Election 2016: A Portrait of America Under Siege

“Donald Trump is an ignorant man, a vulgar man, a man who reminds me of Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin in his arrogance and thirst for power.” — Bernie Sanders

A Bizarro Reality

To look at Donald Trump’s version of what makes America great is to take a retrograde step through a rip in space-time and enter a fake populist bizarro land. To venture into an alternate dimension where a once-mighty and enlightened nation was strong-armed into taking the downward-sloping path into crisis and collapse. And like the bizarro land of the Superman mythos, this alternate reality is trying to inflict itself on the real world. It will succeed if we let it.

Trump’s a man who’s angrily proud of the fact that he does not pay taxes to support the safety, security and prosperity of the nation he seeks to lead. He’s a billionaire pandering to white workers’ fears of economic disenfranchisement while fighting to cut the very social and economic supports that these voters often rely on. A red-faced fear-monger blaming innocent immigrants and African Americans for economic woes his party — the republicans — engineered through forty years of trickle down economics. Policies that party is seeking to enforce through an unjust suppression of voters in places like North Carolina and Florida.

trumpdystopia

(A portrait of America under siege. What would America under Trump look like? This smokestack shanty town under darkening skies and surrounded by walls topped with barbed wire fences sitting in the shadow of gilded corporate towers just about says it all. Image source: What Would Jack Do?)

Donald Trump has often sought the populist mantle Bernie Sanders rightly bears. But Trump, Sanders says, “is an ignorant man, a vulgar man, a man who reminds me of Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin in his arrogance and thirst for power.” And as Bernie Sanders goes to bat on the campaign trail for Clinton, pledging to make Trump —  “start paying his fair share in taxes,” the rage-filled corporate mogul tars the career public servant Hillary Clinton, attempting to smear her with the same Wall Street trappings Trump of Trump Towers ignominy has worn since the day of his birth. In other words, it’s one thing to take campaign donations from Wall Street, but another thing entirely to live, eat, and breathe the Wall Street mantra. To support, as Trump has throughout his life, the same harmful tax cut, deregulation, and anti-minimum wage policies that created the problem of Wall Street vs Main Street in the first place.

Entering the Dystopian Upside Down World of Donald Trump

To live in Trump’s reality is to live in an America under a strange kind of upside down siege. If the real economic problem in America is income inequality — then Trump promotes more of it. If the real threats to America’s foreign policy endeavors are increasing isolation and alienation of our allies — Trump seeks to build a wall. If dictators imperil our country or disrupt our elections, then Trump praises them. And if the very real climate change spurred threats such as coastal inundation facing cities like Miami, Norfolk, and Elizabeth City and drought losses threatening the water supply of the Colorado River states are ever-worsening, Trump seeks to burn more coal, oil and gas, attacks renewables, and denies that climate change is actually happening.

(As bad as the effects of climate change currently are today, Donald Trump’s combination of anti-science, anti-renewables, and pro fossil fuels policy will result in a reversal of critical climate change mitigation at exactly the time when they are needed most. Leonardo Di Caprio makes an impassioned appeal for us to do our part and vote for politicians that support responsible climate change policies and against those like Trump who hurt pretty much everyone by pandering to harmful fossil fuel special interests.)

If abuses by the powerful have created harm in America and abroad, Trump talks up abusive strong-men like Russia’s Vladimir Putin. And Putin, for his own part, appears to have done everything he can to help Wikileaks hack Hillary Clinton’s emails or even post fake versions of emails to further misinform the American electorate.

Trump makes fun of dying polar bears, pretends Obama has no birth certificate, mocks reporters with physical disabilities, panders to white supremacists, and has turned himself into a wretched caricature of misogyny. There’s not a victimizable person, animal, or class he doesn’t appear willing to take advantage of.  Bully may describe him, but it doesn’t fully contain his apparent rage-filled ardor for exploitation, for wrecking lives, for running rough-shod over people or things he has labeled ‘loser.’

