Monthly Archives: June 2012

GOTCHA!

Anita Sarkeesian

You know the old line, “Give a fool enough rope and he’ll hang himself”? Well, women all over who have suffered harassment for speaking up against sexism in their world have no doubt wished such would happen to their offenders and enablers.

Enjoy women gamers, your day has come. As this story tells here and here, a young feminist, Anita Sarkeesian has stepped on the mysoginist trip line by announcing her intention to produce a few videos exploring sexist themes and imaging in the video gaming world.  Once she stepped on that invisible, but well known trip line (the one where women who mention sexism are immediately set upon by deniers and haters), the wolves came out of their dens and began a feeding frenzy.

As anyone can see by the numerous pages and write-ups on the internet and those posted here, Anita refused to back down and in fact thanks to her harassers, was able to top her funding goals a few times over.  How do you feel now haters?

As Amanda Marcotte so eloquently states in Slate:

Sarkeesian’s story is a doozy, by the way. She started a Kickstarter page to raise money to make a documentary about the tropes used by video game designers to portray female characters. She hadn’t expressed an opinion about video games yet, but simply by stating that she would at some point in the future do so, she had to endure an absolute avalanche of misogynist abuse from men who hoped they could silence her before her too-scary-to-be-heard opinion could be voiced. Every access point they could exploit was used to try to get to her, especially her YouTube page. Her Wikipedia page was repeatedly vandalized with lies, links out to porn sites, and pornographic pictures.* Eventually, Wikipedia shut it down. Unfortunately for the misogynists, this sort of thing generated a lot of sympathy for Sarkeesian, and she was able to fundraise well beyond her original goals. Like, more than $90,000 beyond what she originally wanted to raise.

Sarkeesian was successful because the arrogant holders of the gates of mysoginy opened up their dungeon of horrors and let ‘er rip.  Every woman whose been alive more than a few years knows the hatred and sting of mysoginy.

In the real world its subtle because like racists, they know their speech raises eyebrows among those who wish to remain respectable.  But this is just another portion of the War on Women.  Its as if the dogs have finally broken down the fences and have gone on a frenzied war-path to take the neighborhood back to the pack.  Since Ronald Reagan led the country in mocking feminists and using welfare as the new Slut Shaming, while seated in the highest position in the land, a battle has brewed between those who wish us to move forward as a people and the trolls who hold the keys to the bridge gates.

They’ve stamped their feet, crying out for twenty or more years about “Feminazis” and the “PC Police” who want to take away all their fun.  But the motivation of oppression has nothing to do with fun; its serious business. Its something its beneficiaries will defend to the bitter end, humanity be damned.  Getting the entire country on their side with slick media campaigns that hide old sexist memes in flashy commercialized images of sexually available women and multi-media that still portrays women as the lesser player has worked wonders.  Now we’ve got an entirely new generation of young soldiers ready to hold the guard and carry torch for their forefathers.

Talk to any young white male about sexism in any media, especially gaming and you’ll usually get a lot of dismissal and disregard for the idea that media degrades and minimizes women.  Young men have learned the one most important lesson in upholding patriarchy; you as the male and only you, have the power and the privilege to decide what is real and what is not.

Any woman who owns a computer and goes online also knows full well the mysoginy present in the media they have to engage in and face everyday.  Everyday millions of males support at least by their complicit silence, if not by their monetary support and outright glee, sexism and degradation.  The rule has always been that if you as a woman engage with people on the internet, keep your guard up and be ready to leave if the speech gets too heavy or offensive.  Its not your world, women learn early on, so just slink away, be quiet and blame yourself for not being strong enough to “handle it”.

This silent learned tolerance sneaks into every woman’s psyche, effectively causing her to doubt her validity, to doubt her talent, her ability to contribute, even her worthiness to be treated as a human being.  She might pass up a promotion, laugh nervously and stay silent when her man belittles her in front of others or worse, she’ll just stay silent, in the background where its safe and where she remains captive.

