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Kavanaugh nomination exposes ruling-class crisis

first_imgProtesters stormed Capitol Hill.Oct. 1 — The Sept. 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about the current nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court could not have been more polarized. Calm, deliberate, earnest, cooperative, though admittedly terrified, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in the morning. In contrast, during the afternoon, there was high drama as Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh alternated between entitled “angry-white-man” shouting about sectarian victimization — “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” — and tearfully pouting, obviously fearful of losing his upper-class power.It was a TV reality show on steroids. The outcome is essentially a ruling-class struggle with deep ramifications for the 327 million people currently living in the U.S.Will Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court by billionaire “predator in chief” Trump proceed after allegations by Dr. Blasey of a sexual assault by Kavanaugh during high school in 1982?By the time of the hearing, many working and oppressed people had already lined up against Kavanaugh because of his anti-worker, anti-accessible health care and anti-reproductive justice stance. And hundreds of angry people, many women survivors of rape and sexual assault, marched around the halls of Congress and over to the Supreme Court to voice their anger and assert their rights against the white-male, ruling-class power structure that runs the U.S.This class also prides itself on its social capital — its private schools; elite colleges and universities, with their closed fraternities and select drinking clubs that promote rape culture; and exclusive hunting, fishing, golf and country clubs that reek of the special advantages enjoyed by the white, moneyed 1% — as they exploit and oppress the other 99%.Twenty-seven years ago, Anita Hill, a brilliant and brave Black woman, presisted with strong and powerful testimony against condescending, racist-sexist abuse when she reported on sexual harassment during the Clarence Thomas hearing conducted by all white male senators. The Sept. 29 New York Times quoted Hill on Kavanaugh’s rage: “‘No female candidate for a Supreme Court position would ever have the license’ to speak with such irritation and fury, she said. ‘We still don’t allow women to cry or be angry.’”“‘Many of us are going to feel betrayed,’” she added, if the Senate ultimately confirms Kavanaugh for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.In-your-face confrontation stems the tideAlthough many magazine, newspaper and other media reports have framed the hearing as “she said, he said,” the ramifications of the hearing range far beyond that sexist phrase, in ways that connect to the entire social, cultural, economic and class system in the U.S. What surfaced during that hearing is a split in the ruling class, reflected in the different roles played by Senate Republicans and Democrats.The Republicans have done everything in their power to ram through Kavanaugh’s appointment to the court before the midterm elections. They have tried at every turn to limit the hearing and control the outcome by putting up roadblocks to expanding the testimony as more women have come forward to name Kavanaugh as an abuser and as Kavanaugh’s drinking and gang-rape buddies have been identified. As such, the Republicans on the Senate committee are doing the bidding of the white supremacist, warmongering, male-dominated, anti-LGBTQ, Trump-aligned wing of the ruling class.The Democrats, though just as wedded to patriarchal, imperialist, elitist capitalism, have played a more moderating role in their obvious support for Dr. Blasey. Looking for a way to reap victory in the November congressional elections, they have commended her courage and bravery in coming forward to “do her civic duty.” They have insistently called for an FBI investigation to delve into Kavanaugh’s behavior and character.What ultimately made the Republicans cave and call on Trump to order an FBI investigation was an incident involving Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). He had announced the morning of Sept. 28 that he would support the Kavanaugh nomination to get it out of committee and onto the Senate floor for the final vote. But then this politician, who is not running for office in the midterm election, was backed into the corner of an elevator by two women rape survivors, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher. A video of their confrontation of Flake went viral.First Archila chastised him for supporting Kavanaugh: “What are you doing, sir?”Then Gallagher asserted: “You are telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you are going to ignore them. That’s what happened to me.”Furious that Flake was avoiding eye contact with her, Gallagher demanded: “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”Shortly after that angry educational reprimand, Flake announced he would not vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh without an FBI investigation. Trump reluctantly authorized a week-long supplemental, superficial background check of four people. For the moment, the Republicans have backed off, as did Trump, despite having attacked the FBI many times over the last two years.