Speaking Sexual Harassment Truth versus the Corruption of Power

How does someone become a US Supreme Court Justice? The President nominates a candidate for the US Supreme Court, and the Senate votes whether to confirm or reject the nomination. Before the Senate confirmation, there is a mandatory FBI background check. If the candidate is confirmed by the Senate, he or she is appointed to the US Supreme Court.

This post is a result of watching “Anita Speaking Truth to Power”, a powerful 2013 documentary that was released to DVD June 24, 2014.

When the FBI questioned Anita Hill in 1991 about Clarence Thomas during the routine background check, Hill decided to tell them what had happened to her when she worked for Thomas.

When it leaked that she had accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment while he was her supervisor at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Anita Hill became a national figure.

Hill agreed to take a polygraph test, and the results supported her claims. But Thomas refused to take the polygraph test. Instead, Thomas played the race card and denied everything. He then said that he was being subjected to a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks” by white liberals who were seeking to block a black conservative from taking a seat on the Supreme Court.

After extensive debate, the United States Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52–48; the narrowest margin since the 19th century.

After interviewing a number of women who alleged that Thomas had frequently subjected them to sexually explicit remarks, Wall Street Journal reporters Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson wrote a book which concluded that Thomas had lied during his confirmation process.

In addition, during the Senate hearing, four female witnesses were waiting to support Hill’s claims, but they were not called, due to what the Los Angeles Times described as a private, compromise deal between “aggressive, gloves-off” Republicans and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Democrat Joe Biden.

In 1991, Democrats made up 58 percent of the Senate and 62.1 percent of the House of Representatives. There was no way that Thomas could have been confirmed by the Senate if some Democrats had not voted for his nomination. There were also three women Senators.

Jocelyn Burdick, a Democrat, voted against Thomas

Nancy L. Kassebaum, a Republican, voted for Thomas

Barbar Mikulsi, a Democrat, voted against Thomas

A total of forty Republican Senators voted for Thomas but two did not, while 47 democrats voted no to 11 who voted yes. Jim Jeffords and Bob Packwood were the only two Republicans who had the courage to vote no.

Before Anita Hill spoke up, sexual harassment in the workplace was not yet a national concern. That changed.

Then there is the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that was written in 1923 by Alice Paul. After the women’s right to vote was guaranteed by the 19th Amendment in 1920, she proposed the ERA as the next step in confirming “equal justice under law” for all citizens.

In brief: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. These simple words comprise the entire text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), affirming the equal application of the U.S. Constitution to both females and males.

The ERA has been introduced into every Congress since 1982. Three states are needed to add the ERA to the U.S. Constitution.

The 15 states whose legislatures have not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment are Alabama (Republican—GOP— majority in both state legislatures), Arizona (GOP), Arkansas (GOP), Florida (GOP), Georgia (GOP), Illinois (Democrats), Louisiana (GOP), Mississippi (GOP), Missouri (GOP), Nevada (Democrats), North Carolina (GOP), Oklahoma (GOP), South Carolina (GOP), Utah (GOP), and Virginia (GOP).

Can anyone explain why so many woman still vote for Republican candidates?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Malarkey

The word that is the title for this post sums up most of Mitt Romney’s campaign for president of the US. And Vice President Joe Biden, if you didn’t notice, used the term in his debate with Ryan three times.

Vera H-C Chan writing for The Ticket explained the loaded message behind Biden’s use of ‘malarkey’.

Chan wrote, “‘Malarkey,’ as Merriam-Webster defines it, is ‘insincere or foolish talk.’ It’s a dismissive word to use, with avuncular overtones, and you’d use it to deem something as silliness, bunkum, hogwash—verging on nonsense, you (and a thesaurus) might even say.”

I read that many viewers of the debate turned to the Internet to discover what ‘malarkey’ meant, but I didn’t have to turn to the Internet thanks to my Irish heritage through my father. Lofthouse is a common name in England and Ireland—not Germany as many may think when first hearing my last name.

After the first use of ‘malarkey,’ Raddatz asked what ‘bunch of stuff’ meant and Biden replied, “We Irish call it malarkey.”

