I was one sentence in to The New York Timesnews analysis piece on Sunday, when it read:

As one top Florida defense lawyer, Michael Band, said on Sunday, ‘Trials, for better or worse, are not morality plays.’

The title of the piece — “In Zimmerman Case, Self Defense Was Hard to Topple” — sums the analysis up pretty quickly: in the rule of law, George Zimmerman’s innocence made sense.

The Times’ continues:

From the start, prosecutors faced a difficult case — weak on evidence and long on outrage. Mr. Zimmerman had the power of self-defense laws on his side, and was helped by a spotty police investigation and prosecutorial missteps. The initial investigation foundered when the local prosecutor balked at bringing charges, convinced that overcoming the self-defense claims would prove impossible.

The Times nor have any media outlets I’ve encountered have written anything about how perhaps morality should play a role in trials. After all, shouldn’t justice be decided by society’s morals? Shouldn’t our ethics also be on trial in the courtroom? Why is our justice system set on decrees written by white men that must be used objectively? (Even though we know that trying to use objectivity in a racist, sexist and classist society doesn’t work very well).

The media is supposed to provoke, criticize and truly analyze our society. Instead of getting into the technicalities of self-defense laws, perhaps the media should be asking what causes fear, or what role guns, or any deadly weapon, play in getting the ‘last word’ in self defense (as Trayvon Martin’s fear of Zimmerman didn’t matter because Zimmerman defended himself lastly and lethally).

The justice system obviously isn’t working. When our morals and the law don’t match up, we know that something is wrong. And guess what? I don’t think it’s our sense of justice that is off.

The Times surely influenced hundreds of thousands of people that read its news Sunday that Zimmerman’s case had sticky self-defense issues, and so there’s nothing we can do about it. We have to shake off our sense of injustice and wash that bad taste from our mouths, because it’s just the way trials work.

Fortunately, thousands of people took to the streets nationwide this weekend because that bad taste lingered. And they know that now is the time to discuss revolutionizing our justice system.

But those conversations will obviously have to happen without the mainstream media. 

How bizarre is it to be listening to Mozart, or All Things Considered, on National Public Radio and to hear an advertisement for natural gas?  I heard one just the other day.  You might hear that American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) is providing good jobs and protecting the environment or that natural gas is enabling whole cities to cut their carbon footprint.  Beyond the fact that these ads represent false advertising on steroids, isn’t there something insidious about a label – NPR – that you’ve come to rely on, and trust, suddenly promoting an industry blithely unfettered by clean air or clean water regulations? Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” If he were contemplating the situation today, I think he’d say, “The money in the medium is the message.” 

My wife and I have been strong supporters of NPR through our local affiliate, WSKG, through 2011 in which year we donated nearly $500.  We were startled and affronted by NPR’s ads for ANGA when we first heard them in 2012. I wrote our local affiliate and the NPR ombudsman. I also emailed a number of really great programs about this “shilling for gas” issue:  All Things ConsideredLiving on EarthOn the Media (now, why isn’t On the Media covering this?) I suggested to them that maybe in their blurbs they shouldn’t recite the corporate sponsor’s outright lies.  Doing so just seems wrong to me.  I am old fashioned, I guess, and thought they should hold to a higher standard than commercial television.  It seems to me they should be looking out for the public’s interest, which would include the public’s prospects of a clean sustainable environment and individual good health.  

Alternatively, they might provide a caveat after airing a blurb, stating that they do not vouch for its veracity or endorse the corporation which paid for it.  NPR’s messages remind me of Orwell’s 1984: Industry is telling us that what they want is really good for us, and NPR is willing to be their mouthpiece.  

When at last NPR deemed my communications important enough to respond to, (among other things, I asked them if the P in NPR stood for petrochemicals), a VP from Marketing, Ms. Rehm, informed me:  

We maintain a very strict firewall between our sponsors and our journalism. Corporate sponsors have no input into news content, knowledge about it, or access to our newsgathering staff. … NPR News covers our sponsors as we do any other individual or organization: with independent, objective, fair reporting. NPR News has reported critically about a sponsor’s business activities in the past and would have no hesitation to do so again.

In the May, 2013 New Yorker Jane Mayer had an article that suggested the NPR “firewall” was perhaps not really fireproof, and that if, say, a Koch brother was on the board, then maybe independent reporting for an NPR affiliate wasn’t really that important after all.   You’re starting to get it:  The money in the medium is the message. 

