Folks, I want to talk to you about my good friend Hala Ayala tonight. I’ve known Hala since my early days lobbying for the ERA. I passed her on Main Street East in Richmond as I was leaving an ERA shindig. I needed to drive all the way back to Herndon in #CO2Fre1 that evening so was leaving early, so all I got to say to her was “hey!”
However, months later I got to talk to Hala at length at an ERA event in Tyson’s Corner and was happy to make her acquaintance. After all, she’s a tireless fighter for for women who knows first hand the struggles many women, including my mom, have to make to make ends meet. She worked in a petrol station, making minimum wage when the unthinkable happened. She’s a survivor. And as a survivor, no other candidate can more personally know the struggles too many women face.
But Hala didn’t just survive, she thrived. She went back to school and became a Cyber Security expect. In the twenty-first century, we need a Lieutenant Governor who knows her way around the Internet, and how to keep us secure. With growing threats to our very democracy coming from overseas, we need someone like Hala, and no other candidate for Governor has this qualification.
Hala is also a great organizational force. As the Deputy Majority Whip, she makes sure the Virginia Speaker of the House of Delegates has the votes she needs to pass the bills she wants. As our Lieutenant Governor, Hala is well suited to keep push the Governors wishes, whoever she or he may be, through the General Assembly.
And that’s just a small taste of what makes this African-American, Latino, Irish, and Lebanese candidate the best candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Join me to find out how I like my new job, the exciting plans I have for the upcoming year, and so I can give a personal thanks for your personal friendship!
Please note, the official start time is 20:00 because I want to make sure not to start it before I finish my first full day of work at the new job. If I finish sooner, I will open the room earlier. This is, after all, an exciting time for me. My first new job in 18 years, and the first of four steps on the route to make me a better man, and much, much happier!
This event is opened to everyone who claims to know me! All of my software colleagues, all of my fellow authors, fellow science readers, fellow Doctor Who fans, fellow cosplayers, fellow Electric Car drivers and enthusiasts, all of my Equal Rights Amendment sisters and brothers in arms, all of my National Popular Vote Interstate Compact supporters, all of my avid gaming friends, all of my friends abroad except those in Europe—have your kip, mates—all of my fellow Toastmasters, all of my fellow aviators, all of my fellow musicians, tous mes amis qui parle français oder Deutsch или по-русский o italiano, my acting friends and my friends who eschew meat!
The only thing I ask is you be respectful, kind, and know that I hope you all consider any friend of mine a potential friend of yours!
There is a password to this event. It’s not hard to guess if you know me but if you want to know, and you are reading this on from Twitter, message me, on Tumblr, message me, on LinkedIn, again, message me, or join me via the Facebook event. Or, just comment on this blog, with your email address, and I will mail it to you.
TeslaFi had been spamming me with news about TeslaOS 2020.16 for a while and I’ve been itching to see what, after giving us the amazing stop at a stop sign in the last minor update.
Turns out, not much. I am mostly unimpressed by Tesla with this update, though nonetheless very appreciative. Autoformatting a DashCam drive—I wonder if it supports 2TB yet—and a better layout for Easter Eggs are, after all, improvements, even if the Easter Eggs aren’t really hidden gems anymore.
The coolest new feature, though, is the new SuperCharger filter, allowing the driver to only see Version 3 stations and filter out all the slower ones. I love the fact that I have free, lifetime SuperCharging, and one of these days, I’m gonna cross the continents with that perk.
Overall, I’m not disappointed despite being underwhelmed. And one rumor is that this, or a soon to be released version will add V2G to the Tesla. I can’t wait until that rolls out as the Tesla Battery Pack may make for a new, mobile Powerwall. Mind you, even if #CO2Fre could do V2G, my house isn’t equipped for it anyway. So, even if it doesn’t have V2G, it’s still a cool update!
Gentle reader, if you have been keeping up with me since 11 February of this year, you know that I have been posting once a day since then. As such, today marks a hundred days of a hundred daily posting. Through that, I’ve shared with you exciting electric car news, updated to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, my struggles to get the Equal Rights Amendment to be our Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, written about my many works of fiction, and the many books of nonfiction I voraciously read to be a better scientist. I’ve shared with you my cosplay adventures, and my love of Doctor Who, my love of games, and a bit of my speaking in tongues as well as delivering speeches and singing to my heart’s content. I’ve talked about international travel and how I love to fly there in my own plane, discussed my acting and my dietary needs. And most of all I’ve told you I’m an excellent coder who is always keen for new work. Thanks for riding with me as we cruise upon the cloud to another one hundred posts!
