Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Thank goodness for Judith Baum's letter on Thursday's Voices page. The others all seemed to see the Judge Kavanaugh hearings as a plot against Republicans with absolutely no thought for the accuser. Have any of the other writers not given a passing thought to the possibility she may be telling the truth about what happened?
If anyone cared enough to look, there's tons of information online about what this kind of trauma can do to a person's memory. It can focus all of your thought processes on the moment, the fear, the person. It's not at all unusual that people don't remember extraneous details. It's also not unusual not to tell anyone but to push it down deep and try to forget those details. Judge Kavanaugh was reportedly a heavy drinker in school and he too was young. It is at least worth a minute to consider that a man this young under the influence could make a tragic mistake. Unfortunately, many men have.
On the subject of hearings, have you thought that of all the Supreme Court hearings over some of our lifetimes? Only one man has been accused of sexual assault, no matter the state of politics and partisanship at the time--only one. Judge Thomas was accused of sexual harassment. Is it not possible it's not a Democratic plot but he could be guilty?
Rep. French Hill's early ads claimed that he had voted to protect Medicare and Social Security. I called both his Arkansas and Washington offices to ask for clarification of this claim. Neither staffer with whom I spoke knew the answer. In fact, they claimed they were not conversant on the specifics of Representative Hill's policies but that I would receive a response. I did receive an email stating that Hill voted for a balanced budget amendment and comprehensive tax reform in order to get spending under control and thus continue funding essential programs. I don't believe voting for tax "reform" which gave huge tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy, resulting in a trillion-dollar deficit, balances the budget. Republicans are already discussing slashing "entitlement" programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) in order to reduce the deficit they just exploded with those tax cuts.
Now Hill's ads claim the Democrats are going to bankrupt Medicare by supporting "Medicare for All." Expanding Medicare to cover everyone, or a single-payer medical insurance for all, will require the wealthy to pay more taxes; however, the ones whose massive wealth will be diminished will be the heads of insurance and pharmaceutical companies. There will be huge savings throughout the health-care industry once the profit motive is eliminated. Expect Big Pharma and private insurance companies to fight tooth and nail against expanding Medicare to all. They already are fighting it. The politicians who are in their pockets are their spokespersons.
It seems French Hill is attempting to frighten voters into thinking that expanded, affordable health care is a bad thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Paints a dark picture
Matt Kornas paints a dark picture of the world for women if we speak out about sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation. His thesis seems to be men will no longer open doors for women, change their tires or talk to them, thereby, I assume, crippling us in some way. He purports that male EMTs will be reluctant to provide lifesaving aid and women won't be hired for fear of false sexual accusations. That's right, ladies, according to Mr. Kornas, the punishment you will receive if you speak out is rudeness, unemployment or even death. And Mr. Kornas won't talk to you.
Fortunately, Mr. Kornas, there are laws prohibiting what you profess "society" will do to women if they report sexual assaults. I trust women will use them. I've been fortunate in that I have only been pawed over by employers and professors, nothing major, just what women have to put up with every day. I never thought to say a thing about it. In 2017, 77 out of 100 incidents of sexual assault were never reported. Who does that serve? When they are reported, we have law enforcement to investigate and court systems to adjudicate justice. Why are you not concerned with protecting those women? The times, they are a-changing, always threatening for some, but women are not being quiet anymore.
The men in my personal and work life are supportive and respectful of women and do not fear a world where women no longer hide their assaults. That is the kind of world I think we should be striving for, not one that sets out to divide men and women.
And, by the way, if I need my tire changed, I'll call AAA or do it myself.
A good man is gone
I was going to write a letter against Issue 1 and for Clarke Tucker, if you may only get one letter published every 30 days, when I thought that maybe my small voice would possibly make a difference. Then I heard about Michael Storey's passing and thought that I could give some small comfort to his family and many friends.
He was a childhood friend who went by Mike then. I have never met a nicer person. He was a very smart but unassuming person. He did me some favors when he was on the city desk, for which I will be forever grateful.
One of the many things he should be remembered for is his dry wit. His Otus the Head Cat column was exactly the type of humor that I and many more appreciated. There are many things that he should be remembered for, but perhaps the most so, in these turbulent times, is because he was a good man and a model for others.
Editorial on 10/10/2018
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