All posts by Elayne Boosler

Michael Vick, Retiring From Football, Could Have Really Been a Hero

Today, Michael Vick released a letter to the city of Atlanta announcing his retirement from football. It’s a very well written piece about how sorry he was/is to have inflicted so much past hurt – on himself. As happened during his public statements upon his return to football, he never mentions remorse or regret for nor takes any responsibility for eight years of animal torture and murder. He regrets only his own “suffering”. In reading the tens of thousands of reactions on twitter to his piece, you see the enormous opportunity he missed today. Because he is such a good writer, he could have truly, finally, educated those of his fans who don’t have a clue (and don’t know why they should care) about dog fighting and animal abuse; a sick, criminal part of our society that makes the whole of our society more dangerous, violent and abusive toward its weaker members.

TWEET: “Michael Vick would’ve shattered the NFL record book had he not been thrown in jail for being a black man.”

That tweet diminishes every lynching, every true miscarriage of justice against blacks, every unarmed black person shot and killed by police, with its “cry wolf” ignorance.

TWEET: “Why are people still on that with Michael Vick? Y’all act like he did what he did and got away with it. No, he went to jail for 2.5 years”

Actually, he served eighteen months, (two off-seasons), and not one minute of time for his eight years of animal abuse, torture that went beyond imagination. He plea bargained a “not guilty” to that, and pled to bankrolling a gambling conspiracy. I’m an animal rescuer, so I believe in second (and third, fourth, and fifth) chances. But Michael Vick never served time for nor took responsibility for his crimes.

TWEET: “white people kill deers and hang they head up on the ceiling but michael vick cant kill a couple punk ass dogs. eat a dick”

From Michael Vick’s Letter Today: “I was sorry — sorrier than I could ever express — for what I had done. I knew the millions of dollars that I had lost, and the value to my reputation that I had lost, and every day was a reminder of the freedom that I had lost. I knew all of that.”

There’s a lot of that in Vick’s letter, the disappointment of what he had done to himself, the disappointment of not playing football, of possibly not ever getting a contract to play again, against all that he had lost. Leaving out remorse, regret, or apology for what he did to animals, and the fact that they matter and it matters, is what leads to tweets like the one above.

TWEET: “#ShopTalk with #MarcellusandKelvin: Why do you think it is so hard for people to forgive Michael Vick for his past mistakes?”

First of all #ShopTalk, a “mistake” is hitting a dog with your car. Eight years of promoting illegal and sickening dog fighting for profit at Vick’s own Bad Newz kennels, where Vick himself electrocuted, drowned, and smashed losing dogs to the ground over and over in order to kill them isn’t a “mistake”. Neither you, Vick, nor many of his fans call it what it was; torture, murder, mutilation, so let’s start there.  You know, you don’t have to be a dog lover to be appalled. Dogs are intelligent, sentient beings who feel fear, pain, terror. They are smart enough and emotional enough to be invaluable in search and rescue, to lead the blind, save soldiers’ lives, make independence possible for wheelchair users, or deaf, or autistic people. Their existence makes the world kinder and more humane. This wasn’t Richard Pryor shooting a car. In every interview I have read or seen, Vick repeats his contention that “no one ever told him dogfighting was wrong”, that others “should have told” him, etc. He was a grown man making millions and living a life which offered access to everything, but he “didn’t know”?

TWEET: “If I could go back in time and change anything. I’d go back and tell Michael Vick’s cousins to take the charge for him.” 

And you wonder why many people don’t forgive Vick? When you minimize the horror of your crimes by omitting them, you get this tweet, instead of something like, “If I could go back in time I’d make Michael Vick not torture animals”. It’s not bad that it happened, it’s bad that he got caught.

America loves to forgive, we are great at resurrection. We always welcome back the fallen star as long as the star not only pays his/her debt, but, and this is the key, takes responsibility. Muhammed Ali, extolling Islam, was convicted of draft evasion in his boxing prime, given a five year sentence, a $10,000 fine, stripped of his title. Nearly 60,000 Americans were killed and 150,000 wounded in Viet Nam. Whites died alongside blacks. Every family of every one of those soldiers had every reason not to forgive Ali. So why is he one of all of America’s most enduring, beloved heroes? He manned up. He paid his debt. He took responsibility. He never once felt sorry for himself. In fact, the way he glorified himself, with charm, humor, bravado, actually glorified his fans.

Scores of people tweeted this today:

TWEET: “Catch me boolin wit my dawgs just like Michael Vick”

And these:

TWEET: “When I get a dog, Imma train it Michael Vick style”

TWEET: “My bunny bites her cage one more time I’m gonna be the next Michael Vick.”

TWEET: “… Falcons fans were burning Michael Vick jerseys over some dogs?”

All this animal cruelty bravado, because Vick’s fans weren’t made to get it.

TWEET: “Dog fighting aside, we will never have another Michael Vick.”

And dead women aside, we’ll never have another Jack the Ripper.

TWEET: “Michael Vick & his friends did a horrific thing paid his time and spent rest of life apologizing & helping that’s his legacy PRINT THAT.”

I would if it were true. Here’s what is true. For a sad $50,000 “donation”, the Humane Society of the United States immediately cooperated with Michael Vick and his publicist to rehabilitate his image. The $50,000 was a drop in the bucket to the HSUS, but the press Vick was getting allowed the HSUS to maximize the relationship financially, as well as ride his huge publicity coattails. The Humane Society of the United States started collecting money from the public to help and care for the “Vick dogs”, which they actually never had. After that, without ever having had the dogs, they claimed the dogs “could not be rehabilitated” and recommended they be euthanized. While the Humane Society of the United States  kept the money they collected for the dogs, Best Friends Animal Society stepped in. They cleaned up Vick’s mess, along with the public who eventually adopted these incredible, loving dogs. Best friends used the always limited rescue resources of time and money to treat, help, heal, love, and re-home almost 100% of the Vick dogs. Vick made millions after his release thanks to the HSUS, and the HSUS continues to profit off his name.

Meanwhile, while Vick celebrates and profits, true animal rescue organizations continue to struggle under the weight of what Michael Vick wrought. Year after year, we do what we can to clean up the pitbull mess in America: backyard breeders breeding millions of pitbulls for fighting, most ending up in overcrowded shelters, millions being killed, millions more being bailed out at our own expense. Law enforcement saw an uptick in pitbull fighting after all the Vick publicity. He never addressed what he did, and his fans wanted to be like him.

Today was a true missed opportunity. 133 touchdowns and 22,464 yards don’t make you a hero, they make you good at football. Being a man who says to guys who want to be tough, cruelty is not the way, but kindness, love and compassion are, is a hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top (happy) photo of JohnGarcia-Meryl-vicktorydog courtesy of Best Friends  Animal Society

I Am Pro- Choice. I March For Life

Today is the “March for Life”, against all freedoms that give a woman domain over her own body. They are marching for what they call “The Pre-born”. The Christian, self righteous, pro-life marchers are here to make a point; “every life is sacred, every life should be born, every life matters”. We Pro-Choicers agree. Every life is sacred, every life matters. Where we disagree is, we march for the already born, and the women who can care for, love, and want a newborn. Our end game is not simply to provide the church with more bodies. We actually, actually CARE about babies; babies being wanted, babies being born into love and joy, babies who will be supported and raised and taught and cared for, and loved, for their whole lives. We give birth for the long haul. The Catholic Church will take care of you til the day you’re born.

Are the world’s (and America’s) children all so warm and safe and provided for that we must again steal a woman’s rights regarding her personal being, in order to refill our orphanages and make children available for those childless couples who promise to love and protect, not abuse and exploit them? The answer is no. The orphanages remain full as always. These already born children have  no love, mentoring, promise of a bright future. They’re just numbers. They inspire just self satisfied marching.

There are 400,000 children in the US Foster Care system. 100,000 of those are available for adoption right now, and waiting. Hey, why not swing over there on your way home today?

In 2014, more than 22,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to adoptive families have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults (AFCARS). Row row row your boat, “pro-lifers”.

In 2014, 1,546 children died from abuse and neglect, and 71 percent of these children were younger than 3 years old. More than 44 percent of children who die from abuse and neglect every year are under a year old (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). And just wait until the Affordable Care Act is gone. I know the “pro-lifers” will step in and take these orphaned children to doctors when they are sick.

In 2014, about 702,000 children were victims of maltreatment, which includes neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
In 2014, 21 percent of children in the United States were living in poverty (National Center for Children in Poverty).
In 2014, more than half of children entering U.S. foster care were young people of color (AFCARS).
It is estimated 140 Million children world wide are orphans. (But we must march for more! Or women will get too free.)
  
There were 415,129 children in foster care in the United States in 2014 (AFCARS).
Say, why don’t you pick one up on the way home from your “March For Life”? Take two, they’re small.

 

The Pro- Choice world loves children, babies, families so much, that we want every innocent soul born onto this earth to be adored.  And you “Pro – Birthers”  are terrible, terrible caregivers. The statistics shown above are created by you. Your “righteousness” in destroying women’s lives stops short of helping, adopting, loving, the very beings you insist upon forcing into existence. You have no business on earth  in the most private, quietest sector of a woman’s body, and heart, at her most personal, vulnerable time.  But we don’t live with our heads in the sand. We don’t call it a victory when a baby is born just to be thrown into a trash can at a prom. It’s not success when a baby is dumped in a system that will ignore, suffer, destroy it, then set it free eighteen years later without a road map of the human heart, spirit, or even the subway system. Had you gotten your way, would you marchers now be housing the almost one million people born (instead of not being born) unwanted last year if abortion had been illegal? I hope so, because you will be the people legally responsible for these births when they happen, legal guardians of the law’s benevolence; a million unwanted people with no means of emotional, physical, or financial support, suddenly descending on America, every year. All coming to your homes as you are their reason for being. You made their lives possible. In every spiritual religion, you are now responsible for them. And you have done a horrific job so far.
If we lose our right to choose, I propose every woman forced to give birth against her will name Trump, Pence, and every congressperson (and supreme court judge, and governor, and mayor) who got rid of Roe v Wade, as the father. They are the actual parents of your child, they are the reason you have a child.  A class action suit for support by millions of women would be the only fair means of support for the children now forced upon you.
Hypocrisy
The same people who are anti-choice are against sex education in the schools. Why not just sell cars without brakes?
See? It’s all about them not wanting you to have sex for pleasure. And if they taught you birth control, then you could have sex for pleasure. So no, we need the baby as punishment. The opposite of a beautiful life, dontcha think?
If they really cared about a “baby”, they’d embrace the Morning After Pill (Plan B), because right after sex, with no idea of fertilization or not, you can take this pill if your condom breaks. We are talking ten minutes after sex. But they are against that, as they believe it’s “killing a life”. So you can see, it’s not at all about actual babies, or where life begins, or wanting to help orphans. It is only, only, about keeping women prisoner. And the fact that you might have enjoyed sex.
Bush: “Sex education causes promiscuity. If you have the knowledge you’ll use it”. Not really. I took algebra. I never do math.
Bush: “Birth shouldn’t be taught, it’s a miracle.” So’s popcorn if you can’t figure out how it happened.
Every baby born should be wanted and loved, and able to be cared for. That is why I am pro-choice. That is why I support Planned Parenthood. Hey “Marchers For Life”, maybe next year you can do something meaningful and actually go visit those full orphanages you ignore all year. Maybe bring some candy, read a child a book…
 
 
 
  
 
 

Worldwide Women March, the Beginning

Here’s a message I just received on facebook. Name not important. I don’t know why she sent this to me, I don’t know her. And she clearly, clearly does not know me.

To Me: 

I am not a “disgrace to women” because I don’t support the women’s march. I do not feel I am a “second class citizen” because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is “not heard” because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I “don’t have control of my body or choices” because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am ” not respected or undermined” because I am a woman. I AM a woman. I can make my own choices. I can speak and be heard. I can VOTE. I can work if I want. I control my body. I can defend myself. I can defend my family. There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF. I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don’t always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself. I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by the walls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice. Quit blaming. Take responsibility. If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men. If you have beliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways. If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the real injustices and tragedies that affect women in foreign countries that do not that the opportunity or means to have their voices heard. Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive, no rights and must always be covered. China and India, infantcide of baby girls. Afghanistan, unequal education rights. Democratic Republic of Congo, where rapes are brutal and women are left to die, or HIV infected and left to care for children alone. Mali, where women can not escape the torture of genital mutilation. Pakistan, in tribal areas where women are gang raped to pay for men’s crime. Guatemala, the impoverished female underclass of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS after sub-Saharan Africa. An epidemic of gruesome unsolved murders has left hundreds of women dead, some of their bodies left with hate messages. And that’s just a few examples. So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don’t have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it’s like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there… This WOMAN does not support it.”

My Answer:

Wow, I never use this term because I rarely encounter it, but finally, a dictionary definition of “White Privilege”. Here, it’s actually “Rich White Privilege”. How wonderful you are so secure standing in your own Bruno Maglis that you cannot even see past to women who aren’t you. My friends and I indeed remember the coat hanger desperate abortions of the ’60’s and ’70’s, the horrible conditions for poor women seeking medical help without much money even after Roe V Wade became law. We remember there were no such things as “rape kits”, and the first questions asked by police if you were brave enough to try to report rape was, “What were you wearing? What were you doing there? Are you sure this wasn’t just a fight with your boyfriend?” If you got as far as a courtroom and on the stand, the other side could reduce you to a sexually promiscuous whore who was asking for it. These things changed because women fought and marched.

Even though Roe v Wade is still the law of the land, over 30 states now make abortion impossible, so again you need to be rich to travel, wait out the waiting periods (though not for a gun), and hope your husband (or your stepfather who impregnated you, or your mother’s boyfriend who impregnated you) doesn’t try to stop you. In many states, you will need their written permission to terminate. Good luck getting that, as it would then implicate them in your molestation. Some states have “paternal rights” laws, meaning your rapist has visitation rights to your child for eighteen years, if you carry the rapists’ child to term and keep it. By the way, public taxpayer money has never been used for abortions, and so-called “Christian” companies like Hobby Lobby can refuse to pay for birth control in their employees’ health care plans. Yet all cover the cost of Viagra. Planned Parenthood is the primary care center for millions of women in America. They use no taxpayer money for abortions. Nevertheless, your new vice president, Mike Pence, cut their funding in 2011, causing the worst HIV outbreak in Indiana state history.  It also caused breast cancer rates to skyrocket as women lost their affordable access to cancer screening. His number one goal in office now is to completely shut them down, as he has tried with six previous bills.

You’ve clearly never tried to make your way up the ladder of what was thought to be only a “man’s profession”. Even now, our female athletes, even when better than our men’s soccer team, are woefully behind in salary and winning purses. Women, not for lack of trying, hard work and competency, are in very few boardrooms of major companies. Women in the US still make less than men for the same work, a travesty when you consider how many women are the breadwinners for their families. White women make 80 cents to the dollar earned by white males.  African-American women are paid 60 cents for every dollar white men earn, while Hispanic women make only 55 cents. Title IX, signed into law in 1972 to give female students access to sports and equal opportunity in schools, barely survived the GOP grand effort to repeal it under President Obama. Without it, there would have been no Olympic Gold in 2016 for Women’s Gymnastics; no Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman. It survived because women rallied and actively held our representatives to task.

So we march. We march because the republicans now rule the house, senate and executive branch. We march to let them know we are here, we are watching, we are not going backwards and we are active. We will drown you in phone calls, emails, articles, petitions and most importantly, WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT. You work for us. You do not rule us. You will not set us back to when we had to “let boys win”. You have won your last, we are here now and we are watching you. We are committed and we are angry. A sexual predator, who bragged about it, is the president of the United States, not Saudi Arabia and not Guatemala. He, and his supporters, are creating a very dangerous climate for women. This comes at a time when our rights to control our own bodies are one vote away from being overturned. When health insurance for women and families is being overturned and will leave us out in the cold. We have a vice president who actually coined the term “forcible rape”. “Forcible” rape. As opposed to.. the 1950’s courtroom version? While you whined about a fake war on Christmas we suffered under an actual War on Women. And we know what’s coming, from the tiny- minded, petty, self-serving, ignorant, narcissistic, archaic, hubristic, hateful, homophobic, mysogynistic boys club up on lobbyists hill. We know and we are ready. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Now let me ask you a question, dear letter writer: (and when you say you “can vote”, you know it’s because women marched, were beaten, arrested, taunted, jailed, for DECADES, to get you that right, right?) You mention your concern for women brutalized, and more deserving of a march, in countries like Mali, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Africa. In how many of those countries in which you voiced extreme concern for women have you marched, advocated, helped, supported, or done anything for women or people in need? The new republican playbook is “false equivalency”, trying to throw the spotlight off the real issues affecting us by pointing out something shiny!!! elsewhere!!! Look!!! They treat women badly ten thousand miles away, so why are you protesting in America??!! That game doesn’t work here. It’s a specious argument at best and an ignorant one at worst. “Hey, people in South Africa don’t have clean water, so why are you protesting about Flint, huh?? Huh??” The Huckabee talking points are wearing thin, thin enough to be totally transparent.

Women yesterday weren’t “blaming” or “whining”. We were marching. Marching IS taking responsibility. We are responsible for our freedoms and our rights, and we are going to make sure we keep them. I am happy you have a wonderful life. I am happy my generation’s marching and fighting gave you the right to be anything you wanted, even oblivious if that’s your choice. If everyone else who had a wonderful life didn’t care about anybody else’s life, we’d never have gotten the vote. Continued carefree success to you.

 

 

When I Shoved My Pinkie Up Florence Henderson’s Nose

Everyone is writing the most glowing, loving and funny tributes to the now late, dear Florence Henderson. It’s what she inspired; love, fun, joy, and admiration. Florence was truly a “gamer”, a “good sport”, and she proved that a woman could be sexy and alluring at eighty two years old. Here is my most fun memory of us together:

In the nineteen seventies, one day Florence Henderson and I were two of several guests on the “Mike Douglas Show”. She was a gorgeous, petite woman, and was so encouraging to a new comic; me. At the end of the show, they had us all come out, sit on bar stools, and sing a closing number together. Being a silly comic, I spread my arms wide for the last note. With that, my pinkie went up Florence’s nose, and I knocked her backward off the bar stool. Needless to say, the mortification was unbearable to me. I thought I was done for. The show ended, Florence got up laughing hysterically. Not only wasn’t she upset, she spent the next half hour reassuring ME. And then we went our separate ways, after I apologized for sixteen hours.

Several years later, I was to entertain at an industry event, and I knew Florence was going to be there. I hadn’t seen her in a few years, and I kept hoping against hope that she wouldn’t remember what had happened. Suddenly, there she was. Florence Henderson: beautiful, dressed to kill, perfect, stunning, gorgeous, regal, surrounded by beautiful people. She saw me, she came toward me, and in front of all her admirers, stuck her own pinkie up her nose and, laughing heartily, said to me, “Remember? Remember? Hahahahahah!!” While everyone around her stood there gaping, we laughed until we cried. And that became our greeting every time we saw each other for the rest of her life.

May this wonderful human being, who spent her life making the lives of others better, who understood the insecurity and the humanity in all of us and who strove to honor it, who always saw the positive, now rest in peace.

You’re “Not Excited” About Hillary? Here’s Some Excitement

So young millennial women “aren’t excited by” Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and may not vote?  Well here’s real excitement: standing on a dark street corner with a red carnation pinned on so the stranger driving the car can find you. He will then blindfold you and take you to a butcher of a “doctor” to end your accidental pregnancy, if you have enough cash. If you don’t die on the table, you will probably develop an infection a few hours later, or hemorrhage and have to go to a hospital where you “will be punished in some way”, for having an abortion. Most likely, you will never have children due to the negligent damage done to you, which you can do nothing about because you broke the law. Don’t believe me? Here:

Trump: “You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places. But you have to ban it. There has to be some form of punishment.” Then forced by handlers to deflect in order to get elected, Trump re-calculated: “The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.” (Make America great again. No thanks.)

The Supreme Court is already only one vote away from repealing Roe v Wade, and if a Republican gets elected and appoints the next Supreme Court judge, make no mistake, Roe v Wade, and your freedom to control your own body, will be overturned. You can’t imagine that, can you? And you don’t believe that it really was and will again be that bad, do you? Because you grew up so entitled, so lucky, so free to enjoy everything we older women fought and yes, died for. And you can’t imagine it could ever be any other way. Well, it can be and it will be. How you doing? Excited yet?

Maybe you think you’ll just take the “Morning After Pill” and have no worries. Do you know how many years it took us, and Planned Parenthood, and every women’s group, and the politics and lawsuits, to even get RU486 to market in America? It was available to women in France in 1987, then the UK, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and finally, finally! as a prescription drug, with age and consent restrictions, in the U.S. in the year 2000. Thirteen years after French women could safely control their own bodies in the privacy of their own homes, American women were still fighting to legally swallow a pill with a glass of water in their own kitchens. Think that pill can’t go away instantly once the anti-woman, anti-choice, anti sex education (figure that one out, anti-choice and anti sex education. Why don’t they just sell cars without brakes?) republicans get in power? Here are five drugs that used to be legal which are now illegal: Cocaine, LSD, MDMA, Meth, and Heroin. Exciting, isn’t it?

The U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team kicked ass in Brazil this year, didn’t they? Do you know what that was directly attributable to? Title IX, a law that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. It was passed in 1972. It opened the floodgates for women in sports and education. Do you know who has tried recently to repeal Title IX? Your Republican congress. You think women fighting for your rights isn’t exciting? It’s stupefying.

Hillary Clinton fought through the wars of discrimination waged against smart, professional women at a time when it  truly was a war. We all had to be ten times better than any man to get any job. She was a warrior, and she did it all. We had nowhere to run, nowhere to complain, nobody to sue. We put on our big-girl panties and fought our way through. You don’t use the word “feminist” any more? I do. I am a feminist. My definition is: equality for all. I want everybody to be happy. But not at the expense of anybody else. A true feminist is a humanist. So I am happy we made it possible for you to be free to do anything you want; post pictures of your dinners on Instagram, count your “likes”,  do whatever makes you happy, but I would ask one thing in return. Vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th.

A twenty-year-old woman said to me the other day, “I don’t like either one”. I said, “What’s your problem with Hillary?” She replied, “The emails”. I said, “What about the emails?” She said, “You know, the emails”. I said “No. I don’t know. What about the emails?” All she could say was “The emails”. The empty talking point, the fake emergency, had been burned into her brain by endless repetition by our diseased media. I asked her, “Did anything go wrong because of the emails? Were we attacked? Were government secrets given to the enemy? Was there one ‘classified’ email that caused America even one problem in its dealings around the world or at home?” Of course not.

When a creature like Donald Trump is so flawed, with a new scandal every day; bankrupting yet another small business that expected to be paid for its work for him, faking having a NYC charity, then illegally misusing the donated money, when he talks of women like garbage to be sexually abused, when he leaves wife after wife and makes them sign draconian contracts to get divorce settlements, when he makes full use of all of America’s services to its citizens yet pays not one penny of tax to support them, when he is the first candidate in half a century to hide his tax returns, and on, and on, and on, the problem is this: There is so much shit on his plate, it just keeps rolling on through. But by him, and his party, simply saying “Emails” for a year and a half, that’s what sticks. If we could have just chosen only one of Trump’s egregious actions, and repeated it for a year and a half, the election might have been a referendum on, say: child rape vs emails, or fake charity scamming vs emails, or fake university fleecing of the poor vs emails, or tax evasion vs emails, or molesting women vs emails, or five bankruptcies vs emails, or lying about re-opening obsolete coal mines vs emails, or having absolutely no policy plans whatsoever vs emails, or claiming to support paid maternity leave when none of his companies has paid maternity leave, vs emails, or bringing manufacturing to America again when all of his, and his family’s products, are made overseas, vs emails, or overturning women’s rights vs emails, or reversing gains made by the LGBT community vs emails, or voter suppression in black and latino areas vs emails, or running fake ads telling Americans they can vote for Hillary by text, thus making them think they actually voted when they didn’t, vs emails, or lying every time he opens his mouth vs emails. But we can’t, because he is so steeped in shit there is no one talking point we can stick to long enough before the next heinous revelation comes to light.

Hillary Clinton, and every great woman I know, came up in a patriarchal, male-ruled society. They didn’t do rape kits because they didn’t believe us when we said we were raped. They didn’t respect us. They didn’t want to work with us and they didn’t want to pay us. And we made them. Because we didn’t give up and we knew we had the right to happy fulfilling lives and were willing to work for that. Pundits telling Hillary to “smile more” during the debates were the echo of every construction worker taunting female passersby, “Hey baby! Ya can’t give me a smile, sweetie??” A replica of every sexist boss and customer saying, “How ’bout a little smile, honey?” Why didn’t anybody tell that miserable male face in the debates to “smile more”? He didn’t smile at all, and he could have used it. All of this diversion nonsense about Hillary “not being likable” is a wink and a nod to the old sexism game. Who ever, ever, mentioned a male presidential candidate being likable as a thing. Donald Trump is a seventy year old throwback to steaks and cigars and broads, grabbing the waitress’ ass while smirking with his buddies drinking scotch, saying “I could get her”. He’s a bully and a failure of the worst kind; the kind who takes his off the top and leaves the little guy holding the bag, to go under. He’s a “white males first and best” kind of spoiled rich boy, taking credit for success where not only isn’t there true success, only a numbers game he can manipulate to come out on top on paper, but if there was, the credit goes not to him, but to all the small companies he used and destroyed, all the laws he twisted to serve his own grasping purpose. He’s small, he’s mean. He’s against all the people who think differently than he does, who want a better life but didn’t have a rich father, who weren’t born here but made their way here to give their children what his father gave him; a leg up, an in, a chance, and fourteen million dollars.

You still don’t see a difference? You “don’t like either one of them”? You weren’t outraged by Trump’s disrespectful treatment of Hillary during the debates? She came out classy and beautiful, prepared (oh right, that’s a negative. Explain that to me, will you?) She explained her policies, her plans, with intelligence. She treated him with respect. He couldn’t speak in full sentences, he had no answers, no policies, so he attacked her for ninety minutes at a time. That didn’t enrage you? Then you need better boyfriends. For years I’ve supported WRRAP, which is in essence the “underground railroad” for poor women needing abortions in one of the ten states that have already banned abortion completely, or one of the forty one states that make it almost impossible. But I’m done fighting the fight. Why should I help any more? I can’t get pregnant, and you can’t even be bothered to vote, yawn yawn. We’ve given you all this; freedom and choices and opportunity and the whole world, and sometimes we didn’t smile and weren’t likable doing it. Too bad. But you need to protect and cherish it now, and make your futures even better. You need to vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th, for a million and one great reasons, and for the future of America and the world. Not because she is a woman. Because she is a great, brilliant, capable woman, and the best man for the job.

 

 

 

Entertainment (News) Trumps the Truth

I am delighted to welcome a guest columnist today. My friend John Debellis, in his own twitter profile words: “Comedy writing, director, and stand-up comic. Author of Standup Guys: A Generation of Laughs. To me life is a gift better left unopened.”

Entertainment (News) Trumps the Truth

by John DeBellis

If the mainstream news media stopped kowtowing to the pagan God of Nielsen (he died on the antenna for TV sins), possibly the biggest story of the election would be the article written by James West of Mother Jones:

Former Models for Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules and Worked Illegally.

“It’s like modern day slavery,” claimed a former trump model.  Mr. West’s article is a must read for everyone, even Trump voters (if you read silently you can still spit). The piece would not only disqualify Trump from the presidency, it may force him to stamp out license plates—the only product he’d make in America.  Instead, Clinton’s foundation, which either saved or vastly improved the lives of eleven million people, comes under scrutiny by the spineless media and Trump, since apparently many of the foundation’s influential donors were allowed to rewrite the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, help Hillary fund Isis and commit the treasonous act of using Mrs. Clinton’s Amazon Prime account.  Then there are Clinton’s sinister emails from her private server, which the Justice Department lacked enough evidence to prosecute, but became the equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster, dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, and dating Ann Coulter…  (don’t take her to dinner she’ll only throw up the food).

On one hand there is the sterling Clinton foundation, and emailing three or more poorly marked classified documents, and Benghazi, where she was found innocent of any wrongdoing.  On the other hand there is “Trump World”: hundreds of lies, more flip flops than fish washed up from an oil spill, softening and hardening of the wall (maybe it’ll be built with Playdough), the deportation of 400 billion undocumented Mexicans (none of the ones employed by Trump), childish name calling, mocking women, the disabled, and a war hero, inciting armed folks (some with teeth) to guard polling places, insinuating that Hillary should be shot (psychological projection), illegally hiring of models—the equivalent of indentured slavery at best, refusing to rent to minorities, employing a white supremacist (at least he had to buy his own sheet) as a campaign honcho, a former campaign manager with ties to Russia (borscht was found in his suitcase), not releasing his tax returns, a phony health report by a perplexed medicine man (with earrings, but no bone through his nose so he can’t  be taken seriously), being sued for fraud (Trump University and other cons), refusing to pay contractors their entire fee, not hiring African Americans in his casinos, arguing with the Pope (I don’t think it was over Bingo odds), declaring bankruptcy six times—gutting a city and leaving a wake of lost jobs,  calling undocumented Mexicans rapists, drug dealers and murderers… I can go on for decades (until we all die from global warming). If you have a brain that can still process information, you will see the light, and the bad makeup and dye in Donald’s hair.

Trump, despite the Secret Service’s displeasure (not that anything can penetrate his ego) unselfishly decided to take a last minute trip (possibly brunch) to Mexico. He was brave enough to face the threat of rapists, murderers and migrant workers—unarmed.

In a behind closed doors meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump was told that Mexico would not pay for a wall or even discourage graffiti artists. Still, Sir Donald returned as triumphant as General MacArthur (Gilligan for Trump supporters).  Of course, he’ll soon spin yarns (longer lies) about his brilliant negotiating and that he will (before he loses the election) intimidate Mexico’s President into not only building a thirty foot wall and paying for it, but he’ll also force him to tap dance to the “Star Spangled Banner”.

The other night, the news mediocre showed Trump’s Kennedy- like (Ethel, not John) Immigration Speech, and afterwards, debated the merits of his diatribe and his temporary permanent hard line stance on immigration, which had as much substance as the Invisible Man’s shadow (far deeper than the media will dig). Great television for political pundits who can’t look past their own tv monitors.

For every five seconds of airtime the nutworks give Hillary, Trump is handed at least an hour to preach his fabricated gospel according to John Wayne Gacy. Only clips of Clinton’s speeches are played, which are written by intelligent life, unlike Trump’s, that sound like they were copied off a wall in a drunk tank and then delivered as if he’s reading them off a pumpkin with the lyrical tone of a high school marching band falling down a hill.  When the media is willing to risk a fraction of a ratings point and give Hillary a second or a long-drawn-out two seconds of airtime, they repeat, repeatedly, over and over again that “the people don’t trust her”, which should be followed by “almost as much as the viewers should trust us”.  Of course, faster than Donald can change campaign managers, they return to All Trump All the Time.  I guess vile, disgusting, abhorrent, repulsive, revolting, detestable, repugnant, and obscene is the new acceptable.

The rise of Mr Trump, or is it Mr. Ed, (horse’s asses are difficult to tell apart), I mostly blame on the TV News Media, who in exchange for a larger viewership, will put our country in the hands of a Megalomaniac/Narcissist/Psychopath/idiotic blow hard, with the temperament of Genghis Khan/Caligula/Idi Amin/Dr. Strangelove and, well, Donald Trump.

If we don’t want to end up genuflecting to President Trump, (that dreaded title would be difficult for a whale to swallow), and paying tribute by giving him fashion models to exploit, and sacrificing one Constitutional Amendment a year (he’ll never read it so we can just eliminate one Rockette annually), we must drive the media into presenting us with consequential news shaped by facts, not farcical testimonials from parroting surrogates (cloned from Donald’s hair) who contort the truth so it fits Trump’s reversible tongue (when it’s not kissing his reflection in the mirror).  We The People have to make our voices heard, along with Mother Jones and reporter James West, until the fourth estate (Trump thinks he’s going to build on it) serves the many, not the wealthy few who profit from deceiving the public, causing fatal harm to our American Democracy—the home of the brave and the land of the free, that may someday include the press.

Let ‘Em Eat Lead. Guns and Bread.

“Let ‘Em Eat Lead” may as well be the rallying cry of the Republican party. No longer the party of Lincoln, it’s now the Party of Marie Antoinette.

While it’s legal in Ohio to carry guns openly or concealed, the Cleveland police union urged Ohio’s Governor Kasich to suspend the law during the Republican convention. While Kasich couldn’t quite do that, the RNC banned guns inside the convention center and in a large zone around the building. Think about that for a minute. While the republicans, the political party responsible for enabling the laws that made possible the shooting of ninety two people, 12 fatally, in Cleveland the month of their convention there, they sat safe and free from gun violence inside Quicken Loans Arena.

Why? If the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, as they love telling us while fattening their bank accounts with NRA blood money, didn’t they want to assure their safety with as many guns as possible inside and outside the arena? Did you know that guns were also banned at the RNC in Tampa in 2012? One hundred and thirty thousand ordinary Americans have been shot in the U.S. since 2012. But the republican elite again sat smug and safe from gun violence inside Tampa’s Amalie Arena. The absolute height of republican hypocrisy is their “Let ’em eat cake” lawmaking. Only nobody ever died from cake. The republicans were safe from guns while in Cleveland. Meanwhile in Cleveland, a two year old girl in her mother’s arms was shot in the head, and an eleven year old girl was shot while watching tv in her living room. Too bad they too couldn’t have been safe inside Quicken Loans Arena.

Dear Bernie Supporters, Undecideds, Swing Voters, Everyone who doesn’t see the difference between the two parties; no party is perfect. Politics is compromise, and it’s painful and often not pretty. Some of you are angry the DNC erected a fence around the convention. With terrorism and gun nuts, of course they did. But they didn’t exclude themselves from living by the laws they passed for us to live by. The DNC has passed laws to benefit the environment, children, the aged, labor, women, minorities, and improve health care. Their convention wasn’t a fracking barbecue over coals with oil lamps. They didn’t dine on endangered species while being waited on by non- union eight year old immigrants without Pre-k or health care, while their leadership burned down a women’s clinic. They’re with us. And #imwithher.

Yes, the DNC put a fence around its convention for safety. But hey, guess what? The RNC took away your guns.

There IS a DIFFERENCE. Let’s vote the Democrats back into our government.

Dear Bernie Supporters

Dear Bernie Supporters,

It is inspirational to see so much passion and idealism in politics again. Many of us remember feeling that exhilarating hope and joyous promise when Bill Clinton took office, and Hillary Clinton renewed the standard for how inspiring a role model a First Lady of the United States could be. I remember watching in awe in 1993 as Mrs. Clinton spoke to congress, without notes, for over two hours, outlining the new president’s health care proposal. She was smart, beautiful, classy, involved; the promise of how far women could now aspire to go.

I worked for Bill Clinton’s election, and then Al Gore’s, and I know your pain is as great as what we all felt when in 2000, the Supreme Court, to the great detriment of our constitution, threw the presidential election to George W. Bush.

When Al Gore said it was time to come together and support our new president (Bush), we were outraged, depressed, sick to our stomachs, and having none of it. NEVER! I cried. A lot. I’m sure my head would have exploded if the election had been ongoing, and Al Gore had asked us to actually VOTE FOR George W. Bush. I know I wouldn’t have.

But here is the difference in what we went through then and what is at stake today. George W. Bush was the political opposite of Al Gore. George W. Bush opposed every good policy and plan for America’s future that Al Gore embraced. George W. Bush was unqualified to be the president of the United States; intellectually, temperamentally, and in his lack of experience and vision. George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, was/is a war profiteer and an architect of murder and destruction. I will never understand why Al Gore didn’t keep fighting.
Today: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have voted together ninety three percent of the time. Think about that. Bernie and Hillary have worked together to support the issues and legislation that matter to all of us, ninety three percent of the time. Hillary’s vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, received a ninety percent positive rating in the liberal Americans for Democratic Action rating of 2014 Senate votes.

I love Bernie Sanders. I am so grateful that the Bernie Revolution forced the Democratic party’s platform even further to the left than it was, and it was already progressive (LGBTQ rights, choice for women, civil rights, minimum wage hikes, fixing the social safety net, education, financial regulation, supporting science and the environment, etc. etc.) You did that. That is what I call a successful revolution, and yes, of course it must continue. I understand the impulse to throw it all away in anger and frustration. I beg you not to. I am respectfully asking you to look at Hillary’s lifetime, true, successful record in fighting for all of us; all the people Bernie fights for. The right has so brainwashed the willing into seeing Hillary Clinton as the devil, it is shameful that we need to point out the incredible work for America this woman has devoted her life to for decades. I am not going to go down the list of what she has been subjected to by a partisan congress and partisan news outlets. Suffice to say, she has shown up every time, publicly put it all on the line, done her best, taken the heat, answered and answered and answered, without rancor or complaint. Donald Trump won’t even release his tax returns. (The first presidential candidate in fifty years, by the way, to hide his tax returns. Where is the press and congress now?)

I know. You are so angry you’d rather see Donald Trump elected, just for spite. I get it. I am the best grudge holder in the history of my family; Jews with 25 Olympic Gold Medals in Grudge Holding and Cutting Off Our Noses to Spite Our Faces. But listen, after you get past that natural instinct of rebellion, you must see what is at stake for the future survival, yes survival, of life as we know it. Donald Trump is the least qualified person to ever run for the highest office in the land. He makes George W. Bush look like Carl Sagan. Make no mistake, Trump is a danger to America, the world, and the future of both. I have nothing against him personally, he simply has zero qualifications for this job. Hillary Clinton is not “the lesser of two evils”. Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified people to ever run for president of the United States. In forty years of public service, there are going to be some corners cut, some deals made, some less than idealistically perfect votes, some political manipulation. That’s politics, that’s life. That’s how things get done at all in the real world. Joan Rivers would say, “Oh, grow up”. I’m not minimizing actions of Hillary’s that offend you, I’m not dismissing your feelings. But nobody’s perfect. Life isn’t perfect. Politics is the least perfect place of all.

Bernie hasn’t given up. He knows the only way he can continue his revolution and have a powerful voice in our government is in a Clinton administration. You love him, you trust him, you support him. Then trust he is asking you to do the right thing for the right reason when he asks you to vote for Hillary. For our country. For the revolution.

Senate Passes on Passing Gun Bills, Pass the Buck

The senate did NOT pass the four hardly- even -not- so- much- but- still- something- better- than- nothing gun “control” bills today. Possible terrorists on the “No Fly” list can still buy guns. They’re not on the “No Airport” list though, so they can still ruin your vacation, if boarding in Group 4 hasn’t already done so. There will still be no background checks at gun shows. So use those three days waiting for an abortion to buy something that lets you murder an already born, no doubt about it actual person. No counseling necessary! Senate Majority Bleeder Mitch Unconscionable said the Democratic measures were “ineffective” and “Democrats were not sincere in their effort”. He could tell they weren’t sincere because they tried to pass a gun control bill. If they were sincere, they would have shot up the senate.

He then squeezed his buttocks and coughed up another hairball: “Republican senators are pursuing real solutions that can help keep Americans safer from the threat of terrorism.” I assume these include:

 Background checks for falafel purchases.
No “Muhammad” or “Amir” on Coke cans.
Getting the greeting card industry to make “Happy Hajj!!” cards, then hiding behind display to see who buys them.
Passing a senate resolution to outlaw the word “AiAiAi”. (Includes no more I Love Lucy reruns.)
No radio play for any songs containing words that rhyme with “Ramadan”. (Includes Rama Lama Ding Dong.)
Staring really hard at anyone eating hummus (I see you!)
Banning the sale of rugs under five feet long.
Banning all people in the U.S. with beards from facing East.
Banning the sale of “Korans For Dummies”.
 
Congress has not passed new gun restrictions since 2007. Ten years, about three hundred thousand people in America dead from guns. If 300,000 people had died from apples since 2007, they would not keep making those Snow White movies. Senators in the pocket of the NRA have enough cash to physically weave it into thick bullet proof vests to keep themselves safe, while the rest of us play Fatal Weekend Roulette. 
“If you see something, say something.” Fine. Something. Something‘s rotten in Denmark. Doing something is better than doing nothing. I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed. To give real service you must add something that cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity, and integrity. Do something!!!!!!!
Trudy the Bag Lady, from the mind of the great Lily Tomlin says, “When I was young I wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific”. We need to be more specific. Say something to your senators who voted against these bills. Say it with your vote in November. Say good-bye.

Continue reading Senate Passes on Passing Gun Bills, Pass the Buck

No Fly No Buy Congress Any More: Filibuster

“Congress won’t outlaw automatic weapons because they say it might infringe on some hunting weapons. If you need a hundred rounds to kill a deer, maybe hunting isn’t your sport.”-Elayne Boosler.

I wrote this joke in 1978. 1978! Are we there yet? Support all your senators standing up in today’s “No Fly No Buy” filibuster. Not one American voted Wayne LaPierre into congress. The fact that he makes our public policy is nothing less than a government takeover, ironically done with money, not weapons. The fifty-one senators who voted against the 2015 “No Fly No Buy” law collectively received thirty seven million dollars in blood money from the NRA. They should be arrested as traitors, clearly helping America’s enemies. (You are on the “No Fly” list, but you can buy an assault weapon?) The NRA makes possible the murder by guns of over thirty thousand Americans a year. If ISIS was able to kill that many Americans, on our own soil, every year, we’d know they had won the war on terror. The NRA made/makes possible the murder of hundreds of thousands more Americans than any radical religious group from anywhere. The NRA is a terrorist organization, going against the will of even their own members who agree with reasonable and logical gun laws. Wayne LaPierre has made possible the murder of more Americans than Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, and every terrorist we are spending billions of tax dollars fighting while our shameless representatives take millions from the terrorists on our own soil.

Vote the bums out. Stand up for the senators who are standing up for America today. Let’s start buying teddy bears for children again, and flowers for lovers again, instead of buying them for shooting site memorials. Send Wayne LaPierre to Guantanamo, and force the representatives and senators whose graft greed made the loss of American life so prevalent, to donate all their ill gotten gains to the thousands of the loved ones left behind. Let’s bow our heads and take a moment of silence to remember the names of the senators and congresspeople who sold us out and made wholesale American murder the norm in our cities, schools, movie theaters, nightclubs, and homes.  Amen.