Cheers to Anita for being bold and committed enough to undertake her Kickstart project.  Kudos to all of those who donated to her cause and by that very act made the statement loud and clear that you will no longer stand idly by.

Raw Story posted a video of DJ Jay Smooth talking about the need for men to stand up to the internet misogynists.  This is a good step, but more men need to speak up, not just on the internet but in the real world as well when their brothers get out of line.  There’s no reason why women should fight this war alone.

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Reflections on the Occupy Hearing – Making History

Arnie doing his thing…

Arnie Alpert, of the American Friends Service Committee of NH, put together an excellent summary of the Occupy hearings that occurred last Friday.

For those who live under a rock or thought this didn’t matter to them — it does and it was a fascinating hearing.  Barbara Keshen of the NH-ACLU,  assembled a relevant, cogent defense, based on the “right to revolution” clause Article 10 of the New Hampshire state constitution.

Barbara served the prosecution their lunch, complete with appetizers of Occupier testimony on their motivations for joining Occupy, a tasty soup to nuts from a local legislator on the inaccessibility of the political system and the Grand Entree from a Rutger’s professor on the state of our economic/political climate and how that effects the agency of the average citizen and Arnie’s finishing with a description of his work in teaching Occupiers peaceful not violent direct action.

A must-read for anyone who cares about the current state of things,  civil liberties, democracy, constitutional law and the power of government.

Without further ado: http://inzanetimes.wordpress.com/

This just in: interview of Barbara Keshen, the ACLU-NH attorney who took on the Occupy defense with Arnie Arnesan

Arnie podcast 6-25-12 – News, Views and Blues

BTW…

I intend to order audio of the hearing to post up on this site so people can hear the whole hearing themselves.  We at Progressive will fund the fee for this.  We can expect the CD in a few days and it will be uploaded here by someone with more tech savvy than me (probably Martin Pfahler, thanks in advance Martin).

But, we would like to be able to post the entire .pdf transcript of this and related motions, arguing memos and final decision.

This costs; costs bundles.  An outside contractor does the work and one has to pay ahead and it could take weeks.  If you are interested in helping to make them available, please let us know,  we will post the exact dollar amount required for the .pdf files and how long they will take.  Our treasurer, Matt Lawrence can provide a tracking of donations for this.  Any small amount will help to make this important case available to all.

please email me directly with any inquiries at: ibuildfuru at yahoo dot com

Thanks,

Katie T.

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Reflections from Somerville Mass.

I don’t know who you are “Concerned Granny” but you’ve couldn’t have stated it better.

Stated what? You may ask.  The online edition of the NYT posted the final chapter in the sorry saga of the Penn State football coach; he was found guilty of 45 counts out of 48 of various charges of sexual abuse.  Sandusky’s reign of power over his enablers and control over his victims is over.  Many people chimed in their thoughts of the comments section, but the best comment so far took the larger association of the condition of our country, the suffering of so many as a result of it and the hypocrisy of those who’d rather waste their time and our time forcing theocracy on us.

Theocracy from a religion, I might point out and “concerned grandma” does even better at pointing out, that professes to care for the weak and the downtrodden as the first order of business.  Tell it grandma:

  • Concerned Grandma
  • Somerville MA

Is anyone else struck by the dreadful coincidence that the front page of tonight’s on-line edition of the NYTimes carries TWO stories about trusted and prominent figures who have been found guilty of charges involving sexual abuse of young boys?

To what extent are we all complicit in these crimes? What might those around these men have done to interrupt and halt their heinous offenses? I believe that the “righteous” citizens of this country who have focused so much vituperative energy, attention, and money on preventing abortion and contraception should take stock this weekend, especially if they exercise their right to participate in communal exercise of their faith. Perhaps it is time for them to devote greater attention and expressions of love to the many children living in our midst who attend terrible schools, have a troubled home situation, inadequate nourishment and minimal or non-existent health care, and who live in and know nothing but poverty.

