RANGER AGAINST WAR: October 2016 <

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Group Grope

Dope, peace, magic
and gods in the tree trunks
and a group grope, baby! 
--Group Grope,
The Village Fugs

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime 
--To His Coy Mistress,
Andrew Marvell,

My God, he was like an octopus.
Hands all over the place 
--The Gift,
The Velvet Underground

This Sunday's New York Times Travel section uncovered a threat to female airline passengers so great, the paper was moved to run not just one, but TWO, articles on the matter.

Since it WAS Sunday when I read this -- and one ought operate from a principle of charity -- one imagines the paper ran these out of a spirit of public service, for surely the print taken up by this imminent threat was not cheap.

In a word, Donald J. Trump's small but roving hands may show up in an airline seat near you shortly -- BEWARES, ladies!

Just to make sure you know (in case you have been in Timbuktu): there have been sinister "allegations that Donald J. Trump once groped a passenger" [quote -- see clips below]. I dunno about you, but as a ladyfolk, I'm feeling a darn site better knowing that my national paper of note is hard on the job working for my safety and erudition, right?


Recent Incidents Put a New Focus on Sexual Assault on Airplanes
Recent sexual assaults — and allegations that Donald J. Trump once groped a passenger — have prompted questions about safety on airline flights.

A plane takes off from Heathrow Airport in London.
How to Protect Yourself From Sexual Assault on a Plane
To minimize the risk of being sexually assaulted on a plane, book an aisle seat and talk to a flight attendant if someone is making you uncomfortable.

But Ranger wonders: after airline passengers have been pre-frisked so robustly by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) mashers, how would one know the difference between an offense and a defense grope?

After all, some of those TSA handlers have some hella good fun in executing their appointed duties (all for Uncle Sam, mind.)

Taking people's wallets and loose change, belts and shoes, putting them in plastic boxes and running them through conveyor belts, pat downs and wand scanners. Day in and day out, peering closely at the bodily outlines of the obese and the skinny.

It must be a calling, like being a proctologist, perhaps.

Well, it's like being a member of the government (which they are). And like Mr. Reagan said, Don't worry -- we're here to help you.

Just sayin'.

--by Lisa & Jim

[cross-posted @ milpub.]

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Friday, October 21, 2016

On Mrs. Obama's disdain

 --Tip Drill, Nelly

 In heaven's name
why do you play these games?
--Hang On, to Your Love,

 We see not only with our eyes,
but with all that we are,
and all that our culture is
--Dorothea Lange 

I've seen all good people
turn their heads each day
So satisfied I'm on my way
--I've Seen All Good People,

[The graphic features the rapper Nelly and his "Tip Drill", in which he slides a credit card between a woman's buttocks. I saw it playing on a t.v. in a gym in 2001. An inauspicious beginning to the 21st century, far as women's rights go, I thought.]

Mrs. Obama, recently delivered a tremulous speech hailed for its unbridled emotion ostensibly on behalf of every woman. One does not become an attorney without some acting skills.

No doubt Mrs. Obama, hailing from Southside Chicago, knows of some men who “throw down, and take away.” But Mr. Trump has never been accused of being one of those men. 

ISTM in the pantheon of bad male behavior, copping a few feels and talking locker room about ladies private parts pales in comparison to the ACTUAL behavior of so many men who have inhabited the Oval Office. Stealing a kiss or copping a feel versus getting fellated in the Oval Office and inserting a cigar into a 19-year old's vagina.You decide.

But we trot out the little ladies when need to feel chivalric, which is to say, righteous and purposeful, in the face of a national political atmosphere which is anything but.

Witness one of the after-the-fact phony justifications for the Phony Wars on Terror (PWOT ©): women's rights. And things have gotten a lot better for women since that action, no?

But no one questions the bombast, because it sounds so good. I mean, who could be against women having rights, right? That is like saying you are against moms and apple pie.

This speech came in an atmosphere that has allowed the wide dissemination of  false rape tales like that of Tawana Brawley and Crystal Magnum by members of the Duke Lacrosse squad. The mythical targets were black women, in a reverse Mandingo fantasy.

We are all good people, and have been taught to atone. We believe that wearing our horsehair shirt will buy favor from the gods.

So when Mrs. Obama says “we”, what we hear is, “we black women”.  We live in an age in which there are calls for monetary reparations for slavery, and #blacklivesmatter is a social networking movement. A collective guilt gets superimposed upon any man, especially a privileged one, accused of some wrongdoing.

