Monday, February 26, 2018

Monica, Your Ship Has Sailed. Make Way for the New Generation

I just read Monica Lewinsky's latest attempt to explain herself to We, the People, in Vanity Fair. You can read it, too. She has found a new platform for shifting ownership of her actions in labeling herself as victim. 
Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.” I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent. 
Now she sees that as problematic. Let's think this through. She's an intern in the White House which used to mean you were smart, well-spoken, and basically mature, even for a kid right outta college. She goes on to say,
But it’s also complicated. Very, very complicated. The dictionary definition of “consent”? “To give permission for something to happen.” And yet what did the “something” mean in this instance, given the power dynamics, his position, and my age? Was the “something” just about crossing a line of sexual (and later emotional) intimacy? (An intimacy I wanted—with a 22-year-old’s limited understanding of the consequences.) He was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He was 27 years my senior, with enough life experience to know better. He was, at the time, at the pinnacle of his career, while I was in my first job out of college. (Note to the trolls, both Democratic and Republican: none of the above excuses me for my responsibility for what happened. I meet Regret every day.)  
This is the heart and soul of the issue. She wanted the intimacy; she admits she owns the behavior, but at the same time she casts herself in the role of victim. Pretty good trick. We don't know which version to believe. 

Frankly, I don't care if she was hunting big game in the Oval Office or just playing courtesan. It doesn't matter. I think I liked her better when she owned her actions outright without shading them in the forest of Me, Too. 

This is a new and not-so-improved version of sleight-of-hand. Pay no attention to the brain behind the curtain.  It's easier to look pathetic if you kinda admit wrong-doing, but then blame others. Al Franken is a perfect case in point. It didn't matter that Tweeden was a showgirl who dished out as much as she got. It didn't matter they had her on film grabbing Robin Williams by the nuts...but then again, Mr. Williams wasn't around to counter her claims of victimization. Garrison Keillor was railroaded the same way, as the new interview in the Strib seems to confirm. Both men owned their behavior and were destroyed by it. Lewinsky profits and that pisses me off. 

Shifting focus isn't limited to sexual peccadillos. It's any time a story is hijacked for personal gain. Our current administration is turning this into an art form. Every time there's a story they don't like, they shift the focus with a tweet from the oval potty or a declaration of "fake news." The complicit press runs after the new rabbit and the rest of us are left to figure out what we're supposed to be seeing or not seeing.

The White House hosted a meeting for Feckless with survivors of school mass murder. Victims and families from Margery Stoneman Douglas High School, Columbine, and Sandy Hook were present. 

Washington Post/ Ricky Carioti
This is bait'n'switch. Feckless leader baits the hook to bring these people together under false pretenses. They believe they are there to talk about gun violence. They want to convince this spineless NRA whore that the problem is the easy accessibility of guns, but instead, he had the unmitigated nerve to ask them if they thought arming teachers was a good idea. Instead of following the talking points in his hands, he says the stupidest thing possible: the problem can be solved by giving teachers "a little bonus" and arming them for the classrooms. Availability of military-style weapons is not the problem at all. Unarmed teachers are. 


His emotional deficit renders him not only incapable of human empathy, it makes him unfit to serve as leader of this nation. There is no more important a function of the President of the United States than to be, when needed, the Consoler-in-Chief. And my kids thought my empathy chip was removed??? 

Today, however, Feckless Leader stepped over a line at the Governors' Conference that was so grotesque it defies sane explanation:
You don't know until you're tested, but I think I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too.
Do We, the People, really look that stupid? Cadet Bone-Spurs is gonna run into a building where there is live ammo going around? I don't think so and here's why. Let me remind you of another incident when an 80 year-old man was hurt at a charity event he was hosting:

I was at Mar-a-Lago and we had this incredible ball, the Red Cross Ball, in Palm Beach, Florida. 
And we had the Marines. And the Marines were there, and it was terrible because all these rich people, they're there to support the Marines, but they're really there to get their picture in the Palm Beach Post. 
So, you have all these really rich people, and a man, about 80 years old - very wealthy man, a lot of people didn't like him - he fell off the stage. 
So what happens is, this guy falls off right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died.  
And you know what I did? I said, 'Oh my God, that's disgusting,' and I turned away. 
I couldn't, you know, he was right in front of me and I turned away. I didn't want to touch him. He's bleeding all over the place, I felt terrible. You know, beautiful marble floor, didn't look like it. It changed color. Became very red. And you have this poor guy, 80 years old, laying on the floor unconscious, and all the rich people are turning away. 
What happens is, these 10 Marines from the back of the room. They come running forward, they grab him, they put the blood all over the place—it's all over their uniforms—they're taking it, they're swiping [it], they ran him out, they created a stretcher. They call it a human stretcher, where they put their arms out with, like, five guys on each side.  
I was saying, 'Get that blood cleaned up! It's disgusting!' The next day, I forgot to call [the man] to say he's OK.  It's just not my thing.                                                             Interview on the HOWARD STERN SHOW July 16, 2008

No wonder this piece of human detritus needs cue-cards for talking points. 

