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Coming to America: The History of Mail-Order Brides – Utne Reader Online

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Mail-order brides have deep roots in American history, dating back to the colonial period.

By Marcia A. Zug February 2017

Modern mail-order brides are often stereotyped as young foreign women desperate to escape their homeland, but there was a time when mail-order brides were seen as strong pioneer women. There have been mail-order brides in America as long as there have been Europeans in America but the course of time has changed the perceptions of these women. In Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches (NYU Press, 2016) author Marcia A. Zug traces the history of mail-order brides in America from colonial times to the present.

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“As Catherine looks out across the water, she wonders what her life will be like when she reaches Virginia. She knows that conditions will be hard, but life in England was also hard. At least in the colony, there is the possibility of advancement. The Virginia Company has assured her and the other women that they will have their choice of marriage partners. They have promised that the men are wealthy, or at least will be with the womens help, and that the women will have a share of this wealth. Catherine knows it is a risk, but she has been assured she can always return home if she changes her mind. Regardless, Catherine expects to stay. There is little for her back in England. She will marry a colonist and help found a nation.”

The above thoughts illustrate what I believe one of the first mail-order brides might have felt as she traveled thousands of miles from England to settle in the Virginia colony. There is no actual record of the hopes and fears of these young women. Nevertheless, we do know that their arrival in 1619 was eagerly anticipated and desired.

Marriage was vital to the success of the colony. Wives were needed to create stable family units, produce and care for children, and cement Americas racial and cultural hierarchy. However, the difficulty was that few European women were interested in immigrating. In fact, female immigration to the colonies was so rare that when a group of forty women from La Fleche, France, began boarding a ship for Canada in 1659, the townspeople tried to prevent their departure because they were convinced the women were being kidnapped. Mail-order marriage helped resolve this problem. These women immigrated when others would not, and consequently, their presence was considered critically important.

The risks the early settlers faced were substantial. Most potential colonists had heard frightening accounts of disease and famine, and many of these stories seemed to indicate that women were particularly vulnerable. One horrific tale from Virginia involved a colonist who slue his wife as she slept in his bosome, cut her in pieces, powedered her & fedd upon her till he had clean devoured all her parts saveinge her heade. In the northern colonies, settlers such as the Puritans and the Quakers accepted these risks as the price of religious freedom, and as a result, these areas had little difficulty attracting large numbers of family groups. In contrast, the southern colonies, which lacked this religious draw, had a much harder time finding families willing to accept the dangers and hardships of colonial life. A handful of women came to the colonies shortly after the first male settlers arrived, but their numbers were small, and even fewer came with their children. Moreover, some families, like that of Sir Thomas Gates, sent their daughters back to England if their wives died. As early as 1609, a broadside (poster) produced by the Virginia Company of London demonstrated that the colonys governing body recognized the need to recruit women. The broadside was directed at family groups and specifically emphasized that both men and women were needed for the better strengthening of the colony. Nevertheless, despite such appeals, few families immigrated to the southern colonies. Instead, the majority of southern colonists were single men, primarily individual speculators and fortune hunters, who came to profit from Americas abundant land and natural resources and then return home. As colonial historian Julia Cherry Spruill has noted, these men were not interested in building permanent homes in Virginia or in cultivating lands to be enjoyed by future generations. They simply planned to make their fortunes and then return to England.

The transient nature of the southern population was problematic, and it quickly became clear that the lack of women was threatening the future of the fledgling colony. In 1614, the Virginia Companys lawyer, Richard Martin, spoke before the House of Lords and highlighted the threat posed by the colonys gender disparity. He informed the members, a significant number of whom had shares in the com- pany,that Virginia desperately needed honest laborers, with wives and children. He then recommended the appointment of a committee to consider ways to increase family immigration. Other members of the Virginia Company shared Martins immigration concerns. However, class politics ultimately prevented consideration of his proposal. Martin was only a lawyer and not a lord, so his requests, which went beyond legal advice, were considered presumptuous. One contemporary described his speech as the most unfitting that was ever spoken in the house. Consequently, not only were Martins appeals ignored, they resulted in punishment. The day after appearing before the House of Lords, Martin was arraigned for contempt. He was brought before Sir Randall Crew, the Speaker of the House, forced to kneel, and given following admonishment:

“The case was this a petition relative to the Virginia Company had been presented, and an order for the Council to appear, that he as their Attorney had represented himself with diverse Lords. That the House at first was disposed to listen to him with all due respect and love; that the retrospect of the Virginia Plantation was acceptable, for it had been viewed with the eyes of love. But afterwards, he has impertinently digressed, for it was not his place to censure and advise. The House had therefore brought him before them, and although many were his acquaintances, yet all now looked upon him with the eyes of judges, and not as private friends.”

After Martins censure, the issue of family immigration was dropped, but the lack of women remained a significant problem. Finally, in 1619, the Virginia Companys treasurer, Sir Edwin Sandys, who now controlled the company, decided to address the issue. He warned his fellow shareholders that if immediate action was not taken, the colonys gender imbalance would soon breed a dissolucon, and so an overthrow of the Plantation. Sandys recommended sponsoring the immigration of single women because he believed their presence would make the men more setled [and] lesse moveable and decrease the number of men who, because of the dearth of women, stay [in the colony] but to gett something and then return for England. This time, the recommendation to address the colonys female immigration problem was met with approval. After hearing Sandyss suggestion, Lord Francis Bacon, a founding member of the company, immediately expressed his public support declaring it time to plant with women as well as with men; that the plantation may spread into generations, and not ever pieced from without. Shortly after Sandyss request, the company began recruiting single women to marry the Jamestown colonists.

In the spring of 1620, ninety mail-order brides arrived in Jamestown. Their arrival was considered a success, and the next year Sandys requested funds to transport an additional one hundred women. By this time, the company was in financial difficulties and no longer had the necessary money. However, because Sandys insisted that more women were absolutely essential, the company agreed to raise the money by subscription. Due to these efforts, another fifty brides were sent to Jamestown. Altogether, the Virginia Company sponsored the immigration of 140 mail-order brides. The arrival of these women was intended to reduce the number of male colonists returning to England, but this was not the only reason female immigration was considered necessary. Despite the femaleless wasteland described by Sandys, the colony did not actually lack women. America was filled with indigenous women, and relationships between the male colonists and native women occurred almost immediately.

As early as 1608, after disease and starvation wiped out nearly a third of the original Jamestown colonists, a large number of the male survivors began taking Indian wives. By 1612, the Spanish ambassador to England reported that between 40 to 50 Englishman . . . had married Indian women. He also informed the company that nearly all of these men had abandoned the colony for their wives villages. Only two years earlier, the entire population of Jamestown consisted of sixty colonists. Consequently, the number of desertions described by the ambassador was shocking. Just as concerning was the fact that these desertions seemed unstoppable. Virginia Governor Dale had already decreed that deserters were to be hanged, some burned, some to be broke upon wheels, others to be staked and some to be shot to death. This law had little effect, and colonial men continued to leave the colony.

