Lately, public health and health policy has become politicized. There are several reasons this has happened in my opinion, but I’d rather not dwell on it and focus more on the fact that science – unlike political science – doesn’t give a [insert explative of your choosing here] what you believe.
I cannot believe that I feel compelled to write that no matter how strongly you believe in individual freedoms or conspiracy theories about wearing masks and social distancing, you are not impervious to the coronavirus. But it seems like there is a large segment of our society that has embraced the notion that if you say something often enough (no matter how wildly inaccurate) it must be true. A good example of this is President Trump’s insistance that the virus will go away if we stop testing for coronavirus.
“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any” President Donald Trump (June 15, 2020)
Placing faith in political and religious leaders over the recommendations of scientists and medical professionals will not protect you, your loved ones or your communities. Following health guidelines as outlined by the medical community is both a personal and civic responsibility that supercedes personal preferences and inconveniences. To put it more simply, SCIENCE > YOUR BELIEFS.
Tomorrow (Saturday, July 4th) hundreds of people have confirmed that they plan to mark America’s Independence here in Boston by taking to the streets to voice their frustration with systemic racism and social inequities.
The protest and rally organized by Black Lives Matter Boston is intended to recognize and support black women. The “Say Her Name” march will begin at 4PM in Nubian Square (formerly Dudley Square) and make its way to Boston Common. For more details about the march, visit their Facebook page.
If you cannot join but would like to show your support, consider making a donation (all amounts are welcome) here: SAY HER NAME.
Did you know that prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling it was legal to fire someone because they are gay or transgender in 28 states? Well no more… Earlier today the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) surprised pretty much everyone when conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four liberal justices in the majority, 6 to 3 vote, affirming the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a result of this ruling, there are potential implications for addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and seeking to have this applied to other Federal civil rights legislation. According to CNN, this ruling may be as significant as the Court’s 2015 ruling, recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. You can read more about the ruling and the implication, here.
I have not supported Joe Biden in any of his previous Presidential campaigns nor did I vote for him on Super Tuesday this year. However, I will support Joe Biden without any hesitation, and I hope you will as well.
This November, you have the opportunity to tell Donald Trump, “Goodbye”. For more information about voting and to check your registration, visit vote.org and make a plan to ensure this is Donald Trump’s last year in office.
The logo is based on original artwork by political cartoonist Mike Luckovich and can be purchased on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers to coffee mugs to buttons like the one shown above at, byedon.store.
Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. Fourteen states and American Samoa will all participate and more than 1300 delegates are up for grabs. As a result, I’m sure that by the end of this week the field of Presidential hopefuls will have narrowed.
Elections and especially our primary process can be frustrating because most people’s first choice for candidate do not receive the Party’s nomination. Only twice in my life have I supported a candidate who went on to get the Democratic Party’s nomination; Barrack Obama in ’08 and again in ’12.
The sad truth about our two party system is that most of the time one votes for the lesser of two evils rather than someone they wholeheartedly support. The two front runners for the Democratic Primary, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, are what I deem to be the lesser evil. While I have no idea what to expect from Super Tuesday and in the months that follow, I do know that I’ll be #VotingBlueNoMatterWho.
New Yorkers are getting quite creative to trolling President Trump. Keep in mind, more than 70% of residents in NYC say they do not approve of the job Trump is doing – so much for being a hometown favorite. One way New Yorkers are showing their disapproval is by creating a petition to rename the block of 5th Avenue where the Trumps call home.
An online petition that has been signed by more than 290,000 people seeks to officially rename the block on Fifth Avenue where Donald and Melania’s NYC home is located. The address would officially change from 721–725 Fifth Avenue to 721-725 Barack H. Obama Avenue.
Is it petty? Absolutely, but that pretty much defines the current political climate exacerbated by the king of petty, Donald Trump. It appears that the efforts may be for naught according to a recent article in the NYT but it still made me laugh. I’d love to know what el Presidente’s reaction was when he learned about the movement to change the address.
It is easy to get caught up in American politics, but there is a world outside of the US and many in the LGBTQ community have it far worse. I was struck by this creative response by husbands Jakub and David who decided to respond to the Polish government’s recent decision to create “LGBT-free zones” by asking people to record themselves singing the Taylor Swift song “Calm down”.Approximately 350 videos from 140 people were submitted to the couple to show their disapproval of the Polish government and in response to the uptick in attacks and assaults targeting the Polish LGBTQ community.
At the end of the video, they explain how Poland is becoming one of the most homophobic countries in Europe. Take a listen and watch.
