Friday, July 27, 2012

An Open Letter To The Women Of The GOP From A Liberal Woman About The War On Women

***WARNING: This post contains very, very strong language.


The majority of GOP women say The War On Women is a liberal distraction. It isn’t real. They like to paint liberals as self-admitted whiny victims and maintain this “war” against us is a manufactured one. I will illustrate how this war is real and debunk the myth that liberal women look the other way when liberal men call any woman a name.

Rush Limbaugh launched a nine-hour attack on Sandra Fluke, calling her a slut and a prostitute and demanded to see her sex video. He lied and said she stood before Congress and complained that she was having so much sex she could no longer afford birth control and wanted it to be free.

The truth is that Ms. Fluke stood before Congress and addressed them politely and eloquently, and made the case that birth control should be available on all insurance plans. She made the point that it isn’t available through her current insurance provider. Rush Limbaugh LIED and passed it off as news, fully expecting his audience to believe what he was saying was truth. Not a joke or satire.

When GOP women talk about Limbaugh, they are quick to call out liberal women and say that we have said nothing about Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a cunt. Or David Letterman referring to Sarah Palin as slutty and (making a bad, bad joke) that one of the Palin daughters was "knocked-up by Alex Rodriguez" at a Yankee game. Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” And last, Larry Flynt’s publication, Hustler, created the depiction of conservative, S.E. Cupp, in a mock-up photo to look as if she had a penis in her mouth.

GOP women – you are dead wrong when you declare liberal women have said nothing. I have. You can read what I said about all of it in this post. Additionally, I have tweeted to Maher and Schultz, expressing my disappointment with their choice of words.

There is a glaring difference though. These men who painted derogatory pictures of women by using shaming words were name-calling. Unlike Limbaugh, they did not spend nine hours lying about what any of these women did. There is a difference. Limbaugh has an audience that believes what he says is news and accepts it as truth. Letterman and Maher are comedians and everyone understands that they are not passing themselves off as newscasters.

That said, I don’t believe men should ever refer to any woman, no matter her political affiliation, as a cunt or a slut. These words are shameful and specifically geared toward taking away a woman’s credibility because of her gender. I appreciate the right to free speech but personally, I would prefer men, especially smart, prominent men, to refrain from using that language when referring to women. Why? Because it does no one any good.

White men, so far, have had a free pass on this kind of shaming epithet. If you wish to insult a white man, what do you call him? An asshole, a douchebag, a motherfucker? Of course there’s plenty more but none of these words hold the same, specific, incendiary connotation. Conversely, if you wish to use words to shame other groups, well, they exist and here are a few:

African-Americans – Nigger, Coon
Mexicans – Wetback, Beaner
Gay men - Faggot
Jews – Hymie, Heeb, Kike
Women – Slut, Cunt

These words are used only for shame and it’s wrong for anyone to refer to another individual this way. So your argument that liberal women stay silent about liberal men calling women names is a crock and let’s please move on to what the real issue is.

As a woman who champions women’s rights—including the women of the GOP—I will continue to do what I can with the platform I have to make sure we are all treated fairly.

Here are some questions I pose to conservative women:

Do you believe you should make the same money as your male counterpart is paid for doing the same job? If so, what do you have to say about the fact that every single Senate Republican blocked the Equal Pay Act? Seriously, you’re okay with that? If you are, why? What if your daughter gets a job in a company that pays more to a man doing the same work as she does? Do you think that’s fair? Did you know that when a woman makes less over her lifetime, she also sees less in her Social Security checks when she retires? Is that okay with you? And if so, why?

Do you think that pharmacists should have the right to deny you birth control based on their personal opinions? In Kansas, pharmacists have that right.

How many of you conservative women are single moms? Would you want the government to penalize you, calling your marital status a “contributing factor to child abuse and neglect?” Well, Republican Senator Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin introduced a bill that would criminalize single mothers. Do you agree with this? If you do, I’d like to hear why.

Now here’s one that may incite some anger but Ladies of the GOP who identify yourself as pro-life, please, please tell me how this can be? In Arizona, a doctor has the legal right to withhold life-threatening medical information from a pregnant woman, in case she may—may—be considering an abortion. So, basically she may DIE. The fetus may also DIE and the doctor doesn’t have to tell her in case she MAY want an abortion. Now I get that you are against abortion. But how can you be against it so much that you’d be willing to let a woman and/or her baby DIE in the name of a pro-life agenda? Can you understand that this is hypocrisy? How do you justify that? I would really like to know.

Every single one of these bills/laws was introduced by a Republican.

I would like to end this with an example.

