Monday, November 20, 2017

Gropes, Conspiracies, and Senator Franken

Long, long ago, in a lifetime far, far away, Ziggy and I considered collaborating on a novel. This was during the unfortunate period when he decided he would move into my office and we could "share" things. After a week of, "Hey! Listen to this...." I told him if he didn't move out of my office by the time I got home from work the next day, I would never cook again and he would starve.

He moved back to his space in the living room. 

But there was that brief moment of collaborative consideration...long ago tucked into a drawer and forgotten.

Until this week when I found it. 

He called it CONSPIRACIES, but I referred to it as The Siegfried Follies. We used to laugh about it every once in a while, and we talked about it while he was dying. "Think you'll ever finish it?" he asked. "Finish it? Heck no! We barely started it!" I think he was hoping I would promise to take up the mantle. 

Until this week, I never thought I would. 

Ziggy always maintained nothing was a coincidence, that everything had a beginning, a middle, and an end, all of which was orchestrated by human intervention. So in this story, the protagonist, a guy name Dickens, is a mild-mannered insurance adjuster who goes to work every morning, does his job, and goes home to his wife and 2 kids every night. He has no friends at work to speak of, a couple of friends from his childhood whom he sees now and then, and some neighbors with whom he and his wife socialize. One day, his boss calls him into his office where the HR dude is waiting for him. The department secretary has reported him for sexual deviancy and says he has impregnated her. 

As the wheels are coming off his life, Dickens begins to think this is a diversionary tactic. And as the case against him progresses, it becomes increasingly clear to Dickens that this is a set up, that he is being used, and that while he is sitting in jail for an act he did not commit, there are dark powers afoot fanning this smokescreen. 

The plot was so complicated, I could never keep track of it. If Ziggy was here, he would be able to explain how every time Dickens' name was in the news and all the attention was focused on him, nefarious things happened. Every time the dark powers need to do something dreadful, they would toss another charge on this guy until he was charged with rape, sodomy, pedophilia, and embezzlement. 

I guess what I'm getting at is that right now, I think Ziggy would've said everything we have witnessed this past year has been a smokescreen, and every diversionary tactic has hidden a seriously nefarious event. 


What? Me worry?
I don't really give a flying fart in space if Roy Moore runs for the senate. If the people of Alabama wanna display their Confederate-flag-flying-Christian-values by sending a serial pedophile to congress, then let them. Who are the rest of us to tell them their version of family values is fucked-up beyond recognition and certain not WWJD?

Behind this brouhaha, in case you missed it, was the preliminary passage of the most vile tax reform bill that the congressional-confederacy-of-incredibly-moronic-dunces could come up with. 

While our revoltingly crass Feckless Leader is calling Kim Jung-un fat, he's repealing common sense regulations like not bringing elephant trophies into the country because he thinks no one will notice....well, usually he's right about those things, but this time he got caught with his pants around his ankles all the while he's tweeting about Franken but remains classically silent on ol' pedophile Moore. 

And ol' Feckless has gotta be dancing the cha-cha over all this sex stuff. Right up his teeny-tiny-tootsie-roll alley.

What should be a watershed moment of empowerment for women, when casting couches and desk-chases are finally being exposed and excised, is now a total joke ending with "me, too." The media glommed onto this circus and turned it into everyone's 15-minutes of fame. It's not about date rape or a staged photograph (imbecilic as that was,) it's about ME, ME, ME, ME, ME.

Well, people, guess what. You've sent women's empowerment back to the basement. You've turned it into a whiny, annoying, media circus with no teeth. You are making sure that a guy like Al Franken, who owned his behavior and stepped up the the line to claim it,  will be drummed out of public service...to what good?

Yeah, go ahead and rag  on me for calling it like I see it, but too bad. I watch it all unravel and all I can think is that this is so tidily well orchestrated that all those ranting Democrats fell right into the trap. Instead of dealing with the real issues...like private jet and golf course tax loopholes... you are making sure that the men who have, over the course of time and awareness, become the allies, are now swept out with the real trash like Cosby or Weinstein.  Instead of recognizing that what was once tolerated cannot be tolerated any longer, we have a warlock hunt. Anyone with a penis and two hands is a suspected sexual predator.  My own personal boob grope was by another woman. And she's still out there, still outrageous, and people think she's wonderful. But she doesn't have a penis, so I guess it's  okay. Happy now?

