The Most Important Human Rights Issue: Women

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

Sometimes an idea hits me leading to an epiphany. Epiphanies for me usually take the shape of the realization that a Woman_Montage_(1)belief I’ve held for a long time, is actually more important in the scheme of things than I had previously thought about. This happened with me some few years ago when the opposition to gay marriage defeated a voter initiative. I had been a believer in the need for equality for Gay men and women since I was a teenager. After all the bullies who were beating me up kept calling me a “fag, or “queer” and while I wasn’t, I got insight into what it must be like to be homosexual. In life you have the choice of identifying with the bully, or those who are bullied. I’ve always chosen the latter. So as a young adult I cried tears of joy when “Stonewall” happened and the police found that Gays would no longer be easy targets. Working for NYC’s Human Rights Administration and then living in Manhattan gave me the privilege of meeting and befriending Gay people of both sexes. When AIDS hit the scene I had many friends die and I worked to help the Division of Aids Services as a Budget Director. Yet while I always completely supported LGBT rights, for a while I believed the focus on Gay Marriage, shouldn’t be in the forefront of the movement. The argument over Proposition 8 in California  gave me an epiphany that led me to see that not only was the right to marriage an essential part of ensuring the Constitutional Rights of Gay people, but it was the key element. Being unable to assist in the health care choices of long term partners, in some cases even being barred from the funerals, or participating in ones’ partners Health Plan are important Constitutional issues and the essence of the battle.

Last night my wife and I saw and were very moved by Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln”. There was a scene in it during a congressional debate where one congressman said in effect “If we grant Blacks freedom, then we’ll have to give them the right to vote……and if we give them the right to vote we will have to give women the right to vote. In truth it was another six decades before this country bestowed upon its’ women the basic Constitutional Right of voting as my wife pointed out to me. Later in the evening we watched the Bill Maher Show and during the discussion reference was made to the frequency of abuse and murder of women throughout the world and suddenly my epiphany. While I’ve always supported women’s rights, it is so easy in a world where so many wrong things occur daily to not place the abuse and murder of women particularly at the top of an agenda decrying unjust war, drone attacks, racism, economic disparity and torture, to name a few. As it became clear to me last night, the murder, rape, bondage and the degradation of women is part and parcel of all these issues of evil and not merely one aspect of them. Considering that women comprise at least half of humanity, the mistreatment of women worldwide is actually the most important issue humanity faces. We must solve this before we can even hope to solve any other great issue. Because I’m not really a great thinker, many of my “epiphanies” are ones that are obvious to many. However, when they do occur I am willing to reconsider the hierarchy of my beliefs. Unlike my other guest blogs I will not tire you with the evidence of what to me is self-evident. Do you agree, or do you have other world problem solving priorities?

184 thoughts on “The Most Important Human Rights Issue: Women

  1. You are absolutely correct. Would that your epiphany were shared by everyone. I would add that the abuse of women is made all the more invisible because it hides in plain sight. So much, in so many places, in so many forms makes it so commonplace that it barely registers. Secondly, women are expected to take a backseat to whatever other issues are deemed more important. Economic, military and other political issues eclipse the abuse of half of the world’s population.

  2. “women are expected to take a backseat to whatever other issues are deemed more important. Economic, military and other political issues eclipse the abuse of half of the world’s population.”

    Susan Apel,

    Thank you that is a more elegant restatement of the essence of my point.

  3. Yes

    I have been very dismayed at the amount of slack we in the West provide some nations that treat women horribly but yet “it is their culture”. Essentially providing them license to do so. That’s no excuse in my book. But I think it has a lot to do also for what MIke and Susan suggested.

  4. “Eight Senators on Monday voted not to consider the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that protects victims of domestic violence. The Senators who voted against moving to debate on the bill were: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and James Risch (R-ID).

    VAWA’s reauthorization has been caught up in partisan gridlock over added provisions that would protect undocumented immigrants, as well as LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence. Congress failed to reauthorize the bill by the end of 2012, and the Senate is now considering the same legislation again, in its new legislative session.

    All of the women in the Senate, with the exception of Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), co-sponsored the legislation.

    Once Senators consent to take up the measure, it will be voted on in its entirety. It is expected to pass, but will face a tougher battle in the House.” Think Progress

    It is noteworthy that Marco Rubio is giving the GOP’s response to the State of the Union address and Rand Paul is giving the Tea Party’s response. Both of these men are contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination, and they are already out front in staking anti-woman positions.

  5. I would put the plight of children, male and female, above women. Don’t say it’s the same, becaause it is not. The vast majority of women victims are by the hands of men. Children are abused by both men and women and hardly ever have any resources. A woman has @ least a “fighting chance” in some cases..a child does not.

  6. Darren,

    Are you proving Susan’s assertion “that the abuse of women is made all the more invisible because it hides in plain sight”? You point to other countries and suggest that we are the gatekeepers to dealing with the abuse there. While there is certainly significant abuse of women worldwide, there is also significant abuse of women right here in this country and it’s on a path of even more abuse.

    nick’s absolutely correct in pointing out the abuse of children, worldwide, including in the US. It’s shameful. Far too frequently the abuse of women includes abuse of children a side effect. I believe that better treatment of women would result in better treatment of children.

  7. In substantially all cultures including ours, albeit in a less physically intense way most of the time, both women and children are defenseless. They stand without protection before courts of law, men who are supposed to be religious leaders and political leaders. Too often the “it’s their culture or their religion defense” leads the US to join hands and empty our collective wallets to protect, defend and often enrich the worst sort of governments and leads some of us to turn a blind eye to the worst type of abuse.
    Women and children deserve our attention. Young girls should not be gunned down in the street for wanting an education or burned with acid. Young boys should not be forcibly “recruited” as child soldiers or abused by men who are supposed to be both their spiritual leaders and their protectors. Women should not be raped as part of a military strategy, a religious punishment, political strategy or as a result of a breakdown of military discipline or the disinterest of a military establishment.
    Unfortunately, while woman and female children are not the only targets, they are most often the targets whose abuse is often seen as part of god’s plan or acceptable because of some religious or cultural beliefs. We need to take a stand and make sure that any country or organization or individual who engages in this type of abuse is cut off from our support and shamed out of office.

    Thanks Mike for another timely post.

  8. Mike,

    Here’s the thing. If more people read Kant, equality among the sexes wouldn’t be a debate; it would be a given.

    That aside, per your comment:

    “Last night my wife and I saw and were very moved by Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln.””

    You mean C-SPAN after dark; right?

    Sorry, but parliamentary procedure in the passing of an Amendment does not a great film make. Good film; educational film; inspirational film; perhaps. But not Oscar worthy.

  9. Betty Kath,
    Thanks for answering Darren. Sometimes I suspect that he does this just to see if he can successfully drag a red herring across our path.

    Evolutiion would weed this out (ie child beating) were it not for the factor is not entirely genetic, as any soul can see, if he stops to think.

  10. Human Rights! At Nuremburg War Tribunal several issues were addressed. The Germans had murdered millions and did so by catagories of religion, sect, nationality, ethnicity. The Soviets would have been content to shoot a lot of Nazis and let it go at that without the trials. We Americans were The Exceptional nation. The Soviets got into it though. The French collaborators got off the hook. Americans at home had some issues with our own Exceptional Nation. Blacks were treated like dirt, women were second class in many ways, Jews were still discriminated against even after Nuremburg. In the 1950s and ’60s many so called Country Clubs would not admit, as guests or members, blacks, jews, catolics, foreigners, or white trash.

    Now, Europe and the World are taking on human rights issues. America is no longer in the forefront, unless you call the abusers of human rights the forefront. I am glad to see the Womens’ Rights issue taken up today. But dont forget the waterboarding. It is a human rights crime to torture anyone, no matter what the purpose. The next Nuremburg trial of great scope will have Americans there again– in the Dock.

  11. “Go see this movie. Take your children, even though they may occasionally be confused or fidgety. Boredom and confusion are also part of democracy, after all. “Lincoln” is a rough and noble democratic masterpiece — an omen, perhaps, that movies for the people shall not perish from the earth.” A. O. Scott, New York Times

  12. MikeS,

    This was the first Crusade that I saddled up for. No epiphany other than it seemed self-evident one day—perhaps that is no epiphany, but no blinding lights or feeling of the divine. Probably confused as to what epiphany is.
    At any rate it seemed clear that exclusion of women from full participation in all aspects of society was stupid, put simply. I hoped simply for a better society if they were unchained.

    Now that they have taken women away from a very important task: child raising; it seems we have lost something in our race for goodies or the need to simply feed ourselves. (How did they manage that?)

    Here in Sweden, at least we see the moms leaving the child at kindergarten and the fathers fetching them in the evening. I at least am up to see the at times heartwarming contact between father and child as they stroll home together.

    Giving suffrage to women, forcing them out onto the working market (WW2), etc may have left a great deal to be answered by whatever support functions (private or public, familial or remote) which were in fact unavailable.

    Women as a whole had to make too large a step, and all were not prepared for it. All women are not Susan B. Anthonys..

    Confused or confusing. Not sure which but summarily, we failed women again. Dianne Feinstein and her feminine ilk are not the answer to using the natural capabilities of women to counter the male dominance.

  13. I only think other things are more important because I think they are prerequisites to solving the major unfairness issues against women, against gays, against minorities, against the poor, and the preferential treatment of business and the famous and the wealthy.

    I am not saying these prejudices are symptoms; they are not. But I do believe most people (more than 90%) lean toward “fair” treatment, and over generations what is “fair” will make progress toward full equality, if it is not purposely thwarted by some that want to preserve subjugation for their own personal benefit (usually, financial benefit).

    If you objectively consider the brutal maxim that a man shall not beat his wife with a stick thicker than his thumb; it is a call to end excessively brutal wife beating. It was the televising of the Selma beatings that caused the public outrage (over grossly unfair treatment) that ultimately triggered the civil rights laws.

    I could list many examples, but my premise is that people do not like to see “unfair treatment”, and in each successive generation what they define as “unfair” is the worst treatment they see perpetrated on a class, treatment to which other classes are not subjected. That is the definition of “unfair treatment,” and in time that worst treatment is barred and a new “worst” takes its place for the next generation, until there is so little difference in treatment that the previously denigrated class has lost coherency as an inferior class, and a generation arises that sees them as equals.

    That progression is challenged when there are physical markers for a class (skin color, language, gender, body size, body art, dress). It is also particularly challenged by those that benefit, financially or socially, from the existence of an inferior class. The south benefited from both slavery and Jim Crow laws with cheap labor. Businesses benefit from the cheaper labor of women. In societies where women are still considered the property of their husbands, those men gain the benefit of a full time worker and sex slave. While they are the property of their father (or brother or uncle if the father is deceased) those men often benefit from the sale of the woman as a slave to a man, the benefit is financial and/or social.

    (I am not sure there is a clear financial or social benefit to anyone for having homosexuals be an underclass, except perhaps those that earn their living from religious intolerance, and that is why I think homophobia is on a steep decline in the college-aged generation.)

    Although it is possible to work on women’s rights directly, to try and end that sort of injustice, I think for the most part these problems would dissipate and be much easier to address if we first tackled the problem of moneyed interest trying to thwart demands for equality because they are making money from it.

  14. Great job Mike.
    The same people who claim that women should not be paid the same for equal work are the same people who vote against the VAWA. I put the blame on religion. Most of the major religions consider women second hand citizens of their respective faiths and in some cases, mere chattel. If we don’t get around to including women in all phases of our society on an equal basis, we may not get around to the LGBT equality issues.
    By the way, I agree with you Mike that Lincoln was a great movie.