I am still pushing NPR to do the right thing here. When our local affiliate WSKG, which broadcasts in New York and Pennsylvania, failed to meet its fund drive objective in April 2013 I sent them the following message:

I am sorry you did not make your recent pledge drive goal.  But, as I've indicated in several unacknowledged communications lately, there is no point in asking me to ante up.  WSKG has failed to be a good citizen.  WSKG has failed to advocate for the environment and the public on one of the biggest issues facing the planet and our locale today - global warming and HVHF.  You claim to be a public, community-minded participant but, in fact, until recently, you were advertising for ANGA.  You are still taking their money.  In trying to have it both ways you continue your faux reporting on HVHF issues.  Go down to Dimock and count water buffaloes in front yards.  Report on contractor liens and damage to the environment. Report on where doctors stand on this issue.  Report on truckers dumping toxic waste on the roads and field of PA and in NY landfills.  Report on silica dust. Report on radon. Report on home insurance and mortgage cancellation. Stop reporting on the false promise of industry jobs and cheap energy.  These have not materialized in PA and won't occur here, either.  I will rejoin the WSKG community when you manage to figure out on which side of this issue the public interest lies.

Many of my friends sent the same message. We received a polite, if exasperated, email from the manager, Ken Campbell.  He noted: 

ANGA has been an underwriter of NPR off and on over the last several years. WSKG is not National Public Radio. WSKG is an NPR affiliate, but we have absolutely no control over who supports NPR, other than what we pay them in programming dues and fees. NPR's fundraising decisions are their own and they have a strong firewall between their development department and their news department. WSKG sees absolutely no benefit from these credits.

He also mentioned, “the FCC frowns on stations airing funding messages that advocate on controversial local issues.” It certainly seems that NPR has decided to ignore this point.  Mr. Campbell stated that “objective journalism is indeed what we aim to produce on the local level, not advocacy.” And that “WSKG acts, first and foremost, in the public interest because that is who funds us and that is whom we are charged with serving.”  I responded yet again in May and pointed out that their listening area and the New York Marcellus shale sweet spot were very nearly identical:  Shouldn’t this be an opportunity for a public station to speak out in the public interest?  

I don’t have an answer.  NPR and its affiliates have failed, as has most American media, to act in the best interests of the public, to check the facts they are being fed by politicians and corporate representatives, to realize there is no controversy here, even though they keep reporting that there is.  NPR hasn’t noticed – or chooses not to mention – that corporate America, and politicians, keep shifting the center of the playing field.  When the science is on one side, and the corporate dollars are on the other, and the media is talking about finding middle ground, you realize that money trumps what would otherwise be fodder for investigative reporting.   Would putting a Koch brother on the board of trustees put the goal post back where it belongs?  Some NPR affiliates think so.  Maybe National Public Radio is at a crossroads.  Clearly, their model doesn’t quite work.  Maybe NPR will realize this and make the necessary changes to their commercial and investigative guidelines.  Will NPR morph into something more like NBC or even Fox?  Maybe it already has.  Or perhaps NPR needs to be dismantled and we need to reinvent media for and by the public.

The video of Beyonce getting butt slapped while performing in her concert at Copenhagen has gone viral.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is, but it's a little difficult to discern, so here's what goes down: While singing “Irreplaceable,” Beyonce reaches her hand down for fans to touch, then turns around and gets slapped in the butt by a male fan in the audience.

Her reaction? She gracefully turns around and states: “I will have you escorted out right now, alright?”  

Rumor has it that the fan was allowed to stay for the rest of the show. (What gives?) But it’s important to point out how pitch-perfect Beyonce's response is. She doesn’t ignore the sexism in fear of creating an awkward moment at her concert, nor does she kick him in the face with her shiny heel. Instead, in an almost instinctual fashion, she addresses him and tells him, in front of thousands of people, that what he did was wrong. She then continues to shine on stage.

It all seems so simple. But in everyday life, we often choose to not take those significant, small stances.

Besides slapping women’s butts, I’ve seen (and experienced) men unnecessarily put their hands all over women’s bodies. Don’t even get me started with the small of the back — (no, your hand does not need to be there for us to have a conversation or for me to move forward so you can pass, just say “excuse me.”) But no matter how much we rage about it or know it’s wrong, too often, in the moment, we let it pass. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth breaking up a good time, making a situation awkward, possibly losing friends over, etc.