Desertions contributed to the already declining population, while also undermining the moral justification for the entire colonial endeavor. Virginia settlers had rationalized colonization by highlighting the supposed differences between themselves and the countrys native inhabitants. Captain John Smiths 1607 report on the native population of Virginia epitomized this trend, characterizing the local Indians as cruel, irrational, vengeful, treacherous, and barbaric. He also accused these tribes of Satanism. He described the Virginia Indians as devil worshippers who prayed to idols shaped with such deformity as may well suit with such a god and claimed they practiced child sacrifice. Such accusations seemed to confirm the English colonizers belief in their moral and religious superiority. However, intermarriage threatened these distinctions.

Britains recent colonizing venture in Ireland had demonstrated that settlers were extremely likely to adopt the customs and manners of native inhabitants with whom they intermixed. One typical report from the Irish colony bewailed the number of Englishmen who in small time have grown wild in Ireland, and become in language and qualities Irish. This report also noted the paucity of Irishmen who do in exchange become civilized and English. Virginias colonial leaders worried that marriage to Indian women would lead to similar results. Specifically, they feared that intermarriage would cause European men to abandon their civility and become indistinguishable from the heathen savages. This fear was then further exacerbated by the perceived sexual availability of Indian women. In John Smiths 1612 account of life in the early Virginia colony, he wrote about his visit to one of Powhatans (Pocahontass father) villages and noted that in any of these villages, an Englishman could expect a woman freshly painted red with pocones and oil to be his bed fellow. Smith also detailed his own experience. He claimed to have been greeted by 30 young women [who] came naked out of the woods (only covered behind and before with a few greene leaves), their bodies all painted, some white, some red, some black, some partie colour, but every one different. He then described being invited back to their lodging where they more tormented him than ever, with crowding, and pressing, and hanging upon him, most tediously crying, love you not mee? Similar, although less colorful, accounts were provided by colonist and company secretary William Strachey, who declared that the local women were most voluptious and eager to embrace the acquaintance of any Straunger.

In order to prevent desertions to the native villages and lessen the attractions of native women, colonial leaders described white/Indian relationships as religiously prohibited. In his 1609 sermon, the colonial Reverend William Symonds railed against the dangers of miscegenation. Symonds cited the biblical injunction that Gods people in Canaan keepe to themselves, and not marry nor give in marriage to the heathen, that are uncircumcized, and he warned that the breaking of this rule jeopardized ones chance for eternal salvation and risked all good succese of this voyage. Symondss religious admonishment did little to stem the flow of desertions, and even within the colony, some determined men found ways around this prohibition. The most famous intermarried colonist was John Rolfe. In his letter to Governor Dale seeking permission to marry Pocahontas, Rolfe acknowledged the heavie displeasure which almightie God conceived against the sonnes of Levie and Israel for marrying strange wives. Nevertheless, he argued that this concern was inapplicable to his own relationship, because Pocahontas was converting to Christianity and, thus, their marriage would actually be furthering Gods work and assisting with Rolfes owne salvation. Rolfes arguments were persuasive and earned Dales endorsement of the marriage.

By 1619, it had become clear that neither religious prohibitions nor capital punishment was a sufficient deterrent against intermarriage. The company, therefore, concluded that the best way to reduce desertions and ensure the colony remained racially and ethnically distinct was to provide colonial men with a viable marriage alternative to native women. Understandably, the women recruited to fulfill this important task were chosen with care. They were not prostitutes, criminals, or beggars. In fact, out of the thirty-eight women whose social status is known, eight had links to the gentry. According to the company records, four of the women were the daughters of gentlefolk; two others had uncles and one cousin (once removed) who were knights; and the eighth was described as the daughter of Mr. Gervase Markham, of the Nottinghamshire gentry. In addition, the company insisted that all the women had been received . . . upon good recommendation.

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Screening of kin of breast cancer victims vital, says genome expert – The Hindu

Posted: at 6:47 pm

Every woman who had ovarian or breast cancer with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation, and was detected after her diagnosis, is a missed opportunity to prevent a cancer. No sister or daughter of a person with such a mutation should die of breast or ovarian cancer, it doesnt have to happen; it is completely preventable, Mary-Claire King, Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, said here on Monday. In a sense, it all began with Prof. King after she identified the mutation in the BRCA1 gene that causes breast cancer.

Genetic testing is crucial for prevention, treatment, and families, Prof. King underlined throughout her lecture on Understanding Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer: From Gene Discovery to Precision Medicine and Public Health. Prof. King was in Chennai for the first Cell Press-TNQ India distinguished Lectureship Series, 2017. She will be speaking in three other cities: Bengaluru on Wednesday, New Delhi on Friday, and Kolkata, the following Tuesday.

Prof. King also had a proposition for India to undertake to test genetically every breast and ovarian cancer patient for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 and all other known breast and ovarian cancer genes. The yield in testing of patients will probably be 18 per cent of ovarian cancer patients who have a mutation in one of these genes and about 10-15 per cent of breast cancer patients who do, with a higher proportion of younger women.

Informed choice

She went on to add that it was important because a patient who finds that she has a mutation can decide whether to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in her late 30s or 40s so that she does not get breast cancer; that her sisters and daughters can be aware that they should undergo genetic testing ideally. If they are resistant to that, then they can be subject to surveillance, at least. The sister or daughter of a patient with such mutations has a 50-50 chance of acquiring a mutation herself, the geneticist said.

The costs for such testing have come down drastically, Prof. King said. The cost is much less, even lower than it was a year ago. For instance, in the [United] States, in Indian terms, it costs about Rs. 15,000 to test all the genes all at once. It used to be 20 times that just a couple of years ago. She also touched upon the new Broca Gene Panel available now, that runs a single blood sample through tests for all known classes of mutation that cause breast and ovarian cancer.

Prof. King came back many times during her lecture to the role of menarche in breast cancer. When menarche occurs at a younger age, good epidemiological evidence suggests that the interval between menarche and child birth has a direct relationship with the risk of breast cancer. As the interval increases, the risk also increases, she explained.

Generational change

One study showed that women born before 1958, have, a lower risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, than say, women born after 1958. This cannot be genetics. This difference is, I think, the same reasons that we see a rapid increase in incidence of breast cancer. Between these generations, there was change in womens lives.

