Justice Alito Assured Senator Ted Kennedy That He Would Not Overturn Roe v. Wade

It’s one thing to acknowledge that politicians will tell lies to get elected to office. We may not like it, and some tell small lies while others tell whoppers, but most people accept that there are some lies told by politicians. However, Supreme Court justices are NOT politicians, do not stand for election but rather are appointed for life, and thus we should be able to hold them to a higher standard. To say that today’s Court is a disappointment would be an understatement. Read what Diane Ravitch shows us about the lack of integrity of one Justice Samuel Alito.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The New York Times reported that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito assured Senator Ted Kennedy that he would not overturn Roe v. Wade. He said repeatedly that he respects precedent and considered Roe to be settled law. Seventeen years later, Justice Alito wrote the scathing opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and asserting that it was wrong from the start.

How should Americans react when they learn that at least three of the 6 justices who voted to overturn Roe are liars?

Senator Edward M. Kennedy looked skeptically at the federal judge. It was Nov. 15, 2005, and Samuel A. Alito Jr., who was seeking Senate confirmation for his nomination to the Supreme Court, had just assured Mr. Kennedy in a meeting in his Senate office that he respected the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that legalized abortion.

“I am a believer in precedents,” Judge Alito…

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Filosofa Rants Yet Again!

I was seriously trying to work on a post about banned books for Banned Books Week when I took a brief break and while perusing a bit of news and some other blogs briefly, I came across something that made my blood boil.  All hope of me finishing my banned books post tonight is gone … perhaps tomorrow, but for tonight I have a brief rant, and then I’m going to bed to read for a while and try to calm my shattered psyche.

Who or what has sent me into a tailspin?  A man by the name of John Gibbs from Michigan who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s election.  According to Wikipedia …

John Gibbs is an American far-right political commentator and politician. A member of the Republican Party, Gibbs was a software engineer and missionary before entering politics. During the Donald Trump administration, he held roles in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was acting Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Community Planning and Development.

In July 2020, Trump nominated Gibbs to be director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, but he was never confirmed by the Senate. Gibbs promoted Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. He is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 elections, having defeated incumbent Peter Meijer in the Republican Party primary election for Michigan’s 3rd congressional district.

Okay, pretty much your typical maga-Republican, nothing new or out of the ordinary there, right?  Well, just wait.  As a student at Stanford University in the early 2000s, Gibbs founded a self-described “think tank” called the Society for the Critique of Feminism.  Here is some of what he had to say there …

“The Bible clearly articulates the idea that women should not teach or maintain positions of power. Although the reason is not expressly mentioned, it must be due to the nature of women (i.e. their differing mental characteristics), since every other command for living in the Bible is based on the condition of man. In other words, because women do not possess the characteristics necessary to govern, and since women have a more important task to do, which is to prepare the next generation, they are commanded not to rule.

And since Christianity is the historical foundation of American society, with all of the rights and freedoms expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, which we enjoy to this very day, being expressly and unmistakenly God-given, it is incumbent upon us to consider the relationship that our Christian/cultural heritage, which is so important to so many Americans, shares with feminism, which threatens to unravel the social fabric which has produced one of the marvels of mankind.

Some argue that in a democratic society, it is hypocritical or unjust for women, who are 50% of the population, not to have the vote. This is obviously not true, since the founding fathers, who understood liberty and democracy better than anyone, did not believe so. In addition, all people under age 18 cannot vote, although they too comprise a significant portion of the population. So we cannot say that women should be able to vote simply because they are a large part of the population.

We conclude that increasing the size and scope of government is unequivocally bad. And since women’s suffrage has caused this to occur on a larger scale than any other cause in history, we conclude that the United States has suffered as a result of women’s suffrage.”

And now you understand why I have steam coming out of my ears.

Somebody might want to remind him that those same ‘founding fathers’ also didn’t believe that people with his skin colour ought to be allowed to vote!!!  Oh what a hypocrite this man is!

