Political Flavors


Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 20: Self Care In The Age of Trump

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on October 12th, 2017
by

Self Care In The Age Of Trump

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

How are you doing? We check in with each other and share our favorite ways to take care of ourselves, and how we like to help others. Also some podcast updates!

Discussed in this episode:

Stumbling Stones

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Equal Justice Initiative

The Memorial To Peace and Justice

Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit

Lindsay Ellis – “Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about N@zis”

“We aim to try!” is a quotation from Reno 911!

***

Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Podcast Episode 19: Anastasia Bodnar, GMOs, and Gendered Food Panic

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on September 21st, 2017
by
Tags:

Anastasia Bodnar, GMOs, and Gendered Food Panic

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

We interviewed Anastasia Bodnar of Biofortified to talk about the Science March, GMOs and the way food panics target women in general and mothers specifically.

Discussed in this episode:

Anastasia’s blog

Genetically Modified Foods Revisited

North Carolina Hog Farms Spray Manure Around Black Communities; Residents Fight Back

Popular Remington 700 rifle linked to potentially deadly defect

Panic Free GMOs by Nathaniel Johnson – Grist

Genetically Modified Broccoli Shrieks Benefits At Shopper

Farmworker Justice: Pesticide Safety

Millennials want more facts about their food

Science Moms Documentary

Bottled Up

Senate confirms Perdue as agriculture secretary

5 Sketchy Facts About Trump’s Pick for USDA Chief

Sociology of the March for Science

***

Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Saturday Night Live is Entertainment. Do Not Take Tina Fey’s Cake Sketch Seriously.

Posted in Editorials, Videos on August 18th, 2017
by
Tags:

I’ve written before about how Saturday Night Live’s politics are maybe not as liberal as you think, in their choice to have Donald Trump host the show during the Republican primary and to blunt criticism of his racism.

I want to talk now about a sketch in which Tina Fey encourages people to eat cake instead of protesting Nazis.

Heather Heyer is dead but cake is delicious.

Saturday Night Live is what Jon Stewart insists he is: entertainment, not political commentary. However, many people, including people I respect and love look to it for analysis and catharsis. (My alternative suggestion – The Majority Report with Sam Seder. It’s funny but also provides in depth information.) If you like SNL because it’s funny, great! But if you watch it for political commentary, you need to know this: Lorne Michaels doesn’t want the show to be liberal (or conservative). He wants it to appeal to all Americans, and he’s aiming for the middle. He said so during an interview with Marc Maron in 2015.

So with that in mind, let’s think about how this cake sketch meets that standard. On one hand liberals can see themselves in Tina Fey, angry, righteous, feeling helpless. And conservatives can laugh at the paranoid liberal chick getting fat because she doesn’t like that someone challenged her PC notions. And the “middle” if there is one, can feel good about doing nothing. Because that’s what Tina Fey is saying here, she’s affirming complacency and inaction, as long as there’s some guilt mixed in, it’s ok. She’s telling people to channel their outrage into self indulgence. As entertainment, it’s funny. But as praxis, it’s terrible. Now, I’m all for self care. So here’s what I propose instead:

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 18: School Based Health Centers and Girls Inc

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on June 8th, 2017
by
Tags:

School Based Health Centers and Girls Inc

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

We interviewed our friend Robin who works in a school based health center and the awesome nonprofit Girls Inc.

Discussed in this episode:

School Based Health Centers

Girls, Inc.

***

Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour 17: Lindsay Beyerstein’s Care in Chaos

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on May 25th, 2017
by
Tags:

Lindsay Beyerstein’s Care in Chaos

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

We interviewed Lindsay Beyerstein about her upcoming documentary “Care in Chaos” which is the story of two abortion clinics in red states and how their relationships with police impact access to reproductive healthcare.

Discussed in this episode:

Rewire

Tape Reveals Nixon’s Views On Abortion

Lindsay’s new podcast, The Breach

Lindsay Beyerstein on Twitter

***

Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 16: Voices Of The Resistance

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on May 11th, 2017
by

Voices Of The Resistance

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

Greetings listeners, it’s been a while, but we are back!

In this episode hear interviews Karen did at the Women’s March.