‘Pretending to look for the truth’A number of corporate media sources have questioned how this FBI investigation — limited by time and number of interviewees — will expose any additional information about Kavanaugh’s sexual abuse, blatant misogyny and flagrantly sexist behavior.In a Sept. 30 New York Times column, Maureen Dowd wrote: “The hope that the FBI will save the day may be misplaced. In the case of Anita Hill, agents were deployed by Republicans to help smear her. … But at least we have a few more days to pretend to look for the truth.”But working and oppressed people need to know the truth about the FBI. The FBI is a ruthless tool that the ruling class uses to enforce state power.Referring to both the FBI and the CIA in a July 25 WW article, Fred Goldstein wrote: “These agencies are two of the greatest enemies of the workers and oppressed at home and abroad. The FBI has infiltrated and framed up generations of communists, socialists, African-American civil rights organizations and liberation groups. It has hunted them down on their jobs and in their homes, imprisoned and even killed them.”Since the hearing and the announcement of the FBI investigation, big business media have been speculating about their impact on the midterm elections. Will the Republicans’ begrudging, last-minute call for the FBI help or hinder voting by Trump’s misogynist base or by women? Did the Republicans effectively hoodwink women voters by hiring an experienced sex crimes prosecutor to interrogate Dr. Blasey? That was a ploy to save the all-male Republicans from exposing the blatant sexist-racist bias they showed during their ruthless examination of Anita Hill.Yet another question posed by the ruling-class media is: Will Kavanaugh’s temper tantrum and tears — a display of “white-male-victim” behavior often voiced by Trump — disqualify him from the judicial arm of the federal goverment — the one out of three branches of the state that is supposedly sacrosanct and above all “impartial”?Supreme Court justices must present themselves as nonpartisan and above reproach. Yale law professor Judith Resnik speculated that Kavanaugh’s antics at the hearing “could leave the Supreme Court ‘under a cloud of politics and scandal from which it would not recover for decades.’” (NY Times, Sept. 29)It’s possible Kavanaugh’s nomination may be a bust, even by capitalist “democratic” standards.Watershed moment in fighting sexist-racist patriarchyReactions to the hearing and its aftermath are showing how pivotal these may be in the ensuing struggle against sexual abuse.The Sept. 9 Sacramento Bee observed: Kavanaugh “looked like an entitled, privileged white male, whining because he’s unaccustomed to losing anything — much less a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court that he always expected to get.”Later the article opined: “That Republicans probably will confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite what happened on Thursday [Sept. 27] says something about this country, namely that white male privilege still means a lot. But it also says something that so many Americans saw through his act.”Hundreds of people reached out during the hearing to Planned Parenthood and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in record numbers. The former reported “more traffic on Thursday than all year,” while calls to RAINN jumped by 201 percent. (The Guardian, Sept. 30) An obvious conclusion is that there are many, many survivors — who are desperately in need of help and support.How will this particular ruling-class crisis be resolved? Don’t look for predictions here. It’s too close to call. Will Trump triumph or will he be forced to pick another nominee? It’s possible that squeaky-clean Judge Amy Barrett could be next in line. Her racist, sexist, anti- LGBTQ, anti-worker, pro-ruling-class credentials are equally conservative. A Catholic, Barrett is on record as being anti-abortion.Corporate media are speculating nonstop on the midterm elections. But the question of what that reflects goes much deeper than the impact of this congressional hearing. To begin with, millions of people of color, those living in rural areas, the incarcerated and the formerly incarcerated, as well as undocumented immigrants, have been closed out of all elections by right-wing, anti-voter initiatives. They are not allowed to vote or have lost that right. That’s proof the continued racist repression of voting rights invalidates the legitimacy of “democratic elections” in the U.S.But one thing is certain: The violent crime of sexual assault has been dramatically revealed, and it is now firmly planted in the public arena. There is no going back. Ford’s narrative has brought stark attention to the existence of sexual abuse and violence against women in all realms of life.Women survivors can only move forward on all fronts, their arms linked with comrades of other genders in united resistance with all those who have suffered the brutal violence of patriarchy, racism and capitalist oppression. This is the path of solidarity needed to smash the capitalist state to smithereens and create a new socialist society.Kathy Durkin contributed research to this article. Davis wrote three previous WW articles on Kavanaugh: “Kavanaugh is no friend to workers,” Aug. 9; “Trump nominated Kavanaugh to overturn legal abortion,” Aug. 16; and “Liar Kavanaugh has got to go!,“ Sept. 27.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Tetra Tech Acquires New Corps of Engineers Contract U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

