condescending twatbags, controversies, politicians, politics

“Just lie back and enjoy it…”

Today’s post is going to be about a potentially disturbing subject. Reader discretion is strongly advised… (as it is every day, but today it’s even more advised than usual… 😉 )

Yesterday, as I was writing about how I think Americans need to grow up about their gas habits, I happened to run across a horrifying news article about Michigan GOP candidate Robert Regan and his misogynistic views. I was absolutely repulsed by what he said on a Facebook livestream. I don’t understand how and why people who are running for public office are allowed to say such vile, despicable things and still have a hope in Hell of being elected.

“For the love of God, don’t vote for my dad!”

Before yesterday, I had never heard of Robert Regan. The only place I’ve ever been to in Michigan is the airport in Detroit. I do have some friends from Michigan, but that’s not where we met, and most of them don’t live there anymore. So there’s no reason I should be personally interested in Michigan’s local politics. Except lately, I have noticed a lot of incredibly disgusting comments by Michigan GOP politicians, like Garrett Soldano, who has said he thinks abortion should be outlawed because of the potential that a developing fetus might someday be President of the United States. I was grossed out enough by Soldano’s anti-woman attitude… but now, Robert Regan has him soundly beat!

Mr. Regan, who hopes to represent Michigan’s District 74 in the state legislature, was participating in a discussion sponsored by the Rescue Michigan Coalition, a conservative group who support Donald Trump, and his idiotic insistence and baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election victory was “stolen” from him. I don’t understand how certain groups of people can’t fathom why people didn’t want Trump to stay in office. Many Americans think Trump is a disgrace, and for very good reason. But we still have people like those in the Rescue Michigan Coalition who wholeheartedly believe that Trump should be president. The mind boggles.

On Sunday night, Regan was involved in this Facebook livestream, which also included a woman named Amber Harris, a Republican strategist. Ms. Harris said that it’s now too late to challenge the results of the 2020 election. She thinks it’s time for Republicans to give up on their “Stop the Steal” nonsense and focus on future election battles. To that, Mr. Regan, who has three daughters, said Harris’s attitude is like what “I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.’ ”

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!!!!!

Unfortunately, Regan isn’t the only Republican who has made such a shockingly misogynistic comment about rape. Yesterday, I included a meme in my post that listed some of the awful, ignorant, and downright stupid things Republicans have said about sexual assault. What is especially sad to me is that not everyone who made these comments were men.

As I was reading the article in the Washington Post to Bill last night, I asked him what it’s like for a man to have sex. As a woman, I have no idea. I can only expect that men don’t find most sexual encounters to be painful, since they aren’t usually on the receiving end. At least they aren’t usually when they are having consensual heterosexual sex. Bill said that sex is never physically painful for him. However, he knows that sex is often painful for me. It’s not painful when I’m physically ready to receive him. But even though I love Bill with all my heart, I have to be physically ready for sex before I can actually enjoy it. I don’t know about other women, but I’m very sensitive. Sex can be difficult for me, even with the man I love.

I have never been raped, but I can only imagine, based on my own experiences, that being raped would be extremely painful for most women. Imagine being terrified, brutalized, and completely repulsed by a sexual partner who is insisting on having their way with you. Rape is a violent act. It causes pain on multiple levels. It’s not something that people enjoy. It’s the worst kind of physical assault.

I cannot believe that Robert Regan, father of three daughters, has actually told them that if rape is inevitable, they should just “lie back and enjoy it.” What the hell is wrong with this man?

To her credit, Ms. Harris, who was also reportedly shocked and horrified by Mr. Regan’s comments, said “I’ve got advice to give to your daughters: Don’t do that. Fight all the time.”

Mr. Regan’s daughters do not support their father’s vile viewpoints. In June 2020, Stephanie Regan urged voters not to elect her father. In a tweet that went viral, Ms. Regan wrote “If you’re in Michigan and 18+ pls for the love of god do not vote for my dad for state rep. Tell everyone.” In subsequent tweets, she wrote “I don’t feel safe rn [sic] sharing further information regarding his beliefs, but please look him up and just read for yourself.”

Mr. Regan responded to his daughter’s comments with a statement on Facebook, pictured below.

I feel so sorry for Regan’s daughters.

Later, he was contacted by The Hill for a comment about his daughter’s comments. Regan said:

“A lot of students when they go off to these liberal university campuses, like the University of Colorado, the University of Texas and Austin — and she went to the University of Colorado in Boulder — and you know, they just kind of get sucked into this Marxist, communist ideology and she and I just don’t see eye to eye when it comes to the whole socialism, communism, Marxist philosophy,”

and then, when he was asked what he thought would prompt his daughter to make those comments about him, Regan continued:

“her big thing has to do with the systemic racism that’s going on in the country.”

