Archive for the ‘feminist politics’ Category

International Political Spectrum

Wow, the recent US Supreme Court decisions have highlighted that there is NO WAY I can call myself a “conservative” by US standards. Which is weird since I am pretty middle of the road by standards in other countries. In the US, I find myself off on the far left. By contrast, I would probably be conservative in Holland since the social liberalism is accepted. Again, that’s strange since the Dutch come about by their social liberalism from the same school of thought that leads to the religious right in the US (Calvinism). The Dutch prefer to treat the social problems instead of punish them, which makes sense to me.

It’s amusing that a conservative paper, Le Figaro, has the following sort of comments about the recent Supreme Court decision on carrying firearms publicly:


le 23/06/2022 à 22:47

La Cour Suprême américaine vient de totalement se décrédibiliser en montrant à quelle point elle était politisée. Une honte!
Ce sont en effet les Républicains qui s’opposent depuis des décennies à toute mesure sur le contrôle des armes au nom de leur Constitution écrite à une époque ou les fusils étaient à un coup…

The US Supreme Court has just totally discredited itself by showing how politicized it is. A disgrace!
It is indeed the Republicans who have been opposing for decades any measure on gun control in the name of their Constitution written at a time when guns were single shot…

There are a lot of reasons I supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, but one of them was a hope for a change in US politics. Not sure if I want to get into the “Deep State”, but the US’s duopoly politics leaves a lot to be desired for me. I am also not sure if there will soon be a switch from the “three branches of government” to something which is more streamlined and democratic (e.g., a parliamentary system).

I’m not sure I buy into the fear on the left that things will become more authoritarian, but there is a definite need for change in the cities to enforce law and order.

Anyway, one of the issues that led to my divorce is that I made it clear I am going back to Europe. I am not very optimistic about US culture or politics these days.

And the Supreme Court doesn’t inspire much confidence.

My ideology

I can proudly say I am a:

Post-Colonial Anarcho-Monarchist

It came from the Daily Mail

From David Mitchell’s Piece in the Guardian:

Although, the people who cite the Daily Mail would prefer most people would just stop thinking!

Call the Midwife!

Is the Title of a BBC drama about a woman who is a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s and based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth.

I was curious if it would make it to the US airwaves given it deals with two no-nos in US politics–woment’s health and nationalised health care.  According to this website, it sounds unlikely.  And given that the repubnlicans are waging a war on women’s reproductive rights, that is yet another no-no.

One can’t have a show on TV praising “socialised medicine” and talking about women’s reproductive issues.

Even though US’s Public Broadcasting pretends to be a true Public Broadcasting service, it is still beholdent to the commercial interests which can stifle information and debate. The problem is that while there may be no governmental intereference in the markertplace of ideas, there certainly is private censorship,

Still, this is a series which should be seen by people in the US for precisely the above reasons. Why are these topics taboo in a society which is allegedly free?

People in the US can probably find this online for download if they know the right places to look. I am a strong believer in the region free DVD player jsut for the ability to break down the international barriers to information.

I can add that the book and audiobook are available for sale in the US.


I was at a family do this past weekend when the topic of climate change deniers came up with a relative who works in the field of climate change and food security. My question was “so, are you going to beat up on the likes of “Lord” Monckton and Sammy Wilson?” Her response surprised me, but made loads of sense.

“Why? the people who know that climate change is real are the people I am going to be dealing with. It would be a waste of time to try to persuade that type of person when I can be putting my efforts into getting something done.”

Point taken. No matter how much you try to logically disucss a topic with someone who is totally illogical, they will refuse to see reason. Your argument can be in big, bold letters, yet they will disagree for whatever reason they choose–no matter how silly that reason may be to the educated observer. These people will believe discredited studies and sources.

But those aren’t the people I want to spend my time on. I want to get the people who can use my information for good purposes. I want to link up with others who can work with me to achieve my goals. I know those people are out there, but I need to connect to them.

The other people will continue in their echo chamber, but I prefer to connect with people who are willing to go forward to change the world for the better. I don’t have the time to deal with the astroturfers.

Happy Alice Paul Day

Alice Paul was right!

Alice Paul believed that to have freedom from legal sex discrimination requires an Equal Rights Amendment that affirms the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens. This is despite the Fourteenth Amendment beginning:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to guarantee equal citizenship and equality before the law for all citizens and for all persons. It does not simply ban discrimination based on race. The fact that the word race is not mentioned in the text (as it is in the fifteenth amendment) was quite deliberate.