Mrs. Clinton’s initial campaign ads featured a black girl alone before the image of a florid Trump exhorting something on the screen, ad infinitum. She is wide-eyed, and seems afraid.

Ironic that a month later, tapings of Trump's private conversation appear, along with a few women over a span of 30+ years who allege they have been “inappropriately touched” (NYT headline) by Mr. Trump.

Have we no shame? Is there no adult in the newsroom, or among the viewers of the spectacle?

The stumping Mrs. Obama expresses her horror at Mr. Trump's bravado and possible overreach:

 “It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen. It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office.”

Unfortunately, her speech about the bogeyman bossman is fraught with untruth. And the lawyer in her would say that The New York Times will surely face a libel suit after this election.

But if the paper gets its candidate into Office, it will have been worth it. The lawsuit will occur post-election, and someone will happily foot the bill.

No woman has said that she said "no" to Mr. Trump, and that he then gave chase, as Mrs. Obama implies. And sorry to say, but exploitation and misogyny did not stop back in Mrs. Obama's mother's day. 

This is a transparent attempt to tarnish Trump with the biggest sin, that of being old and therefore, out of touch. The implication is clear: Mr. Trump and his superannuated brethren are from another place and time. This is blatant ageism.

Trouble is, Mrs. Clinton is exactly the same age, and the FLOTUS's speech is rent is rife with problems.

She states Mr. Trump spoke "freely and openly" on the secretly recorded tape. This IS still America, and we may hold opinions and we have free speech. We may speak freely, with an expectation of privacy unless permission has been granted otherwise.

She also said she is "worried about the impact this election is having on our boys who are looking for role models of what it means to be a man.”

However, if she were truly worried about that, then she would address the very real problem of the much too many young black boys who grow up lacking fathers or even father figures, for that surely has a corrosive effect upon that population, and our population at large. (She could witness that in Southside Chicago, too.)

Incarceration rates for black males are at epic proportions. 72% of black children are raised in single head of household families. Now those are problems that need tending to.

Mrs. Obama says she is hurt to her core over Trump's words. To quell her shock, perhaps she should stop listening to "Earth, Wind and Fire" and borrow her husband's iPod to broaden her horizons regarding the state of relations between the sexes.

There, she may listen to some of Jay-Z's greatest hits -- try "Big Pimpin'" for a start. Oh, I know, now that he and his wife are billionaires he tries to explain it away. But misogynist rappers have always contended that they are just expressing life as it is.

Jay-Z's wife, Queen Bey, earned her almost half a billion by robustly shaking her moneymaker and singing about fellating men in limousines, among other things. 

Probably not what Mrs. Obama wants for her daughters, but there it is.

This would be today, and it is exactly where women stood in her mother's day (and hers), if she cared to see and tell the truth.  

[cross-posted @ milpub.]

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Little Red Riding Hood

--Little Red Riding Hood 

Hey there Little Red Riding Hood,
You sure are looking good.
You're everything a big bad wolf could want 
--Little Red Riding Hood,
Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs

He asked me for a good night kiss
I said, it's still good day
I would have told him more except
His lips got in the way 
--A Guy is a Guy,
Doris Day

I moved to another seat
--Jessica Leeds, 74, who alleges that Mr. Trump
groped her over 30 years ago on a plane

Why must we play these foolish games?

Is the story of Mr. Trump's alleged gropes really news we can use? If our nation's top priority in choosing our President were to achieve parity between the sexes, then, yes. 

However, considering it has been 93 years and counting since the yet-to-be ratified Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) guaranteeing women full and equal rights under the law has stood before the chambers --  I'd say "No".

Ranger suggests that the press's recent fronting of several woman who allege that Mr. Trump groped them is, in fact, anti-feminist.

The implication is that these women do not know to avail themselves of the legal protection established since the 1960's Civil Rights bills. They live in the age of Girl Power, and yet we are to believe they are June Cleever, too?

Should we believe that they need to be protected by -- whom? Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Clinton?

--The Perils of Pauline (1947)

The trope being exploited is that of Little Red Riding Hood. She is a girl alone in the woods who is accosted by the ravenous Big Bad Wolf. She can be saved on by a lumberjack, a hunter or some such manly man who happens by to save fair maidens in the nick of time.

Mr. Trump is also the Wolfman, and little lady must be saved from his sharp teeth and hairy little palms. 


Trump likes and hires pretty women over ugly -- ya say you hadn't heard of such things? Well, look at a few peer-reviewed studies to get your Homo sapien mind right. Woman judged as attractive gain more hires, more advancements, bigger raises.

