Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favreau Did Worse Than Imus: Comparing Hate Speech

The photo of speechwriter Jon Favreau and his friend sexually grabbing a Hillary Clinton image is hate speech ( Hate speech is wrong. Favreau should be fired for this act of hatred against 51% of our population.


First, remember women and girls are the most oppressed group in the world ( Men dominate women politically, economically, and socially. That is wrong. Women have a long way to go before we achieve political equality with men. Thus, lowering the status of women politicians in general is wrong.

The Favreau photo lowered Hillary Clinton's status in a vicious, cruel, and extremely disrespectful way. I believe most people would agree that portraying a politician as a sex object does lower the status of the politician. It reduces them to just a sexual being which takes attention away from or blots out entirely the mental part of the politician, the part that sets policy, that makes decisions, that creates a vision for our nation’s future. The mental part of a politician is extremely valuable and is largely responsible for the politician’s high status. Thus, by blotting out the mental part of a politician, the hate speech perpetrator seeks to lower the politician’s status in the eyes of the viewer.

But the Favreau photo didn’t just harm Hillary Clinton; it harmed women politicians in general. Hillary Clinton is a member of an oppressed group. This is self-evident since Hillary is a woman and men dominate women in society. Women are currently striving to raise their status to the level of men. I believe most people would agree with that because the existence of feminist organizations is well known and the purpose of feminist organizations is to raise women’s status higher towards equality with men, to give us equal power. Even women who don’t identify as feminists are often trying to raise their status to the level of men. Hollywood, the news, our friends and relatives are constantly telling us stories of women who fight sexism. Hillary Clinton is a role model woman striving towards equality with men: she’s an international figure who has promoted women’s equality throughout the world, she broke the glass ceiling of first women NY senator, first woman to win a primary, and first woman to get the most primary votes. When a pioneer woman breaks through a glass ceiling like Hillary has done, she is not just helping herself, she’s helping all women and girls. If she wins, we all win; yet if she loses, we all lose.

Thus, when Favreau humiliated Hillary Clinton, he humiliated all women and girls. As Obama’s speechwriter, Favreau fought against Hillary Clinton during the primaries. The Obama camp won the nomination with the help of the sexist media and DNC sabotaging Hillary Clinton. After his camp won, Favreau and a male wearing an Obama shirt publicly humiliated Hillary Clinton by creating a horrid tableau in which they grab her image by the hair and breast and shove a bottle in her mouth similar to a gang rape scene. Andrew Breitbart of the Washington Times said on December 8th that the Favreau photo was like “the early stages of the barroom rape scene of "The Accused" with Jodie Foster” ( The Obama supporters' sexual humiliation of their defeated opponent mirrored the common act of soldiers raping women of the country they have conquered. It was not about sex, it was about power. In describing the current problem of military rape in the Congo, Anneka Van Woudenberg of Human Rights Watch said, "This is not rape because soldiers have got bored and have nothing to do. It is a way to ensure that communities accept the power and authority of that particular armed group” (

Similarly, Favreau’s sexual humiliation of Hillary Clinton was apparently acted out to show the power and authority of the victorious Obama camp over the defeated Hillary Clinton camp. And since if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency it would have helped free women from male domination, Favreau’s domination of Hillary Clinton was by default men’s domination of women. Thus, the Favreau photo is hate speech against women because it promotes male domination of women.

Furthermore, hate speech is defined by Wikipedia as:

a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, hair color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting (

I’ve read many people saying Favreau’s action and photo degrades women so just by that definition it is hate speech according to Wikipedia. Furthermore, the basic principle of sexism is treating one gender group different and in a worse way. Women politicians are more often portrayed as sexual and less mental than men politicians, so that establishes that they are treated differently. For example, during the 2008 election Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were often portrayed sexually but their male counterparts almost never were ( And this different treatment, sexualization, lowers women politicians’ status. Therefore, since this practice creates an environment where women are treated differently and in a worse way (lowers our status) it is prejudiced against women. The lowering of women’s political status decreases women politicians’ power, which means it makes it harder for them to get support, to raise funds, to get positive media, to get votes, etc. Thus, sexualizing women politicians incites people to treat them in a prejudiced way. And according to Wikipedia speech that incites prejudicial action against a group is hate speech.

Also, photos are considered speech as are actions, thus the sexist photo of sexist action is speech.

A lot of people looked at the Favreau photo and immediately thought it was hateful. I read commentary about it and dozen’s of people have written that it is hateful against women and girls. Sexism takes many forms and has different levels of severity, but it is the same stuff. Sexist hate speech leads people to believe women/girls are inferior to men/boys and that leads to violent hate crimes, hate crimes that kill women and girls every day.


Favreau should be fired for his hate speech against Hillary Clinton and every woman and girl. People are often fired for hate speech. For example, when actor Isaiah Washington used the word f****t in regard to his Grey’s Anatomy coworker T.R. Knight who had announced he was gay ABC fired Washington for hate speech against homosexuals. Though Washington publicly apologized, went through counseling, met with officials from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and filmed a public service announcement in which he said "words have power" to hurt or heal, nevertheless his hate speech was deemed too damaging to allow him to continue working for the Grey’s Anatomy series. Shonda Rhimes, the series creator, issued a statement saying ""I speak for all the executive producers here at ‘Grey's Anatomy’ when I say that Isaiah Washington's use of such a disturbing word was a shocking and dismaying event” (


While Isaiah Washington spoke hate speech in private, Don Imus spoke it on air. When Imus mocked the Rutgers women’s basketball team by saying that in comparison to their “cute” competitors the Rutgers women were “nappy-headed hos” (frizzy-haired prostitutes) he was perpetuating prejudices against women, blacks and the lower classes. Most of the talk about the incident was about racism but both the Rutgers team and their Tennessee competitors were mostly black. Thus, since both teams were mostly black Imus wasn’t just making a racist comment as some believed; he was commenting negatively about lower-class culture and women. By saying the Rutgers team were “rough girls” with tattoos, Imus implied they were low-class compared to their Tennessee competitors. On the radio, Imus and others compared the Rutgers team to low-class “Jigaboos” and their competitors to lady-like “Wannabees” (

And by referring to the allegedly low-class Rutgers women as prostitutes (“hos”) Imus was representing low-income women as prostitutes. Since almost all prostitutes are from the lower classes, lower class women are often falsely cast as prostitutes. For example, women are often referred to as hos (prostitutes) if they wear low-class clothing and makeup. Yet, lower class men are almost never referred to as prostitutes if they wear low-class clothing even though a significant percentage of prostitutes are men and boys. Thus, false charges of prostitution against women simply because they’re lower class is sexist because men are almost never attacked that way. Thus, for all the above reasons when Imus called the Rutgers women “nappy-headed hos” it was hate speech against women, blacks and the lower classes.

Imus’ hate speech had consequences. NBC News immediately announced it was dropping MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning. The next day CBS said it fired Imus. Staples and Miralus Healthcare pulled their ads from Imus's MSNBC show, while Procter & Gamble took its ads off of all MSNBC daytime. Imus publicly apologized for his hate speech.


It is important to note that several presidential candidates publicly denounced Imus’ remarks because that relates to the Favreau hate speech. For example, Obama was the first candidate to say Imus should be fired:

…there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody

It was a degrading comment.

Insults, humor that degrades women, humor that is based in racism and racial stereotypes isn't fun,

And the notion that somehow it's cute or amusing, or a useful diversion, I think, is something that all of us have to recognize is just not the case (

Favreau’s hate speech was also referred to as amusing and people who complained against it were referred to as silly on the news ( Today Washington Post writer Eli Saslow implied Favreau did nothing wrong, yet the first photo of Favreau illustrating the article belies Saslow's opinion. The photo shows two men looking at Favreau, one with a serious look on his face the other smiling at him. Look at the woman: She is turned away from Favreau with look of disgust. She crossed her arms in front of her breasts (to prevent Favreau from humiliating her by groping or looking at them?). The Favreau hate speech runs deep and has had a profound negative effect on men and women. So far it has shown men that they can treat women like scum sexual objects and the highest levels of government may protect the sexual harasser. And based on what I've read and seen it has made women frightened and defensive and lowered our already very low status. Yet as Obama noted people can try to mask hate speech as fun and amusing but it is not, it is hate and hate is a serious problem.

