See The Atlantic: The Emigrants
Here’s a headline that should make us happy: “Trump, Battered in Washington, Is Buoyed at Boeing Rally.” That was from the New York Times, last Friday.
But the funny thing is, there was no Boeing rally in our state, where the vast majority of Boeing workers live and work, making the vast majority of Boeing’s airplanes. And it wasn’t “fake news.” Trump just decamped to Charleston, South Carolina, to have a love fest with Boeing management. Those are the same people who funded and masterminded an all-out multi-million-dollar anti-union campaign to blackmail workers in South Carolina not to join the Machinists union.
The backdrop for this love fest between the billionaire and the mere millionaires of Boeing’s management was the latest new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in production in South Carolina. South Carolina wasn’t even called out in Boeing’s employment statistics in 2012. Now it is touted as the jewel in the crown. Is something wrong with this picture? A lot of things.
How did Boeing get all the billions of dollars to invest in South Carolina? Well, it could be seen as a direct transfer of tax money from our state, to Boeing, to South Carolina. Just in 2014 and 2015, Boeing got more than $521 million in tax breaks from the state of Washington. Did that go to ramping up Boeing employment in our state? No, employment has actually fallen, from 87,000 in October 2012 to 71,000 now. That is a loss of 16,000 jobs, or almost 1 out of 5 jobs disappeared.
Adding up the tax exemptions that Boeing rammed through the Legislature in 2003 ($3.2 billion) and 2013 ($8.7 billion) and even a top executive can figure out that’s how to invest in South Carolina. Which Boeing has done, to the tune of at least $2 billion, so far. These tax breaks have also enabled Boeing to pay over $41 million in fines in 2014 and 2015 for falsifying claims for the maintenance of military aircraft. No skin off Boeing’s profits!
Why is Boeing so anxious to rob the state of Washington and starve education funding, with these tax breaks? Is it because the workers in Washington, organized together in the Machinists Union and SPEEA, saved Boeing from its disastrous outsourcing of initial production of the 787 to other state, countries and companies? Is it because the 737 plant is going full-tilt as Boeing’s cash cow in Renton? Is it because we have the biggest concentration of aerospace-related production, manufacturing, and brain power in the world right here. Is it because the state of Washington has invested in community college workforce training and degrees tailored specifically to “supply” skilled workers for Boeing?
OK, so none of these reasons makes sense. How about this one: Washington workers are organized into unions at Boeing. Because of this, they don’t have to forfeit their constitutional rights when they walk into the plant. They get some respect from the company. They have some power to negotiate with the company to determine their wages and benefits. They cannot be fired at the arbitrary whim of a supervisor. They cannot be fired by Donald Trump, like he loved to do on “The Apprentice.”
Are there ways to stop the hemorrhaging of Boeing jobs from our state? Last year, state Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, proposed a simple equation: Boeing, if you want your tax break, you keep jobs in Washington; if you reduce employment by 5,000 jobs or more, you lose your tax break and that money goes into education funding.
Really, what do we have to lose? Our state is just getting played by Boeing. We give Boeing tax breaks, they invest in other states and countries. We don’t, and Boeing invests in other states and countries, but they will have less money to do so. And of course, whenever these Boeing off-sites like the joint Boeing-Russian operation for titanium machining in the Ural Mountains of Russia, or the Charleston, South Carolina, site for the 787-E or the Boeing technology center in Moscow, whenever any one of them fail the exact quality assurance we all need for aircraft, Boeing will always fall back on the workers, the machinists, the engineers and the aerospace infrastructure of Washington state. So rather than encouraging Boeing to go, let’s just tell them they should stay!
In the video Winning the War of Ideas, Sam Harris interviews author Sam Harris. Both agree that progressives are making a serious error by failing to oppose Islamic violence and misogyny.
Harris and Maher don’t sufficiently acknowledge that progressives are indeed critical of Islamic repression. But progressives are even more concerned with stopping a Holy War against Islam. War lovers in both major parties are using the threat of terrorism to justify military spending and endless war.
After all, Muslim radicalism is largely a result of decades of war waged by the West against Muslim countries, and by U.S. meddling in the Middle East. The U.S. created Al Qadea in Afghanistan in an effort to eject Russia.
