All things we know must die
This alone can never die
The good name of a person.
(ascribed to Odin)
Trump as we know also lied
This alone can never lie
All things we know must die
This alone can never die
The good name of a person.
(ascribed to Odin)
Trump as we know also lied
This alone can never lie
He was born first, with nine more following in fairly steady succession. there were supposed to be three more, but when his mother was pregnant with the twins she got mugged for the one dollar she was taking to the store to buy milk with. From the attack they were born alive in the Chicago snow then died of exposure. Before that her own mother-in-law spitefully flung open a heavy door and the massive iron handle struck her in the abdomen and she miscarried that singleton.
The four sisters of course all played with dolls.
An abuelita as the years passed, his mother, when asked what she wanted for her birthday, answered “A doll.” She and her birth family were always so poor that as a child she could never have a doll. Her son got her a doll.
As a youngster and as a teen he would get mad at his sisters and rip the heads off their dolls, the girls crying bitterly. To two or three of them, now they are all adults, he has abashedly offered his apologies.
At the end of his mother’s life there was tremendous discord: one brother had cheated her out of her house, another claimed she had appointed him medical power of attorney, and no he wouldn’t let the eldest see their mother in the hospital. The financial flim-flammer preceded her in death by a year, the oldest paying for his mass and burial. No-one would give the doll back to their sibling, the man who bought it, and it was never to be seen again.
This oldest child had a child late in life, and he bought her dolls, just as he had for the previous two from the previous wife. The last daughter was a tomboy; she did not even like dolls. After several attempts went scorned, he finally stopped buying them. Some time later she allowed as how scared she’d been because of some horror-movie doll she had seen once on television; the young adult knowledge of what had triggered a doll-aversion did nothing to rekindle fond wishes for one.
And so he buys dolls now and then, for himself, for the Christmas tree, he claims.
I think they are atonements.
In the early 1980’s, like Brett Kavanaugh, I pledged a campus Greek group. Away from classes at UICC (as it used to be called), there were parties and there was drinking. Youthful indiscretions arose, then subsided.
Sigma Phi Alpha was a small group at the big commuter school. We were pals with Tau Alpha Rho; a few of the girls had TAR boyfriends, and we often had dances together.
Before I got to be a full-fledged sister, I was a pledge. My pledge mom (barely a year older than me) became one of my best friends to this day. We all had a lot of fun, meeting up in the cafeteria, learning the Greek alphabet (more often than not, to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy), pledges fetching snacks on the spur of the moment for the sisters. During Greek Week TAR cheered for us and we them.
Before I came to that point, the newest girls, we who were pledging had to endure Hellnight. We did exercises and chanted the alphabet over and over because – as in the military – we were told to. Blindfolded, we ate what the sisters fed us. I particularly recall sardines in a disgusting mix with something like peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. We ate it because they told us to and by that point, hours from when we’d started, we felt we were starving!
At length, thirteen hours in, most of the other pledges had gotten the message. Not me – let’s run some more! Finally it got through even my thick head: I heard yet one more of the other girls say the exact same phrase as she sagged to the floor: Only one sit-up, one rep, because my pledge sisters are tired. When I was told to lead again and announced “One,” the sisters asked why just one, and I gave the same response. Not “I have had enough,” but “My pledge sisters are tired.” We hadn’t been allowed to talk to each other, but their relief was palpable: At last – she gets it too! And so, finally, we were finished. Aside from a wrenched ankle, nobody was hurt, and of course nobody got assaulted. A few of the sisters had had to leave, but those remaining took all the no-longer-pledges out to breakfast.
A few years later, when I was a police recruit, we were told to meet at a location where a few of us worked out sometimes, a repurposed warehouse, cavernous and dusty. The instructors suddenly weren’t our friends; they told us not to talk, just do as we were told. This seemed exactly like Hellnight, so I reasoned the worst they could do, since it wasn’t the military and they couldn’t touch us, would be to work us through what would normally be lunchtime. Surely the City would be loathe to pay thirty of us overtime just so the teachers could make a point. I could manage without lunch.
