Dear Surgeon General

12.6.16

DEAR SURGEON GENERAL,

I would like permission operate on President-Elect Trump’s brain.  Immediately.

You are correct in noting that I am not a neurosurgeon.  I’m not even a medical doctor.  I do have a doctorate degree…but it’s in law.  That’s right, I’m a lawyer and I’m prepped and ready for surgery!

Before you dismiss me for lack of experience, let me make my case.  Though I previously believed myself to be unqualified to lead a team of brain surgeons in cutting into the POTUS-elect’s head, I have recently changed my mind.  You see, like Mr. Trump (allegedly), I too have a brain.  I’ve used it all my life.  I was born with a brain and having a brain has informed nearly every decision I’ve made since the ‘90s.

Thus, clearly, I can take a scalpel (brain surgeons use scalpels, right? … or is it a drill?), lift the uniquely-coiffed cranium off the Donald and see what, if anything, is in there.   What I find may be scrambled, it may be fried, but there is very clearly something wrong.  No matter … in order to, “Make America Great Again,” it must be fixed.

While I’m at it, I would like to be appointed the head of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons.  I’m 100% positive that the fine physicians who worked their whole lives to become neurosurgeons will have NO problem with a lawyer heading their fine institution.  Like I said, I have a brain and on most days, I use it.  Having a brain has been very important to my life.

Fear not my lack of leadership experience.  I have never led so much as a girl scout troop.  That said, I believe I’m qualified to someday be POTUS myself.  That brand of bravado is exactly what the American Board of Neurological Surgeons need.  Besides, I have already tapped a thoracic surgeon and a factory worker to be my principal advisors so everything will be ok.  Trust me.  I’m a Christian (crossed my fingers on that one! Sssshhhh…).

Finally, I should note that my platform as head of ABNS will be to only allow brain surgeries on white Americans with median incomes over $800,000 per year.  Sure, that will leave everyone else in peril BUT, with the sort of prices I can charge this populace for a little brain tickle, I will be able to tear down all the shoddy hospitals and surgery centers in the United States and build new, shiny, properly-gilded palaces fitting for those who can afford me.  What’s that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy?  You’re not white?  That’s unfortunate.  In fact, you look a little Muslim-y!  Have you registered?  What the hell am I asking your permission for anyway?  I don’t need you!  I’m going straight to the Donald and asking for your job!

Sincerely,

Me

P.S.  Thanks for the warning on cigarettes.

 

Copyright 2016, Jennifer S. Anderson, All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Donald:

11.29.16

An Open Letter to Donald Trump:

Today is the first time I have read any of your words and thought to myself, “I really need to help that guy.”  In particular,  I’m speaking to the phenomenal ignorance you displayed with this tweet:

trump_tweet

Mr. Trump, I’d like to introduce you to two concepts key to our Republic:  The Supreme Court of the United States and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.   Now, I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’ve spent some serious time with these stalwarts of our great nation.  In fact, in law school, I received a coveted A+ in First Amendment Law.  I fancy myself a bit of a First Amendment nerd, if you will.  So believe me, sir, when I say I can offer help in your time of ignorance.

In law school, our professors used to instruct us to “explain the law as if you were talking to your grandmother.”  My grandmother, a proud southern woman from Alabama who never completed the 8th grade, was worlds smarter than you (“bigly smarter,” you might say).  So, Mr. Trump, I will dumb it down for you even a bit further than that.

You may be surprised (and dismayed) to know that you are not the first person to suggest punishment for the act of burning our nation’s flag.  Indeed, there were laws on the books all over America criminalizing such conduct up until 1989.  It was that year, sir, that your idea took a tumble, constitutionally speaking.

In 1989, the Supreme Court (Google them if you’re not familiar) decided a case called Texas v. Johnson.  In that case, Mr. Johnson was convicted of a Texas law that criminalized the burning of the American flag.  He had admittedly done so in 1984, at a large protest rally outside of the Republican National Convention in Dallas.  His act was in response to Ronald Reagan’s re-nomination as the Republican candidate for President of the United States. (You remember Reagan … he was the last President/TV star we elected).

Mr. Johnson (apparently a YUUUGE hippie) was protesting Reagan’s nuclear proliferation program.  He burned the flag at the steps of the convention, to varying cries of jeers and cheers.  The police arrested Mr. Johnson, and only Mr. Johnson, for violating the state’s flag desecration statute and for breaching the peace.