As my readers know, the ERA is very important to me and has been since the time of growing under the ridiculous rhetoric of Phyllis Schlafly. Schlafly was famous making up Straw Man Arguments against the ERA. None of her arguments phased me. I lived in Europe with coed toilets, and the military is already considering requiring girls register for the Selective Service. What’s more, twenty-five states already have a state-wide Equal Rights Amendment of some form, and none of the fallacious arguments Schlafly claimed to come to pass ever manifested.
Since I was brought into the ERA fight in Virginia in 2017, soon after it was passed in Nevada, I have been going down to Richmond to fight for its passage, as well as lobbying my friends in Illinois to pass it there. Having been in the trenches, I was avoiding seeing the new Mrs. America series because I didn’t want to relive the horrors of Schlafly’s insanity. But I recently decided it was best to know thine enemy. So, I have been watching.
The truth is, much of the history of the ERA is actually centered in Illinois. Steve Andersson got it passed in Illinois to make Illinois Thirty-Seven, right behind Virginia’s Thirty-Eight. Illinois was also the home of Phyllis Schlafly, who was instrumental in preventing Illinois from passing it until 2018. What makes that passage all the more ironic though is that Schlafly, a conservative who’s ideas on international politics weren’t so absurd became such a champion of the No ERA movement. Yet it took a Republican, Rep. Andersson, to put things right in the Land of Lincoln, the first, great Republican.
But, what astounds me is, since Schlafly became a lawyer, was she not familiar with Bradwell v. The State? In that 1867 case, contemporaneous with the Fourteenth Amendment. On the docket, Myra Bradwell sued the state of Illinois, yes, Illinois, for the right, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to practice law in the state. The US Supreme Court denied her this right, more or less implying she was not a citizen and therefore not qualified for equal protection under the law.
While this case seems archaic, it should be pointed out that since that time a number of cases have refined the Supreme Court’s position on women to bring it more in line with our modern interpretation of women as equal citizens. However, we need only look at 2007’s Ledbetter v. Goodyear. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that protection from pay discrimination against women was not protected by the Constitution and therefore Lilly Ledbetter was not entitled to sue for lost wages. Congress finally stepped in to pass a Statute to protect women, but women remain unprotected by the stronger Constitutional authority to this day. Which is to say, there are some weak protections for women but there are no strong, constitutional protections like there are for race.
The biggest issue is with Legal Constructionism. Under that doctrine, jurors try to intuit the intention of the author of a Constitutional element and apply it to the modern day. They eschew any more recent interpretation of the Constitution. Thus, one need only consider Bradwell v. The State to see the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment never intended to include women under it, and therefore, a Constructionist juror will likely derive precedent based on the 1867 ruling rather than any more modern ruling. The danger, therefore, is that most of the Supreme Court is made up of Constructionists, meaning we need the ERA now more than ever.
I hope you’re convinced now why we need the ERA, and please watch below to see the next steps to how we shall make it the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to our Constitution.
My Congresswoman, Jennifer Wexton, had a panel discussion on an topic that is very important to me. I remain scared in my situation not just because of the hypochondriac in my situation but also as I am unpaid next week. I have a second-line manager who is actively trying to fire me for being 75 minutes late when I was stuck in Ubers and Tesla was trying to bankrupt me. I am very stressed right now.
To be clear, my issue is just her having paranoia over SARS-CoV-2 combined with abusive “jealousy” that tries to keep me at home and under her finger which under the Shelter In Place. But my situation is not violent, and I will be alright. I am worried about the mainly women who are with male, physical abusers with no way out. So, please, forget what I’ve said about myself and let’s focus on the real problem here, when women are forced to be with their male abusers 24/7.
Jennifer is joined by Buta Biberaj, Saly Fayez, Mayra Jane Martinez, and Jonathan Yglesias. I was very happy to hear them mention the increased risk factors when an abuser is always home, and how folks who have English as a second language. It was great hearing how Law Enforcement is aware of these issues and are working hard to assess each situation individually and being very mindful of the increased dangers.
One thing I feel most acutely is the problem women face in terms worrying they don’t have enough money to leave. It’s most distressing that it’s money that binds a victim to her abuser, just as a diminishing savings account being the reason I’m stuck. Money has always been a problem for victims to leave, but in this case, her abuser may be unemployed or furloughed, and so money for the whole family is tighter than normal, making things all the more dangerous. What’s worse is with ACTS having to shut down shelters, and with social distancing, it’s been hard to find places to help women in need.