“She’s a big believer in that,” he continued, while adding, “The only place where I really see systemic racism would be the abortion clinic cause they seem to target the African American community.” 

“I don’t buy into this whole systemic racism thing at all,” he later said. 

“I’m not saying there’s not hurdles to overcome. We all have hurdles to overcome. You know, as a quote-unquote rich, white, Christian male, people look at me a certain way. And it’s not always good. So, everybody has obstacles to overcome,” he also said, while adding he thinks [former] President Trump has “done more for the black community than any president we’ve had in the last 20 years.”

Wow…

On Monday of this week, after his controversial “rapey” comments were made public, Regan told Bridge Michigan, a news outlet, “sometimes” his words “aren’t as smooth and polished as the politicians are because I’m not a politician.” He says he’s “working on it.” He continued, “The only reason the left trolls attack you is because they know you’re directly over the target, dropping direct hits on an issue. If you’re not scoring hits, they leave you alone.” And specifically about his comments on lying back and enjoying rape, he said he only meant that “nothing is inevitable.”

Regan later tried to put his comment in perspective, repeating it with more context, which made it sound only slightly less offensive. He said:

“We’re sick and tired of the establishment telling us, ‘you just have to sit there and take it. Just lie there and enjoy it,'” Regan said. “This is the way this is going to be. And I used the example: ‘That would be like if I told my three daughters that rape’s inevitable and you should just lie back and enjoy it.'”

“That’s not what we do. Even in the face of very difficult odds, you go after it. That is what our founding fathers did,” he added.  

Right… and our “founding fathers” were slave owners who “wanted to be free…”

Regular readers might know that I am against allowing people into positions of power who have no respect for other people’s bodies. There are a lot of reasons why I am so against Donald Trump, but one of the main reasons is that he doesn’t have any respect for women. Trump has been credibly accused by multiple women of everything from lewd comments and inappropriate groping to actual sexual assault and rape. I don’t think rapists and sexual assaulters should be in power. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that people who can’t keep their hands to themselves are not allowed to make and execute laws that affect everyone. Sexual deviants should not have political power. Is it too much to ask to keep rapey people out of the government? Especially the White House? I don’t think so.

I didn’t like Bill Clinton for the same reason I don’t like Trump. However, even though I don’t like Clinton for his yucky philandering dalliances, I do think he was at least a competent president. He’s also a hell of a lot smarter and more compassionate than Trump is.

Regan isn’t the only politician to make a comment to the effect that women should just “lie back and enjoy rape”. Back in 1990, a man named Clayton Williams ran for governor of Texas. On a rainy day in March 1990, reporters had gathered at Mr. Williams’ ranch and were “getting restless”. Williams chose to make light of the bad weather situation by comparing it to rape. He said, “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” Jeez. I guess some people have learned nothing in the past 32 years.

A few months ago, a similar comment about “enjoying rape” when it’s “inevitable” was made in India. According to the article I linked:

“There is a saying that when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That is exactly the position which you are in,” KR Ramesh Kumar, the former Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly said on Thursday, drawing guffaws from the members including his successor Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri.

And:

The Speaker questioned how the session can be conducted if time was allotted to everyone. Then, in a note of resignation, Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri added: “Whatever you decide – I will say yes. What I am thinking is that let us enjoy the situation. I can’t control or regulate the system. My concern is about the business of the house, it has also to be covered”.

Obviously, this attitude about rape isn’t just an issue in America. However, I do notice it’s always men who say these things. When men make these kinds of revolting comments, they show that they are terrible people, and probably worse lovers, who are only focused on themselves and have no empathy for women. They clearly haven’t even considered the physiology of a woman, nor do they care if she’s enjoying herself. It doesn’t occur to them that rape isn’t pleasant at all. It’s a criminal act of violence. It’s physically painful and horrifying. It hurts. And hearing people who wish to be in power so cavalierly throw out comments like “I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.’ ” In no way is that ever an appropriate thing for anyone to say, let alone a person who is running for office.

Robert Regan should be deeply ashamed of himself. I hope the people of Michigan take his comments into account when they cast their votes.

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disasters, education, politicians, politics

America’s teachers are under attack by Republican leaders…

Judging by the news I’ve been reading lately, I’m beginning to think that a certain segment of the population is determined to drive people out of the business of educating children. Republican lawmakers and leaders are trying to pass new laws that really make it difficult for teachers in public schools to do their jobs. It’s like conservatives want young people to be dumb. Either that, or they want to control their thinking… as they insist that they are trying to prevent teachers from indoctrinating their children with what they consider wrong-headed, progressive ideas.

