Eighteen years later, I will fly no flag…

On this day, I will not wave my credentials as an American.

Why? Because I am angry and ashamed of what we have become.

Continue reading “Eighteen years later, I will fly no flag…”

Changes…

Changes…

And these children
That you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune from your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…

–David Bowie

A little under two years ago, I wrote this post in reaction to Philando Castile’s murder:

Storm’s here.

In that time, nothing changed, until last February, kicked off when a series of white males took up arms against their social circle and inspired a movement in the aftermath of their destruction. Except, that’s not the whole picture.

Compare and contrast.

Four articles from The Guardian, a somewhat left-leaning source with roots in the United Kingdom:

1. Florida shooting: suspect escaped scene by hiding among students as they fled
Nikolas Cruz, 19, charged with 17 counts of murder as officials confirm the AR-15 rifle used to commit massacre was purchased legally

(Incident: February 14, 2018. Dead: 17, injured: 17)

2. Austin bomb suspect left video ‘confession’ before he died
Police say footage portrays ‘a very challenged young man,’ but nothing to show he was motivated by hate

(Incidents: March 2-20, 2018. Dead: 2, injured: 5)

3.  ‘They executed him’: police killing of Stephon Clark leaves family shattered
A young, unarmed black man was shot 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard. Now his brother is fighting through grief to demand justice

(Incident: March 18, 2018. Dead: 1)

4. Maryland student who shot classmate dead killed himself, officials say
Austin Rollins, 17, fired a fatal shot to his head just as he encountered the school resource officer at Great Mills high school

(Incident: March 20, 2018. Dead: 2, injured: 1)

Wait. Did I say four? I meant five.

5. Alton Sterling shooting: two police officers will not be charged with any crime
Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II won’t be charged for incident that occured [sic] in July of 2016 that sparked unrest throughout Baton Rouge

(Incident: July 7, 2016. Dead: 1)

Two of these incidents are not like the others. In fact, the victims in those two incidents stand in stark contrast to the others, even though they are connected by the way in which they died. And in how the victims were described. And in the accountability of those who perpetrated their murders.

On March 22nd, I wrote this piece, after the Associated Press put out a horrendous article describing the Great Mills murderer as a “lovesick teen.” The phrase AP used seemed completely tone deaf, wholly inappropriate given the reality that, according to the Violence Policy Center, 11 murder-suicides happen every week, and that 9 out of 10 murderers use a gun.

As the article above shows, the Resource Officer originally credited with stopping the murderer actually hit him in the hand, and that the kid died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

The hand.

Think about that.

In contrast, Stephon Clark was shot twenty times in his own backyard, murdered in cold blood, and the only thing the cops could find after the dust settled was a cellphone. And nobody could explain why they had to turn off their body cameras.

When Alton Sterling was shot, he did have a gun on him. And it shouldn’t have mattered. After all, Louisiana is an Open-Carry state, and Sterling was within his legal 2A right to possess and carry the gun.

According to an eyewitness report from his friend inside the store, near where Sterling was murdered, the gun was in his waistband, not in his hands.

What Sterling and Clark, and Castile, and Brown, and all the others have in common is an abundance of melanin, which most of the cops and all of the civilian murderers listed above, lack.

People of color have been targets since the first of the slave ships landed on these shores. And cops have proven that lynching isn’t necessary as long as they feel free to pump lead into any individual they view as a threat, regardless of reality.

Being born with dark skin isn’t inherently threatening unless one wants an excuse to pump the entire contents of a gun clip into a human being and call him a target, to exercise summary justice outside of the legal system, to shut down any possibility of accusations of police brutality or corruption.

Any excuse will do, regardless of whether the victim’s legal and civil rights say otherwise.

I’ve been writing about racism since the first few posts I wrote in this blog, way back in 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the Bush family turned a blind eye to reality and cost the lives of almost 1,500 people and displaced a huge number of poor families, many of color, in New Orleans.

#BlackLivesMatter, which started as a hashtag on social media,  came into existence in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman’s acquittal finally drew attention to the massive disparity between being black and being white in America.

But not enough. Not nearly enough.

No, it took a major tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in a privileged part of Florida’s Broward County, to focus the movement like a laser. These students are articulate, driven, privileged kids. They have finally, firmly, seized that banner of truth and anger and sadness, raised it high, and reached out to their siblings across the country who have been targets far longer.