Anne Marie Schieber, a spokesperson for Gibbs’ campaign, attempted to mitigate and control the damage when his views on women were made public, saying that he was only trying “to provoke the left on campus and to draw attention to the hypocrisy of some modern-day feminists. It was nothing more than a college kid being over the top.”  Oh no, sweet cheeks … this was downright blatant misogyny, putting down women in the worst possible way!  This was no little college prank.  And given Gibbs’ current conspiracy theorist tendencies, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that he still feels that women are so far inferior to men that we should not be allowed to put on shoes and leave the kitchen, let alone vote or god forbid run for office!  Bastard!

Back in 2020, Trump nominated Gibbs to head the Office of Personnel Management.  During the Senate confirmation hearings, it came out that Gibbs had he had spread the false conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman took part in a satanic ritual … that conspiracy theory, known as Pizzagate, led to Edgar Maddison Welch entering a pizza restaurant on 4 December 2016 armed with an AR-15, and randomly fired shots.

The only reason Mr. Gibbs’ name will be on the ballot this November is because the incumbent for that seat, Representative Peter Meijer, was ostracized by the GOP for voting to impeach Trump in 2020.  Therefore, Gibbs received that all-important ‘seal of approval’ from the former guy and won his primary.  He faces … oh the irony … Hillary Scholten, the Democrat running for the seat, and as of today, Gibbs is polling 9 points behind Ms. Scholten!  I would love to be a fly on the wall when he loses to … of all people … one of those women for whom he has zero respect!

On Women’s Rights And The ERA

Women’s rights … it has taken us centuries to have the right to own property, to marry who we choose, to divorce him if it doesn’t work out, to VOTE, to earn equal pay for equal work, to have the right to make our own decisions in matters pertaining to our bodies.  What may have taken centuries to build, has taken very little time to destroy.  Two cases caught my eye in the news yesterday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has ruled that Texas may prohibit a common second-trimester abortion procedure.  Isn’t it funny that people claim they have control over their body when it comes to getting vaccinated or wearing masks, but when it comes to we women having control over our body for something as life-changing as pregnancy, the Courts will decide what we can or cannot do?  I think, in order to avoid being seen as sexist, or a double standard, the Courts should immediately order every person over the age of 12 to be vaccinated!

Out in California, one of the most progressive states in the union, Larry Elder is one of the candidates hoping to unseat Governor Gavin Newsom next month.  Elder is, apparently, a misogynist, or as we used to call them, a male chauvinist pig.  It is illegal to ask a female employee when or if she plans to become pregnant.  Mr. Elder, however, sees no reason for that law.  He says …

“Are there legitimate business reasons for a venture capitalist to ask a female entrepreneur whether & when she intends to have children? Hell, yes. I’m not quite sure why it’s the govt’s business to intrude on it.”

What a guy, eh?  Now, seems to me that if he supports asking women that question, it would also be only fair to ask male employees and applicants when and if they plan to sire a child, and how many?

Why do we have to keep fighting the same old battles?  The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1787, yet it would be 133 years later, in 1920, before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, ensuring women the right to vote.  And it would be 1984 before the State of Mississippi finally ratified the 19th Amendment, granting women in that state the right to vote.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal.  And ever since, religious groups have been trying to get it overturned.  This isn’t about, as they will try to tell you, “right to life”, for the proponents in favour of overturning Roe don’t care about life.  They largely support the death penalty, they hunt to kill, most own guns … no, it isn’t about the right to life, it is about controlling women, it is about taking back women’s rights.

In 1923 the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced. It says, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.”  Today, nearly 100 years later, the Equal Rights Amendment still has not been passed by Congress!!!  Can anybody explain this one to me?

Phyllis Schlafly … you remember that witch, right … campaigned against the ERA saying that the measure would lead to gender-neutral bathrooms, same-sex marriage, and women in military combat, among other things.  😱  Oh horrors!  Every single one of those things came to pass anyway and our nation is a better place because of it!  Take that, Ms. Schlafly!!!

By 1977, only 35 states had ratified the ERA. Though Congress voted to extend the ratification deadline by an additional three years, no new states signed on. Complicating matters further, lawmakers in five states — Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, and South Dakota — voted to rescind their earlier support.

Tell me again that this isn’t very much a man’s world!  We women, in their minds, serve at their pleasure.  Period.

