Ruminations on Melania’s boobs

Breasts are pretty cool things.  I have some, and I like them.   They’ve served me well.

Having breasts is like, hmmm.  How to put this?   You know those poor, landlocked countries that the modern world seemingly left behind, but then they have some sort of fabulous undiscovered raw material lying under the earth’s crust and they dig it up and then everyone who lives there is super rich and happy because of it?   They’re like that.  Breasts are an asset.   A resource.  Something that a woman – any woman, but perhaps especially a woman who maybe doesn’t have much of anything else going for her in this world – can exploit when the situation requires it, to better her lot in life, even if only temporarily. Women have been capitalizing on that pair of natural resources since time began, in one way or the other.   Breasts can be a woman’s business.  Her bread and butter.  A woman wants to make some money off of her breasts, I say God Bless America.

Thus, I find it dismaying that people who claim to be hardcore liberal feminists are still, over a month after the election, complaining about Melania Trump because she posed topless back in her modeling days.   If you call yourself a liberal feminist but are freaked out because you saw Melania’s girlz in GQ and it’s like totally un-presidential, or un-first-lady-like, or something…you may want to think a little harder about how you define yourself.  If you really, really believe that women have an ultimate right to self-actualization, you must accept that some women are going to use their bodies for financial gain during their youth, and some of those exact same women are going to stop doing that as they get older and settle down, get married, have a family, enter politics, and so on.

This HAS TO be ok, if feminism is to really help improve the lives of women.   Within reason, female choices must be legitimized whenever possible, even when we don’t personally embrace them.  Right??  I mean, I never really felt motivated to pose in soft core porn photo shoots personally, but I’m glad that another woman was able to make some scratch doing it.   I didn’t strip my way through college, but then again I didn’t have to.  Diffrent strokes for diffrent folks.  Women should not be perceived as “tainted” in perpetuity when, for reasons of choice or circumstance, they decide to profit from their bodies in the short term, for long term benefits for their lives or their children’s lives.

Most liberals are generally on board with that principle for anyone who is NOT Melania Trump.   There’s a bit of a double standard at play here where anything the Trumps do is like zOMG shocktastic.  Melania posed topless.  In a men’s magazine.  By consenting adults, for consenting adults.  Big whoop.  She was doing her job.  Her body got her out of a Soviet bloc country and into a lifetime of wealth and comfort.  She hurt no one and in fact probably made more than a few people happier.

In the meantime, there are people who are doing things significantly more questionable than Melania’s photoshoot, who are given a pass due to their politics.  Katy Perry attempts to go on Sesame Street in a blouse that barely covers her nipples.  More recently, former Disney child star Miley Cyrus let a crowd of people feel her up (is this not just a little tiny bit weird?  I find this concerning.  Dolly, please intervene.)   Liberals, ya can’t complain about the one person’s behavior and not about the others, it’s hypocritical.  You can’t glorify sexuality incessantly on the one hand – even at times when the majority of people think it’s icky and inappropriate –  and then try and paste your political opponents for their unladylike behavior.  Discriminate slut shaming is like trying to kill a mosquito with a sawed off shotgun – you may hit your target but you’re blowing a hole in everything else at the same time.

Guess what – the First Lady of the United States is NOT Mrs. Santa Claus.  She is not necessarily an asexual granny with a string of pearls and a platter of cookies.  That is not a prerequisite for the job.  The only thing the First Lady needs to be, is married to the President.  Melania Trump is a woman who had a life and a career before her husband decided to run for office, and her life and career led her to make a decision to use some of her God-given gifts to earn a buttload of cash.  Good for her.  I wish her the best of luck.

Journalistic integrity and Arabic on a plane

That sounds like a really bad Samuel L Jackson movie.  Or a really good one.

Yesterday in the news, a hilarious YouTube prankster by name of Adam Saleh claimed that he was kicked off a Delta Airlines flight because he was speaking to his mom on the phone in Arabic.  Shit-flippery ensued, and lo and behold it quickly came out that this dude gets his jolliez off of going onto airplanes and acting suspiciously.  He then records people’s reactions to that and posts that on YouTube, I guess to point out anti-Muslim sentiment or something.    I haven’t watched them.  I have a data cap and a lot of stuff to bingewatch.

When this isn’t exciting enough for Mr. Saleh, it seems that he actually makes stuff up to post.  He posted a video where he was seemingly harassed by the NYPD for his religion, except for that it was really a paid actor impersonating the NYPD.   Last week, he posted a video where he claimed to have stuffed himself into a suitcase and fly from Melbourne to Sydney.  Except for that he didn’t and security cameras show him simply boarding the plane and that the whole thing was a hoax.  He’s also said some pretty heinous things and videotaped himself verbally abusing people to goad them into physical altercations.  But let’s set that aside for now and focus on the pranking and the response to that.

in all honesty, I don’t think these things are that huge a deal.  There are tons of similar douchenozzle pranksters on YouTube, of varying ethnic backgrounds, running all kinds of different pranks on unsuspecting people.  While Saleh is clearly just another punk, I kind of admire his spirit.  I think it’s kind of cool that Westernized Islam has produced a comical prankster dyed-hair brah guy out there getting in people’s faces, making a gross amount of money on YouTube and showing everyone just how awesome livin’ large in a non-caliphate can be,  My problem is not with Adam Saleh per se. My problem is how this story was reported without question in the press.

Ok.  So we have a guy with a history of pranks and fake videos, many of which were actually done on airplanes, but the mainstream media reports that he was kicked off a plane for speaking Arabic, as a fact, with ZERO checking.  Literally no checking.  LITERALLY NO CHECKING.  A 30 second Google search would have given any rational, responsible reporter more than enough reason to pause and investigate further before running this story.   Yet some mainstream media sources are STILL running this story as fact today, a day later.


Forget Journalism 101.  I learned this shit in HIGH SCHOOL journalism.  You don’t just run a story, you verify it first.  And if you can’t verify it, you don’t run it.

I recently watched a really great movie called Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s investigation into Catholic priests and sex abuse.  This investigation took place between 2001 and 2003.   The most remarkable thing is the lengths that the journalists went to, to confirm and back up the allegations of molestation before they made them.  They worked for 2 YEARS to confirm these allegations.  Children were in legitimate danger and they didn’t run the story until they had confirmation.  Because that is what good reporters should do.  It’s journalistic integrity.  Wait to run the story until you have confirmation.