Let's get something straight: this is not about blaming the victim. This is not about excusing bad behavior. This is not about tolerating harassment or abuse. This is about perspective. This is about recognizing the rules have changed and what was once considered "harmless," is not. This is also about someone owning his/her behavior and changing what needs to be changed. And it's about how to move forward. 

We, the People, were so busy being outraged by bullshit that the bigger, more dangerous picture, is hidden behind the smokescreen. Instead of confronting this administration over the planned de-funding of Medicare, we're jumping up and down about a fanny pat. Folks, there is a difference between jaywalking and vehicular homicide. Both are against the law. But are you gonna throw the jaywalker in jail for the rest of his/her life without possibility of parole?  For pity's sake, think past your outrage to what you are condemning this country to!

But getting back to my original, well orchestrated point. Folks, you have been setup. None of this outrage is a natural extension of bad behavior taken in context. This is yelling FIRE in a theater, then sitting back to watch the pandemonium. The timing is so impeccable...right after the Democratic victory in Virginia. Do I really need to post Charles During doing The Sidestep from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas again?

If you're a guy, can you say you never copped a feel or tried to get to 1st base? You would probably teach your sons that's just not done any more, but are you disqualified as a parent if that was what guys did back then? Or do you tell you sons, It was wrong and I shouldn't have done it, so don't you do it?

I am so tired of extremes. That is nothing more than another way NOT to deal with real issues. Keep it up if you want to see what's left of these here United States polarized into two camps of hate. Please get your big kid underwear on and start behaving like someone who cares for America more than they care for saying, "Me, Too."

As for Conspiracies? I don't know. I will have to see how this all plays out. 


The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Make soup. 
Soup is always good during the winter. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

BECAUSE IT IS TOLERATED


Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. ~ Jim Ziegler, Alabama state auditor 

And that makes a 32-year old guy hitting on a 14-year old okay?


We are inundated with "Me, Too," stories. Every single one of those stories represents the freedom to recount and retell, coupled with freedom to finally move forward. I seriously doubt there is a woman in America who has not experienced an unwanted sexually motivated event. There are extremes, of course, and there are some that make us squirm and some that make us so angry we cannot fathom how anyone could offer an explanation. And some are just passed off as guy stuff.

T-shirt for sale
Yeah, and to some degree that's the explanation....but absolutely not the excuse. There is no excuse, but if something has aways been tacitly permitted, It's because it was to be tolerated. If something is tolerated, no matter what it is, it's gonna happen because it's gonna be seen as okay.
I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.                                    Donald Trump - caught on tape- 2005
 Let's try this again: BECAUSE IT IS TOLERATED.


The support Roy Moore is getting is because in Alabama, this kind of behavior is common. These are the same people that would have insisted that same 14-year old girl carry a baby to term in the event that harassment turned to rape. They don't give a flying fart in space about the girl, only about preserving the ejaculate of a rapist. 

BECAUSE IT IS TOLERATED.

Girls in Afghanistan are sold into child marriages, raped, and abused all the time. The GOP rants about Muslim child brides and sharia law, but hitting on a 14-year old kid in Alabama... if you're a white guy with power... is okay.

BECAUSE IT IS TOLERATED.

Guys like our Congressclown Jason Lewis are totally teflon guy. Nothing sticks to him. He can vote 100% with Feckless Leader and his loyal cabal sticks with him. Doesn't matter he votes against the people of the state of Minnesota at every turn, but he's against abortion and equal marriage rights. He says this isn't discrimination because gays are free to marry a person of the opposite sex. And he calls transgender people abominations. And it that's not enough, he supports the rape of the environment as well. In February 2017, he voted to repeal the Stream Protection Rule, a regulation that required coal companies to restore streams and mined areas to their pre-development conditions. We won't even talk about his poison positions on tax reform and health care. But all of that means nothing because he refuses to meet with his constituency in open, public forums.

BECAUSE IT IS TOLERATED.

