Happy New Year!

I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year.  May it be your healthiest, happiest, most prosperous yet.  I also wish us all peace, joy and love.

May 2017 be just the beginning of a long string of great years!

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Squeezed from the left and the alt-right

I don’t often say much about my personal beliefs as to religion.  It’s not that I’m ashamed or anything; it’s that I think religion is properly a personal matter, and not one that should be dredged up in public.  Some religionists believe that proselytization is okay, and their religions mandate it for followers (witness Christianity and Islam as but two examples).

As for me, I don’t discuss religion except in the privacy of my own home, with my co-religionists.  The one time I broke that habit and explained to a ‘friend’ why I was not a Christian and would remain a Jew, he turned to me and called me a “hard-hearted Christ-killer.”

Such love, I was moved to . . well, nothing.  I was not interested in hearing him talk religion, knowing what he thought of me and my brethren nor was I interested in hearing more of the ‘love’ that said religion espoused.  He fairly demonstrated it.  Note to Christians: if you fail in your efforts to “convert” someone, don’t resort to name calling.  Any headway you might’ve made will be destroyed.

Notwithstanding that, now we’ve got a lot of things happening in the political realm that happen to mix politics and religion, yet again.  It’s frankly depressing and not a little bit infuriating.  I refer to the Nazi and KKK supporters of Herr President Elect Donald J. Trump and also to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement of the left and general anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment.  In short, we Jews are squeezed from both sides of the political aisle.

The Nazi and KKK supporters – and Herr President Elect himself – send out dog whistles (in Trump’s case, talking about “international bankers” and putting the Star of David into a meme, implying Jews are at the root of all money evil) to fellow travelers.  They rail against Jews, Israel, and Zionism.  See, to this brain trust, Jews are the cause of every bad thing that’s happened in the world, and need to be stamped out.  I don’t necessarily think Herr President Elect thinks along those lines, by the way; I do, however, think he’s done little to distance himself from antisemitic statements and actions taken in his name which further enables those cretins.  But Jews have no place in a party that sanctions, let alone condones such comments and actions, even if done tacitly.

There’s also the religious right which “champions” the State of Israel.  That’s an issue because they do it not because they think every people/religious group should have their own nation or land in which the group might live safely.  They support Israel because they see the creation of the nation as a necessary step to the Second Coming.  In other words, they support Israel because it will, ultimately, lead to conversion of all Jews or death to those who refuse to believe in Christ.  For many of us, that is an untenable reason to support the nation.  It becomes even more untenable when one considers that this same group frequently says that if Jews don’t get on board, they’ll stop opposing anti-Jewish measures nationally and anti-Israeli measures internationally.

That’s not friendship, that’s coercion.

On the left, we’ve got people who think that every action Israel takes is unjustified.  It doesn’t matter that Israel has just been attacked again by terrorists; if Israel responds it’s a sign Israel doesn’t want peace and is a dishonest negotiating partner the Palestinians, that poor, neglected group suffer under.  Again, they ignore the attacks on Israel because they think the Palestinians are simply trying to protect themselves or regain land Israel wrongfully stole from the Palestinians.

Also on the left, they condemn Israel for wanting Jerusalem as its capital – because Palestinians want it for their capital.  Never mind that Jerusalem has historically been the capital of a Jewish nation; because Palestinians claim it, it’s a Palestinian city and has nothing to do with Jews or Israel.  Israel protests a United Nations Security Council vote and suddenly leftists are up in arms over Israel for any number of (imagined) sins against America and the poor, downtrodden Palestinians and Arabs within its borders.  Because of those sins, they urge, America should (a) stop selling arms to Israel and (b) stop supporting Israel in any way, including in the UN and/or by grants-in-aid, as America gives to virtually every non-European country in the world.

As I said, Jews in America are being squeezed from the left and the right.  The right wants all Jews rounded up and killed, again.  They don’t think Jews should live, let alone have their own state.  Right wing Christians want Jews to have their own state, but because it foreshadows the End Times.  The left wants an end to all support for Israel, whether political or economic.

