Category: politics


I don’t think I know any woman who doesn’t have at least one story of a guy trying to force himself on her.

It’s sad, isn’t it?

I thought about posting my own personal experiences many times over the past year or so, as I watched the #metoo movement gain steam. I didn’t.  I simply couldn’t bring myself to write it all down. I’ve moved on with my life and these events are a part of my past, and I’m pretty happy with my present, and looking forward to a happy future. I simply didn’t want to rehash, what to me, is ancient history.

But something about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s account of what happened to her at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh back when they were in High School really struck a chord in me. And so, I’ve decided to talk about some of my experiences.

My first story takes place at McDonalds, at the Staten Island Mall, where I briefly worked while trying to save up some money for a trip I was taking to New Orleans to visit, my, at the time, boyfriend.

I was a senior in HS.

A friend of mine from school was some kind of supervisor, or Jr. Manager. While I often hung out with him in group settings, I never gave him any indication that I might be interested in him. And because I know the most important question is usually “what were you wearing?” – I was wearing a McDonald’s uniform. Very alluring outfit, I know.

In any case, one night, as I was taking out the garbage after closing, he followed me out to the bin area behind the store. We chatted for a minute. The next thing I knew, he was pinning me up against a wall and his tongue was down my throat, his hands felt like they were everywhere.

I tried to shove him off. I said “no.”

Finally, I bit his tongue.

Needless to say, he was pretty angry. He told me he was going to make sure I never got any shifts again.

I ran out of there shaking. I clocked out, went home, and tried to figure out how I was going to explain losing my job to my mom.
Luckily, a few days later, I ended up with the chicken pox.

No one to this day, other than, my best friend, who picked me up from work at night, and to whom I told the entire story, in spurts, my heart in my throat, more afraid of losing my job than of what that guy did, knows the real reason I quit.

The next incident happened later the same year.

It was late spring, about a month before graduation. I had nothing to do for two hours while I waited for my sister to get out of school, so agreed to go and hang out with some friends at another friend’s house.

I knew the guy. We’d hung out many times before.

When we got to his house, no one else was there. I asked him where everyone else was and he told me they were on their way. He gave me some soda and grabbed some Mac and Cheese, offering some to me. I declined.

We were sitting on the floor with our backs up against the couch when he leaned in to kiss me. I won’t lie – I was surprised, and briefly, kissed him back.

He took this as an invitation and pinned me down on the floor and started to kiss and grope me, begging me to just let him ‘stick it in, just a little’.

That’s when I realized he’d unzipped his pants.

I remember kneeing him in his groin area and pushing him off of me.

I remember him calling me a ‘bitch.’

I remember frantically trying to find my school bag, which he put somewhere to the side.

I remember running to the door, apologizing to HIM and saying something about having to pick up my sister.

And I remember him, his anger subsiding his I ran out the door actually pleading, “but it’s only like 2, come on, I’m sorry. I thought you were cool with it. We don’t have to have sex, maybe you can just give me a hand job…”

Again, the only person I immediately told, was my best friend. She was shocked because she didn’t think he was that type of guy. We over-analyzed the entire thing. In the end, I totally blamed myself. I was ashamed. I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything I’d done to lead him on. But, I figured I went there alone with him – So it was on me, right?

The next incident happened between my sophomore and junior years of college.

I was drunk.

He was drunk.

He was the boyfriend of an old HS friend, with whom I’d lost touch.

I was out with some friends at a Staten Island bar we frequented one night when I bumped into him.

We chatted a bit and drank a lot.

Then, we went outside to smoke a cigarette.

I won’t go into detail about what happened next, because the details aren’t really necessary for anyone reading this to get the gist of what happened. Suffice it to say it wasn’t pretty, or fun, or ‘rough horseplay.’

I blamed myself for years.

Even though, I said ‘no’ a million times.

Even though at some point I considered just letting him do what he wanted to do just to get him to leave me alone.

The only thing that prevented me from being truly violated was the fact that I threw up.

He got grossed out. And I didn’t get raped.

It could have been worse.

Most women, particularly those in my generation and the generations before me, were taught that if a man violated you, you were somehow to blame.

If a guy tries to kiss you, well, you should be flattered.

If he tries to have sex with you and you deny him, then you are a prude or a tease.

And, if he penetrates you, well, you’re a slut who was asking for it and are only saying something now because you regret having spread your legs.

That’s what we were told. That’s why we never spoke up. Any discussion with a trusted friend would be in hushed tones, questioning what we ourselves did wrong to have this happen to us.

Did I encourage any of these guys?

Why was I there?
What was I wearing?
Was I flirting?
Am I remembering this the right way?

It took me a long time to realize, I didn’t do anything wrong. The only thing anyone can accuse me of is trying to live my life while female.

I imagine what would have happened if I’d gone to the manager at the McDonald’s back in 1989 and told him what had happened. The culture back then wasn’t one where women could speak up. Anita Hill hadn’t yet had her hearing. No one that I knew had even heard the term “sexual harassment.”

I imagine what would have happened if I’d told anyone other than my best friend about that second guy (I don’t believe I told anyone). Who would believe me? What would they say about me? I was a bubbly, flirty, happy classmate who had more guy friends than girlfriends. They’d never believe that I wasn’t just a tease. They’d blame me and tell me I was wrong for giving the poor guy blue balls and then kicking him in the nuts.

I imagine what would have happened if I had told anyone about the third guy. He was an attractive young guy with a bright future and a hot girlfriend. I was a chubby college girl with frizzy hair and braces who wore ripped denim Bermuda shorts, and a crocheted vest over a loose tee-shirt. They’d tell me I should have been flattered that his beer goggles made me look good. And then told me if I felt attacked, then maybe I shouldn’t have gotten drunk.

What I’m saying is, I felt I couldn’t tell anyone. That’s what most women felt back then. It’s how most girls and women still feel today. More women are coming out with their stories now and the pushback from the old school “boys will be boys” crowd, both men and women, is, as expected, revolting.