We, the People sure tolerate a whole lotta stuff that is fundamentally bad for us. We currently have a sitting government that is stripping away the rules that keep the food chain safe. We have a sitting government that has offered to pay anyone in the State Department who wants to leave...but there is no move to fill crucial vacancies. 
To reach that number, [Secretary Rex Tillerson] has already frozen hiring, reduced promotions, asked some senior employees to perform clerical duties that are normally relegated to lower-level staff members, refused to fill many ambassadorships and senior leadership jobs, and fired top diplomats from coveted posts while offering low-level assignments in their place. Those efforts have crippled morale worldwide.                  New York Times, November 10th, 2017

And the GOP went after Clinton because Benghazi was understaffed? 

BECAUSE IT IS TOLERATED.

Inexplicably, We, the People tolerate leaders who clearly hate us. Our sitting president uses twitter like a 7th grader and no one can take that damn phone away from him. His endless stream of embarrassing tweets has not abated despite his promises to be more "presidential." He obsesses about Hillary Clinton, as if he is still running against her. But he's not. It's smoke and mirrors because he thinks if he does that we can't see him. That's the real fake news. We, the People may be dumb, but we are not that stupid. Or are we?

We must be that stupid BECAUSE THIS IS TOLERATED.

Feckless Leader, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Lewis C.K.....their behavior is not aberrant....it's borderline normal. That doesn't make it any less disgusting, inappropriate, or outrageous. They got away with this for years BECAUSE IT WAS TOLERATED and they did more and more and more because no one ever said they couldn't do that. 

Well, the buck is about to stop here. THIS WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED

The opening of the harassment floodgates is a spectacular piece of guerrilla theatre. It got the pain out of the closet and into the streets and airwaves. Yeah, there will be some instances of revenge hunts, but by-and-large, this spilling of guts is the real thing. People who have carried this load entire lifetimes are dumping the weight. They are shucking off the shackles of embarrassment and powerlessness to stand tall. 

This is but an opening salvo. There are lots of behaviors We, the People don't have to tolerate: rape of the land, pollution of national waters, denial of health care,  dismantling of the educational system, discrimination in the workplace. The list is long.

If We, the People get nothing else out of this election cycle, it had better be that destructive behavior, be it sexual, political, economic, or civil, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. 

Roy Moore and Jason Lewis will lose their teflon coating. Feckless leader and his assistants will be exposed for the misogynistic, anti-American bastards they are. Yes, this will take work. This means we open the tent flaps to welcome anyone who wants to see these here United States re-emerge as a force for good, an example of what can be, and a respected world leader. 

Respected world leaders don't call other heads-of-state short and fat. Respected world leaders don't embrace other heads-of-state who brag about popping someone, even if it was a drug dealer. And a respected world leader sure as hell doesn't undercut his own intelligence agencies to take sides with an oligarch. 

THAT SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.

Come 2018, we can only hope we can live up to our own hype. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Only you can prevent abuse. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Guns and Whores

Before you read anything else, I want you to watch this entire piece from the New York Times. Once you've seen in, you will better understand what I am about to say.



Watch the whole thing. With the sound. Then consider this statement from our sitting president:
To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful.                                                                                                       on Las Vegas mass murder, 02OCT2017
Now that you've watched the video, still think that was so quickly? 59 killed, 241 injured.

I want to make this very clear: gun violence is absolutely, without question, a mental health issue. Specifically, it is a mental health issue for Feckless Leader and his cadre of Congressclowns. 

No one in their right frickin' mind would have the gall to tell We, the People...and by extension the world, that the murder of 26 people worshipping in a Sutherland Springs, Texas church is not a gun issue:
Mental health is your problem here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time. We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn't a guns situation.                                                                                                                    Feckless from Japan - 06NOV2017
 Take a moment to visit this website: MASS SHOOTING TRACKER. Lots of opportunity there to drill down into the data to get an overview of mass shootings in the US. 


Did you know there was a mass shooting in Plano, Texas on September 10th, 2017? 9 people were murdered at a football-watching party. The guy was angry his wife was filing for divorce. So he killed her and 8 of their friends.

This is not about the right to bear arms. NO ONE IS TAKING AWAY YOUR HUNTING RIFLE OR PERSONAL HANDGUN. This is about people collecting militia-sized arsenals. This is about owning a semi-automatic weapon for fun. This is about NOT regulating what is available for sale. 

And don't give me the black-market bullshit. 