Praying to America’s Darker Angels

Trump seems to believe that we can transport ourselves back to a mythological past when America was greater than it is today. To promote the illusion that we are, somehow, not far better off now than we were at a time when African Americans were held as slaves, or suffered under the abuses of Jim Crow, when scientists were persecuted, when there were no labor laws preventing the exploitation of children or protecting workers’ rights to fair pay and treatment, when women had no right to vote, when the abuses of state-supported corporate exploitation by such entities as the East India Trade company led to the real Boston Tea Party and wholesale continental revolt, and when a policy of systemic genocide was enacted against the natives who lived on American soil for thousands of years before the colonists came.

What Trump’s lack-vision fails to see is that America’s aspirations for greatness led her out of a very dark time scarred by these ills and into the far more enlightened age of today. An age that is now under threat by the retrograde narratives and policies promoted by people like Trump who seem to push ever on toward a return to the old dark days of injustice and oppression. And this mindset, the abusive and revisionist view of history, is something we must reject if we are to have much hope of navigating the very serious troubles that are coming in this age global climate change and increasing dislocation. We must embrace new ways of doing things. We must turn to new leaders. We must reject the political violence of an old, angry white man, and the system of dominance and harm that he promotes.

A Necessary Endorsement of One of Our Nation’s Strongest Women

This is my endorsement for Hillary Clinton. A woman whom I admire for her strength, her tenacity, and her clarity of purpose. I may not agree with every policy she stands for or admire every aspect of her life. Like the rest of us, she is human and imperfect. But she is a true American who has served her country with honor. A lady who supports our America not just with her words, but both through paying a fair share of her substantial earnings and through her considerable life’s work. A leader I can stand behind. Someone who has already done many great things for this nation and who I believe, with the help of people like Bernie Sanders, is capable of so much more. In a day when we face off against so many abuses both at home and abroad, I think America would benefit from the steady hand of this strong woman — who has the potential to be a truly historical figure and to lead our nation out of a sea of troubles.

Donald Trump represents the worst sins the old world, but if we give Hillary the right kind of support, she can stand for the better virtues of tomorrow and serve the vision of an age that confronts its problems rather than spiraling ever deeper into self-destructive denial, anger, and isolation. That’s what this election means to me — risking an almost assured disaster by electing Trump or creating a very real possibility for reducing and escaping present harms if we elect Clinton. The choice, for me, couldn’t be clearer.

hillary-stormborn

(Throughout his campaign, Trump has impuned the dignity of women, calling them nasty and bragging about objectifying them. As a strong woman, Hillary is exactly the kind of person who should face down Trump’s misogyny. Image source: House of Clinton. )

So I urge you to lift your voices in this election. To be heard and to make your power and capacity to promote justice known. I ask you to stand strong against the intimidation, against the pervasive misinformation coming from those who would inflict so much harm. You are capable. We are capable. We can do this. We can release America from the siege that a fake Tea Party promoted by corporate interests and that people like Trump have placed her under. And we can make a strike against the underlying systemic mysogyny of our nation by electing our first female President of this United States of America.

I have listened to your voices and I know that you are strong. So be heard! It is time for the real America to shine through.

Will W. Romney, P. Ryan Remove Women’s Reproductive Rights if Elected?

Major news media seems to have been utterly hypnotized by W. Romney’s endless vacillations and changed policy positions. But taking a step back from the enormous cloud of smoke currently being produced by the Romney campaign, we can look at clear signals via both his chosen staff and his past preferences to see which way key policy choices are likely to go.

The first, and most critical, issue is women’s reproductive rights. As a haven for leaders who are willing to let their religious beliefs transfer to laws governing women’s bodies, the US has had a very rocky history of women’s rights. Key reproductive freedoms like access to birth control and family planning services were only won during a brief period of renaissance during the 1960s and 1970s. The establishment of an abortion freedom via the Roe v. Wade decision put the capstone on women’s reproductive freedom in America and ushered in a world-wide age of expanded rights for women around the globe.