Not any more.  We apparently have a new law of journalism.  It used to be “if it bleeds, it leads”.  But now, the law is – if it fits the liberal narrative, running it immediately is imperative.  (I worked really hard on that BTW.)

Now, some might argue that journalists have a responsibility to run stories on things like, let’s say, a sudden rash of racist graffiti.  And sometimes those things cannot BE confirmed.  But they’re still news and should be reported upon.  Ok.  That’s a story, I agree, and difficult or impossible to confirm who was responsible.   Just like how journalists have a responsibility to report when a dead body is found.  They don’t wait around to find out the circumstances under which a living body turned into a dead one, they report that a body was found.  Right away.  It’s news.

But you know what they don’t do, is this: “MURDER!!  Murder bloody murder!  Murder most foul has been committed by gangs of murdering murderers that are very likely outside your window right now, plotting more murder!  Maybe they’re gonna murder you next!!   Who knows!!”   They wait until they’ve talked to witnesses, or the police, to find out if it was really a murder, or if it was a suicide, or someone died of illness or old age or the cold or a car accident.   They don’t report something was a murder FIRST and then backtrack, they report that an incident has occurred and then wait to fill in the blanks.  “A body has been found.”

The press could have gone either way with the Adam Saleh story.  They could have done the Boston Globe thing, and after 30 seconds of Googling decided to maybe wait and confirm the facts with witnesses before running it.  Or, they could have taken a neutral, impartial approach and chosen their words carefully, to indicate that an incident had occurred, but that not all the facts were in yet.   “A YouTube prankster claims…”

But, that didn’t happen.  Journalists in 2016 are the lapdogs of the status quo and have so little self-awareness that they can’t even change up their rhetoric the teensiest bit to try and trick people into believing that they’re not totally slanted.   What happened between 2003 and today, guys?  That was less than 2 decades ago!  You used to be scrappy go-getters willing to do anything to get that story, dedicated to truth, justice, the American way and all that bullshit.  Now too many of you stay ensconced in your ivory tower shaking a fist at the Internetz while desperately attempting to manipulate reality to promote a certain political and cultural worldview, armed with nothing but a tattered copy of Strunk and White and a Twitter account.

Expecting anyone to worry about “fake news” in this midst of this journalistic perfect storm is like analyzing about what’s on the menu while the restaurant is burning down around you.   It’s what happens when the lunatics are put in charge of the asylum.   Stop this mutual suicide pact you’ve all apparently entered into, get that picture of Ernie Pyle out of mothballs and put it on your desk, and really think about what it means to have the privilege and the responsibility of being a journalist.  It means something.  Live up to it.

Rory Gilmore’s abortion.

Check out this link.

One of my fave shows is Gilmore girls.  Despite its incessant, insufferable quirkiness I found a lot to like in that show, partly because I had a child at a young age too.  I could relate to the feeling that you were growing up together and the strangeness of raising a child when sometimes you felt like you were just a kid yourself, of trying your best to make a family when the rest of the world keeps telling you “you are going about this all wrong”.

Gilmore girls was and is a unique show in that regard.  So many shows portray surprise pregnancies as a life-ruining disaster, and young moms as borderline abusive trainwrecks. How dare any woman ever have a child in anything less than totally ideal circumstances? GG did not do that, and I just really, really appreciated the take that yeah, this is a thing that happens sometimes and when it does, a lot of us proceed to get our shit together, grow up as best we can, have ourselves a baby and work our tushies off to take care of it.   Disaster does not always ensue.

Spoiler alert – so the new Netflix reboot ends with Rory finding herself surprised by a pregnancy.  The show’s creator, Amy Sherman Palladino, hinted that maybe Rory might have an abortion, for all we know.   Then the ever-so wise writers at Cosmo proceeded to turn this into a thought piece so gross that it could only have been written in 2016.

Their take – Amy Sherman-Palladino is a forked-tongue hypocrite because she said that. She’s a hypocrite because  Gilmore girls did not actively show a bunch of people having abortions when they could have.   There were several pregnancies on the show, the author argues, so surely at least ONE of them could have ended with an abortion, for Pete’s sake.   What a wasted opportunity.

Hey Cosmo – have you even SEEN this show?   It’s a piece of cotton candy, it’s like a warm bath on a cold day.  It is soft and fluffy and while the characters do have problems sometimes, they aren’t generally abortion-level problems.  We don’t see Lorelai’s wacky mammogram or Lorelai’s dad’s wacky prostate exam.  We don’t see Rory’s wacky bout with ringworm or that wacky-yet-tense convo when Jess informed Rory that she’d better wackily get checked for an STD and then Rory wackily had to tell Dean the same thing.  We don’t see the doctor scolding Sukie (or Sookie) over her wacky high cholesterol levels or Michel clipping his wacky French ingrown toenail.   It is not that show, people.  How could anyone who has ever watched and enjoyed Gilmore girls seriously think, “ya know, what this show needs is more abortions.”

The entire premise of the show is that pregnancies, even if unplanned, don’t have to ruin your life and while they can change it, that change is not always a bad thing.    THAT IS THE PREMISE OF THE SHOW.  I’m sorry if you don’t like that premise, but there are a thousand other shows that portray pregnancy as some form of female kryptonite bringing Superwoman to her knees, something that must be avoided at all costs.  Personally, I like that premise.  That premise is the reason why I watched the show.

Yeah, some of the scenarios in which pregnancies occurred were not pulled off as well as they could have been.   But at the same time those scenarios were obviously meant to be surreal and played for maximum quirkiness.  Like, the storyline where Jackson lies about getting a vasectomy hoping for another kid someday, and Sookie (or Sukie) ends up pregnant – does anyone really think that is meant as realistic conversation about male responsibility for birth control?  It’s a plot device, a complication, a hurdle for our gang to overcome with girl power and working-mom-teamwork.   Faux-vasectomies are not a realistic problem faced by women and thus the suggestion that the harsh light of reality should be shone onto Stars Hollow with a midnight call to Planned Parenthood is like suggesting that there should be an episode of Laverne and Shirley where they explore their sexuality.  IT IS NOT THAT SHOW, PEOPLE!

