May 31, 2012
If you were ever impressed by the $250,000,000.00 Mitt Romney is purported to be worth think about this: It is entirely possible that come December, after the tallies are taken, the Republicans – in less than one year – will have gambled EIGHT TO TEN TIMES that amount to put him in the White House.
Donald Trump (you know – the guy who turned bankruptcy into a lucrative business back in the 80′s) has created his very own Super PAC, seeding it with $10 million in the hope he will help Romney raise over $2 billion.
Personally, I think giving The Donald a Super PAC is like giving a bottle of vodka to a drunk – but that’s just me.
And this is only one facet of Republican fundraising. It’s estimated the total amounts raised by November will have reached between $250 million and $3 billion, (including the primaries). That’s insane!
I don’t recall where but sometime in the last 10 years I read a report that made the claim: the entire world population could be fed on $18 million. I can’t remember if this was meant for a day, a month or a year, but I do remember feeling it was a very conservative amount, considering. (Googling this now got me nowhere, sadly.)
Then that horrid crash in the stock market happened where it was reported that Bill Gates had lost $18 million in one day and I thought – wow – he could have fed the world with that same amount and been a hero!
The Republican campaign coffers this year are literally engorged with cash and I can’t help wonder why this same enthusiasm isn’t given to feeding the world, instead.Think of the roads that could be fixed or shelters built – children saved by such impressive donations.
Think of the good that would come from that campaign money being fed back into the very government the Republicans are in such a frenzy to ‘restore’… more veterans could keep their benefits maybe. Or more hospitals could remain open.
I mean really, how can ONE PERSON so adamantly refuse to let their tax money go to paying for homeless shelters and school improvements – but throw hundreds of dollars into a Super PAC that has no guarantee the money won’t just end up in some fat cat’s pockets????
A whole lot of people could enjoy real benefits from the obscene amounts of campaign funds collected by the Republicans this year. Too bad they’re going to just piss it away instead…
May 26, 2012
I’ll bet it’s a best seller in Wasilla!
May 19, 2012
Story and video transcript on Politicus usa:
In the late 1970′s just prior to the gay community getting slammed with the AIDS virus, I happened to fall in like with the funniest, most charming fella who would take me to coffee and say things like (ok see that waiter over there? Hands off girl that one’s mine!).
Like many, many gay people across the US he’d migrated to San Francisco California in the hope he could live his real life out in the open and stop having to hide behind phoney girlfriends and false machismo. San Francisco was the geographical version of The Great White Hope for gays back then as for some unknown reason the city was if not fully supportive, at least quietly tolerant of alternative lifestyles.
Until meeting this young man I pretty much thought of gay people like any other neighbour on my block:
There was a decorated WWII hero next door who happened to be Japanese, a modest-sized Catholic Monsignor’s family across the street, a black man with a freckle-faced Irish wife and their two gorgeous daughters next to them , followed by a young Jewish couple, a fireman and his family of five originally from New York, a little old lady from Hawaii, a square-dancing family of four from Hot Springs Arkansas and the Oxford educated scholarly owners of two Great Danes at the business end of the block.
San Francisco, at mid-century, was the epitome of America’s image as a melting pot of cultures. Plus we had Noe Valley – home of Castro St – a section of the city filled with older Victorian buildings still standing (though damaged in the 1906 earthquake), that had been taken over by a small community of gays determined to restore their old-world charm.
I’m pretty sure these buildings are the roots of the LGBT rainbow theme as I quite remember, growing up and busing it to Noe Valley for dental appointments, that you could stand in one spot and see every colour of the rainbow on these brightly painted houses – trademark of the gay architects who took the time and spent the money to save these beautiful homes from demolition.
From churches to storefronts to the famous Victorian three-story family dwelling, the community was both laughed at and heralded. Every tourist wanted to see Castro St. Every gay wanted to live there. And so they came.
But sadly, even though the San Francisco attitude was tolerant, the laws remained. Gays would still be maligned and bashed and the AIDS epidemic only gave bigots an excuse to be even bigger bigots.
My friend thought that by coming to San Francisco he was leaving all that behind him. The beatings from his father meant to exorcise the gay away, the tears his mother shed when she turned her back on him for last time yet still haunted him… the school bullies and bosses who suddenly aren’t hiring – it all eventually came to San Francisco to. Or maybe it was always already there and I just hadn’t noticed.
