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athena's Journal
athena's Journal
September 26, 2019

Anyone who thinks he understands politics better than Speaker Pelosi is an idiot.

(And it's always a "he".)

I am so proud of Speaker Pelosi today. I fully believe that this was her plan all along: appear to be against impeachment, so consistently that even your own party turns against you, until Trump gets a false sense of security and makes a misstep. Then pounce.

September 25, 2019

Keep driving your SUVs, folks; nothing to see here.

Not long ago, there was a thread in GD in which at least fifty people pressured a DUer, who was concerned about buying a car not made in the United States, to buy an SUV instead, even though s/he preferred cars.

And then there was a thread in which a DUer asked if small people ever drove large SUVs, and DUer after DUer bragged about how s/he was a small person and drove a giant SUV.

Just try starting a thread in GD asking DUers to even slightly reduce their meat intake, and you will be flamed right off the forum.

There used to be an environmental conservancy organization in my building. Every day, the employees would arrive in their SUVs. How did they help the environment by driving SUVs? Well, they had pro-environment stickers on their bumper stickers!

We will get exactly what we deserve. We cannot pretend to care about the environment if we demonstrate with our actions, every single day, that we do not give a damn.

September 24, 2019

It's just a body part. Get over it.

I refuse to wear uncomfortable padded bras that are difficult to wash and bad for the environment just because American society, in its misogyny, finds my body parts objectionable. This entire thread is sexist.

And no, I am not constantly looking down at my breasts to see whether they might be doing something that misogynists have a problem with.

September 23, 2019

Mammograms do not provide breast health.

Seriously, is there any woman out there who is not bombarded with information about mammograms, and pressured, as soon as they reach the age of 39, to get annual screening mammograms?

The research shows that screening mammograms don't save lives:

If you really care about breast health, do your own research:

This is just a handout to the mammogram industry. Don't be fooled. I am not against Senator Klobuchar, who would be much better for the country than Trump, but this is not the first time she has sided with industry over the interests of the people. What I care about is women, who should not be going through the pain and anxiety of mammograms, not to mention disfiguring overtreatment, without knowing the facts.

ETA: Note that the funding would be for "breast cancer awareness", not for research into breast cancer or breast cancer treatment.

September 14, 2019

I have excellent insurance, and it sucks.

Every time I have to see a doctor, I have to pay a $30 or $60 co-pay, depending on whether the doctor is a specialist.

Four years ago, I had to have a minor surgery, and while I was recovering from it, I received a letter in the mail telling me that my surgery wouldn't be covered because it should have been out-patient surgery, and I had stayed at the hospital overnight. (I have no idea how I could possibly have gone home the same day; getting up out of that hospital bed on the second day was the most physically painful experience I've ever had.) I was completely stressed out for days, not knowing how much I would have to pay out of pocket. When I called my doctor's office, they were completely unhelpful. After lots of phone calls and e-mails, I was finally able to figure out that my doctor's office had filed the claim incorrectly. (I believe they did this on purpose because they charge a patient three times more if insurance doesn't cover a procedure. Insurance companies will refuse to pay more than a certain amount for a procedure, but an individual is in no position to argue about what any given procedure should cost.) In the end, after lots of phone calls and e-mails, my doctor's office filed the correct paperwork, and I only ( ) had to pay $500 out of pocket for the surgery (not including additional amounts for the anesthesia, etc.). But I'm certain that my recovery was slowed down because of the extreme stress I suffered.

Anyone who likes their insurance company has not (yet) been in a situation where their insurance company will try to screw them over. The insurance companies hold all the cards. They're able to refuse to cover a procedure for extremely arcane reasons. Medicare for all, on the other hand would ultimately be controlled by the power of the vote. I will never understand what makes Americans so comfortable handing over all the power to a private company and so uncomfortable handing over much less power to the government.

May 7, 2019

I am mystified by the level of Biden support here.

Biden is a centrist. He is all about compromising with Republicans. DUers hate compromise. So why all these pro-Biden posts? I can imagine some support on DU for a centrist, but not this much. The only explanation I can come up with is that he is an older white male, which is the demographic that dominates DU. That one fact completely explains the level of visceral Hillary hatred that we observed here in 2016 (which helped give us President Trump) and the irrational love for Biden now.