Because antisemitism exists on both sides of the political aisle, because Jews are squeezed on both sides, it’s a very trying and tenuous time for us.  We don’t know where we can find allies and whether those who purport to support us have ulterior motives.  It’s a frightening and uncertain time for many around the world.

It’s particularly frightening for those of us who are a religious minority.

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When you bring a pet into your home, it’s yours for life.

It’s pretty daunting to take an animal into your home.  You become responsible for every need: food, water, shelter, health.  The animal can’t tell you when it’s hungry, thirsty, needs to come home, or sick so it is up to you to pay close attention to the animal.

Another thing that should be daunting is that you are responsible for the animal for life.  To be clear, and to repeat myself, you take one home, you assume the responsibilities associated with the animal for the duration.

I repeat myself because some people don’t seem to understand that concept.  I once worked with someone who took in a kitten because her daughter wanted a kitten and brought one home.  The woman didn’t like animals, but particularly cats, but wanted her daughter to be happy so she agreed.  The problem was the kitten did what kittens do, clawed things.  The rug, the carpet, the little girl.  The mother flipped out because her baby (8 years old at the time) got hurt and, more importantly because she carped on it more, the furniture was damaged.  Mama then went and had the kitten declawed.  Literally half of the department told her we’d take the kitten in, just please don’t declaw the poor thing.  She did.  Then about a month or so after that horrible operation, she gave the kitten to the local animal shelter.  At the time, it was not a no-kill shelter.

None of us in the department had an opportunity to take the kitten in.  One morning, Mama came in and told everyone she’d “gotten rid of the kitten” that morning and where. She never understood why so many of us were upset.

But that’s what happens when thoughtless people get pets.  Today, I read a story that broke my heart, another story about thoughtless people.  Thumbnail: the dog kept getting out of its enclosure, so the family gave it up for adoption.  But then they went to that same shelter to get another dog.  The dog they gave up was still there, and excited to see her humans again.  And they just walked away from her.

I get that sometimes you have to give up an animal.  Maybe the animal needs more care than you can afford.  Or you’ve gotten sick yourself and can’t take care of your friend.  Other times, the caretaker has died and the family can’t/won’t take the animal in.  Other legitimate reasons can probably be given, but you take my meaning.

But to give up an animal because it gets out too much?  That’s the owner’s fault, not the animals.  To those owners I say take the dog for a walk regularly.  Play with him/her.  Give her/him more attention.  Regardless, you’ve taken on the responsibility, so own that responsibility and live up to it.  If you need help, ask.

There’s a special place in hell for people who mistreat animals in any way.  Not accepting that an animal is your responsibility for life is but one way an animal may be mistreated.

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Dinner with vegetarians – a survival guide

I’m pretty lucky.  My sister and I are both vegetarians (she’s vegetarian, used to be vegan, and I still pretend I’m vegan) so long ago my mother learned to cook for or “deal with” vegetarians at holiday time.  But not everyone is so blessed, and lots of crap comes down on vegetarians as a result.

It confuses me why people have such a hard time cooking or working with vegetarians at holiday meal time.  I mean, seriously, how hard is it to cook for us?  Below, in no particular order, is a list of things that might make mixed meals – those with both vegetarians and meat eaters – easier on all involved.  The ideas are dos and don’ts of “dealing with” vegetarians.  Feel free to add your ideas to the list (and feel free to share the list too).