And this isn’t a situation solely experienced by women (although these specific cases should be viewed as a manifestation of patriarchy). What do you do when someone in your new group of friends says a racist joke? How do you respond to a stranger making a homophobic stereotype? What do you do when you yourself are the subject of an ignorant remark? Frequently, I find, we let these things slide.

Our silence is not exactly hypocritical. It’s a predicament that philosophers have studied and written thousands of pages on. Basically, our desire to be accepted socially often conflicts with our desires to do what we really want to do and say what we really want to say.  If we want to be social with fellow human beings (and most if not all of us do), then sometimes we ignore our personal wishes in order to please others and their status quo thoughts and actions. Otherwise, we fear we’ll end up in a very lonely place.

But it's a false choice. We can be both social and true to ourselves. In fact, the more we really express who we are, the more others may feel comfortable expressing themselves, too. Then, more and more, people who want to live lives that challenge the norm will realize they are not alone. I can only imagine how many women, after seeing Beyonce's response, are gaining a new sense of empowerment and will be that much more likely to call out anyone who touches them without invitation or consent. 

But the truth is, sometimes we do have to choose, and our choice might threaten a social relationship. Sexism, racism, classism, etc. — these issues aren’t small problems that are acceptable when couched in a joke … or unwanted grope. These are structures we need to be fighting all the time to eliminate suffering and break norms. If we don’t work toward this, we will never be able to be and express our true selves — and, here's the kicker, we’ll most likely feel a sense of loneliness anyway.

So, if Beyonce can call out sexism in front of a jam-packed concert venue, we can call out the injustices in front of a new group of friends.

When in doubt girls, just remember:

As Florida continues to search for their Powerball winner, some people are still fantasizing about what they would do if they won.

Though the jackpot weighs in at $590.5 million dollars, the real prize isn’t exactly this precise amount, but instead the concept that for the winner, money will no longer be an issue.

In capitalist societies, people must work in order to survive. We are tied to our labor, and thus, to money, as we need it to feed ourselves and maintain shelter.  We can’t really escape this system, and so it isn’t surprising that when presented with a possibility to break out of it, we rush for the chance, despite our odds. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans believe that the best way to achieve financial security is to play the lottery.

Winning the jackpot means that no longer does someone have to be tied down to the 40-hour workweek our society cruelly created. It means no longer does someone have to go into debt to pursue their interests. It means no longer does someone have to worry about taking a sick day, vacation, spending more time with family, affording children or retiring.

Capitalists, however, argue that winning the Powerball would mean taking the purpose out of your life. They believe that people will just become lazy blobs if they don’t have the financial incentive to do something productive. But here lies the big capitalist myth. In fact, while people struggle to maintain their existence, many are unable to utilize their yearning passions — which are better (not to mention more ethical) incentives of production than the fear of poverty, homelessness and even death. 

I recently asked my friends what they would do if they won the Powerball, or essentially, if money were no object. Their answers were remarkably innovative, creative and resourceful. (After paying off their student debt), my friends told me they would pursue their dreams. From opening art centers to building community farms, their ideas were beyond exciting.

Now, of course, there are always some people that can’t even imagine life without financial struggle or concern. After being alienated all their lives, it’s no surprise that some people say that if they won, their only desire would be to relax on an island somewhere or whatever. But their responses indicate just how socialized we are to be controlled. Hopefully, they would eventually be encouraged to embrace the unfamiliar territory of a real sort of freedom that would allow us to produce things because we want to, not because we need to, and produce these things creatively, not mechanically.

When I talk about the concept of winning the Powerball, I’m not promoting greed or any type of pursuit of wealth. Nor am I saying that you can’t be creative or follow your passions with little money or within the confines of this economic system. Instead, I’m pushing for quite the opposite. I’m hoping we fight for a different economic system, where our lives don’t rely on finances. I hope we work toward giving everyone opportunities to follow their passions. I hope we fight for a society that provides us with safety nets and, essentially, allows us to feel like “money is no object.” I hope we change society enough that something like the Powerball wouldn’t be so popular because people wouldn’t desire such financial freedom — they would already have it. 

But right now, too many people have all their dreams hanging on a winning Powerball ticket. And the odds of winning are 1 in 175 million.

I think it’s about time to rethink our economic system and make sure it works for us — instead of us working for it.  

Then we’ll all hit the jackpot. 

During Obama's speech on Thursday, CODEPINK's co-founder Medea Benjamin stood up to the president, demanding the closure of the prison at Guantanamo and the end of his killer drone program. 

