Feminists Attacking Feminists

Emma_Watson_2012Women have fought for equal rights for as long as I can remember. This year even started out with giant women’s marches across the world. However, I believe that the term feminism is misconstrued a lot of times. Feminism is supposed to mean equality of the sexes but instead it seems as if some have taken it too far and made it seem as if women are asking for special treatment.

This became apparent when actress Emma Watson posed for a Vanity Fair photo shoot virtually topless. After being attacked and told she couldn’t be a feminist and pose virtually topless at the same time Watson answered back. Her strong response was noted by Huffington Posts’ Graeme Demianyk and exclaimed, “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.”

If a male athlete can pose nude and be labeled as strong and masculine then why can’t a female pose nude and be labeled as strong and feminine. This is a double standard that I think women and men need to be aware of. We need to fight for each other’s choices not tear them down when we don’t agree with them.

The New York Times Screwed the Pooch

The New York Times might have cost themselves some of their own credibility this time. The last couple of days have been buzzing about Trump’s accusations that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump’s phones during the election campaign. Along with all the accusations came thousands of reactions from the public as well as news outlets.

These news outlets included USA Today, CNBC, CNN, as well as The New York Times. This past Sunday a New York Times article by Charlie Savage started off by saying,

“‘President Obama was tapping my phones in October,’ an accusation for which he offered no evidence, has set off another spasm surrounding his young administration.”

Yet, not even 2 months prior to the previous article, The New York Times published another article in January titled, “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Administration.” What’s even more interesting is at the bottom of the January article it states in grey lettering,

“A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”

This referenced article seems nowhere to be found other than pictures here and there that people have taken and posted (click here to see example).

What does this say about The New York Times? It seems as if they pick a side and run with whatever fits their narrative at that point in time. When the wiretapping story fit the narrative, they ran with it. Now, because they seem to be anti-Trump, they are contradicting their own story. I don’t understand how such a large news source can contradict itself so quickly. It’s no wonder that there is a growing distrust of the media.

Session-Lynch: recusal and lack thereof

Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Why? In the last week or so it came to the public’s knowledge that he had been in contact with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election. Why does this matter? There has also been an ongoing investigation into whether Russia helped Trump with the election and might’ve helped him get votes. This means that Sessions is now being looked at as a subject of interest in the investigation as to whether his meetings with the Russian ambassador were strictly to do with his dealings as a Senator or if they were tied to the election.

However people have stated that recusing himself was not enough. Stephen Colbert made himself perfectly clear when he used a couple expletives on his last show as reported by Matt Wilstein of the DailyBeast.com. It’s not just Colbert though, Andrew Rafferty recounted in his article on NBC News Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying,

“Attorney General Sessions’ narrow recusal and his sorry attempt to explain away his perjury are totally inadequate.”

Conversely with everyone fussing over Jeff Sessions, it seems as if they are completely forgetting about a similar instance that happened with Loretta Lynch and the Clinton investigation back in June of 2016. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the subject, Lynch, who was the Attorney General serving under President Obama, met with Bill Clinton as his wife, Hilary Clinton, was being investigated for the, “use of a private email server,” as stated on Politico.com.

Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein stated in their article with the Huffington Post that Sessions called for Lynch to recuse herself. In the article Sessions is quoted saying,

jeff-sessions“When a high public official is accused of serious wrongdoing and there is a sufficient factual predicate to investigate, it is imperative the investigation be thorough, with dispatch and without partisanship.”

Yet Politico.com stated that Democrats didn’t think anything of it and just pushed it under the rug saying it was “innocent”. I don’t see how this isn’t a double standard. Yes, it took Sessions a while to come forward with the details and recuse himself but he did and admitted that to be fair in the investigation he needed to separate himself. Yet nobody jumped down Lynch’s back to double and triple check that she didn’t do anything wrong, instead it was basically ignored, or at least that’s what it seems like. Session’s needed to recuse himself just as Lynch should’ve done but it seems extreme to say that recusing himself isn’t enough.

