Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, November 18, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 18, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 18, 2017 OPINION 
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HYPOCRISY” Noun the practice of claiming to have moral 
standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not 

Well that stuff that hits the proverbial fan has finally 

happened. In the midst of all the political chaos, Presidential 

mismanagement and lying and nuclear threats, a problem 

that has permeated this society and every other society on this 

planet since forever, has finally, really, come to the forefront. 
That problem is the culture in which men are raised and how society condones the 
disrespect and abuse of women.

Fellas, don’t put the paper down. This isn’t a rant on men. This isn’t a vindication 
of women. It is a statement of facts. We have all overlooked this problem all of our 
lives. Fortunately now, thanks mainly to Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, the genie 
has really been let out of the bottle in such a way that HE cannot be stuffed back in.

Before I go further, let me isolate a few obvious forms of bad behavior. SEX WITH 
CHILDREN IS WRONG! Rape in any form is wrong. No means no. Period. Secondly, 
exchanging employment or contract opportunities for sexual favors is wrong. And a 
word to the wise, making assumptions about whether or not a person wants to is foolish 
and inexcusable. 

Unwanted advances and sexual abuse by both men and women are unpleasant and 
like most unpleasant things in this society, we don’t want to deal with them. The very 
violent or sensational make the news, but until the last few days, we’ve had an attention 
span of exactly 5 minutes for every public sexual transgression. In the past, we’ve made 
jokes about it, ever heard of the expression ‘the casting couch’? Or we made successful 
movies about it, yes, Mrs. Robinson (The Graduate) imposed herself on an initially 
unwilling young man. We have vilified women who have come forward, remember 
Anita Hill, and always questioned women’s motives….never the man involved. We 
actually have blamed women for the way we dressed, or where we were at the time. And 
most egregious of all is how our society has made it taboo for people, especially women 
to speak up. 

Think about it: Why in the hell should any child feel threatened to report sexual 
predators? They feel that way because we have outwardly shown that they will be 
ignored, punished or ostracized. A 14 year old standing up against a well-respected 32 
year old? No one will listen to her and if they do, they won’t say a thing. All the while 
proclaiming to be a society that embraces high moral standards. 

And what about this: Why is it the first question out of everyone’s mouth is Why 
Now? Unless you have been a victim of sexual misconduct or abuse you will never 
understand. A child fears rejection; a teen fears being discredited and ignored and 
women fear retaliation. Moreover, and everyone who can #metoo will tell you, that the 
years spent learning to move on with your life are not worth unraveling when you don’t 
believe anything will happen that will protect you or the next person.

Now the issue has been thrown into the political arena again, making many people 
shy away from looking at the real problems. As a society, we must stop saying the words 
and actually do something. We have to amend our way of thinking and behaving so that 
it is clear that all people, regardless of gender can feel free to speak up when they have 
been violated. And we have to stop acting like a position of power gives you the right 
to “grab ‘em….”, as the man that conned his way into the White House boasted about. 
The gap between what a woman perceives as inappropriate and what a man thinks is 
inappropriate is a mile wide. We must close that gap and work on being on the same 
page. In Al Franken’s initial response he said one thing that I truly believe. He said, “I 
certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way”. I have no doubt 
that he doesn’t. In the traditional way that our society thinks, he probably believes 
that his kiss was ‘all that’ not the disgusting ‘fish mouth’ kiss that Leeann Tweeden 
described. That’s because he wanted it and she didn’t. Therein lies the root of far too 
many inappropriate actions. One party assumes it is okay, the other doesn’t. 

So what happens next? You tell me. Do we file this away as we have done in the 
past? Do we make a movie about it? Do we use it as political fodder against our 
opponents? Our do we start at home, having honest discussions with our families? 
We can’t legislate moral behavior. We have to embrace it individually. Perhaps this 
might be a good Thanksgiving Dinner topic, “What can we do to stop the hypocrisy?” 





HARRISBURG, Pa. - Howard Henry’s no preacher.

But the prayer he uttered outside a home on Logan Street in

Harrisburg on a chilly night last week for Kaliah Dearing, 16, and

Natasha Harner, 24, who had been found shot dead there, carried the 

same weight as if they’d been uttered by a man or a woman of the cloth.

“This really is the time for us join together and ask some very important questions,” Henrysaid. “What is love? What is love? Does love really conquer all or not? That’s why we’re here. Godis everything or God is nothing, right?”

As someone shouted out an “Amen,” Henry continued.

“We have to understand the truth of God,” he said. “We’re not worried what other people did.
We have to understand what God wants of us.” 

Then he stepped down from the stoop of the home that Harner and Dearing, their lives cuttragically short, shared together.

His voice was hoarse. His hands were cold. 

The questions that Henry posed that night challenge all of us. And they call us to act.

They’re posed in the face of unspeakable violence, both in the streets of Pennsylvania’s capitalcity and elsewhere, in such places as Sutherland Springs, Texas, whose names we only learn whentheir tranquility is shattered by the sharp report of semi-automatic weapons fire.

So we ask ourselves: Does love really conquer all?

Is love enough to overcome the shocking darkness that fills someone’s soul when they choose,
as a man named Stephen Paddock did last month, to mow down 59 people and injure hundredsmore people gathered for a concert at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

The answer, tragically, and obviously, is that it is not.

If love alone were enough, then it would have been enough to put an end to the sad catalog ofmass shootings that have claimed thousands of lives across America over the last five years.

