HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » cloudythescribbler » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 Next »

cloudythescribbler

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Nov 17, 2004, 02:00 PM
Number of posts: 2,500

Journal Archives

the delicate issue of when does this new focus on sexual transgressions become a witch hunt

I know this is a difficult and sensitive subject, including for progressives, as any discussion of sexuality and sexual transgressions is intimately bound up with concerns about human rights and feminism. But I think that the issue to be raised here is becoming increasingly glaring, and it seems that progressives are utterly unready to deal with the political problems posed by the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of "me-too" as it plays out in the context of the MSM and US politics

First off, there is the notion that any treatment of 'crossing the line' in the sexual sphere (far unlike the treatment of eg the disabled, as one who has been on disability for more than 20 years, where 'transgression' and even cruelty are tolerated in a way that these other concerns are not), when brought out into the public sphere of US politics and of both the mainstream media as well as progressive fora, in anything less than absolute terms, of "zero tolerance" is bound to be treated, at least by some, as trivialization or talking down of an all-too-long ignored area of unaccountable abuse. That there has been massive and systemic sexual abuse -- the long tolerance of serial offenders like Bill Cosby and Ray Moore and Harvey Weinstein testifies powerfully to this truth -- cannot be seriously denied or ignored by any progressive.

But at the same time, there is serious danger of the "witch hunt" in this sphere that Woody Allen warned of several weeks ago. For example, there is the case of Al Franken, who some have difficulty clearly distinguishing from Ray Moore. It is not merely that the two are obviously not equivalent. Sen Franken, though hardly the staunchest of left progressives (eg on the Iraq War, to those in the peace movement familiar with his politics at the time the movement was most active, and he had a radio show will remember) but he is among other things, a major voice in the Senate on many threatened issues, and possibly the leading advocate & defender in Congress of net neutrality -- something absolutely imperative to free speech and the so-called "free marketplace of ideas" in our society. Even after a single person stepped forward, describing concerns in the context of a USO tour where sexual boundaries (including as observed by the accuser herself, according to some sources based on YouTube), longtime Democratic activists I know were insisting that he needs to step down. The idea was that somehow Democrats couldn't raise the issue of a serial child molester like Ray Moore if the albatross of Al Franken's misdeeds hung around their necks. Now with numerous others accusing him of hand-to-ass contact during photo posing eg at the Minnesota State Fair, it is quite likely that progressives will throw him under the bus. Fortunately MN has a Democratic governor, so this situation doesn't have the implications it might have in other states.

On one hand, Donald Trump, facing a veritable tsunami of major and credible accusations, and not merely offensive speech but serious violations of rights and privacy was (almost) elected president in '16, staunchly backed by the RW evangelicals who formed a huge proportion of the core of his electoral base -- I say ALMOST elected as the GOP managed to steal the election, based on extremely cogent reports from Greg Palast that have been ignored in the same mainstream media and Democratic Party that, while utterly craven about that concern hiding in plain sight, fill the media world with stories like the concerns raised about Al Franken. And there are surely going to be others to come. While the rightwing -- Donald Trump, with little likely impact on his standing from it, staunchly continuing to back Ray Moore -- largely unites behind even the most egregious offenders, progressives can't wait to apply a 'zero tolerance' principle, essentially immune from criticism as any questioning is anti-feminist or even misogynist, to throw any and all transgressors on our side of the aisle under a bus. There is no doubt in my mind that if Franken were a Republican, he'd have nothing to worry about.

Woody Allen was on to something. Progressives need to discuss it. And just as we recognize how outrageous it is when conservatives fail to see that sex offenders need to be treated rationally and not as monsters to be kept permanently from the mainstream of society, the inability to see grades of concern, as we do on so many other things (Bernie Sanders ran a candidate supported by most progressives including myself, his longtime support for the F-35 notwithstanding) is potentially crippling to progressives as a whole. Al Franken stepping down or not running for re-election may do women much more harm than any sexual transgressions he is alleged to have committed. But it's a "matter of principle" (the zero tolerance argument). But that kind of thinking is like a political neutron bomb, that destroys progressive strength while leaving RW politics largely unaffected -- or even strengthened! -- except (MAYBE) in the MOST egregious and extreme cases, and even the political impact of those in RW venues is seriously in doubt

Much more to say about this, and no doubt hostility will flare up in many quarters. But the discussion must be had
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Thu Nov 23, 2017, 01:34 AM (15 replies)

Chelsea Manning: Wikileaks Source Freed From Prison

Source: BBC

US soldier Chelsea Manning has been released from prison after serving seven years for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military files to Wikileaks.

A US Army spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that she had left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.

...

Her lawyer earlier said she was excited but likely to be "anxious".

...

Manning will remain on active army duty while her military court conviction remains under appeal. She will have healthcare benefits but will be unpaid, the army says.