  15. I recognize there is this need among some to criticise the US whenever there is some mention of a problem elsewhere. In this case it is, the following format:

    Commenter 1: Women in Saudi Arabia are often imprisoned for adultery after they report being raped.
    Commenter 2: So what. Women in the US are abused by our their own government.

    For the record, I will stand by any of my comments or others here in the suggestion that women in the United States presently are treated with far better rights by the government than they are in Saudi Arabia or many other countries. Certainly there are cases everywhere in the world where women are abused by their husbands. But what is the official response to that here compared with those other countries?

    Every state that I know of has a mandatory arrest statute for domestic violence. Women here can vote, drive cars, attend university, be public leaders, marry who they choose, marry nobody if wanted, have access to health care, be able to walk in public unattended by their husbands, leave or enter the country. These are not permitted in several countries and Saudi Arabia is one of the worst.

    Western governments tend to be held more accountable for their actions regarding women by their own citizens and by those of neighboring countries, yet the US and many other Western governments do not demand to any relevant degree the same rights be provided to women in countries where the abuse is apparent but the perceived strategic / economical / political issues are of greater importance. Often the excuse is “it’s their culture”.

    Just because I point out there is significant abuse of women in other countries and that western gov’ts often enable this through inaction doesn’t mean that my statement is not valid because there are cases of inequality here.

    I have said this before in another topic. Should we just let the plight of women who are subjugated and abused in other countries go unaddressed because of what is going on here? No, it should be addressed everywhere.

    Moreover here is another analogue of this. There are persons in the US who are advocating for wider availability of clean drinking water in some African nations. But because there are wells in Wisconsin that are infected with cryptosporidium we are unjustified in demanding better drinking water for people in Africa. That is essentially what is being argued. I mention the abuse of women in other countries, but some will import from this that I am ignoring what is going on in the United States. That is not the case.

  16. Behind every beaten child there is a beaten parent. Beaten by society.
    Who is society? Is it us? Or whom?

    How did society get the overhand?

    I am sure that society has some co-workers here among this blog’s members. I don’t expect them to snitch, nor even be aware of their internalization of the “goals” we see implemented.

    The battle rages between “rugged individualism” and collectively achieved equitable “togetherness”.

    To each according to their needs—-and mansions don’t count as a need, nor the other glitz used as ranking symbols by our real rulers.
    Of course, power exceeds mansions in status terms, but even the powerful usually manage to reap mansions too. Our system assures that, even though they might not be White Houses. (how many has the infamous former Presidential candidate from AZ?).

  17. “Sorry, but parliamentary procedure in the passing of an Amendment does not a great film make. Good film; educational film; inspirational film; perhaps. But not Oscar worthy.”


    It made me cry and when a movie makes me cry (other than in pain) I personally consider it a great movie. Of course in Les Miserables, for instance I started weeping at the first chords. Lincoln took me up until the black soldiers dialogue in the beginning. Then too, as my younger Daughter often relates “Daddy cried at the Little Mermaid” and she isn’t wrong. :)

    “If more people read Kant, equality among the sexes wouldn’t be a debate; it would be a given.”

    In that case maybe more people should read Kant, however, I don’t think he’d be welcome in many climes.

  18. And yet, so many states are enacting “Jane Crow” laws to remove women’s access to reproductive health. To me, this is just another form of abuse heaped on us by Republicans and Religion. This crap needs to stop!

  19. Most important human rights issue – women – I don’t think so. Nor do I think it’s any specific minoriy, or gays, or children, or the handicapped, etc.

    To say that one groups human rights is more important an issue than another’s is like saying I’m more important than you. What a naive statement. If you concentrate on one groups human rights the rest seem unimportant and no groups human rights should ever be less important than another.

    Human rights are for all…that’s why it’s called human rights.

  20. Anon: some ARE more important than others, because some cause more suffering than others. Isn’t literal slavery (as laborers or sex workers) worse than not being allowed to marry?

    That doesn’t mean the slaves are more important than the homosexuals, it means the slaves are suffering more, and with some limited amount of energy, budget, time or votes the plight of the slaves should be prioritized over the plight of the gays.

    Equal pay for equal work is certainly something I support, but I would donate and switch my vote to somebody that did NOT support that if I thought their promises to crack down on sexual slavery were real.

  21. Darren,
    Gay women are not universally allowed to marry whomever they want. I understand your point, but women in the US are not treated and dealt with as equally as men in the US. As you suggest, the international problems with equality for women are not slighted by a discussion that women here are not equal.

  22. I have always felt that my passionate advocacy is part and parcel of my strong feminist beliefs. Women were enslaved and abused before the white settlers started importing African slaves. They were the first “oppressed minority” and they will probably be the last. While other minorities in this country continue to make strides towards equality, women’s rights are being plundered by religious extremists, “personhood” amendments and Congress itself. Human trafficking is rampant, and women are routinely brutalized, raped, murdered and enslaved not just in Third World countries but right here in the US.

    Does this mean that I am not passionate about other causes? Of course not. I just believe that my passion is informed by the fact that I am a woman and because of that one accident of biology I know first hand what it means to be “oppressed.”

  23. Mike,
    Great post. The West is clearly ahead of the curve on women’s rights. The good o’l USA is somewhat progressive. It was however only 4 years ago that Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Act. The conservative men on the court very recently were willing to insist that women be economically discriminated against. This should remind us that we have a ways to go. A lot more “epiphanies” will be needed before we as a culture get equality for women.

  24. I think that what you said is very powerful and very true in many ways. I see something else though in my travels and observations. Many espouse the idea of educating women and empowering them. I think one of the best things one can do for women is to educate men. The more freely and comprehensively that men are educated, the better they are to women. women are treated the worst in places where men are the least empowered or very disadvantaged also. The worse off that they are educationally, you can probably bet that the women are that much more so. Those with the least power in their world are the ones that culturally, feel the need to exert it in the home or to those weaker than they are. Weakness is the food of bullies, and when men are educated, they value it in their women. I saw it in the middle east and noticed that certain cultural traditions were more easily overcome among groups of society where the men had better education and opportunity. I think that in the rush to protect women, we forget that they are the mothers of the boys who are abusing and part of the society that itself propagates unacceptable behavior to other women. The problem with men is that they already have the socially superior position-they are the ones that need to have the social awareness and to be able to recognize the value of women beyond that of a homemaker and mother-even if their wives are never in the work force, education instills respect for others. Just my .02 worth. Protecting women can’t happen with PR campaigns or laws alone. Education is what will change the attitudes of men and societal norms.

  25. rafflaw wrote:
    Gay women are not universally allowed to marry whomever they want.

    I stand corrected. You are right.

  26. Mike S, thank you for this article.

    For ages I have been saying that all the hatreds stem from misogyny. Racism, aggressive nationalism, bigotry of all kinds, hatred against people practicing a different religion, against the poor, against those who look different, against indigenous peoples, etc. etc. I maintain they are all the branches of the tree that grows from the root of misogyny.

    Because the women bear children. Because it is natural for women to automatically and instinctively love and protect their children. Mess with that and you mess with absolutely everything. Support that and you support all the right things and automatically move rather quickly in the right direction.

    I believe the hatred itself is about deprivation. The most fierce and insoluble deprivation — the kind that results from mistreating mothers so that they cannot and then do not nurture their children in a nurturing world. Whole thing stinks.

    And I doubt there is a way to turn it around now. It is the very basis of patriarchy.

  27. Working Man,

    I thought about the Mother Teresa thing before deciding on that photo montage. The montage represents the entirety of womanhood and even includes the perhaps 30,000 year old totem representing the Goddess known as “The Great Mother”. There are many, including myself who believe that the “Original God” was The Great Mother and most of humanity back then lived in matriarchy. Then the more powerful sex physically (not mentally in my opinion) revolted, instituted a Patriarchy and have screwed things up ever since. That’s only slightly tongue in cheek. :)

  28. I agree with the views of Malisha, Rachel and Kathleen most particularly. I see women as the main human rights issue because women represent 50% or more of humanity and so represent the greatest number of oppressed. Also, as the women above ably pointed out I (or they) csn feel the way we do and still continue to fight the other oppressions that exist in this world.

    Also responding to some good comments I do agree that oppression of women exists to a lesser degree in what we call the “Western World”. Yet as we saw in whst crawled out of the woodwork in this last election, there are those who would institue a Christian version of sharia law here. Also given unequal pay and other systemic handicaps most women in the U.S. suffer some oppression.

  29. Darren Smith,

    I needed a day to comment your latest.
    Your plea is well plead, And balm as a distraction from the ills which some hear daily. (Not all have ears).

    But isn’t it just that, an open declaration for internal use that WE can’t do anything about what happens in Saudi Arabia, and can cluckcluck and move on to our daily life.

    Please do explain how the miseries of women in SA can energize us here to help them in a concrete and effort requiring move from us as individuals. NOT snark in spite of the formulation. A real question. I am not here to score points.
    Letters to Congress don’t count. :-)

  30. Unlike my other guest blogs I will not tire you with the evidence of what to me is self-evident. Do you agree, or do you have other world problem solving priorities?” – Mike S

    The senator you paraphrased said in effect:

    If we grant Blacks freedom, then we’ll have to give them the right to vote……and if we give them the right to vote we will have to give women the right to vote.

    It is another way of saying all human rights are equally important, sacrosanct, and somehow linked together.

    The gist of it is that societies fail on particular human rights according to their development level, their social evolutionary location, at any given time.

    The same with propaganda.

    As it fails human rights bloom.

    The fundamental right that makes all the rest possible is the freedom from propaganda.

    We are so far from that reality it makes all the other human rights face jeopardy decade after decade.

    As your other post pointed out, and many commentators on that thread missed, war is the steroids for propaganda and vice versa.

    They feed one another with toxins that do heart, brain, and soul damage, which they choose to call honor.

    One warped world view I see in the news is rejoicing when we give women the right to commit war crimes along with the boyz, but does not rejoice when they can vote and make their own health and procreation decisions.

    Quote for the day: “Where there is propaganda, there is bullying.”

  31. “As it became clear to me last night, the murder, rape, bondage and the degradation of women is part and parcel of all these issues of evil and not merely one aspect of them.”

    The blatant subjugation, and second class status of women, historically and currently is all you say it is. Thank you, Mike Spindell.

    I think your epiphany though should be squared, (in a math sense)
    The historical subjugation of women is a sick perverse “bonding” of Caveman ritual….. In this instance I mean men & men only.

    This caveman bonding reaches across religion, social status, politics, and oceans. The “locker room” talk of adolescent boys must be universal. I don’t know this, but believe it to be true. (any studies?).

    The locker room talk of adolescent boys becomes winks and nods in boardrooms, macho talk in army barracks, a definition of male vitality and value across the spectrum of caveman communication.

    Men in general ignore and accept the subjugation of women,
    Men bond together by lessening womens value.
    It’s the caveman “we got swingy thingys and you don’t club”.

    In a past comment I parodied an Adam and Eve story.
    God asked Eve if she wanted a swingy thingy, with the stipulation it comes with a very small yet independent brain. ” God No” Eve replied, I want to go through life using my big brain”.

    Viva la difference,…. but too often la difference is used to subjugate the Viva of the female gender.

    We males may think we are far out of our caves, but I suggest many or most of us still carry the rocks of our ancestors ….. in our heads!!! :o).

  32. Women can be, have been and are as oppressive as any man in their particular cultural group or society. Women owned and brutalized slaves, assisted in death camps and lynchings, inspired and participated in colonialism and imperialism, help enforce genital mutilations, etc. Misogyny is just a particular form of the human need to define the “other” as less than. It depends on where you stand on whether you feel it is THE critical issue. I don’t see it that way.

