It has been a hell of a time of late.
I still can’t get over how creepy the dynamic of some families can be when it comes to anything resembling emotional connections….or even regular contact. Creepy is not right, disturbing is actually more like it.
Anyway. Here are some funnies to get you through the night.
This is an open thread.
Religion-based bullies are always the worst of the worst when it comes to meanness because they have that extra self-righteousness about them that infers they can never be wrong even when everything they say and do pretty much violates every tenant you’ve ever come to understand about their religion. This behavior is as old as religions themselves. I mean, who really are better bullies than any of the gods? The Greek gods excelled at it. The Abrahamic god not only has corned the market but has followers that basically travel from land to land and culture to culture just to act out on hapless indigenous people.
My first real experience happened in high school in the choir room when two upper class boys decided I needed a lesson in the humility they believe was shown by Jesus. Of course this was just old fashioned misogyny which is really one of the oldest tricks in the bullying books written by those following the entire Iron Age myth of the Abrahamic god. Believe me, I was traumatized by being held down for a period of time and shouted at on the choir risers about basically being an uppity woman who really needs to understand what jeebus wants her to do. Women aren’t allowed to be too talented, too smart, too pretty, and not passive enough. I’ve really just started talking about this craziness around 40 odd years after the fact. I had no idea what to make of it or do about it as a teenage girl who had to deal with these guys daily.
When any one asks me what one thing I would eliminate in the world if I could I answer quite quickly. It would be religion.
My second experience was, of course, my lesson in what neighbors are really about when I ran for office as a pro-choice Republican. Nothing, believe me nothing stands up to what fetus festishists can do. Lying and bullying are rituals for them. The day I started getting messages on the answering machine telling me where my small children had been and what abortion “procedure” they’d perform on them was the day I decided I wanted to leave that state and NEVER go back. I’d stack the lot of these Fetus Fetishists up against ISIS. They’re actually worse because most of them have the benefit of an education, a job, and life in a first world country. We are resplendent in religious bullies these days. From Bibi Netanyahu, to Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and just about every dude in the Government of Saudi Arabia. I could probably just spend a post of thousands of words listing them all.
So, I’m going to start with a story out of Alabama where a prisoner has been basically bullied into carrying a pregnancy to term. It starts out with the State seeking to end the parental rights of the pregnant woman. These multiple attempts confusing fried chicken with scrambled eggs always concern me.
The state of Alabama is petitioning a court to strip a pregnant prisoner of parental rights in order to prevent her from obtaining an abortion.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Wednesday the woman won’t have legal standing to seek an abortion if a court takes away her parental rights.
The woman has already asked a federal judge to order the county to let her have an abortion. A ruling is expected Friday. Her lawyer says any decision by a federal judge would trump any decision by the court in Lauderdale County.
The head of the Alabama State Bar Association’s family law section calls the state’s request “absurd.”
The woman has now dropped her bid to get an abortion. I have no doubt that she was coerced into serving as an incubator.
An Alabama prisoner who went to federal court seeking an abortion filed a court document Wednesday saying she’d changed her mind and wanted to give birth, after the state had sought to prevent her from undergoing the procedure.
The sworn statement, filed on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, didn’t say whether the state’s action resulted in the change of heart. In the document, the woman said she made the decision on her own without any “undue influence, duress, or threat of harm.”
“After much consideration and counsel, I … have decided that I no longer desire to pursue an abortion procedure and intend to carry the unborn child to full term and birth,” she said in the statement.
The document was filed by Maurice McCaney, an attorney appointed to represent the woman in juvenile court, where the state had petitioned court authorities to strip the pregnant prisoner of parental rights in order to prevent her from obtaining an abortion.
McCaney didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Neither did Randall Marshall, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represented the woman in the federal lawsuit seeking an abortion.
The Lauderdale County prisoner had originally filed a federal lawsuit last week against a local sheriff, seeking a court order that would clear the way for an abortion. A federal judge had said he would rule by Friday on her request.
In the meantime, the state had sought to terminate her parental rights over the unborn child.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly recently said the prisoner in question would be stripped of her legal standing to seek an abortion if the court took away her parental rights. Connolly said via email that he filed the request on the state’s behalf.
