Eve Teasing

During the campaign cycle, there was example after example of our President’s peccadillos and perverted actions. As I had stated in a previous blog post, most of his voter base chose to ignore or “normalize” this behavior for other attributes or issues they felt were more pertinent. For example, women chose to ignore his misogyny stating that he speaks his mind; will drain the D.C. swamp and has done a great job at raising a family. Cognitive dissonance aside, now we are seeing an all-out attack on women’s issues and these people who voted for this President are COMPLICIT!

Take these quotes for example (link):

  • “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
  • “I would never buy her any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?”
  • “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”
  • 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
  • all women hate prenups because they are gold diggers.

These are all from our current ‘Leader of the Free World”.

Just so that we do not fall into the confirmation bias hole, it is important to note that Bill Clinton was no picnic either. A helluva lot of his behavior was extremely egregious and should not be condoned. But he did not bring this behavior into policy. Yes, he was a hound dog and not a shining example of what the moral compass a President should have ..but come on..the equivalency is not even close!

For example, take a look at the above photo….I keep staring really hard at the photo above for some semblance of logic. This is the photo of Trump signing the anti-abortion bill called the Mexico Rule. Which  It prohibits giving U.S. funding to international nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion ― even if U.S. dollars are not specifically used for abortion-related services (Link). An issue that is so profoundly impacting women ..but not one in sight!

Then there was this cringeworthy headline from HuffPo – “Donald Trump Kicks off sexual assault awareness month by defending Bill O’Rieilly

And there was the story that Mike Pence does not dine alone with any woman unless his wife was present.

Finally, there was this – An executive order from President Trump, signed on the eve of Equal Pay Day, has canceled an Obama policy that directed companies with federal contracts to afford equal treatment to women in the workplace (link)

Not to paint with a broad brushstroke…what is the issue with Republican representatives and this insane war on women’s issues?

Let’s take the Pro-Life issue. Republicans would love to abolish Roe vs Wade and dance on its grave. They may actually get their wish if they continue to stack up activist right wing Supreme Court judges. How would these righteous men of the Congress and Senate react if a committee of women decided that all men over 30 must have mandatory vasectomies or mandatory removals of prostates?

My thought is should this not be a woman’s issue? I view this as …we all should be Pro Life for the woman which means should this not be her choice? See here is where the logic falls apart for me – for every issue (taxes; health care; guns etc.) the drumbeat from the right is – “Government cannot litigate my choice, I will decide what is good for me”. How come this is not applicable to abortion? For some reason, government intervention is OK on this issue. And yes the irony is not lost on me when progressives who support choice say they want a “single payer” health insurance system.

Another hot button issue is Planned Parenthood that has riled up the right ever since the (now debunked video) came out stating that they were selling baby parts for research.

Here are five myths that have been proven false (Link):

  • Abortion comprises most of Planned Parenthood’s services
  • The Planned Parenthood videos show a fetus being harvested for its brain
  • Planned Parenthood is selling fetal tissue for profit
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood is a guaranteed way to save taxpayer money
  • Planned Parenthood doesn’t really help advance women’s health

All proven wrong with clear data and facts to support. However, did it stop the mother of all overreactions? Nope!…this resulted in the aforementioned executive order on the Mexico Rule.

What is with Republicans and women’s issues? every election there is some new crap that comes up that makes you wonder what motivates these people? Personally,  I think it comes down to when you were brought up. They idealize a time in the past where the man went to work and the woman stayed at home and had dinner and a drink ready at the end of the day. It was a time the woman knew here place and her role in society. Your neighborhood had the “right” amount of ethnic representation. It was a glorious time for men. They controlled everything – media, wall street, businesses.

Bill Maher had a very interesting line in his recent show –And then the 60s came and screwed it all up! Bill Maher had a very interesting line in his recent show – If you loved the 60s there is a good chance you are progressive and if you hated the 60s there is a good chance you are a conservative. 

Obviously, we cannot paint everyone with a broad brush, but if you consider that these are no longer beliefs but are now getting made into policy it makes you wonder.

There is one bright spark  – Trump has single handedly done what NO Democratic President has done before…….piss off the entire women’s voting demographic. The silver lining is now we have more and more women actively engaged in the political process and a significant increase in candidates running for elected office. As Maher, puts it lets hope that this President is the LAST of the 50s Man!