If the appeal is denied, she could be dishonourably discharged from the army, US media say.


Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39947602



There are actions in various places commemorating her release. There is one in SF at 6pm today PST:

https://www.facebook.com/294107760724457/photos/a.294236427378257.1073741827.294107760724457/993911407410752/?type=3&theater

If there are others, in places like NYC etc please post the linx here
This is an important day

Another article on Chelsea's release:
http://thehill.com/homenews/news/333772-chelsea-manning-released-from-prison

other significant coverage (especially with anything new about her release today, also perhaps covering demonstrations, are also welcome on this thread
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Wed May 17, 2017, 06:49 AM (6 replies)

Obama Commutes Sentence for Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera

Source: The Guardian

Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a victory for the Puerto Rican independence activist, who is considered to be one of the world’s longest-serving political prisoners.

López Rivera, whose commutation was announced on Tuesday along with those of 208 others, has been incarcerated for 35 years for his role in fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence.

The 74-year-old, who has spent more than half of his life behind bars, was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” for plotting against the US through his activism. In a recent interview with the Guardian, he said he still believes in what he described as the “noble cause” of full sovereignty for his Caribbean birthplace, which is classified as a US “territory”.

López Rivera was issued two sentences in the 1980s, one of 15 years and one of 55 years, but under Obama’s order, he will be released on 17 May.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/17/barack-obama-commutes-sentence-oscar-lopez-rivera-puerto-rico-activist



This commutation should be getting full attention and not drowned out by the also pivotal commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence

These are two of the most positive gestures of the Obama Administration ever. They highlight how much worse we can expect things to be in the next four years at least
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:12 PM (20 replies)

Why not more discussion of Greg Palast's compelling case that GOP stole 2016 election?

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-greg-palast-on-stripping-7-million-voters-from-rolls-swinging-election

the seven million disqualified votes includes hundreds of thousands of voters in the 3 key swing states where there is a recount push

these states are particularly intense venues of these cheating schemes as they are Republican-controlled and key swing states

the exit polls (used by US in gauging honesty of OTHER countries' elections) showed Hillary leading -- the difference is those many many voters who were disqualified -- if the past is any guide, only a tiny fraction of those disqualified, as in Florida 2000 (where there was a HIGHER percentage legit than usual), were legitimately disqualified

so now the 2000 election, 2004 and 2016 have been stolen

the idea that if the GOP gets close enough to stealing an election that it is normally possible (with heavier and heavier thumbs on the scale) to steal it, then they get to do so, with a minimum of fuss being made

and obviously things will only get MUCH worse now in terms of honest voting

Posted by cloudythescribbler | Sun Dec 4, 2016, 11:49 PM (87 replies)

Wife's video of Lamont Scott murder played in slo mo apparently shows cops planting gun

http://urbanintellectuals.com/2016/09/24/watch-wifes-video-clearly-proves-police-planted-gun-murdered-keith-scott/

The above link is still on the internet, but outside FaceBook. Duane Vandross, the guy who posted it, had commented that FaceBook kept deleting/blocking it (who knows, possibly his account too) and he was trying to get the word out anyway.

The mainstream media so far don't seem to have reacted to this yet, and it still doesn't get the play that it merits, after more than 24 hours
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Mon Sep 26, 2016, 04:22 AM (4 replies)

MUST watch slo-mo video of aftermath of shooting of Lamont Scott

The video made by Keith Lamont Scott, reportedly known to those who knew him as Lamont Scott, which was played on national media, including CNN, was slowed down massively apparently showing the cops planting a gun on the scene

This slo mo version of the video was made and publicized by Duane Vandross, an active supporter in FL of the movement for justice including in Charlotteville

http://urbanintellectuals.com/2016/09/24/watch-wifes-video-clearly-proves-police-planted-gun-murdered-keith-scott/

The above link is still on the internet, but outside FaceBook. Duane Vandross, the guy who posted it, had commented that FaceBook kept deleting/blocking it (who knows, possibly his account too) and he was trying to get the word out anyway.

Posted by cloudythescribbler | Mon Sep 26, 2016, 04:20 AM (0 replies)

Now that Bernie's expected endorsement has come, focus is now on getting BASE to support Hillary

At least with an especial focus on all the swing states (if voters in MA or CA, or on the other hand, in OK and ID, choose to vote for Jill Stein, that's much less of a concern), hopefully all the damaging things that have been said and done can be overcome, and those voters (I question whether the single poll finding that EVEN BEFORE THIS ENDORSEMENT, 81% of Bernie voters were already lined up behind Hillary) who are alienated from voting for her against Trump can be successfully brought into the fold for November