This is about the availability of mass firepower. If you have mass firepower, wanna tell the rest of us why? Are the neighbors coming to get you? If you have an arsenal, maybe they should.

But for our elected leaders to continue insisting THIS IS NOT A GUN OWNERSHIP ISSUE is proof positive they are they are nothing more than cowardly whores. And I do mean they are for sale. Wanna see for how much? 

Screw "fixing" the tax system so that the middle class gets royally screwed, where, unlike our congressclowns, we're not getting paid for the pleasure. Screw the environment when there's a frickin' nickel to be made off the rape of the land. Screw selling our natural treasures to the highest bidder who's gonna rename Yosemite National Park "Wells Fargo Casino and Resort." Screw our kids' chances at an education by selling the public schools to a for-profit consortium that will "reduce" waste by closing schools desperately in need. And screw health care for We, the People. 

You need a license to drive a car. You need insurance to own one. You need a license to hunt and fish. How hard is this to do for guns? We have the model. We know it works in all 50 states. 

None of this matters as long as we have a government that subsidizes mass murder by remaining silent. Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Pink, Plaid, or Polka Dots....if you don't get up off your ass and start telling your personal congressclown this is NOT okay, then you deserve to be in attendance at the next Las Vegas event, or be sitting in a pew in your local synagogue, church, or mosque. If you choose to remain silent, you have given up your chance to be safe in public. 

For the record, here are the top 17 mass shootings in the US since the Carillon sniper shootings at the University of  Texas in 1966. These guys were not all Islamic terrorists. They were not all Muslims yelling "Allah Akbar." 30% were identified as Islamic terrorists... which means 70% were guys with mental health issues who were shooting up gathering places:
These figures are for shootings only

Nah, we don't have a gun problem. Only a mental health problem. 

Yeah, every one one of those shooters had "issues," but those issues only point up how ignorant, stupid, lazy, cheap, and prostitutional our elected officials really are. They sell themselves for cheap to the gun lobby. In the end, they are holding the smoking AR-15s in their gun-residue-covered hands. 



The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

If you don't stand up to be counted on this issue, 
if you let the clowns in congress get away without tackling sensible gun laws, 
then you own a piece of this, too. 




Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween! I'm here to scare ya.

There are so many perfectly awful stories about which to write, it's hard to choose just one. So I won't.

The arrest of Paul Manafort should come as no surprise. Click here to read the full indictment for yourself. Frankly, I think this is the phrase that pays:
Statutory Allegations

COUNT ONE

(Conspiracy Against The United States)

37. Paragraphs 1 through 30 and 32 through 36 are incorporated here.

38. From in or about and between 2006 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III, together with others, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of a government agency, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury, and to commit offenses against the United States, to wit, the violations of law charged in Counts Three through Six and Ten through Twelve.

39. In furtherance of the conspiracy and to effect its illegal object, MANAFORT and GATES committed the overt acts noted in Count Eleven and the overt acts, among others, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere as set forth in paragraphs 9, 16, 17, 20-25, 32, and 34-36, which are incorporated herein.
The other charges are well documented and easily proved, mostly thought tax and bank records. Conspiracy against the United States is a bucket charge, one that would have been called Treason in a time of war. However, we're not officially at war, so conspiracy it must be. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the IMPEACH TRUMP movement is gaining momentum. Please stop. You don't know what you're doing...unless you are trying to put even more right-wing true-believer conservatives into the oval office. Remember, Vice President Pence is a man with issues regarding availability of birth control. Unlike the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this one actually believes the rhetoric. And you want that behind the desk?

Not to be outdone by the crazy brigade, Sarah Huckabee Sanders insists these charges have nothing to do with the campaign or the White House. Is this woman on the same planet as the rest of us mere mortals? Does she think she is Chicolini?

How stupid does that woman think We, the People are? Wait. Don't answer that.  Here's the proof they all think we're too stupid to live. 

Feckless Leader has made the war on opioids his latest target:
The fact is, if we can teach young people — and people, generally – not to start, it’s really, really easy not to take them,...Really tough, really big, really great advertising, so we get to people before they start, so they don’t have to go through the problems of what people are going through.                                                                                                                    Oct. 26, 2017
Just say no? Been there, done that, got the D.A.R.E. t-shirts. Not only does this guy not understand the fundamental problem of over-prescription of opioids, he seems to think you can talk people outta taking pain-killers. He should hire Michele Bachmann's husband to spearhead this one. He thinks you can talk people outta being gay. 