A Growl-Worthy Story

When I read Nicholas Kristof’s column yesterday evening, I found myself growling.  Republicans in this country need to put their money where their mouth is.  Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words! By their actions, the Republican Party is proving that all their talk about supporting families is just that … talk.  Take a look at Kristof’s column and I think you’ll be growling by the midpoint.


Turning Child Care Into a New Cold War

By Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

June 5, 2021

For a country brimming with “pro-family” politicians, the United States sure is a tough place to raise a family.

We Americans like to think “We’re No. 1,” but one recent study found that the United States was the second worst out of 35 industrialized countries as a place for families. We ranked behind Bulgaria. Behind Chile.

Now we have a historic chance to support children and families, for President Biden’s American Families Plan proposes programs such as high-quality day care and pre-K that are routine elsewhere in the world. You might think that the “pro-family” Republican Party would be eager to translate platitudes into practical help. But you’d be wrong.

“You know who else liked universal day care?” tweeted Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican. She cited the old Soviet Union, apparently suggesting that there is something Communist about day care, and falsely claimed that participation would be mandatory under the Biden plan.

J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” warned, “‘Universal day care’ is class war against normal people.” Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, denounced efforts “to put Washington even more in the middle of your life, from the cradle to college.” Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, railed at “lefty social engineering.”

In Idaho, a Republican state representative, Charlie Shepherd, explained that he was against a day care measure because “that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let others raise their child.” He later apologized because his remarks “sounded” sexist.

This is sad because the G.O.P. is right to hail the importance of family. Having loving, supportive parents who read to children, hug them and help them with homework — that’s crucial for kids. One University of Minnesota study found that maternal attachment at age 3 was a better predictor of high school graduation than I.Q.

So Republicans are correct that healthy families make a healthy nation. Democrats sometimes are too reluctant to acknowledge the toll of dysfunctional families, for fear of blaming the poor for their poverty, but it’s difficult to have a serious conversation about improving opportunity and equity in the United States without acknowledging the complicated problems in many homes.

Some eight million American children — roughly one in eight — live with a parent with a substance abuse problem. Millions more live in a household with domestic violence. Others are latchkey kids who look after younger siblings because parents are working and no day care is affordable.

Families desperately need help. In other countries, they get it. In the United States, they get empty homilies about the importance of family.

As a poorer nation in World War II, the United States could afford to operate an excellent day care program to enable moms and dads to hold jobs in the war economy. A follow-up study found that children in that wartime day care went on to enjoy higher high school and college graduation rates and earned more money as adults.

As of 2019, only 34 percent of American 4-year-olds attended state-funded preschool, and an important new study underscores why America needs national high-quality pre-K. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Boston offered public programs for 4-year-olds but couldn’t meet demand, so a lottery was used to determine which children to accept.

Scholars have now found that the long-term effects of this random assignment were enormous. Children who had been accepted into pre-K were 18 percent more likely to enter college on time. They were more likely to graduate from high school and get better SAT scores, and were less likely to be incarcerated while in high school and disciplined as often. Effects were particularly strong for boys.

This new study is part of an enormous body of research showing that the greatest leverage we have to help people may be early in life, as brains are developing.

Skeptics say early childhood programs are expensive. Sure — but poorer countries can afford them. And educational failure and juvenile delinquency are even more costly, and also undermine American competitiveness around the world.

Senators say they care about crime. Well, here’s a way to reduce juvenile crime: Offer high-quality pre-K. They say they want to help young people attend college. So back the Biden plan for pre-K. In other words, this isn’t spending, but high-return investment.

It’s odd that Republicans perceive early childhood programs as a Democratic plot. One of the best states for early childhood programs is Republican Oklahoma, and Oklahomans don’t see pre-K as Communist but as common sense: If you don’t invest in children at the front end, you pay at the back end.

Biden’s effort to slash child poverty and create systems for day care and pre-K could be historic. It’s the most important policy issue of 2021. These initiatives would do for children and families what Social Security and Medicare did for the elderly.

So, please, Republicans, come to your senses: Helping children isn’t the first step to Communism. It’s a step to strengthening America’s families, and thus to strengthening America.