Abortion warriors, if you want to address a related problem that actual women do face, I personally know women who have had the opposite occur – they really wanted a child or more children, and their husband had a vasectomy against their wishes.  Other women are pressured into having abortions they do not want by husbands or partners.  Not a few women either (I am a fertility doula in my day job so I talk to a lot of women on 6 continents about their childbearing experience.  This is a serious problem for many women around the world.)  If you wanna open a dialogue, Cosmo, let’s talk about that.

That’s not a dialogue Cosmo wants to have, because it detracts from their doctrine that pregnancy is a horrible tragic event and destroys women’s lives and bodies irrevocably, and abortions are just downright delightful.  Abortions are everything wonderful in the world. Abortions are kittens, puppies, and little baby ducks all rolled into one.  They’re like glitter, everything is improved with a little sprinkling of abortions on top.

Just please – not in Stars Hollow!






Down the diversity rabbit hole

In the news today is some sort of kerfluffle betwixt Margaret Cho and Tilda Swinton, regarding diversity.

Short version, Tilda was hired to play a part in a movie based on a 50 year old comic book that has been read by less than .001% of the population.  This part, in the comic, had been originally written as an elderly Asian man.  50 years ago.  In a comic book that has been ready by less than .001% of the population.

According to the people who made the movie – writers, directors, producers – the part had been totally rewritten and revamped BECAUSE of a desire to avoid stale, tired, racial stereotypes like “wise old Asian sensei”.  They rewrote it as kind of a Celtic guardian type (also done to death, by the way, but hey, it’s Hollywood, we can’t expect much) and cast Swenton in a part that actually suits her DNA very well.

Ok.  So a desire to not be racist, led to accusations of racism.  (I humbly suggest that if they hadn’t rewritten the part at all, and cast James Hong instead, they’d have been criticized on that account as well).  Anyway, the usual suspects proceeded to flip their shit over it.

The thing that gets up under my hoopskirts about this is that the unlikely casting of Tilda Swenton in an action movie, IS diversity.  She’s an older, unconventionally attractive, androgynous-yet-straight woman who has managed to find success in Hollywood despite not fitting into anyone’s tidy box.  Casting Tilda Swenton (in anything, let alone an action movie) is certainly no less diverse than had they cast Zhang Ziyi as a “sexy Asian sensei” or  Lucy Liu as “older sexy Asian sensei” or Michelle Yeoh as “much older sexy Asian sensei”.  It is no less diverse than if they’d cast Jackie Chan as “bumbling Asian sensei” or Jet Li as “cool Asian sensei”.  Would any of those really been in any way an improvement in the diversity department??  Less stereotypical?  Would it have helped underrepresented Asian actors in any way?

If the same 7 Asian actors (all of whom white people are super comfy with, BTW) get cast again and again in every movie ever made, that is not diverse, sorry.   Makes the rich richer and does nothing at all to help “underrepresentation”.  The only diverse-er casting I can come up with, other than Tilda Swenton, is Margarat Cho as “totally unexpected completely unathletic bisexual wacky wisecracking Asian sensei”.   Not in keeping with the tenor of the movie, perhaps, but yeah wow that’s more diverse.  Maybe next reboot.

I’m not saying that was Cho’s motivation here, not at all, but I do think she had SOME motivation that was not 99 and 44/110% pure.  Call me a cynic, but as a student of human nature, I am not convinced that the fight over “diversity” is always a legitimate one.   Sometimes, usually even, but not always.  Sometimes there is an ugly thread of selfishness underlying the noble talk about representation and fairness and social justice that boils down to folks basically saying “give me a bigger piece of the pie.”  And that’s ok, actually.  Everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie.   But for fuck’s sake, can ya not demand your pie without lying and misrepresenting the beliefs and positions of other people?

Because Margaret Cho did that.  She completely mischaracterized what Tilda Swenton had to say, almost in a fake-hate-crimey kind of way.   For attention, for self-promotion, maybe just to get a laugh on a talk show, I have no idea why.   Cho basically honeytrapped an admittedly out of touch middle aged woman who doesn’t even have social media, into being all like “yeah I’m totally working on a project with Asians” and then Cho played that card publicly.  It’s self-serving and sneaky and wrong.  Even if Tilda Swenton is operating on pure unadulterated white privilege (and yeah, I can see that in a couple spots, and yeah, I can imagine how that could rub a person the wrong way) that does NOT justify dishonestly smearing another person in order to personally benefit from racial animosity.

There is enough real, unendurable awfulness in the world already.  We don’t need more.  We don’t need to encourage a climate where everyone is afraid to talk to each other openly and honestly, about the serious issues facing humanity, for fear that it may be twisted, taken out of context, used against us the next day.    We don’t need these shifting sand definitions of “diversity”and “privilege” that change situationally and thus can be used against anyone at any point in time.  We don’t need to encourage a climate where no one can ever be sure if accusations of racism are genuine or drummed up/elicited via entrapment and we no longer are capable of believing victims at their word.  It’s toxic.


World’s weirdest civics lesson.

“More and more, we’re counting on having angels in office and making ourselves vulnerable to devils.” – Conor Friedersdorf

In the months and weeks before the 2016 election, there were several news reports lamenting the lack of civics education in public schools.  Little did they know that America was about to get the lesson of a lifetime.

For the last few years, I have been trying (and mostly failing) to explain to my Blue Tribe friends and acquaintances why enacting their vision of progressive heaven on earth via the heavy hand of government was such a fool’s errand.  How forcibly creating this world where we are all “free to love” whoever we want (while retaining the freedom to hate Christians, anti-vaxxers, and guns, of course) under one super strong Federal power structure designed to enforce this “love” was such an incredibly dangerous proposition.

I tried and tried to explain the risks inherent in weakening the checks and balances, in eradicating state’s rights, of mocking and diminishing the Constitution as written by “old white men”, of using executive orders to circumvent Congress, of pshawing at the Bill of Rights when it gets in the way of your agenda.   And you know why I wasted my precious time doing this?  Because I could foresee the possibility of a President Trump, or his dangerously populist Blue Tribe counterpart.

“But what are you going to do when someone who you DON’T agree with gets into office?” I would plead.  “What if it’s someone who’s NOT on your side, next time?  Won’t you have traded away your protections tomorrow and forever (since government rarely gives up power, once it has acquired it) for the ability to temporarily punish people who don’t agree with you today?  What’s going to happen when a Republican gets back into office?  Won’t you have handed them the unfettered force of a strong central government and the ability to use it against you and your allies?”

