I will not shut up

When you assemble peaceably and it’s a riot

Laverne was very happy to have extra attention last night from our surprise guest.

Last night, Mr T and I rioted.

Oh wait.

Let me re-state that.

We went to a peaceful protest, assembling freely as is our right.

We went to a peaceful protest that included babies, children, pets, and people using wheelchairs.

And the evening ended with Mr T and a friend (“Laura”) who was also at the protest stumbling up to our back door, trying to rub the tear gas out of their eyes.


In 2014, a Milwaukee cop shot and killed Dontre Hamilton, a man who was sleeping peacefully and legally on a park bench in the middle of the afternoon.

In 2016, a Milwaukee cop shot and killed Sylville Smith as Smith was running away. Smith had discarded his gun and was on the ground when he was shot the second time.

Body-camera video from another officer — played for the jury last week — showed that Heaggan-Brown shot a second bullet into Smith’s chest after the suspect hurled his weapon over a fence and had his hands near his head. Smith was on the ground when he received the fatal shot.

CNN

In 2016, a Milwaukee cop shot and killed Jay Anderson, who was sleeping peacefully and legally in his car at a city park. No body cam, so there is no way to judge whether the cop, who claimed that Anderson lunged for the gun he legally possessed, was telling the truth.


What are you willing to die for?

When I saw Laura at the protest, I told her that at first, I had been scared to participate in a protest. But then I thought about Laura and asked myself, “What would Laura do?”

And I knew she would stand up for what’s right.

“Ten years ago,” she answered, “we were at dinner at a friend’s house. After we ate, we played Table Topics. The question was, ‘What are you willing to die for?'”

“We all answered something about our families and our children – we would die for our families.”

“But all none of us thought about anything outside of ourselves.”

I interjected. “But ten years ago, we were not facing an existential threat to the foundations of our democracy.”

Laura nodded. “But after Dontre Hamilton was murdered, I realized that I would put my life on the line so that everyone might have the same privileges that I do.”

Jesse Jackson had come to town after the DA announced that the cop who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton would not face any charges.

Laura and her friend Meg decided to go to the rally.

“Everything was fine and then we started to march. In the street. We were hesitant about that, so we stayed near the edge of the road.”

“Then the protesters started blocking intersections.”

“Meg and I just couldn’t do that. We would jump up to the curb and wait until they started marching again.”

“At the courthouse, Jesse Jackson came out with the family. He started to lead a call and response, but I was so uncomfortable and couldn’t participate.”

“The calls were full sentences, but he would give only a few words at a time.”

“I couldn’t do it because I didn’t know what the whole sentence was. I didn’t know what I was committing to.”

“It was a total white privilege thing,” she said.


This year, the same cop who killed Jay Anderson also killed a 17 year old. Yes, Alvin Cole had a gun, but he was on the ground, subdued, surrounded by several officers. The cop shot him less than 30 seconds after arriving on the scene. From the DA’s report:

Police responded to a report of a man with a gun. Mensah arrived to see other officers and mall security running after Cole. During the pursuit, Cole pulled out a handgun from a fanny pack “and the gun fired, apparently accidentally, striking Cole in the arm,” the report said.

“Cole fell to the ground into a crawl position, where he was surrounded by several Wauwatosa police officers. Cole was commanded to drop the gun, which was still in his hand,” the report said.

“Unbeknownst to the officers (and likely Cole himself), Cole’s firearm had become inoperable because the magazine was not attached and the bullet in the chamber had been fired. Cole did not drop the weapon,” the report said.

According to Mensah, Cole pointed the weapon at him “and fearing for his personal safety, Mensah fired his gun at Cole five times, repeatedly striking Cole and causing his death. Cole still had his own firearm in his hand after being shot,” the report said. 

No other officer fired their weapon, the report said. Mensah was on scene less than 30 seconds before encountering and shooting Cole.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Protestors have been marching every night in Milwaukee since the end of May.

Every night.

They have been in my neighborhood.

The only ugly incident I know of – and this was not in the news, this is first-hand reporting – was when my neighbor across the street stood in front of the protestors as they came down our street with both hands in the hair, middle finger extended.

She also used the N-word to my neighbors up the street. Mary is white and her husband, Bob, is Black.

Our mutual neighbor does not approve.


Bob, who lives four houses away from me, wrote,

Our house was egged soon after we moved in. Standing in my front yard, I’ve been asked by “Helpersons” if I was looking for something. My family is ignored by parents we see almost daily at our kids’ schools. And I recognize the difference between genuine and forced smiles.

Bob

On Wednesday, the DA announced he would not be charging the cop who killed Alvin Cole.

On Wednesday, in the middle of the afternoon, well before 7:00, the mayor of my town announced a curfew of 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for the next several days. He also closed all city operations, including the library.

On Wednesday, the National Guard started arriving in my neighborhood, along with police officers from neighboring cities wearing tactical gear and driving in military vehicles.

On Wednesday, a crowd of protestors marched almost ten miles from downtown Milwaukee, where the DA had made his announcement, to my city.

They encountered police, who tried to stop the protestors.

The protestors were marching peacefully.

After the protestors encountered the police, a few of them, despite shouts (caught on video) of, “Don’t DO that!” from other protestors, broke windows in local businesses.

So yes charge the persons who damaged property. I do not defend lawlessness. But I do defend peaceful protest.


On Thursday night, the police arrested Alvin Cole’s mother in the church parking lot, treating her so roughly that she spent the night in the hospital.


Yesterday, Mr T asked if I would join a protest that started at 5:00 p.m. Two hours before curfew.

I did not want to.

First, I wanted to watch TV yesterday afternoon.

Second, standing at a protest seems stupid to me.

Third, I wondered where I would be able to pee easily.

I told him no.


Yesterday, Molly Beck, a reporter for the local paper, announced on twitter,

GOP lawmakers are drafting a bill that would define a riot & create a Class A misdemeanor penalty for attending or inciting a riot, and a Class I felony to “knowingly participate in a riot that results in substantial damage to the property of another person or bodily injury.”

Molly Beck

The Wisconsin legislature, of which the majority are Republicans, has not taken up any legislation since April 14.

That is, the Wisconsin legislature has not taken up any legislation (they have barely even met) in an attempt to help Wisconsin citizens with covid since April 14.

The Wisconsin Republicans have gone to court to try to block the governor’s orders about covid.

They themselves have not enacted or even proposed any covid (or other) legislation since April 14.

The hospitals in central Wisconsin are full. They are opening an overflow facility that was built on the Wisconsin State Fair grounds.

