Categorized | National, Opinion, Politics

The Culture Wars are Alive and Kickin’

 

(A Disaster for Women and the Environment)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

By Dr. Joseph A Palermo
Professor, Historian, Author

JosephAPalermo.com

 

In Texas, Governor Rick Perry, the Religious Right, and their Republican allies, following Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis’s courageous filibuster last week, are literally working overtime to criminalize women’s reproductive rights.  

The state that purports to be so “pro-life” it must kneecap women also happens to be the repository of the most efficient and voluminous state-sanctioned killing machine.  There have been 500 executions (and counting) in the Lone Star State since 1982.

Like Texas, Republican-controlled states simply cannot contain their misogyny and have launched crusades to curtail women’s reproductive rights.  In the so-called red states, the GOP, responding to the clout of the Religious Right, is hell bent on rolling back rights that a generation of women struggled for decades to win.

There’s plenty of blatant hypocrisy to point out with these moves — the most glaring, of course, being the political party that claims to be against “big government” wants the government to control as many uteruses as possible — but what is often most irksome about these right-wingers is the patina of religiosity they ascribe to their assaults on both women and LGBT people.

 

A Brief History Lesson

Ronald Reagan did the nation a lasting disservice by bringing into our politics the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of this world.

The GOP of the Reagan era looked to the Religious Right as a counterweight to the role labor unions played in the Democratic Party.  Someone had to lick all those envelopes and knock on all those doors. It didn’t take long to understand that along with a veiled “Southern strategy” of racial politics, being anti-abortion and anti-gay reaped political dividends.

Thirty years later this Reagan coalition is still going strong. You can see it in the House of Representatives, the states, and elsewhere, hammering away at the same misogynistic and gay-bashing agenda.  

That was pretty much Reagan’s strategy in 1980 and 1984– and it worked like a charm in 2004, giving the nation four more glorious years of the worst president in American history.

 

The Flat-Earth Society

There are other areas where the rise of the Religious Right and the Republican politicians it elects means pending disaster.

They never seem to tire of lecturing us about how abortion and gay marriage are against the laws of nature and God.  Yet I never hear them utter a word about Monsanto and other poison/food corporations routinely ripping apart the DNA of plants and animals to create life forms that never could emerge in the known Universe.

If there exists an issue that deserves the wrath of those believers, I would think that corporations contaminating the DNA of the world’s food supply without giving a shit about the potential long-term consequences should raise a little alarm normally aimed at women and gays.

Isn’t screwing around with combining the genes of a flounder with a tomato, or a bacterium with corn, an “abomination?”  The world’s wheat supply might be succumbing to irreversible genetic pollution as Monsanto’s executives boost their bottom line through increasingly reckless actions.

Like it our not, we’re about to have the long-term “study” about whether these new Franken-crops are “safe” for the environment and for people — studies the corporate food sector has avoided or quashed.  The only problem is that by the time we understand the long-term effects of this genetic contamination it will be too late to do anything about it.

Super weeds, super insects, super bacteria and other “super” organisms which have adapted to genetically modified plants will grow stronger than ever and are starting to crop up.  The nice folks at Monsanto are absolutely giddy about the prospect of selling more herbicides and insecticides to deal with the resilient critters they’ve unleashed.

Like the fossil fuel industry and global warming, or Wall Street and the “real” economy, it’s a perfect example of corporate power and the maniacal drive for profits destroying the society they tell us they care so much about.

And the Religious Right apparently believes all of this unnatural destruction of God’s good earth is fine– so long as the women folk know their place and them gays can’t get hitched.

The Republican majority of the Supreme Court, seeing that demography is working against its ideological brethren, legitimized voter suppression laws that everyone knows will adversely affect Latinos, African Americans, young people, and the working class.

When coupled with the January 2010 Citizens United ruling, which opened up the floodgates to campaign slush funds and unlimited corporate money to flow into our already money-drenched politics, the Shelby County decision fits Citizens United like a tight bookend.  Both these egregious decisions will make it more difficult to dislodge the Bible thumpers from wielding political power.

 

The Road Forward

Whenever the Roberts Court presides over a case that pits corporations against consumers, workers, or environmentalists, you can bet that most of the time the corporations will come out on top.

In working to stop Monsanto, or the fossil fuel corporations, or Wall Street from pursuing short-term profits against the long-term interests of planet Earth and its inhabitants, the courts in the United States, at this juncture, seem to be rendered useless.

With giant, immortal corporations capturing regulatory agencies, our politics, and the judicial system, the only alternative is vigorous and prolonged citizen action against them.

People who care about the planet are going to have to redouble their efforts, organize and demand that people and institutions divest their holdings from Monsanto, ExxonMobil, and other death-defying monsters.

It will be a long and tough fight but there really is no alternative.  The mobilization of people against the new attacks on women’s rights, like we have seen in Texas recently, points the way forward.

 

…This article has been abridged with pithy pics added.  You can read Dr. Palermo’s full piece here.

 

The Humboldt Sentinel appreciates Dr. Palermo sharing his article with our readers.

