Gender and Sexuality

What’s At Stake When Billionaires Try to Buy Our Democracy

by Rose Ann DeMoro

The shameless spectacle of billionaires drowning the airwaves should not numb us to the consequences of what is at stake if the super rich succeed in buying our elections.

While most of the national focus is on the Presidential race and some high profile Senate elections, the less profiled California ballot measures provide a disturbing portrait of what of a clearly broken system.

California Propositions 32 and 33 in particular and the onslaught of secretive political action committees that hide the names of their rich sponsors, are just the latest example of the parade of billionaires who seem to think our votes are just another entitlement of their wealth.

Behind the torrent of spending is a dangerous agenda, for the future of our democracy and the last remaining shred of belief that everyone has an equal voice in our political system, but also for our health and living standards.

Obama Represents the Left-Wing of Capitalism

From an Anarchist in Champaign-Urbana:

Every four years, people saying that they are concerned about Capitalism and other Authoritarian constructs end up voting for someone who is not against those issues. Whether its Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Jill Stein or every other politician, they all support Capitalism. All politicians will ultimately support Capitalism, this includes the Left (progressives, liberals, Marxists, and most "anti-capitalists.)The very idea of a politician is can anyone but you represent your views ?

How about a different way of thinking ?

Essay from:

Post-Left Anarchy: Leaving the Left Behind
by Jason McQuinn

Prologue to Post-Left Anarchy

Sympathy for Pakistani Girl Shows Limits of Concern

by Janine Jackson

U.S. media have shown great, and warranted, interest in Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head October 9 by members of a Taliban faction for her outspoken promotion of education for women. The attack "has horrified people across the South Asian country and abroad," reports the Washington Post, and "has also sparked hope that the Pakistani government will respond by intensifying its fight against the Taliban and its allies."

In recalling conversations with Yousafzai, the Christian Science Monitor's Owais Tohid noted her sources of inspiration:

The first time I met Mahala, a couple of years ago, I asked her what her name signified. She answered: "Probably, a hero like the Afghan heroine Malalai [of Maiwand] or Malalai Joya. I want to be a social activist and an honest politician like her," she said, smiling.

The RACE RIOT! People of Color Zine Project 2012 Tour

The RACE RIOT! People of Color Zine Project 2012 Tour is coming to the UCIMC today at 7:00 PM. Featuring Chambana's own Mimi Thi Nguyen, Daniela Capistrano, Mariam Bastani, Osa Atoe, Anna Vo, and Cristy C. Road. We'll have readings, music, and an opportunity to swap/buy zines! If you're interested in reading any of your own zine material, especially any that relates to issues faced by women or people of color, please send an email to with your name, and the approximate duration of the piece.

Also, don't miss their panel on campus at Allen Hall at 4:00 in the afternoon!
Unit One Allen Hall's South Rec Room *basement (1005 W. Gregory Dr., MC-050, Urbana, IL 61801)

Gay Marriage: The Times They're a Changing. Or Are They?

31 one states outlaw gay marriage. But this election offers four opportunities to stop bans.
by David Morris

The recent colorful tirade by Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe against a legislator who demanded the Baltimore Ravens owner fire linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo for supporting gay marriage and the overwhelmingly positive response to it by football fans and players alike are heartwarming developments. It shows how far we’ve come.

But, the fact, voters in 31 US states have already approved constitutional amendments to outlaw gay marriage, usually by wide margins, shows how far we have to go. However this fall voters in four states—Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Washington—will have an opportunity to reject similar bans on same sex unions

Living Up to 'The New Deal': Half the Nation Is Still Waiting

by Susan Feiner

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his fourth and final State of the Union Address in 1944 ( Because the defeat of fascism in Europe was in sight, FDR could frame a peacetime vision for the nation. He saw that the full realization of political freedom depended upon the elimination of material deprivation. FDR realized that the nation's future well being would be undermined if some fraction of our people -- whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

Roosevelt understood that true individual freedom can not exist without economic security and independence. 'Necessitous men are not free men.' People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. He saw these economic truths … as self-evident and called for an Economic Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all -- regardless of station, race, or creed.

Election 2012 and the Media: A Vast Rightwing Conspiracy of Stupid

by Glenn Greenwald

Wednesday night, the GOP's nominee for vice-president, Paul Ryan, delivered a speech loaded with pure, fundamental deceit on its core claims. The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn has the clearest and most concise explanation of those falsehoods.

Reflecting the pure worthlessness and chronic failure of CNN, however, here is how that network's lead anchor, Wolf Blitzer, reacted after the speech was finished:

"So there he is, the Republican vice-presidential nominee and his beautiful family there. His mom is up there. This is exactly what this crowd of Republicans here, certainly Republicans all across the country, were hoping for. He delivered a powerful speech, Erin, a powerful speech. Although I marked seven or eight points, I'm sure the fact-checkers will have some opportunities to dispute if they want to go forward; I'm sure they will. As far as Mitt Romney's campaign is concerned, Paul Ryan on this night delivered."

In Order To Form a Less Perfect Union: The Politics Of Fear, Outrage and Distraction

by John Atcheson

Once again, the Republicans are managing to distract the country from their extremely unpopular economic positions – positions that help the uber rich and corporations at the expense of low and middle income wage earners.

While Ryan’s stance on rape is getting scrutinized with a micrometer, his nation raping budget is flying under the radar.

Look, Akin is an immoral idiot and rape is a terrible thing, and Ryan’s position isn’t any different. And yes, abortion should be an issue between a woman and her doctor – and perhaps her partner if she’s in a relationship.

And certainly, Romney should show his tax returns.

But these are symptoms of a much larger disease, and like any effective therapeutic intervention, you have to strike at the root of the problem if you want to solve it.

However, Republicans have been adept at preventing that kind of systemic approach, and Democrats have been complicit in letting them.

There is a fundamental question before us: What ought the role of government be in our lives?

We have two choices.

It's Information

Walking into a situation where you find yourself being harassed for discriminatory purposes, whatever they may be, can be difficult to contend with to say the least. It can feel as though you've been thrust into a situation you have no control over, and that you have become a victim with very few choices or positions of power. It may feel like suddenly the lights to rhyme and reason have been switched off and you're in the dark as to why things have become as they have. I once had a conversation with an NAACP lawyer specializing in helping victims of discrimination regarding this. She said that, unfortunately, most people just give up, leaving the situations knowing no other way out.

Smiley face

Two White Men Who Like to Cut Things: On Romney’s Nomination of Paul Ryan

by Pierre Tristam

Mitt Romney has picked Paul Ryan, the seven-term Wisconsin congressman, born during the first Nixon administration, and not old enough to have voted for either Ronald Reagan or the first Bush. It is a puzzling choice, more calculated than inspiring, more cautious than bold, and in some respects, just as strategically faulty as John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin.

In Ryan, Romney found the only congressional Republican who’s produced the semblance of an alternative to Obama’s economic and health care plans. But he’s also found a mirror of himself. No one will accuse Ryan of being compassionate, generous, warm or particularly caring, qualities Romney lacks, and needs, if he’s going to make inroads with women and middle class voters who so far mistrust him. Ryan is friendlier than Romney, but friendliness to colleagues and reporters isn’t the same thing as connecting with voters beyond Wisconsin (where he has been successful enough to win six of his seven elections with more than 60 percent of the vote).

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