Enough details to support any worry you’ve ever had about Comey, McCabe and the biased FBI.
The judge evidently has reason to believe that there was bias on the part of the Comey/McCabe FBI and is demanding to know why there was a difference in treatment of different people and different groups.
Unlike this editorial and several other news sources, the Washington Post article barely mentions the order by the judge. It doesn’t report McCabe’s or Comey’s involvement at all, merely claiming that “Flynn demurred” having a lawyer present, without reporting McCabe’s own testimony:
“I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Mr. Flynn] and the agents only. I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Mr. Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants,” wrote Mr. McCabe in a memo viewed by the Flynn defense team.
The WSJ op-ed has additional information from former FBI Director, James Comey’s testimony about his decision to go around protocol to set up the meeting with Flynn:
“” This is “something I probably wouldn’t have done or wouldn’t have gotten away with in a more organized administration,” Mr. Comey boasted on MSNBC this weekend. “In the George W. Bush Administration or the Obama Administration, if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel, there would be discussions and approvals and who would be there. And I thought, it’s early enough let’s just send a couple guys over.”“”
If there were no investigation, as Flynn believed at the time, why would the FBI expect full disclosure about what he was doing and saying to attempt to prevent escalation of the Russian response to sanctions?
The WaPo does cover more of the story in their own op-ed, which is a purposeful denial of any possibility of a “perjury trap” by “[c]ritics of the Russian investigation.”
The big lessons are, don’t ever sit down with investigators without a lawyer, and always read more than one news source.
(Or, just like Europe today and the sometimes official reaction to raping immigrants.)
In a column in the National Review today, “The Real-World Consequences of Submitting to the Transgender Zeitgeist,” Ben Shapiro writes about a man who effectively ran off a group of religious, conservative women who cancelled their membership at a “women only” gym after a transgendered MtF (a man who claims to be a woman) began using the gym and dressing room.
The women had frequented the gym out of modesty: they didn’t want to see half-baked men or be seen by men in their workout clothes.
He refused the offer of a private dressing room (most women wouldn’t, I certainly wouldn’t!) and declared that since he is a woman he can undress with all the other women.
If he wants. That’s what it’s all about, right? His wants vs. age old cultural norms and thousands of years of religious modesty practice.
As time went on, he evidently continued to do the same. The gym manager was told by his bosses that the company couldn’t risk a lawsuit or boycott. So, the modest women left the gym and cancelled their memberships.
It’s not easy, and it would be vital to work together as a group. This isn’t a call for harassment. But, we each have the same right as this person to express our individual disapproval and to do it with our philisophical sisters, as others have done.
(And in reality, our brothers can’t act with the same righteousness as we can. A group of men objecting to a transgender woman in the same way would risk false harassment and assault charges.)
In a way, I’m writing this as my own protest. The social media Powers-That-Be are blocking people who object to the “new normal.”
This weekend, the debate concerning the ethics of medical and surgical intervention for transgendered men and women, more properly called “gender dysphoria,” heated up again. The New York Times published an essay by a man who wishes to become a woman so much that he is about to undergo a 6 hour surgical procedure to fashion an artificial vagina, although the author admits that the surgery may not produce happiness and, indeed, will most certainly cause lifelong pain and the necessity of further intermittent, painful procedures.
If doctors truly forget the First Principle, what’s to stop us from “First, doing harm?” Who decides the “harm” in that case? Better hope we don’t give up our consciences.
Please comment on my Facebook page, Beverly Nuckols.
In their statements about income inequality, most people ignore what I covered yesterday: the measurements of poverty almost invariably are based on income, not true poverty as measured by actual resources and consumption.
They appear to be stating that the only reason the wealthy have money is because they steal from the poor. That’s not born out by the evidence on upward mobility.