The woman, who filed suit July 20 against Sheriff Rick Singleton, said in the earlier court documents that she was unable to obtain an abortion before going to jail, and denying her one violates her constitutional rights. Court papers do not say why the woman is in custody or provide any personal information about her, but Connolly said she is an adult. A court-appointed attorney was named to act as guardian for the fetus.
The woman, who is in her first trimester of pregnancy, had at the time urged a federal judge to order the county to let her leave jail to have an abortion that she planned to pay for privately. Her ACLU attorney, Marshall, had said a federal court ruling in favor of the woman would trump an attempt by the state to stop her from having the procedure.
This amounts to forced servitude. But of course, who argued more briskly for the rights of southerners to own slaves but the same group of religious fanatics. These are the same yahoos that are threatening to shut down the government–yet again–over funding of Planned Parenthood. The basis is the highly deceptive video put out showing the process of fetal tissue donation has triggered the outrage in the ignorant again. The worst outcry is, of course, the old dudes who are insisting the gawd told them to run for President of the world’s oldest secular democracy.
Calling next week’s Senate roll call to defund Planned Parenthood a “legislative show vote,” GOP firebrand Ted Cruz said Republicans should do everything they can to eliminate federal money for the group — even if it means a government shutdown fight this fall.
He’s not alone. On Wednesday afternoon, 18 House Republicans told leadership that they “cannot and will not support any funding resolution … that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood.” Meanwhile, GOP social conservatives like Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama said they’d consider supporting an effort to attach a spending rider that would eliminate Planned Parenthood’s $528 million in annual government funding to must-pass spending legislation this fall.
It’s a potentially ominous sign for GOP leaders desperate to avoid another shutdown debacle. While Cruz may be radioactive in the Senate GOP conference after calling his leader a liar, his analysis of next week’s vote has merit: With Democrats vowing to block the measure, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) won’t be able to get the 60 votes he needs to advance the bill next week, a result that likely won’t satisfy a conservative base itching for confrontation over abortion.
In a Wednesday interview, Cruz said the GOP should go as hard as it can to block funding for Planned Parenthood, including the same strategy he tried to use to defund Obamacare in 2013: force the issue by blocking funding in a government spending bill that must pass by Sept. 30.
Asked whether he would support such a maneuver again, Cruz replied: “I would support any and all legislative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. We do not need a legislative show-vote.”
On the other side of the Capitol, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said dozens of House Republicans will back his effort to oppose any spending bill — whether a continuing resolution stopgap or longer-term funding package — that includes any money for Planned Parenthood.
“This is one of those line-in-the-sand type of issues,” Mulvaney said Wednesday. “Every time we say we don’t want to spend money on something, the answer is it will provoke a shutdown.”
The most recent attacks in this decades-long campaign represent a new low.
These extremists created a fake business, made apparently misleadingcorporate filings and then used false government identifications to gain access to Planned Parenthood’s medical and research staff with the agenda of secretly filming without consent — then heavily edited the footage to make false and absurd assertions about our standards and services. They spent three years doing everything they could — not to uncover wrongdoing, but rather to create it. They failed.
While predictably these videos do not show anything illegal on Planned Parenthood’s part, medical and scientific conversations can be upsetting to hear, and I immediately apologized for the tone that was used, which did not reflect the compassion that people have come to know and expect from Planned Parenthood.
While our opponents have been working to create scandal and panic where none exists, doctors and nurses at Planned Parenthood health centers have continued to provide the lowest price std testing in orange county and care to thousands of women, men and young people every day — contraception, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and safe and legal abortion.
Control of women is central to the dictums of oppressive religions and a way of justifying violence and violations of women’s autonomy and humanity. Patriarchal religions–throwbacks to the Iron Age–still support some of the worst inhumane practices imaginable all over the world. The United States is no exception.
Last month, 13-year-old Izabel Laxamana put on a sports bra and some leggings, took a picture, and sent it to a boy at school. Soon, administrators at Tacoma, Washington’s Giaudrone Middle School, where Izzy was poised to finish her seventh-grade year, heard about the picture. Izzy’s parents were called. As Tacoma police would later report to the News Tribune, the Laxamanas expressed concern that their daughter had been sending selfies of any kind. They had warned her against using social media. If she disobeyed, they had told her, they’d cut off her hair.
