Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Gender Issues’ Category

We are coming down to the finish line in the 2014 Mid-Term elections.  All of the major media are predicting that the Republicans will gain control of the Senate and thus the Congress.  This prediction is in the face of about 8 different elections still running neck-and-neck.  But, the media is counting on the usual low turnout for mid-term elections as proof that Republicans will win this time.  Historically, the higher the turnout the better Democrats do.  The lower the turnout. the better Republicans do.

Many people usually look at the mid-terms as something that simply wastes time.  There is no presidential election and therefore, they believe it won’t make much of a difference.  That is totally wrong thinking.  Especially in this mid-term election.  Fact.  Despite the usually low turn-out for mid-term elections, private conservative PACs are spending record amounts of money on this election.  If they are so convinced that their candidate is the people’s choice, why so much money?

Since the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United decision, our election process has become something that would normally carry a sign that says “for sale.”  PACs don’t have to say where the money is coming from.  Bribery apparently is legal now, witness the Norquist Pledge.  The fact is that when a small group of people are able to purchase elections and control the winning candidates, we have lost our democracy.  We have moved into an oligarchy.

Poor Mitt Romney is still living in his little fantasy world.  According to poor Mitt, if the Republicans gain control of the Senate, gridlock will suddenly go away and “bills will get passed”.  He even thinks that Immigration Reform will get passed.  Apparently, poor Mitt hasn’t been listening to the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Witty Mitch has already said that if the Republicans win the Senate, he plans on passing legislation that will surely be vetoed by the President.

The first piece of legislation he plans to pass is the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  He doesn’t have any plan to replace it, he just hates it so much that he wants to repeal it.  There are about 600,000 people in his own State of Kentucky that got insurance for the first time in their lives.  Should McConnell get his wish, those 600,000 people will suddenly find themselves without health insurance again.  But, witty Mitch doesn’t care about them.  The Koch Brothers are against the ACA, so it must go.

Poor Mitt also apparently hasn’t kept touch with the in-fighting inside the Republican Party either.  Does he really believe that the wonderful Canadian Senator Cruz has any intentions of actually governing?  Does he really believe that should any “moderate” piece of legislation be introduced by a Republican Senate Cruz won’t be filibuster it?  The Canadian Senator hasn’t shown any respect for the leadership of the party up to this point.  Does poor Mitt really believe he will “buckle under” if the Republicans win?

Since President Obama was elected, there have been a host of bills passed by the Senate that has died in the House.  He did manage to get the ACA passed in the first two years because the Democrats controlled the House.  But since then, Immigration Reform, The Fair Wage Act, Jobs For Veterans act, Transportation and Infrastructure Bill, and a host of others have languished in the Republican House.  And who was one of the biggest antagonists in the House?  The de-facto Speaker of the House Senator Ted Cruz.

The Republicans led by Cruz caused the last government shutdown.  Does poor Mitt really believe that the first order of business of Cruz won’t be to shut down the government again?  All in the name of repealing the ACA?  I can see it now.  The Senate will pass a bill repealing the ACA.  The House will support it and pass it as well.  The President will veto the bill.  Since the Republicans won’t have enough votes to override the veto, the bill will die.

The next step will be Canadian Senator Ted Cruz ramping up his fellow wacko right-wingers to fight anything like raising the debt ceiling or creating a budget.  That will cause the government to shut down.  Cruz will go on air and tell the country it is the President’s fault because he won’t sign the repeal legislation.  He may even go so far as to say that once the President signs the bill, the government will be able to reopen.  He is a master hostage taker, after all.

All the while, senior citizens needing their social security checks and their medicare bills paid will do without.  Veterans will do without their medical and retirement benefits.  For example, someone who relies on their social security check won’t get it.  Retired veterans won’t get their pension checks either.  Banks will start calling in loans like mortgages and the average American will suffer all the while Cruz and his Congressional cronies keep getting their checks.

But, you have to remember who is behind this scheme.  Neither witty Mitch nor Canadian Cruz are smart enough to plan all of this by themselves.  No, this is coming from places like the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and the Heritage Foundation.  None of which really give a shit if seniors and veterans lose their homes or starve, for that matter.