For instance, recently, Virginia’s new governor, Glenn Youngkin, was under fire for announcing a tip line intended to encourage citizens to report teachers who are teaching “critical race theory” in school. Because I am a graduate of Virginia’s historic teacher’s college, Longwood University (which was Longwood College when I was a student), I have a lot of friends who are teachers. I also have friends who didn’t go to Longwood, but teach school. Quite a few of them were absolutely horrified by the prospect of Mr. Youngkin’s “tip line”, meant to identify and sanction teachers who promote ideas that offend Republicans.

Fortunately, a lot of Virginians, even the Republicans, still have a lot of respect for teachers and the very challenging work they do for too little pay. People were being encouraged to contact the tip line, but flood it with compliments instead of complaints. I’m not sure if the tip line has gotten off the ground or has actually received any complaints, but my guess is that this idea has gone over the like proverbial turd in a punch bowl. One of my friends, who is a teacher, and I know votes Republican, recently shared this excellent letter to the editor that appeared in a newspaper near where she lives. I think this sentiment is being echoed by a lot of people.

This gives me some hope for the future.

Mr. Youngkin has only been in office for a few weeks, but he’s already been sued by seven school districts in Virginia for writing an executive order unilaterally lifting the face mask mandate in public schools, and allowing parents to opt out of making their children wear masks. At this writing, a judge has blocked Mr. Youngkin’s executive order, at least for now. The school boards protested the executive order, because they claim it violates the Constitution of Virginia and Senate Bill 1303, which requires all school districts in Virginia to implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies as provided by the CDC. The school boards also claim that Mr. Youngkin’s executive order, which are supposed to be used in case of emergency, undermine their local powers of authority.

As I read about this, I can’t help but be a little surprised by Mr. Youngkin’s decision to act like tyrant, especially since he’s a Republican, and Republicans are supposed to be against government overreach. But he’s pandering to parents, many of whom are not exactly the most educated folks themselves. I think Youngkin must have designs on a much higher echelon of politics, since in Virginia, governors can’t run for consecutive terms in office. So he can’t be immediately re-elected when his term ends in 2026, which makes me think that maybe he’s eyeing a more powerful position someday. Perhaps he wants to be POTUS? Who knows? But, as a governor who can’t be re-elected, there is no incentive for him to try to work for all voters. He has nothing to lose by pulling the shit he’s already pulled, and taking Virginia back to the Dark Ages. Below is a screenshot of a statement his spokesperson provided to News Channel 6, out of Richmond:

Except that history has shown us that parents DON’T always know or care what is best for their children’s health…

Ironically, Mr. Youngkin’s own son attends an out-of-state private boarding school, where face masks are not optional. I wonder if this is the same son who is a minor and illegally tried to vote for his father… twice! As a native Virginian, I am not surprised to see that Glenn Youngkin won the election after Ralph Northam’s term. Although I liked what Governor Northam was doing, I could see that many of my friends and relatives couldn’t stand Northam’s liberal policies. And Youngkin’s opponent was Terry McAuliffe, who was governor before and was, evidently, not very popular. So I knew Youngkin was going to win… but so far, he’s not showing that he cares much about the citizens of Virginia. He’s just pandering to Trump supporters, many of whom, I am so sad to report, are not exactly educated or deep thinkers. Either that, or they like the status quo, which puts white Christian men on top of the power heap.

But it’s not just in Virginia where this attack on teachers is happening. This morning, I read an article about an Oklahoma’s senator’s attack on teachers. Republican Senator Rob Standridge has introduced a new bill that would allow citizens to sue teachers who present opposing views to religious beliefs held by students. I don’t know a thing about Mr. Standridge, but I’ll bet he’s a protestant Christian. I wonder if, when he came up with his Students’ Religious Belief Protection Act, he was thinking about students who aren’t Christians.

It seems to me that this proposed bill could really present issues for teachers, constraining them in ways that would make it difficult or problematic to discuss certain topics in school. If passed, the law would make it so that parents could demand the removal of any book with perceived anti-religious content within it. According to a news article by The Independent:

Teachers could be sued a minimum of $10,000 “per incident, per individual” and the fines would be paid “from personal resources” not from school funds, from other individuals or groups. If the teacher is unable to pay, they would be fired, under the legislation.

$10,000 is a lot of money, especially for teachers, who historically don’t make a lot of money… especially in public schools. But apparently, some lawmakers think it’s really needed, as it’s been referred to as “necessary for the preservation of the public peace”. If the Act is passed, the law would take effect immediately. So that means that teachers in Oklahoma had better get their shit together and get it in their minds to STFU about anything deemed “anti-religious”, or they could be forced to PAY. Also, it sounds an AWFUL lot like the anti-abortion law passed in Texas last year, right down to the amount of money teachers could be forced to pay if they violate the rule. What the fuck is up with these legislators, anyway? I thought Republicans didn’t like frivolous lawsuits and government overreach. I guess they don’t mind legal action when it comes to pushing their own warped interests.