Back at home, Izzy’s father, Jeff, made good on the threat. On May 27, he cut her hair to her shoulders, leaving just one long strand untouched. Then, he started filming. His camera panned from Izzy’s downcast face to the heap of glossy black strands at her feet. “The consequences of getting messed up. Man, you lost all that beautiful hair,” her father said. “Was it worth it?”
“No,” Izzy replied softly.
The next morning at school, staff members helped weave Izzy’s hair into a French braid in an attempt to hide the damage. But a new humiliating social media artifact—her father’s video—was now being passed from phone to phone. School administrators heard about that, too. This time, they called child protective services. School counselors were dispatched to aid Izzy. The next day, just before school let out, Izzy wrote eight notes on her iPod to family and friends, passed the device to a friend, headed to a bridge over the highway that separated the school from the mall, and jumped. She died in the hospital the next day.
Women and children are still subjected to laws and legal treatment that assign them chattel status. This happens with the explicit consent of many religions and religious. Granted, not all religious people and their practice of beliefs fall under this purview. But, when one of two governing parties falls under the sway of a cult, it’s women and children who pay the price. Think about this again. The State of Alabama argued that their right to crawl inside the body of a woman in the first trimester of a pregnancy and run around a constitutional right happened just this month. The Republicans in Congress have been on a jihad against what stands as the sole provider of women’s health services in many states. They’re not defunding abortions. They did that with the Hyde amendment. What they want to defund is access cancer screenings, birth control and basic health care.
I can’t even start in on the impact this nonsense has had on every GLBT American whose lives are riddled with religious bullying continually.
Here’s an example today from Israel that’s pretty vile. Six people were stabbed by an Orthodox Jewish man during a gay pride parade.
A homosexual-hating Orthodox Jew stabbed six marchers Thursday at Jerusalem’s annual gay pride parade before he was wrestled to the ground.
Yishai Schlissel, who had recently been released from prison for stabbing several people at a gay pride parade in 2005, attacked without warning as the marchers were going through the Jewish side of the divided city, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
Dressed in a dark suit, Schlissel stabbed several people in the back as cheers turned to screams and blood spattered on the street.
“I saw an ultra-Orthodox youth stabbing everyone in his way,” witness Shai Aviyor told Israel’s Channel 2 television. “We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground.”
While medics rushed in to take care of the wounded, police officers on horseback corralled the bearded suspect before he could do more harm, Samri said.
That’s the problem. Every day I read yet another instance where some one insists their pet superstition should rule the rest of us AND there’s an entire major political party just willing to let them have at the rest of us in this country. One of the strangest things I always here when people start Muslim bashing is the question of where are the “moderate” Muslims? Why aren’t they condemning these radicals? Well, the same could be said of the moderates practicing any religion. Standing up to the folks who use religious beliefs to bully and hurt other people is as much the duty of a believer as it is to the victims of those believers.
The State of Alabama probably won its case by letting this woman known that her life was theirs one way or another so she might as well give up her constitutional rights and act like a good little sperm vessel.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
It’s been a horrible few weeks and I’m in for some things that are interesting and will feed my brain for a change. For example, That’s a beautiful piece of opalized wood providing those rainbow colors and it’s selling for around $7000 if you’ve just gotta have it.
I’m not sure you’ve read how the excavations at Jamestown have been going recently but they’ve found some interesting graves. (Yeah, you know me and my thing for old graves.) They’ve discovered four bodies and one very odd box.
When his friends buried Capt. Gabriel Archer here about 1609, they dug his grave inside a church, lowered his coffin into the ground and placed a sealed silver box on the lid.
This English outpost was then a desperate place. The “starving time,” they called it. Scores had died of hunger and disease. Survivors were walking skeletons, besieged by Indians, and reduced to eating snakes, dogs and one another.
On Tuesday, more than 400 years after the mysterious box was buried, Jamestown Rediscovery and the Smithsonian Institution announced that archaeologists have found it, as well as the graves of Archer and three other VIPs.
“It’s the most remarkable archaeology discovery of recent years,” said James Horn, president of Jamestown Rediscovery, which made the find. “It’s a huge deal.”