Mr. Trump practices this and he is adjudicated a dog. Well, then Canis universalis.

Trump says what many think, and is demonized for it. He is the externalization of our id, and we cannot bear it. Hence we let the talking heads attack, and all smile smugly when his name is mentioned: "How can he BE?" we ask, in a disingenuous attempt to shuttle that part of ourselves.

"Ugh -- such a man cannot be President", we say, reflexively, knowing that scores of such men HAVE been presidents (many within the last 60 years). To hoist him on his petard on the basis of old secretly-recorded tapes of private talk and a few instances of alleged groping is skulduggery, and should shame a nation which has far bigger issues on its agenda.

Morality falls under the umbrella "religion", whose separation from matters of state is a hallmark of the United States. This is not Vatican City (thank God.) Sexual harassment falls under EEOC guidelines.

That is the end of the story, until you re-engineer the human. For now, the dance of the sexes plays on.

Tomorrow: Mrs. Obama on Mr. Trump

[cross-posted @ milpub.]

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Those who control the present control the past,
and that those who control the past
control the future
--1984, George Orwell

Some boys kiss me
Some boys hug me
I think they're o.k.
If they don't give me proper credit
I just walk away
--Material World, Madonna

Huggin' and a-kissin'
Dancin' and a-lovin'
Wearin' next to nothin'
'Cause it's hot as an oven
--Love Shack, B-52's

  And I'd claw at your heart,
and I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please (please)
I'm your man 
--I'm Your Man, 
 Leonard Cohen 

 Subtitle: A Fool's Morality Play

With CBS's appeal to Anita Hill, we have now entered the bizarre ruralia of the outer limits of reason. (Who am I kidding? Our once-esteemed press has been inhabiting that non-zone throughout this election cycle.)

Professor Anita Hill -- that lovely, intelligent, well-spoken witness against the unfitness of now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his confirmation hearings, who was thrown under the bus and thoroughly discredited by the fickle kingmakers, the press -- that Ms. Hill was wheeled out by ABC news yesterday to give a brief and grim commentary on sexual harassment 25 years after her shameful treatment.

Doubly soiled both by her then-boss -- Mr. Thomas (a.k.a., "Long Dong Thomas") -- and the press and judiciary committee's assault upon her unimpeachable character, that same press attempted to exploit her once again in their agenda to despoil the candidacy of their doyenne Mrs. Clinton's Republican opponent.

But we needed a token black jurist to replace retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall then, and Mr. Thomas was as token as it gets. (Earlier this year the middling jurist broke his monastic record of a ten-year silence when he spoke on a minor domestic violence case.)

A Supreme Court justice is arguably as powerful as the United States President for he interprets the application of the laws of the land. This Mr. Thomas, who impressed upon the demurring Ms. Hill "about ... such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes" and of his own "sexual prowess" -- while he was married -- (according to Ms. Hill's 1991 testimony before the Senate nominating committee), now has the liberty -- the audacity -- to speak out on a case of domestic violence.

This is a violence in itself.

For her part, the exemplary Ms. Hill could not be coerced by ABC to shill for Mrs. Clinton. She simply said that it is nice to see another opportunity to discuss sexual harassment. However, her distinct lack of enthusiasm made it clear naught will change. She would not partake in the press's insistence that Mrs. Clinton would be a change agent advocating for women's rights.

Ms. Hill's experience with a now very powerful man did not occur in the dark ages. If the sexual harassment claims of a bright and articulate woman like Anita Hill can be dismissed, how much less the hopes for the rest of us?

The New York Times came up with it's own gotcha in its Wednesday piece, "Two Women Who Say Donal Trump Touched Them Inappropriately". "Touched them"? And the meme has now morphed into "rape" thanks to the rigor-less effects of social media.

Not featured high in the story one of the women, now 74-year-old Jessica Leeds (allegedly groped by a young Mr. Trump in first-class) said such behavior from men was "routine throughout her time in business" in the 70's and 80's.

Of course, IRL, we are these hormonal rutting human animals often behaving badly. But the press would make you think that only some people are tawdry, and some are spotless. It is always black or white today, and it is always sex (as it ever was).

And this teapot tempest suffices to slake our salacious demand for news-ish material that will help us determine the next leader of our nation.

 ADDENDUM {10/14/16, 2:42}:

Shock and Appall

Mr. Trump does not help his own case through his own braggadocio and blather. He has not learned to not say all of what you think. It is a double-edged sword, for this candor is his attraction, for many.

