Global Fund for Women: Statement

NOTE: Lest you confuse this with Ivanka’s Global Women’s Initiative WHICH DOES NOTHING, the Global Fund for Women has existed in Menlo Park for decades, and provided small grants to women establishing their own businesses, from small villages in India and Africa, to women’s clinics, all over the world.

22 October 2019

No politician should come between a patient and their doctor, no matter what country they live in — but that’s exactly what the Trump administration has done. This is about health and rights — which transcend partisanship and borders.

One of Trump’s first actions as President was to reinstate the devastating global gag rule, which denies funding to international organizations working on global health if they provide abortion service or even referrals. This means that 26 million women and families worldwide are denied access to contraception, cancer screenings, STI treatment, and safe abortion services. And just last month, the same laws were expanded to the United States under Title X, which will prevent millions of women from being able to access affordable reproductive healthcare.

Global Fund for Women supports women’s rights organizations that are expanding legal and safe abortion access for women and girls, and funds feminist organizations that are documenting the impact of the global gag rule.

You can read more about this excellent organization, here.

California: The Light

California light is harsh. There are no subtleties between light and dark.

You’re young and then you’re suddenly old. It just happens.

We’re at the very middle of summer. After tomorrow, the days will get shorter. Self is sorry that she didn’t enjoy the summer as much as she should have. The weather every day was so unsettling: some days cool, like early spring. And then, the very next day, intensely hot.

She loves watching CNN: that succession of animatronic talking heads. The best moments of the Democratic Campaign so far have been: 1) Pete Buttigieg being confronted by a crowd of angry black citizens of South Bend, asking him if he believed in Black Lives Matter (“Are you asking me if black lives matter?” Buttigieg asked. “Of course they do.” A woman yelled: SAY IT. WE WANT TO HEAR YOU SAY IT. High drama, self loved it. Buttigieg did not back down. 2) Michael Bennett’s speech highlights, shown this morning before he came on The View. Until this morning, she barely registered a thought about him. WOW, that speech they aired this morning was a scorcher.

Both Buttigieg and Bennet are long shots, but they each represent a uniquely American energy. Which is COMPLETELY LACKING in the GOP.

She watched both Democratic debates. She was not enthused by Kamala’s unleashing on Biden. Self means, someone had to go after Biden, and no one was doing it, good for Kamala for having the keenest ambition of all the candidates. But really, it felt almost too easy. She won’t find it that easy to go after POTUS the same way.

Self tries to imagine a presidential debate between Trump and Kamala. She doesn’t think he’ll go for creepily stalking her across the stage, as he did with Hillary (Or maybe he will. Who knows? He’s clearly used that tactic before. On someone. Alas, Hillary was completely unprepared for the grotesque gesture)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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Today’s Mail: Last Wednesday of June 2019

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from Texafornia Dreaming, p. 7, The Economist:

One in five Americans calls Texas or California home. By 2050 one in four will. Over the past 20 years the two states have created a third of new jobs in America. Their economic heft rivals whole countries’. Were they nations, Texas would be the tenth-largest, ahead of Canada by GDP. California would be fifth, right behind Germany.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Resistance in the Netherlands

Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944, pp. 20 – 21:

  • “A fugitive from the Germans, whether Jewish or Gentile, who disappeared was known as an onderduiker, or diver. Some areas were better than others in hiding Jews. For example, as many as half of Eindhoven’s 500 Jews were concealed as divers and saved.”
  • “Since armed resistance was almost impossible in a country lacking mountains and large forests, the Dutch underground concentrated on helping those in danger with fake identities and ration books . . . “

The Nazi leader in the Netherlands was “merciless.” He ordered “reprisals for acts of resistance.” And how different is that, really, for punishing sanctuary cities like San Francisco by withholding FEMA funds, by busing detained immigrants there?

When people would mention ‘fascists’ existing in self’s backyard, in San Francisco, she would laugh!

Now, reading this book, she’s learning a whole lot about fascists and yes, they do exist, even in places like San Francisco.

 

Amanda Marcotte for Salon.com, 25 April 2019

Marcotte calls presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg “the Christian right’s Kryptonite” and at first I thought she was going to anoint him the second coming of Senator Lindsey Graham but thank God no!

While the image some may have of white evangelicals is along the lines of illiterate snake-handlers, anyone who has spent time in the community will immediately realize that Buttigieg is, in nearly every way, their ideal man. He’s intelligent and educated, but in a way that reads as traditional and conscientious, instead of challenging or cosmopolitan — he seems like he was more interested in Graham Greene than Michel Foucault in college. He’s artistic, but not in an edgy way, with musical skills more appropriate for a chapel pianist than a rock band. He’s worked as a naval officer and is a devoted church-goer. He’s married to a beloved junior high teacher who tweets about their dogs.