So, my brother-in-law is retiring on his next birthday and my sister has a great gift idea. She’s getting him a Kindle and asking us to tell her what book we’d like to load up there for him. I’m torn between 1Q84 by Haruki Marukami, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole, and Fooled by Randomness by Nassem Nicholas Taleb. I had to ask what others are offering up too. Doctor Daughter and Doctor Son-in-Law wanted all the Game of Thrones books. Youngest Daughter chose Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The book that was offered up the most times was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. So, now I’ve decided I have to read those last two. What book would you offer up for a newly retired guy with a lot of time on his hands?
On the morning of Aug. 14, many people in Seattle woke up excited to catch the regatta’s final event live on CBS. Those listeners had a vested interest in the race. The United States team, a crew from the University of Washington, came very close to missing the trip to Berlin. Immediately following the Huskies’ victory in the Olympic trials, the team was informed by the U.S. Olympic Committee that it needed to come up with $5,000 to pay its way to Berlin. Seeing an opening, Henry Penn Burke—chairman of the Olympic Rowing Committee and a University of Pennsylvania alum—offered to send his beloved Quakers in place of the Huskies. The sports editors of Seattle’s top two newspapers, outraged on behalf of the local heroes, enlisted newsboys to solicit donations while hawking papers. With American Legion posts and Chambers of Commerce throughout the state chipping in, enough money was collected in three days to send the team to Berlin. As a consequence of the funding drive, remembered Gordon Adam, who rowed in the three-seat, “people in the city felt that they were stockholders in the operation.”
The Washington crew had been rowing together for less than five months prior to the Olympics. Coach Al Ulbrickson had originally named a different group of rowers as the varsity at the start of the college season. The second boat, made up of strong but inexperienced oarsmen, knew they rowed faster than the first string and was angered by the slight. After the varsity shoved off the dock for their first practice, the angry eight carried their boat to the water silently. “We were standing about a little bit after we put the oars in the oarlock,” Moch explained to me the year before he died. “Somebody said, ‘You know this thing is going to fly.’ ”
The teammates soon devised a mantra. Quietly, they would repeat the letters L-G-B. When asked the meaning, they would explain it stood for “Let’s get better.” What it really meant was “Let’s go to Berlin.”
You can read more about the rowing team and the 1936 Olympics which is best known for Jessie Owens’ amazing performance.
Hillary Clinton vowed to take away big oil’s subsidies and use the money for clean energy while campaigning in Iowa.
During a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton laid out her vision for combating climate change by encouraging clean energy technology.
In the process, she dropped a bomb on the Koch brothers:
We will make America the world’s clean energy superpower.
We will develop and deploy the clean energy technologies of the future. Transform our grid to give Americans more control over the energy they produce and consume. And yes, I will defend President Obama’s Clean Power Plant—Clean Power Plan against attacks from Republicans and their corporate backers.
We’ll launch a Clean Energy Challenge that supports and partners with states, cities, and rural communities that are ready to lead on clean energy.
We’ll stop the giveaways to big oil companies and extend, instead, tax incentives for clean energy, while making them more cost-effective for both taxpayers and producers.
We’ll support—and improve—the Renewable Fuel Standard that has been such a success for Iowa and much of rural America.
Fans of the well-loved comic strip Bloom County are celebrating this morning, after cartoonist Berkeley Breathed issued the first panels of his satirical strip in decades.
Breathed won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on Bloom County back in 1987; two years later, he quit producing it. On Sunday, he posted a photo of himself to Facebook in which he sat in front of a computer screen with an empty cartoon template titledBloom County 2015.
“A return after 25 years. Feels like going home,” he wrote.
And on Monday, one of Breathed’s central characters, Opus, awoke from his long slumber with a question:
“That was some nap!! How long was I out, Milo?”
Breathed released the new strip via Facebook. The most popular comment on his post seems to sum up many fans’ response: “And suddenly the world is back in alignment. Thank you Sir.”
Yes. Thank you Sir. I’ll have another.
So, this is a totally open thread because I’m probably having another challenging day while you’re reading this. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
This blog is just barely limping along. JJ is dealing with family issues, Dak is trying to help a friend who is in fear of her life from an abusive husband, and I’m dealing with urgent dental problems. And would you believe I still have itching on my arms and neck? It doesn’t make it easier that the news is filled with just plain horrible, awful, disgusting stuff these days. So here’s a really disgusting open thread.
