Posts tagged Barack Obama

Re: This is What a Feminist Army Looks Like, II

Feminist Majority’s material on Afghanistan has been pretty uniformly confused-to-awful since December 2001. It doesn’t even have much to do with the Obama administration; their basic tone was established as soon as U.S. troops entered Kandahar, and hasn’t changed much if at all since Obama was elected. I think it has more to do with FMF’s politicos not wanting to set themselves squarely against the warfare state when they think that they might somehow be able to leverage it.

However, Alex Jones notwithstanding, I think that lumping Code Pink in with FMF on Afghanistan is awfully unfair to Code Pink. They’re one of the few major national antiwar coalitions that’s still staging regular protest actions at all, and opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan has been their central campaign since about November 2008. (Code Pink has also promoted RAWA, as an organization, in their anti-occupation campaigns; see for example how just this past month they promoted, and sponsored the Southern California stop for, an anti-occupation speaking tour by a representative from RAWA. They also run one of the few national campaigns against the bombing of Pakistan.) Does this reportback / action alert from the recent Afghan delegation really read like a group that’s just forgotten about the effects of war and occupation on women in the warzone?

Re: Election office: Culinary petitions for city hall ballot effort can proceed

Whatever the virtues or the vices of unions, and whether or not the motives of the Culinary make sense to outside observers, and whether or not Obama would approve, there remains one basic issue that the redevelopment machine and its apologists always dodge: whether or not taking millions out of workers’ pockets, in order to build nicer offices for Oscar Goodman and his cronies, is actually a productive use of our money.

You won’t hear anything about this, because it’s much easier to impugn the motives of your critics, or appeal to a popular politician, than to defend such a ridiculous and self-serving claim.

We are told that this will provide “construction jobs.” Of course it would; so would building a 40-foot golden statue of Oscar Goodman in downtown; so would digging a giant hole out in the desert and then filling it back up. But every dollar Oscar Goodman forces you or I to spend on his new office is a dollar that won’t be spent on providing for our own lives, or patronizing businesses that provide us with genuinely useful goods or services. Meaning a few more jobs in construction come at the expense of fewer jobs and a worse living for everyone else.

City government has no power to wish wealth into existence; they can only take wealth from taxpayers and apply it to some particular project. If they didn’t take it, it wouldn’t disappear; it would be applied to different projects. The question to ask is whether this project actually improves my life or yours in any way. If this project has any benefits worth mentioning for anyone other than city politicians, they ought to be able to persuade me those benefits are worth paying for. Not force me to pay for it by means of taxation and lawsuits.