Twelve Things I Learned from Pope Benedict XIV (Or, Benny Fourteen Explains it All)

Pope Benedict XIV recently published an essay…/full-text-of-benedict-… in which he attempts to explain the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Here’s what he came up with:

1. Teaching kids about sex education in the 1960’s lead to widespread violent porn that led to “mental collapse” which turned everyone into crazy sex perverts and also resulted in pedophilia being considered “allowable and appropriate.” (Hmmm…I must have missed that day in Criminal Law when they talked about how pedophilia is legal and all).

2. Vatican II did away with the concept of good versus bad and said that any assessment of behavior should be based upon “relative value judgments.” (Really?! Geez, most of the priests I ever heard sermonize were pretty clear about what they thought was good and bad, and pretty much EVERYTHING was bad).

3. Pope John Paul II (whom Michael likes to refer to as “J2P2”) tried to reverse that concept by coming out solidly in support of the idea that some shit is just evil, but no one listened, especially in the United States (sorry, Americans!)

4. The Church is the only entity capable of determining what is good and what is evil (sorry, Jews and Muslims!).

5. Since some people just won’t accept that FACT, however, the Church had to keep quiet about STUFF THAT’S EVIL, and this why they didn’t do anything WHEN THEY FOUND OUT THAT THEIR PRIESTS WERE RAPING CHILDREN (thanks for harshing our buzz, all you non-Catholics!)

6. Also, martyrdom is necessary and important. (Think of how all those pedophile priests have helped advance this cause!)

7. Allowing young men who are training to be priests to have regular contact with married couples and families with kids makes it hard for them to be committed to a celibate life and turns them gay. Showing them porn in an effort to desensitize their sexuality also turns them gay. Not letting them read the books Pope Benedict XIV wrote during his career? Also made otherwise heterosexual priests-in-training gay.

8. Pedophilia among the priesthood wasn’t really a problem until the 1980’s. (Note to PBXIV: You might want to read the Pennsylvania AG report, which showed widespread abuse within Commonwealth dioceses dating as far back as the 1930’s – and that’s just ONE state in ONE country. I’ll send you a copy. Trust me – it’s a hoot!)

9. Making sure accused priests were guaranteed some degree of due process under Canon Law made it impossible to convict them of any crimes. (Just like guaranteeing those accused under American law has made it impossible to convict anyone of any crime, which is why our prisons are empty).

10. When people aren’t religious, children get molested (ergo, if everyone were religious, there would be no pedophilia).

11. The only way you can understand the difference between good and evil is if you are a Christian. If you’re not, you have no standards of good or evil, you have no truth, and your life is meaningless. (That may explain why I shoot everyone who doesn’t agree with me, steal whatever I can get my hands on, and am addicted to opioids – oh, wait, not the last bit).

12. Back before World War II, Germany was a good Christian country, but now it isn’t. (Imagine what a non-Christian World War II Germany might have done to the Jewish population?)

So, to summarize:

Germany was a God-fearing, Christian country that enabled their leader to slaughter six million Jews and six million gays, disabled people, Poles, Gypsies, professors, socialists, and other undesirables. Then in the 1960’s, they showed kids porn and said nothing was evil, which turned priests gay, and, necessarily, pedophiles. Also, the United States.

And here I thought it was because the opportunity to exercise ultimate moral authority over those who, for centuries, have been inculcated to be mindless sheep might be especially appealing to someone who wanted ready access to children whose parents would trust them implicitly.

So, in order to stop abuse by the Catholic clergy, all of us have to turn Catholic, and do whatever the priests tell us.

That seems reasonable.

Thank you, Pope Benedict XIV. We are forever in your debt.

Gun Values

May 23, 2018

Little Mommy always encouraged us to think. We spent time as a family talking about issues at the dinner table. We were expected to participate. Since we were not allowed to leave the table until we ate all our vegetables, Little Mommy served Brussels sprouts at least once a week. Because Brussels sprouts SUCK, and everyone HATES THEM. So, Little Mommy served them at dinner. So we would linger. And talk. And listen. And think. And grow consciences.