“Our analysis of new administrative records on income shows that children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s. Putting together our results with evidence from Hertz (2007) and Lee and Solon (2009) that intergenerational elasticities of income did not change significantly between the 1950 and 1970 birth cohorts, we conclude that rank-based measures of social mobility have remained remarkably stable over the second half of the twentieth century in the United States. In light of the findings in our companion paper on the geography of mobility (CHKS), the key issue is not that prospects for upward mobility are declining but rather that some regions of the U.S. persistently offer less mobility than most other developed countries.”
It turns out that research indicates that conservative cities not only grow faster than liberal cities, but have better chances of upward mobility.
That same Brookings Institute referred to yesterday has reported what it takes to become middle class by US standards: graduate high school, get married before having children, and get a job..
We know what encourages learning and successful education. It’s not only money, although the bulk of education dollars should go to the classroom rather than the administration. The extent of parental involvement and prioritizing education is number one, along with a belief in the importance of attendance.
I hope this information helps you the next time someone implies that the income inequality in the US is caused by the aggression of the wealthy.
I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, there are people who think I should be ashamed instead.
So, in my geeky way, I did some research and found some information to have on hand the next time someone talks about the poor in the US.
Those poverty rates are based on income. SNAP, TANF, Section 8 vouchers,etc., aren’t counted as income. (You could add in our public education system, as well. If you believe it’s adequate.)
According to a report (in .pdf) by the Brookings Institute, using poverty measurements based on consumption or expenditures, those living under the poverty rate in the US would be considered middle class in the rest of the world.
“Even those reporting no income at all in the US have consumption possibilities roughly equal to those reporting incomes of $20 a day.”
Thankful for my wonderful husband, our shared faith in the Lord, our material blessings, and the Internet that enables my geekiness!
Update from the Detroit News:
“[T]he judge left intact conspiracy and obstruction charges that could send Nagarwala and three others to federal prison for decades.”
This story has me thinking about the powers of the State vs. the Federal government.
I am a firm believer that the individual States should regulate and enforce both criminal law and the practice of medicine.
States may make what I might consider errors in their specific codes and punishments. However, the 50 States act as individual laboratories for laws and law enforcement. As long as the States rather than the Federal government regulate these areas, citizens have a better access to the Legislators who make the laws and the bureaucracy that implement and enforce them. The voters can speak directly to their legislators in person and at the ballot box and, if truly unhappy or unwilling to wait for often slow legal changes, they can move to a State with laws they like.
These cases involve two doctors and multiple accomplices who conspired to bring girls across State lines in order to carry out Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The procedure is described in words and pictures at the link above and at the World Health Organization report(in .pdf), but here’s the short, least-horrifying-I-could-come-up-with version:
Pre-pubertal girls (two of the girls in this case were 7 years old at the time) are subjected to some degree of cutting in their genital area. The procedure may be anywhere between a minor cutting sufficient to cause bleeding without permanent structural or functional change, to removal of the entire labia majora and minora, along with the entire clitoris, with the vaginal opening sewn almost completely closed, only to be opened (obviously, traumatically) at marriage to allow vaginal intercourse and at childbirth.
The clitoris is a sensitive organ and very much an important part of the sexual function of the female body. The cutting site, the scarring, and the consequences of obstructed urine and menstrual flow can be life long. The actual reported goal is to make the girl chaste and impair her ability to engage in illicit sex and blunt her sexual pleasure.
FGM is a criminal act and should most certainly be malpractice under State’s medical codes. These sorts of cases would normally best be brought before the State courts.
The reason that these particular cases should be prosecuted (also prosecuted?) in Federal Court is that the girls were transported across State lines. In addition, they were irreversibly mutilated solely because they are females. If this latter doesn’t come under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause, I need a lawyer to explain that protection. In slow, simple language, please.
Now, I know some people will ask how I can oppose what is most likely a religious act and one that seems to come under both parental rights protection and the penumbra of “right to privacy.” And what about male circumcision?
The right to freedom of religion. Parental rights, and privacy do not have precedence over the rights not to be permanently harmed. Unlike male circumcision, there’s no medical reason to perform FGM, FGM directly impairs multiple bodily functions, and carries a significant risk of life long pain, repetitive infections, and even death.