Of course, plenty of women who do not carry the mutation, have the disease too. Some of the women actually have inherited the mutation from the father and not the mother. Their decision to go in for prophylactic surgeries removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and/or double mastectomies depends on their personal experience. Most women who go in for surgery have watched a mother or sister die of breast or ovarian cancer, Prof. King explained.

N. Ram, chairman, Kasturi and Sons, introduced the speaker, while Mariam Ram, MD, TNQ Books and Journals, spoke of the lecture series through the years.

Emilie Marcus, CEO, Cell Press, announced the names of the finalists of the Inspiring Science awards: Balaji Banoth, Vijay Soni, Richa Pahuja, Abhishek Trivedi, Pankaj Kumar Dubey, and Ramya Purkanti.

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Meet the sweaty, gambling, barfing, bonding Indians race known as the Beep Drill – Yahoo Sports

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

GOODYEAR, Ariz. Everyone knows about the Beep Drill. The Cleveland Indians can call it whatever they want Warrior Dash tends to be the preferred nomenclature but as players ascend through the minor leagues and learn more about what its like in big league camp, they all hear the stories of what happens on the first day on full-squad spring training, and the fear kicks in.

Baseball camp isnt like football, with two-a-days in the blazing heat meant to turn men into men. Baseball is much lazier, much less demanding, which is what makes the Beep Drill something else. There is sweating. There is sprinting. There is betting. There is taunting. There is even the occasional barfing. Above all, the Indians believe, there is bonding.

On Saturday morning, the Indians held their second Beep Drill of the spring. One is for pitchers and catchers, this one for position players. The conceit is simple. They line up on a back field, listen for a beep from a speaker, run 21 yards to a cone, turn around and run 21 yards back, trying to cross the line before another beep. After a break, they do it again. And again. And again. Until the last player is standing.

Its basically go until you drop, said Shawn Armstrong, an Indians relief pitcher who made a valiant effort earlier in the week before succumbing to the taunts of teammate Francisco Lindor and the vagaries of his stomach. Once I hit about 35, I kind of got tunnel vision and stopped hearing. When I first started dry heaving a little bit, Ill be honest, I did hear Lindor yelling: Get it out! I was able to go more once it started coming. Its not that I really was vomiting. The dry air and mucous just got together a little bit and came out.

The position players didnt realize their break of 10 seconds was going to be shorter than the pitchers 13, and thus the record of 69 set earlier in the week by minor league pitcher Dylan Baker would be difficult to beat. So goes the Beep Drill. It is unrelenting, a test of speed and endurance for the players, knowledge and acumen for the coaches and executives.

A row of them stood behind the line of players. Manager Terry Francona, team president Chris Antonetti, GM Mike Chernoff, nearly all the coaches each drafted a player. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway had picked Baker a few days earlier. This time through, Antonetti got the first pick. He couldve gone with Lindor, the champion two years ago and runner-up last season. Instead, he chose Greg Allen.

This was a popular pick. Earlier, as bench coach Brad Mills strolled by the pitchers, he asked: Who you got? Answered pitcher Mike Clevinger without a beat: Mr. Greg Allen.

Allen is a 23-year-old with only 37 games of Double-A to his name, but he ascended the Indians prospect ladder last season with a deft control of the plate, keen base-stealing instinct and a legitimate major league-caliber center field glove. In July, he almost wasnt an Indian anymore, as Cleveland agreed to deal him to acquire catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He rejected the trade, Allen stayed, and here he was, the player to beat.

G.A., you got this? asked Steve Karsay, the Indians Triple-A pitching coach.

Well see, Allen said.

The Beep Drill is viewed as a team-building exercise for the Cleveland Indians. (AP Images)

On a field backdropped by an airplane graveyard, the players lined up and awaited instructions from the speaker. In a kind, computerized female British voice, it said, Get ready. Three, two, one, run, followed by a beep. When the players came back about nine seconds later, there was another beep, followed by a suggestion from the masochistic lady: Stop and rest.

Then another beep.

The noise, one onlooker said, just gives me nightmares.

The players, too. Lindor, in arguably the best shape of any player on the team, dropped out after 12. I got tired, he said. I havent been feeling 100 percent. Jose Ramirez, the Indians other left-side infielder, tapped out a few laps later. Edwin Encarnacion, their $60 million free-agent signing, cried uncle after 18.

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The pitchers were chuckling, none quite as loud as Jason Kipnis or Lonnie Chisenhall had during the first race. They were into it, though, trying to handicap who was left and who would be there at the end. Francona walked down the line to Erik Gonzalez, an infielder whom hed chosen with a late pick as a darkhorse.

You all right? Francona said.

He nodded, preferring to conserve his breath for the next run.

At the 20th lap, only 10 players remained. By the 28th, it was five: Allen, Gonzalez, top prospect Brad Zimmer, infielder Giovanny Urshela and Eric Stamets, a minor league shortstop. Zimmer and Stamets dropped out at 32, Urshela at 34. Allen showed no signs of slowing down as Gonzalez bent over after each subsequent lap.

On the 37th lap, Gonzalez finished late and got a warning. He did the same on the next. Greg Allen was the 2017 Beep Drill champion with 38 laps.

I didnt want to disappoint, he said. I know the staff and the guys like to have a good time with it and place their bets. That part of it makes it a little more fun.

He high-fived Antonetti and everyone else he passed going off the field. He soaked in the notoriety of winning camp for a day. It wont matter any until the Beep Drill next year, but thats not the point.

Its a good team-building day, Francona said.

And in baseball, where the players show up in February and, best case, arent separated until November, they cherish that sort of thing. Maybe the Beep Drill helps fortify bonds or strengthen friendships or start new ones. Or maybe it doesnt do a damn thing. Thats the confusing part of trying to adjudicate cohesion. Nobody really knows whats going to be a good clubhouse or isnt.

What the Indians do as well as any team, though, is implement an overarching philosophy that goes top to bottom and side to side, from the team president down to the lowest level of the minor leagues and fanned out to players at all levels. They listen, they learn, they iterate, they implement, they grow. One thing theyve learned is that for all the misery of the Beep Drill, the players, competitors as well as trash talkers, like it as much as those who dont have to endure it.

So theyll run it again next year, hopefully on a day more pleasant than the grim, overcast 60s of Saturday, and theyll sweat and sprint and bet and taunt and, yeah, probably barf. And if all goes well, if that chemistry experiment turns out to be covalent after all, theyll bond.

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Meet the sweaty, gambling, barfing, bonding Indians race known as the Beep Drill – Yahoo Sports

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‘Colliery to start producing coke in April’ – Chronicle

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:48 am

Minister Walter Chidhakwa

Leonard Ncube in Hwange THE MINISTER of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa has said Hwange Colliery Company will start mining coke in April to facilitate exports to save the company that is reeling under debts amounting to $350 million.