The U.S. waged war against secular Iraq but has protected theocratic Saudi Arabia. Mostly, the U.S. should stop trying to be the policeman of the world. In reality, the motivation isn’t to save them from repression. The motivation is to get their oil.
It’s time to confront conception obsessed Bible-believers on their own terms, with language they understand.
Imagine if we turned the Bible and Christianity’s highest values back on the Religious Right. This Saturday, February 11, the most conception-obsessed members of the Religious Right will be gathering at Evangelical and Catholic churches, loading teenagers into busses and cars, and surrounding Planned Parenthood with protest signs. Some will pray and sing church songs or shout Bible quotes or carry pictures of the Virgin Mary. But most will carry signs that say things like “abortion stops a beating heart” [so does oyster-eating] or “aren’t you glad your mother didn’t have an abortion?” [Yes; glad also that she didn’t have a headache that night] or “it’s a baby” [an acorn is an oak tree?] or “one life ended, one destroyed” [actually, factually not]. Some may carry “fetal squish” pictures—not images of common early abortions but of the rare fetus that dies or is aborted late in gestation. In other words, they will try to sway the rest of us by speaking our language—the language of science, human rights and secular ethical values; and they will appeal to our moral emotions: compassion, love of life, and disgust.
Those of us who cherish the freedom to choose our own lives and families—and to live by our own moral values—could learn a thing or two from the more sophisticated of these protestors, both what they say and what they want to hide.
- They want us to think that it’s not about religion. Despite the smattering of non-religious opponents, it is. Ignoring this means we constantly fight a defensive battle on our turf, not theirs. Key take-away: Define this as a fight about theology, which is what it is. Use theological terms that are Christianity’s insider jargon and quote the Bible.
- They want us to think that they are on the side of women, that their stance against abortion comes from a deep place of love and concern. It doesn’t. Their conception obsession is deeply rooted in misogyny, and concern for women is a thin veneer. Here is what the anti-abortion movement would look like if it were driven by love. Key take-away: Expose the deep underlying religiously-motivated disdain for women. Quote degrading Bible verses, church fathers and modern pastors.
- By trademarking the term “pro-life,” abortion foes try to stake out the highest of the moral high ground. They don’t have it. Their crass indifference to the lives around them—to the wellbeing of both vulnerable people and even the whole web of life—shows their self-appointed title as defenders of “life” to be total bullshit. Key take-away: Shine a light on self-righteous hypocrisy. Expose the Religious Right’s indifference to Christianity’s own highest values, including compassion and reverence for life.
I said that abortion foes try to speak to us in language we understand, by appealing to our sources of authority, science and conscience. When we appeal to people who are on our side or neutral or secular, we should do the same. We must work to end abortion shame and stigma, to convey that abortion is normal and that family planning as a whole—including abortion until it becomes obsolete (we are headed that direction)—is a positive social good.
But when it comes to confronting and neutralizing abortion protests, we should attack the home turf of the abortion foes, not defend our own turf. We should speak in language of the protesters and convey that their position is a threat to their own core values. (Remember, this is what they do to move us.)
At the same time, they are playing to a broader audience, and we can, too. To outsiders, we can neutralize the tradition of incessant clinic protest by framing it as a theological dispute (most people want to keep theology out of healthcare), that is driven by archaic, ugly gender scripts (no thanks!), and that is being played out by people who have little moral credibility (everyone hates a mean-spirited, self-righteous hypocrite).
Here are a few examples of what the counter-protest signs might look like. *Some may make sense only to Christians and former Christians. **Thank you to all the former Bible-believers who offered suggestions on Facebook. ***If you have ideas of your own as you read the list, please add them in the comment section.
Define this as an insider dispute about theology
- God aborts 60%. Who are you to judge the Almighty?
- Fact checked: The Lord says he’s ok with it
- God prescribes abortion potion – Numbers 5:22-27
- Kill fetus, get fined – Kill woman, get death –Exodus 21:22-23
- Infant becomes person after birth – Leviticus 27:6
- Fetus fetish is idolatry
- This is what bibliolatry does to people →
- Conception obsession is a religious cult
- Don’t say you follow Jesus if stopping abortion trumps love, truth, peacemaking, compassion, feeding the hungry, caring for the poor . . .
- Life begins at ejaculation – Ask Onan
- If the baby goes to heaven And the doctor goes to hell If the woman gets forgiveness What’s the problem pray tell!?