Acknowledging the realities of poverty, deprivation and neglect that confront way too many children in our cities and rural areas and the places in between and doing something to reverse these shameful conditions might be a small step towards communal atonement for allowing those who prey on our children to do so with impunity.

We owe a great debt to those who brought these two to trial, and to the system of justice that held them accountable for their crimes.

It is a very sad state of affairs.

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Maggie, oh Maggie Don’t You Love Us?

A precarious balance indeed, but Maggie trusts the tender care of Grover.

Word has come across the desk here at Progressive Action NH headquarters that Democratic Governor-Elect, Maggie Hassan betrayed us.   In a marriage made in hell, Maggie has turned her back on us, visiting the McQuaid’s shrine of William Loeb and then stooping to kiss the golden ring of the “No Tax Pledge” of gad-fly, unelected, unofficial American financial strategist extraordinaire, Grover Norquist.  Ok, we made the first part up, we don’t know if Maggie visited the shrine or not.

Many who have followed politics for any length of time know that bzillionaires like nothing better than to keep the money that others have earned for them all to themselves by not paying their fair share in taxes. Maggie, how can you support New Hampshire families and workers if you want them to shoulder the tax burden for the wealthy?  If Buffy needs a new pony, she should buy it herself — and pay the taxes on it.

Just like any addict, Grover and his minions have worked long and hard to make sure everyone is cool with his dysfunctional behavior.  And just like every addict we’ve ever known, they can’t be comfortable until they know you’ve grabbed that glass and taken a big swig yourself — then you’re in the in crowd.  As long as the crowd is doing it,

its fine right?  Maggie, didn’t your mama tell you? You lay down with dogs (or DINOS), you’re gonna get fleas.  Now we know that New Hampshire has had that “no new taxes” pledge for quite some time, attempting to strangle government in a corporate motel room bathtub, but these days Maggie, people outside New Hampshire are taking notice.

Anyway Maggie, you’ve come late to the party and who’s left but the die-hard addicts? Many have decided to its time to sober up and leave the party.   The kids don’t know you anymore, your spouse said something about filing for divorce, the rent is unpaid, the house is a shambles and on top of it all, you’re about to lose your job.  Time to get to rehab.

So why is Maggie going all in? Its been known for a quite awhile now that drugs and alcohol hurts the body and the mind. 

Also, as we stated in a previous post here, Maggie has demonstrated an inability to take a position on Northern Pass.

Maggie, oh Maggie, why have you forsaken the New Hampshire way?  The “No Tax” pledge is as dead and smelly as a Ronald Reagan zombie and Hydro-Quebec looms large with its promise to string up New Hampshire like a boulevard in a third world country, er I mean Japan.

Someone please, do Maggie a favor and plan an intervention!

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Northern Pass Hurts New Hampshire Families

A short clip explaining a few reasons (of the many) why Northern Pass hurts New Hampshire families.

And in other news

Also posted from the Hands Across New Hampshire facebook page:

Michelle Hill writes:

I got an email from a Northern Pass opposer. Here is what he had to say:

Last night Nancy and I were in attendance at the Plymouth area democratic meeting to hear what the three democratic candidates had to say in general and about NP in particular. In my opinion, Maggie Hassan did her utmost to NOT answer the direct question asked by Martha Richards about her stance on NP. Jackie Cilley was forthright and direct in her answer, explaining to the assembled that we must not only stop this ill advised project but formulate a sane, long term energy policy for our state, based on locally produced renewable energy sources. Needless to say, I was very pleased to hear that.

“Oh that?”

Maggie why do you waffle so?  Please call Maggie Hassan’s campaign office, on this page here and let her know she needs to stand for the New Hampshire way and get on the right side of this issue.  All those who value the environment should stand strong against Northern Pass and against this outrageous invasion of our New Hampshire way of life.

Jackie Cilley’s campaign info is here.