  33. Mike,
    In your picture quilt, you forgot to include the woman that, IMHO, stood head and shoulder above some you did include. Florence Nightingale.

    Here is a portrait of the young nurse before she went off to Crimea:

    This is her portrait after the Crimean War.

    That is what PTSD looks like, for those who don’t already know.

    She was my wife’s hero, and certainly one of mine. We still have the Florence Nightingale lamp my wife was given when she graduated from nursing school. It will be going to my Daughter-in-Law who loved and respected Mama, and is a critical care ICU nurse herself. The family tradition carries on. Wonderful and powerful women. I love nurses, and not just because my mom was one and I married one.

  34. Back again after realizing just now that I had not read ALL the comments.

    From the response content, one of MikeS’s best. But like OS I fall into the trap of ranking. Women are our eggs and Mother Earth our caretaker.
    Can’t add any more to what Malisha, Rachel and others have said.

    My point remains unmoved. Culture (among such factors as religion count) can warp the finest of plants, even women will bow, be plaited in contorted forms, or be broken. Hence Mother Teresa.

    Particularly liked that where man are educated, then women suffer least.
    Guess we in the USA are not educated, at least a religious majority lack it.

    PS Just so we remember South America is part of the West, is it not. But women are equally endangered there as in parts of the ME.
    And there, anyone who sticks up their heads is endangered. Just like in the USA.

  35. Relinquishing power peacefully and graciously is a rare event in human history. Giving up absolute power, or absolute control must be so frightening to Authority it is probably the underlayment of all reasons not to.
    To share authority is to trust others not to abuse authority. It requires simply to trust.
    Simply to trust, well there is a Galactic sized monkey wrench.
    Do accumulators of power and authority achieve their status from trust?
    I think not
    . The head of the hands that hold the reins most often wear a crown of
    deceit, manipulation, strategery, and unabashed ego. Such heads that seek power, do not trust. They simply do not trust.

    Are there any college courses that teach how to trust everybody.
    I can see the 1st assignment …. Class I expect you all to leave your wallets or purse, full of cash and credit cards, on a street corner this evening. In the morning go by pick it up and bring it to class for discussion.
    I imagine there is never a 2nd assignment.

    I am vulnerable to trust …or lack of it. I believe we all are.
    When men can not trust themselves to view a moderately clothed women, when men insist women cover themselves so there appearance does not pollute mens mind. I would say this is a statement that some men are weak A-holes and they are frightened to death to trust a woman.

    Thank goodness (or idiocy) These weak morons are able to cloak themselves in religious righteousness. Where trust is feared, scoundrels seek authority and power.

    I interrupt this rambling….. to ….eh…interrupt this rambling. Plus my pancakes are done.!!!

  36. Mike S,

    Excellent article…. If you’ll check the Utah territory’s history…. You’ll see everyone had the right to vote… Until being a part of the union…. This included white women as well…. What is not really understood…. Is that with the 13,14 and 15 amendment…. Everyone had the right to vote….except…. White women…. See Susan B Anthony and her defiance of the US Scts order to pay a 100 dollar fine… For voting in I believe Seneca Fall, NY….

    Usually there is so much to digest before you really understand things the way they are…. Most people make judgments based on incomplete information…. To wit…

  37. David Blauw: I think the trust of strangers is a very foolish thing, if you have anything at stake (like your life, liberty, loved ones or property).

    “Trust” is an emotional state, not a rational state, and like all emotional states it has the potential to contribute to disastrous outcomes and losses.

    The human population may be only 1% psychopaths, but by the time you have met about 300 people, you have a 95% chance of having met at least one full bore psychopath (and several borderline cases). Those odds are not good for people living a normal life in a town of more than a few thousand people, especially an urban life in a town of a few hundred thousand or more.

    Do not presume the psychopaths are in jail, most are not that stupid. I believe they do seek authority and power, but that is for the opposite reason you cite: They are able to achieve authority and power because people DO trust them, when they should not. Trusting in others is far less feared than craved; trust is like love, people want to trust others, they do not like to think about others betraying them, or lying to them, or stealing their money.

  38. David Blauw,

    So true. I spent years correcting the med profession including full-fledged cardiologists. March 21 I am scheduled for a heart “ablation” and scared to death. Trusting doctors is not easy for me. But trusting people in general was even harder to achieve. I still fight for it, as it feels so good.


    Respect your viewpoint, but if we did not have trust then we would be less than our domestic pets and our goats, cows, and sheep, etc.
    So we would not have a society were it not for trust. The sad part is we ARE betrayed often if not even always by society (or its psychopaths). I trust people here, as far as they seem to motivate it. We’ll see how that develops.

    Yes, it hurts to be betrayed, but living at odds with the world (even for good reason) is a tough row to hoe.

  39. PS life, liberty, your loved ones or property.

    Sometime we have no choice.
    Sometimes you fight and to no avail, like when the docs trust your wife in spite of they know she is dying, and she wishes to hold the truth from herself as long as possible.

    So generally, I have been more so than perhaps you are.

  40. Tony C.
    “Trust” is an emotional state, not a rational state.

    I have never seen it put that way before. I agree it is not rational to trust everyone. /….. in any state,….especially Kansas :o)

    PS. I needed to add humor …. the stark reality of people purposefully and advantageously courting trust falsely for personal gain from the degradation and belittlement of others depresses me. …..
    But then I look for wonder and joy on the wonder and joy side of life, that is always there too. I try not to walk nor swim in the mud of deception, it adds a heavy weight to the finite human soul. At least to mine.
    I ain’t Mr Clean, but I do find soap and water refreshing, and sometimes one can smell it on other people.
    True and Worthy Trust is Joy, be it rational or not.

  41. “So true. I spent years correcting the med profession including full-fledged cardiologists. March 21 I am scheduled for a heart “ablation” and scared to death.”


    I truly know what you mean in your first sentence. From experience to I know that facing something like a heart “ablation” is scary, but the procedure seems effective from what I’ve read. Every procedure I’ve gone through has raised fear in me, as it should in any intelligent person. Hang in there I hope all goes well.

  42. As for humor, David.

    Life is too serious to take it seriously.

    And then there is comfort in feeding the worms, looking on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Pyton), and the joy of being hugged for no good reason than you ARE.

    A life spent looking at your dirty toenails and comparing with others’ is a misspent life

  43. Thanks MikeS. It is you that is a comfort when I think of your trials, when my exposure is much less than yours was.


    When they sent me to the coronary ward for suspected heart attack**, and then I detected that my heart was fixed at 70 ppm, then I knew that my pacemaker had taken over.
    The one who I related it to the next morning was the doc leading the coronary artery dye xray team: He at the finish confirmed that my arteries were as clear as for 9 years ago, and said he thought that I was right about the pacemaker.

    Two pacemaker docs and two cardiologists waited with a pacemaker machine when I returned to the ward.

    **The clinic doc when I said that I suspected a failing heart, said no, your lungs are clear. One of many mistakes.

    I got a bypass and a metal aorta valve, when I needed and had signaled for AV block, a dóc had detected an AV-1 some years prior. I got the bypass, and then forced the issue on the AV block. Turned out to be AV3. Should/would have died if I had not forced the issue in two vital steps.

    Trust your docs. I don’t but am forced to now. It is the wall or fall.

    And women, which is the thread here, should trust the med system even less than men should.

    I seize your outstretched hand, MikeS. Sailing along on this little planet.
    It is trust your doc or bust with anxiety.

  44. ID707,

    Since I wrote this blog I guess I’m forgiven if I go OT for a bit. I had an ICD, which is similar to a Pacemaker except it only kicks in when you go into ventricular tachycardia (VTAC). I had an episode of VTAC in my Electro- Cardiologists office. They “interrogated” the machine and it showed that it was only to kick in when my heart rate reached 180 beats per minute. I was at 178 bpm’s and I pleaded to the Cardiologist to recalibrate it and thus give me the shock (like the “paddles”) you see on TV and take me out of the life threatening VTAC. He refused and called 911. They arrived in five minutes, put me on a gurney and then into the ambulance. They then administered the Amiodoral which brought me out of VTAC. I realized that my SOB Electro Cardiologist wanted to get me out of his office quickly to lower his liability. I never saw him again because from there on in I was in the good hands of the University of Miami/Jackson Transplant Team and so I’m alive today to retell the story. Hang in there I’m sure you’ll do fine and the ablation can be a blessing.


  45. ID, My thoughts and prayers are w/ you. If you’re an atheist then I’ll pray your docs do their best even though you’re a pain in the ass!!

  46. Idealist

    I hope everything goes exceptionally well with the procedure. You’re certainly strong enough to handle whatever challenges you.

  47. “Considering that women comprise at least half of humanity, the mistreatment of women worldwide is actually the most important issue humanity faces.”

    Some would say the better half of humanity, Mike.

    And what Tony C. said. It has been my experience that while a great many criminals in prisons are emotionally stunted in some way or otherwise mentally ill, fewer of them are psychopaths than sociopaths and by far the most dangerous psychopaths are outside the penal system. It’s a great mistake to think that because psychopaths are broken that they are inherently irrational.

  48. Thanks people. No words for it, just thanks.

    Mike, it is money that steers there. At least some.
    Here you’re never sure as the money and personnel at the hospital are always rationed. 10 years ago the heart nurses spent a lot of time smoking in their room and eatinng cake. Now they run like scalded rats, and have much more qualified jobs. Bedside ECGs, etc.
    Very glad for you and us all that they gave you amiodoral, which I presume is a market name for Amiodarone. Did the ambulance folks or the hospital where you were headed? Very qualified ambulance people (sometimes) here.

    Again, thanks all.

  49. Idealist: if we did not have trust then we would be less than our domestic pets and our goats, cows, and sheep, etc.

    The point is not that we cannot have trust, the point is to recognize that trust is something that you feel emotionally, like “respect,” “love,” “comraderie,” etc.

    Idealist says: So we would not have a society were it not for trust.

    A “society” is like an insurance company in this respect. An insurance company (at least a non-corrupt one) is an invention that lets you substitute the chance of a major loss for the certainty of the average loss. In other words, your premium every month becomes a “certain” loss, but you no longer have to worry about the major loss (say your house, car, or hardship that would befall your family if you died in an accident).

    Society is a similar model; instead of being forced to trust individuals, we instead join (or remain in) a society which we trust in aggregate. So we can worry less about untrustworthy individuals stealing from us, defrauding us, assaulting us, etc, because we trust society as a whole to punish them if we do. If everybody could be trusted to tell the truth and keep their word and contracts without coercion, to not steal, to not engage in coercion or deception for selfish or desperate reasons, then we don’t need a society, police, or laws.

    Trust is not what builds a society, society is the solution when you cannot trust individuals or strangers but still would like to be able to walk about without being armed to the teeth.

    Idealist says: Yes, it hurts to be betrayed, but living at odds with the world (even for good reason) is a tough row to hoe.

    I do not think I live at odds with the world. I strive to see the world as it is without the fuzzy filter of emotion. That does not mean, in the least, that I strive to be unemotional; in fact I am the exact opposite: I believe that rationality exists as a tool to serve the emotional being, that the whole point of life is the emotional experience. But for rationality to serve me well it has to operate on truth, I cannot let emotions infect or mask my rational perception of the world and the people in it (including me).

    Emotions define my goals in life, they are what determine what I will find pleasure in, satisfaction in, take pride in, enjoy, and so on. Rationality is just the tool I use to achieve those goals.

