Reappropriating Mother’s Day

Forget Hallmark and Big Flora — Mother’s Day is (and always has been) for radicals:

Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars. She called for women to stand up against the unjust violence of war through their roles as wife and mother, to protest the futility of their sons killing other mothers’ sons.

Howe wrote:

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

[Read the remainder of Howe’s quote here

The holiday caught on years later when a West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began promoting it as a way to reunite families after the Civil War.  After Jarvis’ death, her daughter began a campaign for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in honor of peace. Devoting much of her life to the cause, it wasn’t until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance in 1914.

The holiday flourished, along with the flower industry.  The business journal, the Florists Review, actually admitted to its desire to exploit the holiday. Jarvis was strongly opposed to every aspect of the holiday’s commercialization, arrested for protesting the sale of flowers, and petitioning to stop the creation of a Mother’s Day postage stamp.

h/t Guerrilla Girls On Tour

x-posted

Van Jones Gets Lani Guiniered by the Racist Right

by matttbastard

Geez. Not five minutes after I had gone to bed, besieged White House green jobs adviser (and radical communist-anarchist!!1one) Van Jones finally became a martyr in the GOP’s increasingly ugly race war against the uppity Usurper-in-Chief:

I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today.

On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.

I have been inundated with calls – from across the political spectrum – urging me to “stay and fight.”

But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.

It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead.

Wonder if Jones is reconsidering that recent apology for calling Republicans ‘assholes’. Because, well, um, yeah.

Related: Alex Pareene on how the speedy demonization of Van Jones illustrates “how the right wing information delivery process works now.”

In a nutshell: Fire up the swift boats, crank up the Wurlitzer, and wait for Tapper and Drudgico to do the rest.

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Quote of the Day: Alive and Living Now

by matttbastard

But let’s get one thing clear — being “pro-life” has absolutely nothing to do with compassion or saving the lives of babies or getting people to take responsibility for their actions. Instead, being “pro-life” has everything to do with ignorance and control. Being “pro-life” has everything to do with making judgments on what they know nothing about. If being “pro-life” were actually about being pro-life, then trustworthy health care, safe procedures, and birth control would be more accessible for all women, and the murder of a doctor would never have happened.

– Theresa, Pro-Life: Not About Life At All.

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Bachmann: Obama’s policies ‘fitting’ future generations with ‘shackles and chains.’

by matttbastard

Get it? Nudge nudge, wink wink?

Oh teh irony, indeed, Michele (also, FAIL.)

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Mumbai Attack Resources

by matttbastard

Canadians concerned about relatives/loved ones in Mumbai can call the Department of Foreign Affairs at 1-613-996-8885 from inside Canada or 1-800-387-3124 from other countries. US citizens contact special State Department call center phone number set up for the crisis: 1-888-407-4747. UPDATE For Australians:1300 555 135 or +61 2 6261 3305 (DFAT) UK: 0207 008 0000 (Foreign Office) (h/t Brandy Betz)

Please add additional resources in comments and I’ll update accordingly.

– Indian dead tree media: Hindustan Times, Times of India, The Hindu, Outlook India, Deccan Herald, Indian Express

list of Mumbai bloggers liveblogging events as they unfold, comprehensive round-up from DesiPundit

– Vinu’s Mumbai attacks Flickr photostream UPDATE new sets from Vinu here and here, ashesh shah’s photostream (h/t Gauravonomics) UPDATE Boston Globe photoset (h/t dina)

Google Map of attacks

– regularly updated Wikipedia page

YouTube and VodPod videos, sorted by date (most recent first)

– Ongoing coverage from Neha Vishwanathan of Global Voices Online [UPDATE Global Voices special Mumbai attacks page) and from GroundReport.com

searchable list of injured/dead

– regularly updated emergency information at Mumbai Help

PinStorm information page

– Livestreams from CNN-IBN and NDTV

– Twitter content marked #mumbai, Colaba, Oberoi, Taj

Mumbai Tweetgrid (automatically refreshes)

– invaluable Twitter updates from MumbaiAttacks, zigzackly, vinu, gsik, chhavi, asfaq and dina .

SkyNews MicroBlog

Timeline of terror attacks in India, 1993-present

UPDATE public Google Notebook aggregating key points and facts (thanks, Anannya Deb!)

UPDATE Mahalo , Addictomatic and NowPublic pages

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John McCain: “Be Respectful”

by matttbastard

I would like to sign up for Khaled Hosseni’s newsletter:

I prefer to discuss politics through my novels, but I am truly dismayed these days. Twice last week alone, speakers at McCain-Palin rallies have referred to Sen. Barack Obama, with unveiled scorn, as Barack Hussein Obama.