With women speaking up more, we, as adults, need to teach boys and girls, starting at a very young age that ‘no means no.’ Girls, in particular, need to know that they have a place to go to tell people who will hear them out, and believe them, without asking them ‘what were you wearing,’ or, ‘what did you do to make him think you were interested in him.’

My motivation in telling this story is simple. Most people see me and they still see the bubbly, happy, although maybe a bit more jaded, person, I was back in HS. I’m not crippled by fear. I have a wonderful man in my life and we are happy. The fact is, most women who’ve had these kind of encounters in their lives are just like me. We went through it, compartmentalized it, and moved on.

But, by not speaking up or speaking out, we are doing a disservice to the girls and women growing up now, waking up to watch a woman who is speaking out about a sexual assault at the hands of a man who will be in a position to affect their lives for many years to come, being eviscerated by the same people who made us think that what happened to us was our fault.

It’s time to end this cycle of victim blaming and shaming. I don’t care if it happened 30 years ago, or 30 days ago. We need to leave the world a better, safer, place for the girls and young women we love who are watching this disgusting spectacle and wondering if they too will have to live their lives hiding in shame and fear, or will they have allies as they grow into womanhood in a world still dominated by men.

We need to tell our stories. We need to listen to their stories.

It’s way past time.

The Kids are Alright…

“And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations.
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through”

“Changes” – David Bowie

In response to yesterdays “walk out” by HS Students all over the country,  protesting gun violence in schools, and the refusal of legislators to do anything to prevent another school mass shooting, some folks decided that kids should have, instead, had a “walk up.”

The idea was, instead of walking out to protest the fact that adults have failed them, the same adults who elected a bully into the oval office, believe that kids should have walked up to kids who were bullied, or who were loners, or otherwise ignored, and befriend them.

It’s a nice notion, and should definitely be promoted by schools on a daily basis. The fact that bullying is wrong and harmful should be taught all the time, not just as an expedient distraction from a recurring national tragedy.

Of COURSE we should do everything we can to prevent bullying. That should be a no-brainer. But it is a discussion completely separate from the mass-shootings we, as a country, have experienced over the past few years, in schools, churches, malls and movie theaters.

Shootings that had very little, if anything, to do with people who were bullied in school.

Put it this way, none of the school shooters were victims of school bullying.

– The guy in Florida was expelled for threatening violence against his classmate, and he beat his ex-girlfriend. He was actually a bully.

– The guys in Columbine bullied all the classmates they later killed.

– The guy in Sandy Hook was diagnosed with emotional issues and instead of seeking medical assistance for him, his mother took him to a gun range and gave him virtually unfettered access to her stockpile of guns.

Clearly, bullying is a problem, and it needs to be addressed. But the fact is, most bullied children end up committing suicide. They don’t kill others.

Mental illness is also a problem, and it definitely needs to be addressed. But it is only part of the problem, when folks with mental illness, or violent backgrounds, are still able to purchase guns with little to no background checks. And the fact that the current President, in his effort to get rid of any progress made by his predecessor, got rid of the regulation that would have helped prevent those with mental illness from purchasing guns, doesn’t help.

And then there’s the Second Amendment – The NRA’s favorite tool by which to instill fear in gun enthusiasts. But have any of these ‘protectors’ of the Second Amendment ever read the whole thing?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

Regulation IS a part of the language, and since most states don’t have a “well regulated militia,” (The National Guard is as close as most states have to anything that qualifies) all you gun owners are subject to the laws of the individual states. It’s not your God-given, or Constitutionally-given, right to own a gun without anyone regulating said ownership. Sorry. Read it. Read it over and over and over again until you let it sink into your brain.

Just like my First Amendment rights don’t allow me to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, your Second Amendment rights aren’t absolute.

And that should be common sense, no?

We live in a society made up of people and laws made to protect us from those among us who may not have the best of intentions, or who may not have the mental capacity or responsibility needed to carry something that, in the wrong hands, can be dangerous to innocent people around them.

What most people, including most responsible gun owners, want, is for some form of unity in the law that would make it equally as difficult for, say, a mentally unstable 18 year old to get a gun in Virginia as it would in New York.

And, for the record, I really don’t give a shit about the semantics or the differences between guns and rifles and semi-automatic, or high caliber blah blah bullshit. A gun is a fucking gun and every single one of those things was created to kill a living being. So before you give me some bullshit about cars, or whatever distracting, irrelevant, nonsense argument you’re about to try and throw at me, shut it.

Seriously. I’m done debating this shit. It’s all a bunch of semantics and deflection. And doing nothing about the issue hasn’t helped anyone except the NRA and gun manufacturers.

I’m sure that if someone really wants to get a gun, they can. Just like someone who REALLY wants to buy drugs, will always find a way. Just like someone who REALLY wants to rob your house, or your place of business, will find a way.

So we should make it easier on them by not even TRYING anything to stop them?

Why bother having any kind of laws at all if everyone who wants to do a bad thing will find a way to do it?

And please, give me a break with the nonsense about needing the Second Amendment so we can rise against tyranny. Are you kidding me? Does that mean, by your definition, you should also be able to buy a tank, or a nuke? Because you’re not going to do much damage with your AR-15 against the full force of the US Military.  Besides, that is exactly what the National Guard is for.

The kids who marched yesterday said it. Adults have failed them.

And those ‘adults’ who are coming up with every excuse to disregard or discredit these kids, guess what?

Roughly a quarter of HS kids will be eligible to vote in the mid-term elections this year.

Roughly three-quarters of todays HS kids will be eligible to vote in the 2020 election.

So please, do continue to disregard their concerns.  Maybe they’ll finally make the changes we need to truly make this country great again – Starting with ridding us of the plague of NRA-purchased legislators in DC, and then ridding us of the pestilence currently spreading his vile, putrid, stench throughout the White House.

For the first time in 15 months, I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Ms. Houston said it best… The children are the future. And the best thing we, as adults can do, is either get on board and help them make a better world for them, or get the hell out of the way.

Dear Senator Gillibrand,

I am usually proud and very happy with the choices you make and causes you back on behalf of all of us New Yorkers. I’ve often considered you to be one of our brightest and most thoughtful elected officials, and have trusted that you have always taken into consideration what is best for us, not just the party, when making your decisions.