Mr. Johnson appealed his conviction and, by 1989, the case made its way to SCOTUS.  Donald (may I call you Donald?), I would invite you to go read this case for yourself (See Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).).  Perhaps you could have one of your daughters summarize it for you.  No matter, just familiarize yourself with it.  For in this one case, our Supreme Court gave a stunning recitation of First Amendment jurisprudence (forgive me for the multi-syllabic words).  Here is but a smattering of what the Court, led by Justice Brennan, had to say:

We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents.”  Wow.  Think about that for a minute.  No, Donald, really … think.  I’ll translate:  “We do not honor the flag by punishing people who burn it because the flag is a symbol of our freedom of speech.”  Whew!  What a concept!  But wait, there’s more…

The Court also recognized that as far back as 1943, Justice Robert Jackson had written for the majority: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”  Again, I’ll translate because I know you lack patience and focus:  If there is any central concept to our Constitution, it is that no politician (not even you) can dictate what our citizens believe with respect to politics, religion, etc., NOR can any politician force the people to state their shared belief with said dictator, er, politician.  You see, Donald, we get to agree to disagree, even with you.

Finally Donald, in all due respect (and I truly, truly beg of you to consider how much respect you deserve), the Court in Texas v. Johnson reminded us that in prior First Amendment decisions, SCOTUS recognized that “a function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.”

You have stirred me to anger, Donald.  I will not rest until you are out of office.  I will serve the highest purpose of the First Amendment and shout your ignorance and ill-preparedness from every rooftop.

Hope this helps,

All 64 million of us that didn’t vote for you.

P.S. The Texas v. Johnson Court ultimately decided that laws such as the one you proposed via TWEET, are unconstitutional.  Maybe tomorrow night you’ll come up with something better.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016, Jennifer Anderson, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

#StopStopping

[Originally published via Facebook]

An Open Letter to My Sisters:

First, if you’re receiving this, it means I respect you tremendously.  I may not always agree with you or understand where you’re coming from, but I respect you.  Some of you I’ve known for over 40 years (wow).  Others, I’ve not yet met in person.  I feel the need to connect with all of you in this moment.

Forgive me while I take a walk down memory lane – one that some of you walked with me.  In the late 1980s/early 1990s, we were fighters.  Losing abortion rights was a real threat.  It was still pretty shameful and dangerous to be gay or bisexual.  No one, not even me, dared accept transsexuals.  Polyamory … no way!  Even access to birth control was at risk.  Our opponents wanted us dead.  Literally, dead.  In many respects, we still hated ourselves.

That didn’t stop us.  We marched.  We congregated.  We celebrated the strength of women.  We honored the women who came before us.  Tremendously, we honored them.  I know it wasn’t just us because we’d show up for these rallies and there would be tens of thousands of women marching and shouting and sweating and … fighting.  It wasn’t just us.  Right?  It wasn’t just us…

We graduated.  We grew up.  We got jobs.  We got married.  We had children.

We stopped.

I don’t know about you, but I was comfortable.  I got a great education, a great job, I had a great partner, a great house in a great suburb … my family was intact.  George Bush was embarrassing but, in hindsight, he was tolerable domestically despite the global atrocities his regime ignited.  I even registered as a Republican … once.

We stopped.

Abortion rights were secure.  Women were making a whopping 77 cents on a man’s dollar.  My friends were lawyers and doctors and professors and engineers and generally kick ass women.  Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi were California stalwarts.  I personally was kicking ass.  I bought things and more things and more things.  I invited y’all over to see my things.

We stopped.

9/11 happened. Anita Hill. The Iraq War.  Afghanistan.  Bosnia. Syria.  Rodney King.  OJ Simpson.  People hunted animals to extinction for their tusks.  Police brutality reigned.  Women continued to be circumcised and raped in Africa.  Tibetan Buddhists continued to be exiled.  Dozens of police departments stopped processing rape kits.  All of this happened on our watch.  In fairness, we had a Starbucks on every corner and a smart phone in every hand.  We were distracted.

We stopped.

My sisters.  Can we please stop stopping?  Can we please, despite our differences, care enough simply to empower women … to empower leadership?  Can we be artists and writers and politicians and healers and mothers and aunties and poor and rich and healthy and not and … together?  Can we try?