Have you heard? That fiery, foulmouthed, reality TV obsessed, red head, Kathy Griffin has a docu-comedy coming to theaters next week for one day only. The film is Griffin’s response to what happened following the graphic, viral photo of her holding a bloodied, severed head of President Trump two years ago.
The film, Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story, premiered at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival and will open for one show only at 8PM on Wednesday, July 31. Locally this will play at ShowPlace ICON Boston, AMC South Bay, Regal Fenway as well as many surrounding theaters in the ‘burbs.
You can read more about the film and what Kathy Griffin has been up to in the LA Times article, Kathy Griffin made $75 million making people laugh. But the phone’s not ringing.
Channeling your anger at this group is what they want.
During Boston Pride Week, news of a different sort of Pride captured headlines around the country and world when three men said they would host the first “Straight Pride” in Boston this August. Initially, the band of three designated Hollywood star, Brad Pitt, as their mascot until they received a cease-and-desist order from Pitt’s attorney. Days later the surreal spectacle took an unexpected turn when they named the much loathed (and gay) Milo Yiannopoulos as their new mascot and parade marshal.
When pressed why they felt the need to host the parade now and here in Boston, organizers said they need “advocates on behalf of the straight community in order to foster respect and awareness with people from all walks of life”. I’m unsure what that means. Last I recall, nobody heterosexual was denied the right to marry, denied access to a dying loved one at a hospital, been thrown out of their home as a teenager for their sexual orientation, subjected to ‘conversion therapy’, denied housing or jobs, etc…
I can’t help but think this was a media stunt meant to take away from Boston Pride -consider the timing days before the Boston’s Gay Pride Parade. As of 6/25 organizers had only raised $764.00 – well shy of an easy $5,000 goal. Who can say what their real intentions are and if a parade will occur? No doubt if it does, it will be quite a spectacle, but I would like to propose everyone ignore them. Channeling your anger at this group is what they want. The reality is they don’t deserve the attention or media so don’t give them a reason to get it.
UPDATE: 6/26 The city of Boston approved application for straight pride
Cambridge / Boston Women’s March on the Cambridge Common, January 20, 2018. Photo Credit: Greg Cook || gregcookland.com
I wanted to give everyone a heads up regarding this year’s Women’s March, which will take place in cities throughout the United States. This year’s march in Boston will happen on Saturday, January 19th at the Boston Common between 10AM and 2PM and is being organized by March Forward Massachusetts.
Organizers are calling for a day of action and asking all of us to show up together in solidarity with women and their allies, in service of those who are most at risk from a hostile agenda that seeks to marginalize and divide. The 2019 March will take place on the weekend before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, lifts up the work in the struggle for civil rights. Please consider showing your support.
2019 Boston Women’s March Volunteer Sign Up Form
Since the Federal Government (specifically the US Congress and President) cannot seem to meet their minimum responsibilities of keeping the lights on I thought I would share these “Shutdown Cocktails” offered at D.C.’s Capitol Lounge. If the shutdown is still in effect on New Year’s Eve perhaps you may want to consider serving your own party themed shutdown cocktails.FYI we are currently experiencing the third government shutdown in the Trump administration, which is amazing when you consider this has all happened while Republicans control the Executive Branch and both the US Senate and House of Representatives. #Fail
Last week the media reported that President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen was sentenced to serve three years in prison. He eventually ended up pleading guilty for lying to Congress, tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. For those keeping count (and I am) that makes Mr. Cohen the 4th “witch” sent to prison and that does not count either Paul Manafort who will be sentenced in March 2019 or Rick Gates who also waits to be sentenced.
What I find most troubling about this investigation is that for many supporters of Trump the arrests and sentencing have have done little to change their minds. Additionally, there is a larger segment of people who I’d refer to as “bystanders”, who don’t necessarily support Trump (they may even dislike him) but they don’t feel compelled to change the status quo either. This group fascinate and confound me the most.
Despite the fact that Special Counsel Robert Mueller (a Republican by the way) has identified eight individuals (almost all of whom have plead guilty) and charged thirty-three individuals in illegal activity, these ‘bystanders’ don’t see a threat to our political system. The U.S. has had a democracy for a long time, and is still much admired despite our actions of late, I’d hate to think that party affiliation and political persuasion could trump those values and further erode the faith we have in our political system.
I do hope that as people start to reflect on this past year and plan for 2019, that we can all recognize (witch hunt or not), the crimes leveled against these people are serious and the fact that there are so many implicated makes it even more disturbing. I hope that rather than turning off people, this civics class playing out before our very eyes will make us stop and reflect upon what truly distinguishes America and makes it a great country.
*Source for information about convictions and crimes here.
Funny or sad? It is a combination of both feelings for me.
When you go to the polls today, be sure to vote yes on 3.