Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 28, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 28, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 28, 2017 OPINION 
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“Now that everything has become politicized, it only makes

sense that Halloween costumes should be politicized, too.”

“Ah, yes, you speak of the spate of articles popping up thatlecture us on costumes that may be inappropriate or hurtful. Business Insider says,
‘Some common Halloween costumes simply take it too far and can become racist,
misogynistic, or downright insensitive.’”

“That’s right. I was going dress as a wealthy Arab sheik, but apparently that is outbecause, says Business Insider, ‘It’s harmful to reinforce negative and misconceivednotions about a region, religion, or group of people.’”

“I see.” 

“The wife loved the idea of dressing up like a reality-TV star. The costume she hadin mind had a long black wig and a tight white dress that showed she was with child a 
satirical outfit that mocks America’s fascination with reality stars, in particular theKardashians, who are famous just for being famous. But Business Insider says that’sinsensitive, in part, because it body-shames.”

“That’s an interesting point of view.”

“Then the wife was going to dress up as a sexy convict with a short, black-andwhite-
striped dress, and I was going to wear a Hannibal Lecter mask and straitjacket,
but Business Insider says that would be a mistake.”

“I can’t wait to learn why.”

“The website says, ‘Incarceration is not funny,’ and my wife’s costume wouldtrivialize the U.S. prison system. Business Insider says that a straitjacket and scarymask would reinforce ‘harmful misconceptions about mental health in prison.’”

“I’m pretty sure this one wouldn’t fly: When I was a kid, we used to dress asDepression-era hobos.”

“No way would such a costume be permitted. Many of today’s homeless suffermental-health issues. Besides, Business Insider says we ought not make fun of peopleliving on the streets.”

“Fair enough. What about the trend in recent years in which women dress up in avariety of risque© outfits? Surely, that is a no-no?”

“Cosmopolitan has three words for such outfits: ‘Racist, sexist, gross.’ It’s offensivefor women to dress as Geishas, gypsies and other outfits that mock other cultures andreinforce cultural stereotypes.”

“O.J. Simpson is back in the news.”

“Don’t even go there. As People makes clear, Simpson is ‘still most widely associatedwith the brutal murders of two innocent people’ and it would be wrong to ‘make lightof their deaths because you think tiny gloves would get a laugh.’”

“How quickly times change. In 2009, Robert Thompson, director of the BleierCenter for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, explained to mewhy Halloween had become such a widely celebrated secular holiday. He said it wasthe only day of the year when people can freely do or say or be anything they want. Itis ‘the one day where almost anything goes’ and ‘people can do something outrageousthey’d never do normally.’”

“That’s why the wife and I used to enjoy it so much.”

“Thompson also told me that people pick costumes to mock or satirize popularculture. In a country that believes in freedom of expression, it is healthy to poke funat our political leaders, celebrities and cultural trends.”

“That’s what I used to think.” 

“It’s a fair point that we should be mindful of not offending people from othercultures with the costumes we choose. However, it’s troubling that Halloween hasso quickly gone from a day when almost anything goes to one when we must treadcarefully for fear that someone, somewhere, may be offended by our satirization ofpoliticians, celebrities and cultural trends.” 

Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and “Wicked Is the 
Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery novel, both available at, is aPittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist 


It’s the first rule of crisis communications: When you’re in the

hole, the first thing you do is to stop digging.

But if you’re President Donald Trump, you equip yourself

with a hardhat with a miner’s light, reflective gear, heavy-duty

gloves, and fire up Mary Anne, the reliable steam shovel from

“Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,” and commence digging

even deeper.

In the past week, Trump has plumbed new depths of indignity, visiting freshhumiliations on his already degraded office, by picking a fight with a pregnant war widowand accusing her of lying; escalating his feud with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee,
and issuing a stern warning to U.S. Sen. John McCain that the Arizona Republicanshould “be careful, because at some point I fight back.”

Trump, who has a glancing relationship with the truth and speaks English only as asecond language, has hurled his insults at Corker (whom he said couldn’t get elected dogcatcher 
in his home state) and at McCain -- even as he journeyed to Capitol Hill to try tobuild support for tax reform.

In case Trump has forgotten, he needs every Republican vote - including Corker’s andMcCain’s - if he hopes to win passage of his deficit-exploding tax plan.

Trump only damaged himself when he attacked “liddle” Corker on Twitter,falselyaccusing him of working with former President Barack Obama to “give us the badIran deal.” He also dismissed Corker as the “incompetent head of the [Senate] ForeignRelations Committee.” 