Oh, I can see a lot of other wonderful pieces of legislation coming down the pike.  You will most definitely see a Personhood Constitutional amendment simply to outlaw abortion.  You will see a massive tax cut for the 1% and a raise to the rest of us.  You will see a bill eliminating the Department of Environmental Protection.  You will see a bill eliminating the Department of Education.  You will see bills deregulating every form of business.  You will see a bill eliminating the Minimum Wage.  You will see all Consumer Protection Laws repealed.  You will see a bill to build a “Berlin-type” wall at our southern border complete with gun turrets.  I wouldn’t be shocked if you saw a bill declaring an Official Religion, needless to say it won’t be Islam.

All anyone had to do during this election cycle was to listen carefully to the ads that were produced by the Koch PACs, Citizens’ United and other Conservative PACs to hear all of these being proposed.  They are nothing new.  The Conservatives have been preaching them for years.  So, don’t be surprised when they try to make them law.  Is that what poor Mitt thinks is “governing?”

Finally, no one will be surprised when the “impeach Obama” cries are started.  They don’t have any grounds to impeach anyone, much less the President, but that won’t stop them from trying.  We will be faced with the most turbulent two years of “governing” in our history.  That is what we face if the Republicans gain control of the Congress.

So, as you can see, it all comes down to turnout.  Republicans have tried to artificially keep voter turnout low through their Voter Suppression laws.  Now they are counting on you not to care enough to let them have power.  Maybe the question is “would you rather live in a democracy or in an oligarchy?”  If you think oligarchs like the Koch Brothers should run the country, that is what you will get.  If you believe we need to keep living in a democracy, you will turn out to vote.  It is that simple.  Nothing but your future and your children’s future depends on it.

Read Full Post »

In 2008 the economy crashed around our ears.  Many Seniors who invested in the stock market saw their life savings and retirement funds go down the drain.  Many were unable to retire because of the crash.  Since then, we have gone through political battles to help recover from the worst recession since the great depression of the 1930s.

The economy has grown steadily since President Obama took office.  We have seen over 56 straight months of private sector job growth.  We have seen the stock market recover even to the record highs.  The rich are getting richer.  The housing market in many areas seems to be recovering, though it is still sluggish in other parts of the country.  Unemployment is below 6%, the lowest since early 2008.  Even productivity is up.  No one is talking about the economy as a real problem anymore.

Yet, there is one aspect of the economy that the Democrats seem not to be talking about enough.  We are facing the largest income inequality since the 1920s.  If you don’t remember you history, that was before the unions began gaining strength.  The economic recovery we are currently seeing has not been equitable.  Meaning that the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are maintaining the status quo.  Over 95% of all income gains in this recovery has gone to the top 1% of income earners.  That doesn’t leave much for the middle class to see their income increase.

For the last few years there has been a major push to raise the minimum wage.  Especially by those who are forced to labor at the minimum wage.  The Republicans are naturally against raising the minimum wage.  That is part of their basic DNA.  We have heard the same arguments about the minimum wage as we heard every time the subject came up in the past.

The first argument is that it will cost jobs.  The Republicans have even put a number of 500,000 jobs lost if we raise the minimum wage.  However, some places have already raised the minimum wage on their own and they have not seen any job losses.  To the contrary, they have seen job growth as a result.  Higher wages means more people are spending money.  That means the economy grows and more demand means more jobs to meet that demand.

That caring Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin says the minimum wage is not necessary.  Though he claims he wouldn’t repeal it, he feels it doesn’t mean anything.  Then you have the felon and current Governor of Florida, Jim Scott who says that private business determines wages.  When asked about what he thought the minimum wage should be during his last debate, he saidhe doesn’t know what the minimum wage should be, it is up to business to determine it.  So, as usual, he won’t answer the question even during a debate.