Sometimes, I think all this sleight of hand, mouth, and brain is more than just intentional. It really is a conspiracy theory that preys on the idea that we will become inured to the outrageous and will choose to ignore it. And to some extent that might be spot on. We, the People, think of ourselves as too smart to fall for this, yet we are giving the fruit-loop contingent exactly what they want: free publicity ...and divisiveness. As long as they keep throwing Hillary Clinton over the wall, we keep batting right back at them with the DNC leading the charge. All this does is to divert us from reality. That is not useful. 

Last week, I promised an update on the aftermath of my sojourn in Israel. This is it:

I have a better appreciation for how Israelis become totally secular. I also have a greater appreciation for why I remain a practicing Jew. Observance frames my life in a way that gives me a point of reference for moral and ethical decision-making. 

Does this mean I think God has anything whatsoever to do with my place in Judaism or  my personal practice? No. (But that's another story for another time.)

Being in Israel, however, in an entirely separate matter. 

48 years ago, I was a 17-year-old kid in Jerusalem watching men walking on the moon on a teeny-tiny black and white television. A week later, I was observing Tisha'b'Av...the date that commemorates the destruction of both Temples, sitting on a hillside overlooking the Old City. I recorded the following:
never in my life have i felt like i belonged the way i feel like i belong here. it's knowing this is our beginning point. i wonder if the shinnecock feel the same way about long island. i bet they do.                                  July 23, 1969
[note to older self - lack of caps is the hallmark of a 17 year old brain.]

When I stood at the Kotel the first time, there was no viciousness, no hatred; everyone was still in that euphoric state of the new, golden period for a reunited Jerusalem. 

That was then.  This is now.

Jews come in all levels of belief and practice. My Judaism is rabbinic Judaism, not the frozen-in-the-17th-Century variety of the ultra-orthodox rabbanut. I do not believe the rabbanut has the right to dictate how all Jews are to be Jews.

Robinson's Arch prayer platform
Netanyhu's coalition, however, supports the stranglehold the rabbanut retains on Jewish life in Israel. Today, the Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told leaders of the Jewish Agency that the government will not fully implement the agreement for an egalitarian prayer space at Robinson's Arch away from the main plaza despite orders from the Israeli Supreme Court that they must do so. 

This was not warmly received. You see, even though Robinson's Arch is a second-rate location for second-rate Jews, away from the Kotel, We, the Diaspora, were willing to take this crumb because it was better than nothing. 

But here's the thing:

We, the Jewish People, are the indigenous people of that small strip of land called Israel. We, the Jewish people, built the cities. We, the Jewish people, have never left the land despite centuries of conquest, exile, and brutality. We are the indigenous people and we have the written and physical history to back up that claim. 

modern toes on an ancient road.
(photo by J. Tocker)

That said, we are not all the same. We are Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern. We come from all continents in all colors these days thanks to 2000 years of Diaspora. We have a global range of cultural habits. We may say the same prayers, but we say them differently. We are not one-size-fits-all. And We, the Jewish People, all belong in Israel, not just the ones with stremls, payess, and silk knickers. 

We, ALL the Jewish People, will never abandon Israel. It is our homeland. It is where we began over 3000 years ago. 

Jerusalem, however, has abandoned me...and for the moment, I can live with that. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week


If Stonehenge belongs to the Brits, the Parthenon to the Greeks, 
and the Colosseum to the Italians, 
then Israel is ours. 
No conquering army, no revisionist historian, 
no Johnny-come-lately crusader 
can change that 




Monday, October 23, 2017

Allow Me To Digest

A few days ago, I was sitting at my friend Jen's kitchen table in Herzliya just outside of Tel Aviv trying to draw a bead on how I would explain the experience of being in Israel. After all, it had taken me 48 years of yearning to get back there. Israel is such a complicated, complex place that even the air overwhelms the senses. Israel is the land of our birth as a people, the place we face for prayer, the landmarks of Torah, the repository of hopes and dreams, real history and revisionist history, real news that shakes one to the core of one's being, and fake news that just pisses people off. It is impossible to love it blindly unless you, yourself, are blind. 