The tradition continues.

Tonight at dinner, my daughter, only a year removed from being a high school student in America, expressed how it feels to be living in a country where gun rights are more important than the lives of students who cannot yet vote. “I was born in this country and have lived here all my life,” she said, “but it doesn’t feel like a country that values my life.”


We told her to blog, to get involved, to connect with Parkland students. We told her to get active, to get out the vote.

We hope she will.

But, hey, all Americans who don’t have to walk into a United States school…guess what? This is what it feels like to be a young adult in the USA. Gun violence? Active shooter? It could happen any day. It could happen tomorrow, in any school, anywhere. It probably will. These are YOUR KIDS. This is their reality. Every. Single. Day.

If we adults thought there was a chance that we’d be shot at just for entering our workplace each morning, we wouldn’t tolerate it. Things would change. We’d elect different leaders.

If an armed gunman could walk into the chambers of Congress, do you think our lawmakers would have a second thought about whether the Second Amendment should be the sacred cow to which there can be no reasonable or legitimate opposition? From the Latin…NFW.

These children who have become cannon fodder for the NRA can’t vote. Until they’re on the verge of graduation, they have no voice. So they live in a world where they have to go someplace, every day, because it’s the law, and hope they don’t get shot at.

“Why are guns more important than the lives of people who can’t even vote?” my daughter asked, in tears.

I had no answers.

When guns are more important than lives, we have become a morally bankrupt society.

Keep Your Deeply Held Religious Beliefs Off My Body

June 25, 2018

After giving birth to her first child, Nicole Mone Arteaga suffered a number of miscarriages. When she recently became pregnant again, her doctor monitored her carefully on a weekly basis; at 9 weeks, however, she learned that, tragically, the baby was not developing, that there was no heartbeat, and that the pregnancy would not result in a live birth. She was offered the option of an invasive surgical procedure or a prescription medication that would allow her to resolve the pregnancy at home, and which was likely less expensive and less medically risky. She discussed the matter with her physician, who ultimately issued an prescription for an “abortion drug.”

Ms. Arteaga did not want an “abortion,” and this pregnancy was no longer viable – no beating heart, no living fetus. She was heartbroken, because she had wanted this baby very much. But since there was nothing else to be done, she went to Walgreen’s to fill the prescription, aware that it would induce painful uterine contractions that would cause her body to expel a pregnancy she desperately wished to keep.

When she went to collect her prescription from Walgreen’s, the pharmacist on duty refused to fill it because of his “deeply held religious beliefs.” He expressed those “deeply held religious beliefs” to Ms. Arteaga, in front of other store customers and Ms. Arteaga’s 7 year old son. Ms. Aretaga attempted to explain her situation to him, but the pharmacist refused to budge.

Eventually, Ms. Arteaga was able to fill her prescription at another Walgreen’s store and then went home to complete her miscarriage. Walgreen’s has commented that, under Arizona law (and that of five other states), a pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription when doing so would violate “deeply held religious beliefs,” but that the pharmacist must then step away and allow the prescription to be filled by another employee. That did not happen in this case, and Walgreen’s was appropriately apologetic to Ms. Arteaga for the conduct of its employee.

Everything I just wrote is a fact.

Here’s my take:

The pharmacist in this story thought his right to live his “deeply held religious beliefs” was more important than Ms. Arteaga’s right to fill a legal prescription ordered by a medical doctor.

He believed that his “deeply held religious beliefs” entitled him to violate Walgreen’s policy and Arizona law.

He believed that he had a right to impose his “deeply held religious beliefs” upon a customer who, through no fault of her own, was in need of a prescription medication.

He believed that his refusal to serve a customer who was understandably distraught over losing a pregnancy was consistent with his “deeply held religious beliefs,” none of which, it would seem, include the value of compassion.

He believed that HIS interpretation of his “deeply held religious beliefs” required Ms. Arteaga to, oh, I don’t know, continue the pregnancy until it ultimately terminated itself, with whatever medical risk that may have involved.

