Oct 2012 29

by Rachel Allshiny

Like most people, I use my Twitter account in a variety of ways. I interact with my friends, share interesting parts of my day, report on protest actions I attend, and check for on-the-ground news from other parts of the country and world. I also follow a variety of politicians and aspiring politicians, despite my disenchantment with most who currently hold or seek to hold public office. It’s always useful to know what propaganda they are spreading.

When I received a direct message from Joe Biden last week, however, it didn’t feel like the personalized interaction I suspect his campaign had intended. It felt like an invasion of privacy. What was so compelling that he felt he had to reach out to me in the backwoods of Twitter, where I chat with my closest friends? Had he finally noticed that I’d been deleting his emails for the past year (and then some), to the point that now they automatically land in my spam folder? Had the President himself noticed this and asked his buddy to talk to me on his behalf? Y’know, to soften me up a little. Or maybe the Vice President just wanted to remind me that no form of “private” communication is truly private when it comes to the insidious reach of the government.

Whatever the reason, I was creeped out. Then I opened the message and read:

Oh! He just wanted me to use my loyal Twitter following to help get him re-elected. Well, when you put it that way…err…no…I REFUSE!

The following is my response, sent via Twitter to @JoeBiden and @Obama2012.

Dear @JoeBiden,

Thank you for your kind offer and for noting my influence on Twitter. I built that influence by encouraging critical thought and discourse in politics and all else. Therefore, I will be happy to retweet any @Obama2012 tweets on the following subjects.

1. The unconstitutional nature of indefinite detention of citizens under NDAA.

2. The number of civilian casualties caused by US drone attacks.

3. The immediate closure of our detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

4. The need for ACTUAL energy independence, i.e. clean and renewable energy sources.

5. The importance of unions, including teachers’ unions, in securing workers’ rights.

6. The proper use of punctuation, even on Twitter (see previous item).

7. Working to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision re: Citizens United.

8. Addressing gender equality in terms beyond sexual, reproductive, or wages.

(More on 8: how insulting is it that even in discussions of equal rights we make women into sexual/reproduction objects.)

9. Making marriage available to all who seek it, regardless of the genders of those involved.

10. Single-payer healthcare.

11. Prosecuting war criminals for their crimes instead of whistleblowers for exposing them.

That’s a partial list, @JoeBiden. Please DM me again if @Obama2012 starts talking about any of those and I’ll be sure to follow/RT.

Oct 2012 29

by Kristin Canty

Rawesome, Venice, CA

[The Third And Final Multi-Agency Rawesome Raid]

In the movie, Farmageddon…The Unseen War on American Family Farms, one of the stories covered was of a raid that occurred in Venice, CA, at a private food buying club called Rawesome. Whenever I was lucky enough to be in the vicinity and able to visit this club, it was like being a kid in a candy store…or, well, a raw foods lover in a raw foods store!

I was able to buy raw dairy products such as grass fed yogurt, butter, cream, cheese, and raw chocolate mousse – is that dairy? Raw meat and homemade delicacies such as ceviche and marinated raw meat salads were also available, along with salad dressings, pure olive and other freshly made oils, and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and fermented drinks…all organic and raw.

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it was pure bliss. I was filming during one visit, and had the pleasure of having people come up to me to tell me their raw food healing stories. I heard many first person accounts of how the symptoms of diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s, cancer, arthritis, and other conditions, were alleviated greatly by a raw food diet.

Unfortunately, the FDA does not like stories of people being healed from food, and they don’t like raw foods in general. In the case of Rawesome Foods, multiple agencies (both local and federal) raided it three times. The last time, it was closed down. One of the club’s many suppliers, Sharon Palmer (a farmer who had provided raw goat milk for a time), the manager, James Stewart, and a Weston A Price Chapter leader, Victoria Bloch (who volunteered for Sharon), were all charged with multiple felonies. There were no actual felonies in the case, however, all three were charged with conspiring together to commit misdemeanor level offenses, which magically turned the charges into felonies.

[The Rawesome 3: Felonious Fresh Milk Dealers]

Thirteen months later, just before their preliminary hearing, Victoria Bloch and Sharon Palmer were both offered plea deals, which they accepted. Victoria pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of selling unlabeled milk and accepted a $100 fine and two years’ summary probation. Sharon Palmer pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of storing milk in unsanitary conditions, since on the day she was raided she was milking her goats to feed her livestock (Rawesome had picked up their milk up a day earlier). She received a $1,300 fine, 40 hours of community service, and three years’ summary probation. Both Victoria and Sharon would have preferred to have taken this case to a jury trial. But unfortunately, neither had the money to cover the high cost of defending themselves in a trial that would have lasted at least two weeks, perhaps more. James is still in jail, as he was considered a flight risk, and is awaiting either trial or the opportunity to plead out of the case.