It’s the legitimate function of government under our US Constitution and supported by the Declaration of Independence to protect the rights of individuals from being placed in harm’s way. These cases of mutilation are nothing but harmful for life, were performed on minors who are too young to consent, and were accomplished by conspiracy, using federally regulated telecommunications to make appointments, taking the girls across State lines, and utilized State licensed personnel, equipment, and medications.
I hope the Federal appeals overturn this ruling. Quickly!
I admit to being an advocate for ethically produced vaccines. I’m also against involuntary vaccination and very much an advocate for parental rights. However, I believe in education and (strong) encouragement to take advantage of vaccines, which are a fantastic tool to prevent disease.
The most recent data that I found shows that a requirement for health care workers (HCW) to choose to either wear a mask or be vaccinated reduces infection in those workers by 74%-88%.
Forget about her promise of “debate.” Look at her history.
The last time 78 year old Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she and the Democrats changed the House rules to deny amendments or even debate from Republicans. Once, in August, 2008, she even ordered the lights, microphones, and AC turned off in the House gallery in an attempt to prevent speeches by the Republicans. She then ordered the Press removed from the Gallery.
In 2007, Pelosi became Speaker with a majority in the House. Then, as now, the Republicans maintained a narrow majority in the Senate. However, from late 2009 to January 2011, the Dems had a majority that did not require any cooperation from the Republicans, in both the House and Senate.
Harry Reed shoved a crude, early version of Obamacare through the Senate on Christmas Eve, 2009. Pelosi’s House Democrats, with 220 votes, had substituted the language in another Bill, HR 3590, the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009,” in order to bypass the usual process. Senate Dems had 60 votes (including the two “Independents” Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, Dems-in-all-but-name who caucused with the Dems), so no need for bipartisanship.
This was the form about which Pelosi infamously said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” because the actual leviathan of a Bill was worked out in conference between House and Senate members in early 2010, without a single Republican vote.
That law included huge tax increases, in addition to the individual mandate that required everyone to buy health insurance:
Some of these taxes were decreased or removed by the recent tax cuts, the changes are all temporary , some changes won’t take effect this year and the Dems have promised to reopen the tax debate, presumably to increase taxes again.
At least with the Republican President and Senate majority, Pelosi’s abuses – hopefully – won’t result in renewed taxes in the next two years.
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Mama had surgery for Thymic carcinoma back in 2004. She voted early and scheduled the surgery for the day after the election, so her daughters could work as election clerks.
Today, I came across a poll of likely Texas voters, conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune that said that for Texans, health care is a distant third in importance, behind border security and immigration. This was in contrast with frequent news reports in the last week that an unnamed “recent poll” had found that health care is the number one issue in the 2018 election for voters. That first, UT/TT, poll was more consistent with other recent news coverage and the issues that I keep seeing pop up on Twitter and Facebook.
So I did some research….
It turns out that the first poll (“KFF,” download pdf file,with results) was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, California. In fact, approximately 30% of the respondents listed health care as their number one issue and were designated “Health Care Voters” by pollsters. 70%, designated “non-Health Care Voters,” chose other issues, including the economy and jobs (21%).
The demographics of those polled were heavily slanted toward Democrats, with registered Democrats and “Independents” who are identified as “Independent Lean Democrat” adding up to 68% of the “Healthcare Voters.” “Non-Health Care Voters” came in at 49% Republican or “Independent Leans Republican.”
While KFF is considered one of the “Least Biased” polling bodies, they are still subject to sampling errors. It appears that this might be one of those times.
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I enjoy Ben Shapiro’s Sunday Specials; one hour conversations with current thinkers and doers. I watched this week’s conversation with Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic with a bit of disbelief. (I watched on The Daily Wire, but it’s also available on YouTube.)