It’s already illegal to damage property or persons.


Until last week, my only experience with a curfew was when I lived in Chile, a few years after the Pinochet dictatorship ended. I heard horrible stories about the Pinochet curfew, including one about the death of my friend’s father, who had a heart attack after curfew and could not leave their home to go to the hospital. He died.


I associated curfews with repression and I especially associated police and soldiers taking up arms against their neighbors with repression.


Yes, I will, I said. Yes, I will protest.


When we got to the protest, we found babies, children, pets, and persons using wheelchairs.

We heard chants and singing.

And then we watched as Humvees with men in tactical gear and cradling machine guns arrived. And they weren’t even just from our local police department – they were from PDs in neighboring cities and counties.

We were a group of babies, children, and out of shape middle-aged people.


The fine for violating curfew is $1,000. Mr T and I decided we were willing to pay for one fine but not for two. He, along with much of the 5:00 p.m. crowd, would stay past curfew.


I saw my friend Laura. I have seen her only twice since covid time began. She, too, was planning to stay past curfew.

“[My husband] is out of town,” she said. “If I get arrested, will you feed my dog? Or make sure my neighbors who have the key feed him?”

Of course, I said.


Before curfew, the police arrested two people who were standing in a crosswalk holding a sign.


I came home and started watching twitter.

I heard helicopters and sirens.

I saw video of the police, in full riot gear, including the big plexiglass shields, kettling the protestors.

I heard the pops of items being launched. I saw that it was tear gas.

Commenters on twitter said that if people don’t want to be tear gassed, they shouldn’t violate curfew.


Unlike you smoothbrains i can choose to support neither failed ideology. We probably agree on quite a few things, but you gotta be a bitch about the small shit we don’t agree on. I’d say suck start a shotgun but you’d probably pass out if one was ten feet from you.

Twitter commenter to me

If it’s OK to tear gas people for violating curfew, is it also OK to tear gas them for not wearing a mask?

If it’s OK to kill suspects for going to the 7-11/sleeping on a park bench/sleeping in a car/passing a bad $20/being subdued on the ground after shooting yourself in the arm, is it OK to kill people for violating curfew?


Alvin Cole’s mother was protesting police brutality when she was arrested with more police brutality.


My great-uncle was a cop in Milwaukee. For a while, he was in assistant chief. After George Floyd, my dad’s cousin wrote to me,

I was highly incensed and angry about the killing of Floyd in MN. You know my dad was the assistant chief of police back in the 60’s-70’s. Before he got this promo he was the personnel director, in which he had the responsibility for hiring and firing cops. Then the government stepped in with their new laws which literally gutted the acceptability levels and significantly lowered the hiring standards. My dad told me they…abolished the psychological testing/reviews. My dad predicted the results back then: you would end up with a few crazed gun happy goons that were on a “power trip” and you could do little to prevent their hire.

The cop who killed Floyd had 18 prior writeups for use of excessive force. He should have been fired long ago.


I watched the online photos and videos of police in riot gear hemming in peaceful protestors three blocks from my house. I smelled the tear gas through my open windows. I heard the helicopters overhead.

I have to believe that most of the police and Guard were horrified to be placed in this position. I know my father, who was in the Wisconsin Guard when he was in college, would have been appalled.


I heard voices outside my house.

“It’s locked! Let us in!”

It was Mr T and Laura.

“We started running when they started tear gassing!” they gasped as they rubbed their eyes.

I ran to the bathroom and grabbed a towel and a washcloth for Laura.

Mr T was rinsing his face in the kitchen sink.

“Get a towel for Laura!” he suggested.

I looked at Laura. “It’s like he doesn’t even know me.”


I put on my mask and got a chair, some water, and some bread for Laura.

We listened to the sirens and the helicopters.

On twitter, people posted that they could taste tear gas inside their houses.

I wonder if they could taste the tear gas in the nursing home that is on the corner where the tear gas was launched.

I wonder what country I am living in.


Law enforcement personnel authorized the use of chemical (tear gas) and less lethal munitions (pepper balls and paint balls) in self-defense only as small children were present in the crowd.

Police department statement

I. Am. Speaking.

Will you shut up, man?

Remember when the king of Spain told Hugo Chavez to shut up? Good times. Dictators and bullies should always be confronted.

I don’t even know where to start.

I am done, done, done with these jerks who try to talk over us and who accuse us (women in general, not me, because I am not successful) of having professional success only because we slept with the right person.

A young man at the place I volunteer told me a few weeks ago that Kamala had clearly slept her way to the top.

I replied, “Disagree with her on policy and her record – that’s fine. But that’s bullshit that she slept her way to her success. Honestly, if it were that easy for women to sleep our way to power, don’t you think we would all be doing it?”

Another volunteer, who is another Woman of a Certain Age, chimed in. “I know I would have,” she said. “If I could be rich just by sleeping with someone? I would do it.”

A member of the Wisconsin Republican party, which has time on their hands because it’s not like the Wisconsin legislature has met in the past six months or anything, tweeted this:

“If there are any questions on how to sleep your way to the top, Kamala will have an advantage,” Best wrote. His post included a meme that said, “She will be an inspiration to young girls by showing that if you sleep with the right powerfully connected men then you too can play second fiddle to a man with dementia. It’s basically a Cinderella story.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  1. Cinderella did not sleep her way to the top. She made an awesome dress with the help of some cute rodents. I don’t think she and the prince even kiss.
  2. Let’s say Kamala (I know I should say “Harris” but Kamala is such a great name) did sleep her way to the top. I want to learn from her. Show me how to sleep with the right powerfully connected men so that I, too, can win court cases and be elected with (consults wikipedia) 3,000,689 votes.

Of course, I am assuming that everyone she slept with voted for her.

But what if she also slept with people who didn’t vote for her?

Because there were 1,416,203 votes cast for her opponent.

What if she slept with all the voters but not all of them voted for her?

How much time would it take to sleep with (3,000,689+1,416,203) = 4,416,892 people?

Leaving out the logistics of travel, etc, let’s assume 30 minutes per encounter.

That’s 2,208,446 hours, which is 92,018 days, which is 252 years.

252 years of sleeping with people to get their votes.

(That doesn’t even include the jurors on all of her trials.)

But my math might be wrong. My assumption of 30 minutes per encounter might be wrong. Please feel free to correct me.

Still, she would have been busy.

Which is why she doesn’t have time to let anyone talk over her.