Republicans like Chris Christie try to make it sound like only young people work for minimum wage.  To paraphrase him, he said that he doesn’t know of families sitting around the table talking about how if their children got a raise all of their dreams would come true.  Problem is that the vast majority of minimum wage employees are about 30 years of age.  They are mostly single women trying to support their families.  I guess Christie doesn’t care if these women and their families’ dreams come true.

Republicans are continuously complaining that too many people are on government assistance.  They claim that everyone is just lazy and won’t get a decent job and that is why government assistance programs are spending too much money.  Well, if the minimum wage is raised to just 10.10 per hour as the President wants, approximately 1.7 million low-income workers will go off of government assistance.  How is that for reducing government assistance spending?

Another side effect of raising the minimum wage is that the tax base increases.  Since people will be making a living wage, they will pay more taxes meaning more revenue for local, state, and federal governments.  Thereby helping to reduce budget deficits.

Republicans claim that they are the voice of “real Americans” and only vote their interests.  Well surveys show that almost 70% of the American People want the minimum wage increased.  That number includes 54% of registered Republicans.  If the Republicans really are interested in doing the people’s will, they would leap at the opportunity to raise the minimum wage since even the majority of their own party want it raised.

The unfortunate aspect in all of this is that the Democrats are not running with this topic.  There are few races like in Wisconsin and Florida where the opponents of the Republicans are making hay of it, but not many more.  That is a real shame.  The real problem I have with the Democratic Party is their lack of a backbone.  They seem to run races on the basis that they know they are right on most items, and believe they will get elected simply by being right.  They won’t attack their opponents on things that matter.

They don’t take the poll numbers on things like raising the minimum wage and let everyone know that their Republican opponent won’t support it.  They don’t mention how it will reduce government assistance.  No, they simply believe that people will just vote their way because they are right.  If the Democrats don’t retain the Senate this mid-term, they will have themselves to blame.

If the Democrats ran with just half of the passion that their right-wing opponents have, this would have been an easy mid-term election for them to win.  I remember a time when Democrats ran with passion.  They were quick to point out the differences between them and their opponents.  That passion has been lost somewhere.  Too many Democrats are basically afraid to get into a real fight for principles that would help the American People.  America would listen if they would just speak up.

Read Full Post »

At the start of every ballgame or other function, people stand and sing the national anthem.  They proudly sing those words written during the War of 1812.  The song ends with “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”  With the ending everyone cheers and settles in to watch whatever event they are at.

Since 2011, veterans all around have been told “thank you” for your service.  There are so many “thank you” events that it is beginning to turn my stomach.  Maybe one of the reasons for my acid reaction to those “thank you” is because they have come so absent-mindedly and automatically.  No thought is given to those words before they are uttered.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s.  I lived through the civil rights fights.  I saw how terrible discrimination was to my fellow citizens.  During the 60s the Vietnam war became a hot button.  Youth around the country rebelled against society.  The Hippie movement started and the saying was “turn on and drop out.”  Bust most of us didn’t drop out.  We fought against the war and against discrimination.

In 1970 I entered the service.  I served my country from 1970 to 1990.  I served under 5 presidents and saw the changing of the country.  In 1980, Ronald Reagan became president.  He talked about that “shining city on a hill” that the rest of the world wanted to be like.  But, it was also Reagan who stood by and watched as hundreds if not thousands of our fellow citizens died from AIDS.  Reagan didn’t want to do anything because at first it mostly affected gays.  It wasn’t until more straight people became sick and died from AIDS before he started to actually talk about it.  He never really did anything about it.

Reagan started the “divide and conquer” mentality of the Republican Party.  He was very anti-union and broke the Air Traffic Controllers Union because they had the audacity to strike over better pay and working conditions.  Rather than deal with the problem, he simply fired them all.  That was the first shot fired across the bow of “liberty”.

Since 9/11 we have been at war.  First it was Afghanistan, then it was Iraq.  We were finally able to draw out of Iraq, but we are still fighting in Afghanistan.  In Iraq, the government there at the time did not want us to keep forces in the country.  So, we completely left.  Then, in recent years, ISIS started gaining ground.  The new government requested our help and we are now bombing the country again.  So far, the only “boots on the ground” are advisors and trainers.