  50. M.Ball
    1, February 10, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    My, my!
    We’ve left the gals behind to recount our medical adventures. I guess all that “news cycle” stuff isn’t just babble.


    Perceptive ;)

  51. TonyC,

    I retired pleased by your answer, and encouraged as well. Thanks for putting emotions back in the equation.

    Not a surprise to you, but I realized that here caring for the old ones so that you may be cared for in your time is your insurance, and part of the contract you sign with society.

  52. Tony C, 1, February 11, 2013 at 10:47 am.

    Again a concept new to me, or ordered in a fashion new to me.

    Well stated and rumination worthy.** Thank you.

    ** Epiphanic :o)

  53. Idealist: Then correct the typo; I said “because we trust society as a whole to punish them if we do.” that final ‘we’ should by ‘they’. We trust society as a whole to punish them if THEY do [some kind of crime].

  54. Should have proofread it myself. Will do.

    Some have already replied to suggest sites for your monument! .-)

    One suggests even the monuments form:

    Nude man and woman standing holding hands. Text below: “God gave us both rationality and emotion. The former to women, the latter to men. Fortunately a little barter system was created.”

    The puritans and anxious moms’ associattion together with the Vatican will add fig leafs.

  55. SwM,

    Only 22, then there must be a lot of female R senators. Or some Rs voted for it, or did they lay down their votes?

    Anyway, let’s hope that Canfor, Boehner and all the misogynists in the House (some blue dog dems) all have a stroke, but the measure gets to the floor. The show must go on.


    “Senators who voted against the bill included Republicans John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), John Thune (S.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).

    Rubio, who put out a statement on his VAWA stance Tuesday, will give the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address later Tuesday evening.”

    Rubio’s statement:

  57. And Rand Paul who also voted against the measure will be giving the Tea Party response to Obama’s address. Idealist, There are 20 women in the senate. Only 4 are republican. I see both Texas senators voted against it. Cornyn is scared of the Tea Party so he votes with Cruz.. Glad I am leaving the red state.

  58. Fact: in 1989 there were no laws against stalking.

    Fact: according to the FBI, in 1997 almost one-third (29 percent) of all female homicide victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends, a rate that has remained relatively constant since 1976.

    Fact: Domestic violence is the largest cause of intentional injury to women.

    Fact: In response to considerable anecdotal evidence
    of police “leniency” in arrests for domestic violence, as of 2000, all states authorize warrantless arrests of domestic violence offenders based solely on a probable cause determination that an offense occurred and that the person arrested committed the offense

    The push to criminalize domestic violence began in the 1970’s. Most domestic violence cases were referred to Family Court for “counseling” until women’s group took up the battle and pushed for criminal legislation. It has been a rough road to hoe but each decade has brought progress.

  59. Blouise, Yep. Let’s hope Boehner and the boys don’t hold this up again. Hopefully they learned something from the election.

  60. Some deserve beating. The scripture says that it is justifiable. The word is more important than what any woman has to offer.

  61. One Billion Rising

    Flash Mob How-To

    January 16, 2013

    Groups around the world will be performing flash mobs for One Billion Rising on 14 February 2013. Flash mobs are surprise performances of choreographed dances in public places where people will gather together to dance and celebrate One Billion Rising. These flash mobs will be a creative expression as well as raising awareness about violence against women and girls.

  62. Guardian,

    No one deserves to be beaten. You need to get a life. Maybe a job where you can learn how to live and not spread such drivel….

    I think I know who AP is now, not that it matters….

  63. Hey there Guardian … figured someone would crawl out of the weeds.

    It’s all about control isn’t it? Ever heard the term “FEK”?

    Here’s a good quote for you, from Commander G H Hatherfill, Scotland Yard, 1954:
    “There are only about twenty murders a year in London and not all are serious — some are just husbands killing their wives.”

    Your kind of guy?

  64. The truth? Are we speaking truth here? There is only one reason and one reason only to hit a woman: self-defense. And I don’t mean when she slapped you or called your mom a cow or laughed at your penis. I mean she’s trying to kill or permanently injure you. Then and only then it is justified and it’s like dealing with any other serious attacker: game on. Besides GoT, I know some women that could kick your ass and a couple who could kick mine and I’m a fairly scrappy fellow. I know a gal named Jenny who can beat down three or four larger than her male attackers at a time and she’s a perfectly normal sized normal looking gal. Cute too. Remember that next time you’re tempted to strike not just a woman, but anyone, “Guardian”.

    There is always somebody who can kick your ass and it may not be who you expect.

    And that’s the truth.

    Violence is a last resort, not a first resort.

  65. Gene,

    We help to maintain 2 shelters for women (and their children) who are victims of domestic violence and have done so since the ’80’s.

    I can spot an abuser by written word alone.

    Guardian’s post is a fake … note I said the post is a fake. ;)

  66. That’s an admirable cause to foster, Blouise. There are a lot of animals out there and the worst have two legs. It’s also important to recognize though that even though the preponderance is male on female, that it works the other way around too (although probably under reported) and that as a percentage of the populace, DV is as likely to occur in homosexual couples as it is in heterosexual couples. Abusive, toxic relations cover the entire spectrum.

  67. Gene,

    That is true … women do abuse men but the physical injuries are much less severe which is in all the documentation … excepting murder but even then, far more women than men are beaten to death by their partners.

    Forcing Judges and D.A’s to accept criminal indictments was a real struggle for a good 20 years … it started getting easier in the 90’s.

  68. Reading ‘Guardian’s’ comment above. Then I looked over at my cute little 5’3″ daughter sitting at her computer in the next room. I could sell tickets to the event if Guardian tried to beat her. She would rip his lungs out first, then shoot him. I think all women should study Wing Tsun Kung Fu.

    I have a friend who had an abusive first husband. She is now a college professor in one of the hard sciences. I asked her how she got her first husband to stop beating on her.

    She said she told him only one thing: “Never forget that I can take you out with a head shot at two hundred yards.”

    He never touched her again. Shortly thereafter he filed for divorce.

    Guardian may talk tough, but there is some gal out there who would be more than willing and able to kick his butt all over the house. He also should never forget that he has to sleep sometime. He could ask John Bobbitt about that.


    “Today, on the planet, a billion women – one of every three women on the planet – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends violated. V-Day REFUSES to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence.

    On February 14th, 2013, V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, we are inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, DANCE, RISE UP, AND DEMAND an end to this violence. One Billion Rising is a promise that we will rise up with women and men worldwide to say, “Enough! The violence ends now.”

    HERE’S HOW YOU CAN START A RISING – Stage a rising in your community, office, college, or school. Organize a flash mob at a landmark building/site, in the streets or in a nearby mall. Have a dance party, produce a theatrical event, march in your streets, protest, strike, dance and above all RISE! GET STARTED

    Find a rising near you…Other V-Day Events
    Join an existing event near you…

    To find an event near you, just enter your zip code without spaces” …

  70. When the timezones are 6 hours different I sleep when you spout, (no snark).

    A shame that NC was not on the VAWA list of infamy. Better, I fear,next time.

    Texas, part of deserting LBJ it is said. Ofhers said Rove did it.
    And then some (Baker) give credit to Poppy for starting the conversion when Poppy decided to enter, and started by becoming district R chairman. At any rate (rage?), the Solid Blue South changed color when their buddy LBJ started effing them.

  71. AY, agreed. Such talents don’t grow on every tree. Suggestions?

    AP, consider yourself revealed. AY played this game with me for months.

    GeneH, you don’t use sockpuppets, except perhaps in the interest purely of not tiring your audience, to change the “voice” delivering. A known presentation technique.

    Sorry if I name your names. No answer asked for. But the comments make no sense standing alone so long after the material commented is posted.

  72. AY and AP,

    Seriously, AP has established a consistent profile, liking no other.

    And proof that he is for “real” is that he is the first (as I recall) THE FIRST to offer a way that all can join in and fight this fight. Short of rebellion OR being picked off as we are seen as effecitive opponents to the PTD, what else is left to us? We do what people have always done through the ages.:

    TAKE TO THE STREETS!!!!!! Only this time in such numbers that it is an event which can not be ignored. It may force Obama’s hand. It will certainly test our fortitude. I say Obama because he is part of the problem and we need a figurehead to rally against. Better were we had an issue so no one could feel that they had to defend it. Obama HAS his supporters.

    Solve it AP, or how are they doing it?

  73. Idealist: I am not sure taking to the streets accomplishes any change; look at the Occupy (Whatever) movements. They get some press but nothing really happens. And that whole finger wiggling BS, and inventing their own lingo makes even those sympathetic to their cause laugh at them (AT them, not with them) and ultimately dismiss them as naive children playing games, which is the death knell of a movement. If people outside your movement, with regular jobs and lives think you are just forming a fun little clique to play in, forget doing anything.

    Where is their legislation? Where are the bankster prosecutions? Where is the restraint on foreclosures and usury and stock market shenanigans? Where are the Occupy supported Representatives and Senators?

    Nothing has changed, they added some phrases to the lexicon (like “the 99% vs the 1%”) but that will not do anything, and I think the Occupy movement has been large enough that if IT can’t do anything, even after years, it is safe to assume nothing else will either. The times have changed, and the OWS folks made the mistake of developing solidarity by inventing their own “culture” of jargon and rituals which alienates them from those that might support their cause. In marketing, we call that an “unnecessary barrier to sales” (demanding that customers learn your jargon in order to understand the benefits of your product or service).

    The proper approach was taken in the civil rights movement; because you want solidarity with ideas, plainly communicated. I think it is why the “I Have A Dream” speech was so epic and transformational (besides the poetry of it), it could be understood by anyone even if they had only a sketchy familiarity with the civil rights movement, it uses no special jargon, and that maximizes the chance of being understood by outsiders and gaining their sympathy with your goals.

    I doubt any “taking to the streets” protest will work anymore in the USA. It just doesn’t have enough economic or political impact to make anything truly revolutionary (like the civil rights legislation) happen.

    Even the gay rights movement, the most recent focus of revolutionary changes in legislation, was not a result of a 10% minority protesting, but the entire culture shifting their perception of homosexuality due to more information and exposure, due partly to technology (the biggest interacting factors IMO being cable producing much-relaxed standards for television’s fictional portrayal of gays, a large get-out-of-the-closet movement for gays, and the Internet).

  74. TonyC,

    Your perception may well be correct—-all of it.

    But what do you suggest? Who can say “I have a dream”, now and inspire change.

    The idea of media broadening perceptions may also be true. I’m not there to judge. but it does not jibe with the “media as governments mouthpiece” idea. A firm conviction of mine after reading a little on “Mocking Bird”

    Reading the “balanced”** crap that the NYTimes puts out and knowing all the stuff they DON’T mention is enough to convince me.
    They judge the Brennan first day as “good” putting it concisely. Where is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,

    Any suggestions? I forget now if you had any. Speechs and media won’t get us there. Now they have us by the nuts or ovaries.

    **”Balanced” means a little skit from both sides gets space. Where are the facts. Words, words, but no facts in sight. Op Eds and editorials are equally balanced (maybe) Conservative versus equal number of Liberals.

