Hillary, Pneumonia, and Me

PNEUMONIA, HILLARY, AND ME

In late 2012 I had pneumonia, and I waited and waited to see the doctor–mainly because I didn’t know what the cause of my illness was. Finally I got so sick (high temp), was wheezing so much, and was throwing up a lot (which is not typical of pneumonia) that I had Dianne drive me to an urgent care treatment center here in Lexington (KY). I got out of the car while Dianne went to park it. I was so out of it that I walked into the wrong office–a nail salon where the employees spoke no English, and I tried to communicate with them in my somewhat delirious state. Finally I figured out what was going on and walked into the right office. I could barely sign the intake form and finally shakily headed off to the doctor who suggested I get a chest x-ray. I remember sitting in the x-ray room and going into a dream state where I was convinced that what I was dreaming was actually happening. Then the x-ray tech came in, told me put on the x-ray-proof vest, and stand beside a wall to get my x-ray taken. I told her I was feeling nauseated, and she told me that, if I threw up, please do it in the trashcan beside me. I remember looking inside the can and feeling disgusted that I would have to throw up in it.

The next thing I remember was waking up on a gurney surrounded by EMTs with all sorts of stuff attached to me. They were worried I was having a heart attack and doing an EKG (among other things), I said I was fine and felt rested because I had napped a bit. They were giving me intravenous fluids and told me that I had fainted, and they had put me on the gurney. They said I would have to go to the hospital by ambulance, I asked that they let Dianne drive me, but they were adamant. And I ended up at Central Baptist, where they x-rayed me finally, and I was found to have a relatively low-grade case of pneumonia. Apparently I was so dehydrated and wiped out that I had fainted.

Now we have the Hillary episode and the great drama that has ensued in its wake. Yet, all the huffers and puffers seem to have forgotten that pneumonia can make anyone faint and cough a lot, including teenagers. I’m sure that Hillary had no idea how serious what she had was and was just trying to keep her schedule.

And yet the media goes nuts, trying to imply that Hillary has some kind of mysterious disease or that she is hiding a secret health disorder. They are busy criticizing her for her lack of transparency. Say what?

Look I know Hillary has weaknesses as a candidate and does not always interact sufficiently with the press. Yet, the media and the pundits are way off base here. If anything, this incident makes me admire Hillary even more. As far as I’m concerned she’s a hero, a kind of political Wonder Woman, When I had pneumonia, I could barely move, except to engage with the toilet. Now here you have Hillary sitting and speaking at an emotional 9/11 event after having kept a schedule that almost no one could imagine keeping even with normal health.

I cannot think of a time where the media has seemed more pathetic and sexist, busily trying to equalize the two presidential candidates, as if they are both legitimate in their quest for the presidency.

No, Trump is not a legitimate candidate. He is a mentally ill fascist demagogue and con-man who cheats and lies almost every minute of the day and who appeals to hatred and bigotry to get the votes of those whose fears and dark sides have gotten the better of them.

On the other hand, Hillary works her butt off every day trying to make a difference in the world, and she gets smoked for it.

Now we have a woman who exemplifies what hard-working women have generally always done: Keep going and getting the job done no matter how they feel. That’s what makes Hillary a role model here. And I’m embarrassed by a press whose capacity to sink to new lows knows no apparent bounds.

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Rape Culture at the University of Virginia and College Campuses

Duke v Virginia

Rape culture is pervasive in U.S. colleges and universities, but even more so at the University of Virginia. The extent of violence surprised even me.

Interesting that it took Rolling Stone to produce this story rather than one of the mainstream news outlets. So many local newspapers and news stations have essentially enabled this kind of revolting power dynamic at some of our most prestigious higher educational institutions. Many of them are simply advertisers and marketers for their local university and have few real journalists, if any. And most national outlets aren’t any better, as they’re committed to establishment institutions as they currently exist.

This is a story as much about what we allow to happen as it is about what’s happening. If the media and higher educational administrations did their jobs and if we put these students in prison as criminals for the rape crimes that they have committed, then this behavior would diminish. The students who engage in these abusive crimes are criminals, thugs, and our society should treat them as such.
We let thieving bankers, rapists, and police shooters live their lives as respected citizens, but put in prison drug users and the poor who can’t pay debts. There’s something wrong with this picture. If society does nothing to address this, there will be a massive, popular reaction against all the imbalance. Nature abhors a vacuum.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Laurence Kant
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Israel Ranked as Best Country in the Middle East for Women

Israel far outpaces other countries in the Middle East when it comes to the position and treatment of women: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/178504#.UzrmE61dXDP

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Etruscan Prince Really a Princess

Sometimes archaeology is as much about us as it is about anyone else: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/10/21/oops-etruscan-warrior-prince-really-princess/

 

EtruscanPrinceReallyAPrincess1

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Mormon Women Protest by Wearing Pants

MormonWomenInPants1

In a move to assert their rights in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to bring attention to gender inequalities, Mormon women put out a call to wear pants to church. We may think of women as having achieved parity in many sectors of American society, but in religious institutions women often find themselves caught in the backdraft of ancient traditions and historical precedents.