Im Speaking Kamala GIF - ImSpeaking Speaking Kamala GIFs

Which is why hearing the VP trying to shut her up and hearing her response to him inspired joy in the heart of every single woman who has ever been in a meeting with men and wanted to shout, “WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP I AM TALKING IT’S MY TURN.”

We are so tired of being talked over. We are so tired of men interrupting us and not hearing us and saying what we just said and getting credit for it even though we are the ones who said it. We are so tired of being condescended to and being explained to.

We are tired.

And we loved it when Kamala told Pence “I’m speaking.”

Even though he knew she was speaking.

He knew and he spoke over her anyhow.

But she did not take his crap. She told him to shut up shut up shut up.

She did it more nicely than that, but that’s what she meant.

And even with that, she had to be careful.

Because heaven forbid she speak too loudly. Or too womanly. Or too meanly.

Because no matter what she does, she is going to be judged.

By jerks, I might add, but it must get tiring to be criticized all the time for doing normal things like frowning and talking and raising your voice because we all know that sometimes the only way to get men to listen is to scream and they don’t like it and ask why you don’t just ask in a normal tone of voice which is when you tell them that you did but they ignored you.

It fell to Harris to remind the vice president, “I’m speaking” — something he already knew but chose to ignore. If Harris had raised her voice in those moments, she would have been labeled shrill. If she had frowned, she would have been labeled a scold. If she had raised a hand, she would have been called angry or even unhinged.

Washington Post

Which is a whole other thing – having to scream to be heard and then being chastised for not speaking softly. Which you did do. You did speak softly. You knelt at a football game.

That didn’t work.

So now people are screaming.

Why should anyone be surprised?

VOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTE

It’s the water we swim in

When a candidate can be elected president despite bragging that he just “grabs ’em by the pussy”

I posted something on facebook from Jane Casey’s new book, Cruel Acts – a paragraph about a male detective asking a female detective why the murder victim, a young woman, had not walked the most direct route home.

“Wouldn’t she have wanted to go straight home? Get indoors where she was safe?”

“Not if she was concerned about them knowing where she lived. She’d never feel safe again if she led them to her door, even if she made it inside without coming to grief.”

Derwent shook his head and walked away.

“What?”

“Just….” He swung back to face me. “What a way to live, that’s all. Working out what risks to take. Who to trust. Walking fifteen minutes out of your way to give yourself a better chance of making it home in one piece.”

“That’s life, isn’t it? What’s the alternative? Staying at home?”

“Maybe.”

“You’re not serious.” I folded my arms. “If anyone should stay at home, it’s men. They’re the ones who cause most of the trouble.”

“Like that’s going to happen.”

I posted this passage, along with the comment that Mr T had been very surprised to learn how much time women spend trying to prevent being attacked. He had also been surprised when I told him about the line that the biggest concern men have about a blind date is being bored while the biggest concern women have about a blind date is being raped and murdered.

Mr T is one of the good guys.

Mr T is one of the good guys and he had no idea how much we women think about these things.

Actually, we don’t even think about how much we think about these things. They’re just part of the background. Of course we don’t go running after dark. Or park in a spot away from the lights at the grocery store. Or give our real phone numbers to strangers. Or use our real names on dating sites. Or do anything but meet in a very public place when we meet men for the first time.

We don’t even think about this things. We just know.

Discussion ensued on the post, with a friend, who is a kind, thoughtful man, noting that women also commit crimes and that there have been a number of car robberies perpetuated by women by him recently.

And that’s when I realized that he didn’t know I was talking about rape.

I had said women worry about being “attacked.”

I thought everyone knew that meant rape.

I thought everyone knew that rape is what we worry about.


Oh sure I don’t want to have my purse stolen or be carjacked, but when we go to self defense classes?

It’s not to learn to protect our bags.

It’s not to learn to protect our cars.

It’s to learn to protect our bodies and our lives.

A self defense class instructor told us we could gouge out the eye of an attacker – but asked if we really wanted to hurt someone that badly.

Um. Yes.

If my gouging out your eye keeps you from raping me, I can live with that. I will not lose one minute of sleep over it. Attack me at your peril.

The instructor was male, by the way.

Sincere question to my women readers: If you had to choose between being raped and gouging out the eye of an attacker, which would you pick? Maybe I’m just mean. I don’t know. But I will take disfiguring the man who is trying to hurt me over letting him hurt me.


A couple of years ago (have I told this story here?) I was – I guess the proper word is assaulted.

I thought I was too old for that sort of thing. I didn’t think Women of a Certain Age were sexually assaulted.

I was walking home from the State Fair on a major street at dusk.

I had passed a young man – a boy of 15, as it turned out – at the corner. We were the only ones on the sidewalk, so I had caught his eye and nodded.

You know – a Hi we’re both here we’re human it would be rude to ignore you kind of thing.

I left him behind and continued walking, reaching back to adjust my underwear once I was sure I had no witnesses.

And I felt a hand on my butt that was not my hand.

I spun around.

“Maybe I can help you with that,” the kid said. The kid I had seen a few blocks before.

He had followed me.

And he had grabbed my butt.

And he was just – looking at me like this was something perfectly normal. That he, a complete stranger, could touch my body.

I was so shocked that I just shooed him away, saying, “Stop that! Stop that right now!”

I continued to walk, expecting he would go away.

He did not.

He kept following me.

I tried scolding him because – he was 15. “I’m old enough to be your [very young] grandmother!” He should have responded to scolding.

He did not.

I tried shaming him: “What would your mother think if she knew what you were doing?” He should have responded to shaming.

He did not.

Instead, he just kept following me.

And it was spooky and weird and confusing because I am A Middle-Aged Lady and he was a teenager and it was just bizarre.

He wasn’t big – only an inch or two taller than me, I think, and I probably outweighed him.

But I didn’t know what he was going to do.

I didn’t know if he had a knife.

I didn’t know why he wouldn’t react the way I expected him to.

But I did know what my fear was and it wasn’t that he wanted to steal my purse.

This was someone who had laid hands on my body without invitation. Who thought that he could touch me without asking. And who exhibited no shame about it. And who was not going away.

This is what we fear. This is what we take the classes for. This is why we automatically seek the light in the parking lot and look under the car and in the back seat before getting into the car. This is why we tell our friends where we are going when we meet a new man someplace.


“Would you rather be raped or have your arm broken?” Mr T asks.

I don’t even have to think about it.

“I’d rather have my arm broken,” I tell him.

Which – now that I think about it, why? Why is rape worse than a broken arm? Let’s suppose a rape that did not involve other physical pain or harm to my body. Why would it be worse than a broken arm, which takes weeks to heal, not to mention expensive doctor visits?