It would have been enough to calm the spasms of violence that resulted in the slaughter of thechildren of Sandy Hook or the revelers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

If love alone were enough, then perhaps Harrisburg would not have seen, with the deaths ofHarner and Dearing, its eighth homicide of the year.

But since it is not, then we need to look to the second half of Henry’s impromptu prayer: What’sbeing asked of us, as a society, as a community, as a nation, to staunch the flow of blood, to endthe violence? 

The answers are not easy. And the obligations are heavy.

It starts, obviously, with looking after each other; with taking to heart the admonition to loveour neighbors as ourselves; to committing ourselves, however we can, and in whatever small waywe can, to making the streets safer. And people of good faith and character are working towardthat end all the time. 

There is a place, too, for educators, for community groups, for law enforcement, for counselors,
for clergy, for parents or extended family, for anyone who can act as a role model, a guide, a friend.
Someone who can provide stability and a home and recognize the warning signs of violence andintervene before it’s too late. 

But they can’t do it alone.

There is room, too, for policymakers, for our elected leaders, who are called to move beyondthe bromides of their own “thoughts and prayers” - however earnestly offered - and to act.

That responsibility was starkly outlined last week by U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy,
D-Connecticut, who offered that “the terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congresschooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic.” 

Murphy’s lengthy remarks are worth reading in their entirety, but one part stands out:

“The paralysis you feel right now - the impotent helplessness that washes over you as newsof another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen - isn’t real,” he said. “It’s a fictioncreated and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passedto make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits.” 

After every one of these mass slaughters - and the killings that wrack our streets - we are toldthat no law, no government program, would have prevented the newest tragedy.

We’ve been told it so often now that it has become self-perpetuating, that it’s become its own 
excuse not to act. 

Henry’s prayer challenges us to honor our obligation to each other and to do better than that.

Murphy’s words, forged from the hard experience of Newtown, point the way out of thedarkness. 

The only question is whether we are brave enough to work together, all of us, to take up thoseburdens. 

And the answer, of course, is that we must. Or Howard Henry’s prayer, offered on a cold nighton a dark street in Pennsylvania’s capital city,will die on the air. 

An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political Columnist forPennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicekand email him at 



Hello, Senator Franken. 

Welcome to the growing list of creepy guys in Hollywood and 
Washington who apparently think it’s OK - or funny -- for men in 
power to sexually harass or assault women and men.

We’ll see if the liberal media and his fellow Democrats treat the 

charges against Franken as seriously as they’ve been treating the ones against Republican 
Senate hopeful Roy Moore of Alabama.

Franken, the very unfunny comedian who became the very liberal senator from Minnesota 
in 2009, is apologizing as fast as he can - and even calling for a Senate ethics committee to 
investigate himself.

But weird Al’s got a lot of ‘splaining to do. 

On-air radio personality Leeann Tweeden of Los Angeles has accused him of kissing her 
without her consent and groping her in 2006 during a USO tour in Afghanistan. 

There’s even a damning photo of a grinning Franken cupping his hands over Tweeden’s 
breasts while she slept that has quickly gone viral.

Given that sexual predators of all kinds don’t commit a single sleazy act of molestation, 
assault or harassment and then retire, we’ll probably be hearing from other women who had 
unwanted encounters with Franken. 

In any case, Franken apparently is not Congress’ lone harasser. 

We learned just this week that for years Congress has had a secret slush fund to pay offwomen who had been victims of sexual harassment by its members.

More than $15 million in settlements - paid by taxpayers --was spent from 1997 to 2014 
to protect our duly elected slime balls from bad publicity they probably deserved.

Meanwhile, in Alabama Roy Moore is still refusing to exit the special election next month 
to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat. 

Voters may elect him and ignore the credible charges that he hit on or assaulted underage 
girls as a 30-something DA nearly 40 years ago.

But I think Moore is guilty as charged.

Having lived through molestations and abuse by a man as a boy, I think I can read when 
someone is being honest about their accusations and someone is not.

I tend to believe the women accusers more than I believe Roy Moore.

People will say, “Why did the women wait 40 years to bring these charges up?”

I tell them I didn’t reveal my sexual abuse for 34 years. It’s not something you’re dying to 
publicize, believe me.

The charges against Moore are coming forward now because the young women he took 
advantage of long ago are being empowered by the “#Me Too” campaign.

It’s a new era. Victims of sexual assault by the powerful and famous -- women and men 
-- can now come out of the closet and tell their horror stories. 

Moore’s got zero defenders in the GOP establishment, and his poll numbers are crashing.

It’s true he has not been convicted in a court of law, and probably could never be. But he’s 
been declared guilty in the court of public opinion. 

He should step aside. Alabama’s governor should delay the election or do whatever he can 
to allow a write in. 

The Moore and Franken cases are a good morality test for conservatives and liberals.

Is sexual assault, harassment or serial creepiness by a man always wrong, or is it just wrong 
when the guy charged with it is not on your political team?

During the 1990s Bill Clinton’s misbehavior and possible crimes got a pass from Democrats 
and most of the mainstream liberal media, which didn’t believe the women accusers or 
denigrated them.

I see some in the conservative media making the same partisan mistake by disbelieving 
Moore’s accusers. 
In the 1990s conservatives were right about Bill Clinton. Let’s not be wrong about Roy Moore.

I don’t care what party he belongs to, I don’t want someone like him in the Senate any 
more than I want someone like Al Franken. 

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

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