F THE COURT

Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas and the four other Supreme Court judges who voted to take away a woman’s right to choose on Friday can go f-ck themselves.

And kiss my gay ass.

So can anyone who wouldn’t vote for Hillary in 2016 because she wasn’t progressive enough or who just didn’t like or trust her.

As for those who cast their vote for Trump, I hope hell does exist so you can spend eternity there with him.   You will see what an immoral, lying prick he always was up close as you both burn in perpetuity/forever. 

This x 1000

Yeah, I’m pissed off.

In overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that allowed women the freedom of choice over whether to terminate their own pregnancies, the Supreme Court has ruled the majority of the population does not have equal protection under the law.

That right is guaranteed under the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The amendment was enacted in 1868 and is credited in great part for ending slavery.  Its primary text is pretty simple.  It states:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

well… except women

Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion overturning Roe based on his view as a constitutional originalist.  What this means is that he strictly wants to adhere to the literal text of 150 years ago AND what HE interprets as its intent.

In this case, Alito reasons the amendment only protects rights that he claims were already understood to exist in 1868Since numerous states banned abortion 150 years ago, Alito claims the reasoning behind the 1973 Roe case encompassing the right to an abortion is wrong.

He neglects to also mention that in 1868 no woman had the right to vote in the U.S.  Anywhere.  And certainly not one to serve on any court in charge of making laws.

Time to buy winter coats

Or that in citing logic from 17th century judge Sir Matthew Hale in his Roe ripping decision, he is quoting a man who sentenced women to death as witches; and a man who originated the legal notion that husbands can’t be prosecuted for raping their wives.

Go f-k yourself, Sam.  Again.

Here’s an interesting fact amid this insanity.

Judge Alito is a 1972 graduate of Princeton University.  Princeton was an all male school until 1969, when its board finally agreed to admit women for the first time in its 150-year history.  This was a few months after Yale University did the same and was the beginning of a nationwide trend giving women equal opportunities under the law.

But this evolution of social mores made a small but very vocal minority of Princeton graduates real angry.  So they formed an organization called Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) in 1972 in opposition to that and other evolving…um…changes.

Can you guess who was among that small group of concerned men in CAP?  If you guessed Alito, that doctrinaire originalist, you would be correct.

Look who’s at it again

This, of course, is not the most interesting part of the story.  More fascinating is that there have since been many female graduates of Princeton University.  Among them is a brilliant African American activist.  Her name is Alexis McGill Johnson. 

Ms. McGill Johnson graduated Princeton in 1993 with a degree in political science, 20 some years after Alito did with a similar major, despite his best efforts to thwart any female’s attempts to do so.  She also went on to receive her M.A. from Yale in 1995 in that same subject. 

And this was exactly 20 years to the date after what happened?  Anyone?  Well, Judge Alito also graduating from Yale with a Juris Doctor, of course!

Thankfully, that is where the similarity ends.  While Judge Alito became a lifelong originalist, refusing to bend his views towards anyone or anything happening around him, Ms. McGill Johnson has used her education to help poor and minority communities.  This culminated with her becoming president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in 2019. 

Worth a follow!

So let’s hear her take on how to fight her fellow Princeton and Yale alum’s decision to dump Roe v. Wade and take away a woman’s right to choose:

…We are not going back and we are not going to back down.  We are going to take this fight STATE to STATE.  Every single person who is running for anything is going to EAT. THIS.  DECISION. FOR. BREAKFAST. 

And you wonder why I like her?

I happened to hear this quote on a segment Katy Tur was hosting on MSNBC and it intrigued me to see that Katy was a bit taken aback by the colorfully blunt imagery Ms. McGill Johnson used to categorize the path going forward.  It was unlike the forceful  but more politely intellectual jargon most guests on news programs use these days and it took Katy everything she had to restrain herself from asking if this was her best course of action. 

This is the vibe we need

But, well, how else DO you react on the DAY of this decision?  Do you bring a knife to a gunfight, to quote Chicago cop Jim Malone (as played Sean Connery) as he tried to take down organized crime mobster Al Capone and his gang in the 1987 film The Untouchables?  (Note: A reference I hesitate to make as it was thought up by The Untouchables screenwriter David Mamet, a very talented guy I once admired who has since become a right wing crazy).