However, I am writing today to express my severe disappointment in your decision to request Senator Franken’s resignation. I understand we are at a fever pitch with the #MeToo movement, and the response on our side to victims finally having their voice heard has been overwhelmingly supportive. I am very happy about that. But, there needs to be a point where we differentiate between unapologetic, perpetual sexual predators, like Rep Conyers, verses a guy who acted like immature kid who saw breasts for the first time.

Senator Franken’s actions WERE creepy, and WERE inappropriate, but he’s like every man over the age of 50 who woke up one morning, in a new day and age, and suddenly realized “crap, I’ve been harming people for my own giggles for too long. I need to stop that.” And he did. Treating him the same way as we would a Roy Moore is unquestionably stupid and makes us, as well as the movement we’d like to see progress, look stupid and reactionary.

This need to raise pitchforks and hang every man who has ever made an inappropriate pass at a woman, while understandable, will end up backfiring on us, and the #MeToo movement.

Al Franken has been a passionate supporter of women’s issues. He has also been a royal pain in the neck to the GOP, who are now ecstatic because the guy they saw as the biggest threat to their leader, is gone.

Why not let this go to an inquiry? Let these women face him, or have him face his accusers and listen to how his actions hurt them? And then, if warranted, have him resign?

It’s this kind of reactionary, short-sighted, sanctimonious desire to gain some ‘moral high ground’ against a group of people with no morals, that makes the Democratic party a laughing stock, and why, as of yesterday afternoon, I am no longer registered to vote as one.

You could have used this situation with Franken as a teachable moment. It’s not like he was a threat to his coworkers, and I will guarantee you, you won’t hear about him trying to touch anyone’s derriere without permission ever again.

He’s clearly not a predator. The fact that you and Sen Harris, et al, can’t see the difference is why the Democrats will continue to lose.

Instead of focusing on Franken, what you should have been doing this week is poking the hell out of the Roy Moore situation. Heaven knows they have been spoon feeding you all the ammunition you need. Instead, you took out the only member of your party who had the balls to stand up to the bullies on the other side of the aisle. Nice going.

Sorry this is so long winded. Please know, I’m not the only one who feels this way. You have diminished my faith in your ability to lead with any kind of real focus. And your party has let me and many like myself down with this action.

Yours truly,

Miriam Greenberg

Terror

Terrorism: The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

It really shouldn’t amaze me how quickly the current administration politicized yesterday’s terror incident in Lower Manhattan.

Instead of focusing on those who lost their lives, OF COURSE our fear monger in charge went straight for the battle cry of hatred that unifies his supporters.

Sure, it makes total sense that in the aftermath of a tragedy, the first thing that should pointed out is the culprit’s religious belief, unless of course the culprit is a white dude.

Cue in the idiotocracy that supports Donny the Dunce maniacally  shouting “send them home,” in all their self-righteous ignorance, while quickly forgetting that an old white guy, a Christian no less, committed the worst act of violence on US soil since the 9/11 attacks just a couple of weeks ago.  They want to ban all Muslims, or carry out something their cheeto-tinted messiah calls “extreme vetting” (which is not a thing, by the way, the vetting process is pretty extreme already, but I digress), when, in fact, the majority of terrorist attacks on US soil have been perpetrated by, you guessed it, Caucasian males with US Citizenship, who claim to be Christian.

 

In the crazy debates that followed yesterday’s events, one person dared anyone to come up with a list of terrorist attacks perpetrated by white people, you know, aside from Oaklahoma City (which by definition, WAS a terrorist attack) and Vegas (which is unclear, because we don’t know this monster’s motive, which actually IS important when trying to differentiate between a terrifying act, and a terrorist attack).

I was seriously tempted to write an entire list starting with all the lynchings, church bombings, and beatings, of African Americans in the south in the post Civil-War era, but, I know the folks with whom I am debating. These people already forgot that a white guy plowed into a bunch of protesters a couple of months ago because they disagreed with that whole “Nazi” thing he was trying to promote. I highly doubt they’d pay attention to something they clearly see as “ancient” history.

So I typed in “White Extremist Terrorist attacks on US soil” and BOOM, someone had already done the research for me.

So here you go, all the terrorist attacks perpetrated by white people since the Oklahoma City bombing:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/18/white_extremist_murders_killed_at_least_60_in_u_s_since_1995.html?cq_ck=1486485587473

You can use this the next time some poor, orange kool-aid drinking drone tries to spew some bullshit about the biggest threat to our country, which isn’t any religion at all. In fact, the biggest threat to our country currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…

 

For 8 years I have been pulling my hair out trying to explain to people who were afraid of losing their 2nd amendment rights, exactly why that couldn’t happen – and why no one was taking away their guns.

 

Guess what? No one is taking away your Freedom of Speech either.

You know why? Our Constitution has quite a few safe guards, intentionally placed there by the framers, to ensure its’ laws aren’t taken lightly, or easily changed, without quite a bit of thought going into the process.

First of all, before taking office, a President Elect has to swear to protect, preserve and defend the United States Constitution. A similar version of this oath is also taken by all new members of the House of Representatives, Senate, and each military branch. It’s a pretty hefty oath – violation of which is considered a federal crime – treason.

Second,  you can not repeal an amendment without actually having something to replace it which has to go through the same process of ratification as a new amendment would. In other words, it wouldn’t be a ‘replacement’ so much as an addition that would nullify the other amendment. The other amendment will always be a part of the overall document.

For example: The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale and manufacture of alcohol in the United States – the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, but the 18th Amendment is still a part of the Constitution as a repealed amendment.

Next, a proposed amendment (whether new, or intended to replace an existing one) must be approved by a 2/3 majority of both legislative bodies of the US Congress (so Senate AND House of Representatives each have to come up with a 2/3 majority willing to give up Freedom of Speech).

After that, the Proposed Amendment must be sent to every individual State’s legislature for consideration. Each state then votes either yes or no on the Proposed Amendment.