From approximately minute markers 29 to 45, Adams’ discription of his belief in the future (or existing) computer “algorithm” which will to decide future elections (“Trump is the last human President”), the denial of free will (but “I act as though” it exists), to turning toward the camera to repeat that “the end *always* justifies the means,” and finally to the idea that we live in a simulation of life that just seems like reality Adams displays a loose connection with reality accompanied by relatively sane inserts.
I love good science fiction and there’s no doubt that Adams is an intelligent man. But he’s not a great philosopher. I agree with Shapiro when he asks whether Adams is just trying to avoid God with his simulation. Just as some physicists posit multiple universes to explain ours, Adams requires multiple simulations.
Oh, well, if it makes you “happy,” Scott.
Reading Dilbert irregularly over the years, I’ve been repeatedly turned off by Adam’s anger and bitterness. Sometimes it just can’t be disquised as wit. Now I wonder whether the anger has affected his rationality: does he even know what or when he says something wrong or immoral?
Perhaps. Adams displayed physiologic changes consistent with stress: blinking more often and his neck reddened as the hour went along. Is he stressed at examining his beliefs or by lying – invoking hyperbole about hyperbole – about them? Or is he just stressed by thinking his thoughts through, out loud, in an effort to be witty and change Shapiro’s mind?
(**”Jumping the Shark” is a reference to going too far, indicative of lost relevance.)
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I keep seeing reports that Twitter is blocking posts that contain the phrase, “illegal alien.” Obviously, not true.
How do memes like this get a hold? (Please comment on Facebook, not here or Twitter. I’m not omni-social-media.)
As the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web Today” suggests, “Use the Reader Comments to Learn More About the Times” and how the public views the journalistic abuse.
It seems that the NYT (and other media) decided to investigate the wife of SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavenaugh, Ashley. The NYT readers point out the lack of similar”vetting” of Obama’s judicial nominees.
Fake news, indeed. 85 emails from Mrs. Kavenaugh’s position as town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland revealed nothing of interest – except exposure of the NYT bias, perhaps.
But the Op Ed says, ” We had to try.” Just what were they trying?
I’m very careful about politics when traveling. The media far too often tells us that the rest of the world doesn’t like the US since Trump was elected. The “Italian for Dummies” web page even has the phrase, “Non siamo americani.” (We aren’t American.”)
But my experience has been different: a lot of Europeans think Donald Trump is right about border security and limiting immigration. And we’ve heard this from citizens of England and Italy, who go out of their way to express their support of President Trump.
Last month, a British couple stopped to admire our narrowboat on the Thames. When they found out we were Americans, they turned the conversation to politics, support for Brexit and praise for President Trump.
We picked up our car at the Rome Airport on Friday and it happened again. Out of the blue, the 30-something agent asked, “What about Trump?”
I deferred answering to Larry and braced myself for criticism or ridicule of the President from our new aquaintance.
Instead, our Roman friend volunteered his approval of Donald Trump and the “changes’ both our countries are making in response to international pressure to accept overwhelming numbers of refugees.
He talked about the inability to vet the refugees picked up at sea, the effects on Italy’s employment situation, and the financial stress the boat loads of immigrants were causing Italy before his government’s recent refusal to accept ships full of migrants at Italian ports.
He said, “Trump is making changes. People are afraid of change, but this is good change.”
None of the people we talked to – or who made it a point to talk to us – expressed hate or racism. They are worried about the future if their countries and disapprove of “Brussels” forcing regulations on them, not simply afraid of foreigners.
I wonder who’s listening.
(BTW, several different sets of Canadians have initiated similar conversations. All approved of the President and disapproved of Trudeau.)
Let’s grieve together, not divided.
Edited for typos 12:20 PM BST. BBN
Let’s help Lila, @lpieinfl , know who Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is and inform her that it’s not nice to be a misogynistic racist.
“What mail order did that bride come in?”‘
Mail Order Bride Bigotry
The screen shot shows a tweet in response to the video of the gang that confronted the Secretary and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
She confronted them right back. Watch the video posted by one of the harassers, “Roberto6254351,” a self-proclimed “rising Senior ” (sic), who had just left his job as an intern at “United We Dream,” an organization devoted to activism for the undocumented.