But the masses are rising up. They are armed with cellphones, social media, and righteous indignation. We, the Children of the 60s, are gonna be a mere warm-up for how this generation will motivate a tsunami of anger over guns. Look around, folks: United, Delta, Hertz, and Enterprise/National are all taking note and pulling out of their contracts with the NRA. More will follow. These kids spend money, and money talks. And they know exactly how to make money talk really loud. And they know exactly how to direct all that righteous indignation.

Feckless Leader and his coterie of spineless jellyfish are already doomed. They just haven't sunk to the bottom yet. They will. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

Ms Lewinsky, your ship sailed long ago. 
You are not part of this wave, and you are not really a Me, Too kinda gal either. 
Heres's some cheap advice: get out of the way. 
You are about to be run over by a new, empowered generation. 

Monday, February 19, 2018



IF you gave a flying fart in space about cops, cop killing, and "blue lives," you would be out there pounding the pavement for sensible gun laws.

IF you gave a flying fart on earth about the-right-to-life, you should be equally concerned about lives following the exit from the womb, and be out there pounding the pavement for sensible gun laws.

IF you gave a flying fart about this country, you'd take your fingers out of your ears and start listening  to what almost every parent and child says about school safety and guns.

IF any of you gave so much as a tinker's dam about the safety of OUR children, you would just ban assault weapons. PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION. 



Once upon a time, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre referred to seven guys getting whacked in Chicago in 1929. The plan was for the Capone gang to execute 7 members of the Moran gang over a dispute about booze distribution. They used Tommy-guns. It was a mess. 

But not even close to the mess AR-15-type weapons left in Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Pulse nightclub, Las Vegas, Aurora, or Stoneman Douglas High School. These are not hunting rifles. They are not defense-of-private-property rifles; they are weapons designed for mass murder. IF YOUR CONGRESSCLOWN THINKS THAT'S OKAY....VOTE HIM/HER THE HELL OUTTA OFFICE.

No other developed nation on this planet has our massacre of children record. NONE. No other developed nation on this planet allows assault weapons to be bought with or without a background check. 


Looks like our kids are going to take to the streets on this issue...and I am with them all the way. If We, the People are too spineless chickshits to do this ourselves, the least we can do is contribute to and assist our kids in taking control of this issue. 

Our own Sibley High School has started a GO FUND ME page to help get kids to the Washington Protests on March 24th (not March 4th.) Check your own high schools. Across America kids are taking up the cause of self-preservation. Maybe this is the one agenda item that will unify them the way Vietnam unified us. 

Teenagers are extreme experts at social media. This may have stirred a hornets' nest the likes of which we have never seen. If Feckless thinks he can tweet, I would advise him to stand well back. He's about to get clobbered.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Kids won't let you go to Washington with them? 
Pitch in. Offer to drive. Make sandwiches. Make a difference. 

Want more information about what is and is not automatic, old but excellent:
Mother Jones: A Non-Gun-Owner’s Guide to Guns

Monday, February 12, 2018

Of Rolling Pins and Plans

It's getting to be that time of year again when Jewish women world-wide turn their thoughts to spring. That lovely little holiday, Tu B'Shevat, the "birthday" of the trees, has come and gone, leaving in its wake a trail of half-chewed carob, dried date ends, grape stems devoid of grapes, and those little crown thingees you find on the tops of dried figs. Gone are the 7 species, replaced by dough chilling in the fridge, jams stocked in jars, and that endless quest for the perfect hamataschen recipe. For years, I've used Martha Stewart's (yeah, I know...but it's indestructible,) but this year, I may have to try the one my daughter-in-law uses from Tori Avery. (There's also a pareve version.) We worked with it on Sunday and I was duly impressed with how it rolled out. Of course, we had an excellent head roller with us, armed with a rolling pin that once belonged to my great-grandmother, making Little Miss the 6th generation to use it. 

I think that's kinda cool, actually. The rolling pin was one of the few things Great-grandma Nechama brought with her from Russia. It's got a notch on one end so everyone would know it was the dairy rolling pin. When I got married a zillion years ago, the decision was made by my Aunt Rose and her sister-in-law, my Grandma Sarah, that it would go to me because I had a kosher home. And keeping along those same lines, one day it will go to my daughter-in-law and Little Miss, G-d willing for the same reasons. 