We went through the situations, the instructors pretending to be bad guys, distraught victims-turned-offenders, and so on: as each scenario played out, they switched without a word, just like real life. We greenhorns went with the flow, not speaking unless spoken to, and then only tersely.
After 8-1/2 hours, a normal tour of duty, we were dismissed. We went home, or in small groups to eat and decompress. Four similar days followed. We survived.
From these two seemingly disparate but similarly stressful events came the realization we were expected, in both cases, to reach, without anyone else specifically telling us what to say or do: we were to show concern and respect for others, and self-restraint.
It’s too bad Kavanaugh never got the message, and no-one should sit on any court who hasn’t.
The day feminists have long dreamt of is here, rapidly gathering steam, and powerful men (who’ve abused women and expected grateful or grudging silence in return for the women holding onto their jobs) are falling like dominoes.
Now that the #metoo movement is established, having made it possible for victimized women to have their say, let’s start a parallel track, and tell our stories of how we, or a woman we know, defeated an attack of any kind. Here I expound on some things that can help.
Get physical if you receive an unwanted touch.
I’ve written before of my young adult anger at a man I didn’t know draping his arm around my shoulders. I hope the others with him in those 1978 South Side park sidelines got more than a laugh at their buddy’s expense, that they learned something from watching me stagger him with a backfist across his chest. But the resistance began long before that.
Use your voice.
My mother told us for as long as I can remember that when she was a young MD leaving Cook County Psychopathic Hospital by herself in the wee hours one morning, a man announced a robbery. She started yelling that she was going to meet her friends at the deli, and no she would not give him anything! Stunned, he stopped in his tracks and said, Well, how about two dollars? This served only to set her off on a fresh tirade as she stormed away. Her friends said she should’ve thought how she might’ve been killed! This she shrugged off and laughed at her win.
Outwit verbal harassment.
The Academy behind me, I had been on the streets of Chicago as a recruit for all of about 2 weeks in late 1982 when, after roll call one afternoon, the slightly older female who worked the desk called me over. Since I’d already learned she was catty at best with almost everyone, I approached warily. “Maja, we’ve decided you need a nickname.” I said, “Oh?” Basing her next remark on how she thought my maiden name sounded, she said, “Yeah, I like – weasel.” I said “I won’t answer to that,” turned on my heel and walked away. Nobody ever called me Weasel to my face. That was 36 years ago. Now everyone who might’ve remembered it is retired or dead; I outlived many of my tormentors or am still on the force where they are long gone, so I’m a survivor, of sorts.
Recruit an ally.
Maybe the memory of my fearless mom was in the back of my mind when I was a freshman at Lane Technical High School, which until the year before I got there had been boys only; their self-appointed quota said a mere 200 girls per class were to be admitted each year — and 1400 boys. I was in the second class with girls. In English that fall, the regular teacher was absent, and with the substitute occupied, the boy behind me saw fit to yank my bra strap through my shirt and snap it. The banshee rose howling in me as I wheeled, cursing and lashing out as he cowered.
The sub went to the powers that were. I was ordered to do five periods of the in-school suspension I can now laugh off as “discipline,” for “swearing, inciting a fight, and fighting.” The boy got nothing. I went to the first under duress and protests which went nowhere.
The next day our teacher, an African-American woman, was back. I told her the situation exactly as it happened. She nodded and told me she was going to fix this! She got me excused from the remainder of my punishment — and the boy who touched me ten periods of discipline. I suppose word got around, because none of them yanked my strap after that.
Take a martial art.
One of our Chicago Transit Authority assignments was to stand with a partner in a subway station for the two hours that comprised morning rush hour, then go on patrol in a squad car. At the Congress Blue Line stop one day, a raving man approached me, at which I set my stance: feet apart, slightly toed-in, arms up in a loose circle, fingertips barely touching. I looked in the middle distance. He went raving around me from side to side, partway and back, never entering the circle. To an untrained eye like his, I was paying him scant heed. Eventually he tired, perhaps off to try for an audience elsewhere, and left.
