Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

How appropriate to be able to celebrate this day just two days before Election Day, isn't it?

And just for fun, here are a couple of toe-tapping Halloween-y videos for your amusement. First up, the classic, "Monster Mash":

And what Halloween would be complete without a piece from "Rocky Horror Picture Show"? That's right - none. Get ready to sing:

If you are going out tonight, have fun, and be safe.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Day Has Finally Come!

No, not Election Day, though yeah, that's right around the corner (thank heavens). No, I mean my very last visit with my Physical Therapist. YAY!!! And he came about an hour earlier than usual, too, so that was good. Oh, what a relief. Not that I am done with physical therapy, not by a long shot. That is a lifelong event for me. But I no longer have to deal with Rico Suave (as he sees himself) on a regular basis. And no more political discussions with him, either.

Or so I thought. I had already been doing physical therapy exercises for about 1 1/2 hrs before Mr. Suave showed up, and then he had me do some more exercises. Our time together generally culminated in a walk up and down my (long)driveway, and this visit was no different. I was so relieved, having noticed he already had his glasses with him, and his clipboard, so clearly, he was going to leave as soon as we got back to his car. Except we started talking about the state of education on the walk, and by the time we got to the car, he said,"Yeah, I wanted to mention something just a little bit political." He then launched into his impressions of Nikki Haley, going on and on about her platform, though he threw in a dig about Sarah Palin saying that at least Nikki Haley is more eloquent than Palin. I told him that Palin really didn't say she could see Russia from her house, that was Tina Fey, and mentioned that Palin's dad was a teacher. That was all I could get out before he brushed it off, didn't want to hear anything else (because really, why - he had already decided she was a moron, so why listen to anything that might contradict that?).

So, he talked on and on about what Haley wants, and when he took a breath, I said, "Well, what about Vincent Sheheen? What's HIS platform?" His response? "I don't really know, but, well, um, uh, probably neither one of them will be all that good" (or words close to that effect). Uh huh. And back to Haley. He made a point of watching Haley, looking for anything he could criticize (that she wants to cut taxes is one of the things on which he focused since SC schools are so crappy). But her male competitor? What was HIS stance on taxes and education? How the hell would the PT know? He just knew he was going to try and convince me not to vote for Nikki Haley. I hadn't said anything about her one way or the other, so ALL of his pontificating was completely unsolicited. (For the record, Vincent Sheheen has talked about tax reform after being pushed by a small business owner on the rates small businesses pay.)

Imagine my, um, delight, when Mr. PT said he would drop by if he was out this way, and was going to keep my number. Oh, joy. That's just jake...

While I am talking about SC politics, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the platform for the Democratic candidate for US Senator, Alvin Greene. He is happily campaigning along on this platform: the recession is all Senator Jim DeMint's fault. Huh? Now, I am no big fan of DeMint's but honestly, I had no idea the man was that powerful. And if he is, I am going to ask him to pick my lottery numbers for me so we can get that little place down in Montserrat on which I've had my eye. Want to know what is REALLY surprising? That DeMint is leading him by ONLY 37%!! Really? Not, say, 100%?? That is pretty scary, if you ask me. Just in time for Halloween!

Okay, I have said some unkind things about N.O.W. recently, all deserved, IMHO (like endorsing Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman), but they have finally realized that they were supposed to represent ALL women. Yep - they have now come out and condemned an online tabloid for running an anonymous article about Christine O'Donnell, US Senate candidate in Delaware:
[snip] O’Neill said that while NOW “finds O’Donnell’s political positions dangerous for women … that does not mean it’s acceptable to use slut-shaming against her, or any woman.” [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

A bit backhanded "support," but there you are.