He said this yesterday at a meeting that was convened at the companys offices after the Zanu-PF Youth League raised concerns to Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda.

Also present at the meeting were Hwange Senator Cde Thokozile Mathuthu who is also the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, local traditional leaders, Chiefs Shana, Whange, Dingane-Nelukoba, Nekatambe and Acting Chief Mvuthu. Zanu-PF provincial members were also present.

Minister Chidhakwa said the Government would not allow HCCL to collapse because it is a strategic company.

Government position is very clear. This company is strategic to the survival of this country. Its strategic because power becomes a matter of national security which is why minerals are specified in the Minerals Act. Underground mining failed because the continuous miner machine broke down and $1 million is needed towards that. We hope to start producing coking coal in April and May, he said.

In his presentation, HCCL managing director Engineer Thomas Makore said the company will in April resuscitate underground mining and also start paying workers and creditors.

Eng Makore said the future of the company depends on it going back to underground coal mining to get the best coke for export, which fetches more money than thermal coal which it is producing.

We are deep in $350 million debt dating back to the $Zim era. We had three options which included closing the company and give in to creditors, go into judicial management and we opted for the third option of coming up with a scheme of arrangement which allows us to outline how we are going to pay creditors, said Eng Makore.

He said the arrangement with creditors needed approval from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

HCCL which employs more than 2 000 workers, produces 55 000 tonnes of coal per month, down from about 200 000 tonnes when the company was operating at full capacity.

The $350 million is due today and all creditors want their money today. We got $111,5 million Treasury Bills which are in the form of a loan and we will convert them into cash in the bank then pay creditors part of the debt over a period of seven to 10 years and employees over three years, he said.

HCCL success was premised on underground mining but we are still doing open cast mining hence we cant get high grade coke. This plan has been presented to the board and shareholder and we want to exercise our right to our 25 percent shareholder to take over assets so we can produce coke and sell to other countries. We are going to implement the plan next month and we expect a yes vote from creditors today. A no vote means the company goes into judicial management and closes and thats bad for everyone.

Eng Makore said last December, the company started paying its workers who had endured 36 months without pay starting with lower grades who got $200 each while those earning $400 and above will be getting 50 percent of their outstanding salaries.

Eng Makore said the company was geared to implementing measures to reduce costs.

Adv Mudenda challenged Government to link with other strategic partners saying failure of Hwange Colliery affects socio-economic life in Hwange.

Cde Mathuthu implored Government to buy out the other shareholders who she said were not showing concern about the demise of HCCL.

– @ncubeleon.

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Byron York: 25th Amendment chatter: Dems, pundits mull ways to … – Washington Examiner

Posted: at 3:56 am

As President Trump finishes his fourth week in the White House, a number of opposition lawmakers, political commentators, and self-styled members of The Resistance are discussing ways in which the president might be quickly removed from office.

Some have talked about impeachment for quite a while, even before the Trump inauguration. But that could take a long time, and it would require Trump to commit, and then be charged with and convicted of, “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” to meet the Constitution’s standard for removing the president from office.

That’s too long term, say some. So now, there is increasing discussion of the 25th Amendment. The 1967 amendment, which has its roots in the Kennedy assassination, covers ways to replace an incapacitated president. Up until now, its most-discussed provision was a measure by which the president could inform the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate that he, the president, can no longer perform the duties of office, whereupon those two officials would declare the vice president the acting president, until such time as the president informed them that he was again able to perform his duties. The amendment has been used or considered for cases in which the president underwent surgery or was under anesthesia.

Now, however, The Resistance is looking at Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and a majority of cabinet officers, or the vice president and a majority “of such other body as Congress may by law provide,” to declare the president unable to serve, making the vice president the acting president. If there is a disagreement say, the president believes he is able to serve and the vice president and a majority of the cabinet or the other body don’t then Congress decides who will be president. Here is the text of that portion of the amendment:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Now, lawmakers are talking about the amendment. Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the House Intelligence Committee who on Thursday evening told the BBC that the Trump-Russia affair is “as big as Watergate, if not bigger,” said on Friday that the 25th Amendment might be triggered if Trump doesn’t “act presidential.”

“The 25th Amendment is there to provide a backstop if in fact the president becomes incapacitated,” Speier told CNN Friday afternoon.

“Do you believe he is incapacitated?” asked anchor Brianna Keilar.

“Well, I think that we have got to be very careful,” Speier said. “He needs to start acting presidential. He needs to start recognizing that as president you don’t go around and shoot down the media, as if it’s some kind of a game you’re playing. You don’t take on people saying nasty things about them. You don’t take foreign leaders and hang up the phone with them or besmirch them, as he has with some of the European leaders. I mean, he has got to get a grip. And so the 25th Amendment is there if a president becomes incapacitated.

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Speier went on to describe the situation after Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke and Wilson’s wife Edith served as something of a de facto president. “I don’t think that Melania Trump is in a position to do that,” Speier said an odd remark, given that she was discussing the 25th Amendment’s structure of presidential succession.

“You are very serious about this?” asked Keilar.

“I’m serious about conveying to the president that he’s got to get serious,” Speier answered. “That we have efforts underway around the globe attempting to exploit our dysfunction right now. He’s got to act presidential.”

Speier is in no way the only person buzzing about the 25th Amendment in these first weeks of the Trump administration.

On Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced he is forming “a working group to clarify and strengthen the 25th Amendment.” “Like many people, I’ve noticed a renewed interest in the 25th Amendment as we’ve seen erratic behavior out of the White House,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “As I examined the amendment, it became clear that in the case of mental or emotional incapacity, there is a glaring flaw.”

Also from the Washington Examiner

Congressional rules mean simply cutting taxes is not the fallback solution that it might seem to be.

02/18/17 1:20 AM

That “glaring flaw,” Blumenauer explained, is this: What if the president just fires those cabinet officers who believe he is no longer fit to serve? What then? Blumenauer wants to clarify how the “such other body” passage in the amendment would work. And with Donald Trump in office, he wants to start now.

A growing number of pundits seem to agree. In a February 10 column, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker noted that it would take two years, until the election of a Democratic Congress, before Trump could be impeached and removed. But “with luck,” she wrote, “there’s chance we won’t have to wait two long years,” because the drafters of the 25th Amendment anticipated “circumstances warranting a speedier presidential replacement.”

“Aren’t we there yet?” asked Parker.

Post blogger Jennifer Rubin has mentioned the 25th Amendment repeatedly, noting on Feb. 15 that Trump has “rais[ed] questions about his own mental stability and the potential for his removal from office (by impeachment, resignation or the 25th Amendment.)”