And if you think Israel is an apartheid state, then you don't know what apartheid is and you shouldn't say shit like that unless you've been there and can personally illustrate that bit of antisemitic propaganda. Which you would not be able to do if you've ever been there in the first place. Israel may be a lot of things, but apartheid is not one of them.

The truth is, I cannot describe Israel quite yet. I will, at some point, be able to write about the journey, but the malingering end of jet lag and the lack of clearheadedness make it impossible to say much at this time. I need time to decompress. I need time to sort out the vast array of emotion/feelings/anger that Israel provokes

Yes, I said anger. 

And I'm already planning my next trip. 

Therefore, this is all you're gonna get tonight. 

Toes in the Dead Sea. 


Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you have not been to Israel, go.
Your world view will change. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Harvey and the Nuclear Option

View from the Bay View Hotel
So Saturday night, I'm in a lovely hotel room in Haifa, thinking I would catch some news before I go to sleep. 

Ha.

The channel that's supposed to be the BBC is a 24-hour fundraising thing for Christian fundamentalists. The other choice is FOX-News International. There was no news on FOX, only non-stop hate speech directed at Harvey Weinstein who probably deserves to be pilloried, but the level of screech-and-hate speech bordered on the antisemitic. I was riveted...for a while, anyway...and then my brain kicked in. I remembered what Feckless Leader said:
I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch...I’m automatically attracted to beautiful ... I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet ... I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
If you were not outraged by Feckless Leader's pussy-grabbing comments caught on tape in 2005, then sit down and shut up now. You do NOT get to have an opinion because YOU are making this a political vendetta. It is not. Sexual predators come from all segments of the population, all races, all political positions, all religions, all occupations: 
  • Rep. Mark Foley (R. Florida)
  • Rep. Anthony Weiner (D. NY)
  • Rep. Jim Kolbe (R. Arizona)
  • Sen. Larry Craig (R. Idaho)
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
  • Woody Allen
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Bill Cosby
  • Roman Polanski
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Roger Ailes
  • Bill O'Reilly
  • Jerry Sandusky
  • James Woods
I could keep going but I won't. 

When I was a young director, being hit on was part of some weird rite of passage. Early in that process, I decided I was not going to sleep with anyone for the sake of my career, although I was propositioned multiple times. That was my choice; I knew other women who made other choices, and even thought knowing what they did pissed me off, it was their choice, not mine. I cannot imagine very many of my rather strong-willed directorial compatriots prostituted themselves outta fear; I think they used sex as a means to an end. 

And no, I still do not think that is okay. I didn't then and I don't now.

Actors, however, are a different story. Casting couches, as they have been called, are as old as theater itself. Best to try to figure out who isn't using a casting couch. Guys like Harvey Weinstein have been around for years. This is nothing new. And there isn't an actress alive who is not fully aware that this exists. And that there are choices. Being young and/or stupid and/or hungry just doesn't wash these days. Sorry. This is the age of instant media. You know better. 

That does not in any way excuse Harvey Weinstein who is not known to be a congenital idiot and should know better. He used dick as a weapon and should probably have it lopped off at the base for that. As should any other guy who uses his dick as a weapon in any circumstance. If you cannot be responsible for your own dick, you lose it. 

There. I said it. 

At the same time, you cannot start going around dredging up ancient history, declaring ME, TOO, and expect to have standing in a court of law. I'm not talking about the current Face Book movement for women to admit to having be victims of sexual predatory behavior. That is different so please do not confuse the two. 

I'm talking about the law. There is a statute of limitations on this stuff, so little that's now coming to surface is useful. What would be useful is every time someone attempts to use sex as a weapon, you stand up and scream NO to the rafters. Whether it's casting couch, or a pussy-grab, or dress-my-way-for-success issue, refuse. Whatever price you pay for saying NO is much cheaper than the price you will pay for giving in. 

And now that this is all coming out into the sunlight...there is support if you need it. 

Meanwhile, back at the White House, this is nothing more than a very convenient smoke screen. 

While Faux News is screeching endlessly about a <gasp> Hollywood liberal who no one thinks is right on an level, the guy in the Oval Office just signed an executive order that undercuts the availability of birth control while complicating the enrollment process for ACA and masking affordable plans. The only ones who benefit from the changes are the insurance charlatans who sell plans that do not meet the basic standards previously set when sold through "associations."

