teenager? You remind me of my daughter's friends who've suddenly discovered the feminist club and throwing around new terminology.
There is a long, nuanced, rich history of attempts to provide civil remedies to people coerced into pornography--beginning with protection against revenge porn 30 years before it showed up with cell phones and the Internet--and building an apparently still radical understanding that sex discrimination as currently expressed in the West has a little bit to do with a multi-billion dollar industry in which predominantly those with vaginas and XX chromosomes are trussed up, double penetrated, face simulated drownings, real beatings, real electric shocks, choked with penises, smothered with feces, etc. Oh yeah, and those who aren't underage are typically battered, addicted, or suffer from childhood CPTSD before "participating" in this empowering lifestyle.
In addition to the straight out women-hating in "legal" pornography we have dozens of racist tropes to which orgasms are conditioned. Asian females hang passively from trees, like in the photos of the Penthouse that the child murderer here in Chapel Hill had in 1985 when he kidnapped and hanged a little Asian girl from a tree at Finley Golf Course. African American women crawl on all fours in plantation settings.
Do we have a multi-billion dollar industry where white folks ejaculate to photos of African Americans being beaten and lynched? If so, is that just natural? Would those of us who expressed concern be "exclusionary anti-racists" who "opposed" their "participation" in their own degradation?
We won't get into the number of children from across the globe who are trafficked into making internet-available porn that transcend any regulation as to age or safety.
It is really, really sad to me, but not surprising given their woman-hating tactics in the 70s, 80s and 90s, that the pro-pornography camps have enlisted the cause of transgender rights as a means to continue to vilify those of us who question the conditioning of orgasms to hate, torture, and murder.
And also very sad that women who benefit from decades of feminist work throw their feminist forebears under the bus, then come here and misappropriate Patricia Williams (a big supporter of MacKinnon, btw) and her concept of intersectionality to defend this conflation.
The fact that women can be conditioned against their own interests to see sexually tortured females as some expression of freedom reminds me that Republicans who vote against their own economic interests have nothing on the capacity of self-delusion on the left.
Posted by zazen | Sat Sep 5, 2015, 07:52 AM (3 replies)
simply because these politicians have family members, friends, and constituents afflicted and they have obvious self-interest in continuing to "seek cures," however simply they understand it. Whether the biomedical research with any attention to public health and access will be funded--well, I doubt that. I suspect those goals need to fly well below the radar. Also, as you suggest, NSF and other basic research programs that can be explicitly tied to economic development or homeland security may be protected.
The American competitive granting system has become unsustainable over the last 20 years, related to the larger problems of neoliberal economics (generating from both parties), but I agree that the current GOP regime will become more explicit in targeting particular programs (like going after NSF's SBER funding). Because of crumbling universities and their ridiculous doubling down on going after sponsored funds in lieu of equitably redistributing resources from administration to faculty, the competition was already increasing even when funding levels remained at generous 1990s levels.
I've seen grant competitions with 30% funding rates hit about 1%. It's preposterous.
Re your personal situation, I've known so many poor academics--and many, many overpaid administrators--that I feel for you and don't see a lot of options within the current higher ed infrastructure.
If he's a decent writer, there's a real growth industry in consulting for foreign language researchers who wish to publish in English language journals. It pays 20-60 ish an hour, but if you've got a PhD in a biomedical field and strong editing skills, academic consulting companies can hire him freelance on an article by article basis. As for the grad students, well, it's probably the best pay in the academy they'll ever get and the sooner they start looking for other options (or investigating creating co-ops, barter economies, and homesteading skills), the less debt and re-skilling they'll need as things continue downward.
It's awful. I feel for you.
Posted by zazen | Thu Nov 20, 2014, 12:29 PM (1 replies)
The physical time out thing never worked for us. There was no way to hold my child in time-out without getting injured myself (I still take meds for an injury I got them when it flares, 15 years later. That little maniac is doing quite well at an Ivy League college today, btw.) People who aren't there say you can just carry them to their room. Trying to carry a 40-80 lb wild animal to a room without injuring them just in the act of protecting yourself is very hard. I was at least covered in bruises.