If you don't know what Purim is about, read the Book of Esther. It's very short, kind of exciting, and doesn't mention G-d once. Depending how you read it, it's a story about the empowerment of women. 

But underneath this simple bodice ripper of a story, there are far more complicated issues at hand, some of which might sound like they were ripped from our own headlines. The deposed Queen Vashti can be seen as a brave wise-woman, Esther is trapped in a rather bizarre marriage to a king that is a total doofus, her Uncle Mordechai is a manipulative SOB, and Haman, the evil not-so-genius, is an moronic mouthpiece of hate. 

Gee, boys and girls, can you draw some parallels here?

Unlike the story of Purim, we are living in an all-too-real world of baseless hatred and painfully bad behavior. We have a president who is not all that different from Ahashverush, a guy who is led down a  poisonous path by an advisor so filled with hate that he cannot see past it. Sure, Bannon may be gone, but the hate-mongers are still sitting in the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. The hate pours out of 1600 like a lava flow: hot, malignant, and destroying everything in its path. 

Unfortunately, Melania is no Esther; sure, she's trapped in a marriage, but she is, to date, impotent. At the State of the Union, she looked miserable much of the time, and while she rose at other parts of Feckless Leader's speech, she did not rise with the rest of the claque when he spoke about family values. It was like taking the subtle a protest as she could manage. She has no ability to open her mouth, protest his unconscionable behavior, or do much else besides sulk at public events. She telegraphs the message she wants We, the People to get, and I hold by my earlier assessment: FREE MELANIA!

But Purim is only the lead-up to the big deal of Passover. Everyone knows the story of how Moses went down the Nile in a basket, only to be picked up by Pharaoh's daughter, but how much thought have you ever given to that nameless princess, or the two Egyptian midwives, Shifra and Puah, so important in the Torah that they have names. These three Egyptian women chose life...the life of a baby floating down the river, the lives of Hebrew mothers and their children... without caring much for their own lives. All three knew the consequences, and all three took those risks. The Children of Israel would not be
the Children of Israel without those three women. They weren't part of us, but their choices insured we would survive. And we have. We have outlasted Amalek, the Philistines,  Babylon, Persia, Imperial Rome, the Inquisition, the pogroms in Russia, World War II, more pogroms in Poland, various Arab attacks on Israel.....but wait...there will be more. There always is. As they say, "in every generation..."

Tzadok & Nechama - 1917
Which brings me back to my great-grandmother Nechama. She took a giant risk leaving a married daughter behind in Russia, then getting on a boat with 6 kids to join her husband and her next oldest daughter in America. She left pogroms, oppression, and a world full of hate to start a new life in a place where she didn't speak the language. She got here. She made a home for her family. She kept everyone together. And she lived to see the next generation take root in this nation. 

I can only imagine what she would think about our current state of current affairs. I wonder what she would tell me to pack to plan for Plan B, and I would make sure that rolling pin goes with Little Miss.

But most of all, I like imagining how happy she would be to know Little Miss rolls hamantaschen with her dairy rolling pin.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Lekvar still makes the best filling for Hamantaschen.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Not Necessarily Golden

Not much of a blog tonight. I'm a bit groggy fighting off the effects of anesthesia. Yup, I did heavy-duty drugs this morning, and the only thing I'm gonna tell you is that at this  very moment, I am not full of shit. Literally. 

And yes, things appear to be reasonably fine for an old person. 

While I was blissfully sedated, the stock market continued its free fall. I can't speak for any of you, but I'm not surprised in the least. What goes up, must come down, and the market did just that. 

There is no deal on the table to keep government running after Thursday. CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) that was salvaged in the last budget go 'round has not yet been reauthorized. The Nunes' memorandum debacle continues on its increasingly bizarre trajectory. And the Justice Department remains uncharacteristically silent. 

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Feckless Leader called the Democratic members of Congress treasonous because they didn't clap for him during the State of the Union address. 
“Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
Really? Does he even know what he's saying? In these here United States, treason is punishable by death. Is he implying any member of Congress who did not applaud during his speech should be rounded up?

If you remain a stalwart GOP supporter, you need to decide if any of this is troubling. If it is, you also need to decide what you're going to do about it. It's not up to the rest of us to turn the country blue; it's up to the GOP to put a stop to the undermining of our system of government and the Constitution of the United States. 

Every single citizen of these here United States had better get his/her expectations in order. Our sense of order and being challenged. Nice people turn away and don't make waves. Are you nice...or do you give a damn about preserving the rule of law, the Constitution, and democracy?

Silence in moments such as these is complicit.

And on that note, I am signing off for the night. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you're over 50 and haven't had a colonoscopy yet, go get one. 
It's really no big deal.