In Afghanistan, their government wants us to keep a force there after we draw down.  So the war in Afghanistan will continue for an unforeseeable future.  We have lost thousands of our men and women in these wars.  Our wounded are in the thousands as well.  Yet, the Republicans in congress has continually cut the budget for the Veterans Administration.  Meaning thousands of our veterans are not getting the help they need.

But, I guess we are supposed to accept “thank you” as our payment for the hardships we face.  It has always been very easy for the country to send our troops to war.  It has always been almost impossible for our country to offer the help and medical treatment we need once we come home.  It is almost like veterans are supposed to just fade away when the country is finished with them.  Isn’t a thank you enough?

Back home things really started getting nasty in 2000.  We all remember the presidential election that year.  The one with the hanging chads.  That was when the Republicans decided that everyone should not be allowed to vote.  They started introducing legislation at the state level called Voter ID laws.  Their main argument was to stop in person voting fraud.  Let it be known that in Texas, one of the states with the most restrictive Voter ID Laws, that between 2000 and 2012 over 20 million votes were cast.  In that time, there were a 2 cases of in person voter fraud.  But, that didn’t stop them from yelling about voter fraud.

Of course the real intention of these Voter ID laws is to keep minorities, young people, and senior citizens from voting.  That is because these groups tend not to vote Republican and many don’t have a “state approved” ID card.  I find it amusing that in these Voter ID law states, a gun registration card is a valid ID, but a student ID card from the State’s University is not.

Then states started banning same-sex marriage.  They had to have only “one man and one woman” marriages.  See, if you allowed same-sex couples to marry, straight marriages will begin to fall apart.  The very thought of giving same-sex couples the same civil rights as everyone else is simply too abhorrent to even think about.  If you don’t look at homosexuals as “real people” it is easy to discriminate against them.

Banning same-sex marriages wasn’t good enough for these right-wing crusaders.  They started to introduce “freedom of religion” laws.  Sounded catchy.  But, these laws only had one objective.  Allow private business to discriminate against anyone who did not have the same belief system as the owner of the company.  Though it mostly went after gays, it was intended to be broad enough that any group that was looked down upon to be legally discriminated against.  You know people like interracial marriages or Muslims and Jews.

Abortion was another civil right that has been attacked.  According to the right-wing, women simply don’t have the mental capacity to make their own decisions about whether or not to carry a pregnancy to full term.  The state had to step in and make sure they made the choice for them.  All of this in the name of “getting the government out of our lives” which is an infamous battle cry of the far right.  That wasn’t enough either.  Now they are going after birth control as well.

Right-wing activists started fighting against the minimum wage.  While people were beginning to fight for a minimum wage increase, the right-wing started waging a war to end the minimum wage altogether.  This plan was backed by corporations who thought they could increase their profits simply by paying their workers less.  On top of that, women are being paid at least 70 cents on the dollar less than men doing the same work.  But, since they are women, they should just shut up and not complain about it.  After all, men are nice enough to even allow them into the workforce.

The reality is that the people we used to call WASPs are becoming terrified that they are losing their grip on power.  It is becoming clearer to them that their days are numbered.  In order to sustain their power, they need to rig the system so the rest of our citizens are marginalized and denied basic civil liberties.  In the name of Christianity, things like welfare, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security have been attacked and cut.  Seems the Conservative Christian Cult doesn’t believe that helping the needy is really part of Christianity.

We have turned into a country where women are continuously objectified by the morons.  Abuse and rape are being blamed on the victim not the abuser or rapist.  Women are not only treated as second-class citizens, but they are considered “bubble-heads” who cannot think for themselves.  Homosexuals are demonized simply for being themselves.

Rights are being based on the religious beliefs of a very few and not on the constitution.  Unarmed people are being shot to death by an ever-increasing militarized police without the shooter being prosecuted.  After all, they must have had it coming.  Immigrants are being criminalized with no immigration reform on the horizon.