(Photo courtesy of CreativeCommon.com with open copyright)

Attorney General Under Fire

This presidential election has encompassed a wide array of legal and political issues. However one that has yet to come to an end is the investigation into whether US politicians were in contact with the Russians during this past election. This has become such a big deal because people are continuing to question whether the Russians had something to do with President Donald Trump being elected.

At the moment Jeff Sessions is in the hot seat. It has come to the public’s attention that he was in contact with the Russian ambassador. Those meetings though were said to have been entirely appropriate for Sessions’ job as Senator. The Huffington Post’s Laura Barron-Lopez and Michael McAuliff discussed how Sessions recused himself yesterday, Thursday March 2, from any investigations dealing with Russian involvement in the election. However now NBC News’s Andrew Rafferty is stating that the Democrats are not satisfied, recusal is not enough.

We’ve been here before when Loretta Lynch was asked to recuse herself during the Clinton investigation. Unlike Lynch, Sessions did recuse himself but some are still not satisfied and want him to give up his job all together. Again, let’s consider: treatment of Lynch vs. treatment of Sessions.

Mounds of Trash Left Behind by Environmentalists as Camps are Cleared

Wednesday, February 22, was set as the deadline for protestors to leave one of the largest camps near the Dakota Pipeline that was on federal land. Although many left early there were still some that decided to stay behind, which in turn led to their arrest as reported by NPR’s Rebecca Hersher.

The main purpose of these camps was to try to halt the progression and completion of the Dakota Pipeline due to worries that it would contaminate the drinking water for that area. This stems from the fact that part of the pipeline will be run, “under a section of the Missouri River known as Lake Oahe,” as Hersher stated in her article.

However what people aren’t discussing is all the trash and debris left behind by the protestors. We are told they’re environmentalists, which by definition tells us is, “a person who has a specially strong interest in or knowledge of the natural environment, and who wants to preserve it and prevent damage to it.” So it begs the question why these environmentalists would leave so much trash and debris behind?

Time’s Blake Nicholson and James MacPherson talked about how a massive cleanup has been in progress for weeks, starting with protestors and now being taken over by Army Corps. However, my question is why wasn’t this debris taken away step by step as each protestor left? Yes, some stayed to help clean up but to the many that left without cleaning up and claim to be environmentalists, now that is quite the double standard. They’re all concerned about making sure the pipeline doesn’t contaminate the water, but they don’t seem to be worried about the contamination from their left behind trash and debris that may be carried into drinking water sources when it rains.

(view images on NPR)

Dakota Pipeline gives Environmentalists an Excuse to Protest

Controversy has surrounded the completion of the Dakota pipeline that stretches from North Dakota to Illinois. This pipeline was meant to help transport crude oil more efficiently and help decrease the cost of oil. However, the last bit of the pipeline that has yet to be finished and is planned to be built through property just north of Standing Rock Sioux Tribes land.

BBC News reported that the controversy stems around the fact that the Sioux Tribe says, “the government took this land from them illegally in an 1868 treaty.” The Sioux Tribe has also “argued that the project would contaminate drinking water and damage sacred burial sites,” in BBC News’ report.access-to-pipeline

This isn’t the only thing halting the pipeline though. The Washington Post’s Andrew Cullen stated in his article, “Environmentalists are allying themselves with Native Americans.” It seems to me as if the environmentalists and activists are using the Native American’s fight as an excuse to push their own agenda. In his article Cullen discusses
the fact that these environmentalists have stopped lobbying the government and have taken it upon themselves to stop progress. They want to stop energy companies and the transportation of fossil fuels that the government is trying achieve for a number of reasons. In their minds, the environmentalists, this issue is very narrowly defined and it seems like if it isn’t their way of clean fuel and energy then it shouldn’t happen at all regardless of other considerations.

(Photo courtesy of CreativeCommon.com with open copyright)

Melania Trump Scolded by the Public

As mentioned in my last blog, this past Saturday, February 18th, Melania Trump led a Trump rally with the Lord’s Prayer. However instead of the public being accepting and open to her, she has been scrutinized and ridiculed.

