A Brief History of Feminism

Ever since there have been humans, the women have been having the kids.

When women first started having kids, the only way to nourish them was by breastfeeding.

By the time they were done breastfeeding one child, there was usually another, and another, and another.

Women had no choice but to feed their children, so they ended up taking care of them, too. Until they died.

This freed up men to keep on doing what they’d always done, which, initially consisted of inventing fire and hunting mastodons.

But as technology and knowledge and our understanding of the world increased, men didn’t have to spend so much time killing large animals for food, and they got better at sheltering themselves from their environment.

Which women probably could have done, had they not been so damn busy breastfeeding and taking care of the kids.

Eventually, some men had so much free time on their hands they started to think about things like gravity and calculus and philosophy. They also found time to create art and literature and music. Which, once again, women might have done, but, you know…cleaning and cooking and stuff.

Later, some women were rich enough to hire other women to do those things, but since only men had ever done science or music or writing plays, it never occurred to anyone that a woman might be able to do those things, too.

But then it occurred to women, and so they tried to do the same things, but this made men uncomfortable, because if they couldn’t have babies (not that they wanted to, mind you), then women shouldn’t be able to think about chemistry and astronomy or write sonnets. Or think, really, about anything other than girl things.

Men tried to keep women from doing man things, and women caught on. Some woman did those man things, like writing books or making art, anyway, but they used male pen names so no one would know.

Other women tried to do man things as women, and sometimes they were even successful.

Which made men even more uncomfortable, especially since some people were starting to say that you should be able to have the same opportunities even if you weren’t white. What, with that to deal with, men found themselves fighting on two fronts, and that was hard, because they weren’t used to being challenged, especially by people of color AND women – who were supposed to be docile and stupid.

Yes, by the beginning of the twentieth century, men had their hands full trying to dominate anyone who wasn’t a white male. Then the automobile was invented, and men got really distracted. Also, rich people weren’t able to stay so filthy rich because of the income tax, and so you can understand how women were able to win the right to vote.

Then there was the depression, and then there was a war, and pretty much everybody was really tired, and that’s when men said, “Hey! This is a perfect opportunity to re-subvert all non-white males!”

And it was the 1950’s, and people drank a lot of milkshakes and wore poodle skirts and went to sock hops, and everyone was just so happy to be alive and prosperous, they didn’t notice that white men had re-established themselves as boss.

Well, that didn’t last long. People of color and women said, “Uh, no, bro.” And they marched and protested and rallied, and smart people like Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsberg got involved in civil rights litigation, and things started to shift again.

Then people who were LGBTQ said, “what about us?” And straight white men, sensing yet another diminution of their power, said, “NO!” They also hoped that all gay people would die of AIDS, but instead of doing that, the LGBTQ community got smart about how they had sex and pressured government and medical research to find a cure, which, essentially, it did.

Thus, by the end of the twentieth century, lots of women, gay men, and people of color had risen to positions of power and influence. They made good money. They began to enjoy equal opportunities.

This was a problem for some white men. You see, at least since the end of World War II, pretty much all you had to do to be successful in this country, as a white man, was to have a pulse. White men began to assume that well-paying jobs, a nice home, and a few weeks’ paid vacation was their due – something they were entitled to. But, as the new millennium approached, that wasn’t the case anymore.

“They’re stealing out jobs!” some white men cried. “They’re taking what’s ours!” They didn’t realize that the people stealing their jobs might have worked harder at school, or were better and more conscientious employees, or maybe didn’t act so entitled. Still, they complained.

Some white men saw this as a wonderful opportunity to manipulate those who were no longer able to get a job simply by virtue of being white. They decided to manipulate these people, and they came up with two really, really clever ideas, and they both started with “G:”

Guns and God.

They told everyone that people should have unfettered access to any weapon they wanted AND, also, God, because THE WORLD IS FULL OF NON-WHITE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL YOU.

And people got scared, and when people are scared, they don’t act rationally, and so a lot of women who otherwise might NEED FEMINISM decided that what they really needed was God (and God hates feminists). They became less concerned about equal pay for equal work, or reproductive rights, because they were so afraid of being raped by men of color or getting shot up at a movie theatre by an Islamic extremist.

