Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I Believe Christine (and Anita and Patti and...)

I Believe Christine (and Anita and Patti and...)
by C.A. Matthews

The time we live in is one of skepticism and cynicism.  We trust nobody and trust even less what these "nobodies" have to say. Yet Americans have elected an apparent pathological liar to the highest office in the land. What gives?

When a liar is elevated and adored by many, any persons who are seen as a threat to the worshiped sociopath must be eliminated. Their reputations must be besmirched; their testimony silenced. Truth cannot be allowed to shine on the heroes of darkness, revealing more warts than even the most adoring of fans could tolerate. So truth must be denied and added to the list of ideals to be skeptical of, derided to the point that it becomes the most despised of virtues. Because to quote an infamous Twitterer: "Facts aren't necessary."

Even so, I believe in truth. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I still believe Anita Hill and the testimony she bravely gave at the Clarence Thomas hearings. Why do I believe these women? It's not just because I'm female and a fellow #MeToo member.  It's not because I've experienced similar horrors or felt powerless to do anything against my attacker. I believe them because I believe any person (male, female or other gender) who is brave enough to admit publicly of being harassed and violated in such an intimate manner is a strong person, and, as such, has no reason to resort to subterfuge to gain an upper hand over the person who wronged them.
A rapist/sexual predator, on the other hand, behaves in the completely opposite manner.  This individual learns to lie and obfuscate to cover his deep-seated sense of inadequacy and self-loathing that manifests itself in an outward hatred and dehumanizing of others. He (face it, most rapists are male) becomes an actor in our "macho tough guy" culture. He knows how to put a woman "in her place" through forcing her to "live through her own death," as rape has been described by many survivors. Laughing it off as "boys will be boys," he seeks to normalize his sadistic behaviors by destroying his victim's reputation. He'll claim she is liar, a whore, an attention seeker or otherwise a person of no consequence. He alone is what society wants and needs. Society shouldn't listen to the hurting souls he leaves in his wake through his violent actions, let alone believe or empathize with them.

I don't believe Brett Kavanaugh knows what truth is--or else he would take himself out of the running for the Supreme Court. If Kavanaugh is being honest with himself, he would understand that his past actions constituted a felony and were physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually harmful to a fellow human being. Of course he would also have to acknowledge that Christine is a human being worthy of respect, which his denial of the importance of this revelation indicates he does not. He is allowing the darkness to dictate his actions, giving into the lie that when a crime isn't reported then there isn't a victim.

But there is a victim, and she is brave enough to come forward to talk about the injustice perpetrated against her. It's the least the senate judiciary committee could do is to let her speak her piece without unwarranted criticisms and slanderous commentary. It's the least they could do to investigate the incident and not take Kavanaugh's dismissal of it as the only evidence they need to place him on the highest court. Revealing the truth is where victims can at last exert some measure of power over their attackers and begin to heal.

To deny the truth doesn't mean the false reality where "boys will be boys" automatically becomes the accepted norm for the majority. Most Americans feel that a rapist is a rapist no matter what term you use to describe this sort of individual. He forces himself on another without pity and enjoys silencing his victim through fear and intimidation that can last a lifetime. If denying climate change doesn't stop the destructive hurricanes and flooding, then why should denying the crime of a man in the running for a high office change the horrendous nature of that crime?

But why Kavanaugh? It seems our current sexual predator/liar-in-chief desires a person possessing a similar outlook on the worth of women sitting on the bench. When push comes to shove, one "good ol' boy sexual predator" will gladly cover for another, won't he? A woman's right to safe and legal abortion, her right to equal pay, her right to feel safe from uncalled for advances from people in a position of power over her--both Kavanaugh and Trump express contempt for these rights. They both seem to enjoy forcing  women into a "helpless" position, making them dependent upon the "help" of men in order to maintain a decent standard of living for themselves and their children.

If you want to know more about "Why Kavanaugh?" please click through to read my article A Matter of Control that I wrote a few weeks ago. It's a control game, all right. The truth-deniers are spinning the narrative on the mainstream media even now. The dirt-diggers will continue flinging mud on Christine Blasey Ford and other women who  come forward to expose the predators in positions of power who hurt them. We can't let these evil-doers get us down. We must continue to believe in the truth and support truth-speakers, because as it is written, "The truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

We need to free ourselves from the lies, hatred and division of our cynical society before it enslaves us all. We need to protect the truth and believe in justice now more than ever.

