The place where I come from is a small town, they think so small, they use small words But not me, I’m smarter than that I worked it out I’ll be stretching my mouth to let those big words come right out
I’ve had enough, I’m getting out To the city, the big big city I’ll be a big noise, with all the big boys So much stuff I will own
And I will pray to a big god, as I kneel in the big church
Just liked socialism-or-barbarism +10 more Uphold the revolutionary virtues of Comrade Gabriel. Down with the traitor Collins
U.S. Military ‘Power Grab’ Goes Into Effect: Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances’ May 14, 2013
The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.
The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled“Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:
Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.
Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”
A defense official who declined to be named takes a different view of the rule, claiming, “The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy.” Moreover, he insists the Pentagon doesn’t “want to get involved in civilian law enforcement. It’s one of those red lines that the military hasn’t signed up for.” Nevertheless, he says, “every person in the military swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
One of the more disturbing aspects of the new procedures that govern military command on the ground in the event of a civil disturbance relates to authority. Not only does it fail to define what circumstances would be so severe that the president’s authorization is “impossible,” it grants full presidential authority to “Federal military commanders.” According to the defense official, a commander is defined as follows: “Somebody who’s in the position of command, has the title commander. And most of the time they are centrally selected by a board, they’ve gone through additional schooling to exercise command authority.”
As it is written, this “commander” has the same power to authorize military force as the president in the event the president is somehow unable to access a telephone. (The rule doesn’t address the statutory chain of authority that already exists in the event a sitting president is unavailable.) In doing so, this commander must exercise judgment in determining what constitutes, “wanton destruction of property,” “adequate protection for Federal property,” “domestic violence,” or “conspiracy that hinders the execution of State or Federal law,” as these are the circumstances that might be considered an “emergency.”
“These phrases don’t have any legal meaning,” says Afran. “It’s no different than the emergency powers clause in the Weimar constitution [of the German Reich]. It’s a grant of emergency power to the military to rule over parts of the country at their own discretion.”
Afran also expresses apprehension over the government’s authority “to engage temporarily in activities necessary to quell large-scale disturbances.”
“Governments never like to give up power when they get it,” says Afran. “They still think after twelve years they can get intelligence out of people in Guantanamo. Temporary is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why in statutes we have definitions. All of these statutes have one thing in common and that is that they have no definitions. How long is temporary? There’s none here. The definitions are absurdly broad.”
The U.S. military is prohibited from intervening in domestic affairs except where provided under Article IV of the Constitution in cases of domestic violence that threaten the government of a state or the application of federal law. This provision was further clarified both by the Insurrection Act of 1807 and a post-Reconstruction law known as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (PCA). The Insurrection Act specifies the circumstances under which the president may convene the armed forces to suppress an insurrection against any state or the federal government. Furthermore, where an individual state is concerned, consent of the governor must be obtained prior to the deployment of troops. The PCA—passed in response to federal troops that enforced local laws and oversaw elections during Reconstruction—made unauthorized employment of federal troops a punishable offense, thereby giving teeth to the Insurrection Act.
Together, these laws limit executive authority over domestic military action. Yet Monday’s official regulatory changes issued unilaterally by the Department of Defense is a game-changer.
cant wait to work and feel like a worker instead of a loser who reads about marxism
lol, as a prole, please don’t glorify it
i’m not anti-work persay, but how work is organized and performed in the world is incredibly destructive to the…
It feels good to be a worker, even when the alarm rings on Monday morning. Not all work is oppressive and exploitative, I suppose it just depends on the work.
Hmmm, all wage labour is oppressive and exploitative, it all involves the production of stolen surplus value and the alienation from the means of production. Even if we are lucky enough to have a job we enjoy, we’re still being exploited while we enjoy it. Anything you enjoy can be made to be oppressive if you are compelled to do it every day or starve.
It seems to me that there are a kit of good things that come from work - friendship, engagement, activity - many social benefits that we are normally denied… It’s sad, but it seems like nearly all social life and experience has been sucked up into the workplace.