Inclusive, determined, driven by force of will, these kids who founded the March For Our Lives movement, who have declared #NeverAgain in places across the country, are defining the future in their terms.

Now that they’re coming of age, their movement looks a lot like the Vietnam War protests of our past. And no wonder.

We ARE at war.

We are deep into Civil War, and we have no idea where it will lead, but the children…OUR children…have declared in more than a million clear, strong voices of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and cultures, that #EnoughIsEnough.

Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and their friends speak not just for the students at MSD, but for kids across the country, and they will sit in silence no longer.

It’s no surprise that they have welcomed their siblings of color, who are considered “at-risk” merely for existing. After all, they’re theatre kids. They understand diversity in ways only some of us fully understand.

In a time and place where our people of color are maimed or killed in disproportionate numbers, simply because they’re not white, these kids see only one thing: Themselves.

In our gun-saturated society, there’s a reckoning coming. It’s coming at the ballot box this year.

This is just the start.

May these children succeed where we have failed, in the ten years since the District of Columbia v. Heller  decision, to force change. I only wish David Bowie was still here to see it.

David Bowie – Changes (Olympia)

The things you find…

The things you find…

While researching a dead link in this post from 2006, regarding the Clinton administration and the independent investigation into Henry Cisneros, I came across this article in the CT Post:

Chances diminishing for independent counsel

Interesting how history keeps dredging itself up, no matter how much people might want to forget.

Achilles’ Heel…

Achilles’ Heel…

Achilles’ heel

  • n.
    A seemingly small but actually crucial weakness.

Continue reading “Achilles’ Heel…”

Aftermath (Part 6): The Enemy of the Good…

Aftermath (Part 6): The Enemy of the Good…

It all starts and ends with this:

Politico: Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway.

This is what we face. Not just voter obstruction, but a total divorce from reality. The end of our federal government as we have known it, and maybe the end of the US as an entity.

People aren’t paying enough attention. They think the 2017 results in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere are a collective bellwether for change. I think they’re wrong. VA Dems already took some steps to reverse the damage done by the GOP to voting rights, and that’s why they won as many seats as they did. Cue paper balloting and allowing former felons who’ve served their time to recapture the right to vote, plus getting complacent liberals off their collective asses will make a difference.

Except…

I don’t have the same warm fuzzies for the seats up in 2018 because those folks are up against the elimination of the Voting Rights Act, and 10 seats in states that went for Obama in 2012 went for Trump last year.

The writing’s on the wall.

It’ll be over before that if 2018 comes out the way I expect it to.

Here’s just one reason why:

Forbes: No Matter What Trump Says, Coal Mining Jobs Are Not Returning To West Virginia

A friend recently commented on FB:

I’m a bit surprised to hear you speak of this as an existential crisis. Despite all of the #McResistance going on, there are few Democrats willing to do so.

I responded:

Why are you surprised?

I’ve been talking about this for years. Since before 2012, at least. Really, since before 2008.

My story hasn’t changed. We’re just starting to see the proof that I’ve been right all along.

And that’s fucking terrifying.

He replied:

Because it isn’t something I’m seeing expressed a great deal, from anyone. In fact, I’m seeing it more from Trump supporters than I am from Democrats, although in less general terms. The reason there, of course, is that modern conservatives catastrophize in order to push their radical agendas – a fascist hallmark – but that’s not the same as what’s being discussed here.

I might not agree on all the specifics, but I think you have got something there.

The reason I commented in the first place was that I also read that article and was considering its implications. I know you raised voting rights as an issue, but do you think that would be sufficient given the people of, say, Johnstown? And if not, then what are the consequences of that? I guess what I’m leading to is, are we a united enough entity to be governed effectively?

“Are we united enough…” Nope. We’re not.

We won’t ever be, either, as long as we still see this as a party fight. This isn’t partisan.

This same friend, a staunch Green, is surprised that I see these things this way. I don’t know why he’s surprised. It’s not like my concerns are new. Far, far from it. I’ve been writing about this stuff since W was still in office, and it feels too much like the rest of the world is only just catching up with me.

He says:

So to get this back on the tracks, you see civil war on the horizon, in common with a lot of the Trump supporters. That’s interesting. I could see secession in the future as a possibility, but I’m wondering if there is a chance it would not be violent.