  1. Don’t serve salad: Maybe if you have it as one option on the menu, but not the sole option, but otherwise please, no.  If you say you’ve got food for us and all you have is salad, let us know in advance.  We can eat before we go over and everyone will be happy.  Salad is not filling and, no matter what you put in it (or, god forbid, on it) it’s a thoughtless dish.  Lettuce or lettuce substitute (arugula, kale, spinach), tomatoes, cucumbers (or zucchini), and, maybe, carrots.  Just. Don’t.
  2. When in doubt about what to make, go simple: vegetables are always good.  Steamed (or roasted) broccoli, cauliflower, carrots . . it’s all good.  Remember, we LIKE vegetables.  Oh, and roasted potatoes (white, red, yellow, sweet, and/or yams) and/or rice too.  But omit butter on the veggies, taters, and rice (for those of us who are vegan).
  3. Don’t ask us where we get specific vitamins/minerals/protein: If you’re genuinely curious, then ask what we eat and we’ll tell you.  Anything else is just rude and sounds like an accusation or that we’re too stupid to figure out ways to get needed vitamins, minerals, calcium, protein, et al., etc.  Trust that we know what we’re doing and leave it be.  For the record, protein and calcium can come from grains, potatoes, pasta, beans, and many vegetables.
  4. If you ask what we eat/don’t eat, listen to us: Many times people have asked me what I can and cannot eat – then serve those things I can’t eat and omit what I can eat.  If you’re not going to listen to us, then don’t ask.  See #5 for more.
  5. Feel free to ask us to cook something: Some folks think it’s hard to cook for vegetarians.  I don’t understand that, but okay.  If it’s too hard to cook for us, and you really want us to share a meal with you, then ask us to cook something everyone *should* enjoy.  I make a mean spaghetti squash casserole, a roasted vegetable melange that is usually popular, and some really good marinara.  Regardless, if you ask us to cook, you’ll get an idea of what possibilities exist (and we’ll have at least one item we know we can eat).
  6. Don’t cook meat and vegetables in the same dish/container: We can’t eat veggies cooked in meat juices.  And many of us can also tell when something has been cooked in/with meat.  When in doubt, cook separately.  See also #s 4 and 5.
  7. Don’t tell us to just eat around the meat: This is a variation on #6.  Years ago, before I became a vegan, I helped a friend move.  He ordered pizza – all with meat (pepperoni, sausage, meat lovers).  Someone who should have known better told me to just pick the pepperoni off the slice.  It will still taste like meat and still has meat juices on it.  So basically it’s still a meat-based product.  Same principal for dishes made with meat.
  8. If you make dressing, please use vegetable broth: This will be a winner all around.  You get the same thing from vegetable broth as from meat based (beef, chicken, fish, pork): moisturizes, added flavor and sodium.  But it won’t taste or be as heavy and will have less fat – notwithstanding the fact we wouldn’t be able to eat the dressing if you make it with animal-based broth.  Or if you make it in the bird/meat.
  9. Don’t make comments on the food we eat: This should be the byword for everyone, whether meat eater or vegetarian.  As with #3, it’s just rude to comment on someone else’s food choices.  We respect your culinary choices and ask that you respect ours too.

I hoped for 10 but can’t think of anything else right now.  This isn’t intended to be snide, mean, or obnoxious.  This is meant to give some ideas of what vegetarians can and cannot eat and how to make mealtimes easier for everyone.  I hope I’ve helped.  Feel free to comment.

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A good reason to have pets.

I have mentioned several times before that Buddy, the stray that adopted me, has an affection for my lap.  He seeks it out in all weather, at all times of day or night, and whether I really want him there or not.  But, sometimes, I welcome it.

He gets agitated whenever I am not where I am “supposed to be” or when I’m “supposed to be there.”  Anytime after 7:00 PM I am to be on the couch in the living room, with my lap open and ready for him to snuggle.  Let me tell you, that’s not really welcome when we’re having a Santa Ana but since he needs routine and stability I’ll settle in for the duration.  A glass of water nearby, a book to read, and the remote control (as if there’s ever anything to watch) and I’m good to go.  And so is he.

Once in a while as he’s burrowing into my lap and kneading my leg (pretty painful when I’m wearing shorts) I’ll look down at him and ask “why do you need me so much?”  I realize that he’d been a stray, chased away and probably abused by too many people in the neighborhood, for at least two years struggling to survive as an abandoned pet, and without any sort of affection all explain his need.  But I still wonder why he seems to need me all the time.