Finally, I asked my good buddy, Divine Democrat, a Chicago suburg resident (who may be posting again at Bad Habit come November - YAY), about how things are playing out in IL with the two candidates running for Obama's seat. She responded with the following (and I post this with her permission, and with a few edits for typos and space):
Well, elections in IL are always down and dirty so it's never a surprise to us when the dirty tricks begin. I knew when Obama became President he would be bringing his dirty style politics to Washington with him and he hasn't disappointed. The thing is, most people blamed it all on Rahm (who is a real sleezeball), but it wasn't just Rahm, it's Obama making the calls on the real sleezy stuff...especially if it's sneaky and backroom style. For instance, that mess in FL with Clinton pressuring Meek to quit. On Greta Van Susteran last night, she was interviewing Crist and he said that he knew about it and that he had spoken to "someone in the White House" about it. Greta, bless her heart, tried to get him to tell who it was but he refused so she started rattling off names...but he said "no, it wasn't him". But the one name she didn't mention was Obama, himself. I know it was him! That's the way Obama works. I also know if she had mentioned Obama's name to Crist that he would not be able to say "no" so convincingly. He's a real sleezeball, too.

In IL, I don't think Quinn has a chance in hell of winning the Governor race. Everywhere I go I see Brady signs. Oh..and Alexi Giannoulias will only win if the numbers are cooked (which they probably will be, I heard the dead vote will be coming out in droves). I also see Kirk signs wherever I go (although I haven't been in the Chicago city limits since the last Sox game)...(Alexi) doesn't look like he's put in an honest days work in his entire life. Just like Obama, he's had everything handed to him on a silver platter.

I can tell you this, if the Republicans do well in IL, say they take the Senator and Governor position, it won't bode well for Rahm Emanuel when he runs for Mayor. Rahm will just be seen as another Obama lackey and Obama is not that well loved, even in IL...

I only wish Dick Durbin was up for re-election this term...I'd love to kick his ass out of office, too.

Divine Democrat made some more interesting comments about Rahm Emanuel in a follow-up email as I asked if the residency issue had been swept under the rug. She wrote:
No one in Chicago is really talking about the eligibility of Rahm, that was buried along with the rest of the corruption within the Chicago political hierarchy. I did hear something about the "Anybody but Rahm" coalition forming which first started within the City Council with aldermen who don't want another "bully" mayor. It seems to be spreading to Latino and African American leaders. So, we'll see, I guess. I still won't count him out, though...I'm sure he'll get enough Union leaders who will take a few of those aldermen to the back room for a, talking to.

Short of it is, that Rahm is not popular, but given his methods, one cannot count him out. Yep, we know all about those methods, don't we?

Well, I'm going to stop rambling now go try and recover from my physical therapy. What is happening in your neck of the woods on the political front? I'd sure be interested to know...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Is Up With These Liberal Women - UPDATED

Feeling compelled to use such derogatory terms about other women? Recently, Joy Behar of The View has used the "b"word when talking about Nevada US Senatorial candidate, Sharron Angle, for no other reason that I can discern except Angle is a conservative. Oh, but Ms. Behar didn't stop there, oh, no. She also said Angle could "go to hell."

No need to take my word for it. Here she is:

But you know, as a minister, I am just so glad that Sherri Shepherd offered to "pray" for Ms. Angle. Wow, isn't that just so, um, kind, of Ms. Shepherd? It was at that point that Joy Behar suggested Angle could go to hell.


Amy Siskind of The New Agenda, in an interview with The Daily Caller, has called for Joy Behar to apologize not just to Ms. Angle, which she most definitely NEEDS to do, but to women in general, for using such sexist language.

Ms. Siskind was joined in that call by Sonja Eddings Brown of The Kitchen Cabinet, a more conservative organization, in the same Daily Caller piece:
“We thought Joy Behar was a classier act than this,” Brown wrote in an e-mail to TheDC. “What is it that makes conservative women, who work inside and outside of the home, such a threat to liberal women like Joy? What has Sharron Angle done to deserve being described so profanely by Ms. Behar?”

Excellent question. Why is someone like Angle such a threat to Behar? Or Sarah Palin? Rarely are their actual political stances mentioned when these belittling comments are made. I guess the fact that they are conservative is justification enough.

Well, come to think of it, apparently Hillary Clinton must be conservative, too, considering the comments made about her by women like Randi Rhodes (remember that horrible diatribe Rhodes went on at an Obama fundraiser?).

Sigh. I swear, women are our own worst enemies sometimes, aren't we?

