The “White” Is Always Silent

Back in 2020, Joe Biden said he’d put a Black woman on the Supreme Court if he won the election. Last week he got the chance to make good on his pledge. The non-politicized (can you see my eyes rolling?) Supreme Court had been the subject of previous political pledges. Ronald Reagan vowed to put a woman on the Supreme Court. Donald Trump did the same thing, and conservatives were just fine with it and both women were confirmed with zero complaining from the right. By uttering the word “Black”, Biden transgressed the first rule of White Supremacy Club:  “The … Continue reading The “White” Is Always Silent

Imagine If It Were You

Texas Abortion Rights Protest

Imagine.

You’re a Roaring Twenties flapper. You like your jazz hot and your hootch cold. One morning after you had a few too many the night before you wake up and find yourself in bed with a man whose name you don’t remember. Thankful you woke up before him so you’re able to sneak out of his hotel room. Two months later you realize you haven’t had your period in, well, two months. You also have a burning sensation when you urinate. Sure enough you are pregnant. And you have syphilis. Both are courtesy of the man who is long gone. You can be treated for the syphilis but not while you’re pregnant, but if you wait to have the baby it’s likely to be too late to treat the syphilis. You need an abortion. With no safe place to go you turn to the local neighborhood woman who knows how to handle these things. She handles it so well you end up with a staph infection that ultimately makes the syphilis moot because you’re dead.

You’re a 16 year old girl in 1944. You’re a good girl, get good grades, honor your mother and father. You’ve always looked up to your big brother as your protector, but he’s off fighting Nazis now. One night you babysit for a neighbor down the street. After the couple come home, because your brother isn’t there to do it the husband walks you back home. On the walk home he violently begins to maul you. He’s an authority figure, you don’t know what to do. Finally he ferociously forces your legs apart and in just seconds your virginity is gone. His parting words to you are that if you tell anyone he’ll deny it and you’ll be branded a whore. Two months later you realize you haven’t had your period in two months. You’re too ashamed to tell your parents. You believe what he said. A girlfriend tells you there is a woman in the next town who can take care of it for you. She takes care of it so well you end up with septic shock syndrome and die on the bench outside the hospital where she dumped you.

You’re a 35 year old suburban matron in 1958. You have a husband with a well paying job, two kids under the age of ten, a neat split level three bedroom house with a girl who comes in twice a week to clean, a full social calendar, friends galore, and you even use (shhh!) birth control because sometimes the husband gets a bit randy after that post dinner martini. One night the condom fails. Two months later you realize you haven’t had a period in two months. You go to your family doctor and when he congratulates you on being pregnant you burst into tears. Your life is where you want it to be. You don’t want another child. Your husband’s job is good, but not great and another mouth means having to downgrade your lifestyle, maybe even move out of your three bedroom split level house. The doctor takes you into his private office where he hands you a slip of paper with a name and address on it. “He’s a doctor, well, sort of. He lost his license a few years ago. Now he takes care of things like this. But he’s really safe.” You get your best girlfriend to drive you to the address which is on the shadier side of town. His “office” is the backroom of a skanky looking storefront. He’s gentle and soothing and when you awaken he tells you everything is taken care of and that the bleeding is normal. But the bleeding doesn’t stop, even after your husband rushes you to the hospital in the middle of the night. The surgeon tells your widower that he was too late, there had been too much blood loss.

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The He-Man Woman Haters Club

Vice President Kamala Harris has been in the news quite a lot lately. On one hand, that’s not a surprise:  she’s the VP, she’s the first female VP, she’s the first Black VP, and she’s the first Asian VP. And if you’re a regular reader, you know that that’s not where I’m going with this. Over the last few months there has been a bunch of articles published that take cheap shots at Harris. Over the weekend the Washington Post ran a story about how Harris is so mean that everyone is leaving and it’s terrible and we should be … Continue reading The He-Man Woman Haters Club

What I Meant To Say Was…

A Tour Guide On A Bus
Not me, but an amazing simulation of me.