The media will happily comply with our demand for smut, and has been trawling for a year to uncover the "gotcha's, but they do seem rather lame. He is not an Arkansas boy (like Mr. Clinton), and he has the money to buy the best women he can afford.

We must display the proper shock and appalment to the boorish stories from the press. It hurts us to know that our sisters and mothers are truly not equals in the world, and we recognize our own bigotry in that knowledge.

The implicit deal the press has offered us is: vote for Hillary and we will make all of this go away. The painful deluge will stop, and misogyny will loose its grasp on the world.

Do you believe it will, on any substantive level?

[cross-posted @ milpub.]

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Monday, October 10, 2016

He That is Without Sin Among You, Let Him

I can bring home the bacon.
Fry it up in a pan
And never, never let you forget you're a man
--Enjoli advert 

To all the girls I've loved before
Who traveled in and out my door
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I've loved before  
--To All the Girls I've Loved Before, 
Willie Nelson   

Men don't have platonic friends okay?
We just have women we haven't f*cked yet
--Chris Rock 

I got more liquor, more ladies, more drugs and no cases
With jobs and no babies
I hope no phone's taping if so you gon' hate me 
--Open Wide, Calvin Harris

So the powers situated to emplace She That Will Not Be Denied on the Presidential throne feel they can finally wipe the sweat from their brow.

We have learned from yesterday's Great Debate that Mr. Trump objectifies and covets women's lady parts. Shocked, you say? Much like Capt. Renault, I s'pect. Puh-leeze.

Anderson Cooper -- that greatly underwhelming talking head who could not even win a round of dumbed-down celebrity Jeopardy! (Ranger had even a SEAL reader -- God bless you, Stevie -- who won a real Jeopardy! contest)  -- came out of the gate like a snorting bull about Trump's sexcapades 20 years ago.

A real "gotcha" moment, eh? News worthy of being "broken" by a national paper like The Washington Post (not). Kinda makes you proud to be an American, no?

But how does Mr. Trump's macho ways disqualify him from the Presidency? Are we riding some sort of crest of female empowerment of which I am unaware?

Less than 100 years ago, the 19th Amendment (1920) gave women the right to vote. (The 15th Amendment granting black males that right was ratified 50 years earlier.) In the first blush of that voting rights victory, the Equal Rights Amendment, designed to guarantee equal rights for women across the board, was introduced to Congress in 1923.

Ninety-three years on, it has yet to be ratified.

Females currently compose a little over 4% of Fortune 500 company's CEO's. Women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man, a gender wage gap of 20%. Intimate partner violence shows no signs of abating, and 20% of women report having been raped in their lifetime.

Forty percent of Americans are regular viewers of online pornography, and 20% of men say they have viewed porn online at work.

Candidate Trump is not accused of rape. Powerful and monied men are an aphrodisiac for some women (news flash, right?) Trump does not hide his proclivities ("I just start kissing them.") To be in the stable of a man like Trump is not to be surprised by his track record.

If we were honest, we would acknowledge that powerful men throughout history take their just desserts. Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, Dominique Strauss-Kahn ("DSK") and Russia's Vladimir Putin, are but a few. But let us look at ourselves first.

Innumerable United States Presidents have pussyfooted about with women to whom they were not married. Among these were Thomas Jefferson, Warren G. Harding, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, FDR (who died in the presence of his mistress), JFK and Bill Clinton (both with teenage White House interns, among others) and LBJ. And the beat goes on.

These were all Gropers-in-Chief, yet we turned a polite eye to their dalliances provided they steered the ship of state with some skill and attention. Their inability to be emancipated men -- whatever that means -- and overmaster their heady and hormonal drives did not disqualify them from their job. Their opponents attempted, to a  greater or lesser extent, to utilize their actions against them.

Thing is, reporters -- when that was an actual profession -- used to enjoy habitual relationships with the Presidents. They had entree to the actual news, while agreeing to keep the sordid stuff out of the headlines. Nod, nod - wink, wink.

Make no mistake: The people who slandered these men did not do so on any chivalric grounds of protecting women's honor. Any muck-racking was done with the sheer intent of toppling these men's presidencies. 

Neither people nor the societal structures which house and instruct them, have changed in the mere 2,0000 years when we wrote down some rules about what we should and shouldn't so. (One might go so far back as almost 4,000 years with Hammurabi's Code; in any event, we have not been operating under rules approximately equable to all for very long, and the rules were certainly not equally applied to women.)