We have become a country where your civil rights are being decided by billionaires and bigoted nut cases in a dark room somewhere and not by the constitution.  If this continues, how much longer will it be before all of our rights are denied.  The real battle against civil rights is being fought at the state level more than the Federal Government.  State Legislatures controlled by Republicans are terrified they will lose their grip on power.  That is something they are determined not to have happen.  They gerrymander voting districts and pass laws that are intended to disenfranchise voters they don’t like.

When you go to the voting booth this mid-term, ask yourself one question.  Are we really the “land of the free and the home of the brave” anymore?  If you are a right-wing conservative, you will probably say yes because your rights are not being denied.  If you are anyone else, you may have your doubts.  Maybe those doubts will be enough for you to cast your vote for equality and freedom and against the right-wing nuts.

Read Full Post »

The mid-terms are just a couple of weeks away.  There are some that predict that the Republicans will gain control of the Senate.  While others say it is still possible for the Democrats to keep it.  There are some conservatives that are almost giddy over the prospect of taking over the Senate.  Due to the gerrymandered districts, it is almost impossible for the Democrats to take over the House.

The real fact of the matter is that it really doesn’t matter if the Republicans take the Senate.  All it will mean is that the stagnation we have seen in Washington since Obama became President will get even worse.  All it will mean is that the Republicans will use their “hostage taking” practices even more than they have in the past.  That is not a good way to run a country.

We all know that the vast majority of the Republican agenda would not be signed by the current president.  Even if they take the Senate, the Republicans won’t have enough votes to over ride vetoes.  That means in general nothing will get done, except a lot more President Obama bashing.

There has been a lot of talk about the differences between the Republicans and Democrats during this cycle.  But, in my opinion, all of this talk has missed the point totally.  This isn’t about traditional Conservative vs. Progressive politics.  This is about whether or not we live in a country with equal rights and justice for everyone.  It is about whether or not we continue to be one of, if not the, true democracy in the world.  If the current batch Republicans were ever to win both houses of Congress and the White House, our democracy will take a drastic turn for the worst.

If you take a few minutes to look and listen to the current Republican Party, you will hear nothing but hate and discontent towards everyone who doesn’t agree with their backwards thinking.  If you believe income inequality is wrong, you are against Republican candidates.  If you believe that people should be allowed to marry whom they want, regardless of race, religion, or sex, you are against Republican candidates.  If you believe that women together with their families and doctors should be allowed to decide on whether or not to have an abortion, you are against Republican candidates.

Republicans have waged a war against women’s rights for decades.  They have fought against the right for workers to unionize for decades.  They have fought to force Conservative Christian Cult’s beliefs on the rest of society.  They are fear mongering idiots who believe that the only way to win an election is to take the right to vote away from different groups of people who just might vote Democratic.

The current batch of Republicans have formed an evil alliance between Conservative Christian Cult, Ultra-Conservative billionaires, Tea Party, and Racists.  Sorry, but that is the only way to describe this alliance.  Conservative Christian Cult members want to force their brand of Christianity on everyone else.  If you don’t follow their religious beliefs, you are considered a Christian in Name Only (CINO).  They say they are against the government meddling in your religious beliefs.  Yet they want a “Personhood” amendment that would totally ban abortions.  Even if your religious beliefs says it is okay.  They are against marriage equality.  They are even against the right of gays to live in peace.

The Tea Party is the ultra-conservative wing of the Republicans.  They will tell you that if you are not a Tea Party Member, you are a Republican in Name Only (RINO).  They just want to form a government that throws the poor under the bus.  You will hear all kinds of arguments against Welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and Taxes.  But you won’t hear a word about the subsidies given to oil companies, utilities, farmers, etc.  These people also want government “out of our lives”.  Yet they are also against abortion and equal marriage rights.  It seems like every time a Tea Party candidate talks about liberty, they are demanding that about half of the country’s population not be allowed those same liberties.