Another serious issues is, without physicians or schools to monitor children to detect child abuse, it means that child abuse is going on under the radar, and thus number are down but there’s no reason to assume incidents are also down.
I’m holding a virtual roundtable discussion on domestic violence during #COVID19 with law enforcement and local service providers.
Tune in right here on Facebook to join us for this important conversation⬇
Ladies, please be safe and know that there is hope, and there are people willing to help. Jennifer is right, you don’t have to live like this. Equal means equal, and we should all be equally free of abuse.
Although, yet again, I was not able to attend this wonderful conversation about how close we are passing the Equal Rights Amendment and what we can do to cross the threshold, I did think the video was inspiring and though there were too many wonderful folks for me to name all of them, I wanted to thank our next Governor, Jennifer Carroll Foy, for being a part of it.
As Alyssa Milano points out so eloquently, we’re all in this together and every voice counts. Alyssa is amazing and I grew up watching her on Who’s the Boss (as a fellow thespian I hope she knows I don’t pigeonhole her that one role given her expanse of other work) and am so delighted to see her working so hard to extend equal rights to women. I have been a supporter in my heart since before the show premiered, although I’ve only been actively lobbying in Richmond since Delegate Carroll Foy came to office.
Alas, we didn’t get the ERA in 2018 despite my friends and my lobbying. But when I heard the bill was passing through the IllinoisGeneral Assembly, I immediately started posting, messaging, and tweeting to my friends in Illinois to get the bill passed, even if it meant Virginia couldn’t be 37. No shame in 38. And no shame in 39 either, as I always tell my dear friend Triana Arnold James in Georgia. I’m just delighted Illinois has a wonderful RepublicanState RepresentativeSteve Andersson was behind us there and made sure the Illinois made it to 37. I was so proud to shake his hand when HJ79 passed.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank NevadaState SenatorPat Spearman. Without Spearman’s push in Nevada, I don’t think I’d have been aware that we still had hope for passage despite the arbitrary and unconstitutional deadline. Thank you Pat. You rock and I hope someday to shake your hand too!
There were so many wonderful people at the event, but most inspiring of all were the student organizers. They inspire me to see the next generation as passionate about this issue as I have been.
I was delighted to see Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy at today’s Herndon-Reston Indivisible meeting on Zoom. I first met Delegate Carroll Foy during my many years of trips to Richmond to lobby for the ERA. And Jennifer has been one of the best advocates we’ve had in the General Assembly. She has been a wonderful orator who gave an incredible speech in favor of the ERA last year as we were fighting for the ERA. And in the 2020 session of the General Assembly, it was Jennifer who submitted HJR 1, the ERA bill.
I was, of course, there on 27 January 2020 when Jennifer held a press conference announcing that would be the day both chambers of the General Assembly would be voting on the legislation passed by the other chamber and thus ratify the ERA in Virginia, making us 38 and the last state needed for passage.
Unfortunately, after the press conference, I got a little lost so wasn’t able to make it to our amazing photo on the stairs that day. Instead, I made my way to the House and Senate conference rooms where the General Assembly was being broadcast. I joined some of my fellow ERA advocates in the House Meeting Room 3. The House of Delegates was busy debating a number of bills and eventually I needed to use the facilities.
On my way back, I peeked in in the Virginia Senate in Senate Meeting Room 3. They were debating Jennifer’s HJR 1! I rushed back to the House Meeting Room and let everyone know it was happening in the Senate. We all rushed over and watched it live, as it happened. As Virginia became the 38th and final state to pass the ERA. We did it! We made history! And, all thanks to Jennifer’s HJR1!
As my readers know, I have long advocated for the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment, but I am happy to hear Jennifer supports many of the other issues I care deeply about. That is why, without hesitation, I am happy to support Jennifer as she announces her bid to become the next Governor of Virginia!
This is going to be one of my hardest articles for me to write because it’s extremely personal. I covered this issue somewhat with my article about Sheltered in Place with a Domestic Abuser, but when you add in the paranoia of hypochondria, things get even darker. So, alas, I need to go deeper.
It’s also hard to justify my including myself in a post that is ostensibly categorized as Equal Right. After all, I am, quite frankly, not—nor could ever be—a cis-woman.
To be clear, when we talk about equal rights, we don’t mean that should apply to more men getting abused. Reducing abuse overall should be our goal. I do think, though, men are feeling more opened about admitting when something doesn’t feel right, when things go from simple disagreement to some of the hallmarks of abuse.