Favreau’s hate speech is much worse than Imus’ hate speech so of course what goes for Imus should also go for Favreau but more severe. As it’s said, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and Favreau’s humiliation of a women’s rights international figure by sadisticly portraying her in a gangbang scene is an attack against not just Hillary Clinton but against all women. In describing Imus hate speech Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer explained the hate speech didn’t just harm Rutgers women it harmed all woman:

It’s more than the Rutgers women’s basketball team. It is all women athletes. It is all women. Have we lost a sense of our own moral fiber?

Gender-based hate speech, like other hate speech, has a particular psychological and emotional impact which extends beyond the original victim. Thus, this attack on Hillary Clinton was an attack against me. It was a dishonorable, cruel, hate-filled attack against all women and girls.

It’s important to note that Don Imus and Isaiah Washington worked in the entertainment and sports industries and these industries are not specifically designed to promote social good. Yet even though social good is not their main goal they enforced good anyway by condemning hate speech by firing those who inflicted hate speech. If entertainment and sports organizations take strong action against hate speech, how much more important is it that the government whose primary purpose is to promote social good take even stronger action against hate speech? Allowing a man who has committed extreme hate speech against women to work at a high level in government sends the following message: women are inferior to men.

The government should not be promoting the idea that women are inferior to men. If sexist speech is allowed to continue without even the bare minimum of a public apology to its victims then sexist hatred will continue. The government must stop it in its tracks. Hate speech encourages the subjugation of women and girls which is harmful to our society.

It makes no difference whether the hate speech was done using cardboard, film, a live performance, or a combination of these things. Hate speech is wrong regardless of what media is used for the hatred. It is wrong regardless of whether it is one word or a picture worth a thousand words. Favreau must stop hiding and turn and face his victims and speak words of apology to begin the healing process of the enormous damage he inflicted on women and girls.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Male Dominance Causes Rape

"Rape is not a natural act for men. A study by anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday found that in cultures with a high incidence of rapes, the economic, religious, and political structures are controlled by men. In Sanday's study of 44 societies that were not patriarchal, there was virtually no rape" (

The evidence shows that male dominance causes rape. Men dominate women in our society politically, economically and socially, thus we suffer rape. I read one of Sanday's books about a gender equal society: the Minangkabau. The book called Women at the Center describes the Minangkabau society where women have as much power as men ( Sanday lived with the Minangkabau for many years all summer each year and though she did a thorough investigation she found no rape and no domestic violence. There is division of labor so that women dominate some power centers and men dominate other power centers. For example, Minangkabau women inherit all property and have more economic power than men. But overall there is roughly equal gender power. Sanday said the people are very nice and the men are nurturing like women. Sanday wrote two books about rape so she's an expert (Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus, A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial). She says what motivated her to write about rape was the amazing difference she saw in the way women were treated in the gender equal societies versus the way women were treated in the United States. Her studies document that rape is a problem when men dominate women in society. Thus, to end rape it is necessary to end male domination. The Minangkabau people view rape as the ultimate evil and have structured their society in a way to prevent it. We must restructure our society to put women at top levels of leadership in order for us to have gender equality to end rape.

It is important to note that in order to eliminate rape it is not necessary to achieve gender equality in all spheres of life, but it's necessary that women have equal power as men overall. The key word: overall. For example women can dominate a powerful sphere and men can dominate another equally powerful sphere so that overall women and men have equal power. Currently, men dominate all three major spheres: 1) political, 2) economic and 3) social (religion, arts, media, etc.) Because of that women must strive for 50% equality in all three spheres. The result of the striving is we will eventually have 50% of the power in one sphere. At that point women may dominate that sphere and continue to make gains until the point where the sectors that men dominate will equal in power to the sectors that women dominate. Or, we have the option of 50% power across the board in all spheres.

Researchers all over the world documented that male dominance encourages men to rape. Bernard Lefkowitz in his book about the rape of a handicapped girl in the affluent suburb of Glen Ridge documented the community's male dominance and said the rape and the community's general decision to support the rapists instead of the victim "reflected the values embedded in the larger culture." Those values are that men should dominate women. Anneka Van Woudenberg, senior Congo researcher at Human Rights Watch who has documented the recent increase of military rape in the Congo where in some villages as many as 90% of women have been raped, explains that the rapes are about power: "This is not rape because soldiers have got bored and have nothing to do. It is a way to ensure that communities accept the power and authority of that particular armed group. This is about showing terror." Dr. Denis Mukwege, the director of Panzi Hospital in Eastern Congo, says of the rapes: "Sex is being used to commit evil" (CBS, War Against Women, Jan. 13, 2008,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Columnist: AA Rights More Important Than Women's and Girls' Rights

I just read a sexist quote from columnist Clarence Page:

It was not that long ago, after all, that he [Obama] was losing to Sen. Hillary Clinton two-to-one among black voters before he won the Iowa caucuses.
Obama turned his popularity around through persistent campaigning and excellent organizing to increase the public's comfort level with him. In the end, he turned a vote for Obama into something in which many voters took pride, just for being on the right side of history (

On one side was women's rights represented by Hillary (and later Sarah Palin). On the other side was black men's rights represented by Obama. Both rights are good, but Page must think women's equality is wrong, since he says those on the "right side of history" were those voting against historic women candidates. Perhaps he should write a column about why he thinks it's right for men to oppress women. Women are the most oppressed group in the world ( My preliminary studies of the U.S. show that women are more oppressed than blacks (

Also, I disagree with Page's opinion about why Obama "won" the primary. The main reason Obama was given the nomination was because the media were extremely sexist against Hillary and the DNC ganged up against a historic woman candidate in favor of a man (

Blatant sexism against women politician's is endorsed by the male-dominated journalism. This must end. It should be unacceptable to promote hatred of women in mainstream media journalism.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Against Three: HRC Fought Against Obama, Media and DNC

Today’s Globe and Mail article Does no one remember Hillary? made a false comment about the president-elect:

...his one real accomplishment: outplaying the most determined and prepared politician he's ever faced [Hillary Clinton].

I disagree with that. A better analogy is three against one. In one corner was Obama, the media and the DNC. In the other corner was HRC. She had to fight Obama and the others at the same time. And in the end she won the most votes, so I offer her my congratulations for winning the nomination even though it was taken away from her.

The media were extremely in the tank for Obama. For example, Slate recently published a study that found that their journalists favored Obama to McCain 55-1 ( I wonder what the odds were for HRC and Obama. Maybe they favored Obama to HRC 55-1. The men and women journalists overwhelmingly favored Obama and they often hid damaging information about him, especially during the crucial first primaries, and they emphasized anything they thought would make him more popular. Furthermore, they portrayed HRC in a sexist manner ( Voters are very influenced by the media and that made that media’s attack a very difficult attack that HRC had to face.

And the DNC twisted the rules to minimize HRC's delegates and used rare or first-time procedures that increased Obama's delegates and decreased HRC’s delegates. For example, when five states violated Rule11.A the states that seemed to favor HRC were punished twice as harshly as what the rulebook advices, but the states that seemed to favor Obama were given waivers therefore not punished at all. The two states where HRC was rated highest in the polls, Florida and Michigan, were punished, but I recall Obama polled high in the three states (Iowa, South Carolina, and up until the time near the election New Hampshire) that received a waiver. Thus, states that heavily favored Clinton were extremely punished while states that had favored her competitor were given waivers even though all five states broke Rule 11.A. and according to Rule 20.C.1.a. they should have been punished the same (

And astonishing, and probably without precedent, the DNC gave Obama delegates for states that he skipped during the primaries. It's common practice for candidates to skip a state but I've never heard of any candidate being given delegates for the states they didn't compete in. Furthermore, when it became increasingly likely that HRC would win the popular vote-which she did-the DNC pressured her to drop out of the contest. And HRC didn't actually compete during the convention role call because she made it clear she had dropped out, would support Obama for president, and gave up (released) her delegates before the role call. So Obama didn't compete against anyone at the convention. None of the candidates had enough pledged delegates to win when the primaries were over. HRC won by the best measurement: she got more votes.

Popular Vote (w/MI): Obama-17,535,458, 47.4%, Clinton: 17,822,145, 48.1%
Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA: Obama-17,869,542, 47.4%, Clinton-18,046,007, 47.9%

The state vote totals are certified and are now historical documents, so the history books will recount that the first time a woman presidential candidate won the most votes, her own party blocked her from getting the nomination and worked against her from the beginning. That’s a national tragedy. Going forward, we should remember the sexism against a historic woman candidate to prevent it from happening so that ASAP we can get a woman president.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Presidential Cabinet Should Be 50% Women

I believe 50% of the top-level executives should be women because:

1) Women and girls are the most oppressed group in the world and so gender equality should be a top priority of any administration.
2) Women provide a lot of votes and so a president personally owes these jobs to women.
3) Studies show women are better leaders—by performance and results—than men, so based on evidence women will perform better than men which benefits our country.