The billionaire club led by the Koch Brothers simply want to form a dictatorship based on the philosophy that the country should return to the “good ole days” of the 19th century and the Robber Barons.  It is perfectly right for them to make millions of dollars every year, but the rest of us should have to work our asses off just to get by on $2 per hour.  It is the Tea Party and the Billionaires who want to eliminate the minimum wage and pass laws outlawing unions.

I don’t think we have to discuss much about the Racists.  You just need to look at the voter suppression laws that have been passed in several states to know their agenda.

In this mid-term election, one party is screaming about liberty all the while they are passing laws that take liberty away from anyone who isn’t like them.  They are screaming about getting government out of our lives, all the while they are passing laws that put government in the lives of women.  They are preaching about the American dream all the while they are fighting laws like raising the minimum wage and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

They have been screaming about our “porous southern border” but say nothing about our porous northern border.  They claim that Ebola will wipe us off the face of the planet, yet they continue to cut funding for the CDC and NIH.  They wanted a “Czar” for the fight against Ebola, yet screamed when one was named.  Their hypocrisy has no limits.  They believe that if they continue to fear monger, we will fall for their demagoguery.

In the last several years The Republican Party has seen a renaissance.  Unfortunately, unlike the renaissance in the past, this isn’t one of enlightenment, it is a return to the Dark Ages where religion and the wealthy rule the country.  We have already seen places that prove the Republican Platform is destructive to liberties and opportunity.  Just look at Kansas and Wisconsin.  These were supposed to be Conservative Republican utopias.  Yet they have turned out to be anything but utopia for the common citizen of the state.

There is still time to fight back.  To use their own phrase, “it is time to take our country back.”  This time we need to take it back from this evil alliance and restore freedom and democracy to the greatest country in the world.  But, we can’t do that unless you go to the polls and vote this mid-term.  Let the Republican Party know that they cannot bullshit us anymore with their fear mongering and their lies.  We have grown past the 19th century and refuse to go back.

Read Full Post »

So, you think that all of those “stand your ground” laws will help protect women who are victims of domestic abuse.  If you believe that, you are very tragically wrong.  Two cases, one in South Carolina, and one in Florida prove that stand your ground does not include domestic abuse victims.

In South Carolina, there is a case of a women who stabbed her partner when he tried to keep her from leaving for good with her belongings.  The incident took place right after he beat her and dragged her down the street by her hair.  The prosecutor says the “stand your ground law” does not absolve her from her crime of murder.  Problem is that according to how the law is written, she is correct.

The case began one night in November 2012, Whitlee Jones fatally stabbed her partner, Eric Lee. She has testified that she did not mean to kill Lee when she issued the fatal wound, but that she only meant to fend him off while he blocked her from exiting the house with her belongings, attempting to leave him for good.

In a very lengthy report in the Charleston Post and Courier, neighbors saw Lee rip Jones’ weave from her head, saw it fall to the pavement across which he yanked her while she screamed. One witness called the police. Officers arrived while Jones hid outside the house; they spoke only with Lee, who said that their altercation never turned physical. The police left, and Jones returned to grab her things and go, forever. She later told police that her partner tried to attack her while she was leaving the house for the second time that night. So, allegedly fearing for her life, she stabbed him.

A Judge’s ruling granted Jones immunity in the murder case in accordance with the state’s Protection of Persons and Property Act — otherwise known as its “stand your ground” law.  But, the South Carolina prosecutors are appealing the ruling saying that the 2006 SYG law does not apply to housemates in episodes of domestic violence, as that was not the legislation’s original purpose.

“[The Legislature’s] intent … was to provide law-abiding citizens greater protections from external threats in the form of intruders and attackers,” Assistant Solicitor Culver Kidd, the case’s lead prosecutor, told The Post and Courier. “We believe that applying the statute so that its reach into our homes and personal relationships is inconsistent with [its] wording and intent.”

Taking the law’s wording literally, they are correct.  The law states that the “presumption of fear” necessary for one to take aggressive force does not apply when the person “against whom the deadly force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling.”  According to this wording, you are not allowed to use stand your ground against your partner even if that partner is beating you or trying to kill you.