Benjamin shouted, as she was escorted out of the news conference:

"Can you tell the Muslim people that their lives are as precious as our lives?Can you take the drones out of the hands of the CIA? Can you stop the signature strikes that are killing people on the basis of suspicious activities? Will you apologize to the thousands of Muslims that you have killed? Will you compensate the innocent family victims? That will make us safer."

After Benjamin was removed from the room, Obama said that he would go "off script," and address Benjamin, saying,  "I'm willing to cut that young lady interrupting me some slack, because it's worth being passionate about ... The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to."

National CODEPINK coordinator Alli McCracken said, "We're glad he acknowledged [CODEPINK], but we want him to walk the walk. He's been talking the talk ... saying he appreciates nuances of these issues and that they're complex." But in the end, she said, CODEPINK wants the president to take action. 

McCracken said the organization had about 50 people protesting outside of the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., where Obama was speaking. Asked about the secret of getting Benjamin into these events, she said, "It's CODEPINK magic."
 
Below is a video clip from Huffngton Post's political reporter Ryan J. Reilly of Benjamin being escorted out of the room. 

What makes Charles Ramsey’s interview so great? His pure genuineness. Period. If you need to be reminded of that, please watch below:

We all fall in love with Ramsey after watching his interview because it portrays an honesty, sincerity and openness that is hard to come by today. Instead, however, some bloggers have tried to spin love for Ramsey’s earnestness into a love for black stereotypes.  A Slate piece, for instance, claims that “It’s difficult to watch these videos and not sense that their popularity has something to do with a persistent, if unconscious, desire to see black people perform.” The piece also states:

Charles Ramsey has become the latest in a fairly recent trend of “hilarious” black neighbors, unwitting Internet celebrities whose appeal seems rooted in a “colorful” style that is always immediately recognizable as poor. This plays into the most basic stereotyping of blacks as simple-minded ramblers living in the “ghetto,” socially out of step with the rest of educated America.

But the reality is, people like animated characters — black or white, man or woman, gay or straight. And the pure kindness Ramsey exudes only works to illustrate something positive — a “stereotype” that should be welcomed.  A blogger for The Christian Science Monitor argues, however, that while these traits should be welcomed, it’s important that they don’t get ridiculed and overshadowed heroism. Who does he contribute the ridicule to? A few idiots who decided to auto-tune his interview or create gifs — both of which, though not funny, work to celebrate Ramsey’s character, not mock it.  And Ramsey’s radiating sincerity doesn’t overshadow his heroic act — it adds more compassion to it. 

Perhaps the real issue is revealed earlier in the piece when the author states that the black community hopes to appear more mainstream:

Many of us lamented any confirmation of stereotypes and wondered aloud why it seemed that the “educated and presentable” among us never seemed to be chosen to represent the race in front of the breaking news cameras.

My advice to him? Never desire to trade such honesty and sincerity with “educated and presentable” — most “educated and presentable” people are annoying assholes… But really, don’t push for people to conform to the boring, detached individuals that make up today’s status quo. We need more Ramsey's in the world, not more Ivy League grads. Plus, intelligence comes in many forms, and the type of wisdom Ramsey has is certainly the most important.

And about 80 percent of people who took a survey by The Independent agree that Ramsey’s interview is popular because he portrays a virtuous and clever man, not a poor and uneducated one.

Shortly after this whole ‘we must only love a black hero because we love stereotypes’ deal, the media decided that maybe we shouldn’t love Ramsey at all. In a despicable fashion, The Smoking Gun apparently couldn’t let us love this black hero just yet, as they published a piece detailing Ramsey’s past as a perpetrator of domestic violence. Since when do media outlets dig up dirt on heroes instead of glorify them? Rarely. I guess the media couldn’t help but resist its constant tendency to portray black men as criminals.

The news quickly spread through various media outlets. Fortunately, Salon’s Joan Walsh began a wave of defense for Ramsey, writing that no human being is perfect and that Ramsey’s past makes it even more remarkable that he intervened in what he thought was a domestic violence dispute. She wrote, “It would be a shame if Ramsey’s exposure … served to discourage other ex-convicts from helping others for fear that their pasts will come back to haunt them.” And on Thursday, Ramsey told TMZ: "Those incidents helped me become the man I am today and are the reason why I try to help the community as much as I can ... Including those women."