There is still a separate Ventura County case awaiting both James and Sharon. And there is a petition to set them free that was written by a Rawesome Foods club member. I fear that the Rawesome community has been torn apart by these circumstances. No one ever became sick from foods they had gotten at Rawesome Foods. Certainly, nobody ever complained about having access to some of the freshest, most delicious foods available. And nobody ever complained about the fresh goats milk Sharon provided to the club, as well as to a few of her own farm’s CSA members. On the contrary, I met happy, vibrant, healthy people who enjoyed the foods they sourced from these two wonderful people.

If you would like to learn more or help, please read and sign the petition.


Meadowsweet Farm, Lodi, NY

Steve and Barbara Smith, farmers in upstate New York were raided and shut down by New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets for their private buying club that provided raw milk, yogurt and cheese to many happy customers.

They went to court after the shutdown, and hoped a judge would find that the Department of Agriculture & Markets did not have authority over their private buying club. Unfortunately, the judge ruled against them, and said that the Department of Agriculture & Markets did have authority to shut down their LLC.

They were therefore forced to dissolve their club. They then sold the entire herd to the former members of the club. Currently, Steve and Barbara are under contract with the owners of the herd to milk and maintain the herd for them. They have had this herd share for two years now and they have a waitlist of people that would like to join in on purchasing a share. Unfortunately it is very difficult to obtain raw milk, so farms that supply it often have long waiting lists of customers.

In New York, as in every state except Wisconsin, it is legal to drink milk from your own cow and since the members own the cows, hopefully the Department of Agriculture & Markets willrespect that and leave them alone from now on.

The demand for raw dairy products is not going to go away, so hopefully more farms and farmers like Meadowsweet will pop up! We are thinking of the Smith family and their farm as the drought hit them hard and they had to sell off their beef herd in order to have enough hay to keep the dairy going through the winter.

For more information visit:


For background information on this, please go to, and watch the documentary, Farmageddon…The Unseen War On American Family Farms.

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Oct 2012 29

by Dell Cameron

As I write this, I am filled with a great deal of emotion. I’m very concerned for a good friend of mine and I fear for his safety. His name is Youssef Jajili. He is a director at a nationally distributed magazine in Morocco called Alaanmag. He has authored several articles in his country about corrupt fundamentalists who are attempting to control the social perspective of his country.

When these men of power sought to propose changes that would outlaw the distribution of alcohol in Morocco, Youssef published a story about the thousands of dollars these men had spent on the delivery of expensive wines to their hotel rooms. While this may seem trivial to Americans, in a country without democratically elected leaders, publicizing this kind of information can be often dangerous for journalists. After making enemies with the state of Morocco, one of Youssef’s superiors was jailed for an entire year. Information connecting him to Al-Qaeda was fabricated and all pleas to the US State Department for assistance fell on deaf ears.

After publishing articles that outlined the corruption of powerful businessmen in Morocco, Youssef made a trip to the United States, which is where I first met him and became his friend. During our time together, we learned that La Brigade des Affaires Economiques had paid a visit to his magazine. This department officially handles issues of financial importance, but when I compared it to the IRS, Youssef likened it more to a visit in America by the FBI. During his visit his phone was also disabled. I later learned cell phone companies in Morocco are controlled by the government.

What makes Youssef’s story significant is that he has refused all efforts by his friends to force him into asylum. Many people, myself included, have begged him to remain here and/or seek the assistance from the State Department. I’m taken aback by his response. He is adamantly against hiding from what is seemingly a corrupt investigation against him. He is obviously facing imprisonment upon his return. Youssef tells me he refuses to be a refugee; that he refuses to hide himself in any way.

Youssef moves fearlessly toward accusers, who undoubtedly have an invulnerable grip on the justice system in his country. He does so with a sense of honor and duty to his chosen profession, which is to report the truth at any and all costs. His selfless dedication to unearthing the corruption has had an irrevocable effect on my psyche.

I’m left to wonder, am I even worthy of writing about injustices in my own country if ultimately I’d be unwilling to confront the kind of threat to my personal freedom that Youssef faces so deliberately. I define my friend’s actions as the best kind of courageousness because they do not derive from a sense of pride, but from a sense of responsibility.