Bottom line, Behar was way out of line. That kind of language is unacceptable, or should be. Amy Siskind said it all in the DC interview:
“She should be ashamed of herself. She truly should…And if she cannot apologize I think The View should really consider whether she is appropriate for that kind of show,” Siskind concluded. (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Amen to that, Ms. Siskind. Behar should be ashamed. And "The View" might want to take a step back, look at Ms. Behar's behavior of late, and see if she is the kind of person they want to keep employing on a show primarily for women.

One last thing, speaking of women. Guess who are starting to take another look at Obama and changing their minds? Yep. Women. It is our prerogative to change our minds after all, isn't it? Ahem. My guess is that many women bought his smooth talk about how he was different from everyone else, and would never threat them the way other politicians do (you should be hearing a little Barry White in the background). They believed him when he said he would bring change, would bring them some hope and chocolates. But now? Not so much. They've heard this story before and are seeing that with Obama, the only change is with those who voted for him the first (and only) time and the box they check on their ballots this time around...

UPDATE: Well, Joy Behar apologized for calling Sharron Angle a "bitch," if you can call it that:

Wow. Some apology. If Behar wants to take umbrage with her on specifics, that's fine. Do that. But what she did I still contend was sexist. And her apology was not much of one...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Madame Secretary!

Happy Birthday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, going strong at 63! Here's to many, many more happy returns of the day!

The REAL Unemployment Numbers Coming To Light

"60 Minutes" dropped a bombshell on their 10/24 broadcast regarding the unemployment numbers in this country. We have been hearing for some time that the figure stands at 9.6%. Turns out, that is a big crock of hooey (and h/t to Jammie Wearing Fool for highlighting this report). Yes, even though the 9.6% is a tough figure to stomach to be sure, it has remained below 10%, which is a major benchmark in terms of economic standing, as well as political rhetoric.

Except it hasn't. Nope. Turns out that the unemployment number is more like 17%, particularly when one factors in the underemployed. Add to that people who have been on Unemployment for 99 weeks, much less those who have exceeded that time, and it paints a bleak picture indeed:

To hear these stories is just heartbreaking, isn't it? Some states are suffering more than others. For instance, the state of California has an unemployment rate closer to 22%. One can understand, then, why Jerry Brown's economic remedy is this (h/t to Gina):

"If we can find some more money, we can dish it out."

Wow. And he's currently leading Meg Whitman in CA? For real?? Holy moley. I am sure that is a comfort to those who are currently in need. Ahem. That is one heckuva plan there, Brownie.

And speaking of Jerry Brown, if I may digress for a moment, check out this little news clip (again, h/t to Gina):

"Yawn - I just can't be bothered talking any more about my aide calling former CEO, and fellow gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman a whore. What's the big deal, anyway?? Sheesh. Get off it already."

Ah, yes - I can see why N.O.W. endorsed him over Whitman, can't you? (That's snark, btw...)

Back to the issue at hand. Not only is the actual number much higher than is generally claimed by this Administration, but many of these people currently unemployed have been out of work for over a year. Imagine that - out of work for over a YEAR. Even with unemployment compensation, that fundamentally changes how one lives. Some of you know all too well what that is like, how heartbreaking, frustrating, and demeaning that is, even when the loss of the job is not performance related (and in this economy, that is the case for most folks).

And why is the actual number being underreported? Why is Obama not focusing all of his attention on this issue, rather than, I dunno, claims that the Chamber of Commerce is trying to impact the midterm elections, and taking funds from foreign nations with ZERO proof. (Oh, and in an ironic twist of fate, guess who actually takes in more foreign money, twice as much, to be exact? You guessed it - the Democrats! Oopsie daisy.)

Let's see. What else has Obama been focusing on rather than unemployment, and the economy in general? Oh, yes. His all-time favorite thing. Campaigning. Yep - he's been traipsing all over this land of ours, from sea to shining sea, endorsing all manner of candidates with a "D" after their names (whether they want him to or not, I presume) in an attempt to stave off what is looking like a bad election for the Democrats.