I really think that these actions are a slap in the face to people who have devoted their careers to making sure children are prepared to be responsible and functional adults and who, let’s face it, are taking care of children while the children’s parents are, hopefully, earning a living that supports them. I mean, I don’t have any children myself, but I do know that there were a LOT of parents who struggled when their kids had to be homeschooled because of COVID-19. Parents ought to be so grateful for everything that teachers do. But these right wing lawmakers seem bound and determined to turn parents against the very people who work long hours for little pay and put up with their little darlings and their many issues in schools every day. I tried being a teacher in Armenia. The discipline issues alone were a challenge for me, and there, I didn’t worry about some kid going crazy and shooting up the classroom. My friends who work as teachers have a heavy enough load to bear without lawmakers attacking them with these policies that are intended to restrict them from actually doing their jobs and educating children.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about one of Michigan’s Republican governor hopefuls, Garrett Soldano, who thinks that rape victims should be forced to birth, since their unborn fetus could one day be the President of the United States. In the podcast where he talked about that idea, Mr. Soldano also attacked critical race theory, calling it “absolute hot garbage.” He continued on a lengthy diatribe about how teachers need to stick only to the subjects they teach– English, math, science, and the like– and students should never know what a teacher’s political or religious beliefs are. Just stick to what’s in the approved textbook. Don’t be a human. Don’t share anything personal. Just teach from the book. By that idea, maybe teachers should be robots, completely programmed by whomever is in charge, and promoting things that are approved by the state. Wait… again, I thought Republicans were against government overreach! In his comments, Mr. Soldano sure did talk a lot about God… who, again, shouldn’t be part of a discussion about the government… Separation of church and state, you know… something I learned about in eighth grade civics class, many years ago.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I think the issue is, Republican politicians don’t actually want the rank and file children who attend public schools to be taught how to think for themselves. They are afraid that children in public schools could be introduced to ideas that make them challenge the status quo and knock them out of power. I think that’s the main reason why brilliant books like Maus, which provides a poignant and engaging account of the horrors of The Holocaust, and ideas on how that atrocity began, are being banned from curriculums. I think that white Christians who are running the government are afraid that children could be taught to think in ways that challenge their grips on power. It’s probably TERRIFYING to some of these people that young people’s minds could be opened to something beyond white, Christian, cisgendered MALES running things. And so, they want to offer a lot of negative reinforcement to the bright, sensitive, humanitarians who opt for careers in public education. It’s shameful and embarrassing.

Intelligent southern man named Beau talks about how the people in charge don’t want kids to be taught to think…

Some of you might be thinking that you don’t want teachers “influencing” your kids. To that, I would say you should take your children out of public school and educate them yourselves. And you’d better be prepared to keep your kids away from television, Internet, movies, music, books, museums, and other people who don’t think just like you do. Oh, and you’d better be prepared to live FOREVER. Because sooner or later, your kids WILL be influenced by someone other than you. Unless you intend to be there forever, you’d better resign yourselves to the idea that your kids are going to learn things that you’d rather they didn’t. Personally, I think I’d rather they learn from trained, educated, professional teachers who are prepared to answer their questions than some rando on the street.

And yes, I also realize that not all teachers are “good”. Some teachers do need to be removed from their positions. Certainly, if a parent has a valid complaint about a teacher, he or she should speak up and make their concerns known. I have read a few shocking stories about ill-conceived lessons that some teachers have come up with– things like asking Black children to participate in mock slave auctions. Actually, if you Google “mock slave auctions in schools”, you will find that this is an idea that has been used in a number of different states around the country! Last year, I read about a teacher who got in trouble for a lesson on chivalry that irked some parents. Several years ago, some school officials in Utah were under fire for requiring that girls dance with anyone who asked them at a school dance. Some of the lessons were certainly well-meaning, but parents rightfully pointed out that they could be damaging. I don’t think it’s wrong for parents to object in those situations.

However– I DO think it’s wrong for lawmakers to pass laws that are intended to make teaching harder than it needs to be. Some of these new policies being proposed are making teaching especially onerous for teachers. I know for a fact that teachers go through a lot to be able to legally do what they do every day. It’s not easy to get qualified to teach school. And right now, especially, teaching is difficult. I can remember growing up in the 80s. We never heard anything about issues like autism or attention deficit disorder. Children who weren’t “normal” in all ways, were simply put on the “short bus” and labeled special ed kids. Nowadays, children with special needs can get individualized education plans, which is surely better for the children, but more work for their teachers. In my day, teachers were allowed to use corporal punishment to control children, and I did have a teacher who had a paddle shaped like a whale that he used to paddle kids in front of their peers. Nowadays, doing that would get a teacher put on the news. And, of course, we do have a pandemic going on, which makes teachers have to enforce mask policies and the like, putting themselves at risk of contracting a potentially deadly virus.