Is it the reminder that we are so powerless against men? That every bad thing they can do to each other, they can do to us and do something worse? The reminder that we have to watch out for them all the time? That we never know whom we can trust?


When I was a girl, my father told me that if someone tried to steal my purse, let it go. “Your purse is not worth your life,” he said.


“But not all men!” the men say. “Not all men!”

I know. Mr T says he never thought his walking behind a lone woman on a dark street would be a problem.

“I would never hurt someone! Never!”

And I know he means it. I know it’s true. He would not ever hurt someone.

But how is someone who doesn’t know him supposed to know that? We have to judge all men by the actions of the bad ones. We can’t take the chance.


I told the kid who grabbed my butt that I was calling 911.

I called 911 and described him as I looked at him.

He kept walking toward me.

I jogged across the yard to the nearest house and leaned on the doorbell.

The kid kept walking toward me.

A man opened the door.

Of course I have to be all Midwestern about it and preface and explain. “I’m so sorry to bother you but would you mind if I stood in your entryway for a few minutes until this guy goes away I’ve called the police but he won’t leave and I just need to stand someplace.”

And of course the man let me in because he was a decent human being.

I was mortified at barging into someone’s house – a stranger’s house.

Note this: I am more concerned as I write this that I had inconvenienced someone than over a possible threat to my safety.


The other think Jackson always tried to impress upon Marlee – and Julia- was what you had to do if you were attacked because you’d been foolish enough to ignore his advice in the first place and go down the dark allay.

“You’re at a disadvantage,” he tutored them. “Height, weight, strength, they’re all against you, so you have to fight dirty. Thumbs in the eyes…..

One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson

After that woman was raped in Central Park – the one who dared to go running after dark and for whom five young men were falsely convicted, probably thanks in no small part to a full-page ad against them taken out by the same president who bragged about grabbing us by the pussy, I was arguing with a college friend.

“How could she have been so stupid to go running after dark?” I asked.

“Why shouldn’t women be able to go running after dark?” my friend replied.

I shook my head. “Everyone knows you can’t do that.

Jackson was forever warning Marlee (and Julia, come to that, but she never listened) about the foolishness of going down dark alleys. “Daddy, I’m not even allowed to go out in the dark,” Marlee said reasonably. Of course, if you were a girl, if you were a woman, you didn’t need to go down a dark alley in order to be attacked. You could be sitting on a train, stepping off a bus, feeding a photocopier, and still be plucked from your life too soon by some crazy guy.

One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson

Everyone knows you can’t do that.

It’s just that the foremost narrative possibility our culture affords unaccompanied women on the side of the highway is not liberation, desire, quest– but rather rape, death, some combination of the two.

Glenn, Noah, and I don’t worry too much about our presence “provoking” strangers. We are free to be obtuse. Rarely if ever do we fret about finding ourselves in a situation where we’re, say, screaming into a man’s palm….deep inside….is the unshakable certitude that obstacles will melt if we white men but whistle. Each of us takes it for granted: I am no one’s prey.

In the Land of Good Living, Kent Russell

Everyone knows.

And nothing changes.

Bad times all the time

Don’t marry a bad bacon eater is what they said

My wedding dress. On sale for $39 at Macy’s and I have worn it again

Mr T and I got married 12 years ago today.

It was a crummy week.

The rest of the world was fine, though. The rest of the world was not on fire, figuratively and literally.

We got married and we spent our wedding night on the pullout sofa bed in the basement.

NARRATOR: IT WAS NOT COMFORTABLE.

Why were we on the pullout sofa bed in the basement?

Because Mr T’s mom and dad were in our bedroom. My mom was in the guest room.

Mr T’s mom and dad had come to the wedding despite telling Mr T not to marry me and then threatening to boycott the wedding. I wish they had boycotted because then we would have felt comfortable inviting our friends. We didn’t invite our best friends to our wedding because we knew there would be drunken drama and we didn’t want to have to deal with all of that.

Mr T’s mom and dad told Mr T not to marry me because I was a gold digger who was marrying him just for his money —

NARRATOR: BUT HE DIDN’T REALLY HAVE ANY AND HIS PARENTS HAD ALREADY DISINHERITED HIM WHICH WAS FINE BECAUSE IT’S THEIR MONEY AND THEY GET TO DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH IT BUT THEN WHY DID THEY MAKE HIM THE EXECUTOR THAT’S JUST MEAN

— and because I eat bacon all wrong

NARRATOR: BUT THE BACON THING IS COMPLETELY UNFORGIVABLE.

They came to our wedding anyhow. And we didn’t invite our friends.

We should have eloped and invited our friends to the elopement.

If you have family issues and are wondering what to do about your wedding, just don’t tell your parents.

Seriously. Just cut them out. Get married without them because I promise you the drama will always be there. The drama will never leave and they will bring the drama to your wedding and you will have nothing but drama at your wedding and you won’t have your friends and for every year after, you will regret your decision.

If you cajole your mean alcoholic parents into attending your wedding anyhow – the wedding they threaten to boycott , they will attend and they will stay in your house for nine days.

NARRATOR: DO NOT LET YOUR PARENTS STAY IN YOUR HOUSE. DO NOT LET THEM STAY IN YOUR HOUSE FOR NINE DAYS

The first thing they will do after they arrive – after your husband drives to Chicago to pick them up so they can have a direct flight – is ask you to take them to the liquor store, which, in its own weird way, is the polite thing to do, as booze is not cheap and they consume a lot of it.

NARRATOR: THEY WILL STILL DRINK YOUR GOOD BOOZE BUT NOT AS MUCH OF IT

The next thing they will do is fill up on cheese and crackers with the 10 oz tumblers of bourbon at 4:00 p.m., which means they are not hungry at 7:00 p.m. when you put steak or roast chicken or whatever on the supper table just for them.

NARRATOR: HIDE YOUR $24/LB GOOD CARR VALLEY CHEESE EVEN IF THEY SAY THEY ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT

Then they will criticize you for using cloth napkins and for hanging your laundry on a clothesline instead of using a dryer.

NARRATOR: THEY WERE ACTUALLY BIG ENVIRONMENTALISTS

They will get drunk every night.

At your wedding, they will not take photographs. When your mom is taking photos, they will not ask her to take any with them.

When you go to the lake after the wedding to take more photos with your siblings, your mom and her gentlemen caller, and Mr T’s beautiful Bonus Daughters, they will return to the house with Mr T’s brother to drink.