first_img Community News Make a comment STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week HerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyZac Efron Is Dating A New Hottie?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThe Most Obvious Sign A Guy Likes You Is When He Does ThisHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyDo You Feel Like Hollywood Celebrities All Look A Bit Similar?HerbeautyHerbeauty CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday 96 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Tetra Tech, 3475 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena, as pictured in a Google Street View image.East Pasadena consulting and engineering provider Tetra Tech Inc. has been awarded a $49- million, multiple-award, architecture and engineering services contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Louisville District.Under the five-year contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental services for the protection and restoration of the natural environment, including designs, studies, surveys, and application of sustainable and innovative technologies.Tetra Tech’s scientists and engineers will leverage high-end technology and advanced analytics to address priority issues such as emerging contaminants, including per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, often referred to as PFAS.In a number of epidemiological studies, PFAS have been linked to the occurrence of adverse human health effects.“USACE has been a valued client for more than 40 years,” Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO, said. “We look forward to continuing to use our ‘Leading with Science’ approach to support USACE’s environmental management initiatives.”Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, the USACE Louisville District is part of the Corps’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.Tetra Tech, whose corporate headquarters are at 3475 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena, has about 20,000 associates working on consulting projects worldwide. The company provides solutions to complex problems in water, environment, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, and international development. Business Newscenter_img More Cool Stuff Business News Tetra Tech Acquires New Corps of Engineers Contract U.S. Army Corps of Engineers STAFF REPORT Published on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 5:51 pm Community News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Darrel Done BusinessVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Top of the News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

College honors six students with service awards

first_imgThis year, the Office of Civic and Social Engagement honored six students with various awards that recognize their commitment to volunteering and community involvement. First-year and global studies major Anne Maguire received the Sister Maria Concepta McDermott, CSC Award for Service in Education.“I was so honored and so touched,” Maguire said. “I don’t do a lot of the things I do to get some sort of recognition. I do it more just to be a part of the community and try to make the community a better place.”Maguire said she has been an active member of the Saint Mary’s and South Bend communities this year. As an ambassador for Catholic Relief Services, Maguire said she worked on campaigns centering around issues regarding migration, climate change, and human-trafficking. “That has been a great experience for me, just getting more active as a leader who is interested in social justice,” Maguire said.Maguire also works with the Justice Student Advisory Committee (JSAC), volunteers for the Boys and Girls Club, tutors through the Collegiate Academy of Tutors (CAT) program, is the president and organizer of Project SHE (Spreading Hope through Education) and will work as the outreach coordinator for College Democrats in the fall. “I really tried to promote educational advocacy in different ways, especially given that we are at an all women’s school,” Maguire said. “If we try to spread that mission to other young girls and women in the community, that’s a great opportunity for us because we are women at an institution that is for women.” In her work, Maguire said she aims to become immersed in the community.“I think there’s so much we can learn from our community and just reaching out to others,” Maguire said. “To change the mindset from helping others to working with others to empower them and empower yourself in the process.”Her dedication to education earned her this award, she said.“I was so humbled too because these people who interact with me all the time wanted to express their thanks to me when really I feel that I should express my thanks to them,” Maguire said. “I have found these opportunities and then this kind of found me, which is an honor.”According to Maguire, her peers empower her to serve the community.“Just looking around and seeing those women who were all so inspiring as well, and seeing myself with them, was really eye-opening,” Maguire said. “They were recognizing me in this way that was just so powerful and empowering.”Senior communicative sciences and disorders major Caylin McCallick received the Sister Christine Healy, CSC award for Service with Women. During her time at Saint Mary’s, McCallick has been president of JSAC, participated in the Intercultural Leadership Program, served on the presidential task force for sexual assault, volunteered at the Center for the Homeless, and organized two healing garden events.“I feel like so much a part of a liberal arts education is meeting various parts of the community and meeting needs of the community,” McCallick said. “Doing service is a learning experience, and it’s a growing experience.”The healing garden events enabled participants to take negative experiences and change the way they were looked at, McCallick said. “I saw that as symbolic,” McCallick said. “Growing beauty is coming out of something negative that happened.” McCallick said her Saint Mary’s education reinforced her desire to help others.“It’s just something that my family has instilled in me, and certainly Saint Mary’s has too,” McCallick said. “I think it’s part of being a good Catholic. Part of being a Saint Mary’s student is that you should serve the world with the things you are given.”McCallick said she hopes to continue her passion of serving the world by getting a masters degree from Northwestern University and working in audiology.