I am a Bernie supporter from day 1 who always agreed with Bernie's fairly consistent position that he would support the Democratic ticket whether he got the nomination or not, and I fully support Bernie's position now without reservations. However, especially from what I see on the web (which I know is not representative, but surely among the slice(s) of the public that supported Bernie, all the opposition to Hillary that continues must be more than marginal within it/them. The point of misunderstanding is the recognition that Trump really IS much worse for progressives and for America and the world than Hillary; many try to finesse that issue. I hear claims even about how it wouldn't have made much difference if Gore had been president rather than W (WHA?) or that working for a Democratic Party victory from July to November this year somehow precludes the same people playing a central role in developing a serious progressive left opposition BOTH WITHIN AND OUTSIDE the Democratic Party. Many insist along with Kshama Sawant and many others that the Democratic Party, at least other than Bernie & figures like him, is in totality a waste of time and a dying institution. Such an assessment is premature. Had Bernie not run WITHIN the Democratic Party primaries, his candidacy would have been a footnote in history, even a footnote of the politics of this year's election, and his opportunity to help lead a progressive left opposition after November would have been minimal.

Although some (and not just a handful) will never forgive Bernie for endorsing Hillary consistently with his position from day 1, that will NOT I believe make it difficult or impossible for him to use his development of a base, donors, networks, contacts, etc to really put together something serious -- the most important such development since the Rainbow Coalition faded about 25 years ago -- for progressives to mobilize for progressives to mobilize, INCLUDING WITHIN the Democratic Party, in the years to come.

I also support the efforts of groups like Socialist Alternative in areas like Seattle that are overwhelmingly dominated by the Democratic Party, which includes within over 90% of the large and medium sized cities in the US, and more.

A Hillary victory would be the perfect opportunity for the relatively progressive wing of the Democratic Party to mobilize autonomously, like the Teabaggers of the right do, against neoliberalism. With Trump in, as under W, the felt urgency will be primarily for Democrats as a whole to moblize against the atrocious leadership dished up by the GOP
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jul 12, 2016, 02:17 PM (37 replies)

Latest Sign of Change in Harlem: Its Congressional Candidate

Source: NY Times

As Washington Heights rejoiced on Wednesday over the apparent victory of Adriano D. Espaillat in the Democratic primary to choose a successor to Representative Charles B. Rangel, the scene and tone could not have been more different a few dozen blocks to the south.

There, in Harlem, black political leaders and residents began to grapple with the end of a run of more than seven decades during which the neighborhood was represented in Congress by one of its own. The primary results also draw the curtain on an era — already a long time in passing — in which Harlem was the center of black political power in New York City and beyond.

“It’s the end of a culture,” said Rudy Williams, 63, a substance abuse counselor, who was sitting with friends in folding chairs on a sidewalk on Malcolm X Boulevard. Wearing a bright yellow newsboy hat and matching pants, he worried about what Mr. Espaillat’s win would mean for the neighborhood. “Harlem is a far cry from Washington Heights,” he said.

Reginald Jones, 51, chimed in: “We have no more face. It’s a perpetual loss of ground, a loss of the black community having identity.”

Mr. Espaillat, a state senator, was seeking to become the first Dominican immigrant to win election to Congress. He held a lead of 1,236 votes over the closest competitor, State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, an African-American like Mr. Rangel, who endorsed him.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/nyregion/latest-sign-of-change-in-harlem-its-congressional-candidate.html?ref=todayspaper



The first Dominican in the US Congress -- this is a milestone for NY City and for America

It's curious that this important election hasn't drawn more attention in general here on DU
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Thu Jun 30, 2016, 04:32 AM (4 replies)

Jeep That Crushed Anton Yelchin Had Been Recalled

Source: NY Times

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled backward down a driveway and killed the actor Anton Yelchin early Sunday was a model that Fiat Chrysler has recalled for a gearshift issue that has confused drivers, leading them to accidentally leave the car in neutral when they think it is safely in park.

Los Angeles Police investigators and the carmaker said on Monday that it was too soon to determine the cause of the accident. But Mr. Yelchin was killed after he got out of his Jeep and it rolled down his steep driveway, crushing him against a concrete-reinforced mailbox, a police spokeswoman, Liliana Preciado, said.

Ms. Preciado said she did not know if the vehicle’s transmission was in neutral. But Mr. Yelchin’s Jeep was part of a recall by Fiat Chrysler in April of almost 812,000 vehicles including the 2014 and 2015 Grand Cherokee models. That recall was prompted by an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after complaints by car owners and reports of dozens of related injuries.

Fiat Chrysler has been a prime target of the government’s efforts to penalize automakers for lax safety practices. Last year, federal regulators accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to conduct recalls and complete repairs in a timely fashion, and hit the company with $105 million in penalties.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/business/jeep-that-crushed-anton-yelchin-had-been-recalled.html



If this is the cause of Yelchin's death it is truly shameful, and hopefully there would be more than the usual posturing in DC as a result
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jun 21, 2016, 03:48 PM (21 replies)
Go to Page: 1 2 3 Next »