Except for one. That would be Rhode Island Democratic candidate for Governor, Frank Capprio. Seems Obama has declined to endorse him because of his buddy, Lincoln Chafee, former Republican now Independent who endorsed Obama back in the day, who is also in the race. Oh, the White House will send out Vice President Joe Biden to assist whacky Alan Grayson down in Florida in his campaign, but not Capprio (you remember Grayson, right? He is the one who said Republicans' health plan is for "sick people to die quickly."). Well, Mr. Capprio isn't taking this lying down. His response to Obama on his refusal to endorse him? "Shove it." No, seriously - that's what he said! "Shove it!"

I think "Shove It!" is what many Americans are going to be saying next Tuesday, too, those people who fall in the 17%, or even 22%, of the unemployed. Those who have lost their livelihoods, often their homes, and had their worlds turned upside down by this economy that Obama has been just too busy to address. No, he would rather tilt at windmills like the Chamber of Commerce boondoggle, or push his Obamacare on us, the issues involved with it coming to light every day (simply put, it's gonna cost us a gazillion dollars), push his Cap and Trade (which will also cost us a gazillion dollars), or travel around the country on our dime to shore up (fading) support for the likes of Harry Reid, than deal with the real issues facing our country. Gee, can't imagine why some folks might see this election as a referendum on Obama, can you?

People in this country are hurting, and hurting badly. Jobs are hard, if not impossible, to come by. Finally, at least one of the major network news sources is willing to acknowledge what some of the other stations (like Fox) have been reporting, and before an election, to boot. So, good for CBS for doing this (finally). Kinda makes you wonder just what else they are "under-reporting" or under-counting, doesn't it? Sure does me. In this case, though, hopefully, something positive will happen in the upcoming election to help out the (almost) 1 out of 5 Americans. Better than hope, get out and vote.

Friday, October 22, 2010

NPR Succumbs To Political Correctness Dictated By One Radical Group Raises Concern

Many have written about the abrupt firing of NPR and Fox News commentator, Juan Williams, for comments Mr. Williams made regarding Muslims on a recent Bill O'Reilly program. There is no need for me to duplicate their worthy efforts (Bronwyn's Harbor of NQ has two very good posts on the incident, and some of the fall-out of the firing. Logistics Monster has two great posts, too, one highlighting the issue of free speech, and following the money with C.A.I.R., the other has Bill O'Reilly speaking out.).

I do not always agree with Mr. Williams, but what happened to him is simply unacceptable, especially since NPR apparently caved to pressure from the Muslim organization, C.A.I.R., about which Uppity Women commented in her inimitable style:
You remember CAIR don’t you? The organization whose founder said he thought SHARIA Law in the USA would be great and Islam is not in America to be equal but to dominate? CAIR, the organization accused of having ties to Islamofascism? That CAIR?

Yep. That C.A.I.R.

Well, it turns out that not everyone is so happy with C.A.I.R's insistence, and NPR's caving, as this article in the Daily Caller by Caroline May indicates, Muslims Speak Out Against NPR’s Political Correctness:
While a Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), was instrumental in getting National Public Radio (NPR) to fire Juan Williams, some Muslims are speaking out against succumbing to the censorship of political correctness.

Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, took issue with those who wrap themselves in feel-good sensitivity, while denying the fact that the majority of terrorists are Muslim. (Emphasis mine.)

Indeed, the threat is real enough even for Fatah, a liberal Muslim, who looks at women in burkas with skepticism. “I am scared when I see women in burkas, how do I know what is behind that?” Fatah said, noting that many Muslims share his concerns.

“We are victims of these guys. A number of suicide bombers who have attacked have killed people [while] wearing the burka,” Fatah said. “This is the truth, we should be speaking the truth rather than what people expect us to say. ”

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told The Daily Caller that though Williams could have been more tactful, his ouster is symptomatic of the problems Americans continue to face when discussing Islam.

“As much as the way he said it was poorly chosen, the era we find ourselves — of political correctness — we are not able to address what this fear is,” Jasser said. “Anybody that starts talking about this fear gets shut down.”

No kidding. Those of us who have tried to discuss the building of a mosque chosen for both its proximity to the World Trade Towers and because it had part of one of the planes fall on it, know this all too well. Heck, Bill O'Reilly (of whom I am not a fan) had Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg storm off the set of The View for his FACTUAL comment that the atrocities of 9/11 were perpetrated by Muslims. What the heck? 9/11 WAS committed by Muslims - there is simply no denying that reality! What does it serve Behar and Goldberg, or anyone, for that matter, to try and revise that reality? They were extremists, sure, but they committed these acts as a RESULT of their Muslim beliefs. Not all Muslims support that belief, but to deny that many do is just childish.