The day before, Rubin wrote that, “If [Trump] does not drastically and immediately alter his conduct and approach to the job, lighthearted banter about impeachment or activation of the 25th Amendment will become markedly more serious.”

On Feb. 6, Rubin wrote, in a column on what is up and what is down in Trump’s Washington: “UP: Americans who now know what is in the 25th Amendment.” And on January 25 just five days into Trump’s presidency Rubin wrote, generously, that “We are not calling yet for invocation of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.”

On Feb. 9, Time magazine just happened to publish a piece headlined “The 25th Amendment at 50 and What Happens if the President Can’t Do His Job,” noting that “the amendment has become newly newsworthy in recent weeks.”

On Jan. 31, the New York Times’ David Brooks approvingly quoted Johns Hopkins professor and former George W. Bush State Department official Eliot Cohen, who wrote on January 29 that, “It will not be surprising in the slightest if [Trump’s] term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment.”

In Cohen’s article, in The Atlantic, he wrote that Trump’s presidency “will probably end in calamity,” with the possibility of an end hastened by the 25th Amendment. “The sooner Americans get used to these likelihoods, the better,” Cohen wrote.

Most of the 25th Amendment talk began at least a few days after Trump’s inauguration. But David Frum, the former George W. Bush speechwriter, brought up the subject on Nov. 16 eight days after the election. In a tweet that morning, Frum wrote: “Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Article 4. We’re all going to be talking a lot more about it in the months ahead.”

Indeed, months later, on Jan. 23, when Trump, during a get-together with congressional leaders, reportedly briefly mentioned his belief that millions of people voted illegally in the election, Frum tweeted: “Pro tip: when meeting w the people who have the power to remove you under the 25th amendment, try not to say anything glaringly insane.”

And now Democratic members of Congress are forming a group to “clarify and strengthen” the 25th Amendment. What Blumenauer and other may have in mind is to use the “such other body as Congress may by law provide” passage to create a new way to oust the president.

If the cabinet is the group required to go along with the vice president and decide that the president cannot perform his duties well, every one of those cabinet heads was appointed by the president. They might be loyal to the man who gave them their jobs, and therefore choose to keep him in office.

Blumenauer anticipated that problem in his statement announcing the working group. “The amendment allows Congress to select some ‘other body’ other than the cabinet to determine whether the president is capable of discharging the duties required, and remove him or her if necessary,” the statement said. “Yet, this body is undefined, and there is no guidance for how it should operate. After examining the issue, Blumenauer believes living former presidents and vice presidents could constitute the body.”

So what if Trump’s fate depended on a majority vote of a group composed of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle and Jimmy Carter? Blumenauer and The Resistance would probably like their chances.

Some Trump supporters will undoubtedly dismiss this as crazy talk. But the one thing The Resistance has shown is that, even though it was consistently wrong about Trump’s chances in the election, it is more determined than ever to prevail over him eventually. And the 25th Amendment does give Congress the power to designate an “other body” to decide, which means the Constitution would not have to be amended to make such a change.

Yes, there are hurdles after hurdles in such an effort. The vice president would have to be on board. Congress would have to pass an “other body” measure by a veto-proof majority. It seems impossible, and indeed it might be. But that won’t stop The Resistance from trying.

Top Story

Here are three Washington insiders who could refocus the Trump White House.

02/18/17 12:01 AM

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Freedom Of Speech – The Transylvania Times – The Transylvania Times

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 9:04 pm

As a young boy at age 10, I sold the Saturday Evening Post door-to-door in my neighborhood in Chicago. The Post back in the 1940s had the largest circulation of any magazine in the United States. I dare say there are few, if any millennials, and perhaps even baby boomers, who have ever heard of the Saturday Evening Post, much less read it.

The Post, among other things, was famous for its covers of paintings of Norman Rockwell, arguably the most famous contemporary artist of that era. Rockwell became renowned for his paintings of what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his 1941 State of the Union address, called the four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Rockwells paintings of the four freedoms were published in four consecutive issues of the Post. The nations response was so emotional and so overwhelming that the government used them to sell more than $132 million of war bonds in the forties.

I would like to take a moment to single out Rockwells freedom of speech painting as it relates to what is occurring on college campuses across the country today. The painting depicts a man in work clothes who stood up at a town hall meeting to have his say. Other citizens of the town, men in coats and ties, are in the seats around him. They are looking at him and are patiently and respectfully hearing him out. Such a simple concept. Giving the speaker, even though they may disagree, their full and polite attention. Contrast that with today when our young people who are supposed to be our brightest and best are shouting down speakers and in some extreme instances, even starting riots. I am saddened that our young folks of today are not adhering to the message contained in Norman Rockwells depiction of freedom of speech. Civility should not be a lost art. It is time we, as a people, need to push back and give respect a chance.

Bob Youngerman

Brevard

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Iowa State violated First Amendment by barring pro-marijuana student group from printing T-shirts with ISU logo … – Washington Post

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

From todays 8th Circuit decision in Gerlich v. Leath:

Iowa State University (ISU) grants student organizations permission to use its trademarks if certain conditions are met. The ISU student chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML ISU) had several of its trademark licensing requests denied because its designs included a cannabis leaf.

ISU [has] approximately 800 officially recognized student organizations. Student groups often create merchandise that contains the groups name and ISU insignia to generate awareness about the groups cause or attract members. Student groups may use ISUs trademarks on merchandise if ISUs Trademark Licensing Office (Trademark Office) determines that the use complies with ISUs Guidelines for University Trademark Use by Student and Campus Organizations (Trademark Guidelines). ISUs trademarks include word marks like ISU and Iowa State, as well as logos, such as the schools mascot (Cy the Cardinal).

NORML ISU at first got permission from the Trademark Office to use a T-shirt that had NORML ISU on the front with the O represented by Cy the Cardinal, with Freedom is NORML at ISU and a cannabis leaf depicted on the back. But after a Des Moines Register article mentioned the T-shirt, a state legislator and someone at the Governors Office of Drug Control Policy heard about this and objected, and the University barred NORML ISU from printing further T-shirts with the design. After that, the Universitys Trademark Guidelines were changed to ban designs that suggest promotion of the below listed items dangerous, illegal or unhealthy products, actions or behaviors; [or] drugs and drug paraphernalia that are illegal or unhealthful.

The 8th Circuit held that the universitys rejection of NORML ISUs designs was unconstitutional:

If a state university creates a limited public forum for speech, it may not discriminate against speech on the basis of its viewpoint. [Rosenberger v. Rector (1995).] A university establish[es] limited public forums by opening property limited to use by certain groups or dedicated solely to the discussion of certain subjects. A universitys student activity fund is an example of a limited public forum. ISU created a limited public forum when it made its trademarks available for student organizations to use if they abided by certain conditions.