Well, I say you can’t.  Bring a knife to a gunfight, that is. 

Not when the concurrent nauseating opinion striking down Roe this week was written by the even more conservative and much more morally questionable Judge Clarence Thomas, wife of conspiracy theorist and 2020 election denier Ginni Thomas.

In his support for Judge Alito’s POV, Judge Thomas writes:

In future cases, we should reconsider ALL of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, specifically citing Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception), Lawrence (same-sex marriage), and Obergefell  (same-sex marriage). Because any substantive due process decision is ‘DEMONSTRABLY ERRONEOUS, “’ we have a duty to ‘CORRECT THE ERROR’ established in those precedents.”

This is only the start

In simpler language this means he is itching to repeal laws that allow you to obtain birth control, enter into a same sex marriage or to have whatever kind of sex you like with another consenting adult behind closed doors.  Aside from, I assume, the missionary position (Note: No offense to that well worn sexual preference but I’m not sure there was much more you could do, at least legally, back in 1868).

Curiously enough, Judge Thomas made zero mention mention of the landmark 1967 Loving vs. Virginia decision, which banned laws against interracial marriage.  That decision was won by citing the same due process/equal protection precedents that enabled the passage of Roe, same sex marriage, et al.

Or course, it is up to you to decide if the marriage between Judge Thomas, a Black man, and his wife Ginni, a white woman, had anything to do with that, um, omission.  But here’s 2022’s honorary Oscar winning Black actor Samuel L. Jackson on the subject the day Thomas’ viewpoint was released:

The gang of right wing activist hypocrites now sitting on the Court might feel, to some of us, unrepresentative of a representative democracy that overwhelmingly believes in a women’s right to choose.

Until you think about our  representatives and we, the people, who voted them in.

Maine senator Susan Collins is very concerned that Roe repealing judges Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied to her in their confirmation hearings when they privately told her Roe was precedent and that they would not be inclined to repeal it.

Really???  Or did she choose to believe a word dodge for her own political survival, or at least expediency.  I, for one, don’t think Collins was dumb enough to believe them.  Despite my disdain for her morally.

What say you, Senator Collins?

It is also worth noting that justice Thomas was appointed by George HW Bush, Justice Alito was anointed by George W. Bush, and Judges Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett were Trump appointees.

Those of you who voted for those presidents because of your pocketbooks, or sat out those races because you didn’t like or wanna hang out with Hillary, Gore or Dukakis, what the f-ck did you think was going to happen????

It bears repeating!!!!

Democracy is a very imperfect form of government but unfortunately just about every other form of government pales in comparison.   As they say.  Or someone once said.

You never get everything you want.  But if you choose not to enthusiastically participate for some of the things you prefer, you run the risk of receiving everything you hate, and then some.

We can only rag on these mother f-ckng judges and Trump for so long.

If we don’t learn from our mistakes and adjust accordingly, f-ck us.  Because we will be f-cked.   For good.  In a very bad way.

Olivia Rodrigo – “F*** You” (feat. Lily Allen)

Me Too (in more ways than one)

I’m one of the idiot men in the age of #MeToo.

It gives me no pleasure to write these words and I am not writing them because I have ever sexually harassed anyone – male or female.

Instead I am confessing because it hasn’t been until recently that:

  1. I realized the line where one goes from being a flirt to being a harasser remains surprisingly UNCLEAR to MOST MEN – straight or gay, young or old.
  2. I realized fully what it meant to be sexually harassed even a single time in the trajectory of one’s life.
  3. I realized why it’s vitally urgent to in some way go out of your comfort zone to call out such behavior even if you don’t like or know the people –- or most especially — if you do.

Let’s just say I was buffering for a long time.

The vast majority of we men don’t fully get it.  I had my first clue many months ago when the revelations came out against people in the industry like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.  I’d heard stories and been in the presence of both at parties over the years and witnessed their behavior up close.  Phony and full of themselves, a bit charming, a bit sleazy, a dollop creepy and 100% seeming to not be beyond using their positions of power to get, um sex – yeah.  But rape, forced ________ and actually violating the bodies of underage victims?