It is bad enough that this moron determined that his “deeply held religious beliefs” trumped Ms. Arteaga’s own motives, ethics and values – about which he made unfounded and inaccurate assumptions; what’s equally atrocious is that he also attempted to override the professional judgment of her physician.

Last time I checked, pharmacists don’t hold medical degrees. They don’t examine their customers, take medical histories, lay hands on them, or have discussions with them about treatment options.

Do they have to know something aboue medicine and physiology? Of course. But they aren’t physicians, and this particular pharmacist did not know whether or not there may have been extenuating circumstances which would have ruled out a D & C or a natural conculsion to the pregnancy because, guess what?


I find it outrageous that this pharmacist thought his “deeply held religious beliefs” entitled him to override not only the judgment of someone who had ACTUALLY BEEN TO MEDICAL SCHOOL, but also to determine that it was his right to decide for Ms. Arteaga how she should deal with her dead fetus. That she, too, may have had “deeply held religious beliefs” about abortion was something he apparently never considered, nor, apparently, did it trouble him that shis prescription was not being filled for the purpose of terminating a viable pregnancy (thought it was none of his business in the first place whether it was or not) but, rather, to bring to a final conclusion what had already happened.

It is outrageous that some in this country believe that their “deeply held religious beliefs” are morally superior to the “deeply held beliefs” of those who may not agree with them.

It is outrageous that those same people believe that their “deeply held religious beliefs” entitle them make decisions for the rest of the world, including by refusing them access to healthcare.

This country was founded upon the principals of religious freedom, including the freedom to espouse viewpoints different from those purportedly held by some asshole pharmacist working at Walgreen’s.

And guess what else? Just because you call them “deeply held religious beliefs” doesn’t mean that I have to bow to them, or that they’re “right.” It just means that they’re yours.

I’ve never had a miscarriage, but I know plenty of women who have. Most of them were extremely excited to learn that they were pregnant, did everything they could to maximize the chances for a healthy pregnancy, and were heartbroken when they learned that the pregnancy had terminated. Those who miscarried spontaneously have described the pain and the emotional trauma of their experiences, which for many required them to retrieve the “products of conception” and deliver them to their doctors in order to make sure the miscarriage was complete.

Others learned that their pregnancy was over on the ultrasound table, and were sent home to await the miscarriage or undergo a painful medical procedure which has risks of its own. I don’t know which would be worse. What I do know is that each and every woman who has ever told me about a miscarriage – whether she has gone on to have more or other children – was deeply traumatized to lose a baby she very much wanted to parent, and the pain is still there even years later.

Bottom line, Mr. Walgreen’s Pharmacist? Ms. Arteaga came to you for a prescription she never wanted to have to fill, knowing from past experience that the process awaiting her after she took said medication would be painful and traumatic. Your response was to get up on your deeply held religious high horse, buttressed by the smug self-satisfaction of someone who has exactly ZERO understanding of what is like to be pregnant, or to lose a child to miscarriage.

Because I was curious, I looked up whether or not pharmacists take an oath with regard to the discharging of their duties; turns out, they do, and it includes, as the very first item, way at the tippy top of the list, the following:

“I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.”

Looks like, in addition to Walgreen’s policy and Arizona law, this guy also violated his oath as a pharmacist. I guess the “welfare of humanity” and the “relief of suffering” are irrelevant in the face of one’s “deeply held religious beliefs.”

I also guess that those “deeply held religious beliefs” do not include the basic concept of “don’t be a fucking asshole.”

Zero Tolerance

June 20, 2018

Listened to an interview with the acting director of ICE last night. He, and many Trump supporters, say it is manipulative to focus on the impact of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy – children being ripped from their parents’ arms, toddlers crying, etc. – and that the only people to blame for what is currently happening on our southern border is the parents who put their children in this position in the first place.

Spoken like white people of enormous privilege.

You have to ask yourself, how bad would your life have to be for you to leave your home, your homeland, your family, pretty much your entire life, equipped only with whatever you could carry and whatever money you were able to scrape together, to make a perilous journey across hundreds of miles – some or most of them on foot – knowing that you could be the victim of crime, that you may or may not have regular access to food or clean water along the way, and that when you finally reached your destination, you could be turned away, arrested, or jailed?