Sometimes its hard to square the food feelings of work life or social life more generally with the politics of life. Workplace politics is strategically swept under the rug by management, and everywhere, if you look, it seems to poke its head back out into view… Like when I punched in this morning and worried about whether my boss will notice that I was 15 minutes late, or whether I’d be caught for stepping out for 10 minutes to buy breakfast, or whether I’ll be caught blogging about anti-capitalist work politics on my phone….
Meanwhile, my workmates tremble secretly in there own rooms, wondering whether they’ll get a contract renewal this year, as we’re going through job reviews these days.
This is why I was surprised, though perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, when I mentioned forming a union on day over lunch, half-joking, at first… Then, heads turned to me, and nodded knowingly, and heard quiet but firm replies of “yeah, we should…”
Going beyond the Western gender binary - unlearning our backward cultural conditioning
In Western colonial society (which dominates many aspects of the globalized, capitalist world today) we operate under the presumption that there are only two genders, male and female. But gender is a social construction. One’s options for what gender they identify with are shaped by the culture they are born into. Biological factors are most-often the primary driving forces that choose among the available socially-constructed gender categories.
Cultures around the world have different ways of talking about, thinking about, and identifying gender. It’s often a challenge for (particularly cis-sexual) Westerns to think about other ways gender can be socially constructed. Westerns have the false equivalency of gender and sex drilled into their eternal psyche from the time they are very young, and re-enforced through examples in popular culture. There is no biological reality to gender. Many Westerners have the bizarre belief that one’s XY-sex-determination should also inform one’s gender identity, a socially constructed role in society.
In some cultures, there is no distinction made between gender and sexual orientation and the same can be said for sexual orientation - our culture socially-constructs the options and our biology helps us identify which socially-constructed option feels most ‘right’ and best resonates with us.
I’ve attached some photos to offer some examples of non-colonial, non-Western construction of gender. They’ve all been uploaded onto our Facebook page photostream in case you’d like to ‘like’ or ‘share’ them there. There are literally hundreds of ‘third-gender’ identifying peoples around the world. The eight I’ve chosen are mostly examples I remember from some of my anthropology courses but if you google ‘third genders’ you can find many lists and examples.
Who cares? Why it matters.
The most obvious reason to care about the way our culture has constructed gender and sexual orientation is to deepen one’s capacity for solidarity with people who identify as transgender, transsexual, and others whose gender or sexual identity exists outside of binary Western culture.
But there are other reasons as well. Western culture’s binary nature often creates non-sensical, problematic binary identity constructions that are inherently problematic. For example, I believe that Western masculinity (dominance, aggression, lack of communication, lack of emotional expression, etc) is inherently problematic. I believe that to be the reason why most acts of large-scale-violence and terror are committed by men (see: 100% of the mass school shootings in the United States), and I believe it fosters a degree of internal misery within people who heavily adopt these particular ‘masculine’ traits.
In the age of information, and the age of global connectivity, there is no longer any reason (particularly for young people) to feel isolated or restricted to Western definitions of gender, sexual orientation and identity in general. I think the social ramifications of a generation where more and more people begin to identify outside of the gender binary would be tremendous, and I think we should all consider how we can unlearn our cultural conditioning to embrace other, perhaps less exploitative and dominating identities.
Background information on the identities depicted in the above images:
Hijras Hijras are male-body-born, feminine-gender-identifying people who live in South Asia (mostly in India & Nepal). Many Hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-Hijra communities, led by a guru.
Although many Hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form ofsyncretismthat draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, Hijras practice rituals for both men and women.
Hijras belong to a specialcaste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddessBahuchara Mata,Lord Shiva, or both.
Nandi female husbands Among the Nandi in Western Kenya, one social identity option for women is to become a female husband, and thus a man in society’s eyes. Female husbands are expected to become men and take on all of the social and cultural responsibilities of a man, including finding a wife to marry and passing on property to the next generation through marriage. Female husbands may have lived their lives as women and may even be married to a man, but once she becomes a female-husband, she is expected to be a man. Women married to female-husbands may have sex with single men uninterested in commitment in order to become pregnant, but the female-husband (who is often an older woman, often a widow) will father the child of said pregnancy and treat the child like her own.
