Every once in a while, we like to take a look at the events shaping our state and nation—mostly so we can be depressed and validate our fourth glass of wine in the evening.
This week, we have another attack on women’s rights, expanded rights for LGBTQIA+ people, the drone strike on al-Zawahiri, and Pelosi’s dance with danger.
Let’s Head Back to 1931
Earlier this week, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided we should go back to the 1930s to enforce a law banning all abortions except those done to protect the life of a pregnant person. Good times.
A law made 91 years ago is what we are going to set as a precedent to dictate women’s health care in 2022. And people wonder why women are so goddamn mad.
Let’s take a look at what happened in the 1930s, shall we?
- The Great Depression—over 5 million were unemployed.
- The Nazi party became the second largest political party in Germany, overtaking the Communists.
- The Nazis revoked German citizenship for all Jews.
- Segregation was the norm. It wasn’t outlawed until 1954.
- The civil service, the education sector, and nursing all operated a “marriage bar,” which meant women had to resign when they married.
The good news is there is an ongoing drive to change the state Constitution through a ballot proposal so that it expressly includes the right to an abortion.
The ballot proposal organizers filed more than 750,000 signatures, far exceeding the required amount. Get ready to vote like your life depends on it, cause it does.
The Rights You Should’ve Had All Along
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination for housing and in the workplace based on religion, race, marital status, and other civil liberties—and now also sexual orientation.
To this, we say, “About damn time.”
We’ve been advocating for this a very, very long time. In fact, Kim, along with Chris Andrus, founded Small Biz for Equality (several years back) to highlight why it was just good business to expand the Civil Rights Act to explicitly protect individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Needless to say, it fell on deaf ears, but times, they be a’changin. We’re happy to see it.
Now, if we could just get our government to keep their laws out of our uteruses, we’d all be better for it.
A Major Win Against al Qaeda
On July 31st, the US executed a drone strike that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the then-leader of al Qaeda. He took over after Osama Bin Laden in 2011 and was taking refuge in Afghanistan at the time of his death.
The drone strike took months to prepare, and it went off without harming anyone other than Zawahiri. He was killed on his balcony in Kabul, but the operation didn’t harm his family, who were inside the house.
Biden’s been working on this for a long time, which shouldn’t be a surprise, given how the US government feels about al Qaeda. Still, the strike has spurred a bunch of conversations around the world.
For one, the Taliban made it clear they weren’t going to allow terrorists in Afghanistan…but it’s a little wild to imagine they had no idea the leader of actual al Qaeda was hanging out in the largest city in the nation. Needless to say, the Taliban condemns the attack and says it’s in violation of the Doha Agreement. Did we mention that’s the same compromise that said they wouldn’t allow terrorists in? Yeah.
Anyway, for once, both Democrats and Republicans are celebrating the strike. Canada and Saudi Arabia have also been quick to express their support. Nothing brings us together like a common enemy, huh?
Dancing with Danger
Nancy Pelosi (who, if you’ve been under a rock, is the Speaker of the House) set off on a trip this week to tour parts of Asia. Stops along the way include Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and another contentious stop along the way.
What’s that little side excursion? Taiwan, of all things. Quick recap if you’ve forgotten: Taiwan is a sovereign country that’s only recognized by a few nations. The US is one of them. What’s more, Washington has an agreement to provide means for Taiwan’s self-defense. But, to make things worse, China thinks of Taiwan as an extension of its territory—kind of like how Russia views Ukraine. So Pelosi’s stop in Taiwan, essentially means she’s underscoring the fact that the US is around to help if they need it.
China has downright threatened Pelosi and the US for her actions. The Chinese ambassador to the UN warned the military wouldn’t “sit by idly” during the visit and it would have an “egregious political impact.” China also said the US was “playing with fire” by letting her visit.
Despite how many panicked phone calls Biden makes to China to explain Pelosi’s decisions are her own and don’t illustrate how the US sees China, it seems pretty clear Pelosi’s excursion will have a huge impact on all three nations in question.
So what happens next? We’ll all have to wait and find out.
There you have it, readers: this week in a nutshell. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time!