It seems like, no matter what, the media was trying to say people were wrong for loving Ramsey and his beautiful openness. If people did, they were actually only loving a black stereotype or a black criminal. Meanwhile, when race really came into play, the media ignored it. At the end of Ramsey’s initial interview, he said, “I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.” But, as Townhall reported, “a check of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Cleveland Plain Dealer shows that while the papers quoted Ramsey, none saw fit to include his observation.”*

Why wouldn’t the media want to address Ramsey’s comical yet wise comments about race and its sociological effects? Because maybe then they might actually have to deal with something that’s important.

*UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer did include the end of Ramsey's initial interview in various posts. Despite this, however, many media outlets still did not.

I can only imagine the panic breaking news reporters felt when they heard on Friday morning that the Boston bombing suspects were from Chechnya — a region they obviously know nothing about based on the crap that was coming out of their mouths.

So what’s a reporter stuck on TV for 24 hours to do? Apparently attempt to become a Chechnya expert, live on air.

Now, I see the merit of explaining the basic facts about the region — where it is, its history, etc. — because many have never heard of it. But to frame it as this ‘other,’ strange region that may have played a key role in influencing the suspects is racist and dangerous, especially when no one was wondering at all how the United States may have influenced them.

Tuning into both CNN and MSNBC’s breaking news, I honestly couldn’t even keep up with the crazy ways they were framing the story. Reporters said that the United States doesn’t have “beef” with Chechnya, so it was odd that they would just “come over here and kill Americans (though the suspects have lived here for 11 years). Then they would link Chechnya with “radicalism,” “al-Qaeda,” “jihad” and made references to 9/11. After the media’s past few days of racist speculation (i.e. the “Saudi National,” the “Bag Men,” and the “dark-skinned male”), you would think the media would stop trying to push this story in a xenophobic direction.

Why won’t they stop?

Perhaps MSNBC Chris Matthews explained it best when he said on Friday that they keep pushing for a connection because if they don’t find one between the suspects and religion or ideology, then “we’re left with nothing here.”

But I don’t care how uncomfortable so-called “senseless” violence makes us, we don’t scapegoat certain nationalities or ethnicities to make us feel better.

On MSNBC, Al Sharpton tried to save his ass by warning that they aren’t “drawing any conclusions.” But speculation is the problem, and encourages people to draw certain conclusions. And these have conclusions have dangerous consequences, as post-Boston Islamophobic hate crimes have already begun.

Now, as the second suspect has allegedly been caught alive, we may soon know the bombers' actual motive. But even if all the speculation has some legitmacy, that still doesn’t make it okay to discriminate against a whole population because of the actions of a few individuals. Instead, we should reflect on why violence is ever so prevalent in our society.

What gives? Everywhere you look there is another version of what women want, or need. Supposedly, women can have it all, do not want it all, or cut out of the "all" in structural ways by their racial, sexual, gendered, classed identity. Housewifery of the rich is being re-claimed as a creative choice; welfare for the poor demands marriage and fathers; Justice Ginsburg says that Roe v Wade overstepped its bounds; North Dakota, Mississippi and Alabama are hell-bent on making abortion totally illegal and impossible; and people seem to think that Hillary Clinton will run again in 2016, and should because "it is time for a woman president". Gays may receive some parcel of equal marriage rights from the US Supreme Court, even if grudgingly. What is a girl to think? 

I want to engage in this cacophony of noise, but not with the tired and worn-out critiques. So let me try and radically burst the boundaries of mainstream rights feminism with a radicalised notion of feminism focused on the 99 percent - or at least the 85 percent who regularly move and shake the globe. This demands nuance and subtlety and the ability to maybe forgive past missteps. 

Female faces of power 

With Margaret Thatcher's death and Hillary Clinton poised to run for US President, feminists committed to radically challenging the inequalities of the globe with its particular impact on women really need to decide what its relation to nation-states and their imperial endeavours is. Thatcher was the first (and only) female prime minister of England and named the Iron Lady for her unrelenting hard core beliefs: she welcomed war in the Falklands, the Gulf and Iraq. She crudely endorsed austerity programmes that broke the back of organised labour. She was a supporter of the powerful and the rich -considering anti-apartheid activists in South Africa terrorists. She authorised and normalised the austerity programmes that are now wreaking havoc everywhere. She might be an icon for conservative women and imperial feminists, but not for the rest of us. 