We at Progressive Action NH do not support, campaign for, take a side for, work for or volunteer for any candidate for office, but only wish to get the message about about issues and where the candidates stand on those issues that our membership is concerned about. 

Undoing Racism Workshop to Happen in July!

You’ve seen it, you know it and maybe you’ve felt it; that ugly stain on our culture; racism.  No matter what our ethnic background or skin color, no one that lives in the United States can escape the insidious evil of racism.  Used as a tool of economic oppression for nearly 300 years in this country, the pain and the social structure of racism run deep within our culture, affecting everyone.

What do we do when either we ourselves or our neighbors and loved ones suffer under the yoke of racism?  How do we work to unravel ourselves from its grasp and not enable, but challenge this oppressive cultural practice?  How can we understand the subtle (and not so subtle) messaging in our culture that aids and abets racism and simultaneously, other forms of oppression and most importantly do something about it?

Get yourself to a training, that’s your first step! 2012 Undoing Racism Workshop flyer

The renown People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond has accepted an invitation to do a training in New Hampshire!  One of the premiere training organizations on identifying and understanding racism in our culture, the People’s Institute, hosted by the New Hampshire Black Women’s Health Project and Rivier College, will be holding a workshop from July 11- 13, at the Rivier campus in Nashua, NH.

Immerse yourself in conversations and illustrates of just how racism effects you and your brothers and sisters in humanity, from your neighborhood to the world.  Learn how to identify our cultural signifiers to racism, learn how to challenge suppositions and institutions that support oppression through racism.

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Many people have found these trainings a transformative experience.  Are you ready?

The People’s Institute is a well known and professional organization that trains people from all walks of life and within all types of organizations and institutions, from work-site employee trainings, to trainings for non-profit groups interested in social change.

Sign up Early!

Please see the links below for a the registration sheet, follow the instructions on the sheet.  The number of seats available is limited to facilitate a dynamic and interactive experience by all participants, please register early!

2012 Workshop Registration 2

For Your Information:

The New Hampshire Black Women’s Health Project has also been generous enough to find the funds for some limited scholarship and discount opportunities.  Please be mindful that putting events like this together cost a great deal, money and scholarships will be screened to ensure that the limited funds go to those most in need and most interested in directly putting their training to work in their communities.

Undoing Racism Scholarship Application

Group discounts may be available as well, please inquire on the form.

Make change by nurturing mind, body and soul.

Progressive Action NH also requests that if you can support the event with a donation, please consider doing so! Your help will offset the costs of this event, enable present and future activists to attend and also encourage more work like this in the future!  Please contact the New Hampshire Black Women’s Health Project for more information about how you can help support this important work to Undo Racism!

New Hampshire Black Women’s Health Project:  603-264-2874

email: nhbwhp at gmail dot com

We at Progressive Action NH extend our gratitude and thanks to the tireless and dedicated (and mostly unpaid) work of the women of the NH Black Women’s Health Project in making this workshop possible!

“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.” – Kofi Annan

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Northern Pass – Not the Option for New Hampshire

https://i0.wp.com/www.nonorthernpass.org/nh/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/live-free-or-fry-poster_final.jpg

We at Progressive Action NH believe the way of life for New Hampshire, the economic lifeblood of the North Country region, and the health and welfare of the public and the White Mountain area and beyond are threatened by Northern Pass.. Even small power companies oppose the project.

Public Service of New Hampshire, it’s parent Northeast Utilities, and Hydro-Quebec, the companies involved in this project attempt to sell the public on the lie New Hampshire will share in the power transmitted along the lines. However, the entire state is no more than a conduit route for feeding power to the high demand regions of Boston, MA and Hartford, CT, and potentially New York City.  This article from a southern New Hampshire news paper sums up the points very well.

We also believe Northern Pass represents the latest in a long line of intrusions on and to the destruction of our natural landscape and resources, life that depends on it, not only by Hydro-Quebec in Canada, but also by all corporations that rely on the extraction or use of natural resources as a means for profit.