The same Moron-in-Chief de-certified the Iran deal immediately after telling North Korea to expect to be blown up any minute. In other words, the West Wing Cadre has managed to set up potential nuclear war on not one, but TWO fronts. Pushing Iran away from the deal only reinvests them with the power to start up their nuclear weapons program all over again. At the same time, threatening North Korea with annihilation only encourages them to increase their own stock-pile of nuclear weapons. These countries are not stupid. Iran and Korea know there is an seriously unstable guy behind the desk. And they are not going to sit around waiting for something to happen. 

Faux News, ever so helpful to the pussy-grabbing contingent, gave the West Wing Wackos the distraction they needed to push through more dangerous crap. 

And We, the People, too busy yelling "ME, TOO!"  failed to fully grok the notion that the warlock-hunt has taken precedence over very real, very important, and very dangerous news. 

Sitting in Herzliya right now, I can tell you an Iran with nuclear weapons is not an abstract idea. It is real, it is close, and it is part of daily existence. Under the umbrella of the deal, Iran was at the table, there was communication, and progress continued. Cancel the deal, and you're back to having a rogue nation armed to the teeth....pointed right where I'm sitting. 

Now, do you still want to talk about Harvey Weinstein?

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Vote for vermin, wake up dead. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Follow The Money And Stray No More

There's an old saw that seems to be truer every year: if you want answers, follow the money. More than ever, We, the People are confronted by paper trails that are green. 

I'm not gonna list the different trails....just pick one, any one and you'll get the idea. Unless you are running for town council in a town with a population under 100, you are out there raising money. Your friends are donating, they're asking their friends, so forth and so on. But anything bigger than a small-town council is gonna take more money that most people have lying around in coffee cans under the front porch. It takes outside donors, sponsors like the kind that sponsor THE PRICE IS RIGHT. It means making your candidate appear to someone with a cheque book. 

Whose cheque book is important. Really important. The hand that is writing that cheque is not doing it as a cursive exercise; they are writing that cheque because something is in it for them. This is about quid pro quo; you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Folks, this is true whether you are Bernie Sanders or Donald Duck. 

Some is paying for those "Paid By..." ads running on radio and television. It's infinitely easier to follow that money than the bucks shelled out for Twitter and Facebook stuff. Our own Senator, St. Amy of Klobuchar sent out an email today:
Advertisers spent $1.4 billion on online political ads in the 2016 election. But there’s currently very little scrutiny for buyers of online ads. With the news that Russia paid for a number of online ads targeted at U.S. voters (including purchases in rubles!), isn't it time we had a system of accountability for online ads that matches the one we have for TV and radio ads?
She's right, y'know. If we haven't learned anything from the Russian extravaganza, then we are fools. At the very least we should be acting on what we do know to make social media giants behave responsibly when accepting ads. Other media has to live by rules; social media should be no exception.

No matter which candidate you are supporting for whatever race, whether it be Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Pastafarian, make sure you know who is writing those big cheques and make damn sure you're okay with the sources. If you are uncomfortable with any source of income for your candidate of choice, go shopping for another candidate. Every single voter in this country should be paying attention to the bucko-factor as closely as he/she watches the bank balance. If you don't pay attention to that number, you have other, more pressing problems.


For the record, I am actively supporting Angie Craig in the MN 2nd District Congressional rest. I like Angie. I've gotten to know her a bit, and I like the person who sat at my kitchen table explaining why I should support her campaign. But trust me to the Nth when I tell you I will be watching her donor list like a hawk. There is nothing worse than a donation from someone who has an agenda abhorrent to me. 



So as we head into the midterm cycle, I just wanna do a public service announcement today: 
FOLLOW THE MONEY.

On that note, I am shutting down for the night. Monday is going to be a crazy day. Many of you will read this a bit earlier than usual, but not to worry, I am not changing any of my late-night bad habits. On the contrary, by the time you read this, I will be off on a bona fide adventure. I'll be writing about it, but right now, it's Monday morning, 1:30 a.m. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Keep your eyes on New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 
This is the guy who will ultimately know where the money came from 
and where it went.