My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, November 20

News Observations

First, the snow. The whole country is being buried in the stuff, especially my old stomping grounds, Jamestown, NY, sixty snowy miles south of Buffalo. Lake effect snow was one of the reasons Rosalie and I came to the Southwest to retire, never feeling any great desire to return to that scene of all my back-breaking snow shoveling. But this November they’re experiencing snowfall unlike any we had during the twenty-five years we lived there. We’re talking all activity coming to a halt—schools, businesses, highways, everyone stuck in their homes until the snow stops coming down. I’m sure the ski resorts are happy with it, but they’d be the only ones. I saw on the news this morning that Buffalo will try to get the snow removed from their football stadium so that the Bill/Jets game can be played. Good luck with that.

Puzzling tv plot moves: Madam Secretary is suggesting that a president might be part of a murder plot; The Good Wife is showing us Alicia’s political campaign as ugly as campaigns in real life; and more Good Wife stuff—Kalinda can’t seem to decide which side of her bi-sexuality to take, and just sure as hell, Cary Agos is soon going to die.

Sad sad tv story: the voice of The Big Bang Theory’s Mrs. Wolowitz, Carol Ann Susi, has died after a long fight with cancer. Goodbye, Mrs. Wolowitz and Ms Susi, we’ll miss you big time.

Please say it isn’t true, Bill. One of our favorite tv dads is again being accused of rape and he remains silent. This isn’t the first time such allegations were made against Bill Cosby. In 2005, he settled claims out of court. And now, here we go again. Women are coming forward from all over the place to tell their stories about how Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. His comment in a 1969 comedy sketch has resurfaced, that he was looking for some Spanish Fly to put in a woman’s drink. Funny, huh? No, ‘tain’t funny, McGee. The sheer number of his accusers seems to lend weight to the truth of these accusations. And that brings me to the problem of defining rape and sexual assault. This is a very scary dilemma. At what point in a sexual episode does that act go beyond consensual sex and into non-consensual sex? This is a really gray area, in all fifty shades of grey. How is using a drug such as rohypnol that much different than using mind-numbing amounts of alcohol? Ogden Nash joked about it a long time ago when he wrote “Candy is dandy / But liquor is quicker.” That isn’t nearly as funny now as when he wrote it, and it shouldn’t have been funny even then. When does “no’ become “maybe” or “yes” go back to “maybe” and then to “no?”
All very confusing, and it’s all part of the problem with rape and sexual assault cases. What is consensual and what isn’t? It also includes that oh so grey area in the work place, sexual harassment, generally defined as uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (as an employee or student).
Most people think of sexual harassment as men harassing women, but it can also be women harassing men, or men other men, or women other women regardless of sexual orientation. Confusing, right? Well, just look at this list of behaviors considered to be harassment:
•Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.
•Unwanted pressure for sexual favors.
•Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering, or pinching.
•Unwanted sexual looks or gestures.
•Unwanted letters, telephone calls, or materials of a sexual nature.
•Unwanted pressure for dates.
•Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions.
•Referring to an adult as a girl, hunk, doll, babe, or honey.
•Whistling at someone.
•Cat calls.
•Sexual comments.
•Turning work discussions to sexual topics.
•Sexual innuendos or stories.
•Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history.
•Personal questions about social or sexual life.
•Sexual comments about a person's clothing, anatomy, or looks.
•Kissing sounds, howling, and smacking lips.
•Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person's personal sex life.
•Neck massage.
•Touching an employee's clothing, hair, or body.
•Giving personal gifts.
•Hanging around a person.
•Hugging, kissing, patting, or stroking.
•Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person.
•Standing close or brushing up against a person.
•Looking a person up and down (elevator eyes).
•Staring at someone.
•Sexually suggestive signals.
•Facial expressions, winking, throwing kisses, or licking lips.
•Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements.
Now there’s a list to contend with. How can civilized nations finally put an end to sexual assault or harassment of any kind? When will we finally agree to protect each other’s personal rights in all areas, not just the sexual?
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