 

For the Proposed Amendment to become a Constitutional Amendment, 3/4 of the individual American States must ratify the amendment. That means 38 states would have to agree to whatever amendment that was being proposed to repeal and replace the First Amendment before the Amendment becomes a part of the Constitution.

 

So, let’s be realistic here, do you think 38 states will ratify an amendment to curtail freedom of speech? And before that, do you really think 3/4 of the Senate and 3/4 of the House of the Representatives would even vote for the Amendment?

Let’s just put it this way – Since 1789, there have been over 11,000 proposed amendments introduced – of those, 33 have been approved by Congress – 27 have been ratified by the states. Those 27 make up our Constitution.

 And while I agree there is much to be wary of with our President Elect, one thing is clear, for all his bluster, he himself clearly doesn’t know of what he speaks when he claims he can ‘amend the First Amendment’ or ‘open up the Libel Laws.’ (I’d love to get in to Libel laws now, but, this is getting way too long for most folks’ attention spans, including mine. Next time, perhaps.)

 In other words, being the President of the United States is vastly different than being the President of your own company.

 I certainly hope that while President Obama assists President-Elect Trump during this transition period, that he also imparts some Constitutional wisdom on our future President.  Mr. Trump  will be taking an oath to protect and preserve the Constitution – it would be a shame if he didn’t actually have a basic understanding of what was in it when he took that oath.

 

“I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying… in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she’s saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.” – Donald Trump , Las Vegas NV, 10/19/2016
Ever find yourself ‘woman-splaining’ women’s issues to a guy? You know, like, how no matter how evolved they are, they can’t understand fully how it FEELS to be a woman? There’s no ‘put yourself in my shoes’ examples that can fit. You can be sympathetic, but you really just don’t know how it feels.. No more than a woman can understand a man’s need to scratch his groin area every few minutes.. It’s gross.. Dude, stop.. No, seriously, get that shit checked out already k?
But the one thing men REALLY seem to not understand, is a woman’s reproductive system. I mean, they know the basics and many actually have evolved enough to care to read about all the stages a woman goes through from conception to birth, and stick by through every step of the process. But what’s become glaringly obvious, is that most men, even those who have had, say,  not just one kid, but 5, with 3 different women, still don’t have a clue.

Nothing can be more obvious than Trump’s ridiculous, insulting and glaringly ignorant remarks about “Late Term Abortions,” (please see above), and the largely clueless male response to the topic.

** An aside to the men who didn’t see anything wrong with Trump’s ‘opinion’ about Late Term abortions: Fuck you for not doing some research before saying stupid shit.  Kudos to the women in your life for not gagging you until you learn something.**
So for the past 36 hours or so, in addition to not being able to get Janet Jackson’s “Nasty Boys” out of my head, I’ve also found myself explaining why Trump’s answer is further proof that neither he, nor any man who doesn’t have a medical degree specializing in women’s health, should have any business trying to discuss, let alone pass legislation, on a woman’s right to do what she feels necessary for her own well-being.. I can go off on a rant about a woman’s right to choose, but I’ll just stick to Trump’s incredibly stupid remarks on late term abortions, which had me screaming at my TV.
Facts:
  • “Late-term” is after the 20th week of pregnancy. (24 weeks in some states) 
  •  Legally, unless either the health of the mother is in danger, or the fetus is not viable,  abortion after the 20th or 24th week of pregnancy is illegal in most states of the  union. What I’m saying is, you really can’t just walk in at week 25 and have an  abortion without a serious medical reason for it, let alone at week 36.
Reality check:  No woman carries a baby nearly to term and then arbitrarily says “nah, ya know what doc, rip it out of me, I don’t want it.”
Most women, who have carried a baby beyond the point of legal abortion,  WANT the baby. These women more than likely have had their baby showers, painted the baby’s room and picked out names. Making this decision is most likely the WORST thing that can happen to a woman who wants a child (probably only next to being told she can’t have any).
I’m not saying there aren’t women who get cold feet later in their pregnancies and think “holy shit, what am I doing having a kid?” That’s normal. And in extreme cases those women should, and often do, seek out medical assistance for their psyche – not an abortion.
Just to be clear – those of you who still think that Hillary Clinton approves “ripping a baby out of the mother even on the due date” – she doesn’t.
The fact that Donald Trump is an idiot about this topic, still holds true, however.
An all out ban on late term abortions, which is what Trump, and his frienemy, Paul Ryan, are hoping to make happen, is dangerous to women. I have no illusion that Trump or Ryan particularly care about women. Trump cares about Trump, and Ryan is just an asshole who advocates for rapist’s rights, but I digress.
The ban that the conservatives are looking to enact would have NO exclusions – none. That means that women carrying a fetus who may be suffering in utero, or who has no brain function, or who won’t survive outside the uterus for more than a few painful breaths, will be forced to endure the pregnancy and give birth to a baby who will live its short life in pain. Or, a woman who’s life is in danger because the baby she is carrying, who won’t survive outside of her womb, is killing her from the inside. It’s rare, but it happens.(Statistically speaking, 1% of abortions performed in the USA are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy. 1% folks, just saying).
To put a finer point on it, what Conservatives are saying is that they want every woman to carry every child to term, even if she’s carrying a brain-dead fetus who will never live outside her body, and who may actually end up killing her if she carries it to term. Right to life, my ass! What the FUCK?!  Anyone who can agree with that is an asshole. Yeah, I’m saying it. Fuck you. Unfriend me. Thanks. Life’s better already
** Oh and just an aside – If a woman has carried a baby to term the result is usually some form of birth, not abortion.  Even when doctors are fairly certain that a fetus isn’t viable, at 8-9 months they will still  either try to remove the child via c-section, or if the mother can handle it, vaginal birth – unless, the only way to ensure the mother’s health, again, is to abort the already not viable fetus. In any case the only ‘ripping’ that is usually being done, is in the mother’s sensitive areas because, well, baby-heads are kinda big.  But you know, Trump’s not the best at speaking coherently.  And anyway, Trump might enjoy grabbing a woman by the ‘pussy’ but he clearly knows nothing about vagina’s beyond what he thinks he can do with them. **
I can’t stress this enough – A woman who makes the decision to have a late term pregnancy terminated does so, in most cases, because she was told the baby she was carrying was not going to survive out of the womb. In rarer cases, the decision is made because of a danger to the mother. Again, most women who choose to go forward with a pregnancy beyond the 20 week mark, are playing for keeps. So, even in the case where the doctor tells a woman HER life is in danger, she, along with her doctor, will usually choose an option that will keep the baby inside her for as long as possible to at least TRY to have a healthy premature birth – not a late term abortion.  
 