We confronted @SenateMajLdr and @SecElaineChao with @ProPublica audio of children separated from their families at the border while leaving a @Georgetown event. We must #AbolishICE & #AbolishCBP! #FreedomforImmigrants https://t.co/ljv70F3F0L https://twitter.com/Roberto62543651/status/1011694022417633281?s=17
For those who aren’t aware of the Secretary’s accomplishments:
Chao’s parents fled Communist China for Taiwan during the 1949 Civil War. She came to the US with her mother and 2 sisters on a cargo ship at about 7 yo. They joined her father who eventually started what became a successful shipping company. She became a naturalized citizen at 19.
Elaine Chao has served our country in many capacities, including as Secretary of Labor (2001-2009), Deputy Secretary of Transportation, and Director of the Peace Corps (1991-1992). She was appointed to the Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission by Ronald Reagan (1988-1988).
And she became the Senator’s bride in 1993.
From the Mayor of the home town of La Joya Independent School District, the “independent” school system in Hildalgo County, Texas with the water park, a 22K sq ft natatorium, tennis courts, a planetarium, and a golf course,enabled with money from Texas taxpayers:
“My position was why should the city of La Joya, or any city in the Valley, detain any ICE illegals when ICE already has cages for them?”Salinas said Sunday. “Maybe they have a better place for them than we do and, of course, we’re totally against what they’re doing; I think we should unite the families, not divide them.”
“If it hadn’t been for that I would not have reacted this way,” he said, “but I’m a Mexican-American and I support my people.”
It’s not just “that.”
Edited to correct spelling. BBN
I’m following and responding to the news reports and conversations on Twitter and Facebook about the arrests and separations of alien families because I’m looking for a solution that will work and have fewest unintended consequences.
We can spend all day screaming our objections or justifications and playing political games based on what should have been done and when, in the past and present. Or, we can tell our legislators that we recognize the reality of the circumstances, today, and that we need to make immediate changes, followed by more measured steps.
We urgently need to:
1. Ensure that the very young are safe and nurtured. This is an emergency, because of the damage that we know tactile deprivation has on small children. No more claims that some institutional rule prohibits holding a toddler;
2. Make sure that no more children are “lost” and that even those who are separated can communicate with their parents.
(Hospital arm bands? Schlitterbahn and the Toob renters in my home town use similar bands. The tracking numbers could follow numbers on the bands and would not only work better with digitizing information
Would it be possible/permissible to use RFID and/or GPS?
Delta uses bar codes attached to each suitcase and can text me when my suitcase is loaded or unloaded on the plane. Last month, when I was on a cruise, ATT texted me that I wasn’t covered by their international plan as soon as I stepped on the ship, before the ship left the dock.);
3. Speed up the process of reuniting the families;
(This last will be enabled by the above, but will also require resources for the rapid setting up of family shelters for those awaiting hearings, and hiring personnel for those shelters and judges to hear the cases and lawyers to represent the asylum seekers.);
4. Streamline the process for approving or rejecting application for asylum at the ports of entry. (See above. This may be a useful job for civilians -paif or volunteer – and the National Guard after apprehension and/or initial evaluation by Border Patrol);
5. Fix the laws concerning detention of children separated from their parents, the right of application for asylum for anyone who manages to step on US soil, temporary worker permits that do not allow family to immigrate, and for immigration in general;
6. Continue to identify, arrest, and prosecute people who willfully violate our immigration laws;
7. None of this is dependent upon or contradictory to securing the Border. All of them are enhanced by increased security, however;
8. Stop the partisan game playing!
It should be made clear that our government will follow the law as written. Perhaps we can continue the ads Obama’s Administration is said to have used in Central America.
None of these should be done so that more people show up expecting immediate visas, green cards, or even healthcare and food stamps. They certainly shouldn’t believe that they have a right to immigration or to burden our social infrastructure and taxpayers.
Please comment on my Facebook page.
Edited numbering, BBN
“”1 Most people with the capacity to become pregnant identify as women. Historically, both jurisprudence and public health data have focused on women when addressing reproductive rights and health. But there is an emerging recognition in the law and society more generally that not all people who may become pregnant identify as women. See generally Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312, 1316-19 (11th Cir. 2011)(holding, consistent with the weight of authority, that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender nonconformity”) (collecting cases); Robin Marantz Henig, How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender, National Geographic (2017), https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/01/how-science-helps-us-understand-gender-identity/. The Constitution protects the rightof all individuals to end an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of gender identity.”
“Lawyers have told a judge that he had been biologically able to become pregnant but had legally become a man when the child was born.
“Explaining their unusual parenting arrangements, Amy said: “We went through a lot of fertility treatments, until we finally reached a point where we needed to make a decision as to whether we were going to do more medical intervention or if we were going to switch bodies. (emphasis mine)
“We were fortunate enough to have two uteruses. So, after a lot of thought and emotion and difficulties we switched to Chris.
“And while Chris lived as a man and didn’t feel female, he was willing to use his womb for the good of their family.”
06/16/18 7:30 AM Edited formatting, BBN
I am writing to ask you to vote against censure by the Convention of named Republican, elected, officials.
How often have we complained about the elites who get in power only to ignore us to follow their own agenda? How many of you are at the Convention because you got tired of the establishment working against you?
Well, guess what? If you make it to the State Convention, you’re the elite establishment! Don’t be that kind of elite establishment.
For the first time in years, I couldn’t participate in the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Convention process. I still follow your efforts and have read the resolutions submitted to the Platform Committee. One Senate District has submitted resolutions demanding that the RPT State Convention censure specific legislators.
I appreciate the work you’re doing this not just this week, but over the last few months. Having served as a Delegate to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention and on both the Platform and the Rules Committees, I know you have a week of long walks to simply get to your meeting rooms, heated discussions, long waits, and many re-votes, one after another. The Committees and sessions start early and go late. (Wear comfortable shoes and take snacks!)
Through all of this, please don’t forget that you are in San Antonio as the grass roots embodiment of our Nation’s representative democracy, our Republic. You are not simply individuals expressing your own will and opinion. You are there as representatives of your constituents: the Republican voters from your Counties, Congressional Districts, and Senate Districts.
In the same way that you expect legislators to represent their voters, your voters expect you to represent us.
While it may be appropriate for the local SD Convention to censure their own legislators, especially before the Primary or run-off, many people in our Party disagree. But now, these are elected candidates. I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for the State Convention to censure them in opposition to the local electorate’s wishes.
When the votes on censure of any Republican elected official comes up, please take a look at their constituents’ votes, especially in the last Primary. Did he or she win? Was it by a substantial margin? Was he or she unopposed in the Primary because no one even challenged them?
These men and women deserve your respect, just as President Donald Trump should be given the respect he deserves after being elected President. In the same way that it was wrong for Hillary to deride Republican women as voting the way their husbands told them to, it’s wrong to dismiss these voters as illegitimate.
In addition, as this is an election year, you are writing the campaign ads for the Democrats.
Please do not oppose the voters you represent by voting in favor of public censure of Republicans.
Beverly B. Nuckols, MD
Comal County, SD 25 and CD 21
(Edited because some of the formatting got lost.)
Current barriers on imports into Canada from the US affect dairy, wine, telecommunications like TV, cable, and broadcasting, and even software and “cloud” data storage.
In contrast, there are very few barriers to trade with Mexico.
(Edited to add the link to information on Mexico.)
Nature reports on the creation of human-chicken hybrids using “embryo-like structures” in order to study human embryonic “organizer cells.”
, in an organized manner.
I’ve been having a long Facebook discussion with representatives of organizations, people who claim that I support coercion and killing patients because I defend the Texas Advance Directives Act, 166.0046. (TADA).