Therefore, to ensure fairness, fulfill his personal debt to women voters, and for the benefit of the country the president is obligated to appoint women to 50% of the top jobs in the Executive Branch.

Some top-level jobs are more powerful than others, the VP job being the most powerful. Since the president-elect gave the VP job to a man, he is obligated to fill more of the top-level jobs with women to balance the power of women and men. It is sexist to give women mostly lower level jobs and men mostly upper level jobs. There’re thousands of qualified women for each top-level Executive job so it would be sexist to not give women 50% of the jobs. Also, women should be chosen based on their record because it’s unethical to choose someone without matching their qualifications to the office. For example, the Secretary of the Treasury should be someone with many years of economic experience such as an economics professor, someone who won the Nobel Prize in economics, someone with a solid record of success in the world of finance, etc.

Another point: the Democratic leadership has an enormous debt to pay HRC. Her presidency would have significantly decreased sexism but the DNC deliberately blocked women’s equality by blocking HRC’s path to the presidency. They twisted the rules to favor a man. For example, they selectively punished states that broke Rule 11.A to favor a man: states that heavily favored HRC were punished while states that had favored her competitor were given waivers even though all five states broke the same rule.

The DNC was virtually silent about the extreme sexist abuse hurled at HRC, her supporters and all women and girls ( And even when it appeared HRC would probably win the popular vote-which she did-they pressured her to drop out of the race to make way for a man. If the media and DNC had treated HRC as an equal to men, then it is probable that she would have been elected the first woman president. The Democratic leadership must pay back what they took away. Hillary Clinton must be publicly offered a very high position in the government. Of course, that will not compensate her for the presidency that they blocked her (women) from getting, but it is a step forward.

Women must have equality. A presidents sends the message they believe women are equal to men by appointing 50% women in top level jobs. That benefits the U.S.A. The top jobs are:

The 15 offices of the Cabinet:

Highly Important:
Secretary of State*
Secretary of Defense*
Secretary of the Treasury
Attorney General
* highest level

Very Important:
Secretary of Homeland Security

Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The following cabinet-level jobs allow office holders to attend Cabinet meetings without being secretaries of executive departments:

Vice President of the United States*
White House Chief of Staff*
Director of the Office of Management and Budget*
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Director of the National Drug Control Policy
United States Trade Representative
National Security Advisor (not necessarily part of Cabinet meetings)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Press Doesn't Want A Woman President

My theory is that the main reason the press was unfair to Hillary Clinton’s and McPalin’s presidential bid was because they feared woman leadership would emasculate men. Although there are individual journalists who support women's equality, the press is very male-dominated so they promote a male-centric worldview. Also because the press is overwhelmingly male-dominated, women journalists are under tremendous pressure to conform to the male-domination world view. And unfortunately, some of them have been persuaded that male dominance is the best thing to happen because for years they have been constantly barraged by the male supremacy in their workplace and this has convinced them that they are inferior to men.

An example of the press’s adoration of machismo is their support of George W. Bush. Bush had set himself up as a man's man and the press strongly supported him against Gore who was not seen as macho. The male-dominated press strongly supported Bush's military strategies partly because they saw him as representing men and they wanted to support a man doing "manly" things like going to war. Paul Krugman of the NY Times, whose columns supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries, said he spoke to a lot of people who supported Bush's military policies because they admired his machismo:

Remember how the Iraq war was sold. The stuff about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds was just window dressing. The main political argument was, “They attacked us, and we’re going to strike back” — and anyone who tried to point out that Saddam and Osama weren’t the same person was an effete [infertile] snob…

Let’s also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him…

Bear in mind that members of the political and media elites were more pro-war than the public at large in the fall of 2002, even though the flimsiness of the case for invading Iraq should have been even more obvious to those paying close attention to the issue than it was to the average voter.

Why were the elite so hawkish? Well, I heard a number of people express privately the argument that some influential commentators made publicly — that the war was a good idea, not because Iraq posed a real threat, but because beating up someone in the Middle East, never mind who, would show Muslims that we mean business. In other words, even alleged wise men bought into the idea of macho posturing as policy (

I don’t agree with everything Krugman says, but he deftly shows that the press supported Bush’s military strategy primarily because it was macho. They supported machismo. When Bush was revealed as not being able to lead armies successfully (at least during the short-term), this was a huge blow to the male-dominated press. Partly because they had so strongly supported him. But I think a large part of their disappointment was that Bush represented manliness and so his failure made men look bad. So then when a woman (HRC) arrived on the scene to fix the problem that made insecure men feel more emasculated. If a woman won the presidency and fixed the nation's problems created by the Bush machismo, then there would be even less admiration for macho presidency.

That could be a clue to why the media became fervent supporters of Obama, destroying their journalistic integrity to do anything possible to help him win. My theory: the media sought a different kind of man to replace the macho Bush. Since machismo had failed, they now sought a sort of father figure/preacher type of man represented by Obama. They lauded him for his preaching (a very male-dominated profession). They saw him as salvaging the masculine image and this is one of the reasons why it was so important to them that he beat a woman, any woman, who dared to imply that a woman could lead better than a man. Having seen a macho man fail at war, they then turned to a different type of man to resurrect the ideal of male dominance. Again, this is a main reason why they hate Palin so much because she is promoting female leadership which is a threat to the insecure men's fragile egos.

I believe sexism is at the root of the extreme media prejudice we have witnessed this election season. Both men and women protect men’s egos. I believe some journalist women were complicit in protecting the image of male dominance perhaps because they feared their own power or felt sorry for men’s embarrassment.

I found out that the men's magazine Esquire is promoting Obama. I briefly read their editorial which it's not worth my time to post here because they say a lot of false things about McCain and Palin. It's the first time this male-centric magazine has endorsed a candidate which supports my theory that the male-centric media is going to extreme measures this year to puff up their egos, trying desperately to prevent women from achieving political power because it would harm their fragile egos. I believe the male-dominated media is very threatened by a ticket with a woman hence why they viciously attacked the HRC and McCain/Palin campaigns.

I also believe that the essence of our nation’s current problems is attachment to male-dominance. Hundreds of years of male dominance of government has created a bad vibe. This problem can only be solved be female power at the top. That’s why the most exciting people during this election were women candidates, from my observation, because HRC and Palin provided something that was lacking and people were excited that there was going to be a big change ushering a new era of women’s leadership.

However, the DNC blocked Senator Clinton from getting the nomination even though she got the most votes. So a lot of people were frustrated that they did not get the chance to vote for a woman presidential candidate in order to break down the patriarchy. And McPalin was a lot more McCain than Palin because McCain ultimately would make the vast majority of decisions as president. So, although people were excited about Gov. Palin the leader, they were not so interested in Gov. Palin the follower because they didn’t think that a woman would create great feminist transformation as a follower.

Alas, we wait and wait and wait for the female leadership that will finally end the horrors of patriarchy. Until then we must fill government with more women at all levels till we achieve the 50% mark. And the next presidential election is just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Palin Has Supportive Family To Help With Childcare

Many people complained about Sarah Palin being a working mom but I didn't hear any of the male candidates being accused of being a working dad. There is no difference between Sarah working full time and Todd staying home with the kids than a male politician working full-time who has a wife who stays home with the kids. Todd quit his North Slope job temporarily to take care of the kids and that should be accepted as much as if a woman had done the same for her husband.

Before when Todd was working on The Slope he would take a week off every other week to work full-time taking care of the kids and the housework. Palin said:

“He [Todd Palin] is…all around, hard-working, good dad. I don’t know if people realize what a good dad he is. He has his hands full of course when he gets off the slope or off the commercial fishing waters. He pretty much takes over a lot of the household duties and…allows me to…do what I’ve got to do there as governor of Alaska, and it’s a busy job and I anticipate we get to look forward to that also right working there in the White House. He’s quite humble and unpretentious and…very, very confident and secure in who he is” (Gretawire, FOX News, 10/31/08).

