Trump vs. Breastfeeding?


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“I hope that kid’s illegal – I wanna rip it away from its mom.”

You have to give me credit – I keep this blog (especially my own contributions) ALMOST completely OC-related, resisting most of the BS happening nationally and internationally.  Specifically I make an effort to avoid writing about the Latest Donald Trump Assault On All That Is Decent In Humanity And Nature.  Because once you get started on that, where do you get off, where can you stop?  It’s a unceasing maelstrom, or as I put it the other day, a “Moral Avalanche with No Visible Bottom.”

SO!  What that means, me getting credit, is I DO get to mention Trump’s latest outrage ONCE IN A WHILE – like, when it’s especially twisted and weird, and I think I could maybe have a unique take on it.  Like, a day or two ago, his administration’s War Against Breastfeeding.  Apparently this story had some social media coverage, but I actually learned about it from the daily e-mails I get from San Clemente single payer health care activist Dr. Don McCanne, of Physicians for a National Health Program.

As the New York Times reported on Sunday in a story entitled “U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials,” nobody was expecting any opposition to a resolution encouraging breastfeeding at a recent UN-affiliated World Health Assembly meeting.  Armed with decades of research and a 2016 Lancet study showing that universal breast-feeding would save 800,000 children’s lives annually while saving $300 billion, sensible nations proposed to limit inaccurate and misleading marketing of infant formula and other substitutes.

Pero…

“Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

“There was blood coming out of her … her whatever.”

“American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to ‘protect, promote and support breast-feeding’ and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

“When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

“The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

“Health advocates scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, most of them poor nations in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation, according to officials from Uruguay, Mexico and the United States.

“In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.

“A Russian delegate said the decision to introduce the breast-feeding resolution was a matter of principle.

“’We’re not trying to be a hero here, but we feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world,’ said the delegate…”

How does THAT make you feel as an American?  Outdone in common sense and humanity by the FUCKING RUSSIANS.  Life under Trump, and I sure hope you remember that feeling when you go to the polls this fall and again two years later.

Dr. McCanne, reduced as most of us have been to a pin-point of abiding white-hot rage, sees this atrocity in purely mercenary terms:

“It is almost beyond belief that United States delegates at the World Health Assembly of WHO opposed a resolution to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding.” It is difficult to imagine any other reason than that the Trump administration representatives place a much higher priority on protecting, promoting and supporting the baby formula business than they do on protecting and nurturing the health of the world’s infants.

“Even the Russians, who stepped in to introduce the resolution, said it was a matter of principle. By extrapolation, it seems that the Trump administration is unprincipled. Threatening retaliation against poorer nations if they supported breast feeding? “Unprincipled” is too mild of a word. Considering that they are placing corporate interests above the people, perhaps “corrupt” is a more accurate term.”

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WELL.  Speaking as a close observer of Trump and people like him, I say that BOTH things could be true.  I mean, not only the greed thing – the Trump administration a loyal servant to any unprincipled moneyed interests such as the formula lobby, but also the psychological thing – Trump and his boys are driven by a shizophrenic love-hate attitude toward women’s bodies.  I am apparently not the only writer to recall that Trump is already known to be disgusted by breast-feeding, and unashamed to let the world know it.  And apparently lactophobia is not uncommon among men – apparently mainly men who think of women as sex objects.  One local example is HB Community Forum founder Michael Daly, who regularly offends a lot of his female forum members with his exaggerated revulsion toward public breastfeeding.

WHAT’S UP WITH THESE GUYS?  Do they hate breasts?  No.  Do they hate babies?  No.  But apparently, they cannot hold the two thoughts in their minds, that a woman’s body is not intended just for men’s enjoyment and pleasure, but also for their offspring’s nourishment (and much more.)  And so, AS THE FISH ROTS HEAD DOWNWARD, this becomes a Misogynist Nation obsessed with but also fearful of women’s bodies, bringing into public policy the Mammary Angst so artistically and brilliantly expressed by Sparks in the 70’s:

“For months, for years,
Tits were once a source of fun and games at home.
But now she says,
Tits are only there to feed our little Joe so that he’ll grow.”

OR

May the Lord have pity on us. Vern out.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.