I guess it all comes down to people disagreeing as to what society needs kids to know…

Do we really need for lawmakers to pass laws making it even easier for parents to harass teachers? I think not. I think these lawmakers ought to be ashamed of themselves. But most of them are Trump supporters, which only goes to show you that they have no shame… or critical thinking skills. And, once again, as much as I wanted to have children, I’m left feeling glad I don’t have them. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I have a lot of empathy for my friends who do. I think they’re going to need all of the thoughts and prayers they can get, as Republicans desperately try to get back in control of the government and turn the United States into a dystopian theocracy.

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complaints, condescending twatbags, politicians, politics, poor judgment

Your next fetus could be the POTUS, therefore abortions should be outlawed…

The featured photo is a screenshot of Garrett Soldano and his corn fed Michigan smile…

Last night, as I was preparing to go to sleep, I took a look at the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard to see if anyone had posted anything interesting. Sure, enough, someone posted a link to an article about a Republican from Michigan who hopes to be the next governor.

The man in question, Garrett Soldano, is facing some heat because of a comment he made regarding sexual assault survivors who get pregnant. Mr. Soldano, obviously rabidly pro-life, said to April Moss on her conservative Face the Facts podcast:

“And so what we must start to focus on is not only to defend the DNA when it’s created, but, however, how about we start inspiring women in the culture to let them understand and know how heroic they are? And how unbelievable that they are?”

“That God put them in this moment and they don’t know that little baby inside them may be the next president, maybe the next person who changes humanity, may get us out of the situation in the future,” Soldano added, per a video of the conversation that Heartland Signal tweeted Monday. “We must always, always protect that DNA and allow it to have a voice.”

Sigh… I wonder if it’s ever crossed Garrett Soldano’s mind that telling people that their developing fetus might grow up to be a President of the United States might not be a comfort? Especially since some presidents turn out to be corrupt, cruel, and power mad, and they openly try to overthrow the government… Also, while a pregnant person may very well be gestating someone great, the opposite could also be true. What if, for instance, Charles Manson had been aborted? Or perhaps Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot… or Vladimir Putin?

Fuck this guy. He’s not saying anything we haven’t heard, but it’s surprising how tone deaf his views are about women and sexual assault. I’m glad he doesn’t have any daughters.

Of course, even if those infamous men had been aborted, it’s likely that other people just as horrible might have been born in their places. The truth is, every person is unique, and you just never know what you’re going to get when you make a baby. But one thing is for certain. A fetus conceived in rape can, and probably will, traumatize its mother. I might be able to agree that it’s not the fetus’s fault it was conceived in an act of violence, and there is the potential that the fetus may wind up being a blessing to all. However, I still maintain that Soldano, as a cisgender male, will never have to worry about the burden of gestating a baby, so he probably ought to be much quieter about this particular issue.

Apparently, Soldano the 100 percent “pro-lifer”, decided to open his mouth about how pregnant rape victims should not get abortions because his mentor, who was adopted, found out that his birth mother had been gang raped in a subway station. According to NBC News:

It kind of like tore out his heart when he found that out, but then he started to really appreciate and understand what his birth mother went through, that she had the courage to deliver him,” Soldano said, adding that his mentor went on to help thousands of people improve their lives.

Given Soldano’s brand of “help”, I wonder if everyone agrees that his mentor had helped people improve their lives. And also, I wonder if the reason his mentor’s birth mother was so “courageous”, was because she couldn’t access abortion services. Abortion wasn’t legal everywhere when I was born in 1972. It wasn’t until the following year that Roe v Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. I’m not even in menopause yet, so I assume it’s likely that Soldano’s mentor’s birth mom might not have had the option to terminate. Not surprisingly, a lot of people are truly “sickened” by Soldano’s comments, which come across as very Handmaid’s Tale.

State Senator Erika Geiss rightly responded:

“We should be inspiring women who’ve been raped to press charges & we should have a system that takes them seriously,” Geiss tweeted. “We should have a world where men don’t think they’re entitled to women’s bodies. We should have a world where ppl respect #ReproRights.