One day when I asked that question out loud, he looked back at me.  He seems to have no problem staring directly into my eyes.  That’s unnerving, but it’s part of his personality so I go with it.  That day, though, I read into the look that it’s the other way around.  It’s not that he needs me so much as I need him.

He keeps me more or less centered and out of my own head (sometimes).  I have to think about something and/or someone other than myself, someone/something else’s needs.  But also because it shows I’m connected to the world, even if in a small, seemingly insignificant way.

Tuesday night was not a happy one in my household.  I went into seclusion in my bedroom.  Buddy made his entrance.  The way he usually does that is by crying at my door and then making a running leap onto the bed and nestling on my lap.

He didn’t cry Tuesday night, he just came right into the bedroom.  He didn’t jump, either; he climbed onto the bed this time.  He walked to my lap and pawed at my arm.  I said “not now, Buddy.”  He pawed again, and I said again, more sharply, “not NOW, Buddy, please.

He climbed onto my lap, circled around and lay down.  Usually he faces the same direction I am, looking towards the same wall, whatever.  Tuesday night, he faced me.  He stayed like that a couple minutes and, when I tried to ignore him, he turned around and put his paw on my arm.  He seemed to be saying ‘I’m here.  It’ll be okay.’  I kept ignoring him and he lay across my arm, trying to capture my attention.  I was too upset.

He slinked off my lap, and lay across the bed, against my calves, kind of whimpering.  I looked down at him, realized what I was doing.  I shut down the computer and started to pet him.  I finally turned off the radio and focused on him.  He looked back at me, slowly closed his eyes and started purring again.

He didn’t change the outcome and he certainly hasn’t made me any happier about the results.  But he reminded me that there’s more to life than politics, anger, and hatred.

I was a timely reminder.  And it’s a good reason to have pets.

Thanks, Buddy.

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Perry – Nevada SPCA Rescue

On my travels on the worldwide highway, I came across a sweet looking, scared dog that really needs a forever home.  His name is Perry.  He’s at the Nevada SPCA Animal Rescue.  Please take a look at this guy’s face.  I’m sure you’ll want to help.

Here are the Nevada SPCA vitals:

Nevada SPCA
4800 W. Dewey Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89118


Everyone says ‘if I lived there, I’d adopt him in a minute.’  I know that’s true for me too.  And I know lots of adoptable animals are in shelters across this country (and around the world, too).  And I know you can take a short trip to your local shelter and find an animal equally deserving of love and a forever home.  But sometimes we forget . .  so if you’re looking for another family member, go to your local shelter or Humane Society.

BUT: if you live in Las Vegas, and have room please take a look at the little guy.  If you don’t live there, but know folks who do – and have room and love to spare – please let them know about him.

Help find this little dude a home.


ETA: Perry was adopted the same day I posted this!  Thank you to whoever adopted him and may you have many years of happiness together!

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Come on, America. Focus.

Salman Rushdie posted the following to Twitter:

So, to recap. Trump will go on trial in November accused of racketeering, [. . . . ]. He is a sexual predator, hasn’t released his tax returns, and has used his foundation’s money to pay his legal fees. He has abused the family of a war hero and… oh, but let’s talk about some emails Hillary didn’t send from someone else’s computer, that weren’t a crime anyway, because that’s how to choose a president. Come on, America. Focus.

Brilliantly stated.  Succinct, to the point, spot-on accurate.  But he left out a few things we need to consider as we go to the polls Tuesday:

  1. Several Republican Senators (most prominently, Ted Cruz [R-TX], John McCain [R-AZ], and Richard Burr [R-NC]) are already saying that they will, under no circumstances confirm any Supreme Court nominee Hillary Clinton puts forth.  In interest of fairness, McCain (sort of) walked back his comments.
  2. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has said he has “grounds for at least four new hearings” regarding Hillary Clinton, should she be elected.
  3. Ron Johnson [R-WI] has said Hillary Clinton could be impeached should she win the presidency.