Then two bad things happened:

First, John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate, and men were okay with that, because she wasn’t very smart but she WAS very fuckable, which is what a lot of men want in a woman. Palin also told people that feminists abort babies with disabilities. Also, she could field dress a moose. And God.

Second, the economy did a nose dive because certain banks made bad loans to people who couldn’t afford them, then those people defaulted, and then lots of people lost their jobs, or were underwater on their homes, and their retirement savings tanked.

It sucked.

Now, John McCain did not win the election. Barack Obama did. That made a lot of people mad, because he was black, and everyone knows that black people aren’t smart enough to run a country. Also, his wife was very intimidating to many because she worked out and thought kids should try to eat healthy. Uppity Bitch.

Also, it took a little while for the economy to rebound, but ultimately, it did, just in time for the 2016 election.

Many, many people hated Obama, and lots of white men, like Steve Bannon and the Koch Brothers thought, “this is great!” And they started conservative websites that peddled stories like, Hillary Clinton runs a pedophile ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor.

Also, her emails.

Hillary also scared people because she was a woman who acted like a man, and because she was very smart, but not very fuckable. Also, some people think she’s a lesbian, and she made men uncomfortable because she called them on their bullshit. Some women didn’t like her, I am convinced, because they resented her success. Such women are also known as “assholes.”

So you have a sluggish economy and a democratic candidate who was easy to dislike, and a lot of people said, “well, ANYTHING has to be better, even if its a self-promoting carnival barker who can’t say ‘anonymous.'”

And those people elected Donald J. Trump, who is the opposite of a feminist.

And that’s why feminism matters.

The End

Kavanaugh, At Last

Well, it’s done. We have a new Supreme Court Justice, which, given the manner in which he was confirmed, seems a funny thing to call the person who, together with 8 others, will, for the next 30 years or so, set the course for virtually every aspect of how Americans live their lives. Having lived through the last month closely following this story, I’m not sure anyone, regardless of their politics, believes that justice played any role in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to our nation’s highest court.

It occurs to me that my perspective on the process is necessarily tinged by the fact that I am a lawyer, and a litigator at that. I try cases, I argue in court, and any matter I handle has the potential (albeit extremely remote) to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Indeed, one of my partners just argued a case before the Court, and every attorney at our firm – litigators, all – were so very thrilled that one of our own got to experience the ultimate professional goal for a litigator.

For lawyers, the Supreme Court is a mystical, sacred institution. It was the Supreme Court that first articulated principles that now form the bedrock of our society – the rule of law, that all people must be treated equally under the law, and that the right to free speech may be abridged only under the most narrow of circumstances. The power yielded by the Supreme Court is enormous and far-reaching. That is why our country has consistently demanded that those who are elevated to the high Court be of an impeccable intellectual pedigree and possess a rigorous and exhaustive understanding of the intricacies of American jurisprudence.

I’ve read many Supreme Court decisions, both as a law student and as a practicing attorney who loves the law and is continually in awe of the talent, insight, complexity and passion that so many justices have brought to the bench. Whether you agreed with him or not, Nino Scalia made the Court better. So did Benjamin Cardozo and Felix Frankfurter and Thurgood Marshall and John Harlan and Sandra Day O’Connor.

I’m a scholar of the Court as well, devouring everything that’s ever been written about it. One of my most prized possessions is a copy of “The Nine,” signed by my favorite law geek ever, its author, Jeffrey Toobin.

I love the Supreme Court. I revere it. I have enormous respect for all it represents. Which is why I am so angry at the fact that Brett Kavanaugh will now join this most august assembly of jurists.

From the beginning, the process was shot through with political import: The retiring Justice Kennedy was ever a swing vote who frequently broke ranks with the more conservative wing of the Court in matters that perhaps have the greatest impact on day-to-day lives. Certainly, his replacement would have the ability to move the Court, finally, to the far right, accomplishing what so many evangelicals have, for 45 years, been fighting for.