Obama closed a speech at a religious dinner in 2010 by saying, “And we can only achieve ‘liberty and justice for all’ if we live by that one rule at the heart of every great religion, including Islam – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto melania-trumpus.” If an Islamic person prayed in public they probably would’ve been praised for their courage and cheered on by many others. Yet, when a Christian prays in public our society gets tweets from people like @JaimePrimak that read, “Melania starts the dictatorship rally with the Lord’s Prayer? NOT EVERY AMERICAN IS CHRISTIAN!!!! Country over party.” Town Hall’s Leah Barkoukis and FoxNews.com both recounted this tweet in their articles.

In my opinion, what was even worse was when people attacked her directly. Leah Barkoukis reported, “@NicoleAngeleen tweeted: ‘I could recite the Our Father backwards, drugged with a gun to my head. If you need to read this prayer, you’re not Christian (re: Melania).’” I don’t know about you but if I were making a speech in public, especially involving a prayer that thousands knew, I would be reading off a paper as well. I’ve been a Christian all my life but I’d be so nervous that I would mess up I’d want to have a backup plan. I don’t think anyone understands the pressure that Melania was under when she spoke in front of that many people.

Our country pleads for religious tolerance. It allows students out of school for religious reasons and fights for the suppressed to have their religious voices be heard. However, when a Christian steps forward it seems as if they are being suppressed. Quoting Obama, “…do unto others as we would have them do unto us,” support everyone’s freedom of religion, being tolerant of all and not just when it is convenient.

(Photo courtesy of CreativeCommon.com with open copyright)

Religious Tolerance Comes Into Question

In 2010 Obama spoke at the Iftar Dinner, a religious observance of Ramadan, at the White House and stated, “This is America.  And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.  The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are.” Our country was built on religious freedom and tolerance meaning we have a, “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.”

It seems as if our country has distorted its views of religious tolerance, it appears we, as a country, are now tolerant of only a few and have become intolerance of others. This is shown in the fact that Sunday February 19, as reported by CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin, New York City held an uninterrupted rally in support of the Muslim faith. However when Melania Trump decided to use a Christian prayer at a rally in Florida, as reported by FoxNews.com, her religion wasn’t just attacked but also her background and Melania personally. What happened to religious tolerance not to mention respect for the first lady?

Fake News Troubles the White House

Yesterday, February 17th, Trump tweeted out, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” I think everyone knows that the media and Trump haven’t necessarily gotten along the best these last several months but is it right for him to call these news outlets fake? I question just as Danielle Kurtzleben questions in her NPR article if this is really “fake” news that Trump is addressing or is it just the biased articles that are against him.

In yesterday’s press conference, which was expected to focus on the announcement of Trump’s new Secretary of Labor turned into a conference about fake news, repeating on multiple occasions, “The reporting is fake.” Trump’s supporters seem to be standing behind him as he continues his fight against fake/biased media as told by The Associated Press. Where as his critics still think he’s just using it as another excuse for not getting things done and an attempt to denounce the news that doesn’t appeal to him as Frank Scheck reported in The Hollywood Reporter.

I’m all for fighting against fake news in the traditional sense of the phrase, lies disguised as news articles that confuse and can mislead the public. However, repressing biased news is not acceptable, whether we like it or not news should be viewed and characterized as biased not fake. Both sides, Trump and the news outlets, need to understand the distinction and call it what it is on a case-by-case basis.

Job Qualification Should be All That Matters

Don’t judge others based on the color of their skin. Our culture has been taught not to judge individuals based on their race/ethnicity, yet when I read that Trump had chosen Alexander Acosta for his Labor Secretary I found it very interesting that each side of the political media brought his ethnicity/race into their articles. CNN’s John King, Manu Raju and Dan Merica wrote, “If confirmed, Acosta — the son of Cuban immigrants – would be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s Cabinet,” and Forbes’ Maggie McGrath reported, “He is the first Hispanic nominee to Trump’s Cabinet.”

This is a double standard because why does his ethnicity/race need to be brought into the article at all. This is our government, not a popularity contest. I want to hear about his qualifications that make him a good Labor Secretary and nothing else.