Discussed in this episode:

‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood

Science Is For Everyone

Neil deGrasse Tyson: When Science Becomes A Partisan Issue, It Is The Beginning Of The End Of Informed Democracy

What Do I Say When I Call My Representative?

The 65

The Women’s March Take Action Page

The Congressional Docket

Find Your Community Board

New York State Independent Democratic Conference

Our Interview with Rebecca Lynch

***

Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Conservatives are the OLD Punk Rock

Posted in Editorials on February 27th, 2017
by
Tags:

I balk when I see tweets about conservatives being the new punk rock just because people vehemently hate Milo Yiannopoulos for being a *fashionable* blowhard. This is because I associate punk with my rebellion against fascistic tendencies and I associate the alt right with shitty old nazis who just so happen not to carry the SES association with rednecks. But today, my “shuffle all” played 7 Seconds and I realized how much I cling to the good and put aside the bad in my memories of the punk rock I loved in my youth. As a tween and teen, I clung to bands like 7 Seconds because they had the edge and the energy I loved about punk, but they also created space for me. With feminist 101 songs like “Not Just Boys Fun” and lines like “fuck big business, church and war/that’s not what we’re fighting for” in “Definite Choice,” I had music to get me fired up for the political work and to comfort me in times when I felt like maybe I was the crazy one and I should just conform. The flip side of that realization of how fucking great 7 Seconds was, is that there was SO MUCH that was garbage.

I remember the first time I listened to Nevermind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols and thought Bodies was an incomprehensible story of abortion stigma. Is the problem that she was poor? “A case of insanity”? That she was a “no-one who killed her baby”? Was the transgression supposed in the graphic gorey descriptions? If so, then the purity ring wearing indoctrinated tweens outside clinics who carry signs bearing gorey images of god knows what are as punk rock as the Pistols. I did not find it to be progressive or transgressive, and I didn’t have the language or discourse of the problematic fav so I just had to live with my cognitive dissonance and continue to call punk progressive while knowing it could be weirdly conservative. Bodies is downright milquetoast compared to what I heard as I got into hardcore and oi!

I remember smiling while my at-the-time boyfriend and his bestie listened to “Politically Incorrect” by Combat 84 not quite ironically enough to justify their smirks at “Equal opportunity?! What about my fucking opportunities?!” (also lol, this line basically sums up the entire argument of conservative transgression). Yes, for every kid with a SHARP patch, there was a kid with an 88 patch (or the little patch with a no symbol over the SHARP logo because I guess graphic design for nazis died in the 40s); for every Kathleen Hanna there was a Fat Mike; for every “Jesus was a Communist,” there’s a really bizarrely high number of white dudes trying to convince you that Screwdriver is just really great punk music if you can put aside the white power shit. As a kid I had a lot of trouble navigating whether or not some kid I was meeting was gonna say some outrageously dehumanizing shit about Jews without noticing (or maybe intentionally because they did notice) that I’m Jewish.

At that time, I had to dig to find Team Dresch or Bitch and Animal (ok, does anti-folk count as punk? I don’t know, don’t @ me) to express that queer anger I had inside me, an anger that was definitely not acceptable to a lot of the traditional-gender-role-loving hardcore scene. Punk rock and queercore is now a huge part, if not the dominating genre, of punk. Thanks in part to band like MEN and Gravy Train!!!, we have bands like PWR BTTM being featured in the New York Times. The new punk rock is a glittering queermo paradise, not some fucking punch bait dude with a frog pin talking about how he’s *technically* not a member of the KKK.

What Do I Say When I Call My Representative? January 23, 2017 edition

Posted in Editorials on January 23rd, 2017
by
Tags:

In the past two days, two people have asked me, “But Elizabeth, after I call my Congressperson, what do I say?

I’m glad more people are interested in contacting their representatives and this seems like such a responsibility. I don’t really want to tell people what to say – it seems so personal to me. But since people have been asking me, here’s a few suggestions. Notice, this post is dated, in case I write more posts like these in the future.

If you haven’t yet, read the Indivisible guide. I know it’s 26 pages. But. Read it.