Abortion isn’t the only issue that could be on the chopping block during this and subsequent Supreme Court dockets, but it is perennially and disproportionately the one that matters most when a Supreme Court vacancy opens up. For a very long time, it did not appear that there would ever be a point at which the Court included five reliably anti-abortion justices. Now it does, and we can all reasonably predict that Roe will be laid to waste in the not too distant future – everyone except Susan Collins appears to understand that.

So the stakes were high. Because Trump had promised that any justice he appointed would be anti-abortion (an oath that has nothing whatsoever to do with his personal beliefs and everything to do with solidifying his one-issue base), Democrats were understandably concerned about who he would nominate. When he chose yet another judge handpicked by the Federalist Society (as we all knew he would), Dems understandably lost their shit.

GOP senators have made much of the speed with which Dems expressed their opposition to Kavanaugh, suggesting that they had never even given the nominee a chance (which is sort of like what they did to Merrick Garland, some might say). It’s a spurious argument, though – the Federalist Society Chosen, as well as the names on Trump’s short list, were made public well before Kavanaugh was officially nominated. Is it credible to suggest that Dems hadn’t done their research as to ALL potential nominees and weren’t painfully aware of what a Kavanaugh nomination might mean prior to the moment he was anointed by King Donald? No.

But the instantaneous opposition to Kavanaugh set the tone for the entire process, and it wasn’t long before things spun out of control. The GOP accused the Dems of leaking the identity of Christine Blasey Ford – an accusation as uncorroborated as Republicans claim Dr. Ford’s account of a sexual assault by Kavanaugh to be. It got worse when Debbie Ramirez stepped forward with a second account of sexual assault by Kavanaugh, perhaps especially so because a number of her fellow students at Yale either corroborated her story or else raised significant questions about Kavanaugh’s penchant for frequent, heavy drinking.

And then we heard from Michael Avenatti, a self-promoter so shameless he would make Donald Trump himself blush. His client spun a tale of dubious credibility at a time when it was critically important that any challenge to Kavanaugh’s nomination be thoroughly vetted and fact-based. In disseminating a tale that seemed designed for maximum shock value while being entirely uncorroborated, Avenatti enabled many who already had questions about Ford and Ramirez to reasonably conflate their experiences with those alleged by Julie Swetnick, and it was all over after that.

That there was a hearing at which Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh both testified was perhaps as devastating to women, and Ford, as NOT holding hearings might have been. Those who watched (and there were many) almost unanimously agreed that Dr. Ford seemed credible, and that her testimony was powerful and heartfelt. Few could fairly argue (though some nonetheless did) that she comported herself with dignity and with respect for the tribunal of men so aware of experiences in their own life that must have leant a throbbing credence to the allegations of Ramirez and Ford that they did not trust themselves to do the dirty work of examining Ford on their own lest they reveal themselves to be entirely unimpressed and unmoved by testimony recounting the searing impact that such shenanigans might have on a 15 year old girl, or an 18 year old college freshman.

Terrified of revealing the inherent distrust they harbor for women, in general, and victims of sexual assault in particular, they brought in a hired gun who was largely ineffectual and severely hindered, given the manner in which the hearing was conducted, in her ability to establish what did and did not actually happen. During her testimony, Dr. Ford suggested possible avenues for locating corroborating evidence. She delivered powerful testimony explaining the neuroscience of human experience, something she has studied for 30 years. By the time she was finished, the consensus was that she was sympathetic, credible, and, in the words of the inimitable Orrin Hatch, “attractive” and “pleasing.”

It was then time for Kavanaugh. Many felt his testimony was disrespectful, arrogant, disturbingly partisan, and indicative of a man lacking the judicial temperament typically required of Supreme Court Justices. Others defended his remarks, and those of men like Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Orrin Hatch – who abandoned their stolid, methodical sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, in favor of an all-out spleen-letting directed at SJC Dems and anyone who would seek to tarnish the good name of Brett Kavanaugh. How else would you expect him to react? they said. He’s been unfairly accused. He has every right to come out swinging.