We believe through direct action and education residents of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York will become aware of the threat to their livelihoods and the environment that sustains us all. We know we the people can stop the pillaging our natural resources for the profit of a few if we come together. In this instance and in many others (such as Trailbreaker Tarsands Pipeline) we believe the motives of these giant utility conglomerates has nothing to do with sustainable energy generation and everything to do with building more infrastructure to reap more profit at the detriment of human health and environmental devastation.

The infrastructure is proposed not to met present energy demands, as nearly all states in the country produce a surplus of energy. In fact according to eRedux.com, a site that offers information on renewable and green energy,

“New Hampshire is not an energy intensive state, both total energy consumption and per capita energy consumption are among the lowest in the country.”

The larger metropolitan areas of Hartford and Boston are seen as potential future importers, with the possibility to continue southwest to New York City.  The proposal represents an effort to lay the groundwork for future expectation of rising electricity use during the summer months when cooling demand is expected to increase due to global warming.   Studies show the effectiveness of education which leads to changes in use, as usage rates countrywide continue to decline.

In fact, Hydro-Quebec and the associated utility companies on this project demonstrate complete indifference, if not opposition, to any development or discussion of conservation, renewable energy production, or more importantly, developing awareness of global warming. Corporate utility conglomerates, using Green Washing techniques, wish to lull people into the belief that energy companies have their best interests at heart. Clear evidence exists to prove otherwise.

Utility companies have a vast store of capital at their disposal due to the combined dependency of the public on their services and their for-profit structure. Like all corporations, they exist to realize a return for investors and stock holders and therefore have decided to spend their capital waging a war against common sense.

As a result in New Hampshire, the effort to acquire land and approval for the project has threatened land values and divided neighbors and families. In a cynical bid to garner support among workers, they have made huge, unfounded promises of future jobs. These jobs will not provide New Hampshire workers with sustainable careers paying living salaries and giving the employee an opportunity to save for retirement.  The jobs created will be temporary and many believe populated by out of state and out of nation workers. New Hampshire needs jobs that will last a generations, not jobs that will disappear each season to transient workers.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, of which many of PSNH’s workers are members, has put their support behind Northern Pass based on a promise of job creation. Study after study shows the projections to be optimistic, temporary and narrowly focused at best. The IBEW’s support of this project is short-sighted over the long term interests of the rest of the state. We condemn the use of workers by corporations as a wedge to advance their agenda. That said, we do support unions. We do not want the IBEW to feel attacked. We feel they made the wrong decision and invite them to reevaluate Northern Pass and the jobs issues. We will be happy to engage in respectful dialogue with members of the any union to show how detrimental Northern Pass will be to our economy, livelihoods, health, and environment.

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Hands Across NH is a direct action against Northern Pass and Trailbreaker. We encourage people from around the world to get further involved in the planning and strategizing this event, which is planned for Labor Day weekend. Details are on the following pages:

Facebook page
Facebook Event Page
Hands Across New Hampshire

We will be having a strategy session at the home of of one of our organizers on Sunday, June 17th at 2pm. If you are interested in joining us, please let us know on the pages above or by contacting us on our Progressive Action NH facebook page.

Hands Across New Hampshire is a peaceful, nonviolent, family friendly event to visibly oppose Northern Pass and Trailbreaker. Please become involved by organizing your community to hold hands for 30 minutes on Saturday, September 1, 2012 from 3-3:30.

Other organization’s statements against Northern Pass: (these organizations are also included in our blogroll, if we missed something here, please notify us).

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests ( position statement)

Trees Not Towers

Even Newt Gingrich opposed Northern Pass

Alliance Against the Northern Pass

Protect the White Mountain National Forests

Conservation Law Foundation

Sierra Club

Bury the Northern Pass

No Northern Pass

No Northern Pass Coalition

Facebook : Stop the Northern Pass

Live Free or Fry

Appalachian Mountain Club

Responsible Energy Action

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