And even if you were one of the lucky ones who was granted asylum, you now have to start over from scratch with nothing but whatever assistance available from the government and the scorn and racism of people who think our country should be as lily-white as it was after we exterminated indigenous Americans and before we imported slave labor from Africa to do the jobs white people didn’t want to do?

How bad would life have to be for someone to decide, “trying to get to America, even though fraught with hardship and danger, is better than what it’s like to live under my present circumstances?”

Most Americans take for granted the relative stability, opportunity, and resources we enjoy. We have no clue what it’s like to live in a “shithole” country where there are no civil rights or guarantees of safety and order, but I have a feeling that it won’t be too much longer before we do.

Finally, for those who feel the need to consult the Bible on this one, here’s a nice passage from Luke:

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

The Reluctant Ranter


October 13, 2017

There’s a Billy Joel song that, for me, is a cautionary warning about the dangers of indulging one’s frustration about all that’s wrong with the world. The song is called “The Angry Young Man,” and the pertinent lyrics go like this:

I believe I’ve passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage
I found that just surviving was a noble fight
I once believed in causes too
I had my pointless point of view
And life went on no matter who was wrong or right

And there’s always a place for the angry young man
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand
And he’s never been able to learn from mistakes
So he can’t understand why his heart always breaks
But his honor is pure and his courage as well
And he’s fair and he’s true and he’s boring as hell
And he’ll go to the grave as an angry old man

To be precise, the things about which the Angry Young Man is, well, angry, may have more to do with what seems like a fundamental lack of maturity, personal accountability, and insight, but there’s also a sense that the Angry Young Man may have some legitimate concerns about our culture and society, the Establishment, the military industrial complex, and probably the tax code, too. If you’ve ever met me (or are a Facebook friend), you can probably see how I, who can’t seem to stop posting and blogging about the Moron in Chief and his cadre of scalliwags, might be a little bit concerned that I’m boring as hell and slated to go to my grave as an Angry Old Woman.
Which makes me ask myself, from time to time, “Wendy, why do you do this? Is it possible that your time could be better spent learning how to make hand-milled soap or growing heirloom tomatoes?”

Today is one of those days.

See, I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “gee, I hope I see something on social media, or hear something on the news, that pisses me off so that I can rant about it on Facebook!” In fact, when I learn of yet another idiotic screed by Captain Toilet Tweet, or I find out just how truly vile certain Hollywood producers have been for twenty years and no one said anything, or that the Secretary of Education is more concerned about men being unjustly accused of rape (happens in 5% of all reported cases) as opposed to the women who are actually getting raped (the other 95%), what I feel is mostly the kind of weariness I associate with knowing I have to clean out the refrigerator because (1) someone spilled a soda in there three months ago and everything’s sticky; (2) there is not one square inch of free space left; and (3) it smells nasty.

I know when I see that article or hear that sound bite on the radio that it’s going to work on me for hours – days, even; so much I what I read and hear anymore is devoid of any verifiable factual support, is rife with false equivalencies, and is fundamentally flawed from a logic/causality perspective. At times, it’s not even the point being argued that drives me crazy, it’s the fact that the person arguing it has the subtlety of a car alarm and the insight of a drill press. Few things push my shrill button like logical inconsistency or disingenuousness, so there’s a lot to keep me busy. I don’t have the time to write about half the things that make me want to throw my shoes at the wall really, really hard, and that’s frustrating, but actually doing the writing is a laborious process, one I don’t really have time for. It requires a singularity of focus that my life does not routinely accommodate, usually involves some research, and seriously eats into my Milano and Koala Video Habit. So, I’m not doing this because it’s fun.

I’m also not doing it because I think I’m going to change anyone’s mind – indeed, those who have access to my Facebook feed and whose minds I like to change don’t read my posts (as their 28th Amendment right-to-ignore-shit-on-the-internet-that-doesn’t-conform-to-my- ideological- worldview permits them to do). I don’t write because I think I’m brilliant or necessarily have anything new to say, or because I’m hoping or some other online magazine will read my columns and say, “We want to offer you $17 million to write for us, and we’ll pay for the Milanos.”