The combined “outrage” demonstrated by these 11 white men has rarely been on display in such a transparently craven fashion, and to the extent that there was any genuine umbrage, it had less to do with the genuine pain experienced by Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters, and far more to do with the double whammy of (1) fear that their own behavior in high school and college, if known, could end their political careers; and (2) fury at any woman who dared to stand in the way of a white man getting what he wanted.

For a few minutes, Senator Jeff Flake exhibited a conscience, and a backbone, and there was hope that further investigation would tease out what even Republicans knew to be true but didn’t care about – that is, that in his earlier years, Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker who exhibited a lack of respect for women (which in turn suggested that he was very much the kind of guy who might assault a vulnerable young woman, especially if he was being egged on by a drunken buddy at the time). I think those same people understood that Kavanaugh had probably lied to the SJC, but they just didn’t care.

An investigation ensued. It appears to have been

woefully inadequate and limited. Many who alerted the FBI to information that would have been damaging to Kavanaugh never got a call back. People who perhaps could have provided greater clarity as to the cryptic content of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook entry were not interviewed. Who knows if the Safeway where Dr. Ford claims to have encountered Mark Judge several days after the assault was ever contacted.

The FBI issued its report at the same time as the man who ordered it mocked and derided Dr. Ford to audiences all too happy to laugh right along with him. GOP senators issued statements in which they inexplicably professed to finding Dr. Ford – who testified that she was “100% sure” that Kavanaugh had assaulted her – credible, but nonetheless concluded that Kavanaugh had nothing to do with whatever had happened all those years ago.

In the court of public opinion, women called Ford either a brave hero or a dim-witted puppet of the Democratic political machinery. Those who supported Kavanaugh justified his TTEP (temper tantrum of epic proportion) before the SJC as understandable given what he and his family had so unfairly endured. Kavanaugh’s experience as a Supreme Court nominee even became a rallying cry for the #hetoo movement, and we as a nation were actually asked to commiserate with men who would now, in the context of their sexual encounters, have to exercise caution and endure the disbelief of strangers in the event that an allegation of rape was later advanced.

For a few hours on Friday, it seemed possible that Kavanaugh would not be confirmed, but as Senators Flake, Collins, and Manchin made their politically-motivated intentions known, the awful truth finally and mercilessly registered in my brain and was indelibly imprinted on my hippocampus, or whatever part of the brain records forever the twin emotions of grief and despair.

As I watched Collins’ floor speech with two of my daughters and the mother who raised me to be a nasty woman, I felt myself on the verge of tears. This was going to happen. There was nothing left to do. Protests and fury were futile. Once again, those in power chose to disregard what is more likely than not true, in order to accomplish a political gain.

I have never been sadder by what seems to be happening to our country. There appear to be no consequences for the outrageous behavior of the well-heeled and powerful, and women, when they confront men on their bad behavior, will be believed only when the experiences of those who are accused of wrongful conduct cannot somehow be used to advance the political goals of those in power.

That’s why no man in government cared that Harvey Weinstein or Les Moonves or even Roger Ailes were ousted from positions of great power following evidence that they had sexually assaulted or harassed women, because those men, and the things they were accused of doing, could not be twisted into a sound byte which would support their political agendas. It was easy to pay lip service to the to the #metoo movement, or, better still, to invoke their status as father, son, husband or brother to a woman who deserved to be treated with respect.

I have no idea what comes next, or if I can even stomach any continued involvement in or painstaking scrutiny over what happens in the hallowed halls of government. I don’t know that I can keep watching, and exhorting, and screaming about the blatant injustice that happens virtually every day in the Era of Trump.

What I do know, if I know anything at all, is that during the summer of 1982, two very drunken young men tried to rape a 15 year old woman. One of those men has acknowledged in print, and in unflinching detail, to his “wasted” youth, including the inebriated exploits of one “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” a name too conveniently similar to the manner in which Kavanaugh referred to himself in those days to be a coincidence.

The other man will now sit on our nation’s highest Court until he dies or decides to step down.

Thats what passes for “Justice,” in America, in 2018.

I Won’t Shut Up And You Shouldn’t Either

Called Senators Collins, Flake and Murkowski tonight. Had to leave voicemail. Hope they listened.