And Democrats are called obstructionist?

In all seriousness, look at those three items again.  We are talking about serious stuff here: at least four more years of absolutely nothing being accomplished in Washington, more partisan acrimony, more gridlock, more problems for our country.

Mitch McConnell earlier vowed that the Senate would not confirm Obama’s Supreme Court nominee with the election looming.  Now, his fellow Republican Senators are talking about blocking the nominees permanently.  As though the Supreme Court isn’t important.  Cruz’ argument that the Supreme Court has, historically, had fewer members is correct.

In the 1860s.

I think – just think, mind you – that the country has changed just a bit since then.  We have a few more people too, and a few more constitutional issues to consider as well.

Be that as it may, this is very serious stuff here.  Think about the consequences of your vote.

A vote for Clinton does no good unless at least the Senate changes hands.  Because Republicans won’t let anything happen if they control the second governmental branch.

Please reread Rushdie’s take.

Playtime is over.

Come on, America.  Focus.

ETA: we lost our focus.

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Open letter to men

Sexual harassment and assault have been much in the news lately.  It’s unfortunate that it’s become a hot discussion topic based on some really obscene comments, but in a way we should be grateful that it is being talked about.  Michelle Obama’s brilliant speech where she talked about harassment, providing some eye-opening and heart rending descriptions of harassment, should be but the beginning of a long needed dialogue on this.

It sounded to me like she was speaking first hand.  I can’t speak authoritatively to that, but I am pretty sure she was talking about herself.  How do I know?  Long experience.

I had a conversation years ago with my mother and sister.  We had been watching something on TV and the subject of sexual harassment came up (which sadly shows this has been an issue for decades).  At any rate, I wondered how many women actually had been harassed.

My mother and sister looked at each other with a look that said ‘do you want to go first or should I?’  It was quite an education.  There’s nothing quite like hearing your sister had been harassed and subjected to unwanted touching.  But it really becomes painful when your mother tells you she also had been harassed on the job (she was a nurse for 50 years), not to mention harassment outside of the hospitals where she worked.

But what was even more chilling was my sister’s comment – supported by my mother – that every woman has been sexually harassed at some point and to some degree or other in their lives.  Think about that a minute: Every.  Single.  Woman.

Is that exaggerated?  I’ll let each man talk to the women in his life to confirm for himself.  I think it’s safe to say that yes, they all have experienced some form of harassment.

It’s time for all men to open our eyes.  Harassment goes beyond touching and overt behavior or words.  Like Mrs. Obama said it can be that lingering (lecherous) look.  It can be the handshake that lasts a bit too long.

Sociologists and psychologists call that kind of behavior ‘microagressions‘ but, by whatever name, it’s harassment.  And it happens to every woman at some point in their lives and happens every day, far more often than we might want to acknowledge.

I waited to write about this topic because it is too important to let become some sort of white noise, something we’re vaguely aware of in the background but don’t consciously think about.  We need to understand this at a deeper level.  So please, men, talk to the women in your lives: your mother, wife, girlfriend/fiance, sister and/or friends. The answers you get will be enlightening.  And not a little depressing.

If we know what our loved ones have gone through, maybe, we can finally end it.

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How does this make sense?

Driving around this morning, I heard some folks talking about the election.  They were trying to explain/justify their choices and one comment in particular stood out.  A Trump supporter said she supported him because he was pro-life.

She went on to say that she wants less government intrusion into people’s lives and in society.  That comment, combined with the pro-life position confused me.

Set aside for the moment that Trump wasn’t pro-life until he began his run for the presidency last year.  Set aside for the moment that until he began his run for the presidency last year he never evinced one iota of interest in the pro-life side, the arguments pro and con.  Set aside his unfortunate comment that the woman should be punished for having an abortion.

My question is how is banning something – here, creating a law forbidding a woman from doing something – getting the government out of people’s lives?  The phrase used to be “get government off the backs of the people.”  Can anyone explain to me how MORE government regulation, this time outlawing abortion, is getting the government OFF the backs of people?  Can you seriously make that argument?

