Burch: GOP targets women

Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

As I have pointed out in previous articles, the Republican party has clearly set its sights on groups of disfavored Americans and has been taking legislative potshots at them. Anyone who isn’t a well-heeled white conservative Christian is fair game: homosexuals, Muslims, minorities, union workers, teachers, the elderly, the sick, the unemployed, et al.

The party that claims to follow Jesus Christ is actually practicing social and economic Darwinism: the survival of the strongest and most ruthless at the expense of everyone else. If the GOP has its way, the rich will keep getting richer.

Now the GOP has set its fanatical sights squarely on women. As Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) recently noted, the party of “family values” clearly has “an anti-woman, anti-child agenda” which includes keeping women barefoot and pregnant, and in submission to men, by denying them control over their own bodies and reproductive organs, even if they have been raped or their lives are in danger.

Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), the leading Republican presidential candidate, supports the reversal of Roe vs. Wade.

Ron Paul (R-Texas) recently opined that abortions should only be allowed in cases of “honest rape,” which suggests that the burden is on the victims to prove their innocence.

Chris Smith (R-N.J.) tried to get rape redefined as “forcible rape,” meaning that women would have to show evidence of physical struggles, even though many rapes leave emotional and psychological, rather than physical, scars.

Bobby Franklin (R-Ga.) recently introduced a bill that would call rape victims “accusers” until the defendant is convicted.

If we add such things up, the end result seems clear: women and girls who are the victims of incest and pedophilia will be forced to bear their rapists’ children because they’ll be denied legal abortions. That is, unless the GOP manages to make all abortions illegal, which seems to be the ultimate goal.

And yet this is only the tip of an enormous iceberg that threatens to sink women’s rights. As Rachel Maddow pointed out recently, the GOP is also "waging war on contraception."

Newt Gingrich, a converted Catholic, has voted 72 times against a woman’s right to choose, and is now espousing the “personhood” rights of fertilized eggs, which could make it illegal to use contraceptives.

Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic, not only opposes a woman’s right to choose, but has even spoken publicly about the “dangers of contraception,” saying that using contraceptives is “not okay.” Santorum maintains that states have the right to ban contraceptives.

The fundamental question is whether women have the right to choose if and when to become mothers. The alpha males of the GOP clearly believe the answer is “no.” They have read the Bible, and even though it says nothing about when life begins, or contraceptives or abortions, they still claim to know the mind of God and speak for him.

Even if Moses had issued edicts about contraception and abortion why should American women be forced to bow down to the commandments of a man who said that fathers could sell their own daughters as sex slaves with the option to buy them back if they didn’t “please” their new masters (Exodus 21), and that girls who had been raped should either be stoned to death or sold to their rapists (Deuteronomy 22)?

The GOP is increasingly driven by the white alpha male conviction that white alpha males are meant to dominate and rule the earth. Now they have American women in their sights and keep firing one legislative bullet after another. From time to time those shots hit their marks, and chip away at the hard-won gains of the American women’s rights movement.

I am reminded of the well-known Holocaust poem written by a German pastor, Martin Niemöller, who supported the right-wing alpha males of his day, only to end up in a concentration camp himself. His poem begins “First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew ... .”

If we want to avoid similar fates, we need to see and understand what the GOP is doing and send these modern barbarians a clear message with our votes, before it’s too late.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

110 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 3/16/12 at 4:04

I never agreed with Obama about his "the correct war" in Afghanistan.
Look at the mess that's turned out to be. And, $10. billion a month?
And, with gas now approaching $4.00 a gallon Nationwide, we have got to start drilling everywhere.
Build the Keystone XL for Christ's sake.
But, these GOP'ers who want the job are nutz.
As Mike points out, their belief system concerning sex, reproduction, birth control, abortion would set back women's rights to the 1920's.
Without question, they would bomb Iran within the 1st 90 days of office.
Just to show how tough they are. Big men. Large cahones.
I think Obama's getting it 80% right, and that's good enough for me.

By: BenDover on 3/16/12 at 5:21

Another wild-eyed rant by Mr Burch.

The problem with abortion is that it has become just another form of birth-control. Anyone who thinks that's a good thing is nuts.