“Wait,” you say, “what about the father’s decision?”  (Can you tell, I’ve spoken to ALOT of guys on this topic?). Here’s my take – If the father  is involved (not all are – just saying), then absolutely he should be in on the decision making process. But the ultimate choice goes to the person carrying the baby (which is, I believe, the only reason men are so determined to regain control of the issue – they hate that women have ALL the control in this case – but that’s a discussion for another time).
If say, the father  actually wants to go through with a late term abortion, and the mother decides to see if she can carry longer to ensure a baby’s survival, guess what daddy, her decision trumps (punny, I know) yours. If the opposite is true, guess what, again, it’s ultimately up to her. In this situation, the job of the father (or partner) is to be supportive. Don’t like it? Tough shit.
Until men can carry babies (and pigs fly, and hell freezes over, and Trump stops being a misogynistic pile of festering feces), the person that has the ultimate say on what can and can’t be done with HER body, is the woman. Doctors can advise, give options, and perform whatever procedures necessary. Fathers (or partners) can be a sounding board, shoulder to cry on, person who holds her hand while she goes through with whatever choice she made.
But the ultimate decision is up to the woman. Not men, not men in government, not men standing at a pulpit, not even the man sharing her bed – just her.
Now about that whole “Nasty Woman” thing….

On an old tape from 2005, Trump was caught saying a whole lot of nasty stuff about women. Lewd, crude, and well, downright disgusting.

But, didn’t we already know he was a disgusting misogynist?

Why are folks so overwhelmingly outraged with this new evidence of old news?

This is a man who has said worse things in public. He’s hinted at assassination of his opponent; Said that a respected POW who dedicated his life to public service wasn’t really a hero because he got caught; Started off a debate defending the size of his hands and, ‘other’ things; Called women who opposed him pigs, and dogs; Made baseless accusations claiming that the father of another opponent had something to do with the JFK assassination (and now has me defending Ted Cruz); Intimated that another female opponent was too unattractive to be President (seriously, has he looked in a mirror, ever?); Has been accused of sexual misconduct by former female employees; Spent a whole week blasting a former Miss Universe, even invited us to go check out a sex tape (one that didn’t even exist, btw).

The list goes on.

So why are we all up in arms about THIS tape. Why is THIS the excuse folks in the GOP are using to distance themselves from him? Why did his poll numbers drop significantly after THIS tape got out? Why did it take this tape to finally make even the rapists’ biggest advocate, Paul Ryan, say “enough”?

I’m not sure. I can say, from my point of view it’s not what he said, it’s what he claimed he could get away with. But then again, even this wasn’t really news.

I am not a prude and I understand “Locker Room Talk.” As a woman who was often the ‘sister’ to many a non-related male friends, I’ve heard some of the stuff guys say when they find a woman attractive. So, lets for the sake of argument say he was talking about what he would like to do to women. He was having a private conversation with his buddy, during a break in the taping of a segment for TV, that just happened to be caught on a mic that was accidentally not shut off, during which they both were engaging in “Locker Room Talk” – Fine. If that had all it had been, no harm, no foul.

It was that he bragged about groping women without their consent that bothers me. It is the very fact that he claims that his celebrity will allow him to do whatever the hell he wants to women, that bothers me. Was it a private conversation? Sure. Then again, I’d say that Robert. Durst would have had even more of an expectation of privacy when he was talking about murders he committed while taking a leak, but I digress.

The fact is, this man who is running for President of the United States, admitted, whether it was in private or not, (and there’s a case to be made that he was talking to a ‘journalist’ and that they were taking a break between ‘takes’ – and the mic hadn’t been turned off.. but then again, please see Robert Durst) – to groping women without their consent is the part that folks like me can’t seem to wrap their heads around. Bragging about violating women’s personal space kind of goes beyond simple “locker room talk” – doesn’t it?

We have supposedly evolved, no? I mean, I get it, folks are all pissed off about the whole “PC” culture, and how we can’t say anything without offending someone, and I understand that. But even that outrage should have some limits. There’s a difference between “PC” and common decency, isn’t there?

This isn’t a man who kept the “locker room” talk to private moments with his buddy. This is a guy, who, on national television, leered at a woman while telling her that the image of her down on her knees was a pretty sight. This is a guy who went after a moderator during the primary debates, calling her a bimbo, and claiming she was “bleeding out of her wherever” because she had the audacity to confront him about his history of mistreatment of women. This is a guy who told Howard Stern it was okay to call his daughter, Ivanka, a “piece of ass.”

What I’m saying is, Trump has always been a misogynistic douchebag – Always. So why all the sudden outrage over this current proof of something we all, both his supporters and his detractors, already knew?

I understand that hearing him say “you can grab them by the pussy” may have been shocking. His admission of being sexually aggressive with women, whether they were willing or not, in my mind, is criminal, and absolutely perpetuates the social norm of “boys will be boys” that would allow a star athlete to get away with rape, despite being caught red handed in the act. But, what is so different with this tape? He’s ALWAYS been this way… He didn’t just wake up one morning in 2005 and decide to go all “Mad Men” meets “Jabba the Hut” with Billy Bush.

Maya Angelou once said “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Did any of us actually NOT believe that he was a disgusting misogynist?  All this audio recording did was re-confirm everything we already knew about Trump. He’s a vile pig.

Where was all the outrage back when Ivana accused him of spousal rape? Where was all the outrage back when he actually did grope women, or violate their rights? Where were all these females suddenly coming out to discuss his disgusting behavior before he ever even started his campaign? (On that last note, I’ll guess they were afraid of violating the disclosure forms they had to sign upon being hired, but at this point? Come on. This is a little bit important, no?)

