Category Archives: Politics and Religion

Dear god, I hope someone kept the receipt!

Many weeks ago, I stopped blogging here. I stopped blogging about the election. I stopped blogging altogether. I was spent. And, really, how many more ways could I continue to say what a schmuck Donny the Trump is. I, like so many of you, knew the election seemed close, but never really thought he’d win.

Joke’s on us. He’s President-elect. And he’s fucking smug about it, isn’t he? Wait until he finds out the job doesn’t come with a sash and tiara!

I don’t think it’s arrogance as much as it is delusion. Trump lives in a gilded bubble of his own making. He doesn’t know people are using him. He doesn’t know he is a joke. He literally cannot fathom that he’s not actually god’s gift to the earth.

Happy fucking holidays! Dear god, I hope someone kept the receipt!

The reality–the terrible reality–is he did win, which means, I suppose, there are a few people who do like him. The white nationalists, for example, seem very excited about what a President Trump could offer. And Trump shareholders (aka the Family von Trump) look to make a killing while Daddy is off building walls and internment camps (do you think that’s what he meant when he called for new infrastructure?)

And the rest of us, well, we’re supposed to just sit here and take our medicine—expensive, not covered by insurance medicine—for having the audacity to call him out for each and every lie he tells, each and every threat he makes, and each and every trust he breaks. Oh wait, the concepts of trust and ethical behavior don’t apply to him. He said so himself when speaking to the New York Times:

“The law’s totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
— Donald Trump, interview with the New York Times, Nov. 22, 2016

Just call him President Loophole. If there is a hole he’ll find it He’ll use and abuse it. He’ll claim the hole was asking for it. When you’re famous you can do that.

Someone needs to smack that man across the face and explain two things to him. The first is a question of basic mathematics. Trumpy boy, you do not have a mandate. 75% of this country either didn’t vote for you or didn’t vote. That means 25% of these “United” States checked a box with your name on it. Some were voting for you (Hi, David Duke!), some voted blindly for the GOP candidate, and others voted for Not Her. That’s not a mandate, that’s apathy and frustration at work. Yay, America!

Let me lay it out more clearly with some notes from a one of my more math inclined friends:

  1. The majority of all voters voted against Donald Trump.
  2. Hillary Clinton was the first choice of the largest number of voters (she was the plurality winner of the popular vote).
  3. Hillary Clinton’s margin over Donald Trump was more than 2 million votes.
  4. Donald Trump has become President-elect solely by narrow wins in a few states that gave him a smallish majority of the electoral votes putting Trump in 44th place among the last 54 presidential elections in count of electoral votes gained.
  5. The game was, as Trump was telling us all along, rigged (ok, this is my addition to the list).

(For more stats, my friend recommends Nate Silver’s post: War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Trump Won In A Landslide — https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/war-is-peace-freedom-is-slavery-trump-won-in-a-landslide/)

Second, the Presidency is a job. It’s not a title or a royal decree. You work—WORK–for the people. Not some of the people. Not just the white people. Not just the rich people. Not just the Christian people. All the people. You work for me. If you want our respect you’re going to have to earn it. It does not just come with the job. You are going to have to work for it. You’re going to have to step outside your bubble and meet people who genuinely do not like you and you’re going to have to meet them, not in the middle, but on their turf. You will never gain an understanding of what this country needs if you only ever see it from your tower. We will never believe you have our interests at heart if you only ever wave from the parapet.

In a few short weeks, Donald J. Trump will become the leader of the free world, a new world in which ‘free’ will come to have a shitload of caveats attached to it. Why anyone thinks he’ll be transformed into something palatable by the mere taking of an oath is beyond me. Even now he is practicing the art of leading by distraction. He tweets out inflammatory and irresponsible words with one hand and hires the very people he railed against with the other. He talks about bringing the country together while sitting in his tower on his gold throne plotting how he might deny citizens their rights.

The only way this country survives and moves forward is to troll the hell out of Trump and the Trump administration for each and every step they make towards “taking the country back”. Back from whom, I’ve never quite understood. Judging by the proposed legislation they mean back in time. Back to when people knew their place, boy.

I’m not going back. The same constitution that protects them, protects me. And I will stand up and fight for my rights. I will stand up and fight for your rights. I will stand. Together, we will rise.

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Filed under Feminism, Sexism, and Equality, Politics and Religion

Birth control is more than sheathing your penis in latex

It takes a special kind of misogyny to proclaim one has this whole birth control thing figured out and then stand there and mansplain the concept of the vending machine rubber.

Senator Cruz…Ted…honey, birth control is so much more than sheathing your penis in latex.

banana and condom

Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just trying to pass off condoms as comprehensive reproductive health care?

Look, I’m glad you took precautions when you were a college student—STDs are a bitch—but I’m going out on a limb now and guessing you probably didn’t need too many quarters back in your dorm days. If you had been sexing it up you might have learned that condoms are not god’s gift to women. And, in case your sex partners didn’t explain this to you back then, condoms are but one method of reproductive control AND, like the condoms, birth control is not a one size fits all proposition.

And here’s a bit of info you might need should this topic come up in a debate or town hall meeting:

When women vote they vote with full comprehension of birth control. SHOCKING, I know. But, since you feel you are grown up enough to be President I think you are old enough to know women are fully aware of and even initiate SEX…and sometimes they even like it! OMG! Yes yes yes!!!