Then by extension Burch claims that it's the policy of all the Republican candidates to ban all forms of birth control. This, as he knows, is an absolute falsehood. None of the candidates have the policy stance to ban birth control.

Further Burch evokes the old 'Christians are not Christlike' canard as if Christ himself called for all forms of charity, compassion and altruism be routed through an inefficient, often corrupt, and politically motivated bureaucracy.

While all the Republican candidates do support a basic safety net provided by the taxpayers they do not support a centrally planned and government executed cradle to grave monstrosity that interferes with individual liberty, threatens to destroy the country as founded, and even in its infancy is racking up budget deficits 4 times greater than those of Bush during the peak of his war spending.

Burch is being a good little parrot in the contrived 'war on women' campaign. I guess it's because he knows Obama and Co. can't win unless he ridiculously mischaracterizes his opponents.

By: dargent7 on 3/16/12 at 5:46

Abortion, as you explain and label it, is not "another form of birth control".
And as far as the "mischaracterzation of his (Obama's) opponents", they are old, rich, white men. Notice?
They will dictate, lecture, and pass laws that affect a woman's body and heath.
Of which none are qualified. Ron Paul, a M.D. is the closest, but too crazy.
All are on record as saying, they'll overturn Roe v. Wade, make abortion illegal, and criminalize it.
Not to be too graphic, but all think once a man's semi-erect (or turbo -charged on Viagra)penis enters a woman's vagina, it becomes," a sacred act". A "gift from God".
That's total insanity.
Her saying, "No", or being forcibly raped in an alley, has no bearing.
Just on this alone, none of these idiots have any business entering the W.H.

By: yogiman on 3/16/12 at 5:51

Mike is an apparent dumb democrat, BenDover. That should explain his views because the only ones he can find fault with are his boy Barry's opponents.

By: yogiman on 3/16/12 at 5:57


All of those "idiots" legally have much more business in the W.H. than your man Barry Soetoro who is obviously in there illegally with the aid of the democrat party.

By: treehugger7 on 3/16/12 at 6:23

Until men can get pregnant--shut the heck up! If you don't agree with contraception--don't use it! If you don't believe in abortion--don't have one! But NO ONE has the right to tell me what I can do with my body. We fought this in the seventies and won! And we will again! Grow up and get over it!

By: treehugger7 on 3/16/12 at 6:25

Enough, yogi! we know what you are going to say every day...we just aren't stupid enough to believe it!

By: govskeptic on 3/16/12 at 6:29

All that BS and you left out it's all Bush-Chaney's fault after all. It's been revealed
through their own polling that the Obama campaign is and has had a problem
in attracting uneducated white women into the fold, thus this made up
campaign that the Republican have it in for women. One would think they don't
have women as wife's, sister's, mother's, and beloved grandmothers! They
have given up on Christians, white males of any or no religion , and educated
white women. This focus on Hispanics, Muslims, and Beta males that
vote as their wives tell them or hate their own race for their life's failing,
along with poets out to reverse their reputations as wimps within the
spoken word society.

What the Grand Bamboozleist doesn't want attention drawn to is his
background and life of surrounding himself from middle school till
2006 with those of the anarchist attitude toward this country. Let's
start by looking at one of the first leaving out his maternal grandfather
that he was introduced to by this grandfather who wanted him to have
a mentor to his paternal side, one: Frank Marshall Davis, the now
deceased and failed poet and author of "Black Sex Pistol". Check out
this middle school to end of high school connection as a good start!

By: Moonglow1 on 3/16/12 at 6:38

Moonglow1: Regarding the comments on the rising gas prices-the rise in gas prices is the direct result of Wall St derivative trading\speculators. I thought this practice was going to be reigned in. Stop this type of trading and prices will fall.

Yes, once again the GOP has established its creds as The Personification of the Taliban. There is no difference. Thereby our troops need to be pulled out of Afghanistan and deployed in the United States.

The real question is who benefits from the GOP War on Women and who is financing this War? ALEC? By relegating women to an underclass, it fundamentally changes our society. Is this the goal?

It seems to me we ought to support atheists as they engage in rational thought in contrast to Christians who are engaging in this nonsensical "Christian\Taliban Male Dominated" War on Women.

