The Right to Protest: Ferguson and Beyond
By Dennis Loo (11/21/14)
Some people find it unremarkable that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has called out the National Guard, declaring a state of emergeny, prior to a grand jury's decision about whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. As I previously noted, this pre-emptive move by Nixon, by St. Louis Mayor James Knowles III, and by the FBI, to intimidate and suppress any prospective demonstrations, is based upon their clear expectations that the grand jury's verdict will be to exonerate Wilson's shooting Brown to death.
I find it remarkable that some people don't find the calling out of the National Guard to be outrageous. Their view points to a) an inadequate understanding of what civil liberties are, and b) a faulty understanding of what is in play in Ferguson.
Ferguson, MO: Gov Declares a State of Emergency Before the Grand Jury Rules
By Dennis Loo (11/17/14) updated November 18, 2014
Upon hearing that Missouri's governor Jay Nixon has today called upon the National Guard, declaring a state of emergency for Ferguson and St. Louis, even before the grand jury issues its findings on whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, do you think to yourself:
a) the governor has no idea what the grand jury will say and just wants to be careful to protect people's constitutional rights to speech and assembly,
b) the governor knows that the grand jury will not indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown and he plans to violently suppress the inevitable protest, or
c) this announcement just reinforces my faith that the criminal justice system is fair and impartial?
Do Fetuses Have More Rights Than Women?
By Dennis Loo (11/9/14)
The following excerpt is from a NYT Op-Ed entitled "Pregnant, and No Civil Rights" by Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin, published on November 7, 2014. The examples they cite, of which these are just a part, are shocking. The authors further point out that these examples are not rare or isolated cases:
Based on the belief that he had an obligation to give a fetus a chance for life, a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered a critically ill 27-year-old woman who was 26 weeks pregnant to undergo a cesarean section, which he understood might kill her. Neither the woman nor her baby survived.
In Iowa, a pregnant woman who fell down a flight of stairs was reported to the police after seeking help at a hospital. She was arrested for “attempted fetal homicide.”
In Utah, a woman gave birth to twins; one was stillborn. Health care providers believed that the stillbirth was the result of the woman’s decision to delay having a cesarean. She was arrested on charges of fetal homicide.
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)