As a child I’d had judo, and perhaps that helped with the guy who made my walk in the park no walk in the park. It was certainly years’ worth of tai chi chu’an, shaolin, and wing ch’un training that taught me to stand ready. En guarde!
Are we condemned to live even another week in the USA (read: the United States of an Asylum?) which is no longer the long-revered asylum for refugees fleeing violence and unspeakable horrors in their own countries?
The so-called president’s handlers seem more concerned about their own political ambitions than one of Vlad-the-Poisoner’s critics – an American green card holder – having been poisoned for a second time.
The handlers and hangers-on have to clean up after Trump every time he opens his mouth. They make excuses for him, explain “what he really means” as “alternative facts,” and walk back his bluster. The man can’t get through one entire day without sidestepping/stepping in his own hot messes. But neither he nor any of them offer us anything close to a sincere apology.
Trump – to whom the rules don’t apply, according to him – basically threatens to bludgeon anyone like the teen protesters who he considered out of line. Yet the autocrats and dictators who harshly silence their own dissidents and who pose the greatest threat to the planet’s peace? – Oh, those types say nice things about him, so he’ll be sure to say nice things back. He wants “his” people to fall down and worship him or sit up and take notice like Kim Jong Un’s people do. We won’t do either and you can’t make us!
What a juvenile we’re saddled with! Over dinner with his son-in-law he cavalierly ordered a raid, in Yemen, where almost anything that might go wrong did. On to more clandestine conversations about his mistresses and businesses, I’m sure.
As a child I learned bare-bones military strategy by playing Battleships. I don’t think the Donald ever played that, the card game War, or the even more important war game: chess, all of which my peers and I know well.
Rob Mueller’s finding cannot come soon enough.
Message to the current White House occupant: you might have surrounded yourself with the grovelling sort, but the rest of us don’t owe you obeisance. Don’t know what that is? – Look it up! This isn’t your gilded penthouse anymore. The rest of the world thinks we’ve lost our collective minds because of you. You claimed to be concerned that they were laughing at us, and yes they are laughing at us – because of you! Your foolishness and bad attitudes have come home like a pigeon to foul the lot of us. You think you’re above the law. You promised to work for us, but you’ve wasted a quarter of your so-called presidential time on your myriad golf courses instead, so better still: You’re fired!
This is not unique to the Aviation department in our big city – this is for the beleaguered worker everywhere stuck with having to take on someone else’s work when that person isn’t really in dire straits, with more work than is wanted – really, almost more than is humanly possible, and certainly more than is humane.
Just a shout-down to the day shift Aviation Police Officers N.K.A. chuckleheads (etc), eighteen of whom called in sick, early Sunday morning several weeks ago, which meant most of the midnight watch got shafted, I mean stuck/mando’d (mandatory overtime that most of them didn’t want), because Mothers Day.
We hope they change the rules without warning and you chuckleheads get gigged when you call in sick but are then found to be out to lunch, because we all know you’ll sick out again for the World Series, or Christmas and New Years Day, maybe Fathers Day too, right, because you’re a dad and only you and your offspring matter, you deserve whatever days off you damn well please.
What, did your wives or mommies put a bug in your ear early on Mother’s Day Sunday because you forgot to request time off sooner? It’s not like nobody you stuck with your shift had to get to their own homes for anything insignificant like to try desperately to catch up on their sleep or see their own families or doctors or take their g-DAMNED MEDICINE.
If you don’t want to do ALL the jobs the work entails and you won’t be allowed the time off, then grow up, QUIT, and go work somewhere they’ll put up with your asshattery!
Texas’s lieutenant governor Daniel Patrick and the NRA’s Oliver North have said prayer in schools is what’s lacking,what’s responsible for young men killing classmates, plus laid blame on schools having too many doors and on video games. Too bad they don’t seem to be kidding — or reasonable.
Schools have many doors because they have been known to catch fire. Anyone who wants a repeat of the notorious, needless school fire (December 1958, Chicago) at Our Lady of the Angels’ school fire in which children were told by the nuns to pray – not to run out – and which resulted in ninety-two kids dead from flames and smoke – then listen to Mr. Patrick and Mr. North. Praying didn’t help those little children of God, and fewer exits won’t help future scared students get away from shooters.
You want to talk violent videos? Start long before that, at the beginning, with football. Football has until very recently encouraged young men to pray, then crack each other in the head with your own helmets, knock ’em down, pile on, binge-drink afterward. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy has increasingly shown up in football’s victims, causing some to have violent outbursts and/or to commit suicide. Hello Danny, Ollie? Why no “credit” where credit is due?
While we’re talking violence, let’s not tippy-toe around toxic masculinity anymore; let’s call misogynists what they are. Start with a look in the mirror: do you boss your wife or girlfriend around? Do you refuse to listen to her, change the subject to shut her up, and/or enjoy making her cringe, then tell her she’s too sensitive? That doesn’t make you a partner or a real man, it makes you a gaslighting bully!
Feminism is the “radical” belief that all people (not only women) are equal under the law. Feminism has started no wars, starved no-one, tortured no-one, killed no-one.
The belief or implicit expectation that our daughters owe attention to any unpleasant men is the trouble, and more parents, coaches, teachers, and other leaders are overdue to correct these nasty misperceptions. Toxic masculinity is the root evil. Its adherents call the miscreant who went hunting sorority girls (May, 2014, Isla Vista California) a “supreme gentleman,” when nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who blames everything BUT this vile attitude, that men get to do what they want, allows this disease to fester and replicate. You know what else replicates and festers, Ollie? Cancer!
Some politicians clamor for welfare recipients to be barred from using food stamps for soda and candy, while others try to have taxes imposed on sugary drinks, to the great consternation of beverage distribution giants, who call the taxes an infringement on our “rights”.
Fair enough, in its perverse way – everyone ought to know how to make their own poison (sorry – cakes and cookies). But then — since thousands of hectares in the USA are merely corn and beets destined to become syrup for that candy or soda — rural enterprises so involved shouldn’t get any government farm benefits.
But, you cry, part of your place supplies your family’s actual food! Okay, you can deduct that food-producing portion only, whatever it is: an acre, a quarter acre, a thousand square feet. No sugar beets (and yes I know beet greens are very nutritious, but who grows beets for greens?), no sugar cane, no corn-syrup crops.
If the government has to pay for corn on the losing end, namely the health costs associated with too much sweetened junk food, too many sodas, too much too much – why should it have to subsidize the people and companies making the problem?
The sweeteners in diet sodas are believed to be be associated with obesity. Being overweight and especially being obese puts tremendous strain on one’s joints and heart. People want help for their health problems, and Medicare for all is a noble pursuit. But then why should the government support the weapons of our self-destruction? Why shouldn’t we help society instead, by taxing bad behavior?
Chicago recently caved, buying into Big Sugar’s siren lure and claims that the tax would prevent consumers from making their own choices about foodstuffs. This isn’t food we’re talking about taxing (I believe raw foodstuffs shouldn’t be taxed at all) — neither is the sweetened-beverage industry paying, by and large, fair market value for the water they need to make this $#!T.
Sugar is known addictive substance, just like alcohol, just like tobacco with its repugnant additives. Sugared drinks and candy have no fiber and no nutritional value; even 100% orange juice isn’t as good for us as an actual orange with a glass of water. Sugar was discovered to be harming human health decades ago, when the industry took its playbook straight from Big Tobacco, and was successfully able to steer attention away from itself by blaming fat, see:
Tobacco is bad for us, alcohol in excess is bad for us, sugar is bad for us. Sugar of all sorts has been oversold to us in the same way cigarettes were, and all sugar/corn syrup products (and the never-degrade plastics they usually come in) ought to be taxed to the hilt too. Because fair’s fair!