By: treehugger7 on 3/16/12 at 6:47

Amen, moonglow!

By: dargent7 on 3/16/12 at 6:52

Barack Obama rose to prominance quickly. It was largely due to the void the country found itself in after 9/11 and the Bush/ Cheney war years.
Two ground wars only last so long in the consciouness of vengeful Americans.
"GovSkeptic and yogi" should form a tag-team.
Neither ever make any sense. It's a marriage made in Heaven.
They should start research why Romney's dad, grandfather, and great-gradfather, all born in Mexico, is any more qualified to be President than Obama.
Their "usurper" nonsense is pure bullshit.

By: Moonglow1 on 3/16/12 at 7:00

Moonglow1: Watching these crazed white guys discuss the female reproductive system in stead of focusing on addressing aging infrastructure, dangerous geo political issues, building a sound economy to benefit all, adjusting to the reality of climate change and putting into place advanced weather tracking systems, protecting our food supply against infiltration by Monsanto (genetic crops), advancing new technologies to benefit society are a few policy issues that could use some help. But no, the focus is on trans vaginal ultra sound.

Also, with all this debate about health care costs, the GOP fat white guys are the last in line to decrease health care costs by adopting healthy behaviors. For example, diabetics in TN average 11% in contrast to the national average of 6 %. So, it makes sense for people to limit their sugar intake. However not according to our TN legislature and DeJarlis. Oh now, "We ain't gonna let the gov mint tell us what to eat. ". Well then don't complain about the high cost of health care (diabetes\cardiac). Heap your plate with them cakes and cookies!! How bout some bacon grease. Yeah, I'm gonna eat like a pig and you gonna pay for my health care.

Oh yeah baby: The USA has elected a group of morons on a national and state and county level. The depth of their stupidity is breathtaking.

By: yogiman on 3/16/12 at 7:09

Sorry, dargent7,

I'm afraid you're one of the one's full of BS in accepting an illegal alien as your president. Good luck to you in the future. You're going to need it if Barry pulls it off again..

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 7:12

Good morning, Nashville!

At the risk of being accused of having a "bromance" with Mike Burch, I'll once again give his essay a thumbs up. Nice piece of writing, Mike....it's got the righties' tightie whities in a tight white wad this morning....giving them a healthy "good morning" wedgie.

Once again, Tricky Dick's outreach to the Southern Bible Thumpers is revealing its down side....you can win elections using the Southern strategy, but you lose the support of the more tolerant and more educated voters by so doing.

There are millions of Republican women and minorities who are acting as useful idiots; they are voting against their own best interests.....but sadly, they are simply too stupid to realize it.

Even in the most repressive faith-based societies, there are always those masochistic people who will accept their roles as second and third class members of society....they are brain-washed from birth...very few manage to break away from the herd.

As a civilizing influence, organized religion is highly over-rated.

By: conservarage on 3/16/12 at 7:14

the city paper doesn't do itself any favors by constantly posting the letters of this mental midget.

By: Moonglow1 on 3/16/12 at 7:17

Moonglow1: Check out the Nashville Business Journal. The TN legislature has moved to censure a U. N. Resolution concerning sustainable development. The TN legislature believes this resolution is very bad because it may take away their property rights. Yes another example of crazed thinking and misapplied priorities. We elected them to represent us. Really, morons with low IQs. Paranoid delusional legislators who would benefit from mental health evaluations to address their paranoid delusional world view.

By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 7:17

Ben, of course abortion is birth control, it always has been. Now perhaps you'd like a cap on the amount of abortions a single person can have...of course the alternative, contraceptives, aren't very popular in some circles either.

Doesn't it seem that we're headed towards a point where some will begin calling for sterilization?

By: treehugger7 on 3/16/12 at 7:22

Thanks, Loner, for ther righties tightie whities! Just can't say it too fast. Daily Beast has an article on Michael Steele, and how he shaped the ridiculous primary/caucus three ring circus while he was party chairman--good read. You have to wonder if he was put in as a ringer!

By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 7:23

I'm afraid you're one of the one's full of BS in accepting an illegal alien as your president.

This directly contradicts your previous asseriton that he is not natural born but an American Citizen. You're not a very good conspiracy theorist if you can't get your crazy theories straight...

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 7:27

Deal with it, Yogi, the Muslim socialist and illegal alien will be our president through 2016...but do not worry, he takes his marching orders from the War Lobby: Defense, Israel & Energy...the status quo is in no danger.

The Nobel Peace Prize means nothing to BHO....although he never served in uniform, Obama believes in continuing and expanding the Bush dynasty's Holy Wars....as long as BHO does what he's told, his job is secure. But that could change overnight.

If the out-of-contol Israelis strike the Iranians this summer, and gasoline goes to $8/gallon, then BHO could be in a world of feces....since Bibi Netanyahu hates the "schwartze" US President with an arrogant Jewish passion, I expect that Israel will go rogue and strike the Persians sooner rather than later....the apartheid-loving Jews would get to strike their hated neighbors, gain the support of the entire US Congress and set the stage for Obama's defeat....and the Chosen People would probably also get the US to finish the war with Iran which they foolishly started.

Again, it's all out of our hands...the Israelis and the Zionist-owned US media will decide who will be our next president....we have been sold out.


By: treehugger7 on 3/16/12 at 7:31

Reference is not daily beast, but Mother jones. Sorry I can't link it; my computer is in an ornery off and on mode, due to the weather, I suppose

By: yogiman on 3/16/12 at 7:41


I'm afraid you're proving your idiocy in referring to Republican women and minorities as "useful" idiots. The biggest group idiots in this nation was the ones that voted for an illegal candidate as the president when they don't even know who the man is. And I'd say the vast majority of those idiots were Democrats.

By: BenDover on 3/16/12 at 7:50

Being against abortion is not a radical position. Hopefully no reasonable people are pro-abortion; though I see hints of the eugenics movement in the liberal mind-set often.

Using abortion as a from of birth control is a radical position.

Support for late term abortion is a radical position.

Support for leaving the baby to die of exposure in the case of a botched abortion is radical position (see Obama).

None of the Republican candidates are proposing banning contraception. This is a wholly fabricated fear tactic employed by the Obama administration to distract from the fact that his first term in office offers no merit whatsoever toward the case for his re-election.

By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 7:51

Let's play a game: Things smarter than Yogi

a turd
a stick of wood
the corpse of Lee Harvey Oswald
candle wax

By: pswindle on 3/16/12 at 7:53

TN Legislative is trying to undo a UN resolution. All doubt has been erased, they are crazy. There is one way that men will back off from all of this obortion and conceptions stuff is for the women to never be available to them.

By: yogiman on 3/16/12 at 7:56

Correct me if I'm wrong, gdiafante, but I believe I said he could possibly only have dual citizenship. With a Kenyan father and 18 year old American mother in 1961, he was born as a British subject with possible dual citizenship.

If he was legally qualified for that office in accordance to requirements of the Constitution, don't you think he would have thrown his birth certificate in our face at the beginning?

And as I have stated before, even if he was a natural born citizen he would have lost that citizenship when he became an Indonesian citizen. Once you lose it, you cannot get it back. His best citizenship could only be a naturalized citizen. That is if he is an American citizen.

By: BenDover on 3/16/12 at 7:56

"Watching these crazed white guys discuss the female reproductive system in stead of focusing on addressing aging infrastructure, dangerous geo political issues, building a sound economy to benefit all, adjusting to the reality of climate change and putting into place advanced weather tracking systems, protecting our food supply against infiltration by Monsanto (genetic crops), advancing new technologies to benefit society are a few policy issues that could use some help. But no, the focus is on trans vaginal ultra sound. "

Moonglow, the Republican Candidates would be happy to discuss real issues. It is an Obama-adoring media that swings all of the attention to these ridiculous polarizing arguments in order to discredit the candidates and distract from what a miserable failure Obama has been.

By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 7:57

I have yet to meet one person who is pro-abortion. I'm certainly not. I do realize that it's not my decision, it's the woman's.

Ben, using abortion continuously for birth control is wrong on many levels, and again, an interesting debate is a quota, meaning a woman can not have unlimited abortions.