And to the GOP folks finally pulling their support of this asshole – Why now? Why didn’t you throw this disgusting mother fucker out of the race before it ever got this far? This is YOUR fault –  100%. You could have nominated a decent member of your party – hell, I wouldn’t have voted for any of them, but fine, I’m a lefty liberal – but I’d have respected the decision. NOW you’re pissed off? NOW you believe women need to be championed? Fuck you. Seriously. Yes, Paul Ryan, I’m looking at you, you whiny, wimpy advocate for the rights of Rapists. Fuck you sideways.

My favorites are the members of the GOP who though they could change Trump, or mold him into someone remotely resembling a human being fit to lead the country.

There is no ‘taming’ Trump. There is no ‘changing’ him either. He’s a 70-year-old man whose formative years were spent watching his mother cater to his father’s every need, and who grew up at a time when it was okay to smack your secretary on the ass, call her ‘sweetheart’ and speak openly about how much you’d love to bang her and admit  that her appearance was why you hired her in the first place. He never evolved beyond those cave man tendencies. He never will. Have you ever seen the way he hugs his daughters? The little taps he gives them right on the hips, touching  their butts? He’s GROSS. Even those people who STILL support him realize what they’re dealing with here.

And yeah, I don’t understand how any female, or anyone who respects females could defend him, or support him. But whatever, I’m not going to judge. I can’t. Judgement comes from a far higher entity than myself. I don’t understand it. I never will. I would like to lash out at every woman who supports him. But it’s not my place, and God knows if they’ve supported him this far, they won’t change their minds now. Like he said, he can shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue, and his supporters will still be there for him. So why bother? And why bother calling names or losing my shit over folks who I feel are misguided. It’s their business who they vote for. If their conscience can deal with it, then that’s their issue, not mine.

So, again, I ask, to those so suddenly outraged by what this guy said on tape? Why now? Nothing’s changed. He’s still the same old douche bag he always was.

I almost have to wonder at the timing of the leak. Suddenly, the debate is about his ‘locker room’ talk, and not about his unreleased taxes. Suddenly, we’re not talking about the fact that the NY Attorney General is investigating Trump’s fraud of a charity. Suddenly, Trump has, at least in his warped brain, an excuse to bring out all of Bill Clinton’s dirty laundry.  Suddenly, we’re not talking about the truly evil things that Trump has done – his failure as a businessman; husband; human. No, now we are talking about a tape, where he says a lot of vile shit, but a tape that reveals nothing that anyone didn’t already know about him.

Trump has some brilliant strategists on his side (Roger Ailes, for example, the inventor of the Trump we see today, and the guy who made you believe that everything bad, including your paper cut, is somehow Obama’s fault). They knew this tape thing would distract us… So before we go all ape shit on Trump supporters for their acquiescence in his misogyny, bigotry, homophobia and xenophobia — maybe we need to figure out “Why now?” And, “What’s different?” And “What are they trying to distract us from this time?” Because this is more than just about an audio of  an old misogynistic asshole talking smack about women.

Ladies and the Trump…

Trump has a problem with women. He does. Believe me. My vagina dries up the minute I hear his gravelly voice spewing unintelligent bullshit only his “uneducated” supporters seem to understand.

I cannot respect a man who has zero respect for women beyond their value as sexual creatures. He even sexualizes his own daughter. Have you ever heard Trump talk about his daughter Ivanka?  Do you not gag every time he lasciviously brags about what a great body she has and how if she weren’t his daughter, he’d be dating her? On a side note, does he really think that a young, wealthy, successful business woman, who doesn’t need a green card, or his money, would ever date him, daughter or no? Puhleez! Has he looked in a mirror lately? Has he SEEN that face? Stupid and ugly – He’s lucky he’s rich or he’d never get laid. But I digress.

If all Trump seems to care about when listing his own daughter’s ‘achievements’ is her appearance, then what do you think his first consideration is when hiring females?

When Carly Fiorina was still competing for the GOP nomination, he went after her not for her horrible record as a business woman – he went after her appearance (“Have you SEEN that face?”). When Megyn Kelly challenged him during the first debate, referencing his previous attacks on women, he came back with a not so veiled reference about her attitude being a result of her “bleeding from her wherever.” And now, with Hillary Clinton appearing to be the one he will face in the General Elections, he comes out with perhaps the dumbest statement ever, claiming that the only thing she has going for her is that she is a woman.

Like her or not, and believe me, I don’t, she has a hell of a resume. He said if she were a man, she’d be losing? The truth is,  if she were a man, he’d be shitting his pants. It is because she is a woman that he thinks he can beat her. In the world of Trump, the man is always on top.  I’ve lived with a narcissistic douchebag who thought that he was the king of the castle and all women were subservient to him. I know of what I speak. If Hillary were a guy, Trumps balls would have shriveled up at the idea of going to battle with her. Hence his need point out her femininity, or her use of the so called “Woman Card.” In his mind, somehow pointing out that Hillary is a female weakens her, when in fact, it strengthens the resolve among women to NOT vote for his misogynistic ass.

And for all of you spewing that crap about wanting a president who isn’t so “politically correct” – There’s a difference between “Politically Correct” and common decency. So stop it, or I might have to remind you that most Trump supporters are viewed as white trash assholes who still wave a confederate flag while wearing white robes and burning crosses and bowing to some shit head who calls himself a “Grand Wizard.” So lets cut the PC shit. It’s not a matter of being PC or not, it’s a matter of respect. And nothing about Trump, when it comes to women, is respectful.

There are a million other reasons why I would never vote for Trump –  His embracing both the KKK and the American Nazi Party; His views on race; His proposed foreign policy; His proposed economic policy; His complete inability to act like a grown man instead of a toddler; His promotion of violence against those who speak out against him;  His lack of class; His proposal to get rid of the free press; His proposal to reinstate torture and ‘make’ the military do whatever he tells them to do; His proposal to get rid of both the EPA and the DOE (so we’ll have even more uneducated voters for him to swindle… but with the planet dying, we won’t have to endure him for TOO long).