“Because I’m going into audiology, I figured that there are a lot of underserved populations who don’t necessarily have audiological services for various reasons,” McCallick said. “I would like to work with those populations in different cultures across the U.S. and across the world.”Assisting those with their audiological needs helps to give a vital gift of communication, she said.“You need to have a voice, and you need to be able to communicate that voice, so I think that is the root of developing communication skills,” McCallick said.Senior communicative sciences and disorders major Alyssia Parrett received the Patricia Arch Green Award for her work with CAT. Parrett said his award is given to a student that shows dedication to the CAT program, which provides tutors to a local elementary and middle school.  “I was kind of shocked because there are a bunch of other seniors that do as much work as I do in the office,” Parrett said.Parrett said she began her involvement in the CAT program her sophomore year after seeing posters looking for students to act as both tutors and teaching assistants. This year, she not only helped to lead the CAT program when it was left without a director, but also acted as the lead teaching assistant.“I recruited 20 [teaching assistants] this semester, and I managed where they were going, what teachers they were with and also got feedback from the teachers about how our students were benefitting the teachers and their students,” Parrett said.The schools that CAT works with have a high percentage of low-income students. “Just being a positive person in their life, I really wanted to do that in that aspect,” Parrett said. “They don’t have someone. Their parents are usually working third shift. They don’t see them, or their siblings are taking care of them. It’s just rushed all the time, and they don’t get one-on-one contact with someone.”This helped Parrett realize that she wanted to continue to help children in need, she said.“After working with the CAT program is when I realized that I really want to work with kids,” Parrett said.Parrett is a communicative sciences and disorders major and will pursue her master’s degree in speech pathology at Saint Mary’s next fall.“I hope to continue doing the CAT program,” Parrett said. “And when I graduate, I want to work in … areas that have high poverty rates.”Parrett said her experience with the CAT program has opened her eyes to the importance of community service. “I encourage people to go out and do service in the community because you don’t realize what a need there is until you are there,” Parrett said. “We stay in our niche at Saint Mary’s, and we don’t leave our bubble, but leaving the bubble has helped my life so much.”Junior psychology major Kathleen Thursby received the Sister Olivette Whalen, CSC Award for General Service.“I didn’t really realize that it was an award you needed to be nominated for, and I distinctly remember saying, ‘I don’t remember applying for this award,’” Thursby said in an email. “But once I found out more about this honorable distinction, I was really excited and grateful to be recognized for this.”Thursby is currently the president of the student athlete advisory committee (SAAC), and was previously a soccer representative on SAAC. She also founded the Saint Mary’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter.“This past year has really allowed me to become more involved in service opportunities, and there has been a lot of recognition that has come with that,” Thursby said. “While I do truly appreciate the recognition, I mostly look at it as a great way for the things I am involved in to become more public too.”Thursby’s work in service has enabled her to develop an increased sense of involvement with the community, both on a larger scale and at an individual level, she said.“Bringing people up and providing them with the basic necessities that they deserve is truly inspiring, and I have always cherished the opportunity to connect with those whom we are serving and hear their stories,” Thursby said. “You not only learn a lot about that individual, but also a lot about yourself and what is important to you.”She said she plans to continue her work in the community throughout her senior year, and she is exploring working with nonprofit organizations after graduation to continue her passion for volunteer service. “I look at myself and the opportunities I have been presented and immediately think and know that I constantly need to find ways to allow others to have the same opportunities as me,” Thursby said. “A lot of these opportunities are rights, and I think it is important to do everything in your power to ensure that these basic rights are provided to all.”Senior nursing major Maranda Pennington won the Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson Award for Service in the Health Field.Senior social work major Maria Teresa Valencia won the Sister Kathleen Anne Nelligan Award for Spiritual Service.Tags: Commencement 2017, Office of Civic and Social Engagement, senior awardslast_img read more

Affordable Adventure