Also, Sarah Palin lives with an extended family and her mother and other relatives always pitch in. She has a great living situation and the kids seem happy in pictures and by what I have heard in interviews.

Comparison of American Women's and Girls' Rights and AA Rights

When I say women are the most oppressed group in the world people rarely disagree, but I often hear people say that in the United States blacks are more oppressed than women. I suppose I would have to research this topic full-time for about a year to get reasonable evidence proving one theory or another. However, based on brief research it appears that women are more oppressed than blacks in the United States.

The amount of oppression increases with the number of people. For example if 10 people are oppressed by not being able to vote then that is worse oppression than 1 person not being able to vote. Women's greater numbers than blacks increase the damage that sexism inflicts on society. Again, I'm not saying women are or are not more oppressed than black men; I’m making a point that increased numbers means that the damage of oppression is greater all else being equal.

However, degree of harm also determines who is more oppressed. For example, oppressing a group by not letting them vote is worse than oppressing them by limiting their voting locations to a segregated area. Both are forms of oppression, but one is worse than the other.

People often say slavery is the main reason blacks are more oppressed than women. Yet slavery still exists and women and girls are the main victims. Also, in the current system of slavery females are harmed more than males because females are much more likely to be sex slaves. Benjamin Skinner, author of "A Crime So Monstrous," said, "There are more slaves today than at any point in human history." In an interview with he cited a recent estimate that there are currently 27 million slaves in the world.

The US Department of State and the CIA estimate that each year about 50,000 women and children sex slaves are trafficked into the United States.
And the Polaris Project says "Victims of human trafficking in the United States also include U.S. citizens and residents trafficked within its borders" ( option=com_content&task=view&id= 60&Itemid=81). Sexual slavery and other types of rape are a form of sexism. Peggy Reeves Sanday found that in societies where men do not dominate women there is virtually no rape.

Also note that for thousands of years most non-black U.S. women's ancestors have been oppressed by men. So though African-Americans were oppressed for hundreds of years in the U.S., women have a much longer history of being oppressed by men going back thousands of years. And women African-American slaves were raped more often than men and being raped is worse than working on a farm, as a carpenter, etc. So even among African-American slaves, women seem to have been oppressed worse than men.

In politics both women and African-Americans are not represented adequately.

50.7% of population is female (2006 Census)
16.3% of Congress is female (32% representation)
16% of Senators are female (32% representation)

12.8% of population is black
9.2% of Congress is black (72% representation)
1% of The Senate is black (8% representation)

A brief look at the government based on Senate and Congress shows that in general blacks have achieved more representation than women. Neither blacks nor women are represented in the presidency but blacks have an advantage over women because some presidents have been part black and because the press and Democratic Party overwhelmingly preferred a black man over a woman with many more accomplishments and experience than him. So, based upon brief research blacks have gone farther politically than women in the U.S. This is evidence blacks are discriminated against less than women politically.

Economically, based on a brief look at income levels, women and blacks appear to earn about the same amount. Looking at Wikipedia figures I calculated the average income for women to be approximately $28,000. This includes Hispanic, black, white, and Asian women. The average income of blacks (men and women) was approximately $28,000 also. Note that black men earn approximately $3,000 more than white women (

Other than political and economic equality, the third major category of equality is social equality. The social realm includes religion, the arts, education, customs, etc. In the social realm black men have some greater advantages than women such as that most priests are men, that our language uses “he” to describe a human being, and they are more protected from sexual abuse.Black men have much greater power than women in organized religion because churches, temples, etc. are almost always led by men. Women have more power than blacks in education, Women represent 36% of full-time faculty (71% representation) and blacks represent 5% (39% representation).
Female students also have made more academic progress than black students. The social realm is very complex so that there are some areas such as religion where black men dominate and another area such as education where women dominate. But when you look at extreme hate crimes involving murder and bodily harm women are attacked more often than black men. One form of hate crime is rape and rape against females by males is common. Even when men are raped as Catharine MacKinnon noted, they tend to be raped as women (penetrated). And yet attacks against people based on their skin color seem to be much less common. So females suffer from much more extreme social oppression than blacks. Females are frequently raped and enslaved for sex and society does almost nothing to prevent this abuse or punish the abusers. So, although I don't have all the facts based upon what I know socially sexism causes more harm to females than racism does to blacks. Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American presidential candidate, said she experienced more sexism than racism.

Therefore, based upon brief research blacks have slightly more political power than women (based on their numbers). Blacks have been able to achieve about the same economical achievements as women. And socially, in my opinion, sexism inflicts more damage to women than to blacks, especially extreme damage. So overall, U.S. women are more oppressed than U.S. blacks.

Women and Girls are the Most Oppressed Group

Women's and girls' rights should be front and center. Women and girls are the most oppressed group in the world. The oppression of women and girls is a severe problem that should be regarded at least as serious as issues such as the economy and security.

In terms of numbers and degree of harm, women and girls are the most oppressed group. Other oppressed groups suffer little or not at all in most countries. But a UN-commissioned report found that women are discriminated against in almost every country around the world (

There are three billion women in the world and virtually all live in a society that treats them as inferior to men. Because there are so many women and girls, that creates a worse burden of oppression.

Women have much less political, economic and social power than men do. There are more than 180 countries yet very few of those countries have a woman leader. And sadly, the vast majority of politicians are men.

Men have much more power than women in almost every social realm such as the arts, sports, religion, education, media and law.

Economically, women’s status is abysmal. The UN reported that women own only 1% of the worlds wealth. The UN reports that women and girls are the fastest increasing group of impoverished. They call this "the global feminization of poverty"

During the U.S. 2008 election a brave woman tried to stop sexism. She is Hillary Clinton. She sought to shatter the glass ceiling that oppresses 51% of our population. Yet the DNC twisted the party rules to favor a man, pressured her to drop out to let a man win, and did not speak in her defense when she was constantly and viciously attacked with sexist hate speech (

The media did virtually everything in their power to prevent a woman from breaking the presidential glass ceiling and when the DNC stopped this brave feminist from getting the nomination then within a few days the media began another war against women using hate speech to attack Sarah Palin who is seeking to break through the VP glass ceiling.

Today is a historic day when a woman is poised to break through one of the highest political glass ceilings. She is strong, brave, intelligent and ethical ( She has a record of fighting entrenched sexism to help the people. When the first woman vice president takes the oath of office it will be a giant step forward for womankind.

Palin: From Campaign Platform To Executive Success

Sarah Palin has shown she has the ability to transform a campaign platform agenda into successful results when elected to office. Once in office, she achieved the goals of her agenda. That is one reason why Palin is very popular in Alaska. People want leaders who roll up their sleeves in office and achieve real success.

When running for mayor of Wasilla Palin’s goals were to decrease the budget by decreasing decreasing the mayor’s salary and reducing property taxes. When Palin won the election she:

1) took a pay cut from $68,000 a year to $64, 200
2) cut property taxes from $2 million to $1.2 million and eliminated personal property taxes

Palin also had a beneficial vision:

“Sarah had a vision for the small town. She imagined Wasilla becoming a major economic player in the state, a place where new development could create opportunity and prosperity” (Sarah, by Kalene Johnson, page 45-50).

To create the vision Mayor Palin implemented a $5.5 million road and sewer bond approved by the people to attract new commercial development. During her three-year term Fred Meyer had opened a large department store in Wasilla (page 65).

As governor, Palin again achieved her campaign goals which were:

1) ending corruption in state politics
2) building a gas pipeline that had been stalled for 30 years
3) increasing the state's share of energy revenues.

As James Bennett of the Telegraph reported:

…she has succeeded in each of her objectives. She has exposed corruption; given the state a bigger share in Alaska's energy wealth; and negotiated a deal involving big corporate players, the US and Canadian governments, Canadian provincial governments, and native tribes - the result of which was a £13 billion deal to launch the pipeline and increase the amount of domestic energy available to consumers.

…she has been a major player in state politics for a decade, one who formulated an ambitious agenda and deftly implemented it against great odds (

Sarah Palin has the ability to transform ideas into reality. Her record is proof. That is the kind of woman we need in the Executive branch and if she breaks the glass ceiling beyond that glass ceiling she will create great achievements that benefit the United States.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Best Leadership Requires Listening to Others' Opinions

A long-term study by Lawrence A. Pfaff found that women were rated as significantly better leaders then men overall ( Pfaff found that men's leadership tended to be more autocratic. This indicates if men become less autocratic and more consensus-oriented they will be better leaders.

