What We Missed: H.R. 3 Passes House

Breaking: The House has passed H.R. 3, with 16 Democrats voting yes.

Obama announced he will not release a photo of Osama bin Laden’s body to the public, saying that the U.S. doeesn’t “trot out this stuff as trophies.”

Great news: The Georgia legislature has proposed a bill that would prohibit the shackling of pregnant women during labor, delivery and recovery. Via Spark.

Disgusting: A teacher in Texas was suspended for saying to his student Monday, who is Muslim: “I bet you’re grieving.”

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4 Comments

  1. Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit unsure what to think about the Georgia shackling bill for pregnant women during labor- are you saying it’s good or bad?

    I would of thought the shackles were there to make it easier? Or are they harmful? The word “shackle” doesn’t sound good, but I mean if it’s done in a hospital to ease the process, it’s hardly as if the women is being held prisoner- unless it’s involuntary?
    I must confess I know less about the childbirth process than I should, could someone fill me in a little? I need to expand my feminist vocabulary!

    Regarding the pictures, I’m torn there to. I do against the common feminist grain here, I know, but I’m leaning towards Bin Laden’s death being a positive overall. Al Qaeda isn’t as well unified as they want you to know, and Bin Laden was holding them together by providing a centralized, internal chain of command. This is good because Al Qaeda doesn’t have ONE person in line to take over- they have 20. This is bound to cause friction between distant factions and the numerous leaders who believe themselves to be “the destined successor.”If this occurs, Al Qaeda will split into a “civil war” of sorts, and it’ll be over very quickly once that happens.

    You have to remember, they TRULY believe Allah has mandated their victory. We underestimate how important the psychological aspect of this war is. They think it’s impossible for them to lose, so long as they follow Allah’s will. So when they see their apparent “chosen one” killed, and they see Allah is failing to protect, and they see themselves losing, what are they going to think? Releasing the pictures would be morale h-bomb for Al Qaeda….you mean Allah didn’t smite Obama down??!?!?!?!? How is this possible?
    A group powered by strict religious fervor cannot survive with doubt, and no human is immune to doubts, EVER.

    So at the end I have to say the raid was a good thing, and releasing the pictures is a good idea. I hope you don’t disown me for it! Lol.

  2. Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Jennifer,

    The shackles are restraints… because the women are prisoners… I’m not sure what you think shackles are, but think handcuffs. It’s not a “comfort” thing, it’s a dehumanizing thing… maybe there’s some vagueness because the sentence didn’t mention that this bill relates to treatment of pregnant women in penal institutions.

    On OBL, I’d be careful not to conflate terrorist movements with religion altogether. Also, doubt works both ways. The folks who want to believe that Osama is still alive also can believe that a photo has been manipulated (because we live in such an age)… And it’s grotesque to trot out a photo of someone with a bullet hole in his or her head… sick and twisted, really. And it doesn’t really serve a purpose except to be *more* divisive in its patent aggrandizing of violence (on both sides, too, as we’ve seen by the jubilant responses to the assassination of Osama bin Laden).

    That said, I think the photo thing is a non-issue, because who give a crap if one dude who is not so relevant as he was 10 years ago has been killed. It pains me to see Barack Obama talking about how releasing a photo could cause more violence when he’s continued our involvement in two illegal wars that have cost thousands upon thousands of innocent people’s lives. *That* will provoke more people to violence than any photo.

    Also, per your thoughts about Al Qaeda not having ONE successor to the “throne,” that’s a non-issue, too… Al Qaeda is not set up to be a kingdom as much as a network… and, really, the strength of networks is in their decentralization; it doesn’t matter if Al Zawahiri becomes the next head of Al Qaeda or someone else, because the movement bin Laden built has many leaders and, for example, Al Qaeda in Yemen can continue even if bin Laden’s camp were wiped off the face of the earth.

    This is not the kind of struggle than can be countered by killing one guy and trotting his photo out in public… the very nature of Al Qaeda is more about process than hierarchy and their strength is derived from the slaughter of innocent people in their territories. Until we stop bombing poor people’s houses who’ve done nothing criminal and put the same effort into supporting Al Qaeda’s demographic with real constructive efforts, there will be no problem maintaining these “terrorist” organizations.

  3. Posted May 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    The comments on the Muslim student story add to my frustration about the way some boorish Americans have responded to the OBL news, because it’s all about who we can throw away.

    The teacher acted like his student deserved to suffer because she was not American. This is not a sane belief period, but particularly idiotic in a multi-cultural urban area.

    The teacher was suspended and will probably be fired, as he should be. Houston and its suburbs are very diverse and the district can’t tolerate a teacher mocking a student’s religion. The school board would be looking at complete or near-complete turnover if they condoned that kind of hate in urban Texas. They also might decide that he needs “training” — a decision that maximizes his humiliation and would keep the anti-Islam crazies from descending on the district, but if they go that route, look for him to “voluntarily resign” or be quietly fired for borrowing a fellow teacher’s coffee mug at a later date.

    Are there some *seriously* f’d up politicians and crimes here? Absolutely. But reprehensible things happen in every state, and that’s our collective, yet localized, battle to fight.

    Arguing that Texas is economically and ideologically disposable, or that it’s just like the rest of Southern states (all economically and culturally distinct, though these states have more in common than they do with TX) is a tremendous failure of logic.

    • Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Totally, on all counts.

      Aside from nodding in agreement, I just want to pull out that bit about not writing off Texas. I feel like a lot of folks in the Northeast and on the West Coast have too good a time patting ourselves on the back for not living in the South when the fact of the matter is that our political and cultural ideologies are not so different – and, where they differ, are not any less problematic. For example, New York, where I live, is a very diverse city; however, visit any public school and you will see remarkably thorough segregation, all the more impressive for the fact that bussing children (which was supposed to help integrate schools) enforces this segregation while making some youth commute in the realm of 2 hours each way to and from school.

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