Whatever the reality, I never saw my friend living his dream of sexual freedom. I only saw him struggle. Then one day his phone was disconnected, his flat empty and he just stopped showing up at my door.
Through my friend I learned the sadness that comes from being a little bit different. Especially in the gay community. That’s the part I’d not seen before. Tom painted his disappointments onto my city’s rainbow canvas and made it personal for me.
Every nationality, every race, every species has its share of heroes, inventors, nurturers, architects, worker-bees and assholes. In that we’re all the same.The things that make us different are every bit as important to the human race as a whole as those things which are the same.
We should stop insisting that one person’s opinion is better than another and concentrate on cleaning up our planet. You know, like maybe before it blows up from lack of oxygen.
May 16, 2012
If the lack of real life information regarding my post on Monica’s Child led any of you down the proverbial garden path, I do sincerely apologize. That was not my intent. But the issue is not whether Monica lied about having been raped by her 13 year old boyfriend – that is fact. The issue is one of understanding human nature (on my part) and helping a child cope with the knowledge that her own mother had lied to her and put such an unimaginable negative spin around the very circumstances of her birth for much of her life.
At one point the father of Monica’s Child was so traumatised himself he was sent out of the country to live with an aunt. It was the aunt who – after living with this young boy for a few years – called foul and questioned not only the validity of the claim of rape, but the lack of action on the part of his parents to clear their son’s name. It was her persistence and determination that saw Monica’s entire story unravel and – a few years later still – allow her nephew the courage to contact his daughter via the internet.
Monica has since formally disowned her child, along with many of her friends and relatives who also looked at the facts and stopped believing the lie. This includes her parents, her in-laws and a smattering of close friends. At the end of the day, Monica needs to perpetuate the lie because it provides the very foundation for all of her adult relationships. I hope one day she seeks help but I’m certain that day will never come for her.
Monica’s Child, on the other hand, has begun to log her experiences, emotions, feelings, confusion and anxieties in a journal. We are encouraging her to write as we believe it’s great therapy. She is surrounded by people who care for her and about her and she is slowly coming out of her defensive shell. I hope one day she will publish her journal.
We also hope that she and her father will seek professional help because rape – even one that never happened – can leave permanent, emotional scars..
This is a quote from the boy’s aunt:
The two teens (14 &13) were sexually active for 1 year. They were a couple, had teenage fights, but spent hours laughing and were outwardly very happy together. Monica discussed her sex life with a close friend often and never once mentioned being raped. The multiple rape tag was only placed after I directly questioned Monica about which time (during her relationship with my nephew) was she raped. After fumbling for a few minutes, it was clear to me that no-one had ever asked her that question before.
When Monica’s Child was reunited with her biological father, she went through his photo album and saw her mother at his 14th birthday party, holding his hand and very much happy – this photo was taken two weeks after she was conceived. It painted a very different picture than that of the image Monica’s Child had received from Monica regarding how miserable and fearful she’d been every single day of their young relationship.
My conclusion was a 15 year old got very scared, told a lie and has spent her life covering for that lie to ensure her credibility. Protecting her image literally became her life’s work.
Personally, I have difficulty assigning adult labels to children or their actions. Childhood perceptions distort truth all the time. For me, the entire reason thirteen year olds are not encouraged to engage in sexual activities is because they have not yet developed the mental maturity to deal with the plethora of emotions that accompany a sexual relationship.
And while some who do may only suffer the consequences of making a few bad decisions, apparently others paint themselves into a corner from which they can never emerge.
My thanks to all who contributed to the comments in the previous post. Your thoughtful and thought-provoking insights were (as always) well-received and appreciated. You’ve given me a lot to digest.
I am a rape victim. It took me many years to be able to say that out loud. It galls me to the bone that anyone could treat this violent act with such callous disregard as to unnecessarily ruin the lives of so many otherwise innocent people.
As for Monica’s Child – I’m betting we haven’t heard the last of her story.
May 14, 2012
Monica at age 14 begins an exclusive relationship with a classmate, a boy one year younger than she. It’s public knowledge among their mates that they are an item. After a year, at age 15 Monica falls pregnant and tells her father and uncle that she was raped – by her boyfriend. Repeatedly.