They won’t.

So. Here’s what we’ve learned…what we should know 27 years after Anita Hill, but probably still won’t have done anything about 27 years from now:

1. It would be worse for BK to not be confirmed than that a victim of sexual assault be believed.

2. There is no end to how gullible some women are, and how easily manipulated they can be. As an example, here are a few things that were said to me BY WOMEN when I attempted to have a measured, peaceful conversation with those who support BK:

“Ford is a stupid Valley Girl” (NB.. she has a Ph.D. In neuroscience, and I don’t think you even know what a hippocampus is)

“Those Dems are lying sacks of shit”

“36 years she’s lying. If something happened she would have said something. She’s a liar.”

“Wendy, you’re mentally ill.”

“Wendy, you’re passive aggressive.”

“Wendy, you don’t know anything about the law or BK.”

“I read Kavanaugh’s opinions except I didn’t actually read his opinions I just said that to sound like I form my own opinions based upon empirical data but I’m lying and how dare you actually read his opinions and tell me what they say!! “

3. Mark Judge wrote a book that discussed the drunken debauchery of “Bart O’Kavanaugh.” BK wrote a letter about BEACH WEEK LETS GET DRUNK AND PUKE ON EVERYTHING signed “Bart Kavanaugh” AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO ASK WHETHER HE LIED ABOUT HIS DRINKING. Because lying isn’t important.

4. Let’s write a letter to the WSJ trying to explain our insane, obnoxious behavior before SJC.

Wait…what? You want a do over???

That’s what you chose to say, you lunatic! On national television. You’re a federal judge, and that’s what you thought was the best face to put on your nomination???

(4(a): From the Republican members of the SJC: If you’re a white man who drank so much in college you just can’t remember how many women you assaulted…hey, we get it! We did that shit, too! God, how awful for you to have people challenging you on that!!! It’s OK, buddy!! Thoughts and prayers, BK. God, how you have suffered.)

5. Male. White. Straight. Christian. Western European. The rest of you, roll over, shut the fuck up, and wait to be penetrated. How dare you demand to be treated with dignity and respect.

6. “What goes around comes around.” Uh huh. Yes, it does. #2045iscomingwhiteboy

7. Justice = conducting a full investigation of anyone who could shed some light on whether or not BK is a serial drinking assaulter. Since he probs doesn’t remember.

8. Fuck those 1,000 law professors, the ABA, and Justice Stevens. What do they know? #trainingthenextgenerationoflawyers

9. Red State America say…FUCK THE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. Red State men say, women are vaginas. Red State women say, that’s okay and #idontneedfeminism

(But please watch me blinking in Morse Code to save me. Please. Also, he’s got 13 year old girls locked in a shed).

10. Wake the fuck up, America. Wake the FUCK UP.

Some Thoughts on Christianity and Our Faithless Leader

Although I believe that our current president is doing a woefully awful job and has engaged in conduct that warrants his ouster, I find all the coverage of his skirt chasing 15 years ago tiresome. Was there anyone out there who didn’t know he was an unfaithful degenerate who would sleep with anything that moved (particularly one with enormous breasts and dubious career choices)? Is anyone truly surprised to learn that he routinely cheated on his third wife, when the New York Post covered every sleazy detail of the affair that ended his first marriage (remember “best sex I ever had”?) Can you credibly say that you’re shocked to hear that he engaged in unprotected intercourse with both a Playboy Playmate and a porn star?

Of course not. And sure, perhaps there were payoffs that violated federal election laws (not to mention, depending upon whom you believe, the lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct). But whether or not he had sex with these women (he did) has nothing to do with whether or not he’s fit to lead (he isn’t), and it’s a topic that we as a nation have no standing to judge – that right belongs exclusively to his wife, who entered into a marriage with a pig, knowing full well that he was a pig, likely because being married to a pig was an acceptable trade-off for the lifestyle that said marriage would afford her.

So, until there’s proof that these assignations and the non-disclosure agreements that followed can be linked to illegal behavior – and I love Anderson Cooper as much as the next person – enough.