first_img“My dad’s goal every time we moved was to get us into activities that were unique to that place,” O’Sullivan said. “When we moved to Chattanooga, he saw an ad in the newspaper for a pool roll session for kayaks. We didn’t really know what he was talking about, but we’ve always loved water.” By the end of that first year, instructors were inviting Lee on personal trips so he could get more experience on rivers the program didn’t cover. The past two summers, he worked for Outdoor Chattanooga as a kayak instructor and staff member.  Unlike most cities, Chattanooga does not have a parks and recreation department. Instead of offering softball, soccer, and basketball leagues, Outdoor Chattanooga provides introduction to activities like mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and hiking.  The O’Sullivan sisters started attending weekly sessions with the Whitewater Kids Club, starting at the pool until moving up to the whitewater rivers easily accessible from Chattanooga.  “I could easily put myself in the shoes of whoever was that participant,” Lee said. “To have that lens that you can put on as an instructor is really awesome, knowing the fear that happens going down your first rapid and the different things that made me stick with it. It felt like passing the torch in a way.” That program was an early model of what would eventually become Outdoor Chattanooga, a division of the city’s Department of Economic and Community Development. The city officially established the program in 2004 as part of an initiative from then Mayor Bob Corker to highlight the city’s natural resources.   Sunshine Loveless, Outdoor Chattanooga’s customer relations specialist, said the program is designed to get residents and tourists outside, taking advantage of the many outdoor recreation opportunities in the area.  “I think by offering those low-cost, no-cost programs, we are able to reach that demographic that wouldn’t normally have access to getting outside and playing,” Loveless said. “We are not limited to just those who can afford it.” These programs are open to everyone, from novice adventure seekers to more experienced users looking for a structured outing. For many participants, like O’Sullivan, they come away with a passion or appreciation for the outdoors.  Although her family eventually moved away from Chattanooga, O’Sullivan kept kayaking. In college, she worked at the Nantahala Outdoors Center during the summers before coming on as a full-time kayak and wilderness medicine instructor.  “I’m trying to give back that feeling and style of instruction Outdoor Chattanooga gave me,” he said. Outdoor Chattanooga’s influence extends beyond the residents of the city.  Lee, who is heading into his junior year at Warren Wilson College, is organizing a whitewater kayaking club to teach others about the sport and eventually compete against other colleges.  “Kayaking can be cost prohibitive when you first get started because it’s a financial commitment to buy all the equipment,” O’Sullivan said. “It was great to do it through this program because they provided all of the equipment. So, we didn’t have to buy a bunch of stuff for a sport we weren’t sure we would like.” When she moved back to Chattanooga for nursing school, O’Sullivan worked as a summer kayak instructor for Outdoor Chattanooga. Although the program has evolved from her time to include more activities and opened up to all ages, the mission is still the same.  Alden Lee went whitewater rafting for his fifteenth birthday and fell in love with the experience. He took a whitewater kayaking lesson for a more personal experience the following year but knew it would be difficult to continue when lessons cost $150 for a half-day session. “Kayaking has changed my life 100 percent,” she said.   You don’t need a ton of money or expertise to explore the outdoors—especially in Chattanooga  “It just was not sustainable,” Lee said. “We looked all around Atlanta for different ways I could still pursue this. I was at a point in my life where I was really getting into it.” Most of the programs, including archery, adaptive cycling, bike commuting 101, and the hiking series, are free. The organization provides all of the equipment, instruction, and transportation. The more intensive programs, such as whitewater kayaking, come at a much lower cost compared to private resources available. While doing research online, the Lees came across Outdoor Chattanooga’s program. A year-long membership there cost less than $100 for access to instruction and equipment. Although it was a two-hour drive, the Lees made it work on the weekends for a much more affordable price. “You were surrounded by this overwhelming feeling of being in a place where people are dedicated and truly want to share that passion with you,” Lee said. “It’s a crazy thing to be strapped into a boat and then going underneath the water. You feel completely comfortable with them because you know that they got your back. They make that clear.”   Growing up, Bailey O’Sullivan’s family moved about every two years for her mom’s job. They ended up in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a few years when she was in middle school.  “It would be cool if every city had that as a resource,” Loveless said. “I’m curious about mountain biking but I don’t want to go drop $800 on a bicycle just to not like it. So, we offer a two-hour course for 10 bucks where we give you a mountain bike and teach you the basic skills. Usually by the end of that two-hour session, you have decided whether you are going to like this or you’re glad you didn’t spend more than $10 to learn that.” “Everything is that outdoor play, connection with nature,” Loveless said. “There’s not really any other city organization that offers the kind of programming that we do. We’ve had several cities call us and ask how they can adopt our model and incorporate it into their own setting because they recognize the economic impact that it has.” “Some of my favorites are the first timers,” Loveless said. “We took a 70-year-old woman on a kayaking trip down the river at sunset. It was super slow going because she had never been in a kayak before, but she was so grateful for the experience.”last_img read more