Word. Guys like Garrett Soldano are surprisingly, and apparently hopelessly, out of sync with the other half of the population who can get pregnant and don’t want to be forced to birth for any reason, but ESPECIALLY after a sexual assault. I don’t think Mr. Soldano has even considered just how truly horrifying and devastating sexual assault is. He’s never even thought about it, has he? I’ll bet he’s one of those guys who think that women should just lay back and relax when they are attacked by men, since sex is supposed to be “fun”. I’m just shaking my damn head at this… I’ll never understand the psyche of some men. It’s just revolting. He probably also thinks that rape doesn’t often result in pregnancy, since, as the late Representative Todd Akin once said during his 2012 Senate campaign that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Akin said “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

I’m so sick of clueless men running for office and getting elected. I would be grateful that I don’t live in Michigan, but alas, I am a Texas resident, and the stupidity of male conservative politicians regarding abortion is even worse down there…

What a smarmy idiot. He hits all of the hot button conservative issues, just like all of the others do. YAWN.

Just for shits and giggles, I turned on Ms. Moss’s video. April Moss is a former meteorologist who left her job at CBS 62 Detroit last year because she disagreed with pandemic mitigation measures. Right off the bat, she thanks Mike Lindell, the famous drug addict turned My Pillow Guy. Lindell is a hero to Trump supporters, of course, and he was all about keeping Trump in power, even though Trump tried to overthrow the government. But then Moss brings on Garrett Soldano, her super conservative guest, who says that the liberals are ruining the country and he wants to fix that.

Soldano says that Gretchen Whitmer “must be stopped”, and that “critical race theory” is “absolute hot garbage”. He wants to “take our schools back”… and it sounds a lot like Mr. Soldano is all about freedom, as long as it’s freedom for white, conservative, religious (Christian) people like him. I should mention that his family homeschools, so obviously his children aren’t being “poisoned” by their teachers’ influences. (eye roll) It sounds to me like he’d prefer children to be taught by robots.

So then I visited Garrett Soldano’s official Web site, where users are invited to text “Freedom” to 33339 to join. Next, I see he’s modeling himself after Donald Trump, with a “drain the swamp” promise. I think Mr. Soldano would do well to realize that Trump was defeated and impeached twice. Some people still think Trump is awesome, but a lot of people think he’s a dangerous psychopath. Maybe it would be better for up and comers to present themselves as a bit less like Trump. But also… it’s disingenuous for a politician to use the word “freedom” as he proposes that pregnant people should be forced to birth.

In April Moss’s podcast, Soldano mentions that he doesn’t care if people get vaccinated against COVID-19, and he wants to get rid of the mask and vaccine mandates. So he’s yet another one of those conservative “freedom loving” guys who cares a hell of a lot about freedom, but only as it applies to people like him. And he conveniently ignores that the COVID-19 mandates aren’t just an issue in the United States. The pandemic is a worldwide thing that has nothing to do with conservatives or liberals in the United States. Unfortunately, I don’t think the average Trump lover thinks about issues beyond his or her own backyard.

Garrett Soldano who waxes poetic about his impoverished upbringing as the son of a school bus driver and an Army dad, is a chiropractor. He’s also written a book called God’s True Law, which is a guide to raising successful children. I wonder what qualifies him to write such a book. It doesn’t sound like he’s a very experienced or evolved person, and he’s just parroting the same shit we’ve heard from all of the other Trump clones. But at least he hasn’t yet bragged about grabbing anyone by the pussy…

Well… I suppose I’ve complained enough about this. Time to get on with the day. It’s Thursday, which means I have to vacuum. But my copy of Maus arrived yesterday, so maybe I’ll start reading that. Hope everyone has a good day. Tomorrow, my sweetass will be home again. I just hope Garrett Soldano doesn’t get elected, but given that the Michigan race for the governor’s seat is so crowded, he’s probably going to be left in the proverbial dust. But then, I thought the same thing about Donald Trump, back in 2015…

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ethics, healthcare, law, poor judgment, tragedies, true crime

The right to “bear arms”, versus the right to “bare arms”…

Special thanks to a witty commenter on The Washington Post for the inspiration for this post’s title… and special thanks to Wikipedia user Cimmerian pastor for use of today’s featured photo– a woman with “bare arms” enjoying her right to “bear arms” in the Czech Republic.

I actually started to write this post yesterday morning, just after I posted my rerun blog about Gene Wilder, but a friend came up from Stuttgart and wanted to visit the Christmas market in Wiesbaden, so I never got around to finishing. Now that it’s Monday, I can go back to my regularly scheduled programming… 😉

On this peaceful morning, I’m sitting here thinking about items from the news. There have been a few interesting stories this week. Of course, in the United States, there are several high profile legal proceedings going on involving Josh Duggar and Ghislaine Maxwell, and now, Michigan parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, who bought their fifteen year old son, Ethan, a pistol for Christmas.