Politically, this suggests we should vote for more women leaders so we can have better government. I have no doubt men in general can learn to lead as well as women in general, but I believe that will take a lot of time because men learn leadership beginning in childhood, so even if there was a great effort to change they way boys are raised it would probably take a generation before men can become as good at leadership as women are. However, there are some men who have learned to lead by consensus and they are be role models for boys and men to teach them to avoid partisan fighting and become bi-partisan leaders.

Gov. Sarah Palin provides a great example of consensus leadership. Biographer Kalene Johnson said of Palin:

"while she held strong convictions that aligned with the Republican platform, her first concern was for the community she hoped to serve. ...Sarah had a vision for the small town. She imagined Wasilla becoming a major economic player in the state, a place where new development could create opportunity and prosperity (Sarah, page 45).

Donald Moore, the borough manager of Alaska's Mat-Su Valley observed: "Sarah's governance is consensus oriented. ...She makes sure everyone has a chance to have a say; nobody gets left out. But there comes a point when the debate is over and a decision has to be made. She's also the type of manager who, once she reaches her cadence, expects everyone to keep up" (page 65).

Palin says when negotiating a solution with someone who has a different opinion she starts "by not discrediting or invalidating because of a position that maybe they take that you are in disagreement with. You learn from them and you do, you're able to find middle ground on so many of these issues...There is always a way to work with another person...let's find a way to work together and solve the problem, that's what we've done in our family and in my businesses, and also in governance" (Gretawire, FOX News, October 31, 2008).

Regarding consensus governance Palin said on FOX News:

"That's were my experience as an executive gets plugged in as mayor of course you're working in a non-partisan, bipartisan manner all the time. You're filling pot holes and you're making sure your police department is fully funded, you're taking care of the people whom you are serving, never letting obsessive partisanship...on that level get in the way of just doing what's right. And then on the state level too as governor being able to reach out across party appointing Democrats and Independents and Republicans in my administration, got the track record to prove that that's they way I operate is getting along with those who perhaps...don't agree on ever single issue, but ...that's what you've got to do especially in this time of great challenge for America.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gov. Palin Has Been Underestimated Because Of Sexism

When you see women as equal to men you do not underestimate them. Constance Walker wrote an excellent Op-Ed to The Keene Sentinel that describes an example of sexist people underestimating a woman. She wrote about how people's sexism blocks them from seeing the greatness of Sarah Palin:

Many times I've heard people say Gov. Palin is not qualified to be VP. I've heard this complaint more often by men. When a person sees a woman who is an excellent governor and thinks she is not even worthy of being VP then that indicates they are sexist. I dare anyone to mention any male candidate this election season that can match these abilities:

Intelligent-read newspapers in grade school (every article) Which of the male candidates read high school level topics at age 10? Remember, this has nothing to do with school learning where children are motivated to get high grades to please their parents or where adults are motivated to complete their coursework in college to get a high paying job. This is the joy of learning for the sake of learning shown at an early age (biography: Sarah, page 21).

Ethical-gave up a $115,000 job as Oil and Gas Commissioner rather than be part of a network of corruption. She had to give up her job in order to seek justice for the people. Which of the male candidates did anything like that?

8 Years Political Executive Experience-started from grassroots as PTA mom, then councilor (6 years), mayor (6 years), and now governor. Palin has many years experience planning, implementing, and maintaining tax policy, social services, capital projects, economic growth, etc. Which of the male candidates has been a political executive?

Balanced a state budget-Palin prudently limited spending while focusing on energy and education to help the economy (

Palin has negotiated an arrangement whereby Alaska natural gas will be piped across the Canadian border and into the United States. The gas pipeline project will bring new supplies and lower prices to the contiguous 48 states. The Senate voted 14-5 to approve a natural gas pipeline deal with TransCanada Corp., joining with an earlier 24-16 approval by the House. The pipeline would be the largest construction project in the history of the United States. Is there a single male candidate who knows as much about energy and has as much experience/success implementing energy policy?

Approval ratings have often topped 80%-Which of the male candidates has been able to connect with and meet the approval of the general public (Democrat, Republican, Green, etc.) to such an extent that they have achieved an 80% approval rating frequently?

It's sexist to require women to achieve 1,000 times more than men to even begin being seen as equal. A woman should not have to achieve much more than a man to be viewed as equal to him. In my opinion sexism is the worst social problem in the world. I look forward to the day when women and girls achieve equality.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I Have Decided to Help the Brave Women Pioneers

They say that women pioneers inspire women and girls to succeed, but they help men and boys too. It is men who have most of the powerful jobs and it is often men who decide whether to hire a woman VP, CEO, astronaut, etc. Will men use that power for good by hiring a qualified woman or will they continue the patriarchal system by not hiring available qualified women? Female pioneers help men see that women can do the job and once men see that women are capable, they’re more likely to hire women for those jobs. For example, John McCain saw that Gov. Sarah Palin was a great governor who had improved the economy, improved ethics in government, and strengthened our national security by promoting energy independence through drilling and the gas pipeline, so he hired her which greatly benefited women and girls as well as our country.

Kathryn Cullen-Du Pont asked pioneering U.S. astronaut Eileen Collins, “You’ve carried women’s history memorabilia into space. Can you tell me a bit about this and your appreciation of the women who’ve gone before you?”

Collins replied, “Women flew and it wasn’t something that was expected out of women. …Bobbie Trout is a famous aviator from years ago—I flew her pilot’s license on my first flight [into space]…”

After listing memorabilia she flew through space to honor flying women Collins stated, “They made a contribution, all these women did really great jobs, and you know, one barrier after another has fallen as the decades have gone by, and the reason that the barriers have come down is because the system, which is primarily male, would look up and say, “Hey, these women can really do the job, so why would we restrict them.” So I always make it a point to acknowledge the women who flew before me, and were in the military before me, because their contributions have allowed my generation to have the opportunities that we have, and if they had not done the things that they did, I don’t think women would have these opportunities today."

That is why women pioneers are so important. We need their example to convince people to hire us. When you help a woman pioneer you are helping all 3 billion women and girls. They need our support because women and girls are the most oppressed group in the world in terms of numbers and degree of harm inflicted on us by sexism. So they need us and we need them.

Unfortunately, historians, journalists, media, etc. sometimes distort women pioneers' accomplishments, to make it seem they did less. We must see past that curtain they place before our eyes. The first step is to recognize a pioneer. The second step is to help her. And the third step is to enjoy women’s progress!

There are numerous ways we enjoy women’s progress. For example, when Germans voted for Angela Merkel as their first Chancellor they reaped the rewards of a better economy. When the Olympics allowed women to compete, girls became more proud of their country and prouder of being girls. When George Hitchings hired Gertrude Elion at Burroughs-Wellcome pharmaceutical company she invented life-improving and life-saving drugs for men and women. It would be so much better if women had equality with men because we would be a richer society society in the full sense of the word, happier, more peaceful. To be all that we can be as a nation women must have equal power as men. That’s why I help the brave women pioneers.

Soccer, Feminism, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin

I recently saw a documentary about women’s soccer and the movie reminded me of the DNC’s and media’s unfair treatment of women during the 2008 election. The documentary Dare to Dream describes how the U.S. women’s soccer team kicked through glass ceilings just like women have been breaking through glass ceilings politically this year.

I actually thought the DNC superdelegates would vote for Hillary because of her greater swing state support, huge electoral college lead, big state popularity, and popular vote advantage but towards the end of the primary it became obvious that the superdelegates were not treating Hillary fairly. According to a study reported in the Charlotte Observer there was a big difference between how men and women superdelegates voted. Women superdelegates (before the end of the primaries) preferred Hillary but the men preferred Obama. Apparently gender beliefs slant the superdelegate vote. Also, the DNC acted unethically when they decreased Clinton's delegates by selectively punishing the five states that broke the primary schedule rule so that states where Clinton polled the strongest were punished more than the standard punishment while states that favored Obama (at the time) were given waivers. And the DNC pressured the only woman candidate to drop out of the contest in order to favor a male candidate.

Similarly, the women’s soccer team faced discrimination by their organization, the U.S. Soccer Federation. For example, during the 1996 Olympics the federation gave men a bonus for every medal won but women were told they would only get a bonus for the gold. Team captain Julie Foudy tried many times to resolve the issue by contacting the federation but that didn't work just like Hillary Clinton supporters tried constantly to convince the DNC to treat Hillary Clinton fairly yet our complaints were ignored.