Ok, onto calling your representative:

First, know who you are calling. If you live in one of the 50 states, you have one Congressional Representative and two Senators in Washington DC. You also have one state assembly member and one state senator representing you to your state government. [Unless you live in Nebraska, then you just have one legislator]. You have a governor. There’s probably also people who represent you at the local level. In New York City, there’s my city councilman and the Mayor. When I lived on Long Island, I had village trustees, a village mayor, a town councilman, a town supervisor, a county legislator and a county executive. Local government varies wildly but most have websites where you can find out who represents you – and since many localities in the United States have local elections in odd years – the people who will be knocking on your door this summer and fall are the ones who will represent you the closest to where you live.

Second, pick a specific issue that the person you are calling has direct influence over. Learn about the issue and find out who votes on what before you call. For example, your Senator can’t help you with a pothole (thus why you should learn the nitty gritty of your local government). And your congressperson doesn’t vote on Supreme Court nominees (only Senators do).

When you call, make it short and sweet:

Hello, my name is __________, and I live in (town) (zip code). I’m calling to ask (the Congressman/Senator/Assemblywoman/Councilman) to vote (Yes/No) on __________. Thank you

But, you may ask, what goes in that last blank? I hesitate so much to do this because I really think people should decide for themselves, but here’s my personal suggestions, and links which support my position. Pick one or two of these at a time. You can always call back the next day with more requests.

Call your Senators and tell them:
Vote No on Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State
What Rex Tillerson’s Exxon Mobil track record tells us
What Tillerson Could Mean for US. Foreign Policy and Women’s Empowerment Programs
A bunch of military veterans have taken over Sen. McCain’s office to protest Rex Tillerson

Vote No on Jeff Sessions for Attorney General
Read the letter Coretta Scott King wrote opposing Sessions’s 1986 federal nomination
My previous post on this

Vote No on Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education
The Betsy DeVos Hearing Was an Insult to Democracy

Vote No on Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury
Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Nominee, Failed to Disclose $100 Million in Assets

Vote No on Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services
Senate Dem [Kirsten Gillibrand] asks for SEC investigation of Trump HHS pick
Tom Price can’t recall voting to allow employers to fire women for using birth control. Democrats help him remember.

Vote No on Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator
Scott Pruitt Criticizes Environmental Rules

Vote No on The REINS Act
The REINS Act: Why Congress Should Hold Its Horses
Questioning the Constitutionality of the REINS Act: Bill Seeks to Restructure Federal Rulemaking Process

Call your Congressperson and tell them:

Vote no on any budget that the National Endowment for the Arts, or efforts to fight climate change like the Paris Climate Agreement
Report: Trump Team Preparing $10.5 Trillion in Budget Cuts

Also, tell them to vote no on these bills. I found them all on congress.gov you can read the text of all of these bills online.

Vote no on HR 217 Defunding Planned Parenthood

Vote no on HR 175 Repealing The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Vote no on HR 34 which would get rid of Gun Free School Zones

Vote no on HR 36 which would ban abortion at 20 weeks

Vote no on HR 49 which would allow oil drilling on the Alaskan coastal plain

If you live in New York State:

Call your State Assemblyperson and State Senator and tell them to vote yes on The New York Health Act.
It’s Time for New York State to Pass Universal Healthcare

If you live in Indiana:

Call your State Assemblyperson and State Senator and tell them to vote no on Senate Bill 285 which “would require law enforcement to clear protesters from roadways by “any means necessary.””
Lawmakers Delay Vote On Bill To Clear Protesters From Roads

If you live in North Dakota:

Call your State Assemblyperson and State Senator and tell them to vote no on bills that crimalize protests or “exempt a driver from liability if they unintentionally injure or kill a pedestrian obstructing traffic on a public road or highway.” I tried to find the names of these bills but the ND Legislature website appears to require being a resident of the state to track a bill. If you’re from ND, let me know. Here’s some sources:
North Dakota’s experience with pipeline protests spurs bills
Pipeline Protesters Decry North Dakota Bills That ‘Criminalize’ Protests

Finally…

Remember to be polite. You might be angry, but you are speaking to a staffer whose job it is to talk to the public all day. It’s basic human decency to be nice to them.

After you call, tell people who you called and what you said and why. Use social media or just bring it up in conversation. You will encourage others to do the same. If you find out your representative is planning to vote how you asked them to, thank them, and tell your friends that too.

Happy dialing.