Hillary Clinton is no Thatcher, but she has a troublesome record on the Iraq and Afghan wars. After making the promise of "women's rights" so central to US foreign policy, women in these countries face new vulnerabilities with little sustained attention from here. However, more recently she has been "evolving", on both feminism and gay rights. Although often punished as a feminist icon while First Lady, she said little on behalf of everyday women workers and moms, and neither initiated or supported policies on their behalf. Her early campaign for Presidential nominee in 2008 was really more as Bill's wife than as her own person. That did not work so well for her. She experienced misogyny firsthand, and by the Democratic Party elite. It changed her. By the time the brutal and bruising primaries ended, Hillary had become devoted to her faithful women supporters. Exactly how much she has changed is yet to be seen.  

So I am wary. Feminists inclined towards a radically innovative set of initiatives on climate change, sustainable economies, issues of day care, paid maternity leave, new unaccountable illegal forms and uses of war, need to organise such a coalition. And it is not adequately addressed by the talk of abstract and unequal "women's rights" even if this is better than nothing. 

The unfinished business of the 21st century is "women's rights", according to Hillary. Many other feminists of the North and South, and First and Third World know that "rights" are not enough. "Rights" need access and access means a different structural relationship between the rich and the middle and the poor. And females of all colours and sexual choices inhabit each of these economic layers. The rights discourse does not need to be rejected; it needs to be radicalised and connected to the structural changes that can give it actual meaning. A "right" to abortion means little if you cannot get one. 

The year 2016 should not be used as an endorsement of an imperial rhetoric for "women's rights", which remain seriously unequal and easily undermined by structural constraints of poverty both in the US and across the globe. An Obama or a Hillary might be the best candidate that the US can hope for in these very conservative times, but our liberation movements must remain at the ready to demand more. It is imperative that the US does not go forward as usual on the global stage with a female face: not in "our" name. Biology is not destiny. Vaginal politics is not sufficient even if it might be necessary. 

Corporate nations and misogynist 'rights'? 

Hillary is said to have done the hard work of readying herself for president. James Carville says she has paid her dues. Please. Do we all need to be married to Bill Clinton or groomed for decades? This might be "rights" feminism writ small; but it needs to be democratised for the rest. A Hillary run may mean something for women's "rights" - but it does not entail enough for everyday life. That is where radically committed feminists come in.  

No female appears to have followed in Thatcher's footsteps. And it does not seem clear that all that many women want to follow in Sheryl Sandberg's at Facebook Nation either. This resistance is at the heart of a new anti-imperial anti-corporatist model for feminism of all kinds. Masses of women across the globe and in the US are working triple days of labour if they have been lucky enough to find a post-economic crisis low-waged job.  

Maybe this is what is new and changed in the larger scheme of things. After a few more decades of unrelenting and cruel inequality across the globe, and inside our home countries, feminists in what can be loosely termed Western, or Northern climes have become more critical of the intersectional misogyny of the global capitalist market. Its liberal and neo-liberal austere politics seems more problematic as it becomes more exclusive and mainstreamed in singular fashion. Let us put the global violence against women in view here with the women of One Billion Rising. Let there be more generosity of spirit for the fearless feminism of Femen as they bare their breasts in outraged defiance of Putin's patriarchy. Let us connect to the variety of feminist revolutionaries in Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa. 

The historical moment we all occupy is always new, even if it also remains old and predictable. At this point, corporatism and militarist imperialism bind together in particular ways to utilise masculinist structures but with more and more females - in the military, in corporations, in politics. The capture of female bodies for these new locations begin to tell a troubling complex story in camouflage. 

Given these shifts it is not really all that surprising that Sheryl Sandberg along with Facebook, seem to be, and are everywhere. She is a new female face of corporate/imperial feminism. This is tricky business when corporations are said to be more powerful than countries, as Mark Zuckerberg likes to say and think. For "Facebook Nation" connectivity for advertising is the purpose - the height of the meaning of a privatised nation; a company copying a nation and a nation copying a company (Check out Kate Losse). 

The lean inposturing is merely the method that is necessary to be able to succeed. No one presumes this strategy is about or for the masses. The masses are not the players - we are instead the object of desire - to be networked for buying and selling. Work as hard as you can. Keep your focus. There is no end in sight - the endlessness of the day is the new ethic. Stick family inside it and keep going. 

The film The Social Network (2010) is an ode to Mark Zuckerberg and the new class power - its sheer arrogance, ruthlessness and technical genius. Hats off to male loners who can celebrate their nerdy white Harvard selves. The new global citizen will be ruthless and singular. Forget that people need one another or might want an interesting life. Life is a lottery and a very few win and they win big. 