When your mom sends you copies of the photos to send to Mr T’s parents, they will tell Mr T they are very offended that they do not appear in any.

At the wedding supper, they will get drunk. And when Mr T’s father offers a toast, he will manage to sort of wish Mr T unhappiness – “I hope you are as happy in your second marriage as I have been”

NARRATOR: HE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE HAPPY IN HIS SECOND MARRIAGE

but he will also make it through the toast without ever once referring to Mr T’s new wife, either by name or pronoun or even the word “wife.”

The only fun parts of your wedding is when Mr T’s parents aren’t around. And there are those moments and those are the moments you treasure: the evening at the karaoke bar with your mom, her gentleman caller, and your brother and sister. The walk with Mr T’s bonus daughters. The in-between time at the lake with your mom, her caller, your siblings, and Mr T’s bonus daughters.

NARRATOR: BUT THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER EXCEPT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DIED. THE END.

 

The new mini ice age, or, the year there was no summer

I remember when we used to have joy in our lives

Fight fight fight. Don’t give up. Let’s carry on the revolution for RBG.

As I walked into city hall today, I heard live music. It was a cello and a flute, warming up for something.

I almost didn’t recognize it. I haven’t heard live music since February. I have not heard live music in over six months.

It brought me to tears.

We have lost so much.

We have lost so much because of the poor leadership of this country.

We have lost over 200,000 lives, which is the biggest tragedy of all.

We have lost businesses. People have lost their livelihoods.

We have lost hellos and goodbyes and celebrations and laments and our summer and joy and collective sorrow and we have lost everything. EVERYTHING.

And it did not have to be this way.

Mr T and I are very lucky. I know that.

But even with that, even with not getting sick or with having already lost my job for non-covid reasons so I can’t blame that on the current soon to be ex I hope president, even with being lucky, we did not attend the wedding of the daughter of one of my best friends. We watched it on zoom.

We did not attend the funeral of my friend who died in July.

We did not go to my uncle’s funeral this week – we watched it on zoom.

We did not go to a single concert this summer.

Nobody did.

We did not go to a single festival.

Nobody did.

We did not go to the state fair.

Nobody did.

We will not go to our college class reunion.

Nobody will.

We have seen one set of friends once – we sat in our driveway.

The husband of my friend who died in July came over last night and we sat in the driveway and it was lovely, but it was cold. We are not going to be able to do that much longer. We don’t dare risk having people indoors. I am volunteering at city hall, which means I am around a lot of people, so I don’t want to expose anyone else.

Our friends T and S, from college, called us last night. They saw something I had written on facebook and were laughing about it. T and S are in Chicago right now, getting ready to sell their house their. We had talked about visiting them the next time they were in town and in the excitement of the moment, decided we would go there this weekend.

We realized it would be the first visit with college friends since last winter.

And then this morning, we realized we couldn’t go to their house, cook dinner, and spend the night. We couldn’t expose them to my city hall germs. We couldn’t do it. We won’t go after all.

I know it’s a small thing and that many people are suffering greatly.

But at the base, all of us are suffering at least this much – we all lost our summer. We lost our celebrations. We lost graduations. We lost weddings. We lost the 4th of July. We lost our funerals. We lost visiting our friends and family.

And we lost if because the president of this country knew what was going on and lied to us and refused to lead.

And, as I write this, I see that Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died.

We are losing everything.

Vote. Vote. Vote.

 

What is, How much money does the patriarchy spend on getting it up?

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I used to wonder why they had fans in church. I wonder no longer.

You guys. I am angry. I am angry about so many things. There is so much to be angry about:

  • Structural racism
  • Regular racism and yes, we see you
  • Regular racism that I might have – that I am terrified that I might have because I DO NOT WANT TO BE RACIST
  • Police brutality
  • Donald Trump
  • Putin’s bounties on American soldiers
  • More than 170,000 (as of the time I am writing this, but it will probably be 180,000 by the time you read this) Americans dead of covid
  • The deliberate sabotage of the USPS in an attempt to undermine the election
  • The lack of action on unemployment insurance. Let me say this: an extra $600 a week is not enough to keep people from wanting to work. You know what that $600 a week does? It lets people pay for their health insurance, which costs $1,100 a month for two people. That’s what Mr T and I pay for ours. So if someone is getting UI, it might cover their family’s health insurance – barely? But if it does that, it doesn’t pay for anything else – not the rent, not the electricity, not food. This idea that people are living it up on $600 a week instead of going to work for $50K a year with benefits – yeah – most people would rather have not enough money to survive than a good job with good benefits.
  • Donald Trump
  • Donald Trump
  • Donald Trump did I mention Donald Trump and all his evil minions?

All of that makes the issue that I am pissed-off about right now seem petty and small but I am going to complain about it anyhow.

Here’s a pop quiz. The answer is an integer between one and ten.

How much more research is done about PMS, which affects 90% of women, than is done for erectile dysfunction, which affects 19% of men?

What did you answer? Four? Seven? Ten? Ten times as much research into PMS than into ED? That would make sense, right? Because PMS affects the majority of women and it’s something that affects us whether we want it or not and it affects our everyday lives. It’s not limited to a recreational function that does not have to happen.

So it makes sense that science and research and money would be focused on women and our health issues instead of on how to help men get it up, which I think we can all agree is not essential to everyday life and the lack thereof is not crippling to everyday life the way menstrual cramps and other symptoms of PMS can be. (I guess cramps are technically M, but you know what I mean.)

Well guess what?

The answer is not four times as much money for PMS.

It is not seven.

It is not ten.

No.

This was a trick question.

Because there is more research about ED than there is about PMS.

You read that correctly.

“There is five times more research into erectile dysfunction, which affects 19% of men, than into premenstrual syndrome, which affects 90% of women.”

Nope. I did not make that up.

It came from a piece in The Guardian.

I was trying to find data on how much money is spent on research about menopause, a condition that affects 50% of the people on this planet, as opposed to erectile dysfunction, a condition that affects some men, some of the time, a condition that is not necessary for the functioning of life, a condition that does not strike him without warning, interrupt his sleep, make him miserable on both hot days and cold days, a condition that if left untreated would not make him otherwise miserable, but guess what it’s almost impossible to find information on menopause research because ALMOST NOBODY IS DOING IT.

I didn’t find much other than The Guardian piece.

It wasn’t just the topic of pain that was poorly researched. The lack of evidence was a problem she encountered time and time again, which is no surprise when you look at the research gap: less than 2.5% of publicly funded research is dedicated solely to reproductive health, despite the fact that one in three women in the UK will suffer from a reproductive or gynaecological health problem.