The answer is no, because it puts government squarely ON the backs of people.

If you oppose abortion, that’s one thing.  I can respect your position.  It’s not an easy choice for anyone to make, whether to carry a child to term or end the pregnancy.  There are serious considerations that must be dealt with prior to the decision.

But don’t use the argument that you want government out of your day-to-day affairs as well.  It simply does not wash.

That leads me to a related point.  Why do people want government regulation of these things anyway?  Abortion and, similarly, same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization, and many other issues, are things the political right wants abolished, forbidden, whatever the current nomenclature might be.  I have to ask: why?

If you don’t like abortion and don’t think it should be available, then don’t have an abortion.  If you don’t like the idea of men marrying men or women marrying women, then don’t marry someone of your same sex.  If you don’t like weed, then don’t buy and smoke it.

Why get government involved in these things?  If you truly want “government off the backs of the people,” then leave these decisions to those involved and keep government out of the matter.

That makes sense to me.

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Enough is enough

I cannot begin to say how sad I am as I write this.  At first I was angry but, very slowly, that anger dissipated into sadness.  It’s not about my personal or professional life or that my parents are getting sicker by the day.  Or that my cat is losing weight and no one can figure out why.  Yes, those things sadden me but that’s not what’s on my mind right now.

It’s about the disgusting, despicable, degrading, demeaning, deeply disturbing comments and actions that have come out on the political front over the last 24 hours.  I refer, of course, to the latest stupidity to have come from the mouth of a certain Republican presidential candidate.

Let’s not get into what, precisely, he said again.  If you haven’t heard or read the comments and you’re interested you can read excerpts or even watch it yourself.  What’s troubling, other than the fact that he admits to sexually molesting women – and laughing about it – is the “apology” and the response to said “apology.”  That response is almost as disgusting as the comments themselves.

I refer to the attempted justification for not being offended.  First, we have Trump’s explanation that ‘the Clintons were worse!’.  What that fails to acknowledge is that IT’S NOT ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON.  It’s HIS comments, not anything she did or said.  He’s the one that said when you’re a celebrity you can get away with groping women.  He’s the one that hit on a married woman after having just gotten married for the 3rd time.  It was not Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton.  Donald Trump said it, no one else.

This explanation, that ‘the Clintons were worse!’, has been jumped on by all sorts of Trump supporters.  Because ‘Bill Clinton is/has been worse’ Donald Trump, CURRENT candidate for President, may be excused.  Trump is, somehow, cleared of the indecency of the comments. Ralph Reed said in response to Trump’s asinine comments were “I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of their [Evangelical Christian] concerns.”

But what’s worse, in my mind, is the hypocrisy from religious leaders, including Reed, et al., about all this.  Hillary Clinton gets pilloried by religious types who, for some odd reason, think she’d diminish religious rights.  Um, excuse me, but isn’t Trump the one who wants to set up a religious litmus test for people coming to this country?  What makes the Religious Right think he won’t, at some point, come after them too?

Irrespective of that, what too many religious leaders are saying, specifically those of the Christian Right, is that we’re all flawed, we’re all sinners, and he’s apologized and he’s not the same man he was and, by the way, that tape – made without his knowledge 11 years ago – does not reflect on the man he is today.  He’s changed.  He’s apologized and is forgiven because we have a just, loving god.

Let’s unpack this.

If you’re concerned about religious liberty and freedom to worship, perhaps you should consider the comments of people, particularly when one person has made numerous comments that will precisely limit the rights of people of a specific religious group.  Or is it okay to restrict the rights of a non-Christian person or people when you’re a Christian and, ostensibly, won’t be affected?  Recall Martin Niemöller’s poem:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

and then tell me that Christians shouldn’t be worried about this person’s expressed ideas.