Hillary, Sheryl and other females in power are in part new cover for old systems. This orchestrates a newer more modern and gender friendly misogyny. But horrific rape remains a scourge across this globe; and the unrelenting assault on legal abortion rights that are constitutional remains at a fever pitch. Hurray for the gains and reforms and the improvements but we need to watch all of our backs here. Yes to the rights of marriage equality for gays, but revolutionary reform still needs to mobilise a radical assault on misogynist heterosexism.  

Radically inventive anti-imperial, anti-racist anti-heterosexist feminisms need to become boisterously loud. Hillary is not really the issue here. We are. Pressures resonate from the outside-in. There needs to be a politics outside - when it is too unclear anyway where the "inside" begins - to risk ourselves with simply demanding entry. Women are entering education on all levels across the globe just at the point in time when it is not exactly clear how education will connect to the newest cyber-related jobs of the globe. Women have become the presidents of elite universities just as these very universities are being downsized. Women have entered law and medicine just as these professions are losing their place. 

Is it just possible that by the time the exclusivity of a location is made more inclusive or that something is given to women, or anyone for that matter, that what has been withheld and is then given, is no longer power-filled as it once was? I am wondering that in these changing times whether exclusive sites of power open to once excluded groups because the power is shifting elsewhere. Then inclusion of women may not mean what it once did, if it ever did. 

Newest audacious feminisms 

The varieties of how women can see themselves and their "rights" - from afar or up close - is more necessary than ever as the globe shifts and changes. The imperial forms of feminisms that can hurt any and all women anywhere is more complex and nuanced because of the mixed identities of time and place. 

Reform and revolution need reinvention because of the intersectionality and multiplicity of power. Let us revolutionise reforms rather than reform revolutionary commitments. The West is not simply the old "West" - it is filled with complexity and variations. 

Despair is too easy and allows the powerful their power. Female corporatism, female militarism, female nationalism does not work because each is deeply embedded in patriarchal and misogynist and racist practices. Let them not re-habilitate, resuscitate, hijack, coopt or feminise the imperial, colonising, oppressive forms. 

Women have been excluded from spheres of power throughout history. The particular spheres may shift and change, but exclusion is part of the systematic and systemic oppression of women. But simple inclusion does not change the structural problem sufficiently. It may loosen the grip of discrimination but it does not dissolve it. So I remain cautious of simply reforming the exclusivity of misogyny.  

It is important that feminists of all sorts - beyond the biological body - remember the wounds that imperial feminism has caused. They should also forgive them. A forgotten wounding cannot be healed. Instead it is left to fester. But without forgiving there is no movement. This is true of differences themselves - if they are ignored they remain problematic - and when they are remembered and embraced - they become a wonderful cacophony of feminist voices that maybe just can save the planet. So let us remember the wounds of imperial "rights" and re-make them, radically true and real.

In the wake of tragedies like the Boston Marathon, we yearn to make sense of the chaos, the violence and the hatred that unfolded. And so following Monday’s bombing, the media and their followers are desperate to find out who committed the heinous act. With the New York Post falsely throwing in a “Saudi national” suspect in the picture, it seems as though people are on the edge of their seats, waiting for the bomber to be identified. Khaled A. Beydoun, wrote in his Al-Jazeera article “Boston explosions: ‘Please don’t be Arabs or Muslims,’” that the Arab community is hoping that the bomber wasn’t Arab or Muslim. He wrote the anxiety felt “between catastrophe and discovering the real culprits, define what it means to be Arab and Muslim-American today.”

What does it mean if the bomber is Arab or is Muslim? It seems as though the bombing will then automatically be considered an “act of terrorism.” After all, following the Post’s story, both media and social media outlets blew up with racist claims and “terrorist” forecasts.

And if the bomber isn’t? Is it then just an act of “senseless violence”?

Obama says no. At a press conference on Tuesday morning, he said a bombing is a “an act of terrorism … whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.”

By labeling “bombings,” regardless of motivation, as ‘terrorist acts,’ Obama loosens up the traditional definition, which normally emphasizes a political motive. With no motive or even suspect confirmed yet, Obama essentially associated terrorism with the act of instilling terror in the population.

Yet, the president repeatedly referred to Newtown as an act of “senseless violence,” though fear was certainly been instilled in the population after the massacre. Lanza was labeled as a “madman.”

What gives?

Of course, in the political reality of our society today, the word “terrorism” is hinged on certain racisms. Therefore, I wonder if the bomber will be portrayed as a terrorist or a madman once we know his true identity.