The defendants rejection of NORML ISUs designs discriminated against that group on the basis of the groups viewpoint. The state engages in viewpoint discrimination when the rationale for its regulation of speech is the specific motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker. The defendants discriminatory motive is evidenced by the unique scrutiny defendants imposed on NORML ISU after the [controversy arose].

Defendants argue that the political pushback that they received regarding T- Shirt Design #1 did not play a role in their decision making. This argument ignores significant evidence to the contrary. For example, [ISU President Steven] Leath testified that anytime someone from the governors staff calls complaining, yeah, Im going to pay attention, absolutely. Leath also testified that the reason the Trademark Policy was on the presidents cabinet meeting agenda which took place five days after the Des Moines Register article was published was because we were getting pushback. Leath went on to testify that [i]f nobodyd ever said anything, we didnt know about it, it didnt appear in The Register, wed probably never raised the issue.

The record is also replete with statements from defendants regarding their political motives. Leath explained at his deposition that because T-Shirt Design #1 had some political public relations implications, someone should have run it up the chain because there are some issues that are clearly going to cause controversy and its better to manage them on the front end. He also testified that in a state as conservative as Iowa on many issues, it was going to be a problem. [Senior VP for Student Affairs Thomas] Hill stated in an interview with the Ames Tribune that the reason student groups associated with political parties could use ISUs logos, but groups like NORML ISU may not, is because [w]e encourage students to be involved in their duties as a citizen. Such a statement implies that Hill believed that the members of NORML ISU were not undertaking their duties as citizens by advocating for a change in the law.

[ISU Trademark Office Director Leesha] Zimmerman stated in an email to NORML ISUs faculty advisor in May 2013 that the groups design that included the statement Legalize Marijuana was rejected because Legalize Marijuana is a call to action but it does not suggest any specific way your organization is making that happen. Zimmerman went on to say that the groups design applications appear to have a certain shock or attention grabbing sensationalism. Zimmerman further stated that her interpretation is that these do not further your cause as an advocate for change in the laws or trying to change the publics perception of marijuana. There is no evidence in the record of Zimmerman offering advocacy advice to any other student group.

The university also argued that, even if it did engage in viewpoint discrimination, this was permissible because the administration of the trademark licensing regime should be considered government speech. But the court disagreed:

When the government speaks, it is not barred by the Free Speech Clause from determining the content of what it says. Walker v. Tex. Div., Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. (2015).

The government speech doctrine does not apply if a government entity has created a limited public forum for speech. As noted above, ISU created a limited public forum when it made its trademarks available for student organizations to use if they abided by certain conditions. The administration of its trademark licensing regime therefore did not constitute government speech.

Even if the trademark licensing regime here did not amount to a limited public forum, however, the government speech doctrine still does not apply on this record. The Walker decision considered three factors when determining whether certain speech is government speech. First, it determined whether the government has long used the particular medium at issue to speak. Second, it analyzed whether the medium is often closely identified in the public mind with the state. Third, it determined whether the state maintains direct control over the messages conveyed through the medium.

The first two factors do not apply to the speech at issue in this case. ISU allows approximately 800 student organizations to use its trademarks. Defendants repeatedly stated in their testimony and other record evidence that the university did not intend to communicate any message to the public by licensing ISU trademarks to student groups. Indeed, the university licenses its trademarks to groups that have opposite viewpoints from one another like the Iowa State Democrats and the ISU College Republicans. Even if ISUs trademark licensing regime were to satisfy the final factor, the factors taken together would not support the conclusion that the speech at issue in this case is government speech because ISU does not use its trademark licensing regime to speak to the public.

My students Ian Daily, Eric Sefton and Sydney Sherman and I filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Student Press Law Center arguing in favor of this result.

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What does free speech on campus mean? – Roanoke Times

Posted: February 13, 2017 at 9:04 am

What does free speech on campus mean?

A few generations and culture wars ago, provocateurs speaking out on college campuses were labeled outside agitators. Now they might be called invited guests.

A day after riots erupted at Berkeley over a talk planned by an inflammatory Breitbart editor, a bill protecting free speech at public colleges quietly made it through the House of Delegates.

Its just a restatement of the First Amendment, said Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, who sponsored the legislation with 19 co-patrons.

How can anybody be against free speech and promoting free speech? he said. Especially on campuses.

Its not that straightforward, say others who see the bill as unnecessary, if not problematic, and a reflection of a larger, polarizing debate over academic freedom.

Last week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, released a survey of bias response teams nationally and on seven Virginia campuses that the group says encourage students to anonymously report on other students or faculty members if they perceive someones speech to be biased.

Theres a moral panic in America that free speech is under assault at universities, but its absolutely not true, said Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of modern media studies at the University of Virginia.

Landes legislation, now in a Senate committee, is a single sentence that belies the complexity around it.

The bill would prohibit public institutions of higher education from abridging the freedom of any individual, including enrolled students, faculty and other employees, and invited guests, to speak on campus, except as otherwise permitted by the First Amendment.

He said he decided the legislation was necessary after finding inconsistencies in policies at Virginia schools.

But he also said schools should not rescind an invitation to a speaker with unpopular opinions because of protests. Thats not promoting free speech, he said.

Virginia Tech was caught in such a controversy last spring. Jason Riley, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said he was disinvited from speaking because he is a black conservative, resulting in an apology and a new invitation from the university.

That followed a backlash over an appearance by Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve whose writings on race and intelligence drew protests.

The decision by the University of California, Berkeley, to cancel an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor known for his vile insults, drew a threat from President Donald Trump.

If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view NO FEDERAL FUNDS? Trump tweeted.

Berkeley blamed the violence on 150 masked agitators who infiltrated student protesters on the campus, which gave rise to the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s. The complaint then was that outside agitators were stoking unrest.

Yiannopoulos, whose racist tweets got him banned from Twitter, had been invited by the Berkeley College Republicans.

Landes said schools have the discretion to not invite a speaker who might incite violence.

They need to do the legwork beforehand, he said.

The First Amendment allows for such exceptions, he said. But free speech is free speech, and its protected. Any viewpoint should be heard on campus.

Vaidhyanathan has a different perspective.

Universities are not park benches or street corners, he said. They are not places where anything goes.

Universities have long been committed to allowing informed, respectful, dispassionate deliberation, he said. But they are also workplaces with thousands of employees who deserve to work in a respectful environment free from harassment.

He said he can see absurd consequences of the legislation an invited guest, for example, politicking from a faculty office, something thats now prohibited.

Universities have no obligation to sponsor crackpot expressions, he said. We have no obligation to sponsor every poet who wants to issue a verbal haiku and no responsibility to sponsor every or any climate change denier.