My response? Nope. How many guns are there in the US again?

Did you notice the one about the gun nuts who showed up at a rally called by “Texas Antifa” who weren’t actually there?

Wanna know what that was? Someone testing out the dog whistle. And you know what? Those dogs are gonna heel when they’re told. When it comes, finally, it’s going to be a bloodbath.

Where it starts? Breadbasket. Somewhere in the midwest. Not sure where, not sure when.

And right smack in the middle of this Facebook exchange, Esquire caught up with me.

Esquire: Sorry, But American Democracy Is Still Edging Closer to Disaster
Wisconsin became the 28th state to back a constitutional convention.

We are NOT united against the GOP. And as long as folks still think they have the luxury to differentiate between one flavor of Liberal and another, and to hold Dems to impossible standards because they simply don’t have enough voting power to do what they would *like* to do to improve this world, we’re not going to get past this.

That’s the sick, sorry part.

Jill Stein sat down at the same table with Putin, for crissakes.

For the record, this isn’t the only Green I’m worried about. My *best friend* and her family all voted for Jill Stein last year. She thinks it’s dandy to support the removal of gerrymandering in Maryland.

Wanna see what it looks like when a reliably blue state suddenly goes red? Wait till the gerrymandering goes away in Maryland and we become the 29th state to call for a Constitutional Convention “because that’s the easiest way to get rid of Citizens United.”

No, really.

Like I said, it’s worth reading the stuff I’ve been writing, at least since 2012, if only to see that I’m not dealing with hindsight. I’ve seen this coming since the Y2K election.

Yeah, I really am that worried about the future. As I see it, we’ve got just shy of a year left till Armageddon.

And honestly? I was surprised when he friended me again.

This is your reminder that signs point to a 10-seat loss if we can’t unhack the vote before next year.

It took the depression and a second World War to give us the prosperous years afterward. A case exists for justifying our participation in the Vietnam War as a bid to try and recapture the “glory days” that followed the end of World War II, but really? That’s when things started to slide. Worse, an anti-Communism wave in the US proved to be the lead-up to our wrong-headed leap into South Asian political struggle.

Did anyone else notice the White House’s official Statements and Releases page?

National Day for the Victims of Communism

Where’s the similar acknowledgment of the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht? Missing.

And that’s where we are heading. That’s how this whole thing is going to collapse in the next two years.

This shit is scary enough as an adult, but I am a parent and I am TERRIFIED for my kids. I think we will get what we deserve. I’m just sorry my kids will suffer the consequences because of it.

And that’s wakes me up at night.

The rich think we can erase every progressive program Roosevelt and Johnson put in place and the country will survive. I see the future through the filters of dystopian fiction. Somewhere between Elysium and Interstellar, but without the comfy escape to space.

You want to know where I think this goes, if the GOP wins enough seats to rewrite the Constitution?

  • Finish emptying the Swamp. (Eliminate federal government employees and remove all retirement and educational benefits civil service workers have earned.) Shutter the Federal Government.
  • Erase the majority of the Bill of Rights and every amendment that followed. Keep the 2nd Amendment, so that III% can go after anyone they don’t want in the country.
  • Eliminate gun laws that promote sensible gun control, and remove restrictions between States.
  • Round up all the Muslims and ship them to wherever their families originated, regardless of their citizenship status, as “enemies of the state.”
  • “Repatriate” Jews to Israel, to ensure Armageddon.
  • Shoot or enslave every remaining person of color. House them in prison.

And then just kick back and enjoy life until there isn’t any oxygen left.

The federal government is already Swiss cheese.

We have no idea how to survive an actual depression. We are spoiled.

We are destroying our paper archives for a digital future that depends on the grid. Have a good look at Puerto Rico for my vision of the future.

I want to see a way out.

There’s only one: Unhack the vote. Restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

We have to get it in one sock, to unite as a block against Republicans and the John Birch Society or we are fucked.

And because Trump is pissing off all of our allies, when civil war comes here, there won’t be any foreign aid, because Russia will move to take over Europe. We’ll be too busy fighting our own war to help them, and they don’t have a reason to help us, either.

You want a bellwether? Look at Wisconsin. THAT’s what’s coming.

Michigan. Florida. Puerto Rico.