But more importantly, there’s the widespread belief that the “Lanza’s” in our society don’t have political motives like “terrorists” do. Thus, if the bomber had an anti-American motive, we are forced to reflect on our policies domestic or foreign that most likely sparked the violent action  — policies that we work so hard to look away from. But if the bomber is deemed “insane” we can more easily find a way to not have to reflect much at all.  We treat them as isolated incidents, bad apples and ultimately, out of our control to fix. And in some ways, when the perpetrator is labeled a “madman,” it even provides some with relief. We think, “There’s nothing we could have done.”  Of course we fight for things that can bandage the issue, like stricter gun laws and calling for less violence in the media. But we feel that, ultimately, at some point, a “madman” will inevitably strike.

But “madmen” aren't simply "hard-wired" to be "evil;" they have political motives, too. And they are usually aimed at societal structures instead of national policies. These people are screaming to us that our society has made them feel trapped — and this is their one last attempt at gaining control.

Living in a violent, individualistic, technological world has its consequences.  We are more lonely, anxious and depressed as ever. And this can turn into rage.

Of course, I’m not sure what exactly goes on in the mind of a “madman,” but the urge to kill doesn’t come from a random place. For example, a family member of Adam Lanza just recently said that Lanza was bullied when he attended Sandy Hook elementary school. This is probably just one of the factors that shaped Lanza.

Thus, when we delve deeper into so-called “senseless violence” we see it’s not very “senseless” at all. This type of violence comes with living in such a violent world.

And so does “terrorism” in the traditional sense. So in reality, the way we differentiate a “terrorist act” and “senseless violence” is unsubstantiated. They both stem from the violence in society and in ourselves.

After using an entire population as a scapegoat for 9/11, I think we have learned that if this act does have an anti-American motive behind it, there is no longer an easy target. The target is ourselves and our complicity with our policies. But if the motive is pure rage, the target is ourselves, too. Let’s stop drawing such a divide between these terms. Let's stop using them all together.

Both "terrorist acts" and "senseless violence" are reactionary to our violent society today, both should cause a chilling queasiness in our bodies and both need to awaken us and force us to explore their cause. 

Is “Celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death: Utterly disgraceful, or totally justifiable?” asks The Week today.

The question comes amidst London street parties celebrating the former prime minister’s death. In response, there have been several critiques about these celebrations. For example, a Liberal Democrat MP, Stephen Williams, has been quoted saying that celebrating someone’s death is “entirely distasteful.”

In some ways, I agree. I find it to be eerie when people rejoice death. I’ll never forget getting text messages when Osama bin Laden was assassinated: “We did it! Bin Laden is dead!” And those awful, terrifying “U.S.A.!” chants and celebrations in front of the White House. People celebrated Hugo Chavez’s recent death, too. And though the politics of all three examples are vastly different, they are all people — and when we fail to humanize people (and instead claim them evil upon death), we fail to grasp the reality of how big a role society plays on those in power.

Glenn Greenwald wrote yesterday that the “demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure's death is not just misguided but dangerous.” I completely agree. But I disagree on the premise of his piece, which suggests that it’s okay to completely trash Thatcher because she was a public figure, not a private individual. Ultimately, Greenwald and The Week are asking the wrong questions. Instead of arguing over whether it’s justifiable to critique Thatcher’s policies (which it certainly is), we should be asking how to most effectively issue this criticism.

Right now, what is most dangerous about some of the criticism of Thatcher is the attack on her person, instead of her policies. Yet, too often people (and especially the media) obscures the two. And although the personal and political may be impossible to separate, I believe an attempt to frame the criticism around her policies is more valuable. Now, I’m not trying to make Thatcher out to be innocent or completely clear her of her free will. But we have to realize her actions were brought about by a belief system. Although Thatcher may embody all the policies we hate, rejoicing her death, in some ways, makes it seem as though this system that sparked her policies is dead, too. And we must remember that, in the end, Thatcher was an agent of neo-liberal ideology — which is still very much alive.

For some, perhaps celebrating her death provides some cathartic relief to the damage her policies have caused. But I hope all those popping open bottles of champagne in Trafalgar Square this week will be there to protest austerity cuts, privatization, deregulation, etc. in the future.

Thus, instead of framing someone as a monster, let’s take the more courageous road and frame the ideology as monstrous. If we talk about Thatcher’s legacy in this way, we have a much better chance of really focusing on defeating the huge battle ahead of us.