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About Vancouver February 16, 2010

Posted by Paige of Quarrel in pressure gage.
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Anarchists : the Left :: Tea Parties : the Right

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The Right, guns and violence June 22, 2009

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Considering the recent history of Right wing violence, in this country and the world over, now is the time to call the Right to account when they pander on guns.  Now is the time to begin (re-)building a solid case for the public.

The issue of gun control and gun violence has been abandoned by the mainstream Left for several years.  Call it part of the James Carville/Rahm Emanuel strategy to carve out the political center and avoid hot button issues.  With little public or widespread support for meaningful, sensible gun control, now is the time to shackle it with Republican PR drag.

Consistently pestering Right wingers when they pander on guns, then stepping away, will allow them to demagogue on the issue, will tie it to the flagging Republican Party, and over time will highlight for the mainstream how the Right, in their own words, make the best arguments for gun control.

Consider this tweet from the Florida Republican Senatorial candidate who’s challenging Governor Crist from the Right, Marco Rubio:

I have a feeling the situation in Iran would be a little different if they had a 2nd amendment like ours. #sayfie #tcot #nra

First, that hash-NRA tag is worth a thousand words.  Rubio needs support from the traditional Right, not just the Cuban community, when facing Crist and guns are second only to god for the Panhandle Right.  Also note that unlike almost all of his recent posts on the subject of the Iranian protests, this post is not tagged #iran or #iranelection.  This red meat was obviously not meant for international consumption.

More importantly though, yes, you are correct to assume that Rubio is invoking the militia movements most repeated argument that guns are necessary to defend against our own government, a stance that at least theoretically supports violent revolution in the US.  There’s a reason this isn’t the typical NRA party line.  While it’s common knowledge that this is a primary argument within pro-gun circles, they usually hide it behind a public face of personal safety concerns and a tradition of hunting.

Because it’s really freaking scary to the mainstream.

Now, Rubio is far from being a noted thinker in the Republican Party, even if he is acknowledged as an adept and charismatic politician.  He also quoted Dr. Martin Luther King out of context earlier on Twitter and threw this gem out inexplicably, “POTUS, call for emerg meet of UN Sec Council to prevent massacre in Iran, if they fail to act will expose UN as useless.”  It’s plain to see that he lacks any basic understanding of world politics, but also of policy.  He’s full of the usual Republican buzz words like “taxes” and “big government” and awe of his creator, but he appears to be struggling with handling the the party platform at large and shows no signs of being able to make rational arguments for any of it.

That’s the point here.  We need to coax the Right into making all of their irrational, illogical appeals to fear on the gun issue.  We need to poke them and step back and they’ll naturally gravitate towards fear mongering and inch themselves toward the edge of reason.  We need to get them to put their simplistic, nonsense ideas on guns out there as often as possible, saturating the voters’ minds.  Call them on it initially, let them huff and puff and bluster as they defend it, and then wait.

Then, when the time is right and the mainstream has strayed from Leftist priorities like healthcare again, we can make the sound arguments, the rational arguments to the mainstream and allow them to judge the contrast between our side and what they’ve been hearing from the clumsy Right wing as it scrambles to pander to the NRA.

Sure, it puts a lot of faith in the average American voter, who is by definition emotional and ill-informed, but I think they’ll get it right on this one if we frame it — and time it — correctly.

Miss California’s been let go. Can queers let it go now? June 10, 2009

Posted by Paige of Quarrel in pressure gage, we're only gonna die.
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Miss California, Carrie Prejean, the beauty queen that queens love to hate, has been fired.   Can we move on now?  No matter what she said, no matter how stupid or irritating what she said may have been, can it be over now?

She offered a point of view.  It was poorly worded and poorly thought out and that alone should have been enough for her to lose the national pageant.  She then said publicly that she believed she was discriminated against for expressing that view, but what she really meant was that Perez Hilton must have like OMG sabotaged her cause he hates god-fearing Christians and makes Jesus cry by being so gay.  That accusation had to be answered.  She had to be told that she clearly misunderstands the term “discrimination.”

That happened.  Sure, she argued an indefensible position past the point of good sense.  But now that she and her family have been dragged through the mud for so long and she’s lost her job, can we act like humans and let it go?  The queer community and our allies have behaved miserably about this whole thing.  So did Prejean.  That’s not the point.  We’re responsible for our behavior no matter what they do or say.  We need to be accountable for our words too.

What say you my fellow queers, can we forget her now and move on to, say, criticizing the actual people in positions of power that are working to keep us from having equal rights?  Can we get back on message and cut the ad hominem crap?

I’m afraid I already know the answer, but let’s give it a shot anyways.

I am not Troy Davis May 14, 2009

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Over the next few days, you’re going to start seeing a lot of things around the web and Facebook that say “I am Troy Davis.”

If you don’t know anything about Troy Davis, the fact you haven’t heard of him probably says something about how we value this man’s life.  He’s a black man on Georgia’s death row, convicted of killing a white cop.  His stay of execution is set to expire tomorrow.

I’m not going to claim to know his innocence or guilt, because that’s not important to me.  I don’t support state-sanctioned executions.  Ever.  But I’m also not about to join the chorus of “I am Troy Davis.”   Much like the chants of  “I am Sean Bell” last year, I don’t feel I can make that statement of unity with a black man who is gunned down by New York City police or executed by the state of Georgia.

For me to say “I am Troy Davis” would ignore the fact that, as a white woman, I’m just not likely to be put to death by the state.  People of color are not only more likely to be arrested and accused of a crime, but they’re much more likely to face the possibility of the death penalty.   In fact, since prosecutors are also far more likely to seek the death penalty in the case of a white victim, I’m a risk to every person of color who might happen to be near me, in the wrong place at the wrong time, if I were killed.

When a white person is killed, especially a police officer, some one, it hardly matters who, must pay with their own life.  When a person of color is accused, even when their life is on the line, procedures and rules are given priority over justice.   So, my life matters more than his; even proper procedure matters more than his life, according to the appellate court.

No, I am definitely not Troy Davis.  I wouldn’t have been arrested and convicted without physical evidence or a murder weapon.  I am not Troy Davis.  I would not have faced the death penalty based solely on eyewitness accounts that all sides agree were unreliable.  I am not Troy Davis.  I do not sit on death row, my appeal unheard, my evidence unexamined, my name unknown to most of America, because the justice system and the media and juries expect a cop killer to look more like Troy Davis than like me.

It’s not that I don’t agree with the “I am Troy Davis” crowd in spirit; it’s simply that I must acknowledge my own personal responsibility for the mortal danger he’s in right now.  Our country has made clear they believe my life matters more than his and if the state of Georgia proceeds to murder Troy Davis, I can only try to make sure my life really does matter, to work to correct this broken system, to prevent the next Troy Davis from being killed.

As a white person, I expect our cops and our laws and our courts to protect me.  The awful truth is, I am not Troy Davis, I am a part of the system that wants to kill him.

What about Duanna Johnson? November 15, 2008

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Fuck it. For a few hours there, I was thinking about going to the gay marriage protest this afternoon at City Hall. But fuck it.

I keep waiting to see when the mainstream media will finally notice Duanna Johnson’s brutal murder. But no one seems to care.

If Duanna Johnson had been a white gay male like Matthew Shepard instead of a trans woman of color, half of those signs at the protest would be about the murder of a white gay man who was suing the police and had gotten two cops fired over the victim’s videotaped beating. They’d be chanting the victim’s name. A picture of the nice young man would be plastered all over the news. Vigils would be held around the world.

So, where is their outrage for her?

Where are the marches for her?

Why don’t they care when a trans woman is dead? When another trans person of color is dead?

Fuck your marriage. What about her LIFE?

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