What To Read To Your Kid During The Trump Administration

Posted in Book Reviews, Editorials, Personal Essays, Pregnancy And Motherhood Thinkpieces on January 20th, 2017
by
Tags:

My son is still a baby by but I try to read to him every day. He doesn’t understand the words yet but he likes looking at the pictures and hearing my voice. In some ways I’m glad I don’t have to explain Donald Trump to him yet, and my heart goes out to parents who do. When I was a kid I liked topical books like “How My Parents Learned to Eat” and “The Lorax.” My Dad gave me a copy of Jack London’s “The Scab” when I was about ten. And I plan on continuing the tradition of including political books with my own son. Here’s some kids books covering themes that may come up in the net few years:

For Very Little Ones
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
An alphabet board book which covers the A-Z of activism from “Advocate Abolitionist Ally” to “Zapatista of course.” Some people may balk about introducing radical politics to young children. But I love this book. I will unapologetically share my Unitarian Universalist faith with my son, and he’ll be hearing a lot of these words at coffee hour after services, or while I’m playing “Democracy Now!” in the background of a quiet day at home. So why not read him this remarkable book of rhymes about activism?

For Your Budding Feminist
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
About a year before I had my son, I reviewed this book on Goodreads: “This book is amazing and I want to buy a copy for every child I know.” Children will enjoy learning about historical figures they’ve heard of and those they haven’t. Although it’s written for children, it does not hold back. It begins, “A is for Angela. Angela Davis was born in 1944 in Birmingham Alabama into a neighborhood known as ‘Dynamite Hill’ because a group of racist white men called the Ku Klux Klan often bombed the homes of black families who lived there.”

The authors have also written a sequel “Rad Women Worldwide.”

For The Elementary School Age Peacemaker
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan
This is a simple story of two girls who are best friends, one white and one Arab, but who secretly think each other’s food is gross. You can probably guess what happens next. It’s a sweet story with charming pictures.

If Things Get Really Bad
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss wrote this during the Cold War, and it’s an unflinching look at the prospect of nuclear war through the eyes of a child. I read it when I was about 11 in 1994. By that time, both the Berlin Wall and the USSR were things of the past. For children who lived through times where the prospect of mutually assured destruction was very real, this book was much more relatable. It’s also a good tool to teach kids about allegory and how literature can simplify real world problems into stories we can talk about.

2016 Link Roundup

Posted in Editorials on December 31st, 2016
by

I’m still way too pessimistic about America’s descent into fascism to call this post the “Best of” but here’s some things I think you’d like if you missed them, with election stuff kept to a minimum.

If you need a good cry:
What to tell the children

This Letter To Philando Castile From A Schoolchild Gives A New Perspective On His Death

Pat Summitt, Legendary Tennessee Basketball Coach, Dies At 64

Lin-Manuel Miranda Tony Award 2016 – Love is Love is Love

Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks

If you need something to read:
Alt-Right’ Trolls Are Targeting DC’s DIY Music Houses

The Federal Government’s Program to Feed Pregnant Women and Children Is Terrible

Belgian beer culture is intangible cultural heritage: it’s official!

The Planned Parenthood Shooting Survivors Finally Speak Out

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that wore black warmup shirts

NBC’s coverage of the Olympics is atrocious. There’s a simple reason why.

Complaint: Citing Catholic Rules, Doctor Turns Away Bleeding Woman With Dislodged IUD

How betrayal aversion makes anti-vaxxers more afraid of vaccine complications than of disease

Abortion ban linked to dangerous miscarriages at Catholic hospital, report claims

How Fake News Articles Fabricated A Child Trafficking Story And Led To Death Threats For A Pizzeria

If you want to bake a cake that I also baked:
Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake

Blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting

If you want to watch a video about a brave man:
“I Refuse to Serve as an Empire Chaplain”: U.S. Army Minister Resigns over Drone Program

If you need good news:
Giant pandas rebound off endangered list

If you need a laugh:
NYC Snowplow Spares Snowman’s Life during Snowmageddon 2016

If you want to follow the most 2016 twitter account of 2016:
Infinite Scream

If you want to listen to a great a podcast that’s been on hiatus and is coming back in January 2017:
Cultish

My Fave 2016 TV I think you should binge on Netflix:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Luke Cage

The most 2016 youtube video of 2016: