1. It’s Friday, October 6, 2017.
2. It’s the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery.
It took place about 10 miles up the Hudson from where I live and is noted for the fact that the generals on both sides were named Clinton – in fact, both of the Americans’ generals were brothers named Clinton.
The British Clinton, who was no known relation, beat the two Americans. So not a good day in history for the good guys.
3. Neither, unfortunately, is today.
Let’s start with Harvey Weinstein.
Exposing sexual predators with power requires a strength that often takes time to muster. We saw what happened last year with Roger Ailes at Fox News.
Unfortunately, 20 years went by before Harvey Weinstein was shown for what he is. It was supposedly the best kept secret in Hollywood that this producer, a hit maker responsible for loads of Oscars, took unwelcome liberties with women in the film industry. He paid those who complained to maintain his reputation.
So kudos to The New York Times for bringing this out into the open. And kudos to the women who told their stories to the Times’ reporters.
Folks on the right are chortling over what they perceive as Democrats’ discomfort about Weinstein, who donated a lot of money to the party’s candidates over the years.
What Democrats should be is angry. So should Republicans and any other political stripe you imagine.
Sexual predators look for ways to cloak their heinous behavior in respectability. In Weinstein’s case, he might have reached the conclusion that as long as he put in his money in noble causes on the left, his abhorrent behavior would be overlooked.
That might have worked for a time. But hypocrisy stinks and the smell overpowers.
Several Democrats who received money from Weinstein are either returning it or donating it to groups advocating against violence toward women. That’s a no-brainer.
If you’re a Democrat and believe that women deserve fairness and justice, that money should be out of your hands.
And Weinstein should be a pariah to the party. For as long as he lives.
4. Today’s other news that reflects an irrational view of women comes, of course, from the White House.
As expected, Trump announced that employers no longer have to pay for essential contraceptive services required by Obamacare if they have religious objections.
For some reason, people who don’t believe women should have the ability to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to full term also don’t believe women should have the ability not to become pregnant in the first place.
I guess, they believe, this is how you stop men and women from engaging in sexual activity unless they want to procreate.
Which is, of course, ridiculous. Most people don’t want 10 children. It’s hard enough to raise one.
Not to mention that some people don’t want any for whatever reason.
And that reason is nobody’s business but that person’s or couple’s.
Finally, contraceptives are not just for birth control. They are often used to combat other health issues such as migraines related to menstruation.
Here’s something that shouldn’t be a radical idea: Women are entitled to be free from pain.
But the busybodies of the Christian right seem to believe it’s divine will that their preferences on this be the law of the land.
Not every employer is going to be stupid enough to take away the provision of contraceptive services to employees.
Just the ones who hide behind some religious excuse to reveal their contempt of the women who work for them.
5. And, finally, this: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton apologized for remarks demeaning a female reporter who asked him about routes, which is what wide receivers run on pass plays.
He thought it was funny that she would know what a route was.
One thing that should be really tired is the concept that women don’t understand anything about sports.
It should have been tired more than a half-century ago.
It’s my experience that women know all they need to know about any sport. This shouldn’t need to be said, but women have proven themselves as sports journalists – and it is preposterous to infer that they’re not sophisticated enough to understand the real nitty gritty of the game.
And that applies to fans, too. It’s my experience, for instance, that women who follow the Mets enough to blog or tweet are as knowledgeable and entertaining in their statements and exhortations as any guy.
One more thing:
It was my mom, nearly 60 years ago, who taught me how to keep score. That I’ve done so to cover a World Series professionally is a tribute to her teaching and her passion for the game.
Now she’s absolutely wrong about supporting the designated hitter. She may be about to turn 85, but I don’t intend to let up on that argument.