Even as these new freedoms were put in place, though, enemies of women’s rights gathered in a generations-long attempt to return America to the dark days of back alley abortions and to a time when certain forms of contraception were illegal. This backlash gained steam during the 1980s and continues to this day in the form of, likely, four conservative Supreme Court justices who are ideologically disposed to overturning Roe v. Wade. It also includes a massive influx of legislators who have fought vehemently in Congress to curtail women’s access to birth control, family planning, key health services, and to overturn abortion rights in even the most damaging and harmful cases.

In total, Republicans in the 112th Congress have voted 55 times to curtail women’s rights. This includes 17 votes to allow health insurance providers to discriminate against women, 11 votes to cut women’s access to preventive care (breast screenings etc), 10 votes to restrict access to abortion or roll back abortion rights, 7 votes to cut funding for women’s nutrition, 3 votes to block access to reproductive and maternal care services, 3 votes to undermine Medicare and Medicaid services to women, and 14 votes that undermine environmental laws protecting pregnant women from toxic substances (Source).

It is also worth noting that President Obama has indicated he will never acquiesce to the extreme anti-woman tendencies of the right wing and has threatened vetoes on any such legislation that crosses his desk.

These Republican anti-woman votes accounted for about 5% of all time spent by the 112th Congress. Among the leaders of this legislative war on women was none other than Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan voted yes on almost every anti-woman bill submitted and has pushed for legislation making it illegal to perform an abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Ryan also pushed for a personhood bill that would make abortion even in the event of saving the mother’s life illegal. Ryan’s anti-woman votes parallel those of extremists Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who have both said that even in cases of rape abortion should be illegal. Mourdock was recently quoted as saying that ‘God intended rape pregnancies’ (Source).

Riding in on this wave of Republican anti-women sentiment is Mitt Romney. Romney claimed as recently as a month ago that he would support legislation overturning Roe v. Wade. And his choice of running mate, Paul Ryan, is among the most anti-woman of a very anti-woman Republican House. Romney earlier noted that he would also overturn the Fair Pay Act. His campaign seems to sense a growing outrage among women and, so, over the past few weeks the Romney campaign has obfuscated past extreme anti-woman positions, attempting to appear kinder and gentler to women. But this is merely the desperate smoke screen of a candidate in jeopardy of losing and seeking to pander to all voters in hopes of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat (Source).

As we saw with Bush, promises of compassion made on the campaign trail have been about as valuable as a bucket of spit. And Romney, who has shown us only the endlessly changing face of a doppelganger, is certainly far from worthy of engendering trust.

In the case of a Romney election, there would be a very high risk that many women’s freedoms would be overturned. Romney-appointed justices would almost certainly be anti-abortion. Further, Romney would likely work with Republicans in Congress to continue to draft and expand anti-women legislation. A long march back to the days where women were treated as objects and property would have begun and much of the hard work of the brave American women of generations past is in dire danger of being removed should Romney be elected. Romney’s assurances to the contrary are merely empty words — a half-hearted and unclear pledge which holds no honor. To stake women’s future on such false promises and to ignore the Republican legacy of an endless war on women would be the very epitome of folly.

Links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/11/paul-ryan-personhood_n_1767760.html

Take Action:

http://www.barackobama.com/splash/choice-signup?

Hunger Games — A World Suffering From the Devastating Aftermath of Climate Change and Resource Depletion

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This week, the long awaited Hunger Games by Susanne Collins will grace the silver screen. A popular dystopia novel, Hunger Games is set in an all-too-possible future world. A combination of climate change and resource depletion result in a United States shattered into 12 districts ruled by a dictatorial and repressive regime.

In the world of Hunger Games children are required to be sent as tribute to fight in a Battle Royale to the death. Katnis, the main character finds herself in the unique position of deciding to take her sister’s place when she’s chosen to fight in the games (Yes, I know, but Hunger Games was published three years after Luthiel’s Song. So it appears the inspiration may be running the other way).

But what’s most uncanny about this amazing series is that it occurs in an, entirely possible, future world. The climate is hot, the coastlines receded, and resources are scarce and growing ever moreso. A greedy and insulated ruling city lords its power over its subject districts in a reinvented feudalism. The subjects of these outlying districts are pressed into slave labor even as they are slowly starved. Though unrealistic, the map below is a dark vision of a world ravaged by these ills:

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In stark contrast to the hundreds of millions now living in the continental US, only hundreds of thousands remain. It is clearly a world that has suffered a devastating collapse brought on, at least in part, by an irresponsible and self-serving leadership.

What makes the story most compelling is Katnis’s struggles against a leadership that continuously preys on the people under its rule and against the corruption that seems to crop up each time a hand reaches out to grasp power. The books painted a well-rendered and deeply compelling story about a world that could be. I sincerely hope the movies live up to the spirit of the originating vision.

 

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Please help support our continuing efforts.

American Outrage at Rush — A Warning to the Powerful

Nearly two weeks after Rush Limbaugh ignited a public firestorm by bullying Sandra Fluke over national airwaves for three days running, calls to advertisers and radio syndicates to have Rush taken off the air have only grown louder. Many in the mainstream media seemed taken aback by such a strong public response, shocked that so powerful a figure could be shaken to his very foundations by public outrage. Some, including Bill Maher who has born the brunt of republican attacks for his own off-color jokes targeting some women, have even defended Rush.

What the media seems to be missing is context, the deeply abusive nature of Rush Limbaugh’s public bullying, and the dreadful harm the slut shaming of a defenseless law student inflicts on us all. Nor does the media seem to fully realize how what Rush says and does is directly linked to the political activities of republicans in Congress and the ongoing conservative war on women’s health and reproductive freedoms.

Scared of Rush

As recently as two weeks ago, republican leader John Boehner admitted at a Congressional press conference that republicans, members of the most powerful government in the world, were scared of Rush Limbaugh — a powerful political radio pundit who sometimes hides behind the title ‘entertainer.’ The big man, issued an honorary position in Congress in the 1990s, wields vast political power through his 15 million radio viewers and his incessant calls for political action. He has been at the forefront of many republican political campaigns over the breadth of his reign as EIB pundit and, at every turn, he has challenged liberal power-brokers. In many ways, Rush is the hand that wields conservative power in Washington and this is done through the scope of his far-reaching radio show.

Gagging Sandra Fluke

Then came Sandra Fluke, the woman who was supposed to testify.

Back in late February, the republicans had doubled down on their war on women’s reproductive freedoms. As recently as mid-month, they had waged a disastrous campaign to defund Planned Parenthood. Republican attacks were spear-headed by the Susan G. Komen Foundation which had become a political arm of the republican attack through the actions of its right-wing CEO.

But this action back-fired. Massive internet and media campaigns were waged against Komen for their denial of Planned Parenthood funding. The result was that Komen lost many of its major donors and top execs at the foundation threatened to resign unless the policy was changed.

Failing this avenue of attack, republicans opened a new front, attempting to legislatively deny health care coverage for women’s contraception and reproductive services. In a political insult that is likely to resonate for decades to come, House Republicans called an all-male committee before a Congressional panel to discuss the reasons for rolling back women’s reproductive freedoms. Democrats attempted to call their own witness — Sandra Fluke. But, citing an arbitrary rule, republicans refused to allow her to speak.

This all male panel was a stark and blatant symbol of who was making these critical decisions about women’s reproductive freedoms — old white men. But added to this insult was the fact that even a single female voice was denied testimony. So, for days, Sandra Fluke was the woman who wasn’t allowed to speak.

Speech Draws Bullying

But women and liberals in Congress would not be completely silenced. A few days after the all-male panel testified, Sandra Fluke was called to speak in Congress by democrats who believed it was wrong to only hear one point of view. Ms. Fluke testified eloquently, passionately and openly — describing how valuable contraction and reproductive services were to women of her age. She provided a poignant personal narrative that drew a sharp contrast between the political posturing on the right and the real lives of ever-day Americans. And she made a strong intellectual and compassionate argument for continuing women’s freedoms and not to return to a narrow age of institutional bigotry.

Almost immediately, her testimony drew attacks from the right. They accused her of lying. They attacked her character. And they began to openly call her a slut for wanting access to contraception.

Rush Leads the Attack

Among the most loud in this slut-shaming was Rush Limbaugh. For three days straight, Rush used his massive radio infrastructure as a platform from which to attack Sandra Fluke. He repeatedly called her a slut, a whore, and a prostitute. He baldly stated that she must want contraception because she was having so much sex. He demanded that Sandra post sex videos on the internet in exchange for access to contraception.

Not only was Rush engaging in a most ugly form of character assassination against Sandra Fluke. He was also exploiting the notion of her femininity, rabidly engaging in the most lewd and obscene of sexual fantasies on the airwaves. His show made her the object of a vicious political pornography.

But the most egregious element of this assault was due to the nature of Sandra Fluke herself. She was not a political figure — a persona with the power or platform from which to defend herself from Rush’s abuse and character assassination. She had no individual power to repel or even respond to this level of media assault. She was one of the rest of us, thrust into her obligatory 15 minutes of fame on a slide lined with right-wing razors. And they were tearing her apart.

Women and People Who Love Women Rise Up

Witnessing this terrible abuse, the modern equivalent of an unjust public torture and execution, many people were no longer able to remain silent. For years, bearing the assaults of Rush and other right-wing ideologues, women, feminists, and their supporters rose up. A call for a Rush advertiser boycott rang out, was picked up, and went viral. Thousands of bloggers, hundreds of thousands of social networkers, the Occupy movement, and many, many more all began independent campaigns targeting Rush’s radio advertisers.

And their message was this: you can attack the powerful, those who are strong enough to defend themselves. But if you attack one of us, one of the meek, one of the powerless, one of those who deserve our care, our love, our compassion, then we will rise up. If you do this, we will do everything we can to remove you from power and responsibility. If you cannot exercise your power with decency and kindness, then you will suffer revolt and loss of power.

They say the meek shall inherit… Then do no harm to the meek…

http://www.change.org/petitions/advertisers-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

 

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Advertisers Flying From Rush Misogyny

Just two weeks after Rush slut shamed Sandra Fluke and continued attacks on women across the political and media spectrum, more than 141 advertisers have dropped his program. Furthermore, all national advertising has been suspended from Rush Limbaugh’s program for two weeks.

http://thinkprogress.org/media/2012/03/12/442673/141-companies-advertisng-rush-limbaugh/

http://thinkprogress.org/media/2012/03/12/443195/breaking-rush-limbaugh-syndicator-suspends-national-ads-for-two-weeks/

Rush’s misogynist attacks led to numerous calls for advertisers to drop his show with many angry callers threatening boycotts. Much of the backlash began on the internet and then went mainstream as petitions popped up like March daffodils. If you want to join them, here’s a link to one:

http://www.change.org/petitions/advertisers-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

Calls from angry listeners and offended persons alike resulted in the mass exodus which Rush compared to losing a few french fries at the drive through. But, at this point, looks like there’s only a few ‘fries’ left in the bag. Seems advertisers don’t like being compared to junky fast food.

Meanwhile, the Premiere Radio Networks, which provides national syndication for Rush’s show has announced that it is suspending national advertisements for two weeks. Rush’s loss of national affiliates suggests that his sexist comments have done severe damage to the program. Lifelock and Lear Financial, among the few companies still standing by Rush, have been asked to take up the slack for loss of national advertising spots.

It seems an irony that the kind of political free speech and free market choice that Rush claims to champion is resulting in his being removed from the air. This is the result of Rush Limbaugh’s nastiness toward women everywhere — advertisers and listeners walk. No government censorship required.

 

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Please help support our continuing efforts.

The Importance of Women and Why We Should Cherish Their Freedom

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. But you couldn’t tell by the rabid war being waged by a wretched cadre in our political and media systems. All over the country, legislation curtailing women’s reproductive freedoms is currently being pushed by republicans in state and national congresses.

In Georgia, female representatives walked out in protest over the latest insult to women’s freedom passed by republican majorities. Overall, more than 430 bills have been submitted that limit access to contraception and reproductive services this year alone. These arrows of oppression are launching at a higher rate than even last year which saw a total of more than 1100 bills assaulting women’s health. The most egregious bills include mandatory invasive ultrasounds, now the law of the land in Texas. But some are simply quibbling, insulting, and demeaning examples of men attempting to exercise power over women’s sexuality.

The attacks are being driven by an extreme religious institution that has dominated the republican party and the nation’s airwaves. These religious and media attacks have, at their root, an ancient and black tradition of misogyny. For a brief time during the twentieth century, this anti-woman, dominionist world-view was rolled back in favor of liberation. But now anti-enlightenment forces have gained ground and are using their power to roll back the clock on women’s freedoms. The battle we find raging in our systems of power, though not new, is very destructive to our civilization, to our marriages, to our opportunities as individuals and as couples, and to the ability of the poor to climb up out of poverty.

Harm to women’s freedoms is harm to us all. Indeed, our society’s civility can be judged by how we treat the most defenseless among us. And women, who are physically less powerful than men, and are seen as kinder, gentler, are a favored victim of bullies and of institutional bullying.

But there are more practical issues involving women’s reproductive freedoms that impact us all. And we should all, men and women both, think long and hard before we allow them to be removed.

Contraception Prevents Poverty

In the past, women who were poor were often also shackled with unwanted pregnancies. Women already suffering from poverty and finding themselves needing to care for a child or two, or three, or four often had only one option — marrying a man who could provide for them. This constraint limited the role of a majority of women to bearing and caring for children. It also reduced the options of couples. A man was almost universally forced to work to help feed his growing brood. And with each new child, the financial options of families became more and more constrained. On the other hand, families who plan their children are enabled to hold two incomes, to reduce the total number of children, and to increase their quality of life over time. All these options reduce instances of poverty.

Contraception and Family Planning Reduces Population Stress

Worldwide, there are now over 7 billion people. According to almost every scientist who studies Earth carrying capacity, this number is higher than what is sustainable. Over the next 20-50 years, the hope for maintaining a livable world rests, in large part, on civilization’s ability to restrain population. This restraint involves reducing the birth rate to bring population back into balance with resources. Most systems researchers show a sustainable civilization is one in the range of 2-4 billion individuals. There is absolutely no chance to reach this number without access to contraception and family planning services.

Though these numbers and notions may seem academic, they have absolute impacts. There are limits to the amount of arable land, materials, fossil fuels, food, fish, and pollution sinks in the world. High population rapidly depletes all of these resources. And since Earth is the only planet we know able to support human life, once these resources are depleted or destroyed, they are gone for good.

So population restraint is about poverty, death, and war restraint. It is about preventing famine. It is about giving the world time to transition to renewable energy. It is about reducing the impact of climate change. It is about increasing access to material resources and opportunities for each individual.

Equality Multiplies the Power of Civilization

Imagine what would have happened to England had Elizabeth never been queen…

Women are intelligent, clever, compassionate, kind, able to navigate social difficulty, able to compromise, and enable systems of cooperation and personal development. They possess unique qualities that provide powerful and intangible benefits to the civilizations that elevate them. Art, knowledge, science, all multiply in societies in which women are sexually liberated. But societies that sexually repress women tend to be more narrow, war-like, and poor.

At risk in the current war on women is the dream of a vital and civil society. Those currently leading the assault on women, the contraception and family planning denying, the slut shaming, the bitch calling, and all the other nastiness, are an existential threat to the true system of liberty and equality that has flowered throughout the development of our nation.