A Wee Bit Of Snark …

Yesterday was International Women’s Day.  I did not write a post on it, though another time I might have.  No, I didn’t forget, but frankly it just didn’t feel right to celebrate a day that is about women’s rights, when in this country (and many others) our rights are being chipped away.  And then, I came across this …


His name is Stewart-Allen Clark and he is was a pastor of the 1st General Baptist Church, in Malden, Missouri.  Here are a few snippets from his February 28th sermon …

“Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go?  I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump.  I’m not saying that at all. Most women can’t be trophy wives, you know, like her. Maybe you’re a participation trophy. I don’t know, but all I can say is not everybody looks like that. Amen. Not everybody looks like that, but you don’t need to look like a butch either. Hey, here’s something you need to know. You need to know this. Men have a need for their women to look like women. And sweatpants don’t cut it all the time. Wearing flip-flops and pajamas to Walmart, that ain’t gonna work. Ain’t nothing attractive about that. Men want their wives to look good at home and in public. Can I get an ‘amen’?”

Here is a picture of Mr. Clark …

Stewart-Allen-Clark

Wow … I can certainly see why he wants his women to look like supermodels, can’t you?

Mr. Clark has stepped down from his position and is allegedly “seeking professional counseling”.  Sorry, but there is no amount of ‘counseling’ that will turn this person into a human being.  Any person who considers former nude model and gold-digger Melania Trump to be the standard to which women should aspire needs a lobotomy.  How many centuries have we fought against being judged for our looks, but rather asking to be judged for our character, our intellect?  Funny, isn’t it, that Joe Biden was criticized for saying that “we don’t need that kind of neanderthal thinking”, and yet Mr. Clark is a dyed-in-the-wool, real-life neanderthal.


There are a number of newbies on the republican side of the aisle in Congress who, in my view, have no business being in Congress.  Four that come immediately to mind are Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Greene, and Madison Cawthorn.  Are these four radically racist, gun-toting fools the face of the new GOP?  If so, either the GOP or the nation are doomed!

The subject of my wrath today is Lauren Boebert and her gun fetish.  You’ll remember that last month, she logged in to a virtual House committee hearing with a virtual arsenal as her backdrop.   And she’s the fool who owns a restaurant that encourages servers to have a pistola strapped to their waist as they serve the chips ‘n salsa to their customers.  Well, Boebert is under investigation for her possible role in the January 6th attacks on Congress, but the fact that she could be expelled from Congress and find herself wearing an orange jumpsuit doesn’t seem to have penetrated the fog that surrounds her brain.  Take a look at her latest video demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “tear down” the fencing around the Capitol.  Listen to the gunshot at the end.

This, my friends, is an example of what our country is becoming.  Guns have replaced conversation, radicals are being elected to our lawmaking body, and nearly half the nation finds this ‘acceptable’.  The fencing and razor wire are there to protect members of Congress in light of continued threats by right-wing white supremacy groups who have threatened another attack on the Capitol when President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, date not yet determined.

Boebert has no committee assignments, and neither does Ms. Greene, therefore they literally have no work to do, and yet they are drawing a salary of $174,000 per year, paid for by you and me.  I hope … I sincerely hope that all four of the ones I mentioned are found to have had a role in the treasonous January 6th attacks, that they are expelled from Congress and escorted off the premises and to the nearest jail to await trial.


And on that note, I leave you with a bit of humour …

a-toona-toon-2a-toon-3

What’s It Going To Take?

Jeff’s post this evening reflects my own feelings perfectly. When are Americans going to grow up and shed their bigotry, judge people by who they are rather than what gender, race or religion they are? My best guess is … never. Backward country this has become. Good post, Jeff — thanks!

On The Fence Voters

I’m a 58-year-old white male, and I think it’s time we had a woman president. There, I said it. On Thursday, amid Senator Elizabeth Warren suspending her campaign, I watched a panel on MSNBC discussing the Senator’s exit from the race. Democratic strategist Zerlina Maxwell was the lone woman at the table.

She said something to host Craig Melvin and AP Reporter Jonathan Lemire, the two males at the table, that resonated with me. “I think it’s way past time that we started to hear from men. We need to listen to them say, ‘It’s time for a woman president.’ Men need to step up to the plate and speak out.” I may be paraphrasing a bit here, but I heard her proclamation loud and clear.