  75. Idealist: I do not think the media is a government mouthpiece, certainly not the Internet or cable TV fiction, which is what I was talking about when I said “exposure.” Being exposed to homosexuals as otherwise normal people in fictional drama and comedy, and finding out that admired celebrities are homosexual, or powerful and wealthy heterosexuals that are widely admired have great disdain for homophobics and think it stupid will all change the culture so that the tables are reversed on homophobes: Now they are frequently “in the closet” and become much weakened vectors for the disease of homophobia. A similar thing applies to racism; when it becomes socially unacceptable, the transmission of the disease from one generation to the next can be greatly diminished. Being openly racist, bigoted or anti-Semitic is currently seen as a sign of low class, low education and/or low intelligence, and being homophobic is joining that class quickly. That is partly due to the portrayal of homosexuals as non-stereotyped normal people in our fiction (like Smash, Lost Girl, Chicago Fire, off the top of my head), partly due to the existence of real homosexuals that are celebrities people enjoy (like Ellen DeGeneres or Jody Foster or Matt Bomer).

    I think the media is a profit machine, and largely a sociopathic one (like any other big corporate enterprise). They make money if people watch them or read them and get exposed to their ads, one of the ways to get people to watch them is to curry favor with the rich and powerful (including those in government) for privileged access; like interviews, book research, appearances on their shows, attendance at their parties. In return they tread lightly, do what favors they can, write puff pieces, and withhold damaging pieces in order to preserve access.

    In the cases where a politician is going to lose power and preserving access no longer matters, the swords are drawn. They aren’t a mouthpiece, it is a mostly open agreement to deceive the public for profit, and the public does not seem to care very much, they still watch the politicians appear on shows and believe they are seeing something real. The oft-admitted or accidentally revealed deceptions of the news media has no impact on their ratings, and what goes unpunished just gets magnified. That goes for the news media, corporate America, and politicians. The actions they take that deceive us or hurt us or betray us benefit them, and if they learn that we do not punish them for that then they will just do as much of it as will maximize the benefit they receive. That is just part of our animal nature.

  76. Tony,

    Just read your posts and would like to differ with you on the impact of Occupy Wall Street but have to leave shortly for dinner.

    Suffice it for now to suggest that Occupy Wall Street was never about “Where’s the beef” (lukewarm example of “unnecessary barrier to sales” … like I said, I’m rushed) and that it takes years to effect real change. Occupy Wall Street was about progressive tax policy changes and accountability and I give you a most unlikely impact that could never have been achieved, in my opinion, without the Occupy Wall Street crowds … the election of Elizabeth Warren. Nobody in either party wanted her anywhere near actual legislative influence.

    More later and my apologies for running off.

  77. Blouise,

    “Occupy Wall Street was about progressive tax policy changes . . .”

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you mean the reinstitution of progressive tax policy.

  78. gbk,

    Yeah … that’s what I meant. ;)

    It was Mexican tonight … excellent margaritas but the food fell short. However, every bit of Mexican I get up here has failed the mark once I’d experienced the real thing in New Mexico.

  79. Yeah, I’ve got ten pounds of both New Mexico Red and Green in my freezer (powder form) and another five pounds each roasted, dried, then frozen. Can’t beat it.

    I’m starting to get concerned because I consider this low inventory.

  80. If I can’t get hatch, I use guajillos to make enchilada sauce. Not as good, but better than from a can and readily available (it’s a really popular pepper in Mexican cooking).

  81. gene, That canned hatch red is pretty good for a quick fix. I linked it. Blouise might want to start out with that until she is ready to start roasting and grinding chilies. :)

  82. Smom,

    Yeah, I’ve used that before. It’s better than most for sure. But it’s also a fairly easy sauce to make. I’ve heard some of Blouise’s cooking adventures. I’m sure she could pull it off.

  83. Blouise, Since you are a novice go to the Sante Fe Cooking School site and get some ideas. They sell chilies and some pre – mixed items. It is a great place to visit when you are in Santa Fe.

  84. Don’t hesitate to ask, B. I’ve got simple for the first timer recipes for enchilada sauce and hard core ones too, but to be honest, even the hardcore aren’t hard to make. It’s a very forgiving sauce to assemble and hard to break. Really it’s little more than a simple reduction with a light roux.

  85. Smom,

    I’m kind of a saucier. It’s my thing. Most sauces I can replicate after tasting once or twice. I can do all of those styles, French (if you can make the mother sauces, you can make damn near anything), Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian, Creole, Cajun and generic American style sauces. About the only thing I’ve never tried is Indian because I’m just not a fan of too much curry, but I’m sure I could. The principles are all similar when not the same.

  86. Smom,

    It has been awhile (years) since I’ve eaten at a Mi Cocina. That’s not a sauce I recall from their menu. They do make tasty grub though.

  87. Blouise: “Where’s the beef” (lukewarm example of “unnecessary barrier to sales”

    I think I have been misunderstood. A barrier to sales is something that keeps the customer from buying. For example, a contract is a barrier to sales, a security deposit is a barrier to sales, a ‘sold as-is’ condition is a barrier to sales. A weak guarantee, mention of a restocking fee, even a money-back guarantee can be considered a barrier to sales if the customer worries about the conditions around it; if they have to hand you money and trust your promise to return it if they aren’t satisfied, then they have to think about trying your product or service. The genius of Sam Walton was a brave innovation that other discount stores feared greatly: The no questions asked, no receipt necessary, 100% money-back guarantee return for any reason policy. Sam Walton argued, before his death, that this was THE singular edge that made Walmart different than any other discount store, because it removed the number one barrier to sales for discount shoppers: The worry of getting stuck with an inferior product. While he was in charge, he took great glee in presenting crazy returns to his store managers, as examples of what to do: He refunded money on items that had obviously been used for years; he refunded money on (small) items Walmart did not even carry. If a customer brings in a patio umbrella turned inside out and broken by a hurricane: Give them their money back!

    Removing barriers to sales makes customers feel safe. The same thing applies to a movement. Nobody wants to be embarrassed by their associations, whether for being in the movement or just supporting it. MLK insisted on non-violent boycott, protest and refusal to move even in response to violence, because he needed to take away the excuse that the police and white supremacists were just responding to violence against them with violence on blacks. He knew that confusion over who hit who first would be a barrier to support, if there was any question about it. What reporters and TV needed to see was peaceful blacks exercising basic rights and being beaten and imprisoned for it, without fighting back. He mentions that specifically in his “I Have A Dream” speech.

    Blouise: Occupy Wall Street was about progressive tax policy changes and accountability and I give you a most unlikely impact that could never have been achieved, in my opinion, without the Occupy Wall Street crowds … the election of Elizabeth Warren. Nobody in either party wanted her anywhere near actual legislative influence.

    My opinion is different. I think Warren achieved that on her own; she gained fame and credibility for her own legislative ideas, and then translated that into a political platform. She was chair over TARP from 2008 to 2010, she was assistant to the President, advisor on the CFB, and announced her candidacy on September 14, 2011. Although there were many protests against TARP between 2008 and 2011, the actual “Occupy Wall Street” movement began September 17, 2011, three days after Warren officially announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination to oppose Scott Brown.

    Here is a September 5, 2012 article The Estranged Marriage Between Elizabeth Warren and Occupy Wall Street in which a reporter documents Warren’s distancing of her candidacy from OWS, and OWS members in Boston are lukewarm about her candidacy.

    If anything, I think Warren is correct in her claim that her ten years of research proved the intellectual validity of what OWS was complaining about.

    I do not see the causality; OWS did not raise money for Warren, it did not get its members to vote for Warren, it did not endorse Warren. TARP generated its own news and disorganized protests and Warren was already at the center of it and famous for her views before OWS began.

    I think concurrency does not prove causality; in my opinion the outrage over TARP and financial misdeeds spawned two children, the elder child is Elizabeth Warren’s political career, the younger child by three years is OWS. They spring from the same parent, not one from the other.




    The central message of Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising campaign – to bring an end to violence against women – is perhaps nowhere more keenly felt than in Afghanistan, writes Golnar Motevalli. She sends us this.

    Some 100 women and men marched in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, shouting “enough violence, we want peace” and “death to any enemy of women’s rights”.

    Almost as many men as women had joined the crowd, which was heavily guarded by Afghan police, wielding riot shields and kalashnikov rifles. The organisers kept the event closed to the public, in order to reduce any risk of antagonists infiltrating the event and stirring unrest.

    “As an Afghan man, I want to be here to show other Afghan men that violence against women is wrong and it has to end,” 25-year-old Tamim Shamal, an advocacy officer for the Afghan Civil Society Forum said.

    An Afghan woman shouts during a march calling for the end of violence against women in Kabul. Photograph: AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq An Afghan woman shouts during a march calling for the end of violence against women in Kabul. Photograph: AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq Photograph: Musadeq Sadeq/AP

    Whilst Ensler’s message of defiance against violence resonates strongly, her dictum to dance as a means of protest has not been embraced in a conservative, Muslim country where public images and depictions of women performing is frowned upon. References to dancing have been removed from literature and press releases.

    “I admire her feminism, but her work cannot be published here. If you talk about some of the language she uses, we wouldn’t be able to do this in Afghanistan,” Manizha Wafeq, a leading advocate of women’s rights in Afghanistan and one of the main organisers of Thursday’s march said.

    “It’s not in Afghan culture to sing and dance. But we will walk instead. For us, walking in the street is in itself an issue of security,” said Nasima Omari, a 26-year-old executive member of the Afghan Women’s Network.

    Afghan riot policemen stand guard during a march calling for the end of violence against women in Kabul on February 14 2013. ( Photograph: AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq Afghan riot policemen stand guard during a march calling for the end of violence against women in Kabul. Photograph: Musadeq Sadeq/AP)

  89. AP: her dictum to dance as a means of protest has not been embraced

    See, I think the Afghanis have it right, even if for cultural reasons. Dancing and singing are fun, and fun is self-indulgent, fun is not serious, fun is for children. Making your protest self-indulgent is just a route to dismissal as a women joining together to have some childish fun.

    “Oh, how cute, you are singing and dancing. Enough fun, children, it is your bedtime and the adults have work to do.”

  90. I think that it was Moliere who first said: “If everyone danced, there would be no war.”

    “Enough fun, children, it is your bedtime and the adults have work to do.” -Tony C.

    Some of us understand that there is room in the world for both. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    “fun is self-indulgent, fun is not serious, fun is for children.” -Tony C.

    Where to begin…

  91. Iran’s War On Fun

    By Golnaz Esfandiari

    October 02, 2011

    “A woman in the Iranian city of Mashhad has become the latest victim of Iran’s longest-standing and most unconventional war — the war against fun.

    The young woman, whose name and age has not been disclosed, jumped to her death over the weekend of September 24-25 from the sixth floor of a building. The apparent reason? — escape from a raid being conducted by security forces against a mixed-gender party she was attending. Fun mixed with fear of arrest and charges proved to be a deadly cocktail.

    Hadi Ghaemi from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran believes Iranian authorities are to blame for her death. “These raids by security forces and police to people’s homes are clear human rights violations and attacks into people’s private lives,” he says.

    Sadly, the Mashhad woman’s fate is not unique.

    Precise figures are unavailable, but Ghaemi says there have been numerous cases of young people who have been killed while trying to escape police forces at party raids.

    Lashed For Mingling

    There’s also been scores of Iranians who have been detained, fined, and lashed because of their appearance, for attending parties, for mingling with members of the opposite sex, for drinking alcohol, for participating in water-gun fights, or other activities that are being taken for granted in many other countries.

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    It is part of the war against fun being waged by the authorities since the establishment of the Islamic republic some 32 years ago. Religion is most often cited as the main reason for the repressive measures. Some observers, however, say the crackdown has more to do with the authoritarian nature of the clerical establishment.

    Asef Bayat, a professor of sociology and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Illinois, says fun allows individuals to break free from the everyday discipline of life and from structures of power.