I will follow Youssef’s journey closely and if the worst happens, continue to report on his condition. In the meantime, I urge all others to support him and pray for his safety. You can follow Youssef Jajili on Twitter at @YoussefJajili and under the worst circumstances, support the cause to free him by using the hashtag #SaveYoussef.


Dell Cameron is writer, activist and entrepreneur from Dallas, TX. He is a contributing writer for SuicideGirls and campaign manager for David Seaman for Congress. Currently, Dell is the Account Director for, a web development company that specializes in helping artists, musicians and small businesses develop an online presence.

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Oct 2012 25

by Dell Cameron

I’m not very fond of Presidential debates. In Texas we have a saying: Politicians are a lot like steers; a point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in between. While all evidence is to the contrary, I’m also not very party affiliated. I prefer to think of myself as an independent, even though there haven’t been any Republicans in my district worth voting for in the past 20 years. In fact, I currently work for an independent candidate some of you may know – David Seaman. I can honestly say, if I lived in David’s district there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I’d vote for the current incumbent, Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL). But, for the time being, hard proof of my independent nature will have to remain theoretical.

The issue a lot of us politically and socially ‘awake’ independents face this year epitomizes the annoyingly consistent duality of the American election system. Third party candidates, I think more than ever, have really been forced to the back of the bus. Quick: What is the name of Gov. Gary Johnson’s vice presidential running mate? If your answer was, “Who the hell is Gary Johnson?” I think you’ve proven my point.

Unfortunately, yet again, we are only left with only two real options: an incumbent President who may have saved us from the brink of economic collapse, while simultaneously damaging American civil liberties in an unfathomable fashion, or Mitt Romney, whose financial ambitions, i.e. greed, would give Gordon Gekko a run for his money – literally.

I think both candidates have a lot in common. Neither will drastically reduce our annual military budget, which they continue to incorrectly quote as being $700 billion dollars. Guess they forgot that the cost of building and maintaining all those drones, the war related intelligence community (CIA, NSA, DIA), veterans’ benefits, and the Homeland Security budget was not included in that figure.

In addition, we can expect both candidates to continue ignoring issues such as the indefinite detention section of the National Defense Authorization Act, while perpetuating our permanent state of war. I’m hypothesizing here, but somehow I don’t see whether or not we engage in a war with Iran to be determined by this race since preliminary authorization for it has already been passed by the House of Representatives in Section 1221 (parts 7 and b) of the NDAA 2013. The Keystone XL pipeline is still a go, so your decision can’t really be environmentally based. The War On Drugs, programs to develop Orwellian public and electronic surveillance systems, and the sale of our democracy to the highest bidder will continue no matter which party takes the cake.

So… what are we left with to help us decide? Once again, as far as the media is concerned, it all comes down to what church you’re going to (or not, as the case may be). Gays and women, women and gays. Do you like them and will you support them? I happen to like both. Obviously, one more than the other – I write for a website that pays me in tits, but nevertheless, I’m a big fan of the gays too. But, while I’m not a woman or a homosexual, I have a sense of empathy for both, and it bothers me to see the issues facing them tossed around for political gain. In my mind, Women’s Rights and LGBT Rights are Human Rights, and because I’m human, these issues will deeply affect me.

I won’t tell you who to vote for and I refuse to endorse any candidate in writing. What I can tell you is that the Republican and Democratic parties have plenty in common. It’s up to you to find the difference that will help you make a conscientious decision this November. The only advice I offer is to not dismiss the hardships others may face due to the outcome of this election. Even if you’re a white, middle-class, middle-aged male, I promise you the social impact of this election will inevitably affect someone you love.

And if you’re wondering why I didn’t mention taxes when contrasting these two candidates, it’s because, regardless of who occupies the Oval Office, I seriously doubt that Romney will ever pay more than he is right now.

Dell Cameron is writer, activist and entrepreneur from Dallas, TX. He is a contributing writer for SuicideGirls and campaign manager for David Seaman for Congress. Currently, Dell is the Account Director for, a web development company that specializes in helping artists, musicians and small businesses develop an online presence.

Oct 2012 25

by Zach Roberts

At a fundraiser held at the Anchorage Middle Eastern restaurant Aladdin’s last week, Focus on the Family-associated Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery laid out his plans for the future of the religious right – and why there was a movie-size poster of the arch-conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch on an easel by the door.