No, I write because I can’t NOT write. I just can’t help it, whether it’s our president suggesting, just a few weeks after Hurricane Maria rolled through and leveled the island of Puerto Rico, that its residents (most of whom still don’t have electricity or easy access to clean water) don’t deserve the same level of federal support assistance as their brothers and sisters on the mainland (including those who were hit by Katrina and are – appropriately – still receiving FEMA aid 12 years later); whether it’s the same president who criticized President Obama for his use of executive orders even as he himself has signed twice as many EO’s within the same time period (most of which have terrifying implications for our environment, our neediest citizens, our national safety, and our ability to rely upon the support of former allies who are shaking their heads in disgust). When I view some of the staggeringly absurd (and, usually, atrociously spelled) memes that others post in support of their morally indefensible views; when people who probably couldn’t give you a single accurate piece of information about any war that’s ever been fought by our country but cling to the notion that kneeling during the national anthem is anti-military; when ENOUGH PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO CLAIM TO STAND FOR “FAMILY VALUES” VOTED FOR A MAN WHO CHEATED ON HIS FIRST WIFE WITH HIS SECOND, WHO HE LATER DIVORCED; MOCKS DISABLED PEOPLE; AND ADMITTED HE HAD SEXUALLY ASSAULTED WOMEN, well, sorry, man. I can’t let that go.

I think a lot about whether scratching the itch is worth it. I’ve no doubt lost friends over the positions I’ve taken, and I’ve probably annoyed a lot of people that I’m related to by blood or marriage. I’m sure there are plenty who have un-followed me, although I do seem to have a small, loyal, deeply troubled group of friends who cheer me on in my effort to eradicate ignorance and stupidity.

The thing is, I’m not someone who is ever going to run for office. The only time I have ever occupied any position of power was when my kids were too small to know better, which lasted for approximately 3 ½ hours. I’ve never marched in a protest – I know I should, but I’m a person who doesn’t do well in large crowds or in situations where easy access to restrooms is not guaranteed. I’d like to be someone who marches with a sign and adds my physical mass and presence to a cause, or who is prominent enough to speak at such events (if you’re a speaker, you can probably find a bathroom when you need it), or who will ever have the kind of voice, or audience, that would have the potential to make people think twice, if only for a moment. I would argue that even if you don’t like what Nicholas Kristof or George Will may have to say, it’s impossible to argue that they don’t say it spectacularly well, and maybe – just maybe – if something is said brilliantly enough, someone, someday, just may change their mind.

I’m no Kristof or Will (the latter of whom I have been reading since I was ten and regularly devoured his column in Newsweek, even if I didn’t always understand it), but if I do nothing else in my life besides draft motions for summary judgment and take depositions of car accident victims, I’d like to think that I’ve added something to the dialogue. When I die, moreover, I will have a legacy of blogs about swimsuit models and racism and HGTV and why it’s sort of a dick move to spray paint swastikas on school busses, and I am hopeful that this example of pointing out hypocrisy, ignorance, or really, really poor voting choices may spur my daughters to be equally vocal when people act like assholes.

Many have said that no one has ever changed their mind because of something they read on Facebook.

As long as I have fingers to type, we’ll see about that.

The List

Updated 12/15/17


Donald Trump (45th President)

Bill Clinton (42nd President)

George H.W. Bush (41st President)

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)

Rep. Blake Fahrenholt (R-Texas)