Ethan won’t get another chance to play with his new Christmas toy… This is a screenshot of Ethan’s Instagram page before it was deleted.

On November 26, Ethan Crumbley posted a picture of the gun on Instagram. He captioned the photo with “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm”, finishing with a heart-eyes emoji. Ethan’s mother, Jennifer Crumbley, also posted about the gun, and took him to a shooting range last weekend.

One week ago, a teacher at Oxford High School, in Oxford, Michigan, where Ethan is a sophomore student, noticed Ethan searching on his phone for ammunition for his new weapon. The teacher reported the discovery to school officials, who then notified Jennifer Crumbley about her son’s strange Web searches. Crumbley didn’t respond to the call from school officials, but she did send Ethan a text that read, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught…”

On Tuesday of last week, the day of the school shooting, another teacher noticed Ethan had a drawing that showed a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” There was another drawing of a bullet with the words “Blood Everywhere” written above it, and a “laughing” emoji below it. Also found on the note is the statement, “My life is useless” and “The world is dead.”

School officials contacted Ethan’s parents again, but they declined to take him out of school. For some reason, Ethan was instead allowed to go back to class. Later on Tuesday, Ethan then proceeded to use his new Christmas present to perpetrate the latest school shooting.

Ethan Crumbley is now a suspected school shooter, allegedly responsible for the deaths of four students. His parents have also been arrested; James and Jennifer Crumbley are now in jail, each with $500,000 bonds. They were apprehended after a manhunt, and were found hiding in a building in Detroit, Michigan. According to CNN, all three of the Crumbleys are on suicide watch, even though none have indicated that they plan to harm themselves.

My friend Alex wrote about the Crumbleys crumbling Christmas season on his blog. Alex wrote:

When I read in various articles that Jennifer Crumbley had written an open letter to then-President Donald Trump in her now-deleted blog thanking him for protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights a few years ago, I was not surprised. The Crumbleys embody everything that is wrong with the American right: a mixture of anger, victimhood, entitlement, and disregard for laws and public safety.

As I read Alex’s comment about how the Crumbleys praised Trump for “protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights”, I was suddenly reminded of another story I read last week… that of an unnamed man in Italy who used a fake arm when he went to get his COVID vaccine. The nurse noticed that the skin was a different color and texture, even though it looked pretty lifelike. The guy, who is in his 50s, was unsuccessful in his plan to get the shot injected in a fake arm, thus sparing himself the vaccine. He is supposedly a dentist in Italy who has been suspended from his job, as all healthcare workers in Italy are required to be vaccinated.

In Italy, vaccine mandates are making it a lot harder to work or otherwise live a “normal” life. People are getting creative in their ploys to avoid getting “jabbed”, yet they still want to live as if they had done their civic duty. Germany, like Italy, and a lot of other European nations, is also making it harder to live normally without getting vaccinated. I think it won’t be long before COVID unvaccinated people find themselves deprived of liberty, much like recalcitrant tuberculosis patients are.

And then it occurred to me… the Crumbleys have abused the “right to bear arms” in the United States. And the unnamed guy in Italy who tried to use a fake arm to fool the health workers, abused the “right to bare arms” in Italy. Isn’t that clever?

I suspect Jennifer and James Crumbley are in deep legal shit right now, in part, because Kyle Rittenhouse just got acquitted of murder. Many people felt Rittenhouse’s mother should have been prosecuted for her son’s role in killing two people and wounding another man at a demonstration. Of course, it appears that the Crumbleys were even more negligent in keeping their minor son away from deadly weapons than Kyle Rittenhouse’s mom was.

I have a feeling that the Rittenhouse verdict is going to cause new laws to be passed, making parents responsible if their minor children get ahold of weapons and and kill or injure others. I do think that if that does become the case, though, the minors involved should be tried as minors, rather than adults. If parents are going to be held responsible for not protecting the public from their minor children, then it doesn’t seem right to me that the “child” would also be tried as an adult. On the other hand, it does appear to me that there’s something very wrong with Ethan Crumbley, and he probably needs mental health treatment. That could be true for his parents, too, but it does appear to me that they were very negligent. And now, it looks like they’re going to be headed to prison on the family plan, much like Travis and Greg McMichael are.

As for the guy in Italy with the fake silicone arm, I think he, and most of his anti-vaxxer sympathizers, ought to be ashamed of themselves. We’re not going to get past COVID-19 until people start thinking of others and get the vaccine. Aside from that, if you’re not going to get vaccinated, have some fucking integrity and don’t try to pull a fast one on already exhausted fellow healthcare workers. They’ve been through enough since this plague began last year. Have the decency to stay home. Oh… and grow the fuck up, too!