Next, the idea that he’s changed, that he no longer thinks or acts like that, is simply ludicrous.  Is that a serious statement? Really?  He’s made disparaging remarks about women throughout the campaign.  His constant references to women’s appearance (like Carly Fiorina, remember that?) and Hillary Clinton herself (“doesn’t look” presidential).  How can those be taken other than as demeaning women, that they don’t have anything to offer other than appearance (and the appearance has to meet Trump’s standard of beauty yet)?  Isn’t it a fair read, especially in light of the 2005 comments, that he thinks it’s only men who look presidential?  Not to mention his doubling down on his past comments – recent, nasty, snide comments – about Rosie O’Donnell and the former Ms Universe.  He simply plows ahead, keeps saying the same thing, albeit slightly more politically correct than on the Access Hollywood tape and we’re to think he’s changed.

What about his (in)famous comment about Megyn Kelly, the one where he said “she had blood coming out of her . . wherever” (emphasis in original)?

All these comments show a changed man?  Someone different from that demonstrated on the 11 year old tape (as though the tape’s age makes any sort of difference).

What we’ve seen is a persistent and consistent trait and quality: he thinks of women as little more than sexual objects to be talked about as though they were or are possessions and not dignified human beings.

What’s most troubling about the Religious Right’s reaction (or almost singular lack thereof) is that they try to portray themselves as having the moral high ground.  For years, they’ve carped on the need to change the tone in Washington and that we “need a restoration of  ‘family values’.”  That we need to have leaders of high moral character and that our leaders’ moral character is of the utmost importance.

In what way is Trump’s calling a woman a “b*&#h” and saying he’d grabbed women by the “p%*#y” demonstrative of high moral character?  How can anyone say that he’s still a better candidate when he talks about women like that, and admits he’s treated women like that?

How can anyone continue to take the moral high ground when he dismisses those comments by saying that they’re 11 years old, he hasn’t said or done anything like that since, and he’s apologized?  We’re all sinners, so what’s the big deal?

If you have to ask, then your own moral compass is out of whack, and your moral authority is in serious question.  You no longer have any moral authority whatsoever.  When Trump speaks like that about women – and continues to do so, even as he claims to “have changed” – he does not have the character necessary to lead the country.  Period.   Supporting him is simply untenable.  And the Religious Right has similarly ceded whatever position and authority it has by simple virtue of shrugging off the behavior and comments of this small, petty man.

Lest we forget, as we hear in the tape, he tried to hit on a married woman when he’d just gotten remarried.  And that happened after having divorced 2 wives after having had affairs.  Multiple philanderers do not change, they simply learn to hide their affairs better.

Furthermore, he’s made disparaging comments about Latinos/Mexicans, Muslims, Gold Star families, war heroes and POWs, ridiculed the handicapped and, as just noted, has made so many nasty comments about women to beggar the imagination.

That’s not the behavior of a changed man.  That’s the behavior of a spoiled, rich, sociopath who thinks that his large checkbook will enable him to get out of whatever trouble he’s in, get him elected, and has taught him that he’s untouchable when it comes to his personal behavior and belief.

Anyone who has a mother, sister, wife, or daughter should be appalled and disgusted by the comments.  Anyone who has a woman in his life in any capacity should repudiate in the strongest terms the man who made the comments, apology or not.  Anyone who cares about the dignity of people, period, should turn away from the “man.”  Particularly when you reflect on the whole of his campaign, his comments, behavior, and interactions you must conclude that this is a disturbed man who is unable to empathize (let alone sympathize) with anyone and is unchanged and unrepentant, no matter what words he might mouth and how.

The tenor, tone, and attitude struck in the apology were defiant, angry, and totally unconvincing.  He hasn’t changed and never will.  He has repeatedly shown his (lack of) character and is unfit for the presidency.  Trying to point to someone else and say ‘but Bill [Clinton] did it first’ does not excuse, let alone justify, his behavior.

The measure of a man is how he behaves when no one is watching.  These tapes give a pretty bloody good measure of the man.

Enough is enough.

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