For me personally, I have no problem banning abortions even earlier in the term than it is now...if it's going to be legal, it should happen as soon as possible in the process. I wonder if that would solve any of the issue?

Probably not.

By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 8:00

Ben, the media isn't writing these candidates speeches for them. Give me a break. Both sides cater to the base...Obama will play class wars and the GOP will play the social wars.

By: yogiman on 3/16/12 at 8:02

You forgot to mention your buddy Barry's name, gdiafarte. He's obviously better at lying to idiots than I am in telling the truth. They simply don't seem to have enough brain to notice when a liar is lying through his teeth.

By: BenDover on 3/16/12 at 8:04

This is the kind of thing the Obama administration has spent the last 4 years doing.


By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 8:08

I wonder Ben, I was discussing this with the wife the other day, are you better off now than four years ago?

It's an interesting question. I think a lot of people can answer it as "yes", if only because the economy falling off a cliff caused a vast amount of people to start paying off debt and saving money.

I know many people who haven't paid all their debt, but a substantial portion of it...and they're putting more in savings. It could explain the small economic improvement...less debt equals more disposable income.

Of course, fully expect those who support Obama to say they are better off, and those who don't say they aren't. Partisanship still rules.

By: BenDover on 3/16/12 at 8:13

The media is not writing the speeches but they are emphasizing the most polarizing points and ignoring their honest criticisms of President Obama.

Many people think the Republican candidates are crazy misogynists who want to ban birth control, which an absolute lie.

Propaganda pieces like this Burch article only contribute to the misinformation.

By: gdiafante on 3/16/12 at 8:20

For every Birch there are three Conservative talk radio shows. What's good for the goose is apparently not good for the gander.

I've watched a few of the debates Ben, and it's well-documented that I was prepared to vote for Romney, not anymore. IMO, they are all nuts. Romney is so far out of touch with reality and the average American citizen it's a joke. Santorum is far too theocratic for my taste. Gingrich is, well Gingrich.

Paul says rational things now and then but loses me when he talks of ending the Fed and going back to the gold standard.

Honestly, which one of them will be able to moderate their message for the general election?

By: dargent7 on 3/16/12 at 8:36

Lies? Newt Gingrich's "birth" last name was McPherson. His mother was on her 2nd husband.
Romney's first was "Willard". Dad was born in Mexico,City, Mexico...a foreign country.
So, growing up in Hawai'i, Barack changed his to "Barry" to not be so discriminated against.
Took his step-dad's last name.
Who gives a shit?
My last name is d'Argent, but in America, even today, half of all credit cards, Driver Licenses, bank statements, SS#'s, don't include an apostrophe.
So, I went by "Argent". 10 years ago I started using the D' again.
It's still a problem.
When I attenpt to sign in to my parole officer for those two felony murder convictions, I can't even remember my own name.

By: BenDover on 3/16/12 at 8:36

Got to step out for a little while. I'll check back in later.

By: dargent7 on 3/16/12 at 8:38

ps: My mother's maiden name is D'Augostino.
Good luck in 1935 getting that on a legal piece of paper in America.

By: govskeptic on 3/16/12 at 9:09

If I'm not mistaken De'Argent is french for Silvery or having money.
D'Argent is the Michigan branch of this name meaning" I want
government money!

By: frodo on 3/16/12 at 9:12

Got my birth credentials from a fiction novel. Guess that qualifies me for president. Oh, sorry, I guess that is a mean-spirited, racist, anti-women statement. Please forgive. I'll just keep my mouth shut from now on and pay homage to his excellency for another four years, or however many he decides to take. There, does that suit you bunch of first amendment hypocrites who loved dissent when GW lived in the White Hou...re, I mean presidential residence? Dang, Everything I say is racist, isn't it? I can't help myself. Or, maybe we could talk about real issues instead of this manufactured rant about women that is straight out of the DNC talking points of the week. Let Burch and other BHO apologists have their say. But let me know when we can talk about energy policy, foreign policy, national debt, jobs, the shredding of the Consititution and other hallmarks of this miserably failed administration and complicit legislators.

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 9:14

Thank you, treehugger, for the kind word.