Don Shooter, Arizona House

Raul Bocanegra, California Assemblyman

Tony Mendoza, California Senate

Steve Lebsock, Colorado House

Paul Rosenthal, Colorado House

Randy Baumgartner, Colorado Senate

Jack Tate, Colorado Senate

Jack Latvala, Florida Senate

Ira Silverstein, Illinois Senate

Dan Kirby, Kansas Senate

Jeff Hoover, Kentucky House

Dan Johnson, Kentucky House

Julian Carroll, Kentucky Senate

Tony Cornish, Minnesota House

Dan Schoen, Minnesota Senate

Joshua Peters, Missouri House

John Diehl, Speaker, Missouri House

Paul LeVota, Missouri Senate

Eric Schleien, New Hamphire House

Mark Menendo, Nevada Senate

Ruben Kihuen, Nevada Senate

Cliff Hite, Ohio Senate

Wes Goodman, Ohio House

Will Fourkiller, Oklahoma House

Ralph Shortey, Oklahoma Senate

Bryce Marlatt, Oklahoma Senate

David Gomberg, Oregon House

Jeff Kruse, Oregon Senate

Matthew Wollman, South Dakota House

Brian Gosch, South Dakota House

Mark Lovell, Tennessee House

Jeremy Durham, Tennessee House

Brendan Williams, Washington House

Clarence Thomas, United States Supreme Court

Roy Moore (Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Alabama; former member of Alabama Supreme Court)

Alex Kozinski, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Andrew Capone, New York State Court

Rafael Ovalles, Rhode Island State Court

Thomas Estes, Massachusetts State Court

Richard Roberts, Federal Court

Ronald Duebbert, Illinois State Court

Hassan El-Amin, Maryland State Court

Timothy Parker, Arkansas State Court

George W. Huss, Montana State Court

John Caruso, Connecticut State Court

Bob Filner, Former Mayor of San Diego



Harvey Weinstein, Producer

Roy Price, Producer, Amazon Studios

Andrew Kreisberg, Television Producer

Peter Aalbaek Jensen, Producer

Gary Goddard, Producer

Adam Fields, Producer

Morgan Spurlock, Producer

Matthew Weiner, Television Producer

John Lassiter, PIXAR

Chris Savino, Creator, “The Loud House”

Matt Weiner, Creator, “Mad Men”

Roman Polanski, Director

Lars Von Trier, Director

Oliver Stone, Director

James Toback, Director

Brett Ratner, Director

Kevin Spacey, Actor

Ben Affleck, Actor

George Takei, Actor

Jeremy Piven, Actor

Casey Affleck, Actor

Ed Westwick, Actor

Jeffrey Tambour, Actor

Steven Seagall, Actor

Andy Dick, Actor

Dustin Hoffman, Actor

Richard Dreyfuss, Actor

Tom Sizemore, Actor

Garrison Keillor, Host, “A Prairie Home Companion,” NPR

Louis CK, Comedian

Bill Cosby, Comedian

Eddie Berganza Editor at DC Comics

Kirt Webster, Publicist

David Guillod, Agent

Carter Oosterhouse, HGTV



Russell Simmons, Music Producer

R. Kelly, Musician/Rapper

Matt Mondanile, Real Estate, Duck Tails

Alex Calder, Singer/Songwriter

Ethan Kath, Crystal Castles

Twiggy Ramirez, Marilyn Manson

Nelly, Musician/Rapper

The Gaslamp Killer, D/J and Producer

Heathcliff Beru , Music Publicist



Terry Richardson

Bruce Weber



Benjamin Genocchio, Artist

Israel Horovitz, Playwright

James Levine, Conductor, Metropolitan Opera of New York



Roger Ailes, Fox News

Bill O’Reilly, Fox News

Mark Halprin, MSNBC

Charlie Rose, CBS/PBS/Bloomberg

Glenn Thrush, New York Times

Ryan Lizza,The New Yorker

Michael Oreskes, NPR

Tavis Smiley, PBS

Hamilton Fish, The New Republic

Rick Najera, Diversity Showcase (CBS)

Knight Landesman, Artforum

Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic

Lockhart Steele, Vox Media

Ken Baker, E! News

Andy Signore, Defy Media

Stephen Blackwell, Billboard Magazine

Roger LaMay, NPR

Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone

Matt Zimmerman, NBC

Jimmy Soni, Huffington Post

Giuseppe Castellano, Penguin Random House

Matt Lauer, Anchor, “The Today Show,” NBC

Tom Ashbrook, Host, “On Point,” NPR


Warren Sapp, Former NFL Player, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Eric Weinberger, President, Bill Simmons Media Group