The current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden, is basing his candidacy on the proposition that he will be able to win over significant numbers of Republican voters, once they see that he's more moderate than other Democrats and realize what a repellent human being Donald Trump is.

The only problem with that theory is that there is no reason to believe it's true. Trump’s approval from Republican voters is at a near-perfect 90 percent, according to Gallup, and it isn't like they haven’t gotten a good enough look at him to realize who he is. Their elected officials have proven time and time again that there is literally nothing Trump could do that would make them turn their backs on him; the one or two who felt that they might, like former Senator Jeff Flake, did it only when they were on their way to retirement.

But Joe Biden has faith in the GOP. “This is not the Republican Party,” he says, testifying to his bond with “my Republican friends in the House and Senate.” Once Trump is gone, they’ll revert to their old responsible selves and become reasonable again. Just like they were when Biden was vice president and they pursued a strategy of total opposition to everything Barack Obama wanted to do, capping it off by refusing to allow his nomination to a vacant Supreme Court seat to even get a hearing. Those Republicans are the ones who are supposedly going to join with President Biden in a spirit of bipartisan compromise to do what is best for the country.

He said that “today it takes more courage to engage in compromise to achieve consensus on both sides.” And distancing himself gently from his own side, he noted that the left “came after me because I didn’t insist on everything” in raising taxes on the wealthy. “Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor,” he said. “I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”

But when asked last week whether the former vice president was "too cozy" with Wall Street, the Massachusetts senator was unusually direct, noting that their "disagreement is a matter of public record."

"At a time when the biggest financial institutions in this country were trying to put the squeeze on millions of hardworking families who are in bankruptcy because of medical problems, job losses, divorce and death in the family, there was nobody to stand up for them," Warren said in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on the same day that Biden officially announced his candidacy.

And then, with a single sentence, Warren opened up a new chapter in the campaign: "I got in that fight because they just didn't have anyone, and Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies."
April 12, 2019

And they will do it again if we let them.

A month or two ago, I was looking at a Kamala Harris campaign video on YouTube and saw comment after comment attacking her. Most comments were from accounts that had nothing publicly visible, but I saw one comment that had three liked or favorite (I don’t remember which) videos with Russian titles. The Russians are already causing discord. After all, there was never any reason for them to stop.

If you see a post by someone disparaging any candidate, consider that it may be from a Russian troll. Even high post counts are no guarantee that someone is for real, since the Russians have been planning this interference for years. I am convinced that the reason DU was so inhospitable to Hillary supporters throughout the primaries in 2016 was due to Russian manipulation, which unfortunately resonated with some here. Based on what many DUers have been posting about some of our strongest candidates, I see no reason to think that anyone has learned anything from the 2016 experience. If people don’t open their minds and hearts this time around, I fear we will get another four years of Trump. And that will mean the end of American democracy.

April 10, 2019

Take women for granted at your peril.

Women are not going to go out and campaign enthusiastically for yet another white male after the sexist attacks on Hillary gave us sexual-predator-in-chief Trump. We saw this in the midterms. Women are sick and tired of the patriarchy and its sexism. If Biden or any other white male is the nominee, Trump will win a second term.

And no, women are not going to be mollified by having a white male candidate pick a currently-powerful woman like Harris or Warren for the powerless and mostly irrelevant position of vice-president.

April 3, 2019

The fact that murder is bad doesn't make theft acceptable.

I don’t want to live in a world where men freely touch women’s thighs and waists and arms and give them unwelcome hugs and kisses and squeezes. We are not pieces of meat. And sometimes a person is too shocked to respond immediately but later feels bad that some strange man grabbed her. I don’t want to have to explain to every man I meet that I don’t want to be touched. They should develop some respect and empathy and pick up from my behavior that I don’t want to be touched.

If it’s disrespectful or weird to do something to a man you are not sexually involved with, it’s unacceptable to do it to a woman you’re not sexually involved with. Period. Stating that women should be treated with as much respect as men does not in any way take away from the seriousness of rape or sexual assault. Quite the contrary. Rape and sexual assault are part of the culture of misogyny that says that it’s OK to treat women like pieces of meat.

February 28, 2019

I hate the idea of paying for

the deterioration of the English language.

“Be best”? Seriously?

You can say, “Be better” or “Be the best.” But “Be best” is not English.

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