Thursday, August 10, 2017

Not falling for it

Briahna Joy Gray has a piece at Current Affairs:

Having an “identity politics” is incredibly beneficial. Identity politics, which emphasizes the unique concerns of different communities and demographic groups, shows how historical inequities have been distributed across different races, genders, religions, abilities, and sexualities. In doing so, it allows us to better understand how to critique and reform the systems that replicate those inequities. It reveals how the foreclosure crisis disproportionately hurt black home owners, how health issues manifest differently across populations, and how various forms of “hidden taxes” penalize women in professional life. To ignore identity is to ignore injustice. Yet there are risks to viewing the world through the prism of identity. If people are defined by their demographic characteristics, they can be reduced to those characteristics in a way that obscures differences within groups. If “identity” becomes synonymous with “perspective,” dissenting members within the identity group risk having their viewpoints erased and their humanity diminished. And when used cynically, as a political weapon, a simplistic view of identity can allow people of a particular political faction to wrongly imply that they speak for all members of their racial or gender group.
Kamala Harris is black. She is a lot of other things, too: a person of South Asian descent, a woman, a former prosecutor and state Attorney General, a sitting Senator, and, according to Barack Obama, “the best looking attorney general in the country.” (I am your sister in side-eye, Michelle.) Out of nearly 2,000 senators in the country’s history, Harris is one of only ten black Americans and two black women to have held the position. Her personal characteristics and political accomplishments, together with the intelligence and tenacity that propelled her to the Senate, have made her a highly visible prospect for the 2020 presidential race. Already, influential Democrats have shown a strong interest in Harris, with prominent former Clinton donors meeting privately with Harris in the Hamptons. The San Francisco Chronicle called her the Democrats’ “Great Blue Hope,” and a Guardian writer suggested that the combination of Harris’s race and her centrist platform “could be the party’s solution to its identity crisis.”
But certain parts of Kamala Harris’s political résumé have led to skepticism from the left. As California’s Attorney General, with responsibilities for overseeing the second largest prison population in the country, Harris’s professional obligation to put people behind bars was seen as being in direct tension with the goals of Black Lives Matter, perhaps the most prominent progressive movement of our time. Harris touted a reform-minded “smart on crime” approach in her prosecutorial role, one that encouraged education and reentry programs for ex-offenders, and in the Senate, she has co-sponsored legislation to improve prison conditions for women. Yet she has also come under heavy criticism from activists for, among other things: defending the state against court orders to reduce its prison population, declining to take a public stand on sentencing reform proposals, attempting to block a court decision requiring the state to provide a transgender inmate with gender reassignment surgery, opposing a measure to require independent inquiries into police uses of force, and obstructing efforts by federal judges to hold California prosecutors accountable for an “epidemic” of misconduct. Harris has been a zealous prosecutor (at times, she said, she has been “as close to a vigilante as you can get”), and certain of her policies—like bringing criminal charges against parents whose children miss school—conflict with the efforts of groups like BLM to reduce the reach of the criminal justice system into people’s lives.
Harris has also drawn scrutiny over the crimes she wasn’t tough on. While serving as Attorney General of California, Harris failed to prosecute now-Treasury Secretary Steven “Foreclosure King” Mnuchin after his OneWest Bank engaged in a notoriously aggressive pattern of home foreclosures. Under Mnuchin, OneWest was a “foreclosure machine” that did everything it could to seize people’s houses, inflicting misery on homeowners while failing to properly review foreclosure documents. Harris’s consumer law division found that OneWest had engaged in “widespread misconduct” in its treatment of borrowers; the investigators urged Harris to “conduct a full investigation of a national bank’s misconduct and provide a public accounting of what happened.” Instead, Harris closed the case, not even pursuing the compromise measure of a civil penalty. As David Dayen writes, this “watered-down version of public accountability was seen as the best possible outcome, and Harris didn’t even go for that.” In failing to hold the bank accountable, Dayen emphasizes, Harris was far from alone among state law enforcement officials. Harris was, however, the only Democratic senatorial candidate to whom Steven Mnuchin felt compelled to give a campaign donation.


She's done nothing to qualify as president.

The corporations think we'll ride the bi-racial pony like it's 2008.

I doubt it.

And Harris' background with the prison industrial complex will hurt her a great deal with the African-American community.

Go back to California, Kamala.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

*movie preview voice* from the producers of Iraq War comes a new blood-soaked debacle, this time with *record scratch* real nuclear weapons

Eli Lake: "Leaving aside means and only looking at outcome, regime change for North Korea would be a great outcome from a humanitarian perspective."

It's as though the last fourteen years never happened or happened without Eli Lake.

Iraq had regime change.

There's been no benefit -- that's across the board but certainly when it comes to "a humanitarian perspective."

Iraq still lacks a stable government -- forget one that governs fairly.

It remains one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

Population wise, it's a young country now with a median age of 19.9 years.

It's a country of orphans in many respects due to the never-ending violence.

A country of widows and orphans.

Without an income + often with children to support, Mosul’s war widows are among most vulnerable displaced in :

Areas of Iraq will produce birth defects for decades due to the weapons used there.  (Used there by foreign forces -- the US-led coalition.)

Humanitarian includes medical and the US has bombed hospitals throughout the war as has the Iraqi government.  In addition, doctors have been repeatedly targeted and threatened leading to many of them fleeing the country.

The education system is as frayed as everything else from the war.  In the next 20 years, Iraq needs to build at least 20,000 schools as a result of many things including (a) the destruction of schools from bombings and (b) 'aid' that resulted in faulty construction.

I'm failing to see any benefits "from a humanitarian perspective."

And the Iraq War was supposed to be 'quick.'

Instead, it's 14 years later and still going.

: attacks army positions in the area of Diyuub in northern , kills several soldiers & burs 4 bulldozers.

In pictures: sharpshooters sneak up on Iraqi Army checkpoints near Tal Afar

This is Iraq right now:

US-backed Iraqi troops and militias assaulting and executing starved civilians found under the rubble in Old

Confused as to how this qualifies as a 'success' "from a humanitarian perspective."

Overturned Blackwater conviction evokes darkest days of Iraq War: | looks back to that day.

Darkest days?

What a load of nonsense.

THE WASHINGTON POST can call it the "darkest days" because it's a contractor and further removed from the US military.

Falluja in April or November of 2004.

The gang-rape and murder of Abeer by US soldiers.

The use of illegal weapons by the US-led coalition.

But Blackwater is the "darkest days"?

Far be it from THE WASHINGTON POST to ever call out the US government.

And speaking of which, shame on any US journalist writing about Blackwater today and still not telling reporters who was being protected.

Remember that?

Supposedly, a US official was being escorted by Blackwater that day.

All these years later, we can't even be told (a) if that was true and (b) if true, who it was?

The following community sites updated:


  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq

    No comments: