Saturday, November 3, 2012


I haven't been here for awhile, not because nothing in life gave me pause, but because of the sensory overload that the last month has provided. The attack in Benghazi, Libya, Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 election providing bookends to the period, along with some happy times such as the marriage of my youngest stepson to a wonderful girl, and seeing that side of the family for the first time in four years. Believe me, there are many questions that have sprung to my mind with all this happening around me. I think I've said in every election since I was old enough to vote (1976) I've said that it is the ugliest I've ever seen, and this one is no different. But with the racism and anti-woman comments coming from the right, I think I can back up this comment. It's not the things the candidates are saying about each other this year, it's the things that the right is saying about the people they are hoping to govern that ASTOUND me. These things are included in the list below:

1. How is it that Mitt Romney is able to continuously bellow such bold faced lies, he faces no consequences? When he lies about Chrysler moving Jeep production to China, and he is challenged on it, he doubles down on the lie instead of taking it back? There are numerous examples of this, and yet the lies, while the tumult eventually dies down, no one is able to make the "Liar, liar" label stick and cost him.

2. I must thank Gloria Steinem for this one; how is it that no one running for office has figured out that if women earned equal pay for equal work, we would add billions of dollars into our economy, and a great deal of money into our tax system. When I saw this comment, it just made so much sense to me, that I couldn't help wondering how no one has thought of this as a campaign point.

3. George Carlin 2. used to do a great comedy bit about how airlines butcher the English language (probably in the late 80s.) I experienced some of this while flying to Illinois for my stepson's wedding. For example, "Fasten seat belts while seated." Really? Have you ever tried to buckle one of those damned things while standing? It is not even possible. Sorry, they don't extend that far.

4. There are commercials on TV for a certain brand of multivitamins that claim "research shows that cell health is important at every stage of your life." Really? All of our tissues, organ, bone and muscle, are made of cells. So how big of a stretch would it be to figure out that cell health is important? Do they really need to tell us that?

5. Every time I need to buy razor blades for myself or my husband, I get depressed at how much they cost. I look at this tiny piece of plastic with teensy shards of metal wrapped in it, and can't imagine that there is any possible reason for them to cost as much as they do. What on earth is the markup for them? It must be thousands of percentage points.

6. I saw at the grocery store some granola bars (like this should surprise me for processed food of any kind!) with a note on the box that said they had a "yogurt flavored coating." This coating is intended to fool the public into thinking these granola bars are a bit healthier because of the yogurt. But it is only "yogurt flavored coating!" Are American consumers so dumb? Maybe.

7. There is also a candy, to which I used to be addicted, called Sixlets. They come in tiny packages of eight. Why are they called Sixlets? I also noticed once, being a fervent label reader, that the little package said "chocolate FLAVORED candy." So I checked the ingredients and these little delicious morsels are made of carob. There was a time when carob was touted as healthy and sold in health food stores-why wouldn't they announce that these things are made of carob instead of chocolate. Well, I guess I can answer that one-we have since discovered that chocolate is good for you, and who buys carob anymore? Of course, the sugar coating on the carob can't be claimed as healthy, but that's another story.

8. Why can't people figure out when to use "less" versus "fewer?" When you go to the express lane at the grocery store, you should "Ten Items or FEWER!" Things that have a plural require "fewer." It is "less" when it is things that don't have a plural-"I have less and less time to get things done!" "I'm not making less money, it just buys fewer things than it used to."

9. I don't know anyone who still has a water bed. I never had one, but I once house-sat for someone who had one. I had never slept on one until then, and he was very proud that it was top-of-the line, and had a heater. This was in the early 80s, and he was very cool to have a heated water bed. Now it is the twenty-first century, and I am seeing commercials for mattresses that promise to keep the consumer cool all night. Really? Back then we wanted to be warmer, now we need to be cooler? Yes, there are millions of baby boomer women entering menopause, and we do have a problem with what some call "hot flashes," but I like the term "power surges" better. A cool mattress would be fabulous. But it also brings to mind for me that every part of our lives is getting warmer. On a television program that I love to watch, The Young Turks, (Current TV) the host, Cenk Ugyur 3. showed a chart yesterday that tracked the actual temperature trends for the entire last century, and there is no question that our temperatures are moving higher. This is not a hoax, this is real, and the data is there to prove it. Whether it is caused exclusively or partially by human behavior can be debated (if you don't like science) but the warming trend is undeniable. I have discussed here before that I'm not sure that we can still change the effect much, and evolution will take us where we have made plain that we want to go, human extinction, and another invasive species will take over the niches that we have carved out for ourselves.

10. Rape (and the resulting pregnancies) are a gift from God, and therefore, no woman should be allowed to abort a child conceived during a sexual attack. This idea, promulgated extensively by white, fundamentalist Christian, republican males, is breathtakingly monstrous. I have been the victim of sexual violence, I have worked with the victims of sexual violence. I have come through the 1970s and the women's movement, for which no longer blaming the victim of rape was one of the major bullet points. Suddenly, seized with the dreadful fear that the America they fantasize existed back in the 1950s is changing colors and power structure-which means including women, who back then knew their place (in the home, cooking for the husband who works and brings home the only paycheck, raising the children during the day, seeing to his pleasure and comfort overnight) is disappearing before their eyes. We have a black president. The most effective Secretary of State in my lifetime is a woman. There are MUSLIMS in our CONGRESS!!! The country is turning more and more brown, whether due to mixed marriages, people immigrating from places where the skin is darker, whatever the reason, we are no longer a predominantly white, Christian country. This is a good thing in reality, but it scares the shite out of these people stuck in a time warp, Mayberry 4. fantasy. So since they slept through the beginning of these changes, now they are afraid, and think the only way they can bomb us back to the Dark Ages is by seizing control of what they used to control-women, minorities, etc. Reproductive choice is the first way to take back control over women, and removing protection for the victims of rape is a good place to start. I love babies. I do think babies are a gift (of nature, not God,) but if I had borne a child by the man who attacked me, I would probably remember that every time I looked at the baby, and remembered the event. I'm sure I would have loved the child as best I could, but by the time that happened, abortion had been deemed legal by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. It was determined by them that reproductive choice for all women is a choice between a woman and her doctor. Period. This should not still be a conversation that we continue to have forty years later. No one, not even my husband, can dictate my medical choices. My doctor and I know my body, and are the only ones who can make medical decisions for me. But I digress. The thing that makes me so passionate about this question is the notion that some God somewhere would give such a "gift" to a woman who is a victim of such a violent misuse of power. I don't believe in God, but I certainly could not believe in such a God as this. This medieval notion of sexual violence and pregnancy being a gift from God reminds me of the Italian judge back in the late 90s who said that a woman wearing tight jeans can't be raped because she must help take off her clothes in order to complete the act. There are thirty-one states in which a rapist can sue for visitation rights if their victims become pregnant and deliver the child. Can anyone imagine what it would be like to have to see one's rapist every other weekend, holiday, and one month in the summer?5. If republicans wish to deny that they are engaging in a war on women, then the attacks on a woman's health choices, on Planned Parenthood and other providers of health care must stop. The 1950s are over. The America of the television past and Norman Rockwell paintings never existed-it was all sentimental drool. There was poverty, suffering, racism, inequality, corporations raping the country and being questioned by no one, and now we won't stand for it anymore. Women make up more than 50 percent of the American population. We will not be reduced to second class citizenship, forced to accept violence and subjugation anymore. We won't know for sure until Tuesday, but I have a feeling that President Obama will be reelected next Tuesday, and I would advise the aging, white male, fundamentalists to admit that it is no longer 1530. It is 2012-deal with it.

1. Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feministjournalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s.
2. George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comediansocial criticsatiristactor and writer/author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums
3. Cenk Kadir Uygur (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈdʒɛŋk ˈujɡur]; born March 21, 1970), is the main host and co-founder of the progressive Internet and talk radio show, The Young Turks (TYT) The Young Turks also appear on Current TV, a liberal cable television news channel.
4. The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom first televised by CBS between October 3, 1960, and April 1, 1968. Andy Griffithportrays the widowed sheriff of the fictional small community of MayberryNorth Carolina. 5. facts

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