What’s it going to take, folks? In 2016 we had one of the most qualified individuals, in Hillary Clinton, to have ever run for…

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Twelve Years of Bloomberg as Mayor: A New Yorker’s Perspective (Part Two)

Now that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has thrown his hat into the 2020 presidential circle, it is important to look back at his performance as Mayor. Blogger-friend Brendan Birth has lived his entire life in New York City and well remembers Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor. I mentioned to Brendan last week that I might like him to do a guest post for me, and he went one better, and is doing a mini-series! The series began with an intro on Monday that I re-blogged on Tuesday, and today he gives us Part II of a look at Mike Bloomberg as mayor. He will finish with a conclusion next Monday, just in time for Super Tuesday! Thanks Brendan, for sharing your birds-eye views!

Blind Injustice

As I announced last Monday, I will be doing a couple of posts on what it was like to have current presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg as mayor (and particularly justice-related topics from his time as mayor). This is the first of two such posts, as honestly, I have too much material to fit into one post.

This first post will focus on his treatment of other people while he was mayor, particularly his treatment of people of color, Muslims, women, and the poor. Buckle up, because this is going to be rough…

While he has apologized repeatedly for the existence of stop-and-frisk under his police force while he was mayor, I think it’s difficult to talk about his time as mayor without talking about that practice. The practice, which allowed police to stop someone temporarily to search, question, and detain someone, disproportionately targeted people of color. Consider the fact that…

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Sharpen Your Claws — Gonna Need ‘Em

At first, I thought it was somebody’s idea of a joke … a stupid, sick joke.  But, the more I read, the more I began to wonder, so I kept digging.  It appears there is no joke … and I am sickened, disgusted, and enraged.  What, you ask, has me spluttering and cursing now?  An event that will take place in Orlando, Florida, on May 1-3.  The event is a 3-day convention called “Make Women Great Again”.  Yep, you heard right.mwga-posterHere’s a snippet from their intro on the website …

“Women today are being taught to act more like men. Where has that led us? Skyrocketing rates of broken families, a documented decline in female happiness since the 1970s, endless social and dating dysfunction, and America at the #1 spot in the world for single motherhood. No longer will you have to give in to toxic bullying feminist dogma and go against your ancient, biological nature as a woman, the men have arrived to help #MWGA.

EXPERIENCE a miraculous three day (and night) event with iconic 100% pure male speakers gathered from the worldwide manosphere community to help you dramatically improve your life as a woman and total femininity.”

Feel your hackles raising yet, my friends?

All the speakers will be men, and tickets are sold only to women … for a price of … $1,999!  Oh, but wait, for a limited time, if you bring a friend, you can get a ‘buy one, get one free’ ticket.  I would not spend twenty-five cents to attend this misogyny party!!!

Among the male speakers are Anthony “Dream” Johnson, who bills himself as the first president of the “Manosphere,” and Alexander J.A Cortes, a fitness guru who famously enraged the internet by tweeting out a list detailing “How to be a beautiful woman” by wearing more pink, shaving and being thin, among other attributes. Also on the lineup is far right activist Stefan Molyneux and ol’ Mike Cernovich of Pizzagate fame, who has argued that there’s no such thing as rape and who also won Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award back in 2017. mwga-hatsMore topics from their website include …

THE WAR ON MOTHERHOOD

America is officially the #1 country on the planet for unwed single motherhood after a dramatic rise in recent decades. “Single Parenthood” of any kind is just another way of saying “broken family.” Statistics conclusively show that this is absolutely devastating for children, as well as mothers. Poverty, crime, mental health issues, and overall decline in well being is rampant today in America and the West in this context, thanks to feminist anti-motherhood propaganda. Generations of women have been lied to with “you can have it all”, a clever way of tricking them into de-prioritizing motherhood until ~90% of their eggs are dead by 30. This has led millions of women down a path of endless heartbreak, dead-end relationships, and left children at significantly heightened risk of birth defects via geriatric pregnancies. Today, we are witnessing the slow motion collapse of intentional motherhood and intact family formation.