They simply denied the possibility of that happening.  The demographics are shifting, and all that.  The science is settled.   We can tolerate everything but intolerance.

“Ok, but what if it’s someone who takes things TOO far?”  I implored.  “What if it’s someone who seems to stand with you, who you mostly agree with, and then they start doing horrible things in the name of social justice, like persecuting Christians or something?”

The answer that I got chilled me to my very core.  This answer came from a very fine person, a mother of 7, a woman so kindhearted that she adopted two HIV positive orphans from Eastern Europe.  This eminently delightful person told me, “If that happens, at that time, then I’ll fight to defend Christians.  That is, if they’re not hurting anyone with their beliefs.”  And the majority of our friends cheered her on.

That was the moment that I realized, oh, my God, we are actually in trouble here.  Not only are good, kind, wonderful people absolutely willing to use the force of law to promote their ingroup’s own moral agenda, they are also willing to stand by and delay protecting civil liberties for those who follow a different belief system, until that outgroup is actually, actively being persecuted.  And even worse, these good, kind, wonderful people reserve the right to fight for them or not, even at that point in time, based on their belief system and their behavior.

News Flash: By the time your ingroup is actively persecuting the outgroup, it is TOO LATE to stop it.   Those who protest totalitarianism and mob rule generally end up in dead in a ditch beside those they sought to protect.  And if you make your support for a minority, contingent upon that minority altering their behavior to fit in with your majority, THAT IS PERSECUTION.  It is conversion by the sword.  That does not make you a savior, it makes you complicit.  It makes you an aggressor, a repressor.

This is not tolerance.  It is not tolerance to “tolerate” people you like and who agree with you.  It is not tolerance to offer protection to minority groups only if they promise to toe your line, to embrace your belief system and way of life.  This is Taliban thinking.

Now it has come to pass that which my friends and acquaintances thought impossible, unthinkable, not even worthy of consideration.   We did not get a purehearted, selfless, social justice warrior as a president.  We got a possible bad guy as a president.  And the “Dark Side” has taken control of Congress and will probably also have the Supreme Court well under its control in 4 years’ time.   Blue Tribers, do you get it now?  Do you understand that when you advocate using the force of law and a strong, empowered Federal government to inflict your will, your morality, your philosophy and belief system, onto other people, you have then enabled it to do the same for anyone who seizes power, in perpetuity, in infinite futures that we cannot possibly envision?

Harry Browne, 2- time Libertarian presidential candidate, once said: “Give politicians power, and it will be abused eventually – if not by today’s politicians, then by their successors.”   We must all tolerate the rights of others, even when we despise the way they use those rights.  Even if we have to hold our noses and puke in our mouths a little as we do.  We do this in order to protect our own rights and the rights of our children and grandchildren.  It is a matter of simple self-preservation.

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic wrote an essay earlier this year in which he implores politicians in power to dismantle the abuse of executive power that run amok during the George W Bush and Obama administrations before either Trump or Hillary could take this power and further abuse it.  I strongly urge everyone to read it.

We are currently living the world’s weirdest civics lesson.  It’s too bad that it had to take somebody like Donald Trump to teach it to people.  I can only hope that people actually learn it this time. Nutshell version – when you give power to the government to do what you want it to do, then others can then take that power and use it to do things you never dreamed of.   The only way to win, is not to play.







The jackass in the room.

Hillary’s political fortunes are driven by out of control cocks.  – Bill Maher

Can we talk about the elephant…or the jackass, in the room?

Yeah.  Bill.

It was really hard for me, and I mean Feminist Me, the chick who refuses to wear high heels because I think they’re a sign of male dominance, to watch Hillary Clinton, her supporters, and prominent feminists feigning outrage over Gropergate, knowing the whole time about Bill.  Young women, you may not remember Bill.  You may not remember the things he did.  But some of us do.  And some of us remember the way that Hillary and many other Clinton supporters defended his bad behavior.

I’m not gonna talk about the allegations.  They are in tons of places online and I don’t think going over it all again, is helpful to the overall debate.   I will simply mention that the late author Christopher Hitchens, a committed leftist and general anti-religion guy, not a right-wing partisan, not a prude, found the allegations plausible enough to write a book where Bill’s troubling sexual hijinks were discussed at great length.  And he believed Hillary Clinton to be very complicit in covering up her husband’s bad behavior.

The facts are what concern me; two sets of facts in particular.

1)Hillary’s, and Hillary’s supporters’ inconsistency on the issue of sexual assault, at least where Bill is concerned, while simultaneously and hypocritically lambasting their political opponents for the same things.

Firstly – shifting support for rape victims depending on which way the wind is blowing.  Hillary in her own words: “To every survivor of sexual assault…you have the right to be heard.   You have the right to be believed.  We’re with you.”  When she was questioned about this statement during the Democratic primaries in light of the accusations made against her husband, she backpedaled on this and said “well, I would say everyone should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence” (a statement which I completely agree with BTW – but an idea which has been criticized by many far-left feminist activists even despite some prominent cases where there were false allegations made).  Then, she or someone working for her deleted a previous statement for unquestioned solidarity for rape victims from her own website.  Snopes has this down as true, folks, it happened.


Secondly, Gloria Steinem herself, in a New York Times editorial written in 1998, defended Bill Clinton against groping allegations made against him by a desperate woman in need of money who came to him to beg for a job (very similar to what Donald Trump has been accused of and admitted to on tape) as being “just a clumsy pass.”  This was a widely utilized defense of Bill Clinton at the time and Hillary certainly did not speak out against this interpretation.  They didn’t admit he did it, they just said even if he DID do it, it would have been ok because it was just a clumsy pass.  A grope is ok, according to Steinem, if the woman says no, and then you stop.  Using this logic, apparently it’s ok for Bill to grab a job-seeking woman’s hand and shove it into his crotch – that’s just a horny guy making a pass.  It’s ok for Bill to expose himself to a total stranger and demand that she kiss him (and not on the cheek) because she said no and he stopped.  It’s ok for Bill to grab a woman’s breasts and then tell his girlfriend “I didn’t do that because her tits were too small.”  (Didn’t Donald say that too, supposedly??  I’m starting to see a trend here.)  He could have been more suave, maybe.  Bought her a drink first, or something.