The list goes on and on. And while those are all valid reasons, as a woman who enjoys being valued for her brain, I refuse to vote for a man who thinks that what he has (or doesn’t have) below his belt gives him any right to treat me as a second class citizen. Trump thinks Hillary has a problem with female voters? He clearly hasn’t seen the polls. At present, Hillary leads Trump in the female vote 66% to 33%.

I’m a woman who doesn’t like Hillary. I’m a woman who still wishes there was a real  path for Bernie to win the nomination. But I’m a realist. So, I’ll vote for her if she is the Democratic nominee,  because I’m also a woman who likes breathing clean air and drinking clean water; I appreciate well educated people; I love being a citizen of a country that has a Constitution we can all argue freely about; I would prefer my tax dollars be directed towards the improvement of our infrastructure, education and health systems and not towards paying subsidies to companies who don’t pay a dime in taxes; I will vote for Hillary, because the next President will be appointing one or more Supreme Court Justices, and I would like to see Citizens United overturned, Roe v Wade and Obergefell v Hodges upheld.  I’ll vote for her, because I respect myself way too much to ever vote for a misogynist like Trump.

As for the few women who will vote for Heir Drumpf, hey to each their own. They clearly enjoy being reduced to sex objects, who, if they aren’t as attractive as the daughter he wishes he could bang, he sees as nothing more than pigs and hags. They obviously love the idea of working their asses off only to earn about 75% of what their male counterparts do. They obviously have no problem with being treated as second class citizens or being told what they can or cannot do with their own bodies. They can’t possibly have read his Foreign Policy proposal that was released just yesterday. They obviously don’t care that his way of getting out of debt is by filing for bankruptcy. They clearly don’t mind being represented abroad by this thin skinned imbecile who would no doubt consider half of them too unattractive or old to hire at one of his firms. It’s a sad fact. But that’s fine, because there are more of us who are thinking of the country and the well being of women in the country than of our dislike of Hillary.

Obviously, 66% of us actually love ourselves and our country enough to make sure that Trump never sees the inside of the Oval Office from the business side of the desk. We may not all LOVE Hillary, but she, and her use of the “Woman Card” trumps the Trump card any day.

 

 

 

 

 

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it..

-George Santayana

For the past week or so I have been seeing many Holocaust remembrance posts, like the one below, in my Facebook feed. We are urged to “Never Forget.” I wonder, however, if the people posting these remembrances truly understand what it means to “never forget.” As a Jew, whose grandfathers lost everyone they loved to Hitler and his henchmen, I feel as though the adage of “never forget” isn’t just a battle cry of “we’ll never let this happen to us again.” It is, or should be, I believe, more of a call to all those who have a unique understanding of the kind of devastation that hate, fear and anger can wreak on an entire group of people, simply because they are different, to never let this happen again – To anyone.

I believe, we should strive to learn from history. Never forget what happened. Never forget HOW it happened. Never forget that it happened because one man spewing hate-filled rhetoric chose a few minorities to use as a scapegoat to rally together a nation searching to regain its former ‘greatness’ into thinking it was okay to murder millions of men, women and children. It happened because a frightened and angry populous bought into that rhetoric because it was easier to believe that these minorities were the cause of all that ailed their country than the idea that they themselves were to blame for their misery.

In Hitler’s Germany it was the Jews, the Gypsies, the homosexuals and the infirm who were punished for the crime of not being “true” Germans  – even if they were born in Germany – even if their families had lived there for generations, fought in their wars and contributed to their society. The violence and hatred towards these minorities then fueled the German populous to be rid of these ‘inferior’ beings, not just those in Germany, but all over the world.

This violence and murder was fueled by one man’s quest for power – Nothing more and nothing less. This man spoke to the most base of the populous. To some, he spoke the gospel. He spoke to their deep seeded bigotry. Anti-Semetism has been around for ages. It still is. But there was a larger population of Germans who didn’t hate Jews.  They had friends who were Jews. Some of their children had married Jews. No one believed that this funny little man with the funny little mustache would ever really make good on his promise to get rid of the Jews. But little by little, like a cancer, the hatred spread. People were scared. People were hungry. People needed a scapegoat. Hitler gave them the Jews. People came to his rallies, enthusiastically cheering him on as he promised to “Make Germany Great Again.” There were even, despite all the evidence that he’d not be good for them, Jews who supported him.

All it took was one man who knew how to speak to the anger and restlessness of a country full of people who felt they deserved better, for no other reason that their prominent history dictated it, to cause the Holocaust.

The thing is, most people who have studied history KNOW all of this. We can look back and talk about Hitler and why and how he managed to get the German people, and many people from countries he conquered, to go along with his diabolical plans. And we swear, we’ll never let it happen again.

Each year we, the descendants of the survivors of that nightmare, swear to never forget. But I see way too many of these same descendants  allowing themselves to be swept up in hatred and rhetoric spewed against minorities in this country. I see the same people who post ‘never forget,’ regurgitate hate-filled rhetoric, reminiscent of all the anti-semetic propaganda of Nazi Germany, in reference to other minorities. These same people whose parents and grandparents suffered due to the ignorance and hatred of others seem to have no problem blaming others for their own misfortune and the supposed disintegration of ‘American exceptionalism.’

We should never forget. But more importantly, we should never allow it to happen to anyone else. Just because this time the hatred isn’t directed at us, (for the moment anyway), doesn’t make it any less heinous or any less dangerous. If we do nothing, we have learned nothing. We HAVE forgotten.  And this time? We are no better than the hapless Germans who didn’t hate the Jews, they just didn’t care enough to help them. This means this time, we would have to share the blame.

I’m not okay with the idea that a generation or two from now, I will have to answer for the crimes I permitted to happen because my people didn’t learn from their own history. I don’t want blood of the innocent on my hands.

You may laugh at my profound dislike of a certain presidential candidate. You may think he’s a joke or see his rhetoric and proposals as impossible. You may think his followers are no more than a bunch of ignorant morons who still hold KKK meetings.

And while it can be amusing to laugh at Donald Trump and his idiotic supporters, just remember, folks laughed at Hitler once too.