A conservative, 35 year-old, married, pregnant woman with three children under the age of five finds out there is an 90% risk of her dying if she follows through with her pregnancy. If she dies, her unborn fetus would too. Her family would be without a mother. The father would be left to take over the responsibilities of both parents while grieving and explaining to his children that it was better that mommy died as a result of a dangerous pregnancy rather than have a safe, legal abortion and live. What would you do in this situation? What would you want your daughter to do in this situation? I can tell you right now, Rick Santorum’s wife who was faced with a similar problem, chose to induce labor, knowing the baby would die. She did not technically have an abortion. Here's an interesting point that Jezebel makes: "Santorum's even against abortion if there were no hope of the fetus surviving to full term, or even if the woman carrying the fetus risked death doing so. Karen Santorum would have died if the fetus were not removed, and labor was induced and not halted knowing that the fetus would not survive. How is this not technically "abortion?" In Santorum's world, it would probably qualify as infanticide."

Of course, once it was over, she and her husband wanted to make safe, legal abortions illegal, even when the mother and/or the baby are facing death.  You can also read this article in about the choice the Santorums made. "Numerous sources report Santorum’s wife Karen had a second trimester abortion in October 1996. The Santorum’s, however, don’t like to describe it as an abortion. Instead, they call it a medically induced miscarriage. Yet for many, this is a distinction without a difference."

I am leaving the comments open and anyone may post a reply. I expect some angry responses, even some hate—all of which I will leave for everyone to see. If you choose to rebut this post with a hateful response, your true colors will be on display. I will not argue with replies that do not directly answer the questions I posed. I ask these questions because I don’t understand how you can deny that all women in this country are under attack. Our rights are at stake and I promise to do what I can to help change that. Not just for liberal women but for ALL women.

Thank you for reading and I leave you with a great song from two very strong, beautiful women:

Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves
“Now this is a song to celebrate the conscious liberation of the female state
Mothers, daughters and their daughters too
Woman to woman we're singing with you
The inferior sex has got a new exterior
We got doctors, lawyers (Yes we do), politicians too.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

5 Star Review of CRAZY (A Thriller)

Riveting and Intense
by E. Thomas

In the twilight world of post-dream Los Angeles, populated by failed actors and wannabe starlets, a serial killer stalks Emily Simonson. A rising culinary star, Emily is riding a wave of good breaks, from the success of her thriving restaurant to the publication of her best-selling cookbook to her increasing exposure on T.V.. Soon, though, she finds h...erself being harassed and tormented by threatening letters, grotesque packages, and worse. Who is doing this? And why?

CRAZY threads its suspense with claustrophobic and strangling tension, keeping the characters frantic even as it becomes apparent that the killer is among them. The escalation of atrocities only serves to heighten Emily's fear and loathing, which hits a fever pitch after the maniac starts targeting Emily's look-alikes. It stays there for page after riveting page until the final apocalyptic showdown.

I love the villain. Like the namesake book title, the villain is CRAZY. All the good stuff is here: voices in the head, psychotic self-centeredness, maniacal rationalizing, and even a touch of Satanism. The lockstep sequence of gruesome attacks is superbly paced, ramping up the dread in Emily's mind as she navigates their impact on her life.

CRAZY is more than just a cut-em-up. In addition to its obvious thriller/suspense designation, it's a little bit "literary", too. CRAZY, in true cross-genre fashion, combines the best elements of both. The author Ms. Werner, by dwelling on the effect of the maniac upon Emily's relationships, paints a fully-realized and three-dimensional portrait of her heroine. Emily is a strong woman in an impossible situation. Her friends Chris and Phaedra, her associates Monica and Gina, her watchmen Detective Walker and the hunky bodyguard Trevor, and everyone else in her life is of dubious influence. No one is above suspicion, but there are no easy discoveries. In true Hitchcockian fashion, CRAZY thus creates a powerful drama for the slasher crowd.

I thoroughly enjoyed CRAZY, and I am looking forward to Ms. Werner's next opus.
See all Amazon reviews HERE

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Should Voting Be Mandated?

***This post was updated on 12/23/12

I posed this question on my Facebook page recently and was surprised with the answers.

Most people said “no” and asked how it would be enforced. The reasons for the “no” answers were: “It would be like a dictatorship,” and that “We have the right to free speech and mandating the vote goes against that.”

Before I go on, I realize that voting will probably never be mandated, so this discussion/debate is purely hypothetical. I have made up my mind about it but am willing and interested to hear constructive arguments against it. I have been known to change my mind and can be convinced to look at things differently. I ask that if you choose to weigh in, you keep your point constructive.