Here’s what IS worth discussing: The deafening silence of “Christians” who can’t figure out how to condemn this piece of crap without taking their foot off the Anti Abortion gas pedal. They know he admitted to assaulting women. They know he’s been accused of assault by almost a dozen others over two decades. They know that he’s about as much of a Christian as I am an Australian sheep farmer, but so single-minded are they in their quest to end legal abortion that they will twist themselves into a constrictor knot trying to apologize for his behavior.

They say it happened years ago (it likely continued right up to the point that he was too much in the public eye to be able to get away with it). They say he is a “changed man” (though there is no evidence whatsoever that he has). They say they believe in the redeeming power of God to forgive, and that only God can judge (unless, of course, you’re talking about a politician who supports a woman’s right to choose).

Here’s the thing, Party of Family Values: If you’re going to embrace the president as a beacon of ethics or moral leadership, you don’t EVER get to condemn any politician or celebrity or sports figure or whatever for not conforming to your so-called “Christian values,” because you’ve already demonstrated that the only “value” you care about is ending legal abortion. Whether or not that’s a worthy goal is an argument for another day, but stop pretending to be the standard bearer for what’s right and what’s wrong in the eyes of Christ.

I know plenty of “Christians,” and I know plenty of people who have at the center of everything they do or say love of and devotion to Christ and his teachings. The latter have made it their life’s work to walk in His path to be of service to the poor, the sick, the homeless, the discouraged. They live their faith, they know they are imperfect, and they are guided by humble, loving hearts that teach tolerance, forgiveness and social justice. And yeah, I can’t read their minds or see into their hearts, but I CAN see what they do and listen to what they say.

Every one of this latter group of people is deeply troubled by the arrogance, self-aggrandizing, tyrannical power junkie that holds our nation’s highest office. While they, too, may wish for a day when Roe v. Wade is overturned, they recognize the contemporaneous and urgent needs of children living in poverty, our obligation to preserve the environment so that people will be able to continue to live on Earth for the foreseeable future, and that being “pro life” means you also have condemn the death penalty. They also refuse to swallow the wholesale bullshit pedaled by Evangelical leaders that Donald Trump is a good Christian (note to said leaders…would you actually suggest that your congregation follow his example?)

Stop pretending that our president (it still pains me to refer to him in that capacity) is anything other than what he is: A morally bankrupt carnival barker who gathered a fearful, ignorant base of people who see diversity as a threat and education and knowledge as the enemy. A man who will embrace any organization, regardless of agenda, so long as it can be easily manipulated into supporting him.

How long, “Christian” Trump supporters, will you continue to support him? Because you’d better believe that if NARAL or NOW could offer up a similar number of mindless sheep who could as easily be hoodwinked into buying into his agenda (which boils down to amassing as much power and unquestioning fealty as he can), his next Supreme Court nominee would make William Brennan look like the leader of the Federalist Society. The only way he’s been permitted to get away with a systematic dismantling of our government and the rule of law is your silence and complicity. And to those who have criticized me for my anti-Trump posts, yes, I mean you and all whom you purport to speak for.

Being a Christian means having respect for all people, including women. It means leaping to service to help those in need. It means a deeply committed love for one’s fellow man, regardless of color, race or creed (which will probably come in handy when White Christians are the minority in this country, a time which is coming in the not-too-distant future). It means loving God with all your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength. It’s about humility and compassion. And if you don’t want to take it from me, a devout agnostic, take it from the New Testament, because that’s what Christ and his followers who wrote is had to say. I’ve read it. Trump supporters, have you?

I don’t care who he slept with, and when I listen to Karen Mcdougal or stormy Daniels, mostly what I feel is sad. When I think of the president’s young son, and what he is surely exposed to on a regular basis despite what I suspect are the best efforts of his mother, I am sadder still. None of this really matters, though, unless you’re a right wing Christian conservative trying to convince The American public that Donald J Trump is good man devoted to the teachings of Christ who acknowledges any “higher power” than himself.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Peace.