Double yuck.

If anyone can come up with some difference between what Donald did and what Bill did in the groping department, I’m all ears.  Other than that what Bill did is a lot better proven.

2) The victimization of Monica Lewinsky.

Bill Clinton was 49 years old, and the President of the United States when he met and pursued an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky.  She was 22 years old and an INTERN – not an employee, not hired on her merits and education and at least somewhat on an equal footing as her boss, but an intern.   I am of the opinion that it’s almost always wrong for any older man to mack on a much younger woman till she’s at least 25 and 30 is better.   And it’s even worse when it’s a boss-employee kind of situation – it’s the imbalance of power, the idea that you can’t really say no, because if you do, it may cost you your job.   Even if it’s consensual, that imbalance of power may force a woman into a position where she feels she can’t break it off, or she can’t say no to things she is uncomfortable with.  This is especially true for younger, less experienced women.

Additionally, I think it’s gross and wrong when men use and discard women.  Bill had no intention of pursuing a relationship with Monica.  He was using her for sex.  Yet she saved all those sad little mementos of their relationship.  He was using her and I believe she naively hoped for more (that’s where being 22 years old comes into play).  It’s a moral judgement to be sure, but it’s a moral judgement that I feel is a legitimate feminist issue.  The terrible case of Bill and Monica involves an epic misuse of power and male privilege and speaks to the status of women in the workplace, the status of women in society, the role of older women as protectors to younger women, and is at least worthy of serious consideration by anyone who calls themselves a friend to women.

If this had been my husband and I found out he was messing with an innocent young woman, I would kick his ass both publicly and privately.  But Hillary Clinton did not do that.  She was certainly no friend to Monica.  She called her a narcissistic looney toon, employed the “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty” tactic to smear Monica’s name and reputation.  Clinton staffers have stated that it was Hillary herself who came up with the “Monica is a stalker” defense to undermine her credibility.  Again, Gloria Steinem betrayed her feminist principles to defend Bill Clinton (because it was consensual, that makes it ok) and again, Hillary didn’t disagree.  Hillary cannot truly call herself a feminist, she just can’t, she doesn’t have the ground to stand on.  A feminist defends another woman when she’s been victimized, she doesn’t slut shame and play the “mentally ill” card when the guy who did the victimizing just so happens to be somebody she likes.

Clinton supporters at the time and still to this day, mock Monica Lewinsky’s weight.  I have never heard Hillary say one word against them.  Miss Piggy, she was allll over that, but Monica Lewinsky being excoriated for the last 2 decades over her weight??  Apparently that’s a-ok.  Slut shaming, body shaming, taking advantage of one’s female employees for sexual gratification – these things are evidently ok with Hillary.  If they weren’t, she’d speak out against it unilaterally and not only when it involved her political opponents.

Hillary Clinton is no feminist.  She never was.  She’s a person who lusts after political power and is willing to exploit and betray feminist solidarity and sacrifice individual women in order to achieve that.  She proved this yet again during the recent election cycle when her minions accused young female Bernie Sanders supporters of being sexists for not voting her way.  In yet another shocking move by Steinem (I think Gloria may need to have her head examined), she came right out and said younger women only voted for Bernie because “that’s where the boys are”.  (!!!)  Maureen Dowd, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of the Lewinsky case,  has an excellent analysis of the situation and its implications for feminism as a movement.

All this stuff, it just makes it really hard to take anyone’s outrage over “Gropergate” seriously.  Bill is no different than Donald.  Both men behaving badly.  But Hillary defended Bill.  She attacked his accusers.  But Donald was to be endlessly taken to task for similar escapades, without even the faintest whiff of irony.  Hillary is not a friend to women, she’s not a defender of women, she is clearly a person for whom political expediency reigns supreme.

A man walks into a theater…

Last night Mike Pence went to see Hamilton (or, as I like to call it, the musical that’s been crammed down my throat by Google News daily for the last 9 months).   I don’t know why he chose to do that.  Maybe he wanted to learn something.  Maybe he was trying to show support for the diversity of the country.  Maybe it was some kind of attempt to bring the country together.  Maybe he just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  But he’s a human being who wanted to see a play, so he went to see it.  Please note, I wasn’t there, I am simply reporting on what I have read in articles and on Twitter.

Mike Pence is just about everything I loathe about Republicans.  As a libertarian, I don’t have a ton in common with Mike Pence except for fiscal conservatism and hopefully a great mutual love of the Constitution.   I’m pro-gay rights, I support amnesty and love immigrants and diversity and am (vehemently) opposed to any kind of registry for anyone ever.  I do not support the idea of America as a Christian nation and have fought against the notion for over 25 years.  But.  The way Mike Pence, human, was treated at that theater was really, really awful.  First, he was booed by nearly the whole crowd – so much so, and so threateningly, that he felt like he needed to leave.  Then he was called out by a cast member of the show and basically prevented from leaving.  Physically, I’m sure he could have left, but they kind of painted him into a corner where he really couldn’t.  Politically and personally, it would have reflected badly upon him had he left at that point.

Then, over the course of the next few hours, he was jeered and booed by the crowd to such extent that the actors had to stop several times.  At the end of the play the cast read what I felt to be a very nice message (got no problem with that) and then Pence went outside where he was surrounded by a crowd of over 100 people in the street and jeered some more.  Donald Trump apparently issued a tweet about the whole thing later, in his usual obnoxious, abrasive style.

This is apparently what happened according to people who were actually there and who took videos on their phones to prove it.  90% of media is reporting on this as “Mike Pence Saw Hamilton.  The Cast Had Something to Say.”  or “Donald Demands Apology.”  Most articles do not mention or minimize the bullying on the part of the crowd and the people outside the theater, and then paste Trump’s tweet on the end making it look like Trump was taking exception to the very nice statement the cast made, and not the hours of boos, jeers, and threatening behavior that Mike Pence, human, endured.  Which I’m sure Donald probably was, a little bit, but it was in the greater context of the evening’s events.  The crowd’s behavior set the tone – that very nice statement given by the cast comes over a little bit differently when you know that it was given after a human being had just been verbally abused for 3 or 4 hours straight on the basis of their political and religious beliefs.