Marcus Messner, social media professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, sees the legislation as overregulation.

What happened at Berkeley was an exception, he said. The event was canceled because of security not because the administration didnt like the speaker.

Anyone who thinks First Amendment rights are being abridged, he said, should come to the Compass in front of VCUs library, where we have a broad variety of free speech on campus every single day.

In this country theres not a European-style regulation of hate speech, he said. In the U.S. that is a nonstarter discussion.

FIRE, however, said it found 232 Bias Response Teams nationally and called them illiberal, and antithetical to a campus open to the free exchange of ideas.

VCU and UVa were among the universities criticized by FIRE, as were Tech, George Mason, Mary Washington, the University of Richmond and Longwood University, which was singled out for special scrutiny for including the threat of education sanctions in its policy.

The FIRE report is extremely misleading, Longwood spokesman Matthew McWilliams said.

Longwood has a protocol to identify when bias might be a factor in behaviors such as harassment that may violate the law or conduct code, but we do not under any circumstances punish students simply for their beliefs or opinions.

No bias issues have been reported, he said.

Charles Klink, VCUs vice provost for student affairs, said the response team, established in 2015, has responded to about 10 cases. He declined to give details about the cases.

The team was created to respond in a thoughtful and supportive manner to students impacted by bias-motivated behaviors that cause harm and constitute threat and harassment, he said by email.

But, he said, it also provides a mechanism to assist students in understanding the distinction between protected speech and behavior that harms or speech that constitutes harassment or threat.

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Rampell: Censorship will backfire – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Posted: at 8:45 am

By Catherine Rampell, Washington Post Writers Group

What’s the best way to make sure a message gets heard? Try to muzzle it.

Both liberals and conservatives are newly rediscovering the political power of this phenomenon, known as the Streisand Effect.

The term refers to what happens when an attempt to censor information backfires and instead unintentionally draws more attention to the censorship target. Its namesake is Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 sued a photographer for including a photograph of her Malibu home among a series of 12,000 aerial images documenting California coastal erosion. Thanks to the lawsuit, which was unsuccessful, this previously little-seen photo soon received enormous publicity and hundreds of thousands of views.

Plenty of other celebrities, companies and government agencies have come to rue the times they inadvertently publicized things they were trying to smother. Meanwhile, provocateurs and activists have learned how to weaponize the Streisand Effect, using censorship attempts to amplify their own voices.

After all, suppression of speech not only generates more public interest, as bystanders scramble to learn what all the fuss is about; it can also win the speaker sympathy and the moral high ground.

So far this month, there have been two major and, in different ways, instructive examples of political speech being amplified by censorship.

On Tuesday, during Senate debate over the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as attorney general, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., began reading a 1986 letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King. King had opposed Sessions’ nomination to a federal judgeship on grounds that he had used his position as a federal prosecutor to suppress black votes.

As she read King’s letter, Warren was stopped, scolded and formally silenced by Republican senators. The reason? She had apparently violated Senate Rule 19, which bars the impugning of motives and conduct of a colleague.

These senatorial snowflakes, it seems, were more interested in silencing speech they disliked than rebutting it.

Never mind that Rule 19 is rarely invoked, or that it seems particularly wrongheaded to shut down criticism of a senator when the subject of debate is precisely that senator’s character, conduct and suitability for another office. Whatever Republicans thought they were achieving, the primary consequences were to energize the left and make King’s once-obscure letter go viral.

Warren has not indicated that she was trying to goad her colleagues into silencing her. But she could have hardly conceived of a better way to magnify her message, or her own stature.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, in phrasing that seems perfectly scripted for a 2020 presidential campaign ad.

A week earlier, on the opposite coast, a completely different kind of character from the other side of the political spectrum appeared to leverage the Streisand Effect for less noble purposes.

Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart writer and sleazy professional troll, has built a career out of stoking Pavlovian outrage and censorship attempts from the left in order to build his audience on the right. He has mocked Jews, Muslims, African Americans, feminists, people who are overweight and the LGBT community (though he himself is gay), among others.

Clearly, the goal is to bait his intellectual opponents (not all of whom are liberal, mind you) into trying to forcibly silence him.

Sometimes you’re not trying to score. Sometimes you’re just trying to draw a foul.

Sure enough, Yiannopoulos’ opponents happily oblige, with heckles, threats and sometimes even violence such as the riots that erupted at the University of California at Berkeley this month, which led to the cancellation of his talk and his evacuation from campus.

The riots didn’t silence Yiannopoulos, however; instead, the resulting coverage megaphoned his ugly message to a much broader audience and will help him sell more books, schedule more lucrative speaking gigs and receive more sympathetic tweets from our sitting president. (President Trump, under the guidance of former Breitbart publisher Stephen K. Bannon, has also proved especially adept at alchemizing liberal indignation into self-aggrandizing news coverage.)

There are many compelling arguments for why protecting free speech, including speech you disagree with or even abhor, is important. It’s enshrined in our Constitution; it is among the sacred liberal values we promote throughout the world; free and open dialogue helps advance scientific inquiry; and so on.

But one underappreciated argument is self-interest. Forcibly silencing and thereby martyring your opponents rather than employing counter-speech to expose them as wrong or, better yet, ridiculous may be exactly what they want you to do.

Washington Post Writers Group

Email: crampell@washpost.com. Twitter: @crampell

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Turkey’s HDP Women’s Assembly issues feminist call-to-arms against ‘one man rule’ – Left Foot Forward

Posted: February 10, 2017 at 3:52 am

Left party launches ‘NO’ campaign for Erdogan’s referendum

Photo: HDP Womens Assembly

Turkeys Peoples Democratic Party, or HDP, Womens Assembly launched its No campaign for the upcoming referendum on Turkeys constitution, with an event in Ankara on February 5. The proposed changes would award President Erdogan more executive powers.

Here is the full text of the HDP Womens Assemblys declaration: (Emphasis has been added in bold for ease of scanning)

Dear Women;

We have struggled for our freedom against dominance based on singularity throughout history.

We have opposed the domination of one gender over the other; the dominance of one person over the entire family; the rule of kings, emperors and sultans over the peoples; the oppression of one nation over others; capitalists domination over labor and nature, and the oppression of a single belief system over other belief systems.

We have struggled hand in hand against all oppressive forms of government in cities, in the countryside, at work, at home, on the street, at the resistance and intifada zones.

While the Turkish Penal Code and the Civil Code were enacted during 2000s, we have made sure that changes empowering women were included. We, tens of thousands of women, have raised our voices/risen up against abortion law, femicide, remissions to sentences and the and the rape-law.