BEAUTY AND THE OBESITY

Over 80 million women in America today are overweight or obese. These epidemic level numbers are no secret in spite of endless hyper-fit photoshop pictures of Instagram celebrities at ridiculously low body fat levels. Nevertheless, being sick and obese (a recognized disease in modern medicine) is not beautiful. Taking good self-care of your body is beautiful in process and outcome. Men admire healthy, fit women. They are after all sizing you up for reproduction, and your decisions will be passed on to your children through the choices you make via epigenetics. At The 22 Convention, you’ll learn how women have been lied to about “body positivity” and how you can embrace #beautypositivity right away!

THE WAR ON LOVE & ROMANCE

At incredible speed, the saying “Where did all the good men go?” suddenly became “Where did all the MEN go?” Believe us, men are saying the same thing in reverse today. The truth is that both positive masculinity and femininity have been under relentless attack for decades. Both have taken catastrophic social, cultural, personal, and philosophic damage for tens of millions of people. The result is a depolarized mess where men act like women, women act like men, everyone’s confused, and nothing “works” anymore. At The 22 Convention you’ll learn about the drivers behind this bizarre and stupid social experiment, what you can do to heal the damage and pain it’s caused you, and how to find awesome men and build healthy relationships.

And they say the ways in which they will make women’s lives better are …

  • Raise your femininity by 500% (I wonder if this includes a lobotomy?)
  • Get pregnant and have unlimited babies (oh yeah, like there aren’t enough children starving in this world, and the world isn’t already overpopulated!!!)
  • Beat the competition – become the ultimate wife (barefoot and pregnant?)
  • Make fitness great again (says the 300-pound, beer-guzzling couch potato man!)

To my women friends who live in Florida … please organize a protest outside the venue on the first day of this abominable ‘convention’!  To my men friends … don’t get no ideas!

I’m thinking … perhaps I should write a bit about how to “Make Men Great Again”?

Check out the trailer for this ‘convention’ …

This sort of thing … I can honestly say that I don’t think I know a man who would condone this bullshit.  It is right-wing, misogynistic and a lot more adjectives I could apply.  It is a sad sign of how some in this nation still view women, though, and I take that seriously.  There was a day, not so very long ago, when women in this nation could not vote, could not own property.  A day when women were often not hired if they were of child-bearing age.  A day when women earned only a portion of what men did for comparable jobs.  And still, in this the 21st century, women are having to fight for the right to make her own medical decisions, control her own body, and in some cases be treated as an equal in the workplace.  Women are still considered by many to be second-class citizens that should be dominated and controlled by men.  How many decades now have we been fighting for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment?  Nearly half a century, my friends.

My sincere hope is that nobody shows up for this ridiculous conference, that no woman in her right mind is fool enough to pay $2,000 to be put into a male-dominated mold.  What they really mean, rather than ‘Make Women Great Again’, is ‘Make Women Slaves Again’.

Pelosi Rules

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives … some love her, some hate her, but love or hate her, she knows her job and does it like a pro! Our friend Jeff has summarized her most recent accomplishment … impeaching the most corrupt president in history! Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

And Trump can’t stand it

A few weeks ago, I wrote about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s all-in decision to bring articles of impeachment against President Trump. She spoke loud and clear then, and she spoke loud and clear last night as the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against the president. Speaker Pelosi is, without a doubt, the most powerful woman in the United States of America. And it drives Donald Trump crazy.

The way she’s handled the whole process, from beginning to end, should be a lesson for all future Speakers. In my lifetime, I don’t know that there’s ever been a Speaker with her skills. Some describe her as being like a conductor of a symphony. Considering the whole process took less than three months, the speed and precision of her rule certainly deserves high praise for such a virtuoso performance.