You may ask way would such wording would be included in a law like this?  Well, wording like this happens when you don’t consider women to be people with rights.  If you think that women don’t deserve protection from being abused, you make sure they cannot hide behind stand your ground laws.

The second case is in Florida.  Angela Corey of Florida, the attorney who prosecuted George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin is currently attempting to put Marissa Alexander, a mother of three who fired a “warning shot” at her abusive husband, in prison for 60 years. Alexander has been refused immunity under the state’s SYG law twice — the first time because the court found that she did not have a “reasonable” fear for her life, and the second because the judge refused to retroactively apply changes to the law that made provisions for warning shots. She did not injure anyone and, at the time of the incident, had a protective order against her partner, who previously admitted under oath to beating her.

So the fact that her partner had acknowledged that he beat her, and that he had violated an order to stay away from her, does not constitute her having a “reasonable” fear for her life.  Of course, anyone with only half of a brain would say differently.  But, that is what happens when a judge decides what is reasonable fear and what isn’t based on archaic beliefs of women and their status in society.  Apparently he believes that getting abused by your partner is not “reasonable” fear.

Whether or not the rulings in these cases are legally correct or not, the fact of the matter is that even when states attempt to let people kill others because they fear for their lives, it does not include women who live in abusive homes.  That is what is wrong with the whole domestic abuse situation.  If we are truly going to get a grip on this problem, things like these SYG laws need to change to protect the victims rather than treat them as the problem.

Before any changes can be made, legislators need to start thinking of women as people and not property.  It is a shame on them that they don’t already believe this simple fact of life.

 

 

Read Full Post »

As expected, the recent “Yes Means Yes” law passed in California has generated a lot of talk and arguments.  We hear the usual arguments about how men will be falsely accused of rape who really aren’t rapists.  The problem is that these arguments are coming from both sides of the political spectrum.

Even Jonathon Chaite wrote a piece about how bad the law will become.  The arguments he uses are not new either.  The one thing that stands out to me in the piece is when he calls the law illiberal.  He wrote:  “For various reasons, including the long stalemate in Washington, the movement to confront campus rape has shot up the list of liberal priorities. One can detect in this movement an impatience with balancing risk against liberty that, in other contexts, would be readily recognizable as a tone of creeping illiberalism.”

The problem with this statement is that is totally misses the point.  The California Law, which is not a penal law, requires universities to impose a standard of “affirmative consent,” which deems as rape any sex that does not have explicit, ongoing permission.  He argues that this law will have “unforeseen consequences.”

There is a problem with his argument.  The California University System had already put in place the affirmative consent policy.  So have several of the Ivy League schools.  There has not been a rush to falsely charge innocent people with rape.  I am not saying there isn’t the possibility of such cases arising.  But, then again, there are already cases of false charges being made.  This law won’t change that very much.

See, the problem is that the burden still falls mostly on women.  The arguments being made by Chaite and others are a mere continuation of the present norm.  Basically, they argue that it is the men who are threatened by these laws.  They totally ignore the fact that women have been abused and raped for generations and nothing has been done to stop the trend.

Vox’s Amanda Taub wrote a piece about the law as well.  Chaite claims that this little tidbit from Taub isn’t worth engaging in:

By exempting sexual aggressors from the responsibility of figuring out whether their partners are “eager and ready to sleep with them,” we’re asking their targets to either give in to sexual activity they don’t want, or to run the risk that a firm, assertive, continued rejection will end in violence.

This week, a Detroit man murdered a 27-year-old mother of three named Mary Spears after she rejected him in a bar. Right now, a woman is in critical condition in a New York City hospital because a man slashed her throat on the street after she declined to go on a date with him. In April, a Connecticut teenager was murdered by her 16-year-old classmate after she turned down his invitation to prom. Stories like these (and there are others) should remind us that women have a lot of reasons to fear the consequences of saying “no.” That’s all the more reason why silence shouldn’t be presumed to be consent.