More Bad News for Catholics

I see a lot of “Christians” Biblesplaining on FB how we need to go easy on the Catholic church and its century-long history of making children available to pedophiles like an Old Country Buffet restaurant, because, God. Also, Jesus.

I’ve read people – good Catholics, mind you – blame the rampant pedophilia and victimization of children on the fact that lots of men who enter the priesthood are gay. You know. Because “gay” equals “pedophile.” Yeah, it’s the same thing. Except that millions of gay people who AREN’T priests manage to live their lives without anally violating little boys.

Other people of God suggest that it was a lack of understanding that raping children was…wrong. Can you cite for me a single era in history where forcing children to fellate grown men was an acceptable part of daily life?

The Catholic church has since its inception attempted to keep its people ignorant, obedient, docile, and silent. It told its people that its priests were Jesus on earth, placed them on a pedestal of unquestionable moral authority and sealed the deal by deeming the pope “infallible” – essentially God on earth.

That’s how it’s possible for a grown man to sodomize a young boy so badly that he suffered injury to his spinal column, with zero repercussions to the perpetrator.

All in the name of the Bible which the church has made every effort to insure its people don’t actually read.

But if they did, they might want to take a look at Matthew 18:6 for starters, then mosey on over to Luke 17:1-2, or maybe just take in the overarching import of the Gospels in which Jesus essentially says, “DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE AND TREAT PEOPLE AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED.”

But if you like to be raped by men who think they are above the law, by all means, go for it.

It is abundantly evident to any sentient being that those who are twisting themselves into knots attempting to defend the Catholic church are frightened to their very marrow that their church cannot withstand any challenge to its moral authority and that any endeavor to investigate its conduct must be stopped in its tracks lest the church be shown to have engaged in an ongoing, knowing, decades long cover up of the most horrifying and in-Christian of conduct.

Pope Francis has made no comment. The church has been largely silent, although some bishop from Indiana did tell CNN this morning that he’s personally devastated to learn that people he trusted turned out to be such villains. I feel so bad for him. He also thinks it’s too early to really do anything because the church doesn’t really have all the information, even though it apparently knew of these crimes as they happened and actively worked to keep the truth from coming to light.

There are good Catholics who love God and live Christ’s teachings. There are others who love the church because they need someone else to do their thinking for them and are terrified that if they question the church’s teachings, they will be doomed to spend eternity in hell.

The problem is, most of the latter think they are the former.

No one should ever presume to know the contents of another’s heart, but in this case, the clergy of many Pennsylvania dioceses have, by their actions, told us all we need to know about the value they placed upon the lives of children. But, then again, the church has never cared about the lives of children AFTER they are born…only before, and only as a means of exerting control over women in order to keep them so busy raising children they don’t have time to think about the fact that the church considers them second-class citizens, and for the purpose of growing its ranks.

Catholics should be outraged and should demand accountability. Most probably won’t, though some may quietly leave. The church should be very worried, but in its arrogance it simply trots out the same nonsense.

No one is above the law. I’m guessing that Jesus doesn’t approve of child rape. Wake up, Catholic church. Wake up.

Badly Done

While I’m normally as happy as a White Supremacist at a Klan rally anytime there appears to be credible, first-hand evidence of just how loathsome and unqualified our current president truly is, for me, the NYT Op-Ed went too far.

It’s not just the fact that unelected, unknown staffers are directing policy (albeit in the purported service of national security); indeed, the unattributed essay effectively suggests – and the soon-to-be released Woodward book certainly concludes – that there has been a “soft coup,” and that despite his blather, Trump’s power has been largely diluted by a handful of unidentified aides who, even more so than their boss, would appear to above the law.

It’s not even so much that the article was published without attribution, although that fact alone calls into question the motive, veracity, and moral conviction of the author. If one is going to speak out, I say, have the courage of your convictions and be willing to accept any fallout that may ensue. It’s difficult, moreover, to come to any firm conclusions about whether the author is entitled to our respect or our condemnation given that there’s no context in which to evaluate the behavior.