Before earning a Master’s degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and his Master’s degree in History from San Jose State University.

 

eighties-150x150An Associate Professor of History at California State University–Sacramento, Professor Palermo’s most recent book is The Eighties.

He’s written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy; and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Idealism.

rfkAppearing on radio, television, and panel forums, he was given an oddly prominent jab by none other than conservative commentator Glenn Beck.  Mr. Beck lost his show, Dr. Palermo came out remarkably unscathed, and the rest is history.
 
He currently writes for the Huffington Post, LA Progressive, his website, and other publications.
 
* * * * * * * * *
 

Please spread the Hum-word.  Share our posts with others, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.  We could use your push. 

 

2 Responses to “The Culture Wars are Alive and Kickin’”

  1. Jason says:

    I just wish the feds would stop printing money and people and industry pick back up.

  2. toucan says:

    Thanks for the sharing,I appreciate this.keep up the good work.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • The war crimes Israel and Obama are committing
    Shamus Cooke, Anti-War - The two most glaring war crimes Israel is committing – as defined by the Geneva Convention – are the concepts of “collective punishment” and “necessity and proportionality.”Under collective punishment, a warring party cannot respond to an attack by waging war on the attacker’s community, as is clearly happening in Gaza. The clearest […]
  • California drought update
    LA Times -Te groundwater level in the San Bernardino Basin area is at its lowest point in recorded history, officials say.hMeasured in volume, the groundwater level for the basin is now about 500,000 acre-feet below full, according to Douglas Headrick, general manager for the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District.That would put it below the previous […]
  • CORECTION: Mandel on Palestine
    The letter we posted a few minutes ago allegedly from Mandela to Thomas Friedman was actually a satirical piece. According to The Electronic Intifada, this article was written by Arjan El Fassed in 2001 in the satirical style then being employed by Thomas Friedman, of writing mock letters from one world leader to another. Although it carries El Fassed’s byli […]
  • Jazz break
    MONTY ALEXANDER: SATIN DOLL […]
  • Senior news and links
    Senior news Medicare Social Security   ESSAYS No retirement age for rebellion Thoughts on old age The real problem with Social Security Word: Social Security Why Social Security and Medicare are not going bankrupt Social Security is massive anti-poverty program […]
  • Massive retaliation reported in Veterans Administration
    Lydia Dennett, Project on Government Oversight - In California, a Department of Veterans Affairs inpatient pharmacy supervisor was placed on administrative leave and ordered not to speak out after protesting what he described as errors and delays in the delivery of medications to patients.In Pennsylvania, a former VA doctor was removed from clinical work and […]
  • Top foreign aid recipients per capita
    VOX […]
  • How Israel helped to create Hamas
    Richard Sale, UPI, June 18, 2002 - Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.Israel "aided Hamas directly -- the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbala […]
  • Warmest June on record
    Rural Blog - The earth continues to experience record-breaking temperatures. Last month was the hottest June on record, following a trend in which the previous month was the hottest May on record, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."Primarily, it was the oceans of the world that pushed the mercury into the red […]
  • Book: Israel tried to blackmail Clinton over Lewinsky
    As noted below, we reported a NY Post account of this 15 years ago.Daily Mail, UK -  According to a new book, tapes of Bill Clinton’s steamy phone sex with Monica Lewinsky posed a threat to national security and resulted in a not-so-subtle ‘blackmail’ attempt by the Prime Minister of Israel, who used the torrid exchanges to try to ‘convince’ the President to […]
  • Stupid Florida tricks
    WFTV, Fl - Pull up or pay up: It's now illegal to wear low pants that expose underwear or bare buttocks in parts of Ocala.Th City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an ordinance that prohibits anyone on city property from wearing pants 2 inches below their natural waist."I just think it's disgraceful to show your underwear," Cou […]
  • Police blotter
    Baltimore Sun - Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million to settle claims from thousands of women who may have been surreptitiously recorded during pelvic exams by gynecologist Dr. Nikita A. Levy.The amount of the settlement is one of the largest on record involving sexual misconduct by a physician. Levy, a doctor in the Johns Hopkins Community […]
  • Obamacare in big trouble
    Kaiser Health News - In what could be a major blow to the Affordable Care Act, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Tuesday that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. The decision overturned a lower court ruling. You can read the decision here.The Washington Post: Federal Appeals Court Panel Deals Major […]
  • Government goes beserk in selecting possible terrorists
    Courthouse News - Five California men sued the Department of Justice, claiming they were entered into a counterterrorism database for innocent activities such as a professional photographer taking pictures, a computer consultant buying computers at Best Buy, and in one case, waiting for one's mother at a train station. The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU and […]
  • Book; Bill Clinton's girlfriend has a Secret Service code name
    Page Six - Bill Clinton reportedly has a buxom blond mistress who visits so often when Hillary Clinton isn’t home in Chappaqua that the former president’s Secret Service detail have given her an unofficial code name: Energizer.This is according to Ronald Kessler in “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents,” due Au […]