This is the man who wrote an opinion that ended the DC gun ban--spot the conflict.

The problem is that some people didn’t get the message about that, in particular one who has shown that he can find Constitutional language “is mere surplusage — is entirely without meaning”. This is despite Marbury v. Madison saying that “It cannot be presumed that any clause in the Constitution is intended to be without effect, and therefore such construction is inadmissible unless the words require it.” The even more frightening aspect is that this is a view held by the majority of the US Supreme Court that it can rewrite the Constitution, rather than interpret laws.

Alex Pareene in Salon states that:

Ok, well, all the Amendment says is that equal protection under the laws will be afforded to citizens, not “straight male citizens,” or whatever distinction Scalia’s making here. Scalia can be very literal-minded sometimes, like when he explains that the Eighth Amendment doesn’t forbid torture because interrogations aren’t “punishment.” Other times, he gets fuzzier with the language; despite the fact that the government is not allowed to establish or promote religion, Scalia is OK with “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Constitution always happens to only mean whatever an ultra-conservative Republican asshole thinks it means, isn’t that funny?

Alas, Alex, Scalia has gotten away with twisting the Constitution without too much of a peep from the legal community, let alone the general populace. In fact, Scalia’s Heller decision was held as the “correct” interpretation by many who should know much better.

The real problem is that there is no Constitutional means for telling the Supreme Court that it has it wrong: Short of a hue and cry for Scalia to be impeached. The problem is that Scalia’s bad decisions and poor judgement have gone without comment.

Which gets us back to Alice Paul, The Equal Rights Amendment is needed in order to prevent a rollback of women’s rights by conservative/reactionary political votes, and to promote laws and court decisions that fairly take into account women’s as well as men’s experiences. We now have a concrete example of a Supreme Court Justice who is more than willing to rewrite the Constitution rather than interpret it using precedent (e.g. DC v. Heller). Scalia is kind enough to point out that the political arena is the one place where we can send idiots like him a message (Impeachment and removal from office would be nice). Instead, the right is using the Court system to attack our rights. Judges, such as Scalia and Silverman, are all too willing to ignore precedent and the statute’s wording in order to trash the Constitution.

Thus, something such as this:

The Equal Rights Amendment
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Which makes it clear that discrimination because of Sex, rather than mere reliance upon the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause is needed. Some people are too stupid to realise that women are persons.

Weird question about Lijjat Papadums

Okee Dokee, I’m prepping the papadums for tonight’s dinner (can’t have curry without papadums). Lately, I’ve been buying this brand (Lijjat) for various reasons.

The thing is that I have never figured out why they have a rabbit on the package other than its their brand mascot. But, why a rabbit? It’s not really what I think in regard to the Sub-Continent: Especially the plush toy one Lijjat uses. Actually, the Lijjat Papadum mascot is a ventriloquist’s (Ramdas Padhye) dummy, not a plush toy.

Can anyone solve this mystery surrounding the Lijjat Papadum packaging? What is going on here? I mentioned that cultures with low literacy use pictures of the product, but this makes no sense in relation to that concept.

There is somewhat of an answer here.

Lijjat was the brain child of seven semi-literate Gujarati housewives from Mumbai who wanted to start a venture to create a sustainable livelihood using the only skill they had i.e. cooking. Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, popularly known as Lijjat, is an Indian women’s organization involved in manufacturing of various consumer goods (primarily food). The organization’s main objective is empowerment of women by providing them employment opportunities. Started in 1959 with a seed capital of Rs. 80, Lijjat today has an annual turnover of around Rs. 500 (Rs. 5 billion), with Rs. 250 in exports and provides employment to around 42,000 employees. Lijjat is head quartered in Mumbai and has 67 branches and 35 divisions all over India.

BTW, the easiest way to cook papadums is to brush them with vegatable oil, let them sit for at least 30 minutes, then pop them into the microwave. Mine takes 40 seconds to cook them, but cooking times may vary. It’s a whole lot easier than frying the things.

Note: This is Ramdas Padhye’s response to my letter:

Sorry for the delay in reply. I started performing my shows on T.V. in 1972 when television started in Mumbai. My character “Bunny” the rabbit was popular as I use to perform it on T.V. as well as in many stage shows. Hence the Lijjat Papad guys wanted to use it. The advertisement is shot in 1980’s, but is still running on many T.V. channels in India.

Ramdas Padhye

So, that’s the explanation.