In real life outside the world of internet punditry, my profession is that of a tour guide. I take people from all over the world on tours of any and all of the sights around Northern California, from as far south as Monterey up to the Napa-Sonoma wine country. The wife (Cruella) also is a tour guide. She’s the one who got me into the profession for which I am forever grateful. I love doing it.

After all how many professions can say the job is to pick up strangers at elegant hotels and show them a good time? OK, yeah, there is that other one as well. My job doesn’t pay nearly as well as the other one but I do get to keep my clothes on for which my guests are forever grateful.

I recently took a group of Texans for a tour to some of the Napa wineries. Along the way we passed by the notoriously expensive ($350 per person without wine for a pre-fixe tasting menu) restaurant The French Laundry. That particular restaurant has been on the minds (and thus on the tongues) of conservative media lately as Gavin Newsom had a misstep early in the pandemic of being photographed having dinner there right after he enacted strict COVID restrictions on all restaurants. Mind you, The French Laundry was adhering to all those restrictions when the picture was taken. Also the picture had been cropped to make it appear he was dining indoors when in fact that room is open on two sides. Nevertheless, bad optics and it was a rallying cry used in the catastrophically lopsided recall election that kept Newsom in office and may have destroyed the Repugnicant Party here in the Golden State.

Now I bring this up because as we drove past, the gentleman seated in the front seat of the bus snickered “Bet Nancy Pelosi eats there”. We’ll forget for a moment his mixing up of liberal California Democrats. My response was a simple “to be honest, I wouldn’t know” and a quick moving on to other subjects. I reserve my liberal snarck for my dear readers.

But here’s what I meant to say:

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A Confederacy of Dunces

The crap that American women have been dealing with got even worse on Tuesday. Not content with ending abortion in Texas, Greg Abbott assured everyone that women in Texas who were raped didn’t have to worry about any resulting pregnancy because he was going to “end rape” in Texas. I don’t know about you, but that wasn’t a particularly reassuring statement, given how little most men in power care about rape in this country. In fact, my first thought was that he was just going to decriminalize rape. My second thought was the same thing. Ugh. Because Abbott is the … Continue reading A Confederacy of Dunces

If I Were King of the Forest

I’m going to cut to the chase:  the Republican Supreme Court justices are cowards. Their order came out under the cover of night—and on a night where much of the country was riveted by the complete havoc the remnants of Hurricane Ida were wreaking on the East Coast—and it was unsigned. They didn’t hold a hearing or consult with legal and medical experts. They didn’t address the substance of the Texas law or even attempt to identify any constitutional issues. They gave an unsubstantiated and unrelated reason to deny the request to block the enforcement of the law, and then … Continue reading If I Were King of the Forest

The American Taliban is Ascendant

There’s a new milepost on the country’s journey to be the American version of A Handmaid’s Tale. Last night the Supreme Court allowed a new Texas anti-woman law to take effect. This law prohibits abortions after 6 weeks, and so effectively outlaws most abortions in Texas. I say “anti-woman” because that is what the anti-choice movement is these days. It’s not actually about stopping abortion. It’s about actively punishing women for being women, and especially for being sexually active without their permission. The movement went mainstream when TFG casually said that if abortion were made illegal, women who had abortions … Continue reading The American Taliban is Ascendant

Simone Biles All American

Just in case you have been living under a rock the past week, Simone Biles, preeminent women’s gymnast, considered by many the gymnastics GOAT (that’s Greatest Of All Time) withdrew from the 2020(1) Olympic competition because of mental health issues. Like everything else these days, it quickly became a political issue. Liberals cheered her decision as a matter of personal sacrifice in the face of truly difficult circumstances. Conservatives jeered her as unpatriotic and unwilling to do whatever is necessary for the USA to chant “USA USA USA”. Unwilling to do whatever is necessary for the USA to win. Of … Continue reading Simone Biles All American