In my own Jewish tradition, for example, women have found themselves arrested by Israeli police simply for wearing a prayer shawl (talit) while praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In fact, there is nothing in Jewish law that would prevent women from doing this: it’s simply a custom that men in authority don’t like.

This is another example of religious institutions trailing behind other sectors of society in promoting economic and social progress. In the modern world, organized religion has in fact mostly stood as an impediment to the expansion of freedom and to cultural advancement. In contrast, spiritual thought and practice is much more attuned to the unfolding consciousness that is very gradually bringing humanity to a higher state of awareness and living.

Thanks to these Mormon women for helping humanity move forward just a little bit further.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/us/19mormon.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/us/19mormon.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121220&_r=1&

 

 

 

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Honor Killing in West Bank and the Need for Reform

Sad, but illuminating. And there’s some hope with the popular anger against the murderer and violence against women:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/05/20/mideast.honor.killing/index.html?iphoneemail (via Dianne Bazell)

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Lexington Temple Adath Israel Conducts B’not Mitzvah Ceremony

At Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, a group of adult women and Rabbi Marc Kline conducted a B’not Mitvah ceremony.  Traditionally this marks the entrance of children into adulthood at the age of thirteen, but many adults, especially women, did not have the opportunity to to have a Bat Mitvah or Bar Mitzvah as teenagers. This ceremony gives such adults the chance to experience an important rite of passage.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/18/2884098/non-traditional-students-celebrate.html

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The Last Geisha

A moving story of of an ancient Japanese tradition and the impact of the earthquake and tsunami.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/world/asia/05geisha.html?_r=1&ref=global-home (via Dianne Bazell)

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Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Relations between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are close, as this article indicates.  And now Hamas has invited one of the charismatic leaders of the Brotherhood to Gaza, Yusuf al-Qaradawi.  Egyptian Qaradawi has frequently called for jihad against Israel and Jews, the destruction of Israel, and has said that he himself looks forward to coming to Israel to personally shoot Jews.

http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/hamas_e137.htm

For more on Qaradawi and his hatred of Jews, see the following:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/02/sheikh-qaradawi-seeks-total-war/71626/

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=2000 (this discusses not only Qaradawi’s anti-semitism, his love for Hitler and his hopes for another even more successful Jewish holocaust, but also his support for female genital mutilation and wife beating, suicide killers, the fatwa ordering the murder of Salman Rushdie, the execution of apostates, and laws treating religious minorities differently.  The author emphasizes the whitewashing of Muslim Brotherhood hatred and violence in the New York Times.

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Lara Logan and the Treatment of Women in Egypt

Why does the Western left rip Israel, but go silent on the treatment of women, minorities, and gays in Muslim countries?

The statistics are stunning:  about 35% of Egyptian wives report having experienced violence from their husbands. over 80% of Egyptian women have experienced sexual harassment, and over 50% of Egyptian women have been molested (many wearing modest Islamic dress).  And this just refers to reported incidents:  unreported incidents are likely to make the actual totals far higher:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2011/02/20/no_rights_for_women_no_freedom_in_a_nation/

And over 90% of Egyptian women from 15-49 have undergone genital mutilation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evelyn-leopold/female-circumcism—-90-p_b_822283.html

This does not mean that there are not wonderful things about Muslim cultures, but it means that we have to examine them honestly.  It also means that blanket criticism of Israel (without corresponding critiques of neighboring societies). is unwarranted and unjust.

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Wikipedia’s Gender Gap

Few contributors to Wikipedia are women.  Why, and what can Wikipedia do intentionally to change that? (via Dianne Bazell)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/business/media/31link.html?_r=1

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The Woman Was Not Expelled in Eden

Did you ever notice that the Source explicitly expelled Adam, not the woman, from the garden of Eden?

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The First Adam

Gen 1:27: The first Adam was both female and male, bi-gendered, whole, integrated, one.

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Women and Temple Priesthood

In fact, there’s some evidence from antiquity that suggests that there were Jewish women who may have served as priests in the Graeco-Roman period (for example diaspora Jewish inscriptions). Obviously this goes against the heavy weight of rabbinic tradition, but I bet that there is evidence in rabbinic texts to suggest something similar (probably when a rabbi criticizes some other practice)–I need to look into this some time. Is it possible also that some of the women (Sarah) in Genesis functioned as priests, but then that tradition was reinterpreted by the biblical writers? Controversial, but I would not rule it out.

In any case, whatever the technical sense of priesthood in modern contexts, Jews reformulated priestly and Temple practices into home and synagogue life after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. So a woman who lights the Shabbat candles functionally takes the place of a priest.

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Ruach

Often translated “wind” or “spirit”, ruach in Genesis 1:2 refers to the underlying force of existence and the universe: ” “Energy.”  It’s gender is feminine and is frequently understood in Jewish tradition (especially mysticism) as a feminine counterpart to a more masculine organizing creator.  Whether or not these gender connotations are useful or accurate in some way, they offer a picturesque and poetic way of describing the ultimate.

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