He argues that these types of law are violating people’s Liberty.  But, he has no answer for the Liberty of a woman to live her life without be afraid of being raped because she attended a party.  Women have been denied their right to live fear free since the beginning of time.  I do hope that in these laws due process is followed properly.  Even College hearings on the case should probably be transparent so we can see the full story.  But, to argue that this law is infringing on Liberty is nonsense.  Men do not have the right of Liberty to force themselves on a woman.

The real sad part of this argument is that the necessity of such laws proves that we have a terrible lack of respect and dignity of over half of our population.  As I said once before, women are not property.  They are humans who deserve the same respect and liberties that we seem to want for men.  Until that cultural shift takes place, we will continue to hear lame arguments against reasonable laws to help women live a life free from fear of men.

Read Full Post »

With the mid-terms just weeks away now, I find it difficult to understand why we aren’t seeing more TV ads from the Democrats about equal pay, minimum wage, and paid family leave.  These are issues that are extremely important to families, especially women.  As usual, it is projected that the turnout for this mid-term will be lower than in a presidential election year.  That also means that fewer women will vote in the mid-terms as well.

If the Democrats really want to keep the Senate and make some strides in the House, these are issues that they should be talking about more, not less.  There is plenty of evidence that it just might turn the tide against the Republicans if the Democrats use these issues wisely.  People want paid family leave.  They want affordable child-care.  They want fair and equal pay.  They are even willing to vote for people who support these issues.

A recent Lake Research Partners poll commissioned by the Make It Work campaign found that 76 percent of surveyed registered voters favor the campaign’s efforts to implement fair pay for minimum wage earners — who are disproportionately women — as well as more flexible family leave policies. Researchers found that a majority of respondents disagreed with the assertion that “men and women these days are generally paid equally for doing the same work,” and 80 percent said it’s the government’s responsibility to guarantee fair treatment for workers, regardless of income level or gender.

How much more ammunition do you need to fire the shots necessary to fire up these people enough to vote?  The Republicans have been very public about their refusal to implement any of these issues into law.  They are constantly telling voters that only companies can decide what a fair wage is, so the minimum wage is antiquated to the point it should be abolished.  They are constantly telling voters that you don’t deserve paid family leave time because it will hamper the business.  They are constantly telling the voters that men and women make the same wages for the same work.  Which statistics prove them wrong in every field and profession.

I live in a state where there is a very tight race between the incumbent Democratic Senator and her Republican rival.  I have not seen one single advertisement about the difference between them on these issues.  These are things that can even make Republican women vote Democratic.  The adage of “voting your pocketbook” is not dead.  It has just be hijacked by Republicans who get the wealthy to vote their pocketbooks.  Somehow they have convinced too many people to vote against their pocketbook just because they belong to a certain party.

In order to get people to the polls, Democrats need to start talking about issues that affect people’s pocketbooks.  Telling a minimum wage working person that raising the minimum wage will almost double their income, and you can get their vote.  Tell them that raising their income will mean more money to spend on necessities and even some “luxury” items and the will vote for you.  Tell them that increasing money to spend into the economy will help boost jobs, and they will vote for you.

But, for some reason, the Democrats seem to be mum on these topics.  I don’t understand why.  The Republicans haven’t been mum.  They especially like the idea of running ads telling women they should think about voting the same way the look at dresses or dates.  They are telling women that they don’t understand politics enough to vote on the issues, so they have to vote according to style.

If the Democrats don’t wake up soon, we may be faced with an even worse congress than we have had for the last several years.  If they don’t start fighting for the common people and telling them they favor these issues while the opponents do not, we won’t see any dramatic turn-around in November.

It is very easy to do as well.  We know Democrats favor these issues because they have already passed the Senate.  They haven’t become law because the Republicans refuse to even hold a vote on them in the House.  More fodder for the Democrats.  Just think about it.  76 percent of people want all of these issues to pass.  That means there are gerrymandered Republican districts that have a majority of people who want these issues to pass.

One way Democrats can get women to the polls is to talk about pocketbook issues.  So far, they have been remarkably silent on them.  Their silence could spell their doom in the mid-terms.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 175 other followers