The case was investigated. Family relatives were divided in their beliefs of the story of rape. Police looked but did not find any evidence to corroborate her story. She gave birth to a healthy child, finished high school and at 18 meets a young man. They move in together, leaving the toddler behind, with the promise of frequent visitations and someday reuniting as a family.
The child is raised by incredibly caring grandparents with whom she feels wanted, loved and safe. At age 9 she is reunited with her mother, the boyfriend turned step-father, and a half-sister, four years her junior. She embraces her family but misses her grandparents and never quite feels as though she belongs.
Not long after, and as the feeling of being the outsider in this new family arrangement intensifies, her mother takes her aside and tells her she was conceived from a boyfriend who’d raped her. Repeatedly. Monica’s child is once again sent to live with her grandparents, who welcome her with open arms and do their best to soften the young girl’s news. She moves back and forth between families for the next few years.
As a teenager she meets another girl with a similar story and the two vow to find their biological fathers. Their search is foiled by a legal system full of sealed records and after a few months they give up.
Then one day while the girlfriend surfs the web, she trips over a website that features a handful of fathers looking for their children. There is a letter with her friend’s name on it. She replies.
The man introduces himself as the father of Monica’s child, explaining that he’d been looking for his daughter for a long time – but that he’d had to move far away because the rumour of his having raped a girl changed his life. He was innocent. But more than he wanted his child to know he wasn’t a rapist – he wanted her to know that she hadn’t been brought into this world from violence or anger – and that had he been given a chance he’d wanted to be her father, regardless of how young he and the mother had been. And they had been young. He was 13 when they began having sexual relations. Monica had been 14.
The young teenager made contact with her newly found parent. When Monica and her husband find out, Monica is so traumatised she’s hospitalised overnight and the her child is once again sent away.
There’s much, much more to this story and I understand how – some 20 years ago now, a young 14 year old girl could have probably feared her father enough to make the claim of rape to excuse her having become pregnant at such a young age. I’m not really faulting her for what happened between two kids and her subsequent prospect of having to face an angry parent.
What I can’t understand and am still trying to wrap my head around, is how the mother could have kept up the lie all these years – why she even told her daughter she’d been conceived during rape – and why she continues to punish her daughter for an event that never took place. I don’t understand the logic at all and my outrage at what this woman has put this girl through – and continues to put her through – has me teetering on madness.
You have no idea how much self-restrain I’m having to use just to keep from calling this woman out publicly. But my young friend has had enough public humiliation and personal pain and dragging her mother out into the sunlight would only serve to add to her pain.
But if any of you can offer viable explanations, it might serve to help her heal.
May 11, 2012
Waiting for permission to post the next part of my last post on women who cry
wolf rape. In the meantime, this was in my morning’s emails:
The link to add your name is here.
I’m in – are you?
May 4, 2012
I bring this question and subject to you readers because I have exhausted my options on Google to find adequate research on this subject – and it is important to certain people in my world that this phenomenon be explained.
Most of the information that I found on the internet has to do with defending women accused of having lied about being raped – and the overwhelming defense that normally, women don’t. I get that. What I’m trying to understand myself and be able to explain to a teenager, is why there are cases where females have lied about it – the possible motivation behind the lie – and I especially aim this discussion at younger girls say between the ages of 13 and 17, making the false accusation but any insight will be considered helpful.
If you have a personal story you are willing to share or know of research data I may pursue – or have even an old-fashioned opinion I would greatly appreciate the input.
May 2, 2012
Dear Mr. M. Joseph Sheppard
Thank you for commenting on my blog. I just have a couple of questions…
On July 3, 2009 Sarah Heath Palin, in a dramatic announcement on her back lawn, quit her job as governor of Alaska because, she said, her presence was a distraction to the state and she would be able to do more for Alaskans and the country out of office than stuck in a lame duck term. With the help of a ghost-writer, Sarah Palin finished and subsequently had published her autobiography called Going Rogue and was on a whirlwind book-signing tour by November.
Her PAC continued to rake in the same big bucks as it did while she was the VP candidate on John McCain’s 2008 ticket. She personally rakes in $1mil per year working part-time for Fox News Channel. What I want to know is this:
What is it – specifically – that Sarah Heath Palin has done for Alaska and the country with this new-found wealth of time and money?
Has she founded any groups to help underprivileged children be better fed or educated?
Has she funded any drives to help native Alaskans in rural communities supplement their critically low food and heating supplies, issues they face yearly along with flooding that now comes from eroding coastal shores?
Has she donated her time and made sizable donations to promote Down Syndrome awareness?
Has her PAC fully financed Republican candidates for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles?
Since walking out on her role as governor of Alaska to purportedly ‘do good’ for state and country, Sarah has had three winters to make her mark as charity leader for multiple causes for her state and six opportunities to enroll in university semesters that would extend her political resume and broaden her education. Has she?
The unfortunate answer to each of these questions is nup, nup and nup. In fact I see nothing that even remotely resembles sacrifice on her part in either time or money to promote any of the issues she told us emphatically were close to her heart. She didn’t personally pay for her scant trips abroad. Because she refused to come out of her hotel room and mingle with the people, India and Israel media treated her like a rock star rather than a travelling dignitary. And what her PAC didn’t pay for on her overseas junkets, Evangelist groups like Samaritan’s Purse, did.
On behalf of Sarah Palin (the now millionairess) SarahPAC made a one-time contribution of $1,000 to Down Syndrome Assoc.(Sarah Heath Palin charges $100k + for each speech she makes on anyone’s behalf, while enjoying first class accommodations wherever she travels at the expense of the group who hired her to speak. Sarah and Todd could easily have made this donation themselves.)
You can count on less than ten fingers the number of campaign contributions SarahPAC has made to Republican candidates since its founding. (Even though, it’s interesting to note, the entire point of a PAC is for a popular politician to elicit funds and publicity for the lesser known candidates they wish to support, SarahPAC seems always more eager to pay extraordinarily large salaries to a handful of staff, picking up the tab for Sarah’s airfares and hotel accommodations while she travels to make her $100k speeches and – oddly enough – the massive postage needs of three ladies in Wasilla. Oh and let’s not omit the huge monthly retainer fee to her flavour of the month attorney.)
Sarah Heath Palin banked in excess of $7 – 10 million dollars by 2010 and has, by virtue of public records, donated nothing to any of her purported pet causes. Not time, not money, nothing. She’s not formed a single fund-raising drive for native Alaskans in danger of losing their homes and livelihoods to the growing negative effects of global warming on their villages. She’s not run one ad campaign to save Alaskan fishing sites from big oil or mining companies attempting to destroy the Alaskan waterways in the name of profits.
In fact, for someone who grew up in America’s last frontier and helped eke out a living by fishing its shores, Sarah’s not done anything at all to promote environmental preservation. (At least nothing that personally cost her a single penny.)
Show me what Sarah has accomplished for Alaska and her country since the summer of 2009 without citing speeches one must purchase a ticket to attend and don’t use the stale ‘well she’s busy taking care of Trig’ because (a.) we know that’s not entirely true and (b.) she assured all of us, way back in September of 2008, that raising a child with DS would not come between her and her political duties, that she was a hockey mom with a servant’s heart and could do both with ease.
Since July 2009 Sarah has published 2 lucrative books, built a new home in Alaska, purchased another home in Arizona, made a self-serving television program and flown back and forth between Alaska, Arizona and California to supervise home improvements and appear on DWTS with her daughter, Bristol, (take a breath) but I hardly see these events as being beneficial to state or country. – and no proceeds were ever donated to charities.
She did make a 2011 pre-campaign-campaign tour of a few north-eastern US states (telling Piper they and her accompanying parents were on a family vacation) in a fully outfitted bus-length RV wrapped in $14k worth of PAC donation-paid political propaganda – all the while charging her PAC for hired limos and first-class hotel rooms and meals.
And so, Mr. M. Joseph Sheppard, you see we’re not just ‘catty’ over here on the left. We actually do our homework, get our facts straight and are not opposed to listening to the other guy’s point of view.
Show me how Alaska and the country have benefited from Sarah Heath Palin having quit her governorship. Show me where she’s shared her good fortune with those less fortunate. Show me.
P.S. I am a copywriter by trade, fully employed and it’s no secret that as I have the luxury of working from my home, most of my typing is done in bunny slippers and pj’s.