To solve the problem with the federation the women players went on strike and were able to get a compromise deal better than before they went on strike. So that's what people are doing in the Democratic election. Because complaints about unfairness were ignored so long some people decided the only way to get the DNC to listen was by not voting Democratic. I have read many accounts by people who’ve always voted Democratic in previous elections but now have decided to vote for McCain because of the unfair way the DNC treated Hillary Clinton.

Another similarity is journalists’ sexism. The 1996 Olympics hosted by the U.S.A. was the first time women’s soccer was included, yet despite that it was a historical event and a great game with the USA competing and winning the media barely covered the event. Team captain Julie Foudy recounts:

"No one saw it live on television and if they did see it they saw snippets of it." And in a 1996 clip Foudy says: "I think the best avenue to get to fans is through television so it was a little disappointing in the fact that we didn’t get more time..."

It was the advertising media that finally gave the soccer players the media attention they needed by featuring one of the star players, Mia Hamm, in commercials. Quote from the documentary:

The 1996 Olympics was when Mia became the face of women’s soccer. That’s when the phenomenon took off. That’s when all the screaming 12-year-olds first took notice of her.

It's ironic that the much reviled advertising industry helped push women through the glass ceiling and yet the press was blocking our way by deliberately not reporting on a popular and historic women's game.

Three years later the press still was trying to downplay women's soccer. When the U.S. women's soccer team organizers decided to play at bigger stadiums because the team was becoming more popular the press refused to acknowledge the fact that women's soccer was now a phenomenon. They wrote stories falsely portraying women's soccer as very unpopular. For example Jamie Trecker wrote an article titled What if they threw a World Cup and nobody came?

If you are an average America soccer fan, it is likely that you know little or nothing about this year’s biggest FIFA event…if you’re the average soccer fan, anywhere in the world, you almost certainly know next to nothing about this year’s biggest FIFA event.

This is just like the 2008 election when the press was constantly downplaying HRC's primary successes and HRC's and now Palin's qualifications. The women's team had worked hard to sell tickets and four months before the game they had sold 210,000 tickets. At a press conference a male reporter refused to accept that fact:

Foudy: Carla and I as the Captains are sitting up there and I mean just hundreds of people and reporters and the first person was this reporter from the United States. “This is an embarrassment! You’re lying about ticket sales. No one’s gonna come."

Carla Overbeck: You know just hearing that negativity you’re thinking well God…you kind of start to get anxious and maybe you won’t fill it up, maybe you won’t sell it out.

This is the sexism women experience when they try to break the glass ceiling. It's sad that reporters who are supposed to be fair are prejudiced against women.

Unlike what the reporters were saying, the World Cup was successful in selling tickets. Donna DeVarona, Chair of the -99 World Cup Organizing Committee said:

We put more people in the stadium than the Giant’s ever had.

Women's soccer was more popular than any Giants football game! And there is more good news. Finally, the press had to admit that women's soccer was popular:

Greg Overbeck: You go down to the newstand and there’s the New York Times front page, not front page of the sports, front page, big picture, women’s soccer. Washington post, big picture, women’s soccer—on the front page.

This proves that eventually, the press must admit women's success. Also, there's a great clip of the Clinton family meeting with the soccer players after a game. I recommend the documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team (2007) (TV).

All women and girls can identify with the experiences of the soccer players, HRC and Sarah Palin. That’s why it’s wonderful to see women breaking the glass ceiling. When a woman president steps into the Oval office it will be a small step for one woman but a great step for womankind.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brouhaha About Palin's Clothes Is Unnecessary

There's a big brouhaha about the $150,000 spent for campaign outfits for the Palin family, but it was necessary for the seven-member Palin family to update their modest wardrobe for a national campaign and the clothes will eventually go to charity. A candidate should wear appropriate clothes for campaigning. For example, Margaret Thatcher bought a new campaign wardrobe for each election. And by the way, she won every national election she competed in (3 total).

Clothing is a necessary campaign expense. Also, the new clothes are owned by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Jake Tapper at ABC said the clothing belongs to the RNC and will be returned to the RNC ( The McCain campaign is getting public financing, so it seems that the clothes were paid for by private donations to the RNC. But whether they were paid for by private or public financing it is necessary for Palin and her family to be appropriately dressed, especially because TV, internet, and other media are a vital part of campaigning and fashion faux pas will be noted.

Palin normally doesn’t spend much on her appearance. When she became governor and started working in Anchorage which has upscale salons, she decided to continue visiting her hometown beauty parlor that charges $30 for a haircut (

Palin frequently shops for used clothing for herself and her family. Just before she was offered the VP nomination, Palin went on a family expedition to a secondhand store called Out of the Closet. A saleswoman named Alison said Palin frequently visits the shop and the shop owner Ms. Arvold says Palin has been shopping at Out of the Closet for years and she noticed Palin on TV wearing used clothing from the shop (

Palin told Alaska Magazine that her daughter Bristol bought a $15 dress for a big gala event. This met with Palin’s approval; she told reporter Melissa DeVaughn that there was no need for a $300 gown. When a crew from Vogue arrived to interview and photograph Palin for a story Palin recalled, “In the interview you could tell that the writer was trying to get me to focus on the gender and appearance issues, but I kept talking about energy and national security, and not relying on foreign sources of energy.” The reporter continued to try to change the subject away from politics towards fashion. Palin told DeVaugn, “I don’t know about fashion. It’s bunny boots and fleece and The North Face. So I tried to talk about that, but it’s just not the way I’m wired” ( Even as a teenager Palin was a tomboy and didn't care much about clothes.

When Palin joined the McCain campaign she didn’t have an expensive wardrobe that general election candidates usually have. Therefore, the McCain campaign had to buy a lot of clothes for her to meet the expectations of the public and the press. Also, there are seven people in the Palin family, so the campaign had to buy clothes for seven people. McCain spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said that the clothing will “go to a charitable purpose after the campaign (

The media brouhaha about the Palin family’s new wardrobe seems slanted based on what I’ve read. The media should mention that the Palins didn’t have much national campaign clothing so they needed to buy appropriate clothing, there are seven members of the Palin family so that's a lot of clothes to buy, the clothes were bought by the RNC and will go back to the RNC and then to charity. Furthermore, women candidates are required to wear a greater variety of clothes than men candidates. Few people notice if a male candidate wears the same suit three days of the week on TV, but if a woman wears the same outfit for two days some people watching the TV will consider that inappropriate. So women candidates have to buy more clothes than men candidates. When all those factors are considered, the expense for the Palin family’s campaign wardrobe is not outrageous as some people in the media are implying.

As governor Palin normally chose moderate priced and inexpensive used clothing for herself and her family, but as a VP candidate she wears what the McCain campaign recommends. New clothes were necessary, so new clothes were lent to the Palins and those clothes will be returned to the RNC to be given to charity after the campaign. That is a smart strategy and also charitable, thus helpful to society.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gov. Palin Knows How To Balance the U.S. Budget

The U.S. debt is now $10.2 trillion. It should be reduced and turned into a surplus. Gov. Palin knows how to beat down the debt and create a surplus.

Gov. Palin is not a big spender. In Alaska the public complains most about state spending, so when Palin became governor she cut the capital budget proposed by the legislature from $546 million down to $416 million.

Also to fix the budget, Gov. Palin has focused on cutting waste, fraud and abuse. Gov. Palin has spent less on her personal travel than the previous governor: $93,000 on airfare in 2007, compared with $463,000 spent the year before by her predecessor, Frank Murkowski. As Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission she reported corruption, even giving up her six-figure salary to make sure those responsible were brought to justice. She shattered the corrupt monopoly of oil companies and fought and won a battle against Big Oil to build a job-creating, revenue producing natural gas pipeline.

Alaska has a surplus. But that’s mostly due to temporary high oil prices which will decrease in the future. Palin foresaw this, so she cut corners now to prepare for the future. Gov. Palin vetoed more local projects than any other Alaskan governor. She cut nearly 10% of Alaska's budget this year, saving citizens $268 million. Palin said, “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes.”

Gov. Palin knows that balancing the budget is more than cutting corners. She’s always looking for new ways to increase state revenue such as drilling and other energy production. Gov. Palin said, ”Our exports grew more than 12 percent last year, and, for the first time, our annual exports topped $4 billion in 2006. We are helping our economy and economies around the world through trade."