But it’s not just the…

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A New ‘Affluenza’ Epidemic

Remember back in 2015, when I wrote about Ethan Couch, the ‘affluenza teen’?  Most of you probably weren’t readers of this blog yet at that time, so I will include links to the series of posts I did about him, in case you’re interested.  In a nutshell, Ethan Couch stole two cases of beer from a store, then stole his father’s pickup truck, then with seven passengers in tow, driving 70mph in a 40mph zone, crashed into an SUV and a Volkswagen, killing four people.

couch

Ethan Couch

Couch was initially sentenced to ten years’ probation in juvenile court after his lawyer argued that it was not his fault, but the fault of his parents because he had been so privileged that he was incapable of discerning right from wrong or understanding the consequences of his actions.  After violating the terms of his probation in a most blatant manner, a judge finally sentenced him to 720 consecutive days in jail and he was set free in April 2018.

brock turner

Brock Allen Turner

And then there was Brock Allen Turner, who I wrote about in mid-2016.  Turner raped an unconscious woman on the campus of Stanford University after a party.  There were witnesses, so there was no question of his guilt.  After eight days of testimony, the jury returned with a ‘guilty’ verdict.  Based on that verdict, Turner could have faced up to 14 years in prison.  The judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail, saying …

“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him … I think he will not be a danger to others.”

With time off for “good behaviour”, Turner served only three months.

Well, it’s just happened again, folks.  It actually happened two years ago, but for reasons I will explain in a minute, has only made headlines this week.  An unnamed New Jersey teen, 16 years of age with the initials G.M.C. raped an unnamed, intoxicated, teenage girl, again at a party.  But, he didn’t stop there … he went on to video record himself raping the girl, then sent it to seven of his friends, texting them, [w]hen your first time having sex was rape.”

Monmouth County prosecutors in 2017 sought to charge the boy as an adult with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, among other charges.  His behavior, prosecutors said, was “sophisticated and predatory,” warranting a waiver of the juvenile to adult court.  I agree.  The rape itself was bad enough, but the fact that he recorded it and then bragged about it, sharing the recording with seven friends, to me indicates that there was no remorse whatsoever, that he was well aware that what he did was wrong, and that he was proud to have been a jerk.

The New Jersey family court judge, one Judge James Troiano, however, had other ideas.

“This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well…He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college.”

James Troiano

Judge James Troiano

He went on to say that that the boy’s alleged actions didn’t fit “the traditional case of rape” — which, according to him, occurs when “two or more men” “clearly manhandle” a victim at gunpoint.  Say WHAT???  When did the definition of ‘rape’ change to include guns and two or more men??? As to the teen’s text message to his friends referring to the rape, Troiano dismissed it as “stupid crap” a 16-year-old says to his friends.  Judge Troiano also noted that the young male had been an “Eagle scout”.  Oh, surely he must be pure of heart and spirit then, eh?  Oh yes, one more thing.  Judge Troiano said that the girl and her family should have been told that bringing charges against the boy could have a “devastating effect” on his life.  Again … Say WHAT???  Methinks the good judge has a mistaken notion of who is the victim here!

Now, two years later, an appellate court has overturned Troiano’s decision and also admonished Judge Troiano for deciding the case on his own, when he had only been tasked with deciding if the youth should be tried as an adult or a juvenile.  GMC will now be tried as an adult. And two days later, the same appellate panel overturned a similar ruling by another judge in the case of a 16-year-old male raping a 12-year-old female.  In that case, family court Judge Marcia Silva determined the teen’s actions were not “heinous” because the victim only lost her virginity and bled, which the judge believed was not “especially serious harm.”

Is this, then, the new culture in the United States?  It isn’t behaviour or morality, but only how much money one has that determines guilt or innocence, especially in cases of crimes against women?  Think about this … the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct multiple times, and his response was that “when you’re famous, they let you do it”.  We all remember the famous ‘grab ‘em by the {ahem}’ remark, right?  Do we women need to start carrying a baseball bat with us wherever we go?

And the whole thing begs the question … what if the young lad had been poor … what if he had been black or Hispanic?  Would the judge then have allowed him to be tried as an adult?  Would he have, perhaps, received a 20-year sentence?  What sort of message does this send to the children who had the luck-of-the-draw to be born into wealthy families?  Or poor families?  And when these wealthy spoiled brats get by with a slap on the wrist, what message does that send to them for their future?  “Oh, fine, as long as I stay rich, I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and suffer no consequences.”  We are one screwed up nation.  Think about it.


Links to posts about Ethan Couch:

And Brock Turner: