When the news broke last month that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by a number of women, it was only the tip of the iceberg. The newest member of this not so honorable club is Al Franken, Saturday Night Live alumni and current senator from Minnesota.
In 2006, while on a USO tour, Leeann Tweeden accuses Mr. Franken of forcibly kissing her and having a picture taken of them while she slept. The picture is of Mr. Franken pretending to fondle her breasts.
Should Mr. Franken resign from? Honestly, I don’t know. In an ideal world, I would say yes, but considering that an empty seat in the Senate would create an imbalance that would tip in favor of the Republican, I say no.
At least unlike other politicians accused of similar acts (Donald Trump, Roy Moore), Mr. Franken has apologized and promised to make amends. But unlike his predecessors, there is pictorial evidence that is irrefutable.
The problem continues to be that women are still seen as sexual objects without thoughts, feelings and ambitions. Until the day when the concept is eradicated for good, then we will continue to be seen as and treated as sexual objects.
The corner-stone of any democracy can be described in one word: compromise. These days in America, compromise is a dirty word, especially when one has to reach across the political aisle.
Earlier this year, writer and television news commentator Van Jones published Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. In this non-fiction book, Mr. Jones calls out the political bullsh*t on both sides of the aisle and forces the reader to examine how we all are guilty of putting our own interests and beliefs ahead of the good of our country and our fellow citizens.
This book is wake up call for all Americans. It reminds us that at the end of the day, we must find a way to compromise and get along, even if we will never see eye to eye. In the book, he uses an analogy of a family reunion. A young child has wandered away from their parents and has fallen into a well. While the Democrats and The Republicans bicker and disagree, no one is doing what should be doing: finding a way to get the child out of the well. I can’t think of a better analogy for the current political climate in America.
I absolutely recommend it.
Prejudice against immigrants is nothing new. One does not need to go back too far into history to find see that the same prejudices and fears that existed about immigrants in the past still exist today.
Recently, writer Sasha Polakow-Suransky published Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy. A journalist by trade, the writer exposes how the raw nerves of hate, prejudice and anti-immigration are infecting first world democracies and how liberal democracy is being threatened by the rising tide of hate and fear.
What strikes me about this book is that many of us who call ourselves liberals are closing our eyes. We believe it is 2017 and labels such as race, class, religion, family origin, etc are meaningless. The truth is that these labels carry as much weight and power as they did in previous generations and threaten to destroy the progress that we all have made to create a free and equal society.
I absolutely recommend it.
What is wrong with this country can be described in two words: Roy Moore.
Moore is the Republican candidate running for the Senate in Alabama. He has recently been accused by five women of sexual assault back in the 1970’s when he was a district attorney and they were underage.
While Moore adamantly refutes the accusations, the evidence is mounting. I applaud these women who have four decades have finally come forward. I only hope that they get the justice they deserve and Moore gets the figurative kick in the balls that he deserves.
P.S. All signs are pointing to the fact that the accusations are being taken very seriously when Mitch McConnell would prefer not to see Moore in the Senate next year.
Since last January, the world we knew has descended into a chaotic mess that is nearly unrecognizable.
For many of us who are counting the days until the 2020 election (or until impeachment, whichever comes first), Randy Rainbow provides a safe port of call that is warm, comfortable, sarcastic and extremely funny.
His new video is entitled “THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS”.
We need more Randy Rainbows in this world.
P.S. Does anyone long for the days when George W. Bush was President? If anyone would have asked me that question 15 years ago, I would have said they were crazy. If only we had a crystal ball back then….
There is an old saying: when mortals plan, G-d laughs.
Last November, Hillary Clinton seemed to be a shoe-in to win the 2016 Presidential Election. She was running against Donald Trump, a snake-oil, used car salesman billionaire reality show star whose large ego was only matched by his extreme lack of political experience. Instead of becoming the first female President in American history, she lost the election.
In her new memoir, What Happened, Mrs. Clinton takes a deep dive into the election, examining the players involved, the mistakes she made and how things might have gone differently had she won the election.
What I truly appreciated about this book is how candid and open Mrs. Clinton is. There is nothing robotic or stiff about this memoir. While it was clearly painful to lose the election, I feel like this book is cathartic for both the writer and the reader. Especially if the reader is a Democrat and a Clinton supporter who is counting down the days until the either Trump is impeached or loses the 2020 election.
I recommend it.
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Tomorrow we honor the men and women who have given their lives to protect this country.
The military is not for everyone, but for those who are willing and able to join, it is the noblest act that they can undertake.
A few months ago, Donald Trump announced that transgender troops would be banned from the military. A judge has blocked enforcement of the ban.
Unlike other countries, America does not have a mandatory military conscription. It is up to the individual if he or she wants to become a member of the armed forces. It is shortsighted and foolish (though it would not be the first time with the Trump administration) to prevent these people from joining or continuing in the service, especially if they have been trained and are able to adequately do their job.
We need to honor all of our troops, regardless of any labels they themselves or others may use to the define them. After everything they have done for us, it is the least we can do.
Yesterday, November 9th and today, November 10th is the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Translated into “Night Of The Broken Glass” Jewish owned businesses, buildings,homes and synagogues were destroyed. Innocent Jewish civilians were murdered or arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps.
Kristallnacht was the beginning of the Holocaust. By the time World War II ended 7 years later, six million Jews were murdered, along with five million others who were deemed as “subhuman” by the Nazis and their supporters.
Unfortunately, this sentiment is not a new one, especially in America today. We have a President who is silently condoning the views and actions of the far right and the hate groups who in the past, have been forced into the shadows of our culture. If he had his way, immigrants, especially immigrants of color would be deported. Transgender troops who put the lives on the line for this country would be forced out of the military. The Press, as we know it to be, would be destroyed except for a few television channels and publications who mindlessly agree with him. It is a figurative Reichstag fire that has the potential to destroy our democracy and everything that we as Americans hold dear.
If we don’t learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it. While Donald Trump is not a mirror of Hitler, there are signs and red flags that cannot be ignored. If we ignore them, we do so at our own peril.
The Women’s March early this year was nothing short of life changing and world-changing. Millions of citizens, from various countries around the world, came together to protest sexism and to send a middle finger to Donald Trump, who had then only recently taken the Oath Of Office.
Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope–Voices from the Women’s March, by Artisan, is a short picture book containing pictures and quotes from those who marched and made their opinions known.
What I loved about this book is that it is short and the point. We are here to stay and will not quietly return to the 1950’s. We will fight for our rights.
I recommend it. I also love that all of the profits from the sale of the book go to Planned Parenthood.
Across the nation tomorrow, multiple towns and cities will be holding local elections.
I urge my fellow citizens, if there is a local election in your area, regardless of where your land on the political spectrum, to get out and vote.
It is our right, it is our privilege, it is our responsibility. There countries around the world where the simple act of voting is tantamount to revolution.
My fellow New York City residents, if they are still up in the air about whom they are voting for, can find more information here.
I also want to remind any woman who is ambivalent about voting, what it took to get us the right to vote.
Alice Paul was tortured in prison, just for protesting that women could not vote. If we don’t vote tomorrow, we dishonor her memory and the memories of the women of that generation who suffered so we could vote.