I want to respond as fully as I can. ( I’m bandwidth deprived today and will gradually add more links when I reach better signals. See here, here, and here for more explanations from earlier WingRight posts. Links to the law, the press, and previous blog posts by others can be found in those articles.)
It was easy to follow this case. There was a video published by Texas Right to Life (TRTL), a lot of press, statements to reporters by family, lawyers, and TRTL staffers, as well as a couple of lawsuits. I spent the better part of two days once again reviewing the public records.
(Edited 03/11/18 for typos, to add a link, and to clarify points originally made on Facebook in a long debate. BBN)
I know, there’s been lots of words already. However, a recent comment about the #MeToo crowd trading “sex for profit” points out a basic misunderstanding about sexual exploitation and abuse: the victims are victims.
Child actor Todd Bridges gives the most common reason for keeping quiet: “[T]hey say you’re lying.”
Oh, I do want to know where the “Women’s March” was before January 20, 2017! And I’d like to ask Ashley Judd and Madonna, two of the “nasty women” who claim victimhood while wearing pink “pussy hats,” reciting obscene poetry, and cussing from the podium on the National Mall why they blame Conservatives and the current US Administration – for the culture that exploits girls and women (and boys) sexually. In response, it’s easy to point to the fact that Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are anything but “Conservative.” Even if we skip right over the abusive history of Democrats Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner, you would think that the Grammy Awards would have included some condemnation against politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for accepting financial support from Weinstein, rather than show casing Hillary to take a shot at President Trump. (Or concern that Obama allowed one of his daughters to work for Weinstein’s company as an intern)
Yes, there’s a long list of women who are now making claims about past sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood. It’s easy to simply say that they remained silent to protect their careers or in exchange for money after lawsuits. However, read a few histories and you’ll see that some of the victims were children, others reported crimes but prosecutors failed to press charges, and for many young men and women that it’s much more complicated than that.
First, sexual abuse is furtive and involves manipulation, lies and even force. Child victims are innocent and don’t understand the grooming and abuse until older unless they are hurt. More mature victims are trapped, tricked or physically forced into vulnerable situations. Loved ones may be threatened.
Second, there’s guilt. By the time the children realize that the abuse is wrong, they feel guilty and blame themselves. I’m sure that even more mature victims feel some guilt for their vulnerability.
Then, as Mr. Bridges said, “When you realise it’s wrong, they say you’re lying.” Ashley Judd also reports that no one believed her outcry when she was a child. And the comment that spurred me to write this essay is very common: the victim profited somehow, but now claims to be a victim.
Finally, there’s lots of reasons to cover up, drop charges or settle legal procedings and lots of people have something to lose if the perpetrator is prosecuted or even reported. Perhaps the environment is one of “everybody knew” what was going on, so everybody who knew was complicit. Family members and victims may not want to risk the humiliation and victim-blaming/shaming that always seems to accompany sexual abuse and the resultant accusations of “it’s just about sex,” and “he/she was complicit.” All of the above, as well as the police and prosecutors, might not want to risk counter suits.
Often, the victims are ignored and the abuser(s) suffer little or no consequences and successfully block the victim’s story from being told. See the story of Corey Feldman or the documentary, “An Open Secret.” Then, there are the threats,as Harvey Weinstein has shown.
I hope that we’re seeing a change in our response to sexual assault and harassment. I hope that the demand for transparency like “street artist,” Sabo’s billboards will be heeded.I hope I don’t blame the victim myself and never hear unsubstantiated claims that sexual assault are simply prostitutes, in the past and present.
Calling allies “cancer” and divisive is about as malignant and divisive as it gets!
Mark Crutcher and Troy Newman have co-authored a blog piece over at Life Dynamics that does exactly what they accuse others of doing. They manage to insult sidewalk counselors and Crisis Pregnancy Centers and groups like New Wave Feminists and And Then There Were None. Add in the dark graphics and the sanctimonious, unyielding tone to the accusations, and it’s no wonder our movement hits wall after wall.