So, how are all of these "politically correct" folks going to deal with MUSLIMS saying they, too, get nervous when they see women in burkas because there is no telling what they might be hiding? When Muslims acknowledge that, yes, the people who committed these acts, these people who continue to plan and plot against us, are Muslims?

How in the world can NPR legitimately report news if they are unwilling to accept that, say Major Nassan, the Army psychiatrist who gunned down a number of his fellow soldiers, did so as a Muslim? Or the Times Square bomber, who, despite failing at his task, "spoke with pride" about his attempt to kill people because he is a Muslim? You know the one, Shahzad, just sentenced to life for this attempt, who said, "Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun" (emphasis mine)?

If NPR (and others) are willing to subject free speech, how in the WORLD can they be considered a reputable news source, especially when the opinions expressed by Mr. Williams are some shared by liberal Muslims themselves? Or when there are Muslim extremists flat out telling us to brace ourselves?

The reality of Muslim extremists targeting us was emphasized again in this article:
[snip] According to Jasser, the fact that the vast majority of national security threats emanate from the Muslim world makes Williams’ fear reasonable. Without open discussion, however, those concerns will never be conquered.

“I think that ultimately what we find when many thought leaders try to talk about it, [they say] ‘well there are some common elements to those who threaten national security,’ and the only one so far they have been able to nail down is that they come from some form of Islamic theology,’” Jasser said. “And because we have not become skilled in discussing theo-political threats, you’re having a lot of these little skirmishes happening.”


Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, echoed Fatah and Jasser. Schwartz told TheDC that he and his organization opposed NPR’s reaction to Williams’ comments.

“Mr. Williams is basically an opinion journalist and he offered an opinion based on an undeniable reality: American Muslims have so far failed in our duty to prevent negative perceptions among our non-Muslim neighbors, and many, unfortunately, have taken the existing concerns among non-Muslims as a challenge to assert Muslim identity more aggressively, through forms of dress as well as speech that are often extravagant and excessive,” Schwartz wrote in an e-mail to TheDC.

“Mr. Williams spoke to this reality in an understated, candid way. He did not express hatred or incite violence against Muslims. He should not have been dismissed.” (Click HERE to read the rest.)

What does it serve NPR, or Joy Behar, or any of the other "PC" people to deny the realty with which we are currently living? It is one thing for Behar and Goldberg to storm off the set of an opinion show, but NPR is SUPPOSED to be a reputable news outlet, not one subject to the so-called politically correct demands of a radical organization. The reaction of NPR says WAY more about them than Juan Williams' comment says about him. They have allowed themselves to be manipulated, and seem intent on revising our history of just who attacked us on 9/11, and why.

Should we fear all Muslims? Certainly not. But should we deny that it was, indeed, Muslims who attacked us on 9/11, shot our soldiers down at Fort Hood, tried to cause serious damage and loss of life in New York City's Time Square? Hell, no. And that is basically what Juan Williams was saying. Perhaps he said it inexpertly, but his reasoning was sound. We have legitimate reasons to be suspicious of certain groups from their own mouths (Shahzad, for example), and to pretend otherwise is sheer folly.

NPR should be ashamed of how it handled this situation, and that it allowed itself to be used by one organization whose motives are well documented. They are an embarrassment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Obama Administration Fights To Keep DADT (And Appeals DOMA Ruling)

By now, I am sure most of you have heard about the ruling by a federal judge in California, Virginia A. Phillips, that DADT is unconstitutional. The Republican group, Log Cabin Republicans, brought this suit. According to Jake Tapper's report, the judge ruled that:
"Defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the “Don't Ask, Don't tell” Act was necessary to significantly further the Government's important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion" wrote US District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips. "Defendants failed to meet that burden."