As Vice President Palin can be trusted to balance the budget. Her record proves that. She would choose to cut spending, ending corrupt practices that waste taxpayer’s money, and promote business to grow our economy and create revenue to bust the deficit and transform it into a surplus.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gov. Palin Protects U.S. From Foreign Gas Cartel

Russia and Iran seem to be in cahoots to start an OPEC-style gas cartel to control gas markets. Russia uses gas as a political weapon by stopping gas exports to neighbors during political disputes. But Governor Palin’s Trans-Canada Alaska gas line can protect the U.S. from those tactics because, when completed, it would provide vast supplies of natural gas to the U.S. so we won’t be dependent on countries that want to use gas as a weapon against us. Palin said:

That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.
With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers. ge/?url= /articles/2008/09/sarah_palins_address_t o_the_rn.html

Normally, a pipeline cartel would not be powerful like OPEC because oil trades at one price all over the world and can ship almost anywhere, whereas most natural gas sales depend on pipelines and 20- or 30-year delivery contracts for pricing which would make it difficult for a gas cartel to manipulate prices to harm us. However, liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be transported by ship or truck and it’s becoming more popular. On October 14th Investors Business Daily reported:

This week in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quietly drew up the [cartel] organization's charter and will take it to Moscow next week.

As the U.S. uses more natural gas, Iran's Gas Exporting Countries Forum is taking off. Instead of the tough task of controlling prices right away, the group will first gain control of reserves through state firms in 14 countries, including hostile states such as Venezuela and Bolivia.

The next step will be "cooperative" ventures to strengthen the network. The final goal is to control production.

We need to protect our country from hostile trade sanctions. Gov. Palin’s gas pipeline can help us do that. Gov. Palin saw into the future and understood that the U.S. must increase it’s energy independence to protect our national security. And also energy independence creates a Made-In-America product and jobs and revenue for our country.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hillary Cried, or Why the Public Admires Politicians Who Suffered

The biggest shocker of the 2008 campaign was Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire primary win. Polling numbers said she was about 9 points behind on Monday night, then Tuesday she won. People tried to figure out why she won. Some said the turning point occurred at a women’s meeting in Portsmouth when Hillary was asked how she gets up in the morning every day to campaign. Battling tears Hillary answered, “It’s not easy.” The Wall Street Journal videotaped the scene and suddenly it was all over the news and the Internet. Many mocked Hillary Clinton, but others admired her. At a deep level the public connects with politicians who have suffered. We don’t want our politicians to have an easy life. We want them to confront challenges and rise above them.

Suffering humanizes politicians, making them easier for us to understand and to connect to. This is vital because politicians are far away from the average voter so we need to find a way to connect. Suffering knocks politicians off their high horse making us realize they’re not perfect; they’re like us. Suffering makes us sympathize with them. I’ve often noticed politicians have a defining personal challenge. It may not be the worst thing that happened to them, but for some reason the public focuses on that one challenge.

FDR’s challenge was that he became paralyzed from the waist down when he caught polio. Would he have become president if he hadn’t been paralyzed? FDR was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Rich, handsome, elite, spoiled, private school educated, blessed with the name Roosevelt (of Teddy Roosevelt fame), Roosevelt had had an easy life and a relatively easy time getting elected. When a wheelchair and crutches became a staple of his life, the public saw a man with a crippled body and high spirits. Roosevelt’s crippled body symbolized America crippled by the Great Depression and his positive attitude symbolized America’s spirit which cannot be crushed by any obstacle.

Likewise the public focused on George W. Bush’s battle against alcoholism. They focused on Hillary Clinton’s ability to save her marriage despite her husband’s infidelity which was a giant embarrassment because the press kept repeating “read all about it!” Bill Clinton’s defining challenge was trying to help his mother by confronting a violent step-father who abused his mother.

The Republican and Democratic tickets have four candidates and so far it seems the public has found a defining challenge for three of the candidates. The public has focused on Sarah Palin’s child with down’s syndrome, John McCain’s torture and years as a prisoner of war and Joe Biden’s losing his wife and child in a car accident. I don’t think the public has found a defining challenge for Obama. Perhaps that’s why people keep asking, “Who is Obama?”

I don’t know why some politicians have a defining challenge. People don’t get together in groups and ask, “What is this candidate’s defining personal challenge?” I believe the process is spontaneous. The process as I understand it is that each voter feels for a candidate, they have a stronger feeling about one challenge the candidate faced and that challenge, in the voter’s opinion, is the candidate’s defining challenge. When you add up all the voters’ feelings if there is one sympathy feeling that everyone overwhelmingly feels, then that is what the public thinks is the candidate’s defining challenge. What the public sympathizes with most is not necessarily the most difficult challenge the candidate has faced. It’s just that that is how the public feels.

People who face tough challenges are more sympathetic and more admired than people who lived an easy life. That’s why a defining personal challenge makes people like a candidate more. That may not make sense to the mind, but it makes sense to our feelings. We feel connected to those who experience challenges because we are constantly challenged in our own lives. When Hillary Clinton said “It’s not easy” people could instantly feel for her. It wasn’t easy for Hillary to run for president. For over 200 years sexist people have blocked women from becoming president. We have tried again and again yet sexist people have worked against us to block us from breaking the glass ceiling.

A sexist male-dominated media hurled hate speech at Hillary Clinton non-stop in an effort to convince the public not to allow a woman to become president. The sexist media hid damaging information about her male competitors in order to help men beat a woman in order to maintain male dominance. The DNC did virtually nothing to stop the sexist hate speech against Hillary Clinton. The DNC twisted the rules to help a male candidate at the expense of the only female candidate Hillary Clinton.

Women are the most oppressed group in the world in terms of numbers and degree of harm. In this country hate crimes against women and girls happen every day. Sexism motivates people to attack us with hate speech, brutalize us, and kill us. There are much more hate crimes against women and girls than against any other oppressed group in the United States. Hate crimes against us are a national epidemic, therefore it should be a top priority of the government to end male dominance.

So when Hillary Clinton said, “It’s not easy” that sentence clicked in the minds of the voters. In order to understand the sudden public shift towards Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire it is necessary to know about her “It’s not easy” speech. And about why it wasn’t easy for this brave woman whose hard work lifted women higher. Now the next step is to break the presidential (and vice presidential) glass ceilings. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Palin Acted Ethically: Trooper Report is Unethical

Gov. Palin acted ethically in firing Walt Monegan because Monegan was a threat to the citizens of Alaska. He destabilized the government with his repeated insubordination to Gov. Palin. Since his repeated insubordination made the government less efficient and sabotaged the government it was ethical for Gov. Palin to fire him in order to better serve the citizens of Alaska.

There is much evidence of Monegan's insubordination. For example:

12/9/07: Monegan holds a press conference with Hollis French to push his own budget plan.

1/29/08: Palin’s staffers have to rework their procedures to keep Monegan from bypassing normal channels for budget requests.

February 2008: Monegan publicly releases a letter he wrote to Palin supporting a project she vetoed.

June 26, 2008: Monegan bypassed the governor’s office entirely and contacted Alaska’s Congressional delegation to gain funding for a project.

Since Monegan obstructed the government by being openly hostile to the governor and causing disorder he was a danger to the people of Alaska and thus his termination was in the public's interest. Therefore, I disagree with Stephen Branchflower's belief that Gov. Palin acted unethically in firing Monegan. Branch flower alleges that Gov. Palin violated the following code:

The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust-Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a).

Palin did not benefit financially by firing Monegan, so Branchflower has stated that she fired Monegan for personal reasons saying that Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Wooten "was likely a contributing factor to his termination." Yet it doesn't matter that Monegan refused to fire Wooten (who abused Palin's family) because whether he did or didn't doesn't change the fact that he is guilty of insubordination which is an ethical reason to fire him.

Branchflower is implying that because Gov. Palin might possibly have a personal reason to fire Monegan that it was unethical to fire Monegan for a legitimate reason. That's like saying because a restaurant owner might have a personal reason to remove someone from their restaurant that they don't have a legitimate reason to remove the person if that person gets in a drunken brawl and destroys the restaurant owner's property. Whether or not the restaurant owner has a personal reason to remove the drunken man, that doesn't change the fact that legally they have the right to remove anyone who is causing a disturbance by being drunk and disorderly.