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Pastor Martin Niemoller

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The Problem With Hillary

Between Benghazi and the Email Scandal, the Republicans have been working overtime to discredit Hillary Clinton.  The Koch-Adelson-Murdoch-cabal fueled propaganda machine, one that would make Goebbels proud, has definitely managed to severely damage Hillary’s image, as it was its intent.  But it has done nothing to make the Republican candidates look any better – something no amount of money will ever be able to do.

The truth is most people, even those who will spew out the cherry-picked details and fact-free FOX News talking points, realize that nothing can make the candidates on the right win in the general election. So, instead, why not try to damage top candidate on the Democratic side as much as possible?  After all, even if she wins the Presidency, all this damage can be used to justify the disrespect with which they would address a President Hillary Clinton.

As a woman who falls into the ‘liberal’ camp, most people think that the idea of the first female President would thrill me to no end.  And if it were anyone other than Hillary Clinton, I may agree.  But there’s a problem. Even though I have no doubt, that should Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination, she would beat out any of the potential nominees currently leading in the Republican polls, her Presidency would be in effect, dead on arrival.

Hillary Clinton has one main problem – the Republicans HATE her – more than they hated her husband, and more than they hate Barack Obama.  Remember how far they went to try and discredit Bill Clinton? Spending $80 million of tax payer money only to find out that this President was doing the same thing so many other Presidents have done in the past. They made a HUGE deal out of basically, nothing more than an extra-marital fling. Clinton responded the same way any married guy who got caught out there by denying everything and hoping it would go away, and for that, they wasted more time and money by that farce of an impeachment trial.  (The irony here is that all Clinton lied about was a blow job. I would LOVE to figure out why Dubbya,  who lied to the American public in order to thrust us into a war, a lie that resulted in countless dollars wasted, lives lost, and the build-up of Isis, never came up on charges for his lies, but I digress).  If they went that far with him, how far do you think they will go to discredit his wife, who they hate even more?

The fact that the Republicans couldn’t get rid of Bill, and the fact that to this day, most Democrats would gladly have him back in office if not for term limits, has made the Republicans even more determined to make sure that his wife doesn’t get elected.  They are counting on the paranoid, the uneducated, and the short sighted members of the public to buy into all this talk of her being “untrustworthy” or “cold”. Whether they are right or wrong makes no difference. Once something is out there, people will believe every word and simply the perception (true or false) of “untrustworthiness” will follow her for the rest of her days no matter what she does or says and no matter how many times she ‘reboots’ her image.

Should she win the Presidency, the Republicans will work even harder than they did during the Obama administration to make sure a sitting President gets nothing done.

Hillary didn’t get my vote in the primaries last time around (full disclosure, neither did Barack Obama). And she’s not getting my vote in the Primaries this time either. Not because of anything the Republicans have said, but because I simply like one of her opponents more.  But that’s the primaries. I’ll have no choice but to back her if she get the nomination, because I’ll be damned if I ever vote for a misogynistic, homophobic, climate-change denying, war-mongering member of the clown posse.

The biggest problem with Hillary is the fear that she won’t be able to get the other side to cooperate with her no matter what she does, because, she is the wife of the guy the Republicans could never beat and the former Secretary of State to the guy they hate even more than they hated her husband.  And, she’s a woman with some serious balls – They REALLY can’t handle that.

The truth is, if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, she will be President.  The truth also is, if Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, he will be President.  And make no mistake, even Joe Biden, should he choose to run, would beat any of the folks currently most popular on the other side.

The Republicans can’t win the Oval no matter what they do because they aren’t willing to do the one thing that would give them any kind of advantage – they aren’t willing to change. They are running on the same platform, with the same extreme right-wing views, that lost them the last two elections. I can all but guarantee you the third time won’t be the charm. Put it this way, they only have one candidate among that circus of clowns vying for the nomination that actually has enough appeal to get enough ‘undecideds’ that he might be able to beat a  Democratic nominee and that’s John Kasich. But, because of the fact that he’s not a right wing extremist, war-mongering, Obama-hating, Murdoch-fed nut job, he won’t get the nomination. Don’t get me wrong, he is still a conservative, both on social issues as well as fiscal issues, but he actually is reasonable enough to realize that his personal religious views aren’t the means by which he should govern and he’s willing to compromise on key issues with the Democrats. So while I don’t agree with Governor Kasisch, I actually respect him for not being a reprehensible, potential dictator, like some of his fellow candidates – Sadly, his being a reasonable human being will be the very thing that will prevent him from being nominated – Thus, guaranteeing another four years of the Democrats running the White House – Good job Republicans – Let’s see what you come up with in 2020, because you’ve already lost 2016.

Since they can’t win, and won’t, what they can do is continue to obstruct any kind of progress any Democrat elected into the Presidential office would try to make.  This will be easier with Hillary, because there are just so many people who perceive her in such a negative light – thanks largely due to the fact that the propaganda coming from the Right is so well organized (seriously, who cares that the most of the media is liberal? The Fox News drones are just wonderful at hitting their mark, aren’t they? Also proving the point that when crazy people talk, everyone listens).

The worst thing they could say about Bernie Sanders is that he’s a “Socialist” (a term they deem to be bad, but honestly, anyone who has ever taken a civics class knows the difference between Communism and Democratic Socialism).   In any case, it’s really hard to make him seem untrustworthy or worthy of the scorn and hatred with which they pelt Hillary, because he’s actually pretty well liked on both sides of the aisle.  Joe Biden, too, would not be greeted with as much of the obstructionist tactics, because, despite having been Obama’s VP, he is still a really likeable guy, and seemingly “trustworthy”.

But Hillary? Yeah, they’re going to hate on her big time no matter what, which makes no sense, but there you have it. How much can she get done with them pelting her with bombs every other week and finding yet another ‘scandal?’ Because make no mistake, whether there are more ‘skeletons’ in her closet or not, they will find something. She could say the ‘sky is blue’ and the next day there will be scandal saying she wants to bomb the moon. It is what it is. But what it isn’t, is a promising future for this country.

And that’s the problem with Hillary. Even if she wins, she loses, and so do we.