- The Bible doesn’t define when life becomes “a living soul.” Don’t put your words in God’s mouth
Expose deep underlying misogyny
- Wife is man’s property – Exodus 20:17
- Girl babies twice as unclean as boys – Leviticus 12:1-8
- Women should keep silent – 1 Cor. 14:34
- Sell raped daughter to rapist – Deut. 22:28-29
- Female? Cover your head or cut off your hair – I Cor. 11:6 [with picture of hijab]
- Women will be saved through childbearing – 1 Tim. 2:15
- Women make men dirty – Rev 14:4
- Woman is a temple built over a sewer – Tertullian
- Woman, you are the gate to hell – Tertullian
- Man alone is the image of God – Saint Augustine
- I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children. –Saint Augustine
- Woman has a faulty and defective nature – Saint Albertus Magnus
- The production of woman comes from a defect – Thomas Acquinas
- Women were made to be either wives or prostitutes – Martin Luther
- The second duty of the wife is constant obedience and subjection – John Dod, Puritan
- Women are made to be led, and counseled, and directed – LDS Apostle Herber Kimball
- Every single book in your Bible was written by a man – Mark Driscoll
Shine a light on self-righteous (religious) hypocrisy
- Pro-guns, pro-greed, pro-Trump = “pro-life” Hmmm. Woe to you, Pharisees, hypocrites! Woe to you, Pharisees, hypocrites Woe to you, Pharisees, hypocrites Woe to you, Pharisees, hypocrites
- ”Pro-life” Trump Hypocrites =“False prophets, ravening wolves” – Jesus
- Woe to you Pharisees, hypocrites! — Jesus
- Pharisees →
- Take the log out of your own eye –Jesus
- Judge not that ye be not judged – Jesus
- [picture of immigrant child] – Let the children come unto me—Jesus
- Jesus focused on real people
- Pro-fetus, against Child Protection
- Pro-fetus, oppose rights for children
- Pro-fetus, defend parent right to hit kids
- Pro-fetus, against UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- I was hungry and you did not feed me – Jesus If a man says ‘I love God’ and hateth his brother, he is a liar- 1 John 4:20
- Jesus supported healthcare for women
- Jesus cared for women, no matter what [echoes Planned Parenthood motto]
- The screwed-up priorities of “pro-life” Christians kill real children
- Trump Voter? Don’t talk to me about choosing life
- Voted for Trump? Maybe that’s not the voice of God you are hearing
Planned Parenthood doesn’t organize counter-protests, because they don’t want to escalate conflict and because they have a job to do providing contraceptives, cancer screenings, STI tests, abortions and other basic healthcare for their patients. They have no desire to get involved in theological disputes. But I think it’s time for the rest of America, meaning religious moderates and non-religious Americans, to go on the offense against the Religious Right. For decades now—really, ever since Roe v Wade–we’ve been playing way too nice.
At some point in the future, pregnancy almost always will happen by mutual consent of two people who want to co-create a child. But we’re not there yet, in large part because patriarchal religious conservatives have opposed sexual health literacy and better birth control every step of the way. Right now, we could make elective abortion virtually obsolete if the Religious Right had any interest in doing so. They don’t. That means, for now, the only way that young men and women can live the lives of their choosing and form the families of their choosing and stack the odds in favor of flourishing children—is to have access to abortion so they can end ill-conceived pregnancies.
The Left has been squishy and apologetic about abortion care—leaving providers unprotected, and allowing brave, prudent young women to be shamed for making the best decisions they could under difficult circumstances. We’ve let the Religious Right bully all of us, including moderate Christians, into doubting our own moral convictions.
Sometimes, the only way to stop a bully is to hit back. In the spirit of courageous, unflinching, nonviolent resistance, we need to figure out together what that means. So, don’t forget to share your thoughts.
Oh, and if you decide to counter-protest on Saturday, remember that while you are taking a stand on behalf of women and families, Planned Parenthood employees will be serving them. Don’t interfere with traffic, stay away from the entry, keep off private property, and silently let your sign do the talking for you. Don’t distract from the ugly behavior of the Religious Right by engaging in ugly behavior of your own. You are a role model for any children and teens who have been dragged along; be the change fundamentalist parents don’t want their kids to see in the world.
Originally posted at ValerieTarico.com