And I thought, Why am I even surprised? I should know better by now. One third of the women in the UK need female-specific health care but less than 2.5% of the publicly-funded research is devoted to that medical care? I am shocked. Shocked that women’s health needs are overlooked.

It started when I read the story in the Washington Post about Michelle Obama talking about hot flashes and what a pain in the neck they are and I found myself agreeing with her, which is not something I have done in the past.

(But how I long for the days when I thought disagreeing with Barack Obama was my biggest problem.)

Michelle Obama said, “It’s an important thing to take up space in a society, because half of us are going through this, but we’re living like it’s not happening.”

Preach, my sister! I have tried to normalize this kind of conversation. I have tried to talk about hot flashes at work so that other women know this is something that happens and it’s normal.

And I was excited to see Obama talking about it because I thought, “She was a First Lady! She has access! She can get the best medical care! They told her The Secrets!”

Guess what oh wait this will not be a surprise to you.

There are no answers.

Which – again. Are we surprised?

In my googling, I found this:

Spending for the three most popular phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor drugs to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) tops $1 billion worldwide annually.

Around the world, we – WAIT – MEN – spend a billion dollars just on the drugs for ED.

Just. On. The. Drugs.

Do you know what they do for hot flashes?

There used to be drugs.

But they found out those drugs caused cancer.

So now we don’t get those drugs.

Now there is another solution.

Now they tell me to wear  layers.

I am not making this up.

They tell me to dress in layers.

Women make up half of the population. Those of us who live long enough will go through menopause. Those of us who are unlucky enough will have hot flashes.

I don’t even have bad hot flashes, I don’t think, but I can promise you that even mild hot flashes are not a pleasant experience. During the day, they are distracting and uncomfortable. Have you ever been boiled from inside your stomach while your skin is still cold? I have! Have you ever felt your calf bone sweat? I have!

At night, hot flashes wake me up. I can feel not just my torso but my head getting hot from the inside. Mr T didn’t believe me until the night when he put his hand on my skin and exclaimed, “But you’re HOT!”

Yet we don’t have a pill to stop them?

While we have a pill for erections on demand?

I hate the patriarchy.

Twenty years ago, at my job, birth control pills were not covered by our company health insurance plan.

Viagra was.

This injustice made me angry.

A female co-worker told me I should just ask my doctor to write my prescription as medically necessary, but that didn’t solve the problem for the young receptionist making only $20,000 a year for whom a $30 a month expense was not insignificant.

I wrote to the VP of Human Resources and pointed out that having decisions like this made by middle-aged men who can’t get it up might seem unfair to the younger, lower-paid female employees.

That is probably not what convinced them to change the policy, though. I also pointed out that pregnancy was far more expensive than birth control pills.

Honestly, though? When people say “Representation matters!”

This is the kind of thing they are talking about.

Apple didn’t include a period tracker in the initial version of the Fitbit. Do you think if more (or any – I don’t know who was in the design group) women had been involved in the design of the Fitbit that perhaps a period tracker might have been included?

This is why we need to elect women. This is why we need women in positions of power in both the private and the public sector. This is why we need to talk about hot flashes – and thank you, Michelle Obama, for speaking out.

One. Billion. Dollars.

One. Billion. Dollars.

One billion dollars a year spent on ED drugs.

And the advice to women for hot flashes is to “dress in layers.”

Screw you, patriarchy.

 

 

 

Losers and suckers and who is mourned and who is not

“He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.”

That’s my dad in the photo, newly enlisted in the Coast Guard. He was 19 years old.

He wanted adventure and to see the world.

He also wanted to serve his country.

After his time in the Coast Guard, he took the GI Bill (which was available to him because was white) and went to college, studying Russian history, which was very relevant at the time. He was the first person in his family to go to college; neither of his parents got to go past 8th grade.

Then he joined the air force. He wanted to be a pilot in the navy and tried that first. He ate nothing but carrots for days, hoping it would help him pass the eye exam, but he still failed and was not going to be admitted to flight school, so he switched to the air force.

He went to air force officer candidate school (OCS). While he was home on break, he met my mother in the bar of the bowling alley of their home town, drove her home, got stuck in the ditch at her house, and had to wake my grandfather up at 2:00 a.m. to drag his car out of the ditch. In the Wisconsin February snow and cold.

Plus my grandfather was no fool and knew what had been going on in the car for a while before my mom and dad realized the car was stuck.

He finished OCS and became a maintenance control officer, which means he was in charge of making sure the airplanes were fit to fly. He knew how to fix things and he knew how to lead other people to fix things.

When I was four, he went to Vietnam.

My mother was 25 years old. She had three children. Her husband was sent to the other side of the world. There was no internet. There was no email. There was only the nightly news and a newspaper.

For an entire year, she went to bed every single night not knowing if the next day would be the day that the chaplain would knock on our door.

We moved to Spain, where Franco was running things. My dad wasn’t home a lot – he went to Turkey for a month at a time every few months.

We moved to west Texas. My dad coached my sister’s soccer team. (My mom coached mine.)

My dad taught me to drive stick shift and how to dig dandelions – you have to get the entire root. We rode our bikes to school and my dad insisted that we attach flags to the bikes for visibility.

We moved to the Panama Canal Zone, where Torrijos was the dictator du jour. My dad volunteered with my swim team, took my CYO group camping, and was an adult sponsor for the Sea Scouts. He took my friends and me sailing on the little sailboat he had bought, a dream he had always had.

At 5:00 a.m., my dad would blast the Boston Pops playing Sousa to wake us up to drive to the lake.

The night before my parents drove me to college, from San Antonio to Houston, my dad and I were packing the car.

“If you’re going to get laid,” my dad said, “use protection.”

“Dad!” I said. “You know I don’t believe in pre-marital sex!”

(I mean – I didn’t. I was 17.)

He rolled his eyes. “It’s going to happen. Don’t be stupid about it.”

When I was in college, my dad retired from the air force and went back to school to become certified to be a teacher. Active duty pay is low. Retirement pay is even lower. He got a job at Walmart to supplement his pension.

I was mortified.

My college friends’ fathers were corporate VPs and professors and lawyers and surgeons.

My mother, rightfully so, set me straight. Now I am ashamed of my shame. Is there any love greater than that of a parent who takes a minimum wage job just so he can feed his family?

My dad got his teaching certificate. He and my mom and dad moved to Sicily. At the age of 61, he had gotten a job teaching math and science at the junior high school on the US navy base on Sicily.

A few months later, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

He thought he had pulled a muscle running a 10K.

He was 61 years old.

He thought he had pulled a muscle running a 10K.

It wasn’t a pulled muscle.

It was cancer.

It was cancer that he got because he was exposed to Agent Orange when he was in Vietnam.

He went through months of chemo. He lost over a third of his body weight. He had to use a diaper.

At the Lackland AFB hospital in San Antonio, where he was sent from Sicily, the young airmen who would change his diapers and his sheets always called him “sir” and looked him in the eye.

The hospital chaplain would hang out in my dad’s room to talk to him, just because he liked my dad.

The students he had taught for only four months held two bake sales to raise money to buy him a copy of their yearbook. They all signed it and sent it to him.

Friends my mom and dad had made all over the world – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Italy – called my dad to wish him well. One friend told my dad that everyone at his mosque in Ankara was praying for his healing.

After five months of treatment, we thought the cancer was in remission. (A matter of luck, not of his being a fighter. Beating cancer is all about luck and nothing but luck.)

He gained weight. He exercised and regained strength. His hair started growing back.

Two months later, the cancer returned.

“Why you?” I asked him. “Why should you have cancer? Why not someone awful and mean?”

“Why not me?” he answered. “What makes me so special that bad things should not happen to me?”

We hoped for a miracle, but the only miracle we got was that after ten days in hospice, the two pound bag of peanut M&Ms that one of my aunts had brought down was left untouched.

On the day he died, which was exactly 23 years, ten days, and six hours ago, he was 62 years and two months old.

It has been 23 years, ten days, and six hours since my dad died.

We still mourn him. We still miss him.

Nobody will miss the current president. There is not one single person alive who will say, “He was my friend” or “He was the best father in the world” or “I loved him so much.” Not one.

Who’s the real loser and sucker?

History remembers and it judges and this is why I am glad I will probably live to be 98 years old because I want to see Donald Trump’s name spit on over the next 40 years

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

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All these people complaining they want athletes to shut up and do their job? I can’t imagine a better role model than this guy. Source 

History will remember Donald Trump.

But it will not remember him kindly.

Pop quiz – think about the great people you remember, both in your own life and in history.

Maybe the names that come to mind include Amelia Earhart and Harriet Tubman and Joan of Arc and Copernicus and Paul Revere and Jim Stockdale and the Chinese kid who stood in front of the tanks at Tienanmen Square and Florence Nightingale and Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela and the Mothers who march in Argentina demanding to know what happened to their children and that Naval Academy guy who walked into the protest in Portland with his hands up and was beaten by armed goons and every firefighter and every cop who have ever rushed in when others are rushing out and every schoolteacher who has sheltered children with her body while a shooter stood over them with a gun.

The list is long. The list of brave people is long. The list of brave people who, at great risk to their own safety or their own financial security, have taken a stand on the behalf of right is long.

Now think about all the rich people you can remember.

I mean, people who are known for being rich.

Not for doing anything positive with their wealth.

Just – for being rich. And having gold toilets. Or whatever.

Even better, think about all the people you know who became rich through inheritance. Through someone else’s ideas or labor, not even through their own work.

I’ll wait.

And – I can’t think of anyone.

I mean, there must be people in history – lots of heirs and heiresses. But – they do not stick in my mind.

They do not stick in my mind because they are insignificant.

Who cares about them? Who cares about what they did? It’s not even that nobody cares about what they did – it’s that they didn’t do anything for anyone to care about.

The burning monk, 1963 (1)

But there are worse things than to fade into insignificance.

Even worse than being forgotten would be to be remembered as a complete failure as a human being. As a buffoon. As a waste of space.

And that is how Donald Trump will be remembered.

And that is his great fear.

His biggest concern appears to be his TV ratings. He wants to know that he is – literally and figuratively – seen.

Oh we see you all right, Donald. We see you and we know. We know you are a pathetic little man who has never once in your entire life done anything brave, done anything for anyone else, done anything on your own. If it weren’t for your father’s money, you would be working at a 7-11 somewhere and you wouldn’t even be doing that very well.

Your great fear is that you are incompetent and stupid and incapable and that you are not great and guess what?

You. Are. Correct.

You think having money makes up for all of this but it does not.

I have no idea how much money Colin Kaepernick has but I do know this: 100 years from now – 500 years from now, I hope – I hope the United States still exists in 500 years, Kaepernick will be remembered as a hero and Trump will be remembered as the worst president this country has ever had, a loser so pathetic that his father had to buy his way out of the military (seriously – bone spurs?) and into college, and who failed at everything he tried.

In 1936, at the university in Salamanca, the rector of the university, Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo, gave a speech. General Franco’s chief advisor, General Millán Astray, heckled Unamuno, yelling, “Long live death!” which I think we can all agree is a stupid and confusing thing to say.

Millán also shouted, “Death to intellectuals! Down with intelligence!” so you see where he fits in here. (Millán is the Trump figure, just in case. 🙂 )

Unamuno responded.

General Millán Astray is not one of the select minds, even though he is unpopular, or rather, for that very reason. Because he is unpopular, General Millán Astray would like to create Spain anew — a negative creation — in his own image and likeness. And for that reason he wishes to see Spain crippled, as he unwittingly made clear.

This is the temple of intellect. And I am its high priest. It is you who are profaning its sacred precincts.

I have always, whatever the proverb may say, been a prophet in my own land. You will win, but you will not convince. You will win, because you possess more than enough brute force, but you will not convince, because to convince means to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack — reason and right in the struggle.

And yes, they sentenced Unamuno to death for what he said.

But Unamuno was right. His words endure. And eventually, the fascists were overcome because THEY WERE WRONG. THE FASCISTS LOSE IN THE END, DONALD, AND THEY ARE REMEMBERED AS PATHETIC LOSERS.

 

Will this era be called “The Great Unmasking?”

At least now we know who they are. I guess.

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I saw this image on twitter. I wasn’t sure whether to use it – is it rude? But – she doesn’t seem to be shy. So. There you go. People who support Trump. Even though he is doing nothing to stop the virus that might kill their loved ones, has no plan for unemployment insurance, and is killing the means by which their elderly parents get their mail-order prescription medications and their Social Security checks.(UPDATE: They are getting their checks because the checks are auto-deposited into their bank accounts.) Heck, he might even be trying to kill Social Security.

What do you do when you discover that people you love, like, and/or respect turn out to be Trump supporters?

Let me re-phrase that.

What do you do when you discover that people you USED TO love, like, and/or respect turn out to be Trump supporters?

I discovered months ago that I had friends and relatives who were racists and hence, I assumed, Trump supporters. Yes yes yes I know correlation is not causation but this one seems pretty clear cut to me.

I thought perhaps their racism was born out of ignorance. That they truly did not know that the life situations for Black people in this country are so different from the life situations for white people like them and me.

After all, I, a person who reads voraciously and who seeks information, didn’t even know until recently about sundown towns or redlining or that Black people couldn’t get the GI Bill or join unions.

I just watched Reconstruction and was horrified at how evil some people in the south were after the Civil War and how horribly Black people were treated. I was appalled at my ignorance (once again) and disgusted at my poor education (also once again).

I thought perhaps my friends and relatives were in the same situation: that they, too, lacked knowledge and information. That once they had that information, they would change their views on things.

Because how can someone with complete information have racist views?

Well guess what.

People with complete information can have racist views if they are racists.

Haters gonna hate.

Last year, I saw one of my best friends, L, whom I hadn’t seen in person for several years. “Are you a Trump supporter?” she asked.

“WHAT?” I answered. “WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME THAT? THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST INSULTING THINGS I HAVE EVER BEEN ASKED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!”

“I’m sorry!” she said. “But you had always voted for the conservatives before!”

“Well yeah,” I answered. “But I’m not a f*ing idiot!”

For what it’s worth: I voted for Rs for president until the 2016 election, when I voted for Clinton. As I said, I am not a f*ing idiot and I love my country. And after what has gone on for the past four years, both at the national and at the state level with the Rs, I will never ever ever vote R again.

“WHEW!” she said. “I was worried. My mother has gone off the deep end and is a Trump supporter and I don’t even know what to think anymore.”

She explained, “My mom won’t watch anything but Fox news. She says she is a ‘trusted advisor’ to Trump – she even has a wallet card they sent her! But all that means is that they send her surveys with biased questions – ”

L knows what a biased survey question is, BTW. She has a master’s degree in sociology.

” – surveys with biased questions and then they lift her language and use it in their campaigns! I have tried to tell her the truth and give her the facts, but she does not want to listen.”

Last week, I was messaging with another friend. We were both bewildered at friends and relatives who have turned out to be Trump supporters.

“What do you do when otherwise good people support Trump?” I asked him.

His response was direct and hard to hear.

That the goodness is flawed.

That there is hate and selfishness at the heart of the “good.”

That Trump supporters are not “otherwise good.” You can’t be “otherwise good” if you support Trump and all his works and all his empty promises.

Which I suppose I knew but didn’t want to admit.

His situation is heartbreaking – he barely talks to his mother now.

I am relieved that at least the people I need to cut off are not close to me. I can do without the woman in my book club and some of my cousins.

But I still don’t get it. I don’t understand how someone can appear to be such a nice person – my cousins are lovely in person! LOVELY! – and yet support that man. How does that happen? How do they become racists in the first place? I don’t understand. I just don’t. And it breaks my heart.

 

 

 

I want to be as nasty as Kamala Harris

Also if sleeping your way to the top is possible how can I do it because I am tired of being at the bottom

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And it starts. The sexist attacks on Kamala Harris.

Are we surprised?

No. No we are not.

This is the way it goes – the way insecure, pathetic, weak men discredit women and yes, I am talking to you, Mr President, who has very very small hands that his own wife doesn’t even want to hold, and you, Rush Limbaugh, who called Harris a “hoe,” and any man who thinks that the fact that he has a penis makes him superior to a woman and makes him fit to run the world.

We are shrill. We are emotional. (Because anger is not an emotion so therefore men do not get emotional.) We have hormones and you know what that means.

And we use sex to get what we want.

(How does that even work? How does a person – a woman – even use sex to get ahead at work? Do you write a contract? How does the quid pro quo get established? Do you discuss the terms before the sex? Or is it just understood? Why isn’t there a handbook for this? Why have I done my whole life wrong? WHY WASN’T THERE A CLASS ON THIS AT BUSINESS SCHOOL? UT-AUSTIN YOU FAILED ME.)

A person I used to respect sent me a link to a story from January 2019 claiming that Harris had “slept her way to the top.” This was his triumphant proof that Harris is not qualified to be vice president.

I will save you the trouble of reading it. It says that Harris dated Willie Brown, who was the mayor of San Francisco, for a short while, when she was in her late 20s. He appointed her to two state commissions.

This is “sleeping your way to the top.”

My acquaintance thinks Trump is the epitome of brilliance and accomplishment and that Harris, who got into and graduated from Howard and got into and graduated from Hastings and was elected San Francisco DA and was elected California AG (twice) and was elected California senator and won huge court cases as a prosecutor, is the person who has done nothing on her own merits.

How many people did she have to sleep with to accomplish all that LORD HAVE MERCY SHE MUST BE EXHAUSTED.

So Trump, who didn’t take his own SATs, whose admission to Penn was facilitated by personal connections and a bribe, who inherited his money and has never accomplished anything on his own except drive businesses and an entire country into the ground, is the standard by which we should measure success?

But Harris, who has a resume that is so bright I need to wear sunglasses to look at it, is the loser who parlayed a few dates with Willie Brown into membership on two state commissions into a brilliant career but IT’S ALL BECAUSE SHE SLEPT WITH WILLIE BROWN?

She must be amazing in bed is all I have to say./sarcasm

Also – I have been on a city commission and I was just appointed to another one. Trust me when I say commissions are not the route to power. You serve on a city commission because you care deeply about the issue, not because you value your free time, not because you enjoy sitting in a windowless room until 11 p.m. on a work night listening to citizens testify in two-minute increments about a deeply controversial issue as they glare at you and imply that you are in favor of disemboweling kittens and puppies when the real situation is that the city just doesn’t have $15 million in spare cash lying around and you personally also do not have that in your checking account.

Commissions are work. That is all. They do not benefit the members personally. We do it as a labor of love because we care about our communities.

So.

  1. Sex is currency that can result in career advancement
  2. There must be rules somewhere
  3. That I have never known about
  4. Commissions are a pain in the ass

Which means that the commissions are a smokescreen and it was all the sex Harris must have had with Brown only he didn’t control the juries or the voters and I AM SO CONFUSED.

But the real takeaway is that very powerful men are scared of Harris and that? Is a very good thing.

Rock on Kamala. We are with you.

Part II: In which I do the math about Kamala and everyone she had to sleep with