What differentiates these two from their designation of “Grandstanders?” Talk about your purity test!
My instinct as a proponent of “Can’t we all just get along?” was to remember my Mama’s advice: if you haven’t done the bad things they talk about, the scolders aren’t talking about or chastising you.
And let’s face it, there’s a kernal of truth there: some people are all about power and fundraising and we’ve got to continually educate both new and old activists to focus on our goal of ending abortion.
However, Crutcher and Newman go too far to be too specific and don’t give any consideration – much less kudos – for the possibility that there are effective exceptions within the groups. While I could point out examples of each of the people they describe, I can easily name more exceptions.
Instead of the negative analogy to cancerous growths, I prefer the picture drawn by my friend, Joe Pojman, PhD., of Texas Alliance for Life.
Think of our pro-life efforts as attempts to rescue the unborn and their mothers from the sinking ship that is legalized elective abortion. We each have a boat which we use to make trips to bring as many to safety as we can. Every boat is different: Some boats are old and leaky, some are a bit nicer or newer,more or less efficient or are captained by people who wander around a lot and keep making detours, but none of the boats that we have today is big enough or fast enough to save everyone, so we make trip after trip as fast and efficiently as we can. If some of our sympathisers spend time on the shore shooting holes in everyone else’s boat – or anyone else’s boat – fewer lives will be saved. That’s real “mission drift.”
But we can bail water and plug those holes if they’ll just give us a chance.
Clichés are repeated because they prove true, time after time. Remember this one: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But do we really “educate” with wide condemnation of the efforts of others who approach our goal from a different angle or do we create more of the very harm we are warning about?
Keep building those coalitions, looking for common ground, and plugging along!
Okay, old lady rant here, from someone who once qualified for WIC, but did what we had to* to refuse it. I’m seeing complaints about a proposal to change the SNAP (food stamp) program from money/cards/vouchers for dollars to a mix of money and commodities.
Most people complain that it would be a big government boondoggle. And I’m sure it would be bloated and subject to all sorts of agendas and unintended consequences. I’m not sold on a change.
However, I’m also seeing comments that SNAP should be “supplemental,” rather than basic. That rather than interfering and deciding to only provide nutritional foods, we should trust recipients to know and meet their own needs. And kids on SNAP should be allowed the “dignity” of having Cheetos and a birthday cake.
I started this post because I have a real problem with measuring a child’s dignity by whether their parents can use some one else’s money to buy Cheetos or other junk food. (And, come on! A birthday cake is flour, sugar, milk, and eggs and time.)
Taxes aren’t charity. And I know I’ve seen abuses at the grocery store and with Medicaid in my practice.
Charity is giving someone a ride to the store or offering to shop when you go. It’s giving whatever without government force and, sometimes, when it hurts in the long run. But tell me, who among us would be happy to see even a freely given gift abused by the recipient?
SNAP, WIC, etc., are helping hands, a bridge over hard times. it’s hard work – nearly a time-consuming job – to meet the requirements to access government assistance, I know. And I know there are gaps. I’m sorry, but they shouldn’t be something that is comfortable.
*(Came within minutes of getting utilities turned off several times, nursed those babies until they could reason, baked my own bread with wheat I bought by the big bag and ground myself, joined a cheese and vegetable coop, bought in quantity and learned to store it in smaller portions, made do with one car and shared rides with neighbors, and taught my kids to eat what they were given – when their cousins lived on French fries, Dairy Queen and cookies. Eventually, I was lucky enough to enroll in the local Junior College and then on to medical school and Larry worked harder and harder. I know we’ve been lucky, but…)
Well, get ready for this:
Not through inventing new roles, former President Barak Obama is going to Asia to meet with heads of State, including the President of China.
In an article titled, “Barack is back,” the hopes of many are made clear:
“Although Obama has failed to remain completely out of the public eye following his departure from the White House—with his Obama Foundation work and friendship with recently engaged Prince Harry keeping him in the headlines—the trip marks a clear return to global issues for the former leader.”