Likewise, wether or not Gov. Palin had a personal reason to not want to work with Monegan does not change the fact that he was guilty of insubordination and that insubordination is a legitimate reason for Gov. Palin to fire him. That is why I disagree with Stephen Branchflower's conclusion in his Report To The Legislative Council. I trust that Gov. Palin knows which members of her cabinet are doing their job and which members are not doing their job. She reviewed Monegan's performance, concluded that he did not fulfill his duties, and relieved him of his duties. Because she is a public servant, Gov. Palin has the obligation to hire people who would benefit the public and fire people who harm the public. Monegan's disorderly behavior was a threat to the public, thus Gov. Palin benefited the public by firing him.

I wonder if Branchflower was blinded by sexism. Our society is sexist. Men have much more power than women and sexist people think that men deserve to have more power than women. Thus, people with sexist beliefs try to prevent women from exercising power in order to prevent women from achieving gender equality. Branchflower condemned Gov. Palin for allegedly misusing her power, when in fact she used her power wisely in a way that benefited the public. Although Branchflower had to admit that Gov. Palin's decision to fire Monegan was a "proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads." Nevertheless, he condemned her use of power even though clearly she used that power to benefit the public which is her job duty.

How Governor Palin Won The 30-Year Pipeline Battle

For three decades Alaskan oil companies ignored natural gas that was on their leased property. Alaska has hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and the government wanted to process the gas to create revenue and jobs. A few years ago the government decided to give billions of dollars of tax breaks to the oil companies to encourage them to develop the natural gas. Big Oil took the money but didn’t deliver the gas.

Governor Frank Murkowski arranged a deal behind closed doors with the oil companies to process natural gas, but the public was wary of the deal which favored the oil companies. Gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin promised to block that deal if she got elected governor. She was elected, scrapped the previous deal and immediately began to fix the bureaucratic nonsense that for 30 years had kept Alaska from exporting its gas to the other 48 states.

Governore Palin introduced the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act which creates competition to bid to build a natural gas pipeline. The government would be the driving force behind the bidding and would create inducements for bidding. Gov. Palin invited Alaska’s oil companies to place open bids to build a pipeline but they refused because they didn’t get the terms they wanted. Undeterred, Gov. Palin brought other companies to the table and TransCanada, North America’s largest pipeline builder, made a bid.

Gov. Palin contacted the President and President Bush sent an envoy to Alaska to help get the project going. The approval process was a winding road. Gov. Palin told Fortune she had to navigate "many federal agencies and permitting processes."

Gov. Palin got support for the deal despite opposition from the state's big oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and ConocoPhillips. When the oil companies realized Gov. Palin might bypass them to build the pipeline they finally proposed a pipeline to the Alaska legislature but in order to do that they convinced the legislature that it was economically viable. Senator Kim Elton said that Alaska oil companies, “have endorsed the fact that the economics are there for the pipeline." Once the legislature was convinced the gas pipeline would help the economy they were even more motivated to approve the TransCanada deal. So the oil companies' plan to block TransCanada backfired.

Gov. Palin went to Washington to get Senate and House approval for the 1,750-mile pipeline, the largest infrastructure project in the history of the North American continent. Gov. Palin was able to get bipartisan support. The Senate voted 14-5 to approve the pipeline deal with TransCanada Corp. and the House voted 24-16 to approve it.

map of pipeline

Gov. Palin said:

As governor, I pushed for the largest infrastructure project in North America, the natural gas pipeline that will provide new supply and price relief from Alaska to Americans in the Lower 48. We are maximizing the recovery of resources and minimizing waste, helping lead to less dependence on foreign supplies. Our dependence on foreign energy must end, and Alaska, with all its resources, will play a major role. It’s been great being able to tell that story to America and world leaders who are excited about Alaska’s role in our world.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Governor Palin: Hardworking Pioneer

Someone told me that Palin has had an easy time as Alaska’s governor allegedly because Alaska’s main business is energy and energy prices have dramatically increased. Palin's job has not been easy.

Energy does produce most of Alaska’s revenue. However Palin has worked very hard to accomplish what she has as governor. First, it’s hard to be a woman politician in a macho state. Alaska’s culture has a strong focus on what is considered manly such as hard drinking, hunting and the state sport is dog sled racing. The climate is tough often requiring rugged living associated with machismo. Much of Alaska has extreme temperatures and during winter night lasts approximately 20 hours while during summer days last approximately 20 hours. The economy is focused on male-dominated industries like fishing, forestry and mineral extraction. The federal government is the largest single employer in the state, but most of the jobs are for military installations and defense projects which are also male-dominated. Politics is mostly Republican which has a larger percentage of male supporters than its counterpart the Democratic Party. Thus, culturally, politically and economically Alaska is extremely macho. Yet in this masculinized environment Sarah Palin slowly worked her way to the top through hard work and bravery. It was not easy.

Second, the hallmark of Palin’s politics is reform and reforming government is a very difficult job. She could have chosen the easier path of colluding with the oil monopoly which had a power-hold on Alaska’s government, but instead she fought the monopoly and won.

When she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which oversees the production of petroleum in Alaska, Palin reported conflicts of interest and other ethical violations by another commissioner. She was ignored by Gov. Murkowski’s chief of staff and so she resigned rather than be part of the corruption giving up an $118,000 salary. The commissioner who she found was harming the people, Randy Ruedrich, was also state chairman for the Republican Party. Later that year, Ruedrich paid a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. In 2005, Palin joined a Democrat to launch an ethics complaint against then state attorney general Gregg Renkes. The governor reprimanded Renkes who soon resigned. Describing her tenure on the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Palin said, “when I found corruption there, I fought it hard and I held the offenders to account.”

When Palin became governor Alaskan oil companies tried to stop her from constructing a gas pipeline. They joined together to boycott the project bid, so Gov. Palin negotiated with Canadian officials and businesses to build the pipeline, got it approved by the House and Senate, and sealed the deal for the largest infrastructure project in the history of North America. Furthermore, the oil companies had been able to keep their taxes unusually low, but Gov. Palin put a stop to that by signing an oil tax increase and gave much of the revenue from the oil tax back to the people to help them pay gas bills by sending each citizen a $1,200 check. Before Palin became governor, the oil company lobbyists were extremely powerful. She decreased their power by enacting legislation requiring politicians to disclose to the public which lobbyists are giving them money. In conclusion, Palin faced fierce opposition from oil companies and broke their monopoly on power and resources in order to help citizens; and in order to do that she had to stand up to the leadership of her own party. It wasn’t easy. Palin said, "Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve" (GOP Convention, September 3, 2008).

From reading biographical accounts I conclude that Palin was always a hard worker. As a child she played hard. During her childhood the family activities were running, hiking, hunting, fishing and skiing. Sarah’s father says…

I look back on Sarah's perseverance, and whatever she wanted to do, she put her nose to the grindstone, especially in sports, …If she didn't have a certain ability, she worked and worked and worked until she obtained that ability or skill.

While coaching running Sarah’s father observed…

…she was just mediocre in practice…And the first meet, she smoked everyone, and that opened my eyes, and the competitiveness in her really came out that day.

Palin’s parents couldn’t afford to pay for their kids’ college tuition so Sarah worked her way through college. She’s been mocked for being in a beauty pageant, but she entered the pageant to get a college scholarship which she did get. She told her brother “It’s going to help pay my way through college” (Sarah, page 21).

Sarah even decided to not have a wedding ceremony because she didn’t want to be a financial burden on her parents who made a moderate living as a high school teacher (father) and school secretary (mother). So she eloped foregoing the celebration that so many women enjoy as a high point of their lives.

Around that time Palin worked for an Alaskan fishery with friend Shirley Eberle who said, "We'd pick the sticks from the kelp, and then we'd sort. Sarah and I sorted. She was a real hard worker."

So throughout her life Governor Palin has worked hard. She worked hard at sports as a child and teen. She worked hard with her hands at blue-collar jobs. She underwent five pregnancies (always physically grueling) and did the very hard work of childrearing. She worked her way up in politics from grassroots PTA, to 6 years on the city council, then six years of executive office as mayor, then withstood intense pressure against powerful energy giants while Chair of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, then as Governor of Alaska she continued her fight against deeply entrenched corruption and overhauled the ethics legislation and broke the oil company monopoly. It was not easy.

I sense that sexism is a reason why Palin's enormous political bravery and successes are overlooked. She’s a great politician. Gov. Palin deserves credit for that. When Gov. Palin gets credit for her political achievements, ability and bravery it will help all women politicians be taken seriously.