Stay tuned, my sisters.  Opportunities are coming.  I will call on all of you in days to come.  Please stop stopping with me.  I love you all.   ~Jennifer … Jenny … Jen (whatever you called me)

Copyright 2016, Jennifer Anderson, All rights reserved.

Sexual Assault Is NOT Presidential

 

If you throw out all the simply uncomfortable situations I’ve experienced (like being forcibly kissed when I didn’t want to be kissed at all), I have been sexually assaulted four times.  Once as a child, once by way of date rape in college, once by a very powerful boss and once by a stranger after being drugged in a casino. One woman.  Four sexual assaults.  This would be tragic if I weren’t a part of such massive sorority in this regard.  And I’m here to tell you, it is my “sisters” and I that will fight the hardest in this revolution.  I’ll explain.

In order to make my point, I want to throw out the first assault and the last assault … as if we’re playing some sick game of averages.  One was committed by a young teenager who was likely abused himself.  The other perpetrator was a stranger.  So, I can’t speak to who they are as men.  But I can talk about the other two because I knew them both well.

And I can tell you, unequivocally, the two men who committed those crimes have something in common:  they are Donald Trump.  [Not literally, of course.  I feel quite blessed to be able to say I’ve never met the real Donald Trump.]

What I mean is, they were both white, privileged, powerful men.  And, like Donald Trump, when they saw something they wanted, they took it.  Like Donald Trump, they bragged about it later.  And, like Donald, they got away with it.

Why did I let them get away with it?  Simple:  I was worried that their crimes would ruin my reputation.  The guy in college was college-powerful.  He was older than me, a phenomenal athlete and, as someone I had grown up with, was well-liked and respected in our home community.  Accusing him of something like rape would have destroyed me.  Interesting, right?  It would have destroyed me, not him.  That was my belief at the time.  In many ways, it still is.

And as for my boss well, reporting him would have meant career suicide.  I had just left the comfort of the plush, well respected firm I began my career with with out of law school to take a chance on his small, powerhouse litigation firm.  He was well-known and well-respected in our rich, lily-white, highly conservative suburb of Los Angeles.  I didn’t dare speak up.  I stayed and I stayed quiet.  I even traveled  with him frequently.  For what seemed like eternity, I endured his unyielding advances, his drunken calls to my hotel room in the middle of the night and his endless bravado and dick-wagging whenever I was near other males.   I endured and endured until four years later I quit in a fit of rage.  Everyone wondered why I was such a bitch on my way out.  Still, I didn’t say anything.

But today, I am.

Today, I stand with my sisters in saying we know you, Donald Trump.  Guys like you don’t engage in isolated bouts of “locker room talk.”  Guys like you have money and wealth and power and you treat all that like a golden ticket to “grab our pussies.”

I have now spent the better half of my life watching guys like you prey on women like me.  I’ve shut up and let you succeed.  I’ve seen you ruin relationships and families.  I’ve seen you brag about your conquests and laugh about our tears.  I’ve seen you fondle yourselves in meetings and stare us down with the power of knowing we won’t say a word.  I’ve seen you pay my male colleagues far more than you paid me for the same work. You have objectified, belittled and ridiculed us for far too long.  Enough is enough!

I’m guessing that the vast majority of women who are having the same vitriolic reaction to Donald Trump that I’m having, are having it for the same reason.  It is time for us to stand up and stop staying quiet!  The time is NOW to prevent this from becoming our new normal.  For the sake of our daughters and granddaughters and nieces and all little girls everywhere, it is time to put a stop to this!

Please join me in doing everything you can to stop this habitual sex offender from leading our nation.  Stop him from becoming a hero to even one little boy.  Let’s fight and fight and fight harder until he leaves the oval office with his dick between his legs.

Call your Senators, your Representatives.  Speak up.  Tell people what happened to you and how it affected your life.  March on Washington, if you can.  If you can’t, march locally.  Peacefully protest.  Assemble, congregate, shout, scream.  Do whatever you need to do to stop America’s offender-elect from becoming our next president.

I’ll see you on January 21, Donald.  I dare you to grab my pussy …

Copyright 2016, Jennifer Anderson, All rights reserved.

Welcome, Majority

This site is dedicated to the majority of Americans (as of this writing, some 64 million strong) who voted for Hillary Clinton.  Ultimately, this will be a forum for our collective voices.  This will be a place where we can talk about our disappointment, our anger and, most importantly, our plan of action.

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