This is not how you win people over, Blue Tribers.  This is mob-rule behavior.  Can you not see that?   It is deeply troubling to me, a person who voted for Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, that you cannot see that.  That you are not troubled by this and in fact feel fully entitled to treat people in this fashion because they’re not on your team.  This is scary even to people like me – who mostly agree with you, guys –  the ‘grab yer torches and pitchforks’ thinking and then the media spinning it to use the whole thing to make bullies into heroes (if you are in a theater full of people who completely agree with you and you’re all booing one person, you are not “courageously standing up to Mike Pence”) and Donald Trump look insane (he really doesn’t need your help with that, please just be HONEST, media, so I can trust what you are reporting to me).

You know why I’m saying this??  It’s not because I’m a Trump apologist.  It is because I am deeply concerned with the mob mentality of those on the left side of the aisle, and this constant spinning of reality to fit the social justice narrative.  I saw this happening years before Donald Trump was running for president and have been saying so, only to have my “friends” turn their vitriol on me.  People I’d known my entire life turned on me over the very suggestion that the progressive movement might need to tone down their divisive rhetoric and give people a chance to catch up.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are easy to hate, that’s for sure.  But I cannot help but think there is a deeper problem here.   I for one think this narrative would have been happening even if a milquetoast like Romney or Jeb Bush had won the election.  I think it would have continued even if Hillary Clinton had won.  Not towards her, of course, but millions of American people who self-ID as conservatives or Christians.  I think we all should be very, very concerned by it.   I don’t want to live in a world where people of particular viewpoints and beliefs – ANY of them – are singled out for ridicule.




I am not a crab in a bucket.

A new essay has been circulating amongst my liberal acquaintances on social media.  For the most part, it’s unremarkable, more of the same thing we’ve seen a lot the last week – somebody’s daughter was sad, racismsexismhomophobia, that’s the short version.

But at the end of the essay, I read something I really, really took exception to.

53% of white women voted against Hillary – well, they are crabs in a bucket.

Crabs in a bucket.

For those unfamiliar with the expression, crabs in a bucket refers to the tendency of cute little crustaceans to try and climb up each other and pull one another down in the process, as they attempt to escape a bucket-prison.   If only they could cooperate, a few of them might escape, but because they’re all trying to climb out simultaneously, none of them manage to do it.   But of course they lack the ability to cooperate because they’re crabs and their brains are the size of a pea, so in the bucket they stay.

When applied to humans, it refers to the tendency (real or imagined) of some people to look at high achievers and try to take them down because “if I can’t have it, you can’t either”.  So this essayist, a male, by the way, is writing off the votes of 53% of white women because of cattiness, because of jealousy, because they can’t set aside their pettiness and be happy for another woman.  Crabs in a bucket.

This is a charge that’s often made against women.  That we would rather see other women fail than to be successful when we can’t.  We’re catty, petty, small-minded, consumed by jealousy, incapable of setting aside that innate self-destructive chick behavior in order to cooperate long enough to escape the sexism bucket.  I guess because our brains are small and soaked with estrogen or something?

The idea that women might be individuals with their own hearts, brains, and life experiences, who dispassionately weighed all the possible options and information available to them and then rationally made the decision that they thought was best for themselves and for the country – nah.  Women are just crabs in a bucket.  The kind, gentle, liberal men have decreed it.  Those bitchez are always scratching each other’s eyes out.

Expecting women to vote a certain way for no other reason then detecting a fellow vagina, and when they don’t, blaming it on a stereotypical female failing – it is just absolute, complete, total sexist disregard for the intellect and individuality of women.  It’s so disrespectful.   Dismissing tens of millions of female voters because they didn’t politically agree with you, and using “female cattiness” as grounds for that dismissal?  That IS sexism, right there.   Using sexist stereotypes to dismiss the thoughts and opinions of women – not cool.  It doesn’t matter if you have very grave concerns over female representation in media and demand changing tables in all bathrooms, you’re a sexist.

I hate to break it to you, Blue Tribers, but just because a member of a minority group makes good, does not immediately and magically solve all problems experienced by that group.  Ask Philando Castile how well having a black president worked out for him.  The policies MATTER.  Casting a vote for a woman that I do not like, do not trust, and do not politically agree with, for no reason other than our mutual gender, would be totally and utterly insane.  BTW here are 38 Hillary-specific reasons why I did not vote for Hillary. 38 reasons that Hillary lost the election that have nothing to do with the FBI.

Hillary Clinton failed to prove herself to me.  That’s the whole story.  She doesn’t represent my views as a personally (mildly) conservative, politically (super duperly) libertarian person who happens to have two X chromosomes.  If I cast my vote using no other criteria than some perceived concept of “sisterhood” it would mean that I had been snookered by identity politics at its worst.

It’s not that I wouldn’t vote for a female candidate.  I would.  I’d love to.  (Carly Fiorina, are you still out there?)  That I didn’t is NOT due to my personal failings and it’s certainly not due to my inherent failings as a catty, backbiting female.  It’s because your candidate sucked and her campaign failed to connect with me.  Give me a better candidate, Democrats, and I will vote for her.   And in the meantime, I suggest some serious deep thought about your party’s own issues with sexism before you cast stones my direction.

I am not a crab in a bucket.


Obama didn’t have any scandals?

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage, basically call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really critical…”  Jonathan Gruber, architect of Obamacare

I just want to preface this essay by mentioning that I voted for Obama in 2008 and Gary Johnson in 2012.  I’ve never voted Republican for president and do not consider myself a Republican.  This is not a partisan thing.

A couple days ago President Obama gave a speech about the election.  In it he mentioned his pride at being one of the few administrations that had never had a scandal.  And I was like wha….???  because I remember several pretty serious ones.   They were as big or bigger than anything that had happened in previous administrations.  The thing that I found different about the Obama administration was that the press simply chose not to report on them.   (this was not partisan, either – the Clintons had many scandals that were similar to Obama’s and they were reported upon ad nauseum.)

The press is NOT reporting on President Obama and they haven’t been for a while.  This is not open for debate, it is a fact.  Any rational person who has lived during any other administration can see it.   That is why it seems like he’s not doing anything most of the time.  Because we never hear about it.  We have US troops deployed in 150 countries and we never hear about it.  Obamacare is crumbling before our eyes and we never hear about it.  I have 17 stories in my Google News feed about the Kardashians every day, and the media is not reporting on the controversial policies and failures thereof, of our sitting president.  This is not something to be proud of, it’s something to be ashamed of.