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Pope Music

The new Pope has been on a tear for the past two years. If ever the term “Hope and Change” can aptly be used, it would be for His Holiness. He is fundamentally transforming the Roman Catholic institution’ thinking (not doctrines but attitudes) with some of the most liberal and progressive views. Here are a sample of his recent stances on various issues:

a) Global Warming – Pope Francis has blamed human selfishness for global warming in his long-awaited encyclical calling for action on climate change (Reference – Link )

b) in July 2013,  “If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge… it is not right to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.” (Reference – Link )

c) On Atheism – Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists (Reference – Link )

d) Abortion – Pope Francis opened a special, temporary, “mercy” window to make it easier for women who have abortions and confess to get back into the full good graces of the church (Reference – Link )

Don’t get me wrong he is NOT a liberal, and the softening of his positions on key issues opens up an opportunity for a conversation regarding change within an institution that has been long criticized as anachronistic. He still has to make significant changes in multiple areas such as improving the response to the pedophilia charges, contraception, female priests to name a few. As Jorge Ramos of Univision put it, ” He has delivered style but not substance (yet)”

That brings me to Free Market Capitalism. Here is a quote from Yr-2013:
[S]ome people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

Over the past two years, on numerous occasions the Pope has been very vocal of the “evils of capitalism” and the “Free Market” comparing “Unbridled Capitalism” as the “Dung of the Devil”

So what does all this mean to our stateside Conservatives. Clearly such positions are in conflict with our country’s conservative pro capital viewpoints. From a fiscal standpoint clearly his positions on Free Market makes our conservatives squirm, but his take on social and environmental issues really has them in an uproar.

As an outside observer of this there is a certain element of schadenfreude in watching this unravel. For years the conservatives felt they had the backing of the Church on key social issues (read – marriage, abortion, contraception etc.). Now here comes a Pope who is no longer interested in having the traditional conversations on social issues but rather would like to bring wealth inequality and climate change to the forefront of the conversation. In other words (quoting a particular right wing talk radio person) he is a “Marxist”.

So here is how a typical conversation goes:
– “Climate change is a fact” there is a broad consensus amongst almost all scientific institutions around the world
– ” How can u say that? there was a scientist in the UK who was “fudging” his research and it has been proven to be a hoax
– “Yes! that was one person and he was discredited BUT there still remains the fact that there is broad consensus”.
– I don’t believe it for the following reasons – a)climate has changed before so this is cyclical; b) it has actually been colder in the past few years; c) increasing CO2 has no effect; d)they said we will pass point of no return but we didn’t”..and so on
– “OK but let me reiterate – consensus is broad; proof is real and even the Pope has called it out as one of the most important issues of our time”
– (quoting Santorum)” “The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours,”

Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic and a once long-shot contender for the Republican nomination, told a Philadelphia radio station: “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality.”

So riddle me this:
– We cannot take direction from the Pope on matters related to science since that should be left to the scientist.
– We cannot take direction from the Pope on matters of wealth and free markets since that should be left to the Economists
– But we should take direction from the Pope on contraception related matters since that cannot be left to the doctors or health care specialists?

The answer cannot be cause it is in the good book?….cause the good book is very specific about charity; greed and wealth. So then where does this hypocrisy originate from?

The answer – it is the “Conservative Bubble”. The beauty of this bubble is it is impenetrable to logic, reason and rational thought. The bubble is fed by a steady diet of talking points from the right wing radio and television outlets. While the so called pundits are getting rich pandering the same weak talking points, the folks who listen to them are struggling to enter or stay in the middle class.

Actual Example (s)

– One of the conservative talk show hosts allege that Boehner’s resignation was timed to coincide with the Pope’s arrival so he can spend the last month of his term executing Obama’s remaining Marxist agenda. All this because Boehner was instrumental in bringing the Pope stateside.

– Sarah Palin trying her best to equate her son’s domestic abuse to Obama’s policies (Link to Story). You just cannot argue with this kind of lunacy.

Maybe the Pope’s visit to the US was a positive harbinger of change to conservative attitudes. Or maybe I should look out the window and see if pigs are flying.