13 March 2007

News Items of Interest

SDS is Back Again!
In New York City on Monday, about 100 students, all members of SDS New York, occupied an Armed Forces Recruiting Center for two hours. The occupation ended when 20 students were arrested by the NYPD. The students were charged with criminal trespassing.

At approximately 11:15 am, a large contingent of New School SDS members left the New School Graduate Center (65 Fifth Avenue) heading south. The column weaved its way through lower Manhattan, arriving at Chambers and West Broadway--where they connected with another march, this one originating from Pace University. The two columns streamed west on Chambers and entered the recruiting center which 25 students occupied for about two hours. Recruiters in the facility slammed and locked the doors to their offices, apparently to avoid interaction with the students--effectively closing the center for the duration of the occupation. Outside, dozens of additional protesters stood with signs chanting: “Troops out now,” “No justice, no peace. U.S. out of the Middle East,” and “Stop the war, yes we can. SDS is back again.”

This is wonderful! What more can I say. These sorts of protests should be taking place all over the country. And we really need to do something about these military recruiters.

American Historical Association Opposes Iraq War
Members of the American Historical Association have ratified the “Resolution on United States Government Practices Inimical to the Values of the Historical Profession.” The vote was 1550 (75.61%) in favor and 498 (24.29%) opposed. Two persons submitted incomplete ballots. The number of voting members represented 14.67% of the AHA membership.

A major role was played by a relatively new group, Historians Against the War (of which I am a member). For the past few decades, academic groups have felt they should not get involved in these sort of partisan political activities. I guess some still believe students are not supposed to know that we have political views!

comment: Yes, I actually WANT my students to know that I am a passionate political creature with strong opinions. They don't have to agree with me--and most of them don't. But I will not become an ideological eunuch just because some spineless administrators are afraid some student might be offended by my views!

Now It's NORTH Dakota!
Here we go again. The North Dakota Senate is poised to hear a bill, HB 1466, which would ban all abortions in the state. And this proposed ban is even more extreme than the beaten-down South Dakota ban! There are no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the woman AND the ban would impose criminal penalties on women and their doctors.

The bill would also allow the Attorney General to implement a ban on abortion regardless of the status of Roe v. Wade. Performing an abortion would become a Class C felony in the state.
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota is monitoring the situation. Go to their website for news and other information.

I don't know what else can be said about these assholes. They clearly will not accept the fact that the public opinion tide appears to be running against them. Oh, I almost forgot though, God is on their fucking side isn't she? We just need to keep working.

Kroger Does the Right Thing
The supermarket giant Kroger said last week that "medication is a private patient matter" and that it will fill all requests for emergency contraceptives. The controversy began when a customer in Atlanta was apparently denied the "morning after pill" at one Kroger store.

Several other pharmacy chains have made the same pledges, including CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens.

As we should have expected, there was a statement from the "critics" who said that this contraception "encourages promiscuity and unprotected sex...." blah, blah, blah, blah.

comment: Good for Kroger. This shouldn't even be an issue should it? If these bastards are allowed to pick and choose whom they serve--aren't we really back to the days of Jim Crowism? If they don't have to serve women, maybe they can refuse service to African Americans.....or overweight people....or the handicapped. Where does it end?

This Is Sick

This isn't really news, but it seems creepy enough to report. I first read about this on Feministing--and it's weird. Purity Balls are where teenage girls are escorted on "dates" by their fathers! During the balls themselves, vows are exchanged, cake is served, and the elaborate ceremony leads to some sort of abstinence-until-marriage pledge by these young ladies. The fathers, in turn, promise to protect the chastity of their daughters.

comment: This seems really sick to me. I can't even write about it anymore. What the fuck is going on in this country? Here in Minnesota, Planned Parenthood has a wonderful program called Teen Council. These are groups of hard-working, dedicated, and passionate high-schoolers who go into schools and talk to their fellow students about sex education. It is a fabulous program (I will blog more about them in a future post). Now, wouldn't you rather discuss healthy sexual relationships with your peers--instead of making some kind of sick "pledge" with your dad?

1 comment:

Ratzo Rizzo said...

I was just watching another round
of lame mainstream media coverage of the Gonzales purge scandal and
the Iraq Senate vote today, getting all depressed again..until
I logged on to Buddy's Books and Bait... and saw SDS Is Back! You're a lifesaver... keep up the great work ..
Ratzo Rizzo