I’m going to list some of them just to refresh memories in light of the recent undeniable reveal of the mainstream press as being completely in cahoots with the Democrats.  For Obama to have said he’s had no scandals in his administration, with a straight face, is deception on an epic level and that not a single mainstream media source called him out on it, just goes to show how far their standards have fallen.

1)The complete failure of the bailout to prevent rising unemployment.  According to Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise Obama sold the stimulus package at least in part because according to their predictions, it would prevent unemployment from rising as much as it would have otherwise.  Their predictions were completely wrong and it ended up appearing (according to their OWN data) that America would have recovered from the recession quicker without the stimulus package.

2)American Jobs Act and the admitted failure of the ‘shovel ready jobs’ notion.  Obama himself confessed that this hadn’t worked out – “turns out shovel ready wasn’t as shovel ready as we thought”.  This has not been addressed once by mainstream media that I’ve heard, at least not in this election cycle. When Obama was elected my husband was a supervisor at a manufacturing plant and made over 50k a year plus benefits.   He was laid off in 2012 and now makes 1700 dollars a month at a garbage dump (still has benefits, but we are lucky).  Mine is not a unique story.

3)Skyrocketing health care costs and just general overall failure of Obamacare.  Starting from the moment that an Obama crony was put in charge of creating the Obamacare website, it’s been a disaster.  My family had it for a short while when my husband was unemployed and I couldn’t get a dentist to accept our dental insurance without driving 2 hours away.  One of my adult sons had a potentially cancerous lump and we could not get him in to see a doctor for over 6 weeks (no one was taking new patients in a city of 500,000 people)  until we finally gave up and went to the emergency room – where he was examined right away at a much higher cost to the taxpayers.   Again, not a unique story.

4)Quagmire in Middle East – I’m no expert, but it sure seems like things are worse than ever to me.  Leon Panetta and Robert Gates have both criticized Obama’s leadership and decisions in the Middle East.  And I believe that when those two agree it may be a sign of the apocalypse LOL.  Very few serious mainstream media reports that I have heard.

5)The Romeike family.  A homeschooling family from Germany seeking asylum in the US.  The Obama administration fought to have them deported based on the argument that there is no fundamental right to homeschool ones’ children.  This, at the same time they are seeking amnesty for somewhere between 10-30 million illegal immigrants (and I personally agree with amnesty, just saying).  The Obama adminstration won their legal battle – and then reversed their decision on having the family deported and allowed them to stay.  Some believe this was all a ploy to establish that there is no right to homeschool.  I don’t know if that’s true but it’s utterly bizarre to waste taxpayer resources on this legal fight while simultaneously pushing to let many illegal immigrants remain here.

6)The IRS deliberately targeted conservative and Tea Party groups, and to a lesser extent Occupy Wall Street supporters for political purposes.  The Obama administration did not take this revelation with any seriousness and investigated it with the urgency of molasses on a cold day.  This one was at least given a passing glance by the media.  Even uber-liberals took exception to it.  Jon Stewart said this cast doubts on Obama’s “managerial competence” and Chuck Todd said “This is outrageous no matter what party you are.”

7)Secret Service scandals.  Getting drunk and getting hookers, crashing cars, possibly putting the President and First Lady into danger, possibly allowing questionable people into places where they could have accessed state secrets.  This was the kind of story that the press usually loves to cover because it involves sex and embarrassing law enforcement, but they kept mostly mum about it, possibly because some of the Secret Service agents have dirt on Obama (this has been hinted at by reputable sources).  Ordinarily this is the kind of conspiracy theory I roll my eyes at, but I have seen the media ignoring too many legit stories involving Obama to not at least wonder if there is something to it.

8)Bengazi.  This alone would have brought down just about any other President and Secretary of State but somehow Obama and Clinton came through it unscathed (well, maybe not so much Clinton) and somehow still claiming publicly there had been no scandals in the Obama administration.   As an example, Ronald Reagan was held up for scrutiny by political opponents (and still is – Hillary Clinton invoked his name in her own self-defense) following a 1983 bombing in Lebanon that had far, far less to do with his administration’s failings than Bengazi did Obama’s, given the historical context.  Organized terrorism was just so much less of a thing in 1983 than 2013 that it seems silly for Clinton to hold Reagan to anywhere near the same standard as she should have been held to.  This did get some coverage largely because the Republicans kept bringing it up, but I believe it was and is being minimized to protect Hillary’s presidential ambitions.

9)NSA abuses.  Before Obama was elected he railed against the Patriot Act, but once he took office, he signed its renewal anyway.  During this time, it was revealed that the NSA had created a global surveillance system amassing large amounts of data from phones and email.  Obama defended this, then ignored it, then said that it would have been better if the American people had never known about it.

10)Ruling by executive fiat.  While technically speaking Obama did not make that many executive orders overall, he did an end run around that by churning out tons of new mandates and new regulations.  So, so, very many.   Some say that other presidents made more.  This is no defense.  At some point logic would dictate that every president adding more and more regulations and executive orders and presidential mandates onto us would yield a system of laws so Byzantine that only the lawyers could ever profit from untangling them, and logic would also dictate that we’re already far beyond that point.

11)Mishandling of Ebola issue.  Ignored CDC warnings about the seriousness of emerging diseases and need for more training of medical professionals, which led to two nurses to fall ill due to lack of information, and exposed dozens if not hundreds of people in Dallas to the disease when “Patient Zero” was misdiagnosed and wrongfully discharged from the hospital.  Spent a massive amount of money on public health issues with no oversight for its use, and even the recipients of the money agreed it had been misspent (including 1.75 million dollars given to a “Hollywood liason”.) Assigned a person with no medical experience to deal with Ebola, allowed people who had been exposed to Ebola to enter the country freely and without quarantine, to fly on planes and bowl.  Allowed the CDC to play around with Ebola samples when they had recently mishandled several other samples including anthrax.   Did not insist on quarantines for those entering the country from affected areas, or possibly stopping incoming flights temporarily.  We now know that ebola remains contagious a lot longer than once thought and can be transmitted sexually up to a year after exposure, and also that as many as 1/4 of people who get it are asymptomatic.  I believe we were VERY lucky that this wasn’t way worse than it was.    Even Saturday Night Live agrees that this issue was completely mishandled

12)Operation Fast and Furious.  During the Obama administration, the ATF allowed the sales of illegal guns in order to track their distribution.   This ill advised idea quickly spun out of their control, and these guns ended up in Mexico where some were later recovered from the murder site of a US Border Patrol agent.  Members of the administration up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder were demonstrated to have lied and covered up their involvement about it.  Eric Holder was the first Attorney General to ever be held in Contempt of Congress.  Obama exercised executive privilege to prevent Holder and others from being prosecuted.  In the end, while some participants were punished, many believe they were mostly lower level scapegoats while the movers and shakers behind the program went free.  Most of the guns were never recovered.