Related articles:

Christine Blasey Ford agrees to testify before Congress

Second woman accuses Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct

Lessons never learned--45 years after the All in the Family Episode where Gloria was almost raped

Brett Kavanaugh faces unprecedented opposition

Patti Davis (Ronald Reagan's daughter): I was sexually assaulted...

The Kavanaugh confirmation battle is about to explode

Another example of how women are "put in their place" and silenced by our corrupt system:  The Real News Network interviews Green Party candidate for governor, Constance Gadell-Newton, on her platform after being barred from participating in the Ohio governor debates.

Press Release: Ohio Supreme Court Ignores Rights, Blocks Citizen Initiative Protecting Lake Erie - Voting rights and Lake Erie disregarded as justices dispute technicalities

TOLEDO, OH: On Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court blocked from the November ballot a Toledo citizen’s initiative. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) would have recognized the right of Lake Erie to be healthy and free from pollution that today is killing the Lake and depriving surrounding communities of safe water.

Toledo residents are among eleven million people dependent on Lake Erie for drinking water. Following a 2014 algae bloom that deprived Toledoans of water for three days, community members formed Toledoans for Safe Water. The group requested the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) assist in drafting a bill of rights for Lake Erie as a means to legally protect it. Decades of government regulation have failed to do so. Community members gathered nearly 11,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Over the last 18 months, in addition to blocking the Toledo initiative, the Ohio Supreme Court justices have ruled to keep a number of rights-based initiatives off the ballot that would have protected communities from shale gas drilling and fracking activities. In addition to those justices dissenting from the majority, the remaining justices are disagreeing how to rationalize blocking the people’s right to vote on their own measures.

In Friday’s ruling, a majority made clear the court had made errors in previous decisions regarding these initiatives. Justice Sharon Kennedy concluded, “The public is not under the illusion that we are infallible. There is little harm in admitting that we made a mistake. But recognizing an error in a prior decision is only the first step; sooner or later, we have to rectify it.”

In all of the justices’ machinations, there is but one mention of Lake Erie in a background paragraph. Markie Miller, an organizer with Toledoans for Safe Water, stated, “We the people put in hundreds of volunteer hours collecting nearly 11,000 signatures because we’re alarmed about Lake Erie’s deterioration. We’re apprehensive about the safety of our drinking water. We’re worried about our survival. Our Ohio Supreme Court justices make no mention of any of that in their decision. It is as if Lake Erie and the people are invisible to the court.”

Crystal Jankowski, another organizer with LEBOR, added, “It was devastating to be without water for 3 days in 2014. This is worse. To know that the Lake and my children are at risk because it is legal for the polluters to pollute us, while our own government makes it illegal for us to propose a law to protect the Lake and our children, is beyond devastating. It is the realization that we not only have a water crisis, but we also have a democracy crisis.”

Terry Lodge is a CELDF-affiliated attorney representing the community group. Lodge stated, “There seems to be a ‘ruling class’ divide in the court, yet they all miss the point that the people have the right to directly legislate by initiative. They ignore their own long-standing precedent, which has always been to allow initiatives on the ballot, regardless of constitutionality. No one can interfere with the city council or the state legislature voting on an illegal or unconstitutional bill. It should be the same for the people of the state. It’s clear that our government is afraid to let the people legislate by initiative.”

CELDF is filing a Motion to Reconsider on behalf of community members today, based on a federal judge ruling in Schmitt vs. Husted, Case No. 2:cv-18-966, on September 19th. In that case, two marijuana initiatives kept off the November ballot by the Portage County Board of Elections were ordered on the ballot.


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From the National Domestic Workers Alliance:

I can't stop thinking about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who courageously came forward to share her story of being sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. As a survivor, I know how difficult it is to come forward. I believe her. That's why I decided to add my voice to this video.