Some have said ‘the American experiment is over.’ And it is those same cynical, narrow souls that are fighting a broad war to end the greatest experiment in liberty and equal opportunity the world has ever known. We should be all be shamed that we have allowed this cancer to grow on our soil. We should be terrified that we have let it mar our beloved. The fair ladies who have helped us so much and have elevated America to such a position of greatness.

The moment we let these freedoms die is the moment we have allowed them to cut out the very heart of America. The very heart of us. Will we allow them? Will we let them continue to advance this darker America? A place of struggle that only creates opportunity for an increasingly narrow and mean-spirited elite? A place where the fairest among us are once again only consigned to the shadows?

 

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Please help support our continuing efforts.

Rush Stops Bullying Sandra Fluke, Issues Meager Apology

After spending more than three straight days bullying Sandra Fluke and losing eight of his advertisers for the attacks, Rush Limbaugh finally issued a meager, quibbling apology today. Here is his ‘apology’s’ intro:

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke. I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.  What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line?”

Rush begins with a self-congratulatory statement as a backward way to remind the listener of his importance. He continues by saying that he made an error of word choice and didn’t intent to harm Sandra. Then, he continues along his original line of argumentation, restating the ideological line of thought that resulted in the personal attack on Sandra in the first place. He then pontificates about accountability. The real apology? We’re still waiting for it…

“If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?”

At this point, Rush descends into babbling and making false comparisons in an attempt, once again, to re-assert his argument. Is this ‘apology’ starting to look like another rant from an ego-maniac to you? You’re not the only one. After listening to all this nonsense, one wonders if Rush even has the capacity to make a full-hearted apology. And so we continue:

“In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.”

At this point, one has to comment on how disingenuous Rush is being here. He lead the attack on President Clinton’s own embarrassing personal/bedroom story. He talked for weeks and weeks about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Where was his sense of propriety then? But now it suddenly crops up when republicans are waging an all-out war to deny women reproductive freedom. Now we shouldn’t hear about how important those services are to women?

After listening to another monologue, it becomes obvious that Rush isn’t apologizing at all. He is simply using a fake apology as another platform from which to launch political attacks. Obviously, Rush’s statement isn’t worth listening to, since he’s using it in an angling and purely self-serving fashion. But since we started this, we might as well finish:

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

And at last we come to the ‘apology.’ By itself, it is pretty pathetic and lame. Like the apology of a man who is too egotistical ever to admit he’s wrong and needs such qualifiers as ‘my choice of words’ and ‘attempt to be humorous’ and ‘insulting choice of words.’ All these qualifiers serve only to distance himself from ‘I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke’ and further lessen these paltry six words — offering only a glimmer of contrition in a 150+ word self-congratulatory, political, and quibbling puff piece.

After such a vicious and long-lasting attack, this back-handed apology is hardly worthy of reply much less, acceptance.

http://www.change.org/petitions/advertisers-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

UPDATE:  Rush is once again escalating his attacks on Sandra Fluke saying her response to his ‘apology’ was ‘uncalled for.’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/rush-limbaugh-apology-sandra-fluke-advertisers_n_1321450.html\

 

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Don’t Let Rush, Bigots Win! Stand Up and Fight For Women!!

As the firestorm over Rush’s slut shaming of Sandra Fluke continues, advertisers are beginning to drop the misogynistic right winger. According to news reports, six advertisers have withdrawn support for Rush’s show. They include: Quicken Loans, Sleep Number Sara, The Sleep Train, The Cleveland Cavaliers, Legal Zoom, and Citrix Systems. If you want to encourage those who are still standing on the sidelines, here is a petition and a list:

http://www.change.org/petitions/advertisers-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly threw his hat into the misogynist ring with Rush in a new series of attacks on Sandra Fluke. O’Reilly didn’t go as far to slut shame Sandra. But he did use the euphemism ‘social life’ to conflate women’s reproductive health with kids just joshing around. And, of course, O’Reilly returns to the old, worn fallacy, saying that Sandra wants everyone to pay for her play. But O’Reilly’s worst offense, along with the rest of republicans, was his support for Rush’s bigoted attack on Sandra and, by extension, all women.