Marshall Faulk, Former NFL Player, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Ike Taylor, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Heath Evans, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Gregg Zaun, Television Analyst, MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Eric Davis

Warren Moon, Former NFL player and Radio Analyst for the Seattle Seahawks

Donovan McNabb, former NFL Quarterback

Jamie Horowitz, Former President of Fox Sports



John Besch

Bobby Flay

Mario Batali

Johnny Iuzzini

Ken Friedman



Steve Jurvetson (Business/Venture Capital)

Larry Nasser, US Gymnastics Doctor

Rape Liars

Scene I:

Woman: I was raped.
Man: Really?
Woman: Yeah. It was awful.
Man: Were you wearing something slutty? Were you drinking? Were you walking alone somewhere at night? Were you on a date and fooling around with the guy?
Woman: Why would you ask me that?
Man: So I can figure out if you’re telling the truth.
Woman: Well, I just told you what happened.
Man: Yeah, I need some evidence.
Woman: Why would I lie about that?
Man: To get attention and money. Also because some women have sex with a guy and then regret it but don’t want to admit it.

Scene II:

Man: Some asshole hit my car!
Woman: Really?
Man: Yeah. It was awful.
Woman: Was it a flashy car? Were you in a bad section of town? Did you do something to provoke someone? Are you sure you didn’t just back into something?
Man: Why would you ask me that?
Woman: So I can figure out if you’re telling the truth.
Man: Well, I just told you what happened.
Woman: Yeah, but I need some evidence.
Man: Why would I lie about that?
Woman: To commit insurance fraud. Also, because some guys are shitty drivers but don’t want to admit it.

Facebook Patriots and Other Scumbags

Hey, all you Facebook patriots…Maybe instead of all your righteous indignation that Colin Kaepernick has some issues with how Blacks are treated in this country, you could go donate blood, or read a book about the Civil Rights movement or by Ta-Nehisi Coates or Ralph Ellison or Elie Wiesel (look it up), or, really, any book with words and sentences, or maybe take your kids to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. so they can learn what happens when you demonize people based upon their race or religion in order to feel better about the fact that you’re an underachieving loser who thought you were entitled to pretty much everything simply because you were born white.

Or maybe you could actually go visit a veteran of war and ask them what they think about their military experience, what it meant in their lives, how it changed them, and how they feel about being commandeered by narrow-minded, low information voters through craven, pandering memes, in the name of “patriotism”?

Last summer, I spent quite a lot of time with my Dad (West Point Class of 1955, 25 years in the military, a whole host of medals, including a Bronze Star for his service in Viet Nam in 1968-1969). We talked about a lot of things, including his Army tenure, and the impact it had on his life. Most of you “patriots” – you know, all you people who get so outraged at the idea of transgendered servicemen and women (like any of you are brave or selfless enough to serve, or could even pass the fitness test) – have no clue what men and women in uniform endure, especially when in combat, or how it changes them and their families, and you rarely vote for leaders who give a crap about veterans. Still, you’re awfully quick to wave the flag and invoke dead servicemen and women when a black guy with an afro says he’s tired of the racism in this country. And if you’re arrogant or ignorant or just plain stupid enough to insist that racism doesn’t exist, may you be reincarnated, quickly, as a person of color in the United States so you can see how easy it is to walk around in skin that isn’t white.

I am beyond disgusted by those who know nothing – NOTHING – about the facts underpinning most of the nonsense currently going on in this country in the name of “patriotism,” though I do derive some level of mean-spirited schadenfreude knowing that their Fuhrer, President Trump, will soon enough be coming for them (though they will be too dim-witted and self-satisfied to notice until its too late). These people, who get their news from Facebook memes, find themselves without any facts whatsoever to support their despicable opinions, and so they post photos of wounded servicemen and flag-draped coffins in an attempt to use people like my Dad as an excuse to be a misogynistic, racist, asshole.

