Saturday, June 30, 2012

there's a movie about rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military

Last night, at the invitation of the head of the local Iraq Veterans Against the War chapter, I saw TheInvisible War (IMDB, Wikipedia), a documentary by Kirby Dick about both rape in the military and the military's response to rapes in the military. The movie is showing at the Music Box Theater until July 5.

This is going to be a long blog entry. So, I'm going to include an outline. You can skip to the points that are interesting to you.

  1. The film
    A. The list of reasons why this is a good film
    B. Who are the “bad guys” in the film?
    C. Congress gets a pass in the film
  2. Connecting the film to my military experience
  3. A. I was sexually molested
    B. Rape at Navy Recruiting District Chicago
    C. M Division on USS St. Louis (LKA-116)
    D. Kicking a waitress in Phnom Penh
  4. Connecting the film to my activist experience
    A. Dorothy Mackey
    B. What could Congress do?
Continued below the fold.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wisconsin recall defeat is the Waterloo of progressive politics in America

The failure to recall Scott Walker as governor of Wisconsin is a major turning point in American democracy.

The plutocrats (economic elites) have defeated collective bargaining for public sector workers in Wisconsin, an industrial state. And they have shown they can do this with acceptable backlash. And as the Indiana example shows, once Republicans get a chance they will eliminate private sector collective bargaining too.

Decency and self-restraint is not going to keep the plutocrats from attacking organized labor on all fronts. And with organized labor weakened, every progressive gain since the Civil War is in jeopardy. With criminalizing poverty and privatizing prisons, slavery is probably going to make a comeback too.

The Democratic activists trying to put a happy face on this say polling shows Republicans successfully made the debate about whether the recall process was "legitimate". That's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is: the legislature and the governor took away the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin citizens and the citizens declined to punish the guy who did it.