Frann Michel's blog

sex from stonewall to sanford

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For the Old Mole Variety Hour June 29, 2009

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, when, for the first time in history, queer people fought back against decades of police harassment.

reproductive justice

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for the Old Mole Variety Hour, June 8, 2009

The funeral this weekend of Dr. George Tiller attracted hundreds of mourners, honoring the memory of one of the very small number of doctors providing late term abortions in the US, a man whose clinic motto was "Trust women."

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is popularly recognized as our national holiday for remembering those who were killed in wars.

As Barack Obama said the other day, it's a time to "pay tribute to our fallen heroes; and to remember the servicemen and women who cannot be with us this year because they are standing post far from home." He acknowledged that we have often "failed to give them the support they need" and promised that we are now "building a 21st century Department of Veterans Affairs with the largest single-year funding increase in three decades." Certainly veterans need better services and better access to them.

Some right-wing bloggers have been complaining about the President's confusion of Memorial day and Veterans day, but it seems reasonable to consider the larger context of what is being honored. We would not be remembering dead soldiers if they hadn't once been live soldiers.

We would also not be remembering so many dead soldiers if more of them had followed the model of Ehren Watada, the first commisioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. Last week he won a legal victory when the Justice Department dropped efforts to retry him after his court martial ended in a mistrial. But the Army still wants to punish him for declaring the Iraq war illegal and immoral, and for having the courage to call out "the deception . . . used to initiate and process this war."

SF, socialism, battlestar galactica

For the Old Mole Variety Hour, April 20, 2009.

The well-read red reads science fiction.

Maeve 66, in a blog post on the Solidarity webzine, notes that "a lot of socialists have a yen for science fiction":

domestic & dating violence

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for the Old Mole Variety Hour March 30, 2009

If there's one good thing about the publicity surrounding pop singer Chris Brown's arrest on felony assault charges for an incident that left pop singer Rihanna with visible injuries, it’s that it's raised awareness about violence in intimate relationships, and especially dating violence among young people.

racism and the economic crisis

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For The Old Mole February 9, 2009.

Racism is arguably both a cause and a consequence of the current economic crisis.

the day the earth stood still

On the Old Mole Variety Hour for January 12, Denise Morris and I review The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). 

twilight of the vampires

For the Old Mole December 22, 2008.

If there are any pubescent girls in your familiar circles, you may already know about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series of young adult novels.

milk

On the Old Mole Dec 8, 2008, Jan Haaken and I discuss Milk, The Times of Harvey Milk, the Briggs Initiative, Proposition 8, solidarity and political activism.

caring labor and the economic stimulus

for the Old Mole Dec 1, 2008

As president-elect Barak Obama puts together his economic stimulus plan, a number of feminist economists have proposed that it ought to include investments not just in infrastructure—things like roads and bridges—but also in "human infrastructure," or the care economy. Women have been among those hardest hit by the economic crisis, because women are among the most vulnerable economically. Of the 37 million Americans living in poverty even before the crisis, 27 million are women and children. By making his economic plan friendly not just to the natural environment but also to the human needs so often met by the work of women, feminist economists suggest, Obama can increase both the efficacy and the equity of his economic plan.

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