By: conservarage on 3/16/12 at 8:14

the city paper doesn't do itself any favors by constantly posting the letters of this mental midget.

A dimwitted dwarf calls Mike Burch a "mental midget"? That's why I love this site....always good for a laugh.

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 9:17

Govskeptic goes septic?

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 9:26

The Conservatives have a point: If only Eve had left that apple on that apple tree, there'd be no tears and sorrow, we'd live eternally..therefore, women are the root of all evil....after all, the female of our species was an after-thought...a reaction to Adam's lustful longings....the first man got tired of yankin' his crank, apparently....God understood and created a sperm receptacle for Adam's enjoyment....that's the street Gospel of the Republican Party today.

Johnny Rivers put it all together here:


By: dargent7 on 3/16/12 at 9:35

frodo: All you need to know about the entire GOP field and GW Bush is that they are LIARS.
They don't care about women, minorities, America in general.
Just lining their own pockets, with cash. Lots of it.
Don't believe me? Why has not ONE foreign country asked GW Bush to speak at a lecturn, podium, mike, concert, pavilian, event? He's been out of office for over 3 years.
Why? No one wants the bald faced liar.
And everyone except dumb-ass Americans know's it.

By: frodo on 3/16/12 at 10:26

dargent, so why then do they pay slick willy to speak? Everyone knows he is a liar. Oh, I know, because he sold missile technology to the Chinese in exchange for campaign contributions--the kind with "no controlling legal authority". And now his very ambitious wife-of-convenience is Secy of State. People enjoy hearing an accomplished and acknowledged liar. Bush was never very good at it.

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 10:30

Junior Bush was a good enough liar to convince 29 Democrats in the Congress to vote for invading/occupying Iraq...of course many of those Dems were Jewish and these dual-allegiance Jews in the US Congress never saw a war against Muslims that they did not like.....I'm sure that Junior Bush would be warmly welcomed in Israel, if no place else on the planet.

By: treehugger7 on 3/16/12 at 10:39

You think we could take up a collection and send him there?

By: brrrrk on 3/16/12 at 10:58

Loner said

"Junior Bush was a good enough liar to convince 29 Democrats in the Congress to vote for invading/occupying Iraq...of course many of those Dems were Jewish and these dual-allegiance Jews in the US Congress never saw a war against Muslims that they did not like"

Actually, I think most Dems voted for the Iraq war out of fear of being plastered with the "Commie card".... not a good excuse, but a reason given the circumstances following 9/11.

"...majority Patriotism is the customary Patriotism." - Mark Twain.

By: Loner on 3/16/12 at 11:00

I'd pitch in a C-note...if they were to strap Junior to a hydrogen bomb and drop it on Tel Aviv...let him ride it down, Slim Pickens style....Yeeee Haaaaw.....BOOM!

(Just kidding, of course...I love the Bush family and the Chosen Ones...heh, heh....)

By: MusicCity615 on 3/16/12 at 11:44


I continue to see you, and I paraphrase, "All Republicans are Bad, All Democrats are good".

I am a republican, loud and proud. I am socially liberal, loud and proud. I do not agree with everything Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama says, but for you to label each party the way you do, is just plain dumb.

If I were to meet you, and I said I was a republican, would you automatically assume I was anti-abortion, and hated women? You're "article" states so.

How is your identification of all republicans as one way different from me thinking all blacks are criminals? All hispanics are illegal? I have grown up with all sorts of people from different classes, races, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and I can still say that I accept EVERYONE for who they are, and I believe Christianity has brought me there. Yet you would argue Christianity is ruining my life as well as America.

You claim ALL democrats are the best thing since sliced bread, yet you are living a double standard by calling white republicans racists, insensitive, self-centered, while it is YOU that is using prejudice means to assume all republicans are one way, which is far from the truth.

Grow up and write a real article.

By: brrrrk on 3/16/12 at 11:56

MusicCity615 said

"I am a republican, loud and proud. I am socially liberal, loud and proud. I do not agree with everything Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama says, but for you to label each party the way you do, is just plain dumb."

Then why aren't guys like you standing up and saying something? If you don't stand up to the extreme social faction of your party, the perception that the world has of the GOP is as much your fault as it is the fault of everyone else.