I can even tolerate the self-congratulation and martyrdom implicit in the Op-Ed, suggesting as it does that the auhor and his weary band of patriots are all that stand between our country and certain annihilation. I’ll even overlook the craven, obvious attempt to appeal to both Conservative Republicans (“Look! We’re actually carrying out the agenda you elected him to enact, except he won’t”) AND Liberal Dems (“Yeah, we think he’s a train wreck, too. #resist”).

What I can’t forgive, for starters, is that the author has now published to the enter world a portrait of chaos well beyond what even the most cynical and outraged of us could ever have imagined, and in so doing, has potentially placed our country at risk by exposing that we are, at present, a rudderless ship filled with people who hate each other.

Does the rest of the world know that Donald Trump is a petty, impulsive, uninformed, sociopath? Of course. Before today, however, they probably didn’t know that our country is now being run by nameless, faceless men and women who answer to no one. If that doesn’t suggest a country in crisis, I don’t know what does.

I’m not suggesting that Trump shouldn’t be held accountable for his pervasive incompetence and poor judgment, but there is a right way to do things, and there are processes in place to address Trump’s myriad deficiencies. There’s impeachment, if the Mueller probe turns up sufficient evidence of misdeeds, and there’s the 25th Amendment, which the cabinet would apparently entertain if there were evidence and an appetite to unseat a sitting president.

There are also two houses of Congress, replete with committees, that have the power to investigate executive wrongdoing, though, admittedly, the neither Mitch McConnell nor Paul Ryan (nor any Republican Congressman seeking re-election, really) would seem inclined to break ties with the president…at least not before the midterms. Still, one wonders whether, if a “high-ranking adminstrative official” approached Congress with documented evidence of Trump’s lack of fitness (and sanity), someone might take action.

It seems as though their could have been a more productive manner in which to address the Trump Problem, because, when you think about it, what does this Op-Ed accomplish but to stoke ever more discord and uncertainty? What are we, as a nation, to do with this information?

At it’s best, the article informs all Americans – and the rest of the world, too – that the White House is in freefall. It proposes no solutions and offers no hope that anything is going to change. It’s beyond dispute, moreover, that the essay places our country in a weaker position geopolitically and further polarizes our already polarized country.

What’s most concerning- to me, anyway – is the staggering hypocrisy – and arrogance – inherent in the article. The author calls out Trump for being a tyrannical despot who believes himself to be utterly unaccountable, and yet, what is the author and his cohorts but precisely that? We don’t know who they are or what they’re doing, we have no information about their agenda, and we have no ablity to check their actions – because we don’t know who they are, or what they’re doing. Trust me, the author exhorts us. We know what we’re doing. Don’t worry your pretty little heads about what’s happening behind th scenes.

But isn’t that same unbridled exercise of unchecked power the very thing that the author is railing against in Trump (aside from his pettiness, lack of intellect, and impulsivity)? He or she purports, by means of secretive actions the public will never know about, to curb the dictatorial streak Trump would let loose if he could, by acting like – well, a dictator. Stated differently, if you oppose Trump for being a power-mad despot, you can’t logically or credibly support those who would attempt to undermine and subvert the democratic process by which the people select their leaders.

But here’s the worst part of it all – the thing that sticks in my craw: It’s a pretty good bet that whoever wrote that article was a Trump True Believer way back when, someone who was on board from the start or else hopped on the Trump Train when it became politically expedient to do so. This person may have campaigned for him, may have been a factor in Trump’s getting elected.

At the very least, we know that this person was aware of serious concerns as to Trump’s fitness practically from Day One, but instead of going through proper and well-established channels to address those concerns, determined that a small group of unelected individuals should essentially take over the executive branch indefinitely, and unbeknownst to the entire country which, by the way, is not how a democracy is supposed to work.

And so, the very person who has finally decided to blow the lid on what’s really going on in the West Wing, the person who apparently knows better than anyone else, the person who wants us to believe he/she alone can save the country if only we will continue to look the other way, is very likely one of the same peoplewho helped put Trump in the Oval Office in the first place. To my mind, anyone who seriously thought that Trump was a good choice to run our country is the last person who should be running it for him.

Badly done, Anonymous.