Daily Kos came out with this article on 12/20/12. The fact that  Conservative George Will, is at all concerned with mandated voting only re-enforces my argument (in my eyes).

"George Will is very concerned that the Obama administration is talking about trying to make it easier to register to vote and vote, which Will sees as a slippery slope toward mandatory voting, which would be bad because "As indifferent or reluctant voters are nagged to the polls—or someday prodded there by a monetary penalty for nonvoting—the caliber of the electorate must decline." Along the way to that concern for the caliber of the electorate, Will quotes longtime bad guy Hans von Spakovsky and cites the example of Nazi Germany. Which should tell you pretty much all you need to know about this argument."

Opinions are like assholes and everyone has one, including me and frankly, I see it as a beautiful thing when people can debate without anger. So here's my argument in favor of mandated voting.

1. Free Speech.
I see voting more as a civic duty. We all live in this country and we owe it to each other as a national community to do what’s best for everyone. There are rules in place in school, your job and other organized groups. We accept these rules because we understand that when left to our own devices and lack of motivation, anarchy can ensue.

2. Dictatorship.
Right now, if you are called to jury duty, you have to go. Period. If you want to drive a car, the law says you need a license and requires a test that you must pass in order to drive. You have to pay taxes. Do you feel that this is a dictatorship? I don’t.

It would be quite easy to enforce mandated voting. Provide proof of voting when you pay your taxes. If not, pay a $50 fine. Those who wish not to vote—but insist on bitching about what the ELECTED officials do— would be contributing rather than just complaining about the state of things. I have heard some agrue that $50 is a lot of money for people who have low income. My answer - vote and save the $50.

44% of Americans DID NOT VOTE in 2008. Think of how much money could go back into the economy from people who choose to not vote and pay the fine. The money should be regulated to the benefit of our nation. Education, health care, infrastructure etc. and not go to gold toilet seats in the White House. In other words, rules in place so the money is not abused.

For those who complain about having to vote the lesser of two evils, consider this: You may not like your choices for president but one of them WILL win. The one who wins nominates Supreme Court Judges. These judges have a direct impact on your life. By giving up the right to vote, you throw away your shot at having any say in the rules you will be required by law to follow, as well as decisions like the 2000 election. SCOTUS decided George Bush was president.
The flaw: People may vote in order to avoid the fine but remain uneducated about the politicians and their policies. This happens anyway. Granted, there may be more uneducated people who vote but it also might make more people choose to actually understand what’s really on the table. And for the ones who choose not to vote, let them contribute instead of only whining about what terrible system we have.

No system is perfect and we already have too many flaws. Anything we do will come with problems and hopefully, as we see what those problems are, we can work to fix them in a way where everyone benefits.

I like to think of it this way: If you were a business owner and you needed to fill a position that pays $100k a year, vacation pay and health care, wouldn’t YOU want to be the one in charge of hiring?  It’s YOUR company. (I realize that bigger companies have managers who hire but they have been vetted by the higher-ups to make the “informed” decision so that the most qualified applicants be considered seriously.)

We are the ones paying the politicians. We allow them to collect healthy pensions. We allow them to create laws that we must live by. I believe it’s our civic duty to participate in employing those who will be our civil servants.
So there you have it. If there are holes in my argument, bring it. I am genuinely curious to know what you think.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

30 Things That Make My Life Worth Living

It’s hot and I’m bored.

I usually write about politics and though I enjoy it, I want to deviate from it to make a totally stupid and useless blog post.

That said, here’s my list in no particular order (except no. 1):

1. Richard Gere’s butt in American Gigolo.

2. Butterscotch topping.

3. Kittens and puppies.

4. The Rolling Stones.

5. Ruby Red nail polish.

6. French Fries.

7. Flirting with a hot guy.

8. Liam Neeson.

9. Best In Show.

10. Iced tea with mint.

11.Orange Peels (that’s a code and only a few know what it means).

12. Laughing so hard, you can’t catch your breath.

13. Truth.

14. Reading a great thriller.


16. When you fall asleep with only a sheet but wake up chilly and put an extra blanket on and fall right back to sleep.

17. Knowing that Rush Limbaugh can’t live forever.

18. Acting like you’re 18 when you’re in your 40’s.

19. The Brady Bunch.

20. Pudding.

21. Knowing someone loves me.

22. Loving someone so much.

23. Teasing kids. (Sorry, I blame my father and my Uncle Bobby).

24. Walking barefoot in grass.

25. Elvis: The early years.

26. Swimming on a hot day.

27. Speaking with a fake accent and fooling people with it.

28. Finding $20 on the street.

29. Helping an old person carry heavy stuff.

30. Did I mention Richard Gere’s butt in American Gigolo?