One caller to a domestic violence hotline reported that her husband threatened to throw her out into the street if she coughed. Another reported they had been strangled by their partner, but feared going to the hospital because of the threat of coronavirus. An immunocompromised man from Pennsylvania called in after his emotionally abusive girlfriend began hiding cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer from him.
Fielding, Sarah. “In quarantine with an abuser: surge in domestic violence reports linked to coronavirus.” The Guardian 3 Apr. 2020: Online.
I am very happy Ms. Fielding was able to show, what I consider hypochondriac controlling abuse, isn’t only affecting women. I feel for both the women is tossed onto the street with a cough, and even more for the one who was strangled (way to social distance, m*th*r f*ck*r!). But that poor man being withheld from necessary sanitizing agents, that’s pretty tragic as well.
Advocates are concerned that this bleak reality has reached the United States, where experts say one in four women and one in seven men face physical violence by a partner at some point in their lifetimes.
Fielding, Sarah. “In quarantine with an abuser: surge in domestic violence reports linked to coronavirus.” The Guardian 3 Apr. 2020: Online.
Statistics tell the whole story. While one in four women are likely to be the victims of an abusive relationship, one in seven men are just as likely. So, while women make up the majority of victims, for every two women victims, there is at least one man.
Of course, some may find that hard to believe. How could a big, strong man be abused by a “feeble” woman? But that’s because the ways a woman might try to control or belittle or isolate a man, they are different than what a man might do to a woman. A woman typically won’t use violence against her man, though even if she did, many men are cultured to never raise their hand against a woman, even in self-defense. Many men eschew violence and would never use it to assert themselves. So, assuming a man can always prevent abuse because he’s bigger and stronger totally misses the point of what abuse is all about. Abuse is abuse, regardless of gender.
The crux of my point is that, if you combine a controlling partner, a partner who actively tries to isolate and belittle, with an abuser who is also a hypochondriac, you end of with a cough fit chucking you out on the street—or sequestered in a single room, hoping for some water, not allowed to exit confinement.
I write this from my spare room. I am prohibited from leaving this room because on Tuesday and Wednesday I had a runny nose and the bridge felt so tender, like it had been punched. I had no fever, and I know for a fact that these are not symptoms of SARS-CoV-2, but still I have been ordered not to leave this room, except to use the facilities. If I want something to eat or drink, I must make a request, and be at the whim of the hypochondriac. I may not be out of this room when the hypochondriac is around. And, even if I wanted to leave, #CO2Fre is still at the dealership, so I couldn’t go anywhere even if I wanted.
Nothing is, per se, forcing me to stay here, to be sure. But when you’re told to do something in such a commanding tone, it’s not worth trying to fight your prison sentence. I want to leave my cell, but I am afraid of the consequences if I do without consent. So, here I lie, on this bed, no free chair in the room, wishing to be free but not having the savings to make it so.
And neither do the women and men in Ms. Fielding’s article. That’s the rub.
Only, it’s not.
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline will help. I posted this before but it bears repeating because this is such an important issue and needs to be published. Please, if you are in any danger, call or text the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. They will help.
As for me, I was told I could get out of quarantine jail and retrieve #CO2Fre tomorrow. Then again, I was also told that yesterday…
One of my absolute biggest concerns with SARS-CoV-2 and the new Shelter in Place order from Governors Ralph Northam and Larry Hogan. VirginiaExecutive Order 55, and the similar executive order in Maryland, is that what’s being asked is that victims of domestic abuse are required to stay at their primary residence with the abuser who is sequestered with her (or him).
Okay, let me be frank, domestic abuse is mainly a problem women suffer from some very bad men. And Domestic Abuse can be both physical and psychological/emotional. Mainly, what I mean here is physical abuse and most physical abuse is, as I said, committed by men against women. This needs to stop!
As for emotional abuse, trust me, some men suffer from this as well as women and although emotional abuse must always take a lower priority to physical abuse, the women and men who are being psychologically abused are nonetheless equally forced into a situation where normally, an abuser would be away at work for most of the day, he is now home 24/7.
Physical abuse is thus my greatest concern by far, as physical abuse can be deadly. This is why I’m focusing on that. Please, ladies, know that you’re not alone. If your husband or live-in boyfriend is threatening you or hurting you or you’re in any way in danger, please, find a safe place and call the Domestic Abuse hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522. They are aware of the dangers the Shelter in Place orders will cause and they can help.
There are people who care. There are people who can help. Stay safe my lady friends!