It would be far more honest if, instead of pretending like you have any real investment in or understanding of American History, our founding documents, or Supreme Court jurisprudence, you’d just post a picture of your face and say, “I hate anyone who isn’t a straight, white, Christian,” (oh, and by the way, maybe use your own words, instead of hiding behind someone else’s moronic GIFs), because that’s exactly what your posts say about you, no matter how many pictures of American flags and wounded warriors you post. To be fair, maybe you don’t hate racial, ethnic, or religious minorities – as long as they know their place and aren’t doing better than you. After all, some people are more equal than others.

My Dad, and men and women like him, understood that part of what they were fighting for was the protection of people like Kaepernick to express himself (though maybe not for fellow NFL’ers who beat the shit out of their girlfriends without fear of white outrage or boycotts, or racist sheriffs who blatantly thumb their noses at the law they think does not apply to them). That’s the same freedom of expression, by the way, that allowed you to question President Obama’s citizenship or loyalty or competency without being hauled off to the Gulag, the way they do in Russia – though that may become the reality soon enough, if your fact-free president has his way.

Those brave men and women didn’t fight in wars or serve their country so that you could post moronic GIFS featuring pictures of them to justify the fact that you are a horrible human being who wishes that people who don’t look like you, or worship like you, didn’t exist. Fun fact? If, somehow, they didn’t, you’d still be a loser, just one in search of a scapegoat.

So just stop it. Stop pretending you’re a “patriot,” or that your values reflect those of the men and women who have fought for the sovereignty of this country or the rights enumerated in the Constitution (which I’m pretty sure you’ve never even read). Stop pretending you’re anything other that what you are, because, guess what?

We all know exactly what that is.

Things I Learned Today About Sexual Assault and The People Who Taught Me

October 14, 2016
1. Men don’t rape women unless they’re pretty. (Source: Current Republican Presidential Nominee [hereinafter “RPN”])
2. It’s okay to assault women if you’re in the private sector, but not if you’re in the public sector. (Pete Hoekstra, RPN Campaign Co-Chair, Michigan)
3. If you don’t vote for the RPN, more women will be assaulted. (Michelle Bachman, Former Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota)
4. You couldn’t grope a woman in the First Class section of an airplane in the 1980’s because planes with movable armrests didn’t exist back then (except for the ones that did)(Katrina Pierson, RPN Spokeswoman).
5. If a woman doesn’t immediately report a sexual assault, it probably didn’t happen. (Joe Scarborough)
6. Women who DO report sexual assaults are obviously “just looking to get some free publicity.” (Hope Hicks, RPN Spokeswoman). Because all women want to share that sort of humiliation, and that’s exactly the kind of publicity people actively seek out.
7. IF a woman reports a sexual assault, you should tweet her phone number to as many people as you can so they can harrass her even further. (Lou Dobbs, Fox News)
8. Every person who makes accusations of sexual assault should be heard. Unless you’ve made them against the current RPN. (Kayleigh McEnany, RPN Spokeswoman)
9. Telling a 10-year-old girl that you’ll be dating her in 10 years, when you’re a 46-year-old man, is completely normal. (Curt Schilling)
10. You’re not allowed to judge someone for their despicable comments about sexually assaulting women unless you are “without sin.” (Former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani)
11. If a man hasn’t assaulted YOU, then there’s no way that he could have assaulted anyone else. (Kellyanne Conway, RPN’s Campaign Manager)
12. The RPN wouldn’t be such a disgusting pig if all those liberals hadn’t promoted the sexual revolution, which has devalued women. (Jeffrey Lord, National Spokesman for RPN’s Campaign)
13. If you can’t handle being sexually harassed in the workplace, you don’t belong there, and you should be a kindergarten teacher. (RPN’s son and namesake )
14. The correct answer to any question about RPN’S hot mic comments is: “We have to defeat ISIS and reduce the national debt, and Obama has ruined this country.” (RPN’s running mate). Sort of like the answer to the question, “should dogs be allowed to vote?” (Answer: Obviously) is, “eating carbs after 6 will sabotage your weight loss program.”
It’s been a very educational day.