If you are interested, here is a link to a printed transcript of the debate.  Why look? Because it is easy to be distracted and miss details when watching TV or listening to radio. And if you don’t want to read it, I have embedded the video of the entire debate with this post so you may watch it as many times as you want to.  After all, the same issues (and ‘malarkey’) that were debated between Romney and President Obama were repeated between Biden and Ryan.

But what it is that Ryan claimed (repeating many of the same claims that Romney made in the first Presidential debate) during the only vice-presidential debate that is malarkey?

To discover that answer, I turned to Fact Check.org. Before I go on, I want to mention that the Republican Party has done a ‘bunch of stuff’ on Fact Check.org to cast doubts on the results they report.  When your political party, the GOP, lies more than the competition, it stands to reason that the results will skew against you and you will attempt to discredit the source.

However, if you click on the link and read the fact checking of the VP debate at Fact Check.org, scroll to the end and notice the sources used. Each source—I counted thirty-seven—has a link for anyone to back check what is reported on this site.  Unlike politicians, Fact Check.org hides nothing and attempts no ‘malarkey’.

Fact Check used such terms as exaggeration, not true, wrong and false to describe each example of ‘malarkey’. The Fact Check.org piece starts with a ‘Summary’, and then a much more detailed ‘Analysis’ of each example of ‘malarkey’ follows.

I do not want to copy and paste what Fact Check.org reported, but I will provide a comparative score from the Summary.

Ryan: wrong, wrong, not true, misquoted, not quite, false claim, off-base, collection of misstatements: not true; no, they haven’t; maybe—and a misleading claim.

Biden: exaggerated, misquoted Romney, and again misrepresented the findings of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The high score reveals the most ‘malarkey’. Ryan’s score was ELEVEN (actually it is THIRTEEN as you shall see) and Biden’s score was THREE. If you divide three into THIRTEEN, we discover that the GOP’s Romney and Ryan used ‘malarkey’ 433 percent more than the Obama and Biden campaign did in this one debate.

In addition, there is a HUGE difference between Ryan’s USE OF WRONG (twice), NOT TRUE (twice), and a FALSE CLAIM in comparison to Biden’s use of ONE EXAGGERATION, ONE MISQUOTE and ONE MISREPRESENTED FACT.

I left out one of Ryan’s misleading claims of Hillary Clinton calling Assad “a different leader” and “a reformer”.  It is true that she did say this in an interview, but she was only reporting what a few congressmen had told her after a congressional visit to Syria to gather facts well before the civil war in Syria broke out. What Ryan did not report was that later Hillary made it clear that President Obama’s administration did not say or agree with what those few congressmen had reported—something Ryan left out of his misleading claim—another use of ‘malarkey’.

Then there is ‘malarkey’ that Fact Check.org did not mention.  In an attempt to paint President Obama weak on defense, and I’m sure conservatives will grab this “malarkey” and continue to use it, Ryan said, “If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest—the smallest it has been since before World War I.”

Think about this fact being used to paint Obama weak on defense. In World War I, all military transport to Europe for troops, weapons and supplies was done mostly by the US Navy.

Who moves the most US troops, equipment and supplies today?

Answer: the US Air Force.  America is the only country in the world with the capability of moving armies in days to any spot on the planet—not in weeks or months—that is because of an air force that is 663% larger than Russia’s air force and 352% larger than China’s.

In addition, the United States has the largest Navy in the world with twelve aircraft carriers (with two more under construction—sixteen other naval ships are also under construction) and 3,700 operational naval aircraft.

Global Firepower.com lists 2,385 ships in the US Navy (counting ships held in reserve in case of a conventional global war).  But, how long has it been since the United States fought a war with another major naval power?

The answer to that question is easy: sixty-seven years—the end of World War II in 1945.

Russia, listed as the second most powerful nation militarily has 233 naval ships with only one aircraft carrier, and China, listed third, has 972 ships in her navy with one used, Russian aircraft carrier that is more than twenty-years old. In fact, there are ten countries with aircraft carriers in service—two countries have two and seven each have one carrier.

The US Air Force has 18,234 total aircraft, Russia has 2,749 and China 5,176 military aircraft. Need I say more about this example of Ryan’s use of malarkey?

See the Post about the First Presidential Debate and/or the one Two Days after that Debate

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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