Lt. Dan Choi is an Arabic linguist, West Point grad, decorated war veteran, discharged under DADT. He speaks out here about Obama's decision to appeal for relief on the stay imposed by a CA judge of DADT, which was granted. The stay is on hold. Below, Lt. Dan Choi speaks out about this hold:

I honor Lt. Choi's service to this country, and am saddened at all he has had to endure as a result of this horrible policy. But I have to ask - after Obama's repeated actions on DADT, why does he still love him?

And after the actions this Administration has taken on DOMA, as well. The Obama Administration just appealed another DOMA ruling in MA in SUPPORT of DOMA. This is not the first time the Obama Administration has taken this action. The last time Obama did this was in CA, and that appeal likened gay people to pedophiles and incest perpetrators.

Given that, given Obama's numerous action that are clearly detrimental to the LGBT community, how is it he still "loves" Obama?? Then again, given Obama's numerous homophobic associates, why did he love him in the first place?

Obama has done everything in his power to NOT repeal DADT, asking for a report to be completed in Dec., after the mid-term elections, and after he loses a Dem. super majority (in addition to the appeals filed to uphold DADT). Surely that timing isn't lost on anyone, is it? Then he can blame everyone else when DADT is not repealed.

I hope Lt. Choi will have his service reinstated, and soon. But really, it is time, past time, to look at Obama with a clear eye. He is not a friend to the LGBT community, and has proven that time and time again. Stop excusing his behavior, and hold him accountable already.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Change Has Wrought

Many of us who refrained from drinking the Kool Aide or smoking the Hopium pipe have commented on all of the "changes" we have gotten under Obama. You know, the high unemployment, rampant foreclosures, runaway debt, deficit spending, and broken promise after broken promise.

But there is one other "change" that has reared its ugly head since the Obama campaign began, and that is the war on women. You know, the "Bros Before Hoes" (a slogan and t-shirt), "Sarah Palin Is a C..." t-shirts, the Hillary Clinton "nutcrackers," the "Life's A Bitch, Don't Vote For One" (in regard to Hillary Clinton) t-shirt, and on and on. We saw them all too often during 2008, with men (and some women) wearing them with glee.

Add to those displays the "comedienne" Sandra Bernhard threatening Sarah Palin with being gang-raped by black men (racist much, Sandra??) should she dare come to New York. Or Randi Rhodes, at a fundraiser for the Great Uniter, Obama, calling Hillary Clinton a whore. Oh, wait - I mean, "a big fucking whore." N.O.W., Naral, Planned Parenthood, all supporting the man in the race (and as recently mentioned, the California chapter of N.O.W. endorsing the man in the governor's race over the pro-choice woman, and supporting one of his aides calling her a whore).

And we cannot forget the blatant misogyny of many in the media since 2008. Three names sum it up: Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and David Shuster. Need I say more? Not only did many in the media routinely make sexist, even misogynistic statements, but they routinely failed to cover the news, like the young men yelling at Hillary Clinton, "Iron My Shirt!" You and I both know damn well had anyone yelled out at Barack Obama, "Shine My Shoes!" we would be hearing about blatant racism in the campaign to this day.

All of which is to say, the misogyny is not limited to displays by men, unfortunately. Too many women are all too ready to throw their lot in with them. I suppose their "logic" is that they should join in lest they be treated the same way by these same men. Perhaps they think if they side against women, too, they will be spared the horrific treatment that is becoming all too acceptable. It is just a bit disturbing when it comes from groups whose sole purpose is to support women.

Taken together, it makes the story below not so surprising, sadly. Not that it isn't emetic, mind you, but it is not surprising. Not after all we have seen since 2008, the t-shirts, the slogans, the flipping off by Candidate Obama of Hillary Clinton, the "sweetie" remarks toward a reporter, also by Candidate Obama, as well as the hint of PMS when he claimed Clinton might "get down periodically," or Obama's claiming that his challenge to the status quo "brings the claws out," along with the general rage against powerful women, both Democratic and Republican for having the audacity to run against men. The nerve of these women, those who dared to run for president, or governor, or senator, or representative - how freaking dare they?