This are just a few of the scandals that occurred under Obama’s watch.

Media, you had ONE job…


Earth Prime and the Electoral College

You know who complains that they can’t win because the game is rigged?  Losers.  – Frederik deBoer

If only we lived on Earth Prime, Hillary totally would have won.

If only she had won these three counties, these four states, if they hadn’t released those darn emails, if only people didn’t hate pantsuits so much, if only we lived in another dimension where Donald Trump had an evil goatee or a magical universe where unicorns had the right to vote, Hillary would have won.

If only we didn’t have an Electoral College, Hillary would have won.  Oh yeah.  Totally. That.  It is SO wrong and SO crooked, that Electoral College.  It was based on protecting SLAVE STATES!!  Abolish it right away!!!

This chain of thought takes magical thinking to a whole new level.

Firstly because this parallel universe we are envisioning assumes that things remain precisely the same up until election night, which they wouldn’tve.  The candidates would have run different campaigns, focused on different states, the voter breakdown would have been completely different.  People who didn’t turn out to vote may have, and others may have stayed home.  People who voted 3rd party or Harambe may not have done that.   It’s like losing a baseball game and then blaming it on not following the rules of cricket.  The assumption that Hillary would have won if not for the Electoral College is unproven and unverifiable and it is the pipe dream of silly people who watch too much Black Mirror (and if you know what that is, you probably voted for Hillary.)

But let’s set that aside to talk about the Electoral College vs. the popular vote.  A helpful breakdown of how the popular presidential vote broke down is here.   Do you notice how overwhelmingly divided this is and how geographically minuscule the pockets of Democratic voters truly were?  Does it seem right that people in New York City (and not all of NYC, please check out this breakdown demonstrating that parts of NYC went completely the other way ) is setting public policy for people in Billings and Cheyenne and a lot of neighborhoods in New York City and pretty much all of rural America?

Actually, I think it does seem right to them.  That’s the concerning thing.  The number of people who look at that map and think it is just and right that those enclaves are put in charge of everything all the time, because they are better and wiser than the rest of the nation.  That these same people are also unironically posting Hunger Games memes right now is a subject for consideration at a later time, perhaps.

These Blue Tribers prefer a very top heavy form of centralized Federal power in which their candidate becomes president and then hopefully with the help of a unified Congress and Supreme Court, enacts their grand vision of progressivism across the entire US.  But the rest of the country does.not.want.that.obviously.duh and just rejected the idea pretty overwhelmingly – regardless of population, geographically speaking, most of the country does not accept Clinton-style progressivism as the desirable policy of the United States and was willing to vote for a fucking lunatic to avoid it.

Whether or not you think this is right, it did happen, and the fact that it happened indicates that it’s going to be difficult to do away with the Electoral College.  It would require amending the US Constitution, first by proposals in Congress (unlikely for now), and then by approval by 3/4 of the states.   It is very, very, very unlikely that 3/4 of the states are going to do that, not only because it just kinda worked for them, but because it would negate a very important check and balance that the states hold and will ensure that the votes of the people of those states would no longer count.

But wait – they would still count, right?  In a popular vote, those votes would still be counted?  So it’s all fair.  In a way, yes, they would, but in another, much more accurate way, they wouldn’t.  I live in Washington State, and everything here is controlled by the large liberal population of Seattle.  My vote here in the Great Sagebrush Empire is meaningless.  I may as well not even bother to cast it for a Republican because the Democrats always win.  It’s useless.  I have little say over who my governor is, who my senators are, and over a lot of really bad referendums that get passed that make my state a worse place to live.  It’s taxation without representation all over again.

People who are calling for the electoral college to be dismantled, what you are really asking for is the disenfranchisement of a huge part of the country.   And you’re doing it at the same time as you push for a super strong Federal government that will enact your personal pet policies at the expense of the areas that you plan to disenfranchise.  It’s a dick move, ok??   You’re suggesting that rich people in Manhattan and the Los Angeles suburbs decide how someone in rural North Dakota or urban Detroit lives their life, giving them no say in who the President of the United States is.   Simply because there are more of you.

It isn’t right.  If you believe your own rhetoric at all, you have to admit it is not right.

But beyond all that, it’s stupid for you too.

You see, it very much remains to be seen if this is a last hurrah for American conservatism or the complete implosion of the left.  The demographics are shifting, it’s true, but the millennials will grow up, the Republicans may stop to decide catering to the Stoopidz and start making coherent pro-liberty arguments again, and the dogmatism and hypocrisy of the Democratic party may end up driving a lot of minority voters to the right (which in many cases, based on their values, is their natural home).   You lost because a LOT of people hate you – not only your policies but actually kind of you, personally – the arrogant, entitled people who think Lena Dunham’s tears mean anything at all whatsoever to like 98% of voters, very much including black, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic voters.  It is entirely possible that in the future, this tide of changing demographics you are relying on is indeed going to shift, and it’s going to shift against you.

In that case, the electoral college could be your only hope of ever regaining political power. The electoral college is a check and balance that prevents the the majority from stripping away from the minority.  Sometimes, yeah, it means that Wyoming seems to have a disproportional say in an election.  But another time it could mean that Vermont does.

Fun fact about the Electoral College – it has virtually always led to a transition of power instead of a consolidation of power.   It has NEVER kept an incumbent in office.  It’s not a tool of oppression, it’s not a tool of the party in power to stay in power indefinitely, it is a way for people who are possibly underrepresented in the population to still have some say in the direction the country is headed.  To want to flush that because your team didn’t win – it’s throwing out the baby with the bathwater.