    Having fun, Bayat says, offers temporary liberation and an outlet for individuality and spontaneity — and this is something that authoritarian regimes don’t like. “They feel that fun somewhat diminishes individuals’ discipline and obligations to the big cause; the cause that, by and large, is defined by the regime,” he says.

    Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic, made clear that in his eyes fun was not compatible with Islam.

    “There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam,” Khomeini, who never laughed or smiled in public, was once quoted as saying. “There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”

    Authorities have since worked hard to banish laughter, playfulness, or other such behavior from public life through warnings, but also through punishments.

    Laughter has been described as disrespectful to the values of the revolution and the blood of the martyrs. In its place, somber moods, mourning, and sadness have become the norm at public appearances and official events.

    As Iranian journalist Hossein Kermani explains, state indoctrination against fun starts early in Iran. “We’ve been told since our childhood, at school, that laughter is bad. We were told it’s vulgar and frivolous to laugh. One has to be serious. We were told it has to do with religion,” he says.

    In September, when young people in Tehran and several other cities engaged in public water fights, they were accused of violating Islamic principles. On social media, participants admitted only to seeking “a bit of fun.”

    One 18-year-old Iranian, who was jailed last year and fined for having a party where boys and girls were mingling together and dancing, told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that having fun in Iran is often accompanied by a feeling of fear.

    “I spent one night in jail for trying to have a good time,” he said. “I didn’t kill anybody or steal anything. I had just invited friends over.”

    While in the early years of the revolution those caught drinking or simply enjoying themselves at parties could expect to be lashed, nowadays money can solve the issue. People either pay a fine or bribe officials.

    “Things have changed,” explained one man who was lashed in the 1980s after being arrested at a party. “If you drink alcohol, for example, you pay money and everything is fine.”

    Going Underground

    As a result of the battle being waged the past three decades, fun has turned into an underground and secretive action. Parties are held in soundproofed homes, or after bribing the police. Those who choose to defy the official ban on alcohol drink at home. There they might listen to banned music and watch banned movies. And there are signs that, despite the obstacles, many young Iranians pay more attention to their physical appearance, fashion, and latest music hits, than values preached by the establishment.

    Fun has created a gap between the establishment and masses of people who through the act of fun have –intentionally or unintentionally– become dissidents.

    “Since in Iran everything that is fun is banned and seen negatively, young people, for example my friends and I, quickly realize that whatever they do to have fun, whether they want or not, is an act that goes against the official view.”

    Professor Bayat says whether having fun is an act of defiance or not doesn’t really matter because in both cases it contradicts the ethics of regimes such as the one in Iran.

    “In fact these regimes often find fun ethics as a competition that can take away people from their support base,” says Bayat. “So, in that way it of course diminishes their power.”

    Roya Boroumand, executive director at the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation that documents human rights abuses in Iran, believes Iran is waging a war it cannot win.

    She says instead of turning into docile citizens who follow the principles dictated by the establishment, Iran’s youth have become more eager to break the rules. “Whatever was banned and was supposed not to happen is happening. It demonstrates that Iran’s policies have [failed],” Boroumand said.

    In one of the latest warnings against potential fun, hard-line Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi said last week that students should spend less time surfing the Internet.

    “If a young student surfs the Internet until late in the night and is not looking for ‘scientific subjects,’ or if he watches movies and forgets his morning prayers, he cannot become a pious man,” the cleric was quoted as saying.”

  92. “MLK insisted on non-violent boycott, protest and refusal to move even in response to violence, because he needed to take away the excuse that the police and white supremacists were just responding to violence against them with violence on blacks. He knew that confusion over who hit who first would be a barrier to support, if there was any question about it.”


    This is exactly so and shows MLK’s true genius. In those terms OWS screwed up by allowing their protest to get muddied. However, they were a great success when it came to finally presenting a meme to counter right wing meme making. That was the 1% vs. 99%. For years I had been trying to think of a meme to counter the right wing tactic of reducing issues to memes. The 1% was just such a meme and that alone make the OWS movement a success.

  93. AP: For every protester, there are many thousands of people not protesting.

    When protesters look like they are having a fun party (laughing, singing, dancing, smokin’, wreaking destruction) the vast majority of the non-protesters presume the point of the protest is to have some selfish fun, and collaterally, that the protesters are there for that benefit, not because they care deeply about an issue.

    That presumption is quashed if the protesters appear to be serious.

    There is room in the world for both fun and seriousness, but fun is indeed antagonistic to a protest being taken seriously. If a protest is organized to be fun, everybody else assumes the organizer made it that way because they couldn’t get enough participants otherwise, so most of the people in it are really in it to have a party, not to seriously protest an injustice.

    A protest has to look like work, or suffering, or a sacrifice in order to gain traction with non-protesters. The more fun it is, the less of a sacrifice it is.

  94. Mike: Our opinions differ, I think you are moving the goal posts. A movement demanding X is not a “success” unless it gets some measure of “X.” If I set out to get banksters prosecuted, and produce a clever poem instead, I failed in my attempt to get banksters prosecuted.

  95. In the old days I was an organizer/activist. Takes a lot of energy. I remember speaking to a group in the capital of a state where I was trying to organize a march on the Supreme Court. I realized the people there were really not in it for the content of the protest so much as they were in it to try to make themselves feel good. But this was not going to come out with any “feel good” results. We were going to lose and the protesters were going to have spent time and money and energy on the protest and some would even feel that we, as organizers, were guilty of improperly rallying them to a lost cause. I said all this to them. I ended the little speech with:

    “If you’re doing this because you really care about this case and what it has to say about our rights in this state and all other states, win or lose, come with us and put your heart and soul and VOICE into it. If you are doing all this because you want to FEEL GOOD, stay home and masturbate; this will NOT make you feel good. This will, in fact, probably end up making you feel very bad, discouraged, distressed, demoralized, outraged. If you can stand that and want to stand up anyway, join. If not, thank you for your time today and have a good life.”

    We got about half of them. One of my colleagues was angry with me for not “whipping up their enthusiasm.” I don’t know which I should have done: what I did or what she would have preferred. In retrospect, it doesn’t matter.

  96. “Urging people to rise up, she said: “I am rising for (the Delhi rape victim) and women like her. I am rising with the amazing women of my country. I am rising for the child in me, who I don’t think will ever forgive and recover from what happened to her. So, join me, let’s rise, let’s dance. Dance has the power to heal, to transform. So let’s transform ourselves and this world. Let’s rise together,” she said”

    -Anoushka Shankar, composer and daughter of the late sitar maestro Ravi Shankar

  97. Tony,

    I knew what you meant which is why I used the term “lukewarm” for my example … the message got lost in the “cuteness” of the phrase. Nobody thought Wendy’s when they heard the phrase so the campaign was a huge success and huge failure. The same could be said of the “we are the 99%”.

    To counter your assertion concerning Elizabeth Warren and the OWS influence I first must admit that your point of view as expressed in your earlier post before I mentioned Ms Warren is supported by several analysts who I respect. Basically that OWS was a failure that accomplished little.

    I, on the other hand, see the influence of OWS on the mindset of the country where Ms. Warren was concerned as quite influential and thus am at odds with those with whom I usually agree.

    Wall Street was totally against her and sunk millions into the effort to defeat her. Although she did fill a couple of government positions, Obama denied her the big one due to Wall Street’s objections. It was then that many of us worked to convince her to run for public office. Neither party wanted her and her chances of winning were viewed as slight. Then along came OWS. Donations to her campaign began flooding in from all over the country and the Republicans foolishly started tying her to the “OWS rabble”. Donations increased.

    She was an excellent communicator but an inexperienced campaigner who, in the end, squeaked out a victory. I put it to you that without the OWS of 2011, the majority of the country would have been unaware of Ms. Warren’s campaign and contributions would not have been forthcoming and she would have lost in 2012.

    Which came first; the chicken or the egg? That is a different discussion.

    I also am of the opinion that OWS was a shot across the bow … a polite practice run, if you will. I’m not talking conspiracy … I’m talking history. Much will depend on those who are in charge of righting the wrongs OWS fought to expose. If accountability is not forthcoming it is only a matter of time before the streets are once again jammed with protesters.

  98. A protest has to look like work, or suffering, or a sacrifice in order to gain traction with non-protesters. The more fun it is, the less of a sacrifice it is. -Tony C.

    We’re a crisis-oriented lot (Americans), to be sure.

    Generally, in order for Americans to be moved or act on a large scale, people have to die.

    “The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

    There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students, and the event further affected the public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.”

  99. Blouise: Well, then, we can both be right. I do not doubt that the awareness of financial corruption raised by OWS could have increased donations to Ms. Warren’s campaign, as you say (and apparently know more about than I do).

    My contention is that to my knowledge (and I followed online public news of her campaign, I like her a great deal) the election of Ms. Warren was never a goal of OWS, if they even had actual goals of change to achieve. I suspect their only goal was to express that they were damn angry, which is not a goal of something to change.

    So as I said, we can both be right. Or I can be wrong; I read your post as Warren’s Senate win being something OWS “achieved,” but that is not what you actually wrote.

  100. What makes One Billion Rising’s invitation to dance a radical move

    What’s political about dancing? The global campaign to highlight violence against women asks us to reclaim public space with joy

    by Jill Filipovic
    Thursday 14 February 2013 10.34 EST

    “One of my favorite feminist quotations – “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution” – is widely (and probably wrongly) attributed to feminist and anarchist Emma Goldman. Accurate quote or not, the quote is a feminist mainstay, printed on t-shirts and bags, memorialized in tattoos and on Facebook profiles. Now, activist Eve Ensler has turned it into a movement called One Billion Rising, focused on ending the violence that impacts more than 1 billion women around the world. Its apex is today, and the action is simple: go out and dance.

    I’ll admit: I was initially a bit nonplussed by OBR. Dancing? That’s all we’ve got to combat the systematic, worldwide oppression and violence that 70% of women (pdf) will face in their lifetimes? It struck me as too silly, too 70s. Too much about feelings, more “raising awareness” than much-needed concrete action.

    But the truth is, violence is tragically one of the ways women around the world are united – regardless of our age, nationality, race, religion, class or culture, our very existence as women in the world is dangerous. We may speak different languages, have different belief systems and face different and intersecting oppressions, but physical and sexual violence against women is sadly universal.

    The facts are astounding. Most of that violence comes at the hands of intimate partners, or someone a woman knows. And not all women are equally susceptible to violence. Factors like lower levels of education and income, maltreatment as a child and living in an environment where gender inequity is the norm all increase a woman’s likelihood of experiencing violence in her life.

    In many places, including the United States, transgender women, lesbian women and women of color are disproportionately targeted. In the United States, a woman is beaten by her partner every 15 seconds. In Egypt, 35% of women report being physically abused at least once in their marriages; 35% of Turkish women have experienced marital rape. In South Africa, 165 women report being raped every day, many of them targeted because they are perceived to be lesbians or gender non-conforming and the rape is “corrective”; and the number who report their assaults to police are likely a fraction of victims.

    Gang rape is apparently a male bonding experience from Steubenville to Delhi. Victims of violence are little kids and little old ladies; other vulnerable women and girls, like those with disabilities or dependent on a care-taker, are also more likely to be assaulted.

    How precisely to end that violence is a difficult matter, and one for which there is no single answer. Solutions must be multifaceted, vary depending on context, culture, history and legal codes. There’s no silver bullet or magic wand, and what works in Ohio will be different than what works in Oman. But the one universal shift must be in the status of women. We must be equal citizens. We must have a full range of legal, social, cultural, economic and political rights. We must be safe in our homes, on our streets and in our own bodies.