Those attitudes, both subtle and overt, have an effect. They are, as Obama likes to say, "Teachable moments." But what these messages are teaching our young people is sickening. And that brings us to this from the Chronicle of Higher Learning, "Yale Fraternity Apologizes For Pledge Chants About Rape" (h/t to Pat Racimora):
The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale University apologized on Thursday for offensive chants against women that were shouted by new recruits on Wednesday evening. The young men, blindfolded, were marched through a part of the campus where female freshmen live while shouting, “No means yes, yes means anal!,” among other inflammatory chants. The pledging ritual sparked an outcry from Yale feminists and the Yale Women’s Center and a commentary in Salon.

Yep. Yale. The Salon article states:
[snip] Now, DKE President Jordan Forney has been forced to apologize for this blatant sexual intimidation by calling it "a serious lapse in judgment by the fraternity and in very poor taste." But this sort of hateful crap isn't a "lapse in judgment." It doesn't innocently happen that you're guiding male pledges by young women's dorms in the dark of night chanting about anal rape. It isn't a forehead-slapping slip-up, it's a sign that you need major reprogramming as a human being. [snip]

I'll say. But not just at Yale. Young men, and women for that matter, need reprogramming in general that treating women like this, whether they are young or old, is simply unacceptable. It is not okay to threaten young women with rape, just as it is not okay to threaten a political figure with gang rape or to attack a candidate based on gender and not on their political stance. The entire country could use some "re-programming," including Obama. Not THAT is some change I can support, and the sooner, the better.

Women in this country deserve at least that much, don't we?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pet Peeves

Is when someone tells me that I am flat out wrong on a statement of fact, not even entertaining for a second that I could be right, and when shown proof positive, still acts skeptical. Or having my personal experience as a woman (or lesbian) discounted precisely because I am a woman (and a lesbian). Oh, yes. That is just one of my all-time pet peeves, and it came up recently with my physical therapist.

My physical therapist doesn't know that I dwell in the world of politics except when recovering from major surgery (and thanks, everyone, for your support and concern. More on that below...). At my last visit with him, he brought up politics. First, he bashed Fox News, and anyone who would watch "such trash", claiming they make up news to suit their points, not report the news. I mentioned to him that Bret Baier routinely has someone from NPR on for the discussions at the end of his show (since he mentioned he likes NPR), and that Fox routinely has Democrats on. He said they were only the wimpy ones, though, not tough ones. Hmm. So, you know, they don't count. Like the current head of the DCCC, Chris Van Hollen, I suppose. Okay. Whatever. Let's find a way to not let facts influence our opinions. (I might add, before 2008, I had the same opinions about Fox, having never watched it. I believed the spiel from the DNC, Jon Stewart, MSNBC, and others. But they (Fox) were the only ones who treated Hillary Clinton with a modicum of respect, especially Greta Van Susteran, so I started giving them a chance. Turns out, they are not as horrible as the Democrats made them out to be.)

Meanwhile, my PT thinks MSNBC is just fine, naturally, and really only operates to counteract the vileness that is Fox. You know, they are performing a service, see, lest people fall under the spell of that horrible Fox machine. Misogynistic rhetoric by Keith Olbermann directed at Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Campaign was not something my PT noticed, but if there was anything, he suggested that I probably just noticed it since I am a woman. He couldn't think of any instances in which he heard anything misogynistic from Olbermann at all.

I am not kidding. He said all of this with nary a thought that he could be making an ass of himself, or that he was being just a tad sexist his own self by minimizing my saying something was sexist because I'm a woman. (I wonder if a person of color says something is racist, does his/her saying so automatically mean they are just being too sensitive? Or is this something left more for us little ladies when we cry foul on sexism?)

That set the tone for what came next. The PT insisted that I was completely, flat out, absolutely, completely, couldn't possibly be right, wrong when I said that that Obama stated there are 57 states, or that he said the Great Lakes are in Oregon, or that his parents were inspired to have him because of the March On Selma, even though that event occurred 4 years AFTER his birth, unless this information came solely from Fox News. You know how we women folk don't really know nothing and all. Well, I quickly found him an article from the LA Times, "Barack Obama Wants To Be President of These 57 United States," and asked if THAT was sufficient for him, even reading him this quote:
At a later stop Obama was talking with reporters and expressed concern he'd also mis-stated the number of potential cyclone victims in Burma. He said, ""I hope I said 100,000 people the first time instead of 100 million. I understand I said there were 57 states today. It's a sign that my numeracy is getting a little, uh." At that point, an aide cut him off and ushered journalists out. Before he could mis-speak again?)