Republicans’ support for Rush, either through statements or through tacit silence, is nothing less than proof positive they approve of attacks on Sarah together with an ongoing battle to roll back women’s reproductive freedom. But we don’t have to stand for this abuse. We can let our voices be heard and show these republicans that we won’t suffer further attacks. Protection of women and reproductive freedoms is a cornerstone to civil society. Suffering those protections to be withdrawn would be a return to a cold, hard age of barbarism and exploitation.

Please help support our continuing efforts to defend women from vicious, politically motivated attacks.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Rush Goes Nuclear in Republican War on Women

Around the country and in Congress, Republicans are engaged in an unprecedented battle to restrict women’s freedoms and protection under the law. The Blunt amendment sought to curtail women’s rights and access to birth control, legislation in Virginia sought to force invasive ultra-sounds, legislation in Georgia is attempting to redefine rape victims by calling them ‘accusers,’ and in South Dakota republicans proposed a bill that would make it legal to murder an abortion doctor.

This war on women and women’s rights is as shameful as it is extreme. But perhaps the most shameful occurrence has come in the form of Rush Limbaugh’s own statements made against women generally and Sandra Fluke in particular.

Ever since Sandra Fluke was brave enough to testify before Congress and to share her thoughts on the importance of birth control, she has been subject to a series of vitriolic and inhuman attacks aimed at smearing her integrity, character, and sex. By extension, these attacks are indirectly aimed at all women, the virtue of the sex act, and the integrity of loving relationships between men and women everywhere.

Rush has plainly stated that women who use birth control are ‘sluts.’ This direct attack against women is but the latest use of an age-old slur. It implies that a women who has sex is guilty of some undefined crime and is somehow inferior. But the sex act is as natural to humankind as breathing. None of us would be standing here today without that physical expression of love between our parents. This insidious shaming of someone for doing something so human is not only an attack on women, but on nature itself. It turns something that should be beautiful into an indignity and it casts half of humankind into the shadows. It is at the root of a wretched and heart-breaking ‘original sin’ doctrine that has so divided us one against the other — age after age after age.

But Rush doesn’t stop at invoking the ancient indignity. He goes on to suggest that anyone who provides access to birth control is a ‘pimp.’ In this single statement, he has denigrated the entire health care industry or anyone who has worked to expand the reproductive freedoms of men, women, and families. Continuing with the harlot metaphor, Rush completes his hate-rant by suggesting exploitation. Rush, in his concluding statement today said that, in order to pay for their birth control, women should post sex videos on the internet.

I suppose Rush doesn’t realize the level of harm the porn industry inflicts on women. How ignorant he seems to the many women exploited by this industry and to the numberless films made using the modern version of slaves. Perhaps he encourages this kind of exploitation? His rhetoric, sadly, seems to indicate just that. His suggestion that 99% of America’s women are sluts who should be filmed on the internet to earn their birth control is an awful verbal weapon aimed at those fairest, most compassionate, the gentlest among us.

I suppose Rush, at the apex of his wealth and power, feels invulnerable to the responses of little people like women and those who care for them. But, in my view, this is the height of hubris. It is time, long past, for this bigot, fear and hate monger, this peddler of little lies to be taken down. It is time we stand up and demand his resignation. To demand that he be taken off the air.

His freedom of speech does not extend to a right to a massive platform which he uses daily to impugn and diminish our economic, social, and sexual liberties. It is, indeed, high time we take down this petty radio dictator and his little kingdom of extremist serfs. We should no longer suffer corporate slobs who are paid billions to divide us and to attack the rights of our mothers, lovers, wives, and sisters. No good woman or man should suffer it.

Please join our rebellion against the misogynist Rush by signing the petition to have all his hatred taken off the air. Please tell all your friends, family and anyone you meet. We should no longer suffer ourselves to be threatened by this bully!

http://www.change.org/petitions/us-congress-fcc-radio-sydicates-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

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