Two-spirited people Two-Spiritis anumbrella termsometimes used for what was once commonly known as‘berdaches’,Indigenous North Americanswho fulfill one of many mixedgender rolesfound traditionally among manyNative Americansand CanadianFirst Nationscommunities. The term usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit.Male and female two-spirits have been “documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North America.”
Travesti InSouth America (with a large presence in Brazil), atravesti is a person who was assigned male at birth who has a femininegender identityand is primarilysexually attractedto masculine men. Therefore, sometimes the distinction betweengender identityandsexual orientationis not made. Travestis have been described as athird gender, but not all see themselves this way. Travestis often will begin taking female hormones and injecting silicone to enlargen their backsides as boys and continue the process into womanhood.
The work of cultural Anthropologist Don Kulick (a gay male by Western definitions) in Brazil demonstrated that gender construction in Brazil is binary (like Western gender construction), but unlike Western gender construction, instead of having a male-female binary, there is a male-notmale binary.
In this particular construction of gender:
Males include: men who have sex with women, men who have sex with Travestis but are never on the receiving end of anal sex, men who have sex with men but are never on the receiving end of anal sex.
Not-males include: women, men who receive anal sex from ‘male’ gay men or from Travestis.
Fa’afafine Fa’afafine are the gender liminal, or third-gendered people of Samoa. A recognized and integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine, born biologically male, embody both male and female gender traits. Their gendered behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to mundanely masculine
Waria Waria is a traditional third general role found in modern Indonesia. Additionally, theBugisculture ofSulawesi (one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia) has been described as having three sexes (male, female andintersex) as well as five genders with distinct social roles.
Six Genders of old Israel In the old Kingdom of Israel (1020–931 BCE) there were six officially recognized genders:
Androgynos: both male and female
Tumtum: gender neutral/without definite gender
Aylonit: female-to-male transgender people
Saris: male-to-female transgender people (often inaccurately translated as “eunuch”)
Kathoey Australian scholar of sexual politics in ThailandPeter Jackson’s work indicates that the term “kathoey” was used in pre-modern times to refer tointersexual people, and that the usage changed in the middle of the twentieth century to covercross-dressingmales, to create what is now a gender identity unique to Thailand. Thailand also has three identities related to female-bodied people: Tom, Dee, and heterosexual woman.
EDIT:So let me clearly say that in no way am I intentionally encouraging white people (or anyone else) to appropriate these identities. Rather, I hope that this post and conversations like this will lead to an understanding of cultural diversity and other gender constructions/identities and an understanding that there is no biological reality to gender, and that gender manifests itself in many beautiful ways across many cultures.
I AM encouraging people in colonial society to have a less-binary, more nuanced approach to gender that doesn’t lead to so much domination and exploitation.
I also understand that in order to talk about these things, words like ‘male-bodied’ or male are inherently western concepts. Each of these societies and cultures have other ways of talking about these identities. Although I wasn’t born in the U.S. I have spent most of my life and the entirety of my adult life in the United States. I speak no languages other than English. There are concepts that I can’t understand, that my language limits me from even talking about, and in order to communicate these ideas, I am restricted by the only language I have available to talk about these concepts with. My perspective is etic. I do not belong to the above cultures, so when I talk about these things and use the English language to describe them, I am limited in my options for describing a concept as abstract as gender. The very categories of gender and sexuality belong to the cultural lens through which I view the world and I could not possibly provide a comprehensive emic analysis of the way the things we call ‘gender and sexuality’ actually are understood (if at all) within these cultures. In that way, mine is a very limited perspective. But it is geared toward other people living in Western society and it is aimed at changing this culture, not to appropriate these others but to not be so terrible toward gender and sexual variant people in this culture and to begin to question the implications of how we define gender and sexuality both personally, and as a whole culture.
Also, there’s some problematic stuff in the way I framed this and some of these only have one source.