I asked him if the LA Times would suffice. His response? He would have to look it up for himself. He is sitting there, seeing the LA Times masthead on my computer, but even that was not sufficient. Yeah, whatever, dude. Not only did he refuse to acknowledge any of the above instances of Obama misspeaking, but also blew off Obama's claim that Hillary Clinton won Kentucky because it borders Arkansas, apparently, not understanding that Kentucky borders Illinois' Southern border. His explanation? That for the people there, at least, it was a "psychological" closeness, so it made sense they would go for Hillary Clinton. Huh?? Wow. Oh, and I mentioned to him that the MSM did not do its job vetting Obama, that had Bush or ANYONE else, said these kinds of things, they would still be talking about them. Seems maybe MSNBC didn't provide him with as much information as he thought it did (or Jon Stewart, whom he mentioned as one of the people from whom most young people get their news). Ahem.

And you know what his immediate response was to the litany of "mistakes" Obama made? One thing - Hillary and Bosnia. Right. Her exaggeration of one story is equivalent to all of the misstatements and flat out lies of Obama's. Gotcha.

But here's the thing - that example cam tripping right off his tongue, but he knew NOTHING about Obama's gaffes and lies. That is telling in and of itself, isn't it?

But that is just one guy. We know there are so many more who don't notice the sexism because they are not women (according to my PT's logic). For instance, how about California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown denying that a woman being called a whore is as bad as a racial slur? Not only did he deny it, he dismissed it out of hand. He sure does know how to win a woman over, doesn't he?

I can make it a bit more local. Our SC Democratic nominee for the US Senate, Alvin Greene, was apparently just trying to flirt with a young woman when he showed her pornographic photos for which he has now been charged with a felony. At least that seems to be what his attorney was saying in this Washington Post article when the attorney said this:
"He was attempting to flirt with a young lady who had no interest in him," Eleazer Carter told The Associated Press. "While the charges are very serious, I think it boils down to, when a lady turns you down, has it reached a criminal offense?"

That's all it was, people - why is everyone making such a big deal out of it? Sheesh, c'mon, already - you little women need to stop being so sensitive.

Which is apparently what the California chapter of N.O.W. thinks in terms of calling women derogatory names. Yep - turns out they think it is A-Okay. You know what I mean - the Jerry Brown "hey, baby, being called a whore ain't such a bad thing," from the recent debate with gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. WTH??? Add to that Alvin Greene's "just flirting" assertion, and I just had to share this recent experience.

And speaking of physical therapy. I am still pretty busy with my daily regimen of physical therapy and dealing with high levels of pain (so, um, that's my excuse if there are any typos or anything. The PT did say this is what happens when your bone and muscle are cut. It hurts, like being hit with a police baton right on the tibia over and over 24/7 for 6 - 8 weeks. Yep, sounds about right.). I have missed our conversations, but also haven't been in a place where I can give the time I would like to fully engage. So, thank you again, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to me. I am working up to writing more regularly, I promise.

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Important Message From Ellen Degeneres On Bullying

Ellen Degeneres posted the following on Facebook about the recent death of Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi:

It is heartbreaking that Clementi felt so much shame, he felt he had no other recourse but to take his own life as a result of the despicable actions of his fellow students to stream LIVE such an intimate moment for this young man. Such a tragic end to a life so full of promise.

But the shame was not his. The shame is for those two students who dehumanized him in such a manner, who found humor in the degradation of another. They are the ones who should be ashamed, not Clementi. But it is too late for him.

We must make a change in our culture, in our society, in the way we are teaching our young people. We must change a culture in which someone would even CONSIDER doing something so invasive, so degrading, to a fellow student. We must take a good, long look at ourselves, the kinds of role models we are, the kind of behavior we have tolerated, the kind of people we want to be. And we must work HARD to not have this kind of thing happen ever again. We must do that now.

It is too late for Tyler Clementi. But it is not too late to stop this kind of behavior from occurring again.

My heart goes out to Tyler's family and friends. You are in my prayers...