(Shh…sometimes men aren’t even needed for the act, but that may be more information than you can handle right now.)

Teddy, since women discovered they actually enjoy sex they have taken it upon themselves to be prepared for it just in case their partner forgot to bring quarters for the bathroom vending machine. (FYI: glow in the dark condoms are NOT a turn on.)

And guess what, my little Cuban buddy, sometimes, and I hope you can handle the truth, women need birth control even if they are not planning to have sex. What?

I know you like to think any holes you stumble on down there are magical tunnels to a garden in heaven where they keep the babies, but it turns out woman are actual humans with more parts than most men know what to do with. True story!

Women are complicated, Ted, and we have complicated body systems. Believe it or not we have an entire inside of our bodies…we even have a brains!

Complicated bodies like ours require actual health care and none of that health care is available for pocket change in a bar bathroom. I won’t go in to all the details since it has to do with bleeding vaginas, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and other weird girl parts, but suffice it to say, your fifty-cent sausage casings haven’t got anything on the money we need for fun with speculums, pap smears, and prescription medications that are required to keep us in control of our procreation and, as it turns out, keep many of us actually alive and kicking.

I know you’re trying to be hip and cool with this whole sex and birth control thing but ignorance is your friend, Teddy. When you pretend to know more than you do you sound like an ass.

Unfortunately, the ignorance of men is not something women are willing to put up with any longer. Our health and safety are at stake.

If you and the rest of your conservative friends want to discuss birth control you had better spend some time earning a medical degree in gynecology and obstetrics first because it’s clear you haven’t a clue about what birth control actually does for women. And while you’re educating yourself I suggest you brush up on your social economics courses because all those ‘gifts from god’especially the ones thrust upon women without our consent!—are going need food, clothing, and shelter and the change in your pockets that might cover the cost of your vending machine condoms won’t cover the reality that is uninvited and unintended pregnancy.

Long live sexual liberation. Long live women in control of their bodies.

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Filed under Feminism, Sexism, and Equality, Health and Wellness, Politics and Religion

And this was very good

 

campWhen I was a young girl I attended summer camp in central Mississippi. The camp was a bit unusual for the time and place—Mississippi isn’t really known for its Jews. This camp, tucked away in the woods, was created to give isolated Jewish kids the chance to live in a community of Jews, at least for a few weeks each year.

And this was very good.

While there, the youth of our peculiar southern diaspora enjoyed swimming, kickball, arts and crafts, kitchen hall duty, sneaking to the boys’ side of the camp (and vice versa), campfire songs, camp Olympics, and a little Torah thrown in for good measure. It was like any other camp for kids, except it was kosher.

And this was very good.

Together we connected to our faith. We connected to our culture. We connected without the burden of needing to explain or defend the idiosyncrasies of the traditions of our typically out-of-place and often misunderstood religion.

And this was very good to be one of the many and not one of the few for a month or two.

Like all good camps, we had our share of scary tall tales and ghost stories, too. The man with the hook. The monster in the lake. The wild animals in the woods.

And of course, there were the stories of the Ghost Riders. These were the scariest tales of all because we recognized the truths that were possible (if not probable) in those tales.

Let me set the scene: the camp was built around a lake and surrounded by forest. If you didn’t know it, you would think we were in the middle of nowhere. Isolated we were. Was this very good?

Beyond the cabins and the mess hall there were woods for exploring. And at the edge of the woods there was a tall fence. Go no further. Do not enter. Do not exit.

At camp, the sun shone by day, the moon and stars by night. And, as the ghost story goes, one night years ago men on horseback came. They were dressed in white robes with a white hoods over their heads and they rode around our camp. They rode around the outside of the fence that marked our borders. Our edges. Our place.

Good is often best understood when balanced with a bit of evil, I suppose.

We were young Jews, but we had plenty of experience with bigotry and fear. We knew what kind of hate and ignorance existed on the other side of that tall fence. We knew our presence, in the beginning, was very likely unwelcome.

It wasn’t unthinkable to believe the fence was part of some grand bargain made between the camp and the towns.

And it wasn’t a hard leap to believe the Ghost Riders were members of an old brotherhood who patrolled the fence as a way to remind us to stay in our place.

I never saw a Ghost Rider myself and the stories themselves were never presented with proof. It was camp mythology, camp lore passed down from senior camper to junior camper over the years. Perhaps the stories have even faded by now. The men on horseback have certainly disappeared.

And this is very good.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about those Ghost Riders. I sense they never really left. They went into hiding. They went undercover. They put down their white robes and hoods and picked up the Constitution to see if there were other fences they could define and patrol. They are not content to just keep a few Jewish kids in their place. Now they are out to scare anyone who doesn’t agree with their narrow-minded ideology. They are contemplating the fences they want to build around women, LGBT people and families, refugees, immigrants, black lives, and more.

And we are here to remind them that we have heard their ghost stories before and we are not afraid. There is no fence they can build that we can’t tear down. There is no hood they can wear that we can’t see through.

And this is very good.

We love. We think. We care.

This is very good….

(This essay references an old camp song from my camp days: This is Very Good by Cantor Jeffrey Klepper. The use of his song does not indicate his agreement with the views expressed in this essay, it was just an important song to me at the time.)

 

 

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