    That basic necessity that so many women lack – being safe in our own bodies – is what made me finally come around to the OBR call to dance. It’s our bodies that are violated. It’s our bodies that are politicized and subjected to laws about what we can or can’t cover or how we can or can’t reproduce or what our families should look like.

    It’s our bodies that are blamed for the harm that comes to us, when we’re told that we were hurt because we’re too tempting, too sexual, too ugly, too loud, too easy, too feminine, too manly, too vulnerable. It’s our bodies that too often feel like the enemy, when our own self-worth is worn down by cultural myths that we’re too fat, too dark, too poor, too awkward, too shy, too sexy, too female, too masculine, too strong, too weak, too big, too little.

    And so it’s with our bodies that we should act. When our bodies have been politicized, targeted and defined for us, there’s power in the simple enjoyment of that body. When women are supposed to be small and inoffensive, taking up public space is a radical act. It’s unladylike. Dance, OBR reminds us, is both free and freeing.

    Will dance save the world? Of course not. And it certainly won’t end violence against women. But any worldwide movement that focuses on the appalling levels of violence that women face and crafts a national day of action to push back against that violence is fine with me.

    Creating mass disruption to force people across the globe to consider violence against women and girls won’t solve our problems, but it is a good first step. The next steps must be more localized and specific. Women may be bound together by the violence we collectively face, but the roots of that violence and its solutions are as diverse as we are.

    That, too, is the power in One Billion Rising: highlighting a shared problem can encourage the sharing of solutions alongside the recognition that a wildly varied world means varied experiences and requires varied strategies. There’s not just room for growth; there’s a demand for it.

    It’s not perfect, but then neither are my dance moves. Sounds like my kind of revolution.””

  101. AP: I do not find that inspiring in the least. She is certainly entitled to dance for herself, heal herself, restore herself. For some people that would be healing and restorative. But for people like me reading that statement, what I get is the dancing women are in it for themselves.

    Some people think laughter is healing and restorative; some people think music is healing and restorative. Would protests organized around laughter or a concert gain any traction? No, because outsiders think the “protesters” are just there to hear the stand-up comic, or just there to listen to the band. They don’t think they are protesting, they think they are having a good time.

    She has confused taking care of herself (a selfish act) for effecting change for others (a selfless act).

  102. One Billion Rising: Watch LIVE

    Laura Flanders on February 14, 2013 – 10:41 AM ET


    “The action began at dawn with indigenous women in Papua New Guinea. It is sweeping through Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe to the Americas. The Prime Minister of Australia and the President of Croatia are rising. Migrant workers, domestic workers, nurses, doctors, even the Dalai Lama. Solidarity pledges have come in from movie stars and Dalit women and the president of the United Steelworkers.

    By this time tomorrow, what will OBR have achieved? It’s not like some Mayan Calendar prediction of world transformation overnight. Some organizers have taken advantage of the rising to give momentum to legislation. In the US, in Washington, the One Billion Rising Rising will be calling for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In London, Stella Creasy MP, has introduced a bill to demand more comprehensive sex education—and she’s calling it the One Billion Rising Act.

    But OBR’s greatest impact may have to do with borders. Not only has the mobilization brought women from all over the world together into an organizing effort that puts a whole new spin on internationalism, but it has also shone a spotlight on the intersections between so-called “social” and “economic ” issues.

    The women and men now working in jobs typically held by women have been the shock absorbers of our economy, said labor leaders on a panel sponsored by One Billion Rising held at Cooper Union last fall. There, National Nurses United co-president Karen Higgins made the point that “the issues women face as workers as well as healthcare providers are very personal to us.”

    Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

    NNU is one of a slew of labor groups supporting OBR in this country and abroad, including the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers, The United Steelworkers, the American Federation of Teachers and Working America. The largest unions in the Philippines and UK, Kilusang Mayo Uno and UNITE, are also participating. Said Higgins this November: “We’re seeing more and more the fallout from this economy. Violence against us is rising, not just against nurses, but all healthcare workers, and we’re having to fight with employers who don’t want word to get out that we’re facing that much violence. That silence hurts us too.… Among our patients, heart disease in women is becoming more of a killer than cancer. And we’re watching women, responsible for welfare of family, choosing between their own welfare and those of kids.””

  103. “…what I get is the dancing women are in it for themselves.” -Tony C.

    I would contend that most are “in it for themselves”, as well as others.

    Rabbi Hillel’s words come to mind.

    If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? -Rabbi Hillel

    “She has confused taking care of herself (a selfish act) for effecting change for others (a selfless act).” -Tony C.

    Taking care of oneself isn’t “a selfish act” — it’s quite the opposite.

    A common thread in the curricula of various healthcare professionals is “self-care” — the recognition that taking care of oneself is essential to the practice of effectively caring for (and healing) others. Again, as is the case with work and play/”fun”, the two go hand in hand. Women (and men, as well) nurture, care for, and empower themselves, in order to be able to be at their best, in their efforts to help nurture. empower, and heal others.

  104. A genuine brown sauce made after hours of stirring and cooking of a melange (mainly onions and some carrots) will produce the most incredible “french” sauce base. No way to hurry it up. Hours needed.
    Caramelizing the sweet onions? Who knows. Am not a chemist.

  105. idealist:

    Layers of Deceit

    Why do recipe writers lie and lie and lie about how long it takes to caramelize onions?

    By Tom Scocca|Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 7:12 AM ET

    “If you added all those cooking times together end to end, you still wouldn’t have caramelized onions. Here, telling the truth about how to prepare onions for French onion soup, is Julia Child: “[C]ook slowly until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar, raise heat to moderately high, and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are a dark walnut color, 25 to 30 minutes.” Ten minutes plus 25 to 30 minutes equals 35 to 40 minutes. That is how long it takes to caramelize onions.”

    Food and dance. Great “uniters”…

  106. AP: Taking care of oneself isn’t “a selfish act” — it’s quite the opposite.

    Not in this case it isn’t.

    The fact that one has to engage in maintenance acts like eating, rest and hygiene in order to provide care for others is completely different from the idea of pleasing oneself by dancing, singing, or having fun. That is what I meant by a selfish act, acting solely to please themselves, and that is what I mean by “being in it for themselves,” they are not protesting to accomplish change for others, they are dancing to feel good about themselves.

    Dancing as part of a protest is not literally restorative or healing, it is at best an enjoyable form of exercise for some, but it is the exercise, not the “dancing” component, that has any chance of doing any literal healing or restoration; the same effect can be had in physical therapy (and faster and more thoroughly if done scientifically) without having any fun at all.

    You seem to be intent on missing the point, but that is fine, you can deny basic human psychology all you want, the truth is simple: Protesters having fun protesting dilute the impact of their protest, it is counter-productive. People do not mind other people partying and having fun, but they also do not believe such people are really trying to accomplish anything serious besides having fun.

    You can make all the excuses and arguments for justification you want here, but when it comes to the videos of people dancing and laughing, which is all the 99.99% will see, they make their assessment and immediate dismissal based on what they see: People partying.

  107. If they are in it for themselves to be treated equally or to correct an injustice, that is acceptable, and can gain supporters and advocates for a good cause. If it looks they are in it for themselves to have a good time, that is another thing, and nobody cares one way or another, and when the novelty wears off the movement fizzles out, usually having changed nothing.

  108. “You seem to be intent on missing the point, but that is fine, you can deny basic human psychology all you want, the truth is simple…” -Tony C.

    Projection, on your part, IMO.

  109. “The fact that one has to engage in maintenance acts like eating, rest and hygiene in order to provide care for others is completely different from the idea of pleasing oneself by dancing, singing, or having fun.” -Tony C.

    No, it isn’t. All of the acts that you describe are necessary in order to provide the very best care for others. Watch a few episodes of “Mash”… Compare Hawkeye and B.J. to Frank.

  110. Tony C.,

    As you might have deduced by now after a couple years of trading posts, I am more of a social science (sociologist), political science person than a political activist. I’m interested in groups more than specific individuals and the influence and impact of happenings upon groups.

    I tend to take a wider, more long-term view of events.

    I would agree that OWS lacked an observed leadership who stated goals but I believe that was intentional because the nature of the complaints required fluidity and anonymity when city leaders tried to serve orders. That same city leadership was soon forced to order their police forces to start trouble in order to justify shutting the whole thing down. This played right into the hands of the unobserved leadership within OWS.

    They disrupted the economy of each city in which they gathered much as Wall Street had disrupted the entire world’s economy. It was an object lesson done with extreme group discipline.

    My fear is that the OWS event will be dismissed, the lesson umlearned and the next time around the group discipline will be absent.

    As I said … a long term view.

    The election of Ms Warren was an unintended consequence but a consequence never-the-less which should not be ignored.

  111. 5 Reasons Why We’re Part of the One Billion Rising in Protest Against Violence Against Women

    Posted on February 14, 2013

    By Shari Inniss-Grant, Fellow

    “As individuals willing to give voice to troubling problems and struggle towards difficult solutions, we rise on behalf of women.

    As partners, advocates, family and friends, we rise in collaboration with survivors.

    As a global community, we rise through women’s progress.”

  112. National Women’s Law Center

    5 Reasons Why We’re Part of the One Billion Rising in Protest Against Violence Against Women

    Posted on February 14, 2013

    By Shari Inniss-Grant, Fellow

    “As individuals willing to give voice to troubling problems and struggle towards difficult solutions, we rise on behalf of women.

    As partners, advocates, family and friends, we rise in collaboration with survivors.

    As a global community, we rise through women’s progress.”

  113. AP: All of the acts that you describe are necessary in order to provide the very best care for others.

    No, all of those acts are necessary, period. Not “in order” to do anything other than survive, which means a psychopath engages in those acts just as much as a caregiver. Justifying self-indulgence (dancing and singing) as a necessity in order to care for others is just silly; it is just as much an abuse of language and common sense as the justifications used by the beaters of women, who also claim their acts are “necessary” to maintain order and piety.

  114. Tony,

    And I forgot to include that designating Warren as a leadergoal would violate the entire “leaderless” premise of OSW … remember no microphones and no speeches longer than 5 minutes.

    The whole point was that all the 99.9% had to do was show up and the .1% were f*cked. The 99.9% didn’t have to loot, didn’t have to bludgeon … just show up. Certainly laws would be broken but the law breakers would be the police trying to force confrontation. Film it, show it, move on to the next block.

    Leaders would emerge on their own and sure enough … one did.

  115. Tony C.,

    Dancing and singing are self-indulgent acts?

    Your last comment? Rubbish. Period. (I won’t go back any further than that.)

  116. “Elizabeth Warren Embarrasses Hapless Bank Regulators At First Hearing (VIDEO)”


    “WASHINGTON — Bank regulators got a sense Thursday of how their lives will be slightly different now that Elizabeth Warren sits on a Senate committee overseeing their agencies.

    At her first Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, Warren questioned top regulators from the alphabet soup that is the nation’s financial regulatory structure: the FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFPB, CFTC, Fed and Treasury.

    The Democratic senator from Massachusetts had a straightforward question for them: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial? It was a harder question than it seemed.

    “We do not have to bring people to trial,” Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, assured Warren, declaring that his agency had secured a large number of “consent orders,” or settlements.

    “I appreciate that you say you don’t have to bring them to trial. My question is, when did you bring them to trial?” she responded.

    “We have not had to do it as a practical matter to achieve our supervisory goals,” Curry offered.

    Warner turned to Elisse Walter, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who said that the agency weighs how much it can extract from a bank without taking it to court against the cost of going to trial.

    “I appreciate that. That’s what everybody does,” said Warren, a former Harvard law professor. “Can you identify the last time when you took the Wall Street banks to trial?”