We have pushed back the sexist pressures and achieved great gains. On the International Womens Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with our female comrades all over the world, we have been out on streets to realize freedom, equality. We have raised the womens rebellion to establish cohabitation.

As women from HDP; we have been the subjects of the fight for freedom and equality through historical experience, and the tradition of womens liberation struggle.

We struggled to build the New Life with the help of transforming power of women. We put womens will and management style into practice in all areas of life by co-chairing and equally acting in all institutions, specifically within political parties and local governments.

We have not only pushed the AKP government back in June 7 elections, but also entered the parliament with 26 women MPs and established the first Female Deputies Group. We stood by the women of Rojava, [northern Syria] who have been struggling against ISIS selling women in slave markets, building female revolution step by step.

Consequently, the AKP government first attacked women, trying to destroy womens achievements. Women who resisted were slain, their bodies exposed, detained, arrested.

Our Co-chair Figen Yksekda, the Speaker of the Womens Assembly Besime Konca and female MPs, DBP Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, KJA spokeswoman Ayla Akat Ata, Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality Co-chair Gltan Kanak, municipal co-chairs, municipal councilors, party executives and members were taken hostage through arrests.

Our elected local governments, representatives of the will of the people, were usurped by appointed trustees. The first thing these trustees did was to stop municipal practices pertaining to women.

Women Centers and Violence Relief Lines were shut down, womens directorates were abolished, and femaleemployees were fired.

With statutory decrees issued during the state of emergency period, many female employees were fired; womens associations, womens cooperatives and news agencies were shut down. Attacks purging women from political life, working life, media, and social life have accelerated.

The AKP/palace ruling dictates how we should live each and every moment. They continuously talk and talk about how we should speak, how we should laugh and work, whether we should wear headscarves, how many children we should have.

In the environment of violence and hatred created by the war and militarist policies of the current government, we do not feel safe as women on the streets, buses, or on the metro trains, even in our homes and workplaces, for those who attack women can comfortably wander around.

Impunity leads to new violence practices every day. Femicides do not stop; everyday a woman is murdered by men.

Bombs fall on our lives; our daughters and sons have been losing their lives due to wars raged in the country and abroad. War and death are the only pledges of the government, while we, women, pledge to live and let live.

That is why we say NO to the politics of war and death. Once again we declare that we will provide permanent and fair peace through our struggle for equality and freedom.

We are getting poorer due to the economic policies that ignore the people but favour the interests of business and a handful of government cohorts!

The economic crisis deepens everyday. Our bread is getting smaller, our food diminishes with the price hikes coming one after the other.Unemployment is on the rise; we, the women, are the first on the firing line.

For these reasons we say NO to business-focused and war-oriented economic policies. Together we are going to build a secure new life in which we share what we produce on the basis of equality, a life in which the rights of labor is respected, a life in which the nature and life is protected.

They want to hand over the authority to a single person, as if it was not enough that they undermined our democratic rights and freedoms by using their power in an unlimited way during their 14 years of government.

Under the name of constitutional amendment, they are trying to make the regime that gives all power to one person, permanent.

Process of negotiating the constitutional amendment in the parliament was initiated by arrests of our co-chairs and our deputies. Later, the methods amounted to violence during the parliamentary sessions gave the clues about the type of administration they aimed.

Under the attacks of racist and misogynist hostility, the speeches of the members of the parliament were restricted, votes were carried out by orders, female deputies were physically attacked and the proposal was passed through the Assembly by force.

Now a vote awaits us all that will predestine all our future, polarize the society, deepen the war, enlarge the poverty, and purge women from every aspect of life. They call this freak a Presidential System, which actually is a ONE MAN REGIME.

This monist and authoritarian regime they intend to bring aims to make the rule of state of emergency and statutory decrees permanent by sustaining fascism, oppression and exploitation, based on hostility against women.

Power that can not be controlled by any other power is absolute power. History has also shown that all absolute powers are dictatorships. There is no democracy where everything is monist. This change aims at engulfing our existing rights and abolishing them as well.

We know that the ONE MAN REGIME is even worse than junta legislation of September 12 1980 coup, and it is determined to institutionalize fascism.

However, they know us well, too. We, women, have not bowed to repression, and we will not. We are not giving up our achievements obtained through struggles. No matter how it is formulated, we as women have said NO to fascism hidden behind epaulettes or neckties, we will continue to say NO.

We know how the centralization of legislative, executive and judiciary powers under under a single person poses a threat against the non-hegemonic and masterless New Life we have been aiming to establish; making politics more male-dominated, reinforcing the sexist and nationalist structures and excluding women.

We will not allow this. We say NO to both the ONE and the MAN regime.

Women are the guarantee of pluralism, diversity, and different people living together in equality and respect. The ceaseless struggle of women for equality and freedom is at the same time the struggle of building A NEW LIFE. We will not allow ONE-MAN RULE to stand in the way of our hope, we say NO!

-Say NO to stop polarization, to stay friends with our neighbors -Say NO for the responsibility we owe to those burned in Cizre basements, and those who were killed in the middle of the street by stray bullets -Say NO for Taybet Ana -Say NO to put a stop to rape and violence -Say NO to put a stop to violence against women -Say NO to the darkness of ISIS and its backward repressions being made law. -Say NO to provide freedom of religious beliefs -Say NO for our ways of life -Say NO for our labor, our body, and our identity -Say NO to the mentality of obey and be comfortable -Say NO to serving others slavishly -Say NO for equal representation, equal life -Say NO for a safe future against the exploitation of labor and workers deaths -Say NO for living together, for growing old together -Say NO for local democracy -Say NO for ecological life -Say NO for nature, for our cities, for our villages to not be plundered -Say NO for hope -Say NO for smiling children and a peaceful future -Say NO for peace, justice and freedom -Say NO for a democratic republic, a common homeland, a new life

Rally, women!

We are turning our faces to the sun we are going house to house, square to square and calling women to the colour of the earth; on behalf of life in all its colors, we say NO.

With the spirit of resistance of March 8 [International Womens Day] and the enthusiasm of [the Turkish Newroz festival], we are calling women to come together everywhere, in every language, hand in hand, to be the rainbow, to turn WINTER into SPRING.

Against all forms of hegemony; for the sake of equality, freedom, peace, hope and happiness, we are calling to build and organize in full force to say NO. This is our call Let us not forget that we succeeded on June 7 [see above]! We will succeed again. WELL DEFINITELY WIN

Peoples Democratic Party Womens Assembly February 5th, 2017

The Peoples Democracy Party (HDP) is a left-wing coalition in Turkey. Follow HDP on Twitter @HDPEnglish

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter@AdamBarnett13

See:Turkeys Left calls for democratic front against military coups and Erdogans iron fist

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