Probably no.

Okay, the truth is I probably would’ve said, uh, YUK, gone into denial, changed the subject and then later proclaimed rape was…highly unlikely. I seriously doubt THAT.  I mean, no one I know or have met in the business is capable of going….there.

Facing reality

If pressed further I’d also rationalize that – gay or straight – there was a difference between coming on to someone a little aggressively but then finally backing off — and rape.  Then I might have thought or said, okay, it is an assault when you’re aggressive after someone says stop and you don’t.  If you don’t stop when someone says nothing but they’re standing or lying there frozen, well….I’d reply –

I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.  You know I ‘m usually on the side of the victim, anyway!!!  I hate those types of guys!!  Why are we talking about this??

Because these days we have to talk about it – relentlessly.  These days we are ALL lay cops.  And lay lawyers.  In absentia of a justice and legal system that properly does its job we all need to get involved in some fashion.  Hopefully, it won’t always be that way.  But for right now, well, don’t count on it.

BUT I’M READY #dontmesswiththeChair

This began to become sharply apparent watching the reaction of the male members of the Republican Judiciary Committee these last few weeks when accusations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford surfaced against Judge Brett Kavanaugh days before he was to be voted on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The short story is when Dr. Ford was 15 and Judge Kavanaugh was 17 he got drunk at a party, lured her in a private room with another boy, pushed himself on top of her on the bed and began trying to assault/rape her while removing her bathing suit.  She screamed, he put his hand over her mouth to silence her but finally she got away and/or he stopped.

The other boy in the room claims to have no memory of the event.  Committee member Orin Hatch stated Dr. Ford was mixed up.  Judge Kavanaugh responded it never happened.

So who to believe?

A different kind of Me Too #complicit

Before you answer, let me confess it made me think of a few things.  The first was this time when I was 16 and I went into this higher end men’s store in Queens I’d previously gone to in order to buy a hip Nik-Nik shirt for a dance.  It was the 70s and I was excited because I’d already bought 3 inch platform shoes that would make the diminutive me feel more like a stud.  Yeah, short guys think that way.  Or at least they DID.

Anyway, this slightly balding guy with a moustache is very nice, waits on me, helps me pick out some shirts, blah, blah, blah.  It’s after school, I’m nervous, he tries to help me make a decision and in the dressing room, before I know it, he has his hand under my shirt and starts rubbing my chest, breathing too close me, saying I don’t seem so small.

UM….. WHAT?!

Well, I freak, he relents and that was that.  Until I tell my Mom, she drags me down to the store and confronts them, and the owner says ‘Okay, I’ll talk to him, but it’s surprising because he’s married.’

I remember thinking, um, well, it happened but now I’m so embarrassed I want to die, just crawl into the floor.  Why did we have to come back here anyway and now I can never come in this store again and I hope I never see any of these people on the street. I’m such an idiot. 

Oh, and I bet that guy knew I was secretly attracted to men and that’s why he attacked me.  I’m pathetic. 

This story is very sad, so it seemed like a good time to remind you that A Star is Born is coming out in 2 weeks. #itsthelittlethings #itgetsbetter

It would be five years later when I finally came to terms with being gay and to this day I sometimes think, could I have given the guy a look that said it was okay to do this?  Ugh, no yuk, he was soooo not my type.  I NEVER would have.  Then again, maybe it happened and I couldn’t control how I looked at him.  To which I still inaudibly respond, That’s impossible!  I’d never do that!  And even if I did, I had just turned 16 and probably looked 15 and had the sexual experience of someone 12 or 13 – what was this guy in his early 30s thinking???? 

The same thing the straight married guy I worked with at the neighborhood stationery store used to think when he continuously grilled me about girls I was dating, implied I was gay and then proceeded to hug me too tight for 30 seconds or a minute at a time, pressing his body up against my backside.

No, I never told anyone.  Until now.  I’m not sure what I would have said.  I’m not sure what else to write at this moment.  I only know it happened 40 plus years ago and I still think about it.