Different things worked with different kids, and consistency was critical in taking away privileges (which was difficult, as I was the heavy), but of course, number one was recognizing and then intervening before escalation. Once escalation is there, whatever we could do to extinguish the behavior without enabling it (usually ignoring) was necessary, before approaching it later with much more positive, validating strategies that also set limits. That's a book so I won't elaborate on that one.
One thing I did find--and it might sound awful and shame-based to some--when all else failed was to tell them this was inappropriate behavior that they wouldn't show to their teachers or friends, and that I was going to film it so that I had a record of it. One parent I knew actually ran around the house following his daughter with a camera while she screamed and raved and she ended up laughing at the end of it. The thing is, if they care enough about their reputation at school, then they're capable of controlling their behavior at home. If they don't care, you have another (and bigger) problem, because they may have some issues where they really can't control themselves yet.
But when I saw out of control behavior at home and controlled behavior there, I knew that I had leverage. Also, there's something about "film" that says accountability--and it gives them a neofrontal cortex kind-of sense of how they might appear to others. Maybe people used "God" like that in another era. I believe in a Higher Power personally, but we weren't a Christian church-going family so I didn't have the whole social apparatus of that to reinforce the rules, which in earlier days helped I'm sure.
As much as I can't stand being saturated with "screens" and despise how social media has directly screwed with my daughters' lives, this is one way I can harness easy video capability on an iPhone for my own advantage. Again, it needs to be used in a context of therapeutic understanding of appropriate boundaries and stuff, but it may help to de-escalate a tantrum in a pinch.
If nothing else, it's diagnostic. Like I said, if they really give a crap, that's telling. That means they have a lot more control of their behavior than they're letting on.
Both my kids are strong, poised, successful, personable, accomplished young feminists now--but they were hell on wheels for the first 10 years. Both of em. I think spunk is a good thing--if channeled well, it'll keep them from being pushovers as adults. That's the hope, anyway. I'm hoping for a thank-you on my death-bed.
Posted by zazen | Tue Sep 16, 2014, 01:56 PM (0 replies)
Like others here, I find some of her writing similar to other interesting "thought experiments," in that I do think there are elements of some heterosexual relationships in the context of 10,000 years of patriarchy (tracing back through this particular civilization, anyway) that congeal/eroticize power/submission dynamics into gender.
But then there's living in the bloomin', buzzin' confusion of the present, with complex human beings who are all born into conditioning and try to do all of the things humans do (love, hate, reproduce, protect our young, make meaning, serve others, control others) when we are limited by the language and limits of any given age.
The idealization/rejection splitting type behavior she's doing with her female friends screams borderline personality disorder, which is really better described as complex PTSD now, since it's generally a reaction to long-term childhood trauma where you had to bond with an abuser who repeatedly abused you in some way in order to survive. There _are_ people who understandably experience childhood as captivity, but it's truly sad that she can't imagine it otherwise.
Complex PTSD (and the conditions that breed it) look the same regardless of the genitalia of the actors in it. They aren't inherently patriarchal. She's taking a lot of examples of battering, rape, and sexual harassment that cross cultures and that tend to be male-on-female (in other words, patriarchy) and conflating the two. Men aren't born abusers, and women aren't born victims, but we're born into a gender system that eroticizes power and submission (that people with alternative sexualities have to struggle with as well). We're also born into a continuum of formative family situations where we may be subject to awful abuse (from women as much as from men) that lead us to a kind of borderline thinking where people are all good/all bad and where we voraciously search for patterns in others' behavior that might indicate danger.
She appears to be conflating her personal complex ptsd with the realities of patriarchy and then explaining the latter in terms of her desperate fear and paranoia from the former.
Does the drive from her complex ptsd lead her to make intelligent, thought experiment-like points about male dominance? Occasionally. But living with that level of hate, pre-judgement, self-certainty, and paranoia is just perpetuating whatever hell she came from and must prevent her from seeing love and beauty in the people around her when they don't fit into her pre-established terror-inspired categories of safe/unsafe.
As we say down here, bless her heart, and I mean that in a really nice way.
I also really, really hope she gets help before she has any children. God forbid.
Posted by zazen | Tue Jan 14, 2014, 10:10 AM (2 replies)