Sadly today, the smut has become the kernel. Rather than a ship of the state, the next President will steer a ship of fools. Our behaviors have not regressed; we are the same nutty sexual monkeys.

What has changed is that voyeurism and exhibitionism have moved from the edge to the center. Representative Weiner can send an image of his over a cell phone, and someone like Anderson Cooper can make us think that the voyeuristic "bust" is actual news.

The move to accept the LGBTQQIP2SSA communities got you thinking the sky's the limit in terms of gender enlightenment? You may pat your smiling liberal self on the back, but think again.

Last Monday's BBC America featured a two-minute story on the travails of newly-robbed multi-millionairess Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye's end-of-show response -- approximately 7% of the network's world news broadcast for that day. Now ask yourself a question: what makes Mrs. Kardashian newsworthy? 

It is one thing alone, to wit: her massive tits and arse. You can't have it both ways, people.

Seen another way, what makes candidate Clinton preferable? Is it because she is monastic? Is she consistent?

In 1992 in the face of sexual misconduct charges against her husband, President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton told CBS anchor Steve Croft that she was not a "stand by your man" kind of woman. She also asked the news media not to turn the 1992 campaign into "a game of 'gotcha'." 

But she ended up standing beside her man for future political returns and "gotcha" is now her game. Even then, her feminist creds were decaying as she worked hard to discredit every woman associated with Mr. Clinton.

This is the Caesarean Secretary of State Clinton who said of Libya's President's death by mob, "We came, we saw, he died." Today, she is Lady Macbeth silently screaming, "Out, out, damned spot!"

She has now morphed into Grandma Hillary, a safe and sexless white woman with a milquetoast running mate in Mr. Kaine (an acceptable white male.). But Grandma Hillary is not toothless.

She is Jung's archetypal Old Crone, and she may subvert or conform to the power structure at will; she has nothing left to lose. She will not usher in an Age of Aquarius because she will have to be (as Ranger puts it) a "Billy Badass" as the first United States female head of state.

If one believes what one reads, it seems that despite the amazing support that elected a Republican candidate not even backed by his own party, Mrs. Clinton must win. It is somehow cognitive dissonance to think otherwise.

She is the politician between the two, and politicians become Presidents. You couldn't have a haberdasher, or a community organizer or a peanut farmer, fer gawdssakes.

But back to the sex story. It is unlikely that Mr. Trump would grab for Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel's vajayjay for any reason, and is not she the only one who really matters? And did not our own President G. W. Bush err by attempting a back rub of the Frosty One?

The only one to watch out for would be Denmark's Prime Minister Helle-Thorning Schmidt, with whom President Obama and England's David Cameron enjoyed a selfie (to the apparent disdain of Mrs. Obama). But the lovely Mrs. Trump should provide eye-candy enough to keep her husband's little hands at home.

But as Donovan sang, this may be the Season of the Witch. No het white male today is immune from excoriation at the press's whim. Secretary of State John Kerry was lambasted for his effete Spandex-wearing, Francophile ways. Now, Mr. Trump for his machismo.

So Trump wants to grab and kiss women? BFD. In a Don Draper sort of way, he is like a rib-eye steak in a world of crepe-y raw vegans. As it is written of the Big Macher in the Sky, so it could be said of Mr. Trump, "I am that I am". (As for the shape-shifter Mrs. Clinton, there is no declarative "I AM" in her "I" -- only a reflection of her audience du jour.)

We could watch no more after this October Surprise. Such thin gruel for such a glutted audience

{FINAL UPDATE @ 11:31 PM, 10.11.2016.}

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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Stephen C. Sanford Deserves Medal of Honor

 --PFC Stephen C. Sanford
receiving his DSC

Fourteen years after his action, USAF Technical Sergeant John Chapman (KIA) is being considered for a posthumous Medal of Honor (MOH). This would be an upgrade of his Air Cross, an action which Ranger suggested should have been taken six years ago (in 2010).

Ranger would like to remember another serviceman whose Distinguish Service Cross also needs to be re-considered for an upgrade -- that of Private First Class Stephen C. Sanford of the 172nd Stryker Brigade. PFC Sanford's actions on 19 NOV 2005 clearly met the bar for a Medal of Honor. The awarding of the Distinguished Service Cross is a diminution of his actions.

The upgrading of PFC Sanford's Distinguished Service Cross to a Medal of Honor would be a correct and just action that needs to be accomplished. Ranger suggested this in 2010.

The Medal of Honor is not an award to be treated lightly, nor should this proposed action.

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