I also still think about that Nik Nik shirt #dontjudgeme

I began thinking about these TWO episodes – which never felt quite traumatizing but periodically bothered me over the years, after attending a screening of the indie movie Eighth Grade last month.  In it, a 13 year old girl is mentored by a high school senior and is being driven home by one of her friends who maneuvered to have the eighth grader be the last of the group he drops off on the way home.

The older boy has gone out of his way to be nice to said eighth grader and once they’re alone he stops his car and goes into the back seat with her where they just talk and hang out.  She feels sort of cool, also excited and yet uncomfortable.  But then he begins to make moves like taking off his shirt, her shirt, going in for a kiss and…Well, why spoil it.  She eventually admonishes him to stop, then demands it and finally, well….he doesn’t like it, says a few things she’ll probably never forget and it doesn’t go much further.

Nope. Na-ah. No way

This was an important pivotal scene in a 2018 coming-of-age dramedy that I was confident all six of the ultra-liberal Democratic gay friends also in attendance could agree was one of the creepiest things we’d ever seen.  I mean, who wouldn’t think this high school senior was totally wrong to do this to an inexperienced 13 year old he manipulated into being all alone with in a car he drove – a girl who was innocent and had barely hit puberty herself?

So you can imagine my shock when TWO of the SIX guys told me I was overreacting, that there was nothing wrong with what this boy did or tried to do to this girl in his dark car with the doors locked on a deserted road, and that this is the way teenagers are.

Ummm have I gone crazy??

When I tried to argue this girl would be traumatized the rest of her life by that incident somewhere in her soul I was told by each of them they’d gone through or witnessed similar or worse.  It was a big so what.  That’s what adolescence is all about.

Days went by and I wondered, what the hell is wrong with them?  How can people I know and respect even begin to think that way?  Did I misread something, aside from what I believed to be their value systems?  Then I began to consider, well, maybe I just had less experience as a teenager and this is the way it was for a lot of people and who am I to judge.

Seriously.

I continued to feel that way until the Blasey Ford/Kavanaugh debate began to surface and once again people began to take sides while we all fight it out on social media and in our minds, with all the memories they entail.

Over the last 36 years Dr. Blasey Ford told just a therapist, her husband and some close friends about her incident with the boy who would be Judge.  But now that he was about to be a key vote in the highest court of the land on any number of issues affecting women, not to mention all of us, she felt it her civic duty to come forward and tell the truth to the world in an effort to shed some light in some dark spaces none of us like to go.

When I first heard her story I remember thinking, this can never be proven, this will be nowhere with teenagers – who will care.  And then I saw the photos of them at that age.

I feel like I know these kids.

Brett had the same hair and dorky coat and tie I wore when I was his age and Christine looked like several girls I went to school with.

And then I wondered, how long did it take for her to truly accept what really happened?  And then I began to surmise how much can a 17 year old guy with the same type hair, coat and tie as I (and he) once had willingly forget, block out or even deny of his intimate teen years in order to survive?

Quite a lot, I would say, based on all of our memories.  Which not only include the times when people took liberties but also random TV sound bites over the decades.  Like the one in 1991 when Anita Hill was testifying about the harassment she received when she worked for about to be confirmed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and was asked this single question by a very middle-aged and very, very white, stern-eyed Senator Hal Heflin (R-AL):

Are you a scorned woman?????

To which Ms. Hill demurely shook her hand and barely audibly whispered:

“no.”

It was an answer to a question that should have never been asked in an 1891 court and an answer that was to be disbelieved by the only majority that legally mattered – the Senate Judiciary committee of all White men – in 1991.

This is why Clarence Thomas still sits on the bench some 27 years later.

I can’t even go there right now. #BYE

It is also why we must all now leave our comfort zones and try to see the world from the side of those who have been in any way, shape or form harassed, intimidated or violated.

Provable or not, and no matter how buried, those memories will NEVER go away.  But to talk about it, as most experts advise, creates a hornet’s nest of hearsay and makes it all almost seem worse.

Though perhaps the correct word is HERESY.  At least when it comes from someone who claims to have been victimized by a man either in power, or related to those who want him to be for their own selfish benefits.

Lady Gaga – “Til It Happens to You”