Yesterday it was Bill Cosby the serial rapist. Today it’s Donald Trump and marital rape. You’ve probably already read or at least heard about the article by Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny at The Daily Beast yesterday about the time Ivana Trump accused her husband Donald of raping her.
Ivana Trump’s assertion of “rape” came in a deposition—part of the early ’90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.
The book, by former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene. After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon. He suggested Dr. Nicole Schrader to be his surgeon because of her skills.
“Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” Trump cried.
What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.
“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”
Ivana ran to another room, locked herself in and cried all night. The next day Trump asked her coldly about her torn out hair, “Does it hurt?”
When the Daily Beast writers contacted Trump’s “special counsel” Michael Cohen, he was outraged and threatening.
Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”
“It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
Obviously, that is false. New York state criminalized marital rape in 1984, before the incident described in the Ivana’s deposition. Marital rape is now a crime in all 50 states. Cohen then threatened the writers.
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
Of course Ivana is now denying that what happened was rape, but from the description she gave a the time it certainly was a violent sexual assault in which she was held down and raped. Of course Ivan was forced to sign an agreement that prevents her from ever saying anything negative about her ex-husband or their marriage, so she can’t really be honest about what she thinks of the incident anyway.
There’s much more to the story. Go read the whole sorry thing at The Daily Beast if you haven’t already.
This is what the Republican Party has done to this country. This repulsive buffoon Donald Trump is leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and the rest of the clown car aren’t much better.
In a response to the Daily Beast Story, the Trump campaign told Business Insider:
A representative for Trump, who is now a front-runner in many polls of the Republican primary, provided a statement to Business Insider that said the incident was “old news and it never happened.” The person also said Ivana Trump made up the “rape” allegation as part of an effort to “exploit” Trump during their divorce proceedings in the early ’90s.
“This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past — it is old news and it never happened,” the Trump representative said. “It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement.”
Today Trump lawyer Michael Cohen tried–and failed–to clean up the mess he made yesterday. People make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes can be costly, if you need any legal help then contact Gruber Law Offices.
From The Huffington Post: Donald Trump’s Lawyer Apologizes For ‘Inarticulate Comment’ About Spousal Rape.
“As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism,” Cohen said in a statement to CNN. “They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.”
Cohen had some choice words for The Daily Beast, saying he planned to “come after” the publication.
“So I’m warning you, tread very f—ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. You understand me?” Cohen said, according to CNN.
OK, so now you’re threatening reporters for doing their job. Ever hear of the first amendment? But I guess this is how things are handled in Trump World. I don’t think it will work much longer in the world of politics. At least I hope not.
And for the record, from Think Progress: Memo To Donald Trump: Here’s What The Law Actually Says About Raping Your Spouse.
Cohen’s claim that sex between spouses cannot legally be rape was once true, although it is rooted in a definition of marriage that our society abandoned decades ago. Under the English common law, which still shapes much of American law, a woman became little more than her husband’s property when she said “I do” at the altar. As Sir William Blackstone wrote in a widely cited explanation of the common law rule of marriage, “[t]he very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband; under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs everything.”
Under this traditional definition of marriage, a wife’s financial identity was subsumed into her husband’s. Though she could retain title over real estate, such land was managed and controlled by her husband. The husband actually gained legal ownership of his wife’s remaining property.
Significantly, the common law also held wives to be sexually subservient to their husbands. A husband “cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife,” Sir Matthew Hale wrote in a 1736 treatise on the common law. “[B]y their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given herself up in this kind unto her husband,” Hale added, and this consent was something “she cannot retract.”
This vision of the wife as a kind of sexual property continued until surprisingly recently in the United States. The 1962 draft of the Model Penal Code, a proposed set of criminal laws drafted by legal scholars seeking to encourage uniform laws throughout the states, provided that the crime of rape could only occur when a “male . . . has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife.” Nebraska, the first state to abolish the marital rape exemption, did not do so until 1976.
After Nebraska took this step, however, the remaining states followed fairly quickly. In 1993, North Carolina became the last state to repeal the old rule holding that a husband could not rape their wife.
So . . . what do you think? Again, this is an open thread.