Never mind that this evokes — and brazenly tries to resurrect — the unsavory, cruel days of our past that we thought we had left behind. Never mind that such jeers are deeply offensive to millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Americans who must bear the unveiled charge, made by some supporters of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, that Obama’s middle name makes him someone to distrust — and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended. Obama’s middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah too? Do McCain and Palin think there’s something wrong with my name?

But never mind any of that.

The real affront is the lack of firm response from either McCain or Palin. Neither has had the moral courage, when taking the stage, to grasp the microphone, turn to the presenter and, right then and there, denounce the use of Obama’s middle name as an insult. Instead, they have simply delivered their stump speeches, lacing into Obama as if nothing out-of-bounds had just happened. The McCain-Palin ticket has given toxic speeches accusing Obama of being a friend of terrorists, then released short, meek repudiations of some of the rough stuff, including McCain’s call Friday to “be respectful.” Back in February, the Arizona senator apologized for the “disparaging remarks” from a talk-radio host who sneered repeatedly about “Barack Hussein Obama” before a McCain rally. “We will have a respectful debate,” McCain insisted afterward. But pretending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.

[…]

They may not have been able to hear the slurs at the rallies, but surely they have had ample time since to get on camera and warn that this sort of ugliness has no place in an election season. But they have not. Simply calling Obama “a decent person” is not enough.

DJ rewind:

The McCain-Palin ticket has given toxic speeches accusing Obama of being a friend of terrorists, then released short, meek repudiations of some of the rough stuff, including McCain’s call Friday to “be respectful.”

[…]

[P]retending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.

[…]

Simply calling Obama “a decent person” is not enough.

In other words: fuck that “credit where credit is due” bullshit. There’s a damn good reason why John McCain’s (largely mythical) “honour” has evaporated quicker than your 401k and his reputation is now mired in negative equity.

Glenn Greenwald breaks it down:

The mass accusations of “terrorist” and “Arab traitor” against Obama didn’t just get randomly blurted out by a few hard-core, isolated ideologues. Rather, that is exactly the message being spewed systematically from McCain and Palin themselves (“pallin’ around with terrorists”), their parade of ads, and the coordinated efforts of opinion-leaders on the Right. Even veteran campaign reporters for whom Balance is a religion have been acknowledging that the McCain/Palin rallies are unique in their mass-crowd vitriol and intense rage.

One half-hearted, insincere attempt by McCain to restore some of the lost moral capital with his original base (a divestment that, according to Jamison Foser, has been greatly exaggerated) should not be immediately rewarded with a plate of cookies and a pat on his balding pate.

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More on Bill Ayers and Guilt by Association

by matttbastard

Gail Collins FTW:

The McCain folks have been obsessed with William Ayers, a neighbor of Obama’s who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Back in the 1960s, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were leaders of the Weather Underground, an antiwar group whose penchant for violence was exceeded only by its haplessness. Ayers has since become an education expert and was named Chicago’s Citizen of the Year in 1997. He gave Obama a house party when Obama was running for the State Senate.

In my experience, most State Senate hopefuls are so thrilled at any sign of interest that they would happily attend a reception given by a homeless couple in their cardboard box. But even though Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weathermen were in the news, that house party puts all their misdeeds on his platter. Sarah Palin has been telling her increasingly scary rallies that he is somebody “who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists.”

[…]

Before we go any further, I have a confession to make. When I was a college student, I believe I attended a party with Bernardine Dohrn. This was pre-Weather, when Dohrn was a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, better known as S.D.S. Some of my friends wanted to meet her because they were interested in establishing an S.D.S. chapter at our campus. I was opposed, under the presumption that S.D.S. meant Students for Decent Styles, a group that had been active in fighting spaghetti-strap dresses at my high school.

Still, under the new rules, I believe I may now be held partly responsible for all of Dohrn’s misdeeds, including aggravated battery, bail jumping, the Days of Rage and unreadable political tracts.

McCain’s favorite supporter, Senator Joseph Lieberman, recently called the Obama-Ayers connection “fair game.” This reminded me that Lieberman once came to a party at my house. It was years ago, when he was still a Connecticut state senator, and we have already established that state senators will go to anything. Still, I can’t help but feel that I am not only a potential victim of the new guilt-by-association standard, I am also somewhat complicit in establishing it.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

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