This nomination process cannot go forward without a full and fair FBI investigation into the case.
The #MeToo movement has given us the courage to demand that survivors be heard and supported. And no matter how powerful -- even those nominated to the highest court in the land -- those who are accused of abuse should be fully investigated.

It's hard to overstate the stakes with this nomination: it's a lifetime appointment that could affect everything we care about: Workers' Rights, Marriage Equality, DACA, Citizens United, Roe vs Wade -- many court cases that have a profound impact on our lives.

Ai-jen Poo
National Domestic Workers Alliance


Win Without War

Can you imagine your home is no longer safe because of the horrors of bombs, blockades, or floods? And you’re forced to flee with your family, across land and water, not knowing what’s ahead? That when you finally arrive, you’re ordered to “go back where you came from.” You’re told you are criminal, a burden, unwelcome.

This heartbreaking story is an everyday refugee story in our world. And Trump is making it even worse.

Last night, the Trump administration further dismantled the Refugee Admissions Program by announcing an all-time record low admissions cap of 30,000 for fiscal year 2019. This is WAY below even a bare minimum needed for the program to survive. 

This is unacceptable. And what’s worse is that Trump is required to consult with Congress before setting this cap —but he didn’t. That’s illegal.
I’ll be really blunt: Congress has to grow a spine and step in to stop Trump’s hateful and illegal anti-refugee agenda. But our elected officials will only act if we make them. So that’s where we come in.

Tell Congress: Act immediately to stop Trump from slamming the doors shut on refugees for good. 

The U.S. should be opening our doors to refugees. After all, our failed violence-first foreign policies drive displacement around the globe, from war to climate change. Yet, instead, Trump is barricading our borders to those our own policies harm.

Congress MUST stand with the American people and honor our nation’s aspiration to be a refuge for those in need. If our elected representatives stay silent now, they will enable Donald Trump in slamming shut our nation’s doors for decades to come. And we need to make very sure they know it.

Tell Congress to act immediately and stop Trump from dismantling the life-saving refugee resettlement program.

Refugee and migrant solidarity is one of the biggest anti-war issues of our time. Refugees already face insurmountable obstacles in fleeing the frontlines of war, climate catastrophes, and social and economic inequalities in pursuit of sanctuary and dignity. We must not make this pursuit impossible.

Thank you for working for peace,
Mariam, Tara, Cassandra, and the Win Without War team
From the Sierra Club:

We have less than two weeks to stop the anti-environmental provisions of the House Farm Bill in final negotiations with the Senate, which will shape the next five years of food, farming, agricultural and environmental policy.  

A clean bill would promote sustainable agriculture, and support local communities, without making egregious cuts to funding for local food systems, weakening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) designed to curb hunger, and trampling state and county rights -- including the right to regulate pesticides!

The House Farm Bill is full of anti-environmental provisions that would even gut the Clean Water Act, log away our national forests, harm conservation policies and launch a total attack on the Endangered Species Act.


Kirin Kennedy
Associate Director for Legislative and Administrative Advocacy
Lands and Wildlife, Sierra Club

From RootsAction:

The Trump administration continues to keep children locked up whom it has torn away from their parents.

And the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement routinely denies or limits journalists access to child "detention centers," arguing that it needs to protect the privacy of children.

But professional journalists are capable of reporting on children responsibly, and the government could easily negotiate with them on ways to do so.

If reporters are locked out, the public is denied its right to freedom of the press and the ability to engage in self-governance.

Click here to join RootsAction and a huge coalition in demanding access to these child jails so that the U.S. public can see what is being done with our money and in our name.

Our Message to Office of Refugee Resettlement:

Since May of 2017, the number of migrant children in custody has jumped from 2,400 to 12,800 as of September. The administration’s recent investment in “tent cities,” which provide harsh living conditions for children, is horrifying and unacceptable. The Office of Refugee Resettlement routinely denies or limits journalists access to child detention centers, arguing the need to protect the privacy of children. But professional journalists are capable of reporting on children responsibly. We demand that journalists be given immediate increased access to detention centers―to honor our constitutional right of freedom of the press and to ensure government transparency and accountability. Only through our free press will we begin to understand and be able to address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border.

Add your name now by clicking here.

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