I will probably get my booster after the New Year. Bill got me an appointment for January 5th. But maybe I’ll be able to get one even sooner than that. I don’t look forward to the achy fallout, but I will be glad to be boosted, because I am so tired of the COVID rigamarole. This shit needs to end, already.

I will probably write yet another rant, at some point soon, about how Republicans are now trying to ban abortions… but they sure do like their guns. And I haven’t seen a whole lot of “good guys with guns” showing up to save students who just want to get educated so they can enjoy life… you know, that thing that Republican “pro-lifers” are so hellbent on protecting? As George Carlin famously said of Republicans, “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine. If you’re pre-school, you’re fucked!”

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tragedies, true crime

Death of a coward…

At about this time last year, I was reading and reviewing a lot of books about the state of U.S. women’s gymnastics. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might know that about three years ago, former U.S. gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, was outed for the abusive pervert he is. He’s currently sitting in a prison cell for sexually abusing hundreds of female athletes over the course of his career.

Yesterday, I became aware that high powered elite gymnastics coach, 63 year old John Geddert, who had once called Larry Nassar a friend and a colleague, was charged with a couple dozen felonies. Mr. Geddert was supposed to turn himself in for arraignment at a sheriff’s office yesterday. When he failed to show up for his 2:15pm appointment, police went looking for him. They found his dead body at 3:24pm ET at a rest stop in Grand Ledge, Michigan. The cause of death was suicide.

I guess he couldn’t face the music.

John Geddert was a successful coach, having been the coach of the 2012 women’s gymnastics Olympic team. But he was also notoriously abusive to his athletes. According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel:

“John Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training for financial benefit to him,”

And,

“The victims suffer from disordered eating, including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm, excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse, including sexual assault. Many of these victims still carry these scars from his behavior to this day.”

Indeed, in a number of the books I read about Larry Nassar and the huge sex abuse bombshell that was dropped on U.S. women’s gymnastics, John Geddert’s name came up frequently. He was described as the type of coach who would scream, throw things, and punish his gymnasts. Larry Nassar, by contrast, was described as quiet, gentle, and caring. The two men were said to be best friends, and Larry Nassar worked out of Geddert’s Twistars gym where he would minister to the injured girls. They would come to him looking for kindness and caring, having been beaten down by Geddert’s physically abusive tactics. It created the perfect storm for Nassar’s sexual abuse, which went under the radar for decades.

As the abuse was made public, attention shifted to John Geddert, who lied to police when he was questioned about Larry Nassar. Michigan Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark said, “Mr. Geddert knew that Nassar was sexually abusing these patients and that he failed to take action. And that when he was asked about it by police officers during the 2016 investigation into Nassar, he lied about that.”

I’m not all that surprised that Geddert killed himself. He no doubt paid close attention to what happened to Larry Nassar. He probably also paid attention to what happened to Jeffrey Epstein, the fabulously wealthy bastard who victimized and trafficked scores of girls for the pleasures of wealthy and perverted men. Epstein was about to go on trial for his crimes when he was found dead of suicide in his jail cell. There was speculation that Epstein was murdered by those who didn’t want him to talk, but the official cause of death was suicide. I think either scenario is plausible, and I’m sure Epstein felt suicide was better than a lifetime in prison. John Geddert clearly felt the same way.

Gymnasts thought of Geddert and Nassar as a “dynamic duo”.

I’m sure there’s a lot of sadness regarding this death. Many of Geddert’s victims no doubt wanted to testify in court about what happened to them. Geddert cheated them out of justice. But Geddert probably also had friends and loved ones who are legitimately shocked by all of this. I feel sad for all of them. I’ve noticed a lot of comments chastising people who express empathy for Geddert’s friends and loved ones. I won’t do that, because I think those people deserve consideration, too. As awful as abusers can be, they usually do have some people in their lives who have no idea or love them regardless… and when the abuse does come to light, they suffer, but get little empathy. So I want to go on record that I empathize with everyone personally affected by Geddert’s suicide, regardless of how and why they are affected.

I feel sad for all of the parents, too. They no doubt thought they were doing a great thing for their daughters, enrolling them in gymnastics. They put their trust in John Geddert and Larry Nassar, paying them a lot of money for the training and medical care… only to find out that they abused their gymnasts, using them for their own pleasure. I know that I would be extremely pissed off if I had a child who was abused by someone. But then to realize that I spent thousands of dollars for my child to be abused and permanently harmed– I think it would send me over the edge.

So… I send my good thoughts out to those who are upset by Geddert’s cowardly decision to take himself out. I think it’s pretty clear that he was guilty as hell. At least he won’t be hurting anyone else. But that may be small comfort for those who were hoping to see him held accountable.

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