Buttigieg is what most white evangelical couples dream of in a son — except, of course, that he’s gay and married to a man. And because of this, Buttigieg is able, both in his rhetoric and identity, to expose on a daily basis how the evangelical talk about “family values” is simply cover for their mysogyny and homophobia, and how evangelical “sexual morality” is just a weapon to terrorize anyone who isn’t a straight man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Kenan Malik in The Observer, 21 April 2019 (Easter Sunday)

Self arrived in London several hours ago. So most of her quotes (for the next couple of weeks) will be from British or Irish papers, like The Observer.

“The problem is not fierce argument, but a rush to damn our opponents.”

Self wishes she could quote every sentence of this piece. Here’s the opening, including the header:

Robust debate is evidence of a healthy society.

But it is not debate America is having right now. Those who cite “freedom of speech” to bash others are not really open to freedom of speech, and they prove it by coming up with labels like “socialists” or “the extreme left” or “crazy liberals.”

And BTW, can self just say that Meghan McCain is almost unwatchable. Every episode of The View now, she has to say something like “those on the left” or “the extreme left.” Self would like to send her a link to the Kenan Malik piece. It is NOT helpful to bandy about labels like these, which sound altogether too neat (as if she really knows what “the extreme left” is. You know how self knows Meghan doesn’t know what an “extreme left liberal” is? Because self doesn’t know herself. It’s a label that was born with this White House. And she doesn’t trust it. Because it sounds like a label concocted purely for political purposes. Which means the very label itself is a lie.)

In contrast, self is 100% sure when she says “the GOP is no longer a credible political party.” You will never find self saying “The GOP is not a credible political party because they are made up of rightists.” No, she’ll say “the GOP is no longer a credible political party because they fronted us Donald Trump.” And even now they can’t admit it. Self knows they can’t admit it because they keep coming up with more ridiculous labels.

We in America (and self knows this, since she lives there) are driving ourselves crazy trying to parse stupid statements like “I’m not a robot” — endlessly.

Or, “rake the forest floor.” And when we defend ourselves, the White House will bring up “crazy liberals.” Which the base seems to accept as fact.

Self would just like to say that pairing “crazy” with anything is the surest way to kill debate. Something America so desperately needs.

Here’s some advice: When a person brings up “crazy liberals” in a conversation with you, you should stop speaking to that person. Immediately. Because you’re having a fake conversation. And those are the worst kinds. Absolutely the worst. Because the person’s just using you as an excuse to air a platform.

Which was the case with Sarah Sanders and George Stephanopoulos last week.

Also BTW (this post is so full of them, apologies), Sarah Sanders took a page right out of the Justin Bieber playbook: his “sorry I make mistakes but I’m not a robot.”

Yes, Sarah, you have just followed in the footsteps of a twenty-something pop star. High Fives!

 

The Sentence: Milkman, p. 98

As for da, I remember third brother’s urgency and my own in asking for him, in pleading for him to be there, to be a man among men, doing normal men things, as he did manage to do years later when searching with the others for Somebody McSomebody’s brother’s head.

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Milkman, pp. 13 – 14

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Annaghmakerrig: November, 2018

The narrator, 18, runs. The milkman starts following her on her runs. He is much older, and seems to know her schedule: he knows where she reports to work, he knows that she likes to read. During one of their encounters, a bush to the narrator’s left emits a distinct “click.” The milkman then abruptly walks off.

Hey hey hey, Anna Burns: you are brilliant.

He doesn’t touch her, doesn’t address anything overtly sexual to her, but for a whole week, she doesn’t run. When she starts again, she asks her “third brother-in-law” to accompany her:

Should he take exception to brother-in-law accompanying me, he’d encounter not only the opprobium of the entire local community, but his reputation in it as one of our highranking, prestigious dissidents would plummet to the point where he’d be put outside any and all safe houses, into the path of any and of all passing military patrol vehicles, exactly as if he wasn’t one of our major influential heroes, but instead just some enemy state policeman, some enemy soldier from across the water, or even one of the enemy state-defending paramilitaries from over the way.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

A Single Sentence: July 22, 1862

As a fit and necessary military measure for effecting this object (the preservation of the Union) I, as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, do order and declare that on the first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863 all persons held as slaves within any state or states, wherein the constitutional authority of the United States shall not then be practically recognized, submitted to, and maintained shall then, thenceforward and forever, be free.

— Abraham Lincoln

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