    “I will have to get back to you with specific information,” Walter said as the audience tittered.

    “There are district attorneys and United States attorneys out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I’m really concerned that ‘too big to fail’ has become ‘too big for trial,'” Warren said.”

  117. AP,

    I’m with you re: dancing and singing, but would add music. Culturally, this type of activity has developed community among humans for perhaps 40,000 years, at least. They are just as intrinsic to successful human survival as those we normally credit as life sustaining. As a self aware animal humans are faced with mortality. We use these arts to lessen the burden of aloneness we feel knowing our deaths can come in an instant and that none of us will escape our end. Since dancing, singing and music reach us on an emotional level, prpoerly used they can effect change. Well I remember the emotions “We Shall Overcome ” evoked during civil rights marches.

  118. ap,

    She’s a gem. She knows more about their business than they do and doesn’t need a staff member whispering in her ear so that she may appear intelligent.

    She’ll spot the loopholes their attys try to write into legislation before spell check has finished editing the document and she’ll query their bosses on it mercilessly easily revealing the gross ignorance of their CEOs, CFOs and various V.P.s in charge of whatever.

    Then she’ll turn her attention to Senators who sponsored the legislation who will be furiously listening to their aides’ whispers.

    Obama is going to wish he’d appointed her when he had the chance because now she has real power and 99.9% of the voting public in her corner.

    Of course that’s what happens when the kind of Harvard profs you’re comfortable with are of the caliber of Larry Summers … sexism and careless scholarship just doesn’t allow one to see Warren clearly, thank God.

  119. AP: Yes, they are self-indulgent, and they appear self-indulgent in the context of a protest march, are you truly that un-self-aware?

    There is truly nothing wrong with some harmless self-indulgency, or a LOT of harmless self-indulgency, but you seem intent upon missing the point and resorting to the denial of reality in order to do that: When protesting, self-indulgency does not sell the protest and attract supporters, in fact the appearance of self-indulgency will attract ridicule and antagonism.

    Mike: Properly used, indeed. Music (and therefore singing) is not always self-indulgent, and “We shall overcome” and some spirituals are a good example of that, because they convey first the impression of faith in the light of suffering or hardship, they do not convey the impression of having a frakkin’ party. As I said, the protest has to look like the protesters are working, sacrificing, suffering to make a point; songs of grief and hardship and loss can buttress that perception.

    Dancing, on the other hand, always looks like the dancers are having fun.

  120. Blouise: would violate the entire “leaderless” premise of [OWS] … remember no microphones and no speeches longer than 5 minutes.

    That just seems silly to me, and contradictory to boot. If there are no leaders, who had the privilege of deciding on these bright-line rules like “no microphones” and “no speeches longer than 5 minutes”? Somehow those were conveyed to people as laws within the OWS community, which they accepted as dictums. They certainly didn’t vote on them, so that means some person or group early on unilaterally declared them as a condition for participation.

    Blouise: The whole point was that all the 99.9% had to do was show up and the .1% were f*cked.

    Well, I think that was a particularly ineffective strategy to change.

    As you undoubtedly know by now, I much prefer engineered approaches that, while not certain due to the variability of human emotions and motivations, have a plausible and significant chance of success.

    A good organization model for something like OWS would have been the collaborative inverted management structure of WL Gore, a very successful private company founded by an academic engineer (Bill Gore) turned entrepreneur.

    Here is an article describing their style. No bosses, nobody can command anybody to do anything, all leaders serve at the pleasure of their subordinates, all the way up to the CEO.

    They have about 9,000 employees and several billion dollars in sales. They run factories this way; and one might think a factory is the perfect example of where a command-and-control model is necessary, but it really is not.

    I think WL Gore proves it is possible to have leadership of an arbitrarily large group without actually putting anybody in charge or granting them power. But obviously it requires a structure and rules, and that culture was agreed upon by Bill and his first employees.

    The WL Gore inverted management structure is the model I would adopt if I could form an organization to try and solve our political problems.

  121. AP,

    Blouise and Raff beat me to it but I agree that I was happy to see your comment on Senator Warren. From the moment I first heard her speak on the Bill Maher Show, I knew I was listening to a extraordinary person. Warren is one of the very few voices of sanity holding office today, with an obvious empathy for the people and a brilliant mind. As Blouise alludes part of the slow recognition of Warren’s talents comes directly from sexism. Her sex and her appearance don’t fit in with the stereotype of genius, nor does her manner of speech. This overlooking of an extraordinary person, because of their sex, is the essence of why I wrote this blog. Having two extraordinary daughters and an extraordinary wife have clarified for me just how undeserved the traditional view of womanhood is. This was backed up by the fact that in my career I met so many woman of great capabilities and courage. Any talk of achieving a state of freedom and equity for all human beings must begin with equal status for 50% of the population. The fear of this equality stems mainly from men who would feel threatened by admitting to the reality of womanhood’s capabilities

  122. Tony,

    I know … which is why I called it “unobserved” leadership.

    Started by a group in Canada, the OWS was basically anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian and consensus-based. Consensus is not agreement and it leaves room for dissent. I know you are not the least bit religious but if you know anything about the organization of congregations, consensus is a Quaker model. It is also the model used in much of the women’s liberation movement.

    I suppose we could call it leadership by example, not by authority.

    The use of human microphones was a clever way of getting around the need to apply for a permit covering the use of amplified sound. And on we go.

    As an example of Direct Democracy, it was a movement well worth studying. The average age of the protesters was 33, 81% white, and 70% identified themselves as Independents. Over 1/3 of the protesters had incomes over $100,000, 76 percent had bachelor’s degrees, and 39 percent had graduate degrees … these are the figures from the NYC area. When these people left the street they went straight to their voting booths and took their friends and neighbors with them.

    Failure to understand this is, for a politician, a real failure to understand both the market and the consumer of your product.

    This why the RNC and Wall Street and Obama’s administration failed in their quest to marginalize Warren. I’m going to suggest that the attitudes which are similar to yours will also lead to a scratching of the heads come 2016. (Think back to the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas … he was confirmed so I suppose one could say the movement against him failed and if one does say that then one has to completely ignore what followed in the voting booths.)

  123. Blouise: I doubt I will be scratching my head, I have no defined expectations for 2016!

    I think it is too early to predict anything for at least another year. Politicians implode (like Jindal, like Rubio’s disaster of a speech), they get sick and die, they can rise very rapidly to prominence (like Obama).

    I also think people are still sorting the result (one I DID expect) that Citizen’s United could not buy the election for Romney. I do not watch Fox News except indirectly through the Daily Show and Colbert Report; but on those shows it appears to me the Republican elite is scratching their heads until their scalps are bleeding, they truly appear to have been blind-sided, and that continued in Rubio’s rebuttal to the state of the union.

    So I am waiting to see what (probably erroneous) conclusion they come to on that front, before the 2014 races begin in earnest.

    We should count our blessings with Citizen’s United, btw. I think it is a wrong headed ruling, certainly, but it allowed an environment that established a fact I think both sides find frightening: There was massive spending on Romney’s behalf and he still lost very badly (for a modern Presidential Election). They may be in denial, but it seems clear to me that money could NOT buy the election. As I have long suspected, there is a saturation threshold for advertising, and more money won’t create any more awareness or switch any more votes. I think that threshold is about 20% of what we saw spent.

    The reason that is good news (for everybody) is that it means politicians are wasting their time chasing ever more campaign dollars (unless they are corruptly spending those donations on themselves). If they come to realize that, I think it will reduce the influence of money on politicians, and the propensity to donate for the rich. In short, I think the rich got what they wanted, no limits, and it backfired on them (or at least fizzled).

    We will see what the political landscape looks like around March of 2014, that is the time (for me) to start parsing the developments in anticipation of the mid-terms. And it will be March of 2016 before I have any expectations for that year.

  124. Tony C.,

    “We should count our blessings with Citizen’s United, btw. ”

    On this topic we are in 100% agreement and for all the same reasons.

    I determined several months ago that our opinions on greed are quite similar as is our rather perverse (in the minds of others) pleasure in giving people enough rope to hang themselves.

  125. Elizabeth Warren’s Aggressive Questioning Prompts Anger From Wall Street

    The Huffington Post | By Luke Johnson Posted: 02/15/2013 12:11 pm EST | Updated: 02/15/2013 2:09 pm EST


    “Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) meeting with bank regulators Thursday left bankers reeling, after the politician questioned why regulators had not prosecuted a bank since the financial crisis.

    At one point, Warren asked why big banks’ book value was lower, when most corporations trade above book value, saying there could be only two reasons for it.

    “One would be because nobody believes that the banks’ books are honest. Second, would be that nobody believes that the banks are really manageable. That is, if they are too complex either for their own institutions to manage them or for the regulators to manage them,” she said.

    That set off angry responses to Politico’s Morning Money. “While Senator Warren had every right to ask pointed questions at today’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, her claim that ‘nobody believes’ that bank books are honest is just plain wrong,” emailed a “top executive” to the financial newsletter. ” Perhaps someone ought to remind the Senator that the campaign is over and she should act accordingly if she wants to be taken seriously.”

    The anonymous emailer said Warren was being as “extreme” as fellow freshmen Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who asserted Tuesday without evidence that secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel may have received money from “extreme or radical” groups.”

  126. AP,

    Call me hyperbolic but to my mind to even conceive of a law like this its creator must have an underlying hatred of women and a need to abuse them.

  127. The co-sponsor is female. Others weigh in:

    Topless bill busts out of committee

    By Laura Leslie

    Posted: February 13

    Raleigh, N.C. — Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson, knows all too well that House Bill 34, her bill defining women’s nipples as indecent, has been the punchline of many a joke this session.

    “We’ve had the most fun with this bill for about the past week and a half, and that’s OK. You need to laugh sometimes,” she told the House Judiciary C Committee. “But there are communities across this state, there’s local governments across this state, and also local law enforcement for whom this issue is really not a laughing matter.”

    The measure was requested by Asheville officials after participants in a women’s rights rally held a second annual topless protest in a downtown park last summer.

    Brown, whose district is more than 100 miles from Asheville, said she hadn’t planned to get involved with the issue until she started getting calls about it from her constituents. “I felt that, if this was of concern to my constituents, it was going to be of concern to others as well.”

    Brown says topless protests are actually illegal under the current law, but there’s some confusion about it, dating to conflicting court rulings from the 1970s.

    “You’ve got local governments passing ordinances to protect themselves from just this thing,” she said. “These folks don’t need to be doing that, but they do it because they’re not sure about the law.

    “This bill that I’m presenting in no way shape or form changes North Carolina law,” she said, “but we do need clarification.”

    North Carolina law already forbids “indecent exposure,” but it doesn’t specifically define “private parts” as including breasts.

    The proposal adds that definition, including “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast,” with an exception made for breastfeeding.

    “All we are doing is codifying the Supreme Court definition of ‘private parts,’” added committee Chairwoman Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-Surry. “That’s it. “

    Rep. Annie Mobley, D-Ahoskie, voiced concerns that the bill could affect people wearing “questionable fashions.”

    Stevens said using pasties or other nipple coverings would protect those women against prosecution. “They’d be good to go.”

    Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, quipped, “You know what they say – duct tape fixes everything.”

    The measure passed the committee on a nearly-unanimous voice vote. Its next stop will be the House floor.”

  128. AP,

    Where do you get such great posts…. I am amazed that there has not been someone clambering to shut you down as you provide the greatest posts over all that are very informative….. Thank you…..

    So now where o you think these red necks are gonna go for entertainment,,,, they certainly can’t expect the wife to do this for them….

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