The Alaska Family Council (AFC) is a Focus on the Family-related group. As AFC explains on its own website: “Throughout each stage of its development, the Alaska Family Council has worked closely with Focus on the Family, one of the most respected and effective pro-family organizations in the country.” AFC’s President is a man named Jim Minnery – a relative to Focus on the Family’s Senior vice president Tom Minnery. Tom Minnery is not only the VP of Focus but also runs Citizenlink – Focus’ local policy chapter organizations.

Focus on the Family has been at the forefront of fighting LGBT rights across the country, from the Defense of Marriage Act to calling the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell a “cultural time bomb, strapped on the backs of the men and women who honorably serve this country.” Locally, the AFC in 2010 successfully pushed for a controversial proposition that would require parental notification for abortions; without the parent’s consent, the child would need to go before a judge to ask for the procedure.

As explained last week at the fundraiser, AFC, which calls itself a “Christian public policy organization,” is all set to form a 501c4 political action group that will work hand in hand with not-for-profit religious groups.

Thanks to the Citizens United ruling, political and religious groups can work together more easily than ever. AFC and now Alaska Family Action (501c4) president Jim Minnery explains in an exclusive recording that I obtained at the event last week:

“The organization Alaska Family Action has the same board; I’m still the person in charge of that organization. We literally have to switch the light switch off and on when [laughter from crowd] we have a board meeting, because we have to be a separate nonprofit corporation according to IRS regulations.”

The crowd he was speaking to included former Alaska Lt. Gov. Loren Leman and, later in the speech, the Alaskan Gov. Sean Parnell, along with a myriad of other local political figures.

According to Minnery, this is not a just local idea, but a national movement. Thirty-eight states across the country with “family healthy councils” are in the midst of forming action groups and working with the Koch brothers’ Themis database to target voters. On the recording I obtained, Minnery says:

“Things like Iowa, and Florida, and Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana, are the ones that come to mind initially, they had such success in bringing together social conservatives as a c4, and partnering with the fiscal conservatives in their state that they were able to turn the entire legislative chamber and had phenomenal success in passing pro-family, pro-life legislation. So, the rest of us said, we want to do the same thing.”

Once Minnery laid out the scope of the plan, he finally explained why the Kochs were placed so prominently in the room, referring the audience to The Guardian for more information on the billionaire brothers.

Many of you may have seen on the easel I had a poster made of the Koch brothers, and I think it’s important to mention that it’s nationally known, internationally known. For a good read, about a page and a half, I would recommend googling, when you have an opportunity, “Koch brothers” and “UK Guardian.” It’s one of their very liberal papers in the UK and essentially what they did was, after the Kerry race, the Obama administration folks became very, very diligent and technically superior to the Republican party and conservatives in terms of identifying data and really getting good solid information on what makes their constituencies and what makes them tick and what gets them to the polls. The first time it was actually utilized, and this is a multibillion-dollar project on a national level, was during the Obama first term, and we can all vouch that that was successful. And so what happened was that the Koch brothers realized that we have the ability to do the same. There’s no reason why conservatives should be left behind – and that’s always been the case, technically.

The Koch brothers had indeed done the same. Themis pulls together information from marketing databases across the country. The technology is something the brothers have spent at least (experts estimate) $50 million building.

At some point in the past year, there was a meeting of several right-wing religious groups. The idea of religious groups coming together to share information and politicize it is not a new one – Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition did it back in the 1990s – but the new ability to pull in marketing research and religious groups’ data seemed to surprise and excite Jim Minnery:

“It was an unbelievable experience for us to come, as with Focus on the Family, and Family Research Council, and Susan B. Anthony, and National Right to Life – groups that came together, basically for the first time it had ever occurred that these groups got together, and said, We want to bring our data together, in a blind gathering of that information.”

As investigator Greg Palast discusses in his book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, alliances such as this one represent the return of data-mining abuses of the kind that have been perpetrated in the past by the like of the Christian Coalition.

“We know that Republican operatives from [former Florida secretary of state] Katherine Harris to Karl Rove have used databases to challenge legal votes and legal voters,” said Palast in an interview with Truthout.

“The use is now more sophisticated, better funded and more dangerous than ever to Democracy,” Palast said. “The tricks that will be used in this election will be the practice-run for a full-scale attack threatening voters by the millions in the 2014 and 2016 elections.”

AFC President Minnery, on the other hand, told the crowd of 25 or so religious and political figures not to be paranoid.

“They introduced this project to us by basically saying, ‘Listen, we know more about you guys than you could ever hope to know, but the good side is, we’re going to be able to use this for the glory of God and to get conservatives in power, because this is not something you should be afraid of.’ Now, some people are going to have the black helicopter syndrome, and always wonder why all this information is had on them and what can be done with it. I’m personally not concerned about that because I don’t really have anything to hide.”

While Minnery may be concerned only for the “glory of God,” it wasn’t the Koch’s concern. They were charging for the access:

They haven’t given it away, I can tell you that. We’ve been able to get the information, but there’s been somewhat of a cost, and that’s why we’re having this fundraiser, so we can utilize the data we have now and micro-target some of these races.”

The AFC was able get information on “close to 50,000″ people ” – 14 percent of Alaska’s population. Minnery boast they’ve been able to obtain:

“Much, much more information than we’ve ever had in terms of what are their passions, and what districts they’re in, and what motivates them. And so we have a real opportunity to utilize this information.”

The AFC’s fundraising goal for the night was $40,000. In a market as cheap as Alaska’s, that’s the equivalent of $800,000 media spend in Texas.

Governor Parnell closed the speaking engagement part of the evening with a request:

I wish to thank you for your support of Alaska Family Action and Alaska Family Council. They provide an important voice not only for the unborn, but for that perfect love that casts out all fear, that he was speaking to. This goes beyond just your politics. It goes to who we are as a people – if we are willing to stand for life as firmly as we are willing to stand for liberty. That is something that we each share in common, and that we each will do together…I urge you to give, and give heartily, tonight. Thank you.


Zach D Roberts is a photo-journalist who’s work has been seen in The Guardian, Truthout, BBC Television and Zach most recently contributed to Palast’s ground-breaking Nation investigation “Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza” and to the best-selling book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.

A version of this article first appeared on

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Oct 2012 25

by Lee Camp

Is it possible to protest something that hasn’t happened yet? I sure as hell think so! So strap on your shoes, get out some badass picket signs, and prepare to be angry… because I know the future, and it’s not pretty.

“Vote counting company tied to Romney” by Gerry Bello & Bob Fitrakis for Free Press
“Romney-linked voting machine company to count votes in Ohio” by Craig Unger for Samon
“Pro-Romney Firm’s Purchase Of Voting Machine Company Raises Alarms” by Dan Froomkin for The Huffington Post
“Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern” by Rick Ungar for Forbes


Oct 2012 24

by Steven Whitney

As if the illegal Iraq War and the botched Afghan War were not enough, it seems as if Republicans are going to war against damn near everybody but old, rich white guys.

First up is their War on Facts – their avalanche of misstatements has set a new record (and a new low) in both congressional and campaign practices. The GOP lies about Obama’s record and Romney assiduously avoids any concrete facts about his own plans.

There’s a closely related War on Science – it contains too many perplexing facts and, after all, faith provides all the answers we need.

There‘s a covert War on Voting Rights, particularly VWB (Voting While Black) and VWP (Voting While Poor) – and then the very visible War on GLBTs, especially those who want to hold their weddings at Chick-fil-A.

There’s an open War on Immigrants – in Arizona, and despite being sued by the Department of Justice for racial profiling, the self-aggrandizing Sheriff Joe rounds up Hispanics, detains them in dehumanizing tent city corrals, verbally taunts them, and heads them back over the border. In Missouri, Republican Steve King also views them as animals, recently doubling down on his statement last May that “comparing immigrants to dogs is a compliment.”

There’s a War on Education and the snobs who attend college. And a War on Healthcare – Romney wants to repeal Obamacare on Day One and turn Medicare into a voucher system benefitting insurance companies. (If you have a serious pre-existing condition, do you really think a voucher is going to help you get coverage?)

Then there’s the War on Labor – particularly those nefarious teachers, firemen, postal workers, and policemen who are getting obscenely rich lapping up money from the public trough.

And Romney himself apparently wants to go to war with Big Bird and Iran.

To a degree, I understand their warmongering on these issues – racism, xenophobia, selfishness, skullduggery, and outright stupidity have always found a place in our politics, although never to the extent bandied about by Republicans in this election cycle.

But what I cannot comprehend is the Republican War on Women. While the GOP denies any such crusade, a mere summary of their actions suggests otherwise.

The Republican platform calls for a Constitutional ban and criminalization of abortion without exception – not rape, not incest, not even if the mother’s life is severely endangered by her pregnancy.

It denounces contraceptive education in schools while encouraging teenagers and young adults to abstain from sex until marriage.

Virginia Republicans passed a bill requiring women to undergo invasive trans-vaginal ultrasounds at least 24 hours before having an abortion. Other state legislatures in GOP control quickly followed suit, proposing bills with identical or more severe mandates.

In Michigan, GOP representatives banned Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking “for violating the decorum of the House” after she mentioned the word “vagina” during a debate on women’s healthcare. In defending their action, Republicans characterized the word vagina as “offensive, disgusting, and vile.”

In Congress, Darrell Issa (R, CA) created an Oversight Committee panel to shape policy on Women’s Reproductive Rights without a single woman invited to contribute, either as a panelist or speaker.

For the last several years, House Republicans have vociferously attacked and attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, a non-profit that serves 1 in every 5 women sometime during their lives. The GOP also wants to repeal Title X, which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and testing for all STDs to low-income women. Without Title X’s preventive care, thousands of American women will needlessly die before their time.

If their positions on healthcare weren’t enough to reveal the GOP’s stunning misogyny, consider the sexist invective they employ to put women in their rightful place.

It’s no fluke that drug felon Rush Limbaugh – considered by many to be the ex-officio head of the Republican Party – labeled a female law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for speaking to House Democrats about the importance of requiring insurance companies to cover birth control. And it’s no surprise that Rush – who takes Viagra-fueled holidays in the Dominican Republic, famous for its teenage sex trade – encouraged her to send him video tapes of her own sexual activities. Rush, of course, originated the term “Feminazis” for women seeking equal rights and protections under the law, so is it any wonder he likes to watch?

In her book, What I Saw at the Revolution, Peggy Noonan – Reagan speech writer and chronicler/pundit of all things GOP – likened women who have abortions to Germans exterminating Jews during World War II.

Following his widely disseminated remark about “illegitimate rape,” Republican Todd Akin called Claire McCaskill – his opponent in the Missouri Senate race – “one of those dogs.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A Google search for “republican sexist comments” returns thousands of examples. Just this week GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said he came to realize that pregnancy as a result of rape was “something that God intended to happen” and a “gift from God.”

Is it any wonder that Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill mandating equal pay for equal work? Or that the GOP views women as less than equal citizens?

One has to ask: Do Republicans still blame Eve for biting into the apple? Were all their mothers Mommie Dearests? Do they feel emasculated by women? Are they threatened by empowerment?

What is it with these guys? Don’t any of them have daughters?

This isn’t political, it’s neither right nor left, it’s just a human truth – if any father seeks to deny his daughter(s) the same rights, opportunities, and benefits that boys (or men) possess, then he must relinquish his “Best Dad in the World” coffee cup for one that designates him a “Bozo Dad.”

What father wants his daughter to be coerced by law to birth a child sired by a serial and violent rapist – or to be forced to carry a child at the risk of her own life?

What father wants decisions about his daughter’s medical care left in the hands of an all-male House Oversight Committee task force, or by a squeamish male legislature that can’t even say the word vagina?

What father wants his daughter to die prematurely because she couldn’t afford breast and cervical examinations that are now covered by Title X, Planned Parenthood, and Obamacare?

What father deems his daughter less capable than a man to make choices about her own life?

What father adheres to a religious group that values his daughter less than any other person. Or a political party that demeans her through legislation and verbal sexist abuse?

What father doesn’t want his daughter to be all she can be? Or to have the opportunity to achieve everything she wants while pursuing her personal goals And how can she do that without equal rights and equal protection under the law?

What kind of father envisions his daughter as a second-class citizen?

Having a daughter is the greatest gift any man can receive, for through them we finally learn the meaning of and experience a love that is completely unselfish. Wives and lovers bring us much pleasure and happiness, but they are equal partners in our lives, with the expectation of equal “give and take.” But because daughters light up our lives in countless ways, fathers want nothing back from them, except perhaps that they find their own particular brand of happiness.

Those who most severely criticize this new brand of far-right Republicans often accuse them of putting their party before the country they were elected to serve. But for me, their most repugnant betrayal is putting the GOP agenda before their own daughters.

These days our daughters are brought up to think for themselves in all things. Are they now expected to willingly turn over their rights and decisions to an out of touch Republican agenda? If anything qualifies as an “illegitimate rape” that does.

And as a father, my response is simple: I value my daughter more than anyone else on earth and I will fight to my last breath anyone who makes any kind of war on her. And I think every father, deep down, must feel the same.

This November, every father in America is faced with a clear choice. And I suggest each of them votes for the platform that will most benefit and honor his daughter(s).

It’s the least we owe our daughters for bringing both joy and true meaning to our lives…and for shining the light of unconditional love into our hearts.

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America: Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.