As The Washington Post reported, Corker not only voted against the Iran deal, healso marshaled legislative support against it. And as chairman of the Foreign RelationsCommittee, Corker has the power to bottle up the administration’s pick for Secretaryof State, in the event that current chief diplomat Rex Tillerson finally reaches a tippingpoint and decides to quit.

So logic would appear to dictate that Trump try to work past those differences andcultivate Corker’s support.

But this is Donald Trump’s Washington, where logic has hung a “Back in 2020” signon its office door and headed out for an extended holiday - perhaps to some far-flungisland with non-existent broadband service. 

“Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look howpoorly the U.S. has done, Trump wrote on Twitter. “He doesn’t have a clue as the entireWorld WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle’ Bob Corker have setthe U.S. way back. Now we move forward!”

True, Corker probably didn’t help matters by reinforcing his view to “Good MorningAmerica,” that the White House is an adult daycare center, later slamming the “sameuntruths from an utterly untruthful president.”

The ongoing war of words between Trump, Corker and McCain - however destructiveand uncivil -- could be reasonably dismissed as mere posturing between some toweringmale egos.

But Trump’s needless fight with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of one of four Armysoldiers killed in operations in the African nation of Niger, proves the case that spats withCorker and other political enemies stem from deeper flaws in the president’s character.

Trump at first accused a Florida congresswoman listening in on speakerphone ofdistorting the content of his call to Johnson. That account was later seemingly confirmedby Trump’s chief of staff, former Marine Gen. John Kelly.

Not satisfied with the damage inflicted there, Trump lashed out on Twitter afterJohnson told “Good Morning America” that she was unhappy with the tone of Trump’sbobbled attempt at a condolence call and complained that the president could notremember her husband’s name. 

“I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, andspoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” Trump wrote, needlessly heapingmore trauma on a grieving family.

A bigger man would have let that slide.

An empathetic commander-in-chief, burdened by the responsibility of sending menand women possibly to their deaths in combat, would have silently absorbed the barbs,
recognizing them as coming from someone dealing with incomprehensible loss.

But Donald Trump?

He just keeps digging. 

An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and PoliticalColumnist for PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. 



We know Hollywood moguls are infamous for takingadvantage of aspiring young actresses.

The movie producer’s casting couch has been a “tradition”
since Tinsel Town began.

But Harvey Weinstein must be setting some kind of record.
His sexual rap sheet gets longer every day.

Since the New York Times broke the stories about his serial misconduct earlier this 
month, more than 40 actresses, studio workers and models have come forward to 
accuse the powerful producer of everything from sexual harassment to rape.

Now the L.A. Times is reporting that the LAPD is investigating charges by an Italianmodel-actress that Weinstein raped her in 2013 - within the statute of limitations.

She’s the sixth woman to accuse Weinstein of rape or forcible sex acts. Over theyears eight others reportedly received civil settlements from Weinstein’s movie 

What a charming guy.

I feel for all these women who are coming out and telling the world what sex actsWeinstein allegedly did to them or in front of them when their dreams and careerswere at his mercy.

It takes courage for those women to admit that they too were humiliated, abusedand taken advantage of by an A-list Hollywood slime ball.

But everyone knows Weinstein isn’t the only powerful producer or director inHollywood who regularly expected sex in exchange for making someone a movie 

There are other Weinsteins, and lots of people in the film community know exactlywho they are.

Actresses and actors warn their friends to watch out for Producer X or Director Y, 
but they never make their names public. They should.

Instead of merely tweeting “Me too,” the women who say they have been sexuallyharassed and assaulted in Hollywood (and everywhere else) need to start naming 

This could be a chance for women in Hollywood to put a stop to the casting couchculture Weinstein took full advantage of for three decades.

Times have changed. Women are listened to now when they report sexual 
misconduct by their bosses or colleagues.

They’re protected by harassment laws and supported by the media. They’re nolonger shamed publicly for revealing that they have been victims of sexual predatorsin the workplace.

In the end, Hollywood is all about money. You can even be an open conservativeRepublican in Hollywood -as long as Hollywood is making money off you.

It’s the same with top actresses - the A-listers. They make a lot of money forHollywood, so they have power to change things.

A-list actresses need to join together and start naming the names of the otherWeinsteins. 

That way they can protect the B-listers and the future young stars ‒ girls andboys ‒ from becoming new victims of an immoral and rotten culture that has beentolerated in Hollywood for way too long. 

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and theauthor of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). 

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