They are what we have in store if we can’t shut Fox down.

And oh, how I wish I was making this up.

We are already at war. It might not look like it, because we don’t see any bombs going off, and our lawns are all manicured (when we can afford to cut the grass), but we are.

If you want the full picture, you can check out Endarkenment, the rest of the Aftermath series, or Dots on my blog. I’ve been writing about this stuff for years.

People have accused me of being hyperbolic. I’ve gotten a few apologies since then, but there are more than a few missing.

Meanwhile, I’ve got 11 months’ worth of entries left to pull off LJ and print out before Net Neutrality goes away and we can no longer talk like this.

Enjoy your day.

Peace. Out.

Aftermath (Part 3): People will NOT SEE this coming…

Aftermath (Part 3): People will NOT SEE this coming…

So, just last week, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump himself admitted it was because of Comey’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 US Presidential election. Continue reading “Aftermath (Part 3): People will NOT SEE this coming…”

I was off by a month. My bad.

I was off by a month. My bad.

When I started writing online, way back in 2004, my blogging was a combination of minutiae designed to keep a then-deployed husband in the loop on day-to-day life at home. We were not quite to the end of W’s first term, but it was already clear to me what his election meant to the country, in terms of an erosion of civil liberty, of a dramatic (but by no means complete) shift to the right, and long term lasting damage to our reputation as a world leader by his creation of the USA Patriot Act.

In an ever-increasing feeling of depression and anger over last November, I’ve lashed out repeatedly at people who still seem to think that we are operating “business-as-usual” even in the face of abject corruption and cronyism not seen in decades in this country, going all the way back to the Gilded age of the robber barons.

The Republicans won and they’ve wasted no time showing us liberals what they think of us. They don’t give an actual damn who they harm at this point. They’ve done such a good job snowing their base, those folks will happily walk straight into their graves still believing that the people they elected to office care about anything but their own personal economy and to hell with their constituents. Yes, yes, those town halls are sure something, aren’t they? Meaningless political theatre. It makes the proles feel good, so why not? At least until things get violent, anyway.

Meanwhile, Bernie supporters who voted Anyone But Clinton are still making feeble attempts at explaining their relevance to the future, because they think their candidate still means something. He doesn’t, of course, except as the perfect foil for the Democrats whose last, best hope was to take the White House, and who failed to push enough of the agenda to ensure that would happen. He won’t last past 2018, if I’m guessing right.

In the heat of frustration earlier in the day, on Facebook (that bastion of modern nonsense and bluster that passes, for now, as something resembling a communication tool, if only for one’s personal echo chamber), I started to outline a timeline of damage.

I’ve explored that timeline throughout my Dots posts, but not in anything like a complete way.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I am considering creating a video timeline, which (at least until the government figures out how to shut down YouTube) might be the best way to explain what happened and how we got here.

In the interest of generating the outline, for future reference, here’s my take on the whole shebang, from Nixon’s disgraceful departure through to present day.

I can’t provide proof because a lot of what I think happened because, frankly, either the evidence is gone or it’s still out of view, thanks to the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA).

So while I’m saying this is what I think, I have no proof that this is what actually happened. I can infer, guess, or in some cases prove that these things are what happened, but I do not have either the time or the funding to go and research these statements. So let’s say this is all fiction. It “could” have happened the way I’ve laid it out. Or not. You be the judge.

I’m stealing data from Wikipedia’s existing timeline to save myself the typing time, but you’re welcome to go visit the original and see for yourself what I’ve edited out. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_history)

1960-1970:

  • Civil Rights Act of 1960
  • CIA U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet airspace.
  • The 50-star flag is adopted.
  • John F. Kennedy elected
  • President Eisenhower warns of the “military–industrial complex” in his farewell address
  • President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
  • The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution grants electors to the District of Columbia
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • The Freedom Rides begin in Washington D.C.
  • Vietnam War (1955-1973) continues
  • Cuban missile crisis: A nuclear confrontation took place between the United States and the Soviet Union
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law.
  • Medgar Evers is assassinated
  • March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gives “I Have a Dream” speech
  • The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, carried out by a KKK splinter group, kills four African-American girls
  • The Atomic Test Ban Treaty is signed.
  • President John F. Kennedy assassinated
  • Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as President
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who assassinated President Kennedy, killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
  • President Johnson establishes The Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • The Clean Air Act signed into law.
  • The Twenty-fourth Amendment eliminates the poll tax
  • The Beatles herald the British Invasion of pop music
  • President Johnson proposes the Great Society, a set of social reforms aimed at the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.
  • President Johnson signs The Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
  • Robert McNamara helps orchestrate the Tonkin Gulf incident (a false flag operation with ‘deliberately skewed’ intelligence, used to expand U.S. military involvement in Vietnam).
  • The bodies of three missing civil rights activists, working to register voters as a part of the Freedom Summer, are found near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson defeats Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.
  • African American Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated
  • “Bloody Sunday” (Alabama State Troopers severely beat and used tear gas against the nonviolent demonstrators on the Selma to Montgomery marches)
  • March Against the Vietnam War:
  • President Johnson signs the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law, establishing Medicaid and Medicare in the United States. He also signs the Voting Rights Act
  • The Watts riots in Los Angeles, result in the deaths of 34 people.
  • President Johnson signs the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, establishing the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • The Immigration Act of 1965 is signed into law, abolishing the National Origins Formula.
  • The Higher Education Act of 1965 is passed.
  • Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position.
  • Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court establishes the rule that becomes “Miranda Rights”
  • National Organization for Women (NOW) is formed.
  • The Freedom of Information Act is signed into law.
  • The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act is passed.
  • The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing succession to the Presidency and procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, was ratified.
  • The United States Department of Transportation is established.
  • Loving v. Virginia: The Supreme Court overrules the prohibition of interracial marriage.
  • Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
  • Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated, prompting riots in Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Kansas City and Louisville; leaving 36 people dead.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1968, providing equal housing protection, was signed into law.
  • Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on the Presidential campaign trail
  • The United States signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • Chicago City Police clash with anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
  • The Gun Control Act of 1968 is signed into law.
  • Former Vice President Richard Nixon is elected President
  • The Stonewall riots mark the start of the modern gay liberation movement in the United States.
  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne and ruining any future bid for the White House.
  • Americans astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins land on the moon, and Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon’s surface.
  • The Woodstock Festival takes place in White Lake, New York
  • Sesame Street premieres on National Educational Television.
  • President Nixon announces the withdrawal of 50,000 U.S. troops from Vietnam; reaching the peak level of U.S. troops in Vietnam at 541,000.

Okay, so that establishes many of the changes over the course of a decade, without laying out the horrible details of the Vietnam war, which ran throughout the entire decade.

From here on, things get truly ugly, as the country struggles with changes in policy and freedom for young adults, women, and people of color. And that ugliness continues for the next 40 years, even as we fool ourselves into believing Johnson’s glorious vision of the Great Society, built on FDR’s vision of the post-Depression world. In hindsight, even as it appears that we’ve won freedom to choose and we’ve come to believe in the American Dream, that dream has become a nightmare. Fake news. The worst propaganda story possible, because it worked as a carrot for the common man, the “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” who voted Trump believing naively that Trump and his cronies cared about anything other than rising to power.

Buckle your seat belts. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. The management bears no responsibility for lost limbs or life. Ready?

Go.

In 1970, Nixon’s Southern Strategy started the shift, turning Southern Democrats away from the party and converting them to Republicans. (Remember this fact, when your Libertarian friends want to try and rewrite history. The racists left to join the Republicans under Nixon.)

When Jimmy Carter went on to win the presidency in 1976, beating Gerald Ford (who took over for Nixon, the only President to date who ever resigned from office), the shift from Southern Democrat to Republican was complete. And at about this time, I got involved in politics, working in support of Carter’s run for president at the local level. Ambitious work for a 12 year-old kid, but then I was rooting for McGovern in 1972, and by then the racists had already fled the Democratic party, leading to Nixon’s landslide victory.

In that same election, Carter’s administration saw filibuster-proof Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. (See: House vs Senate control by party.) Note that this didn’t save Carter’s presidency for a second term, because on November 4, 1979 (a little over a year prior to elections in 1980), Iranian students took over the US embassy and held over 50 embassy employees hostage. President Carter’s response was considered too weak, and some suggested that this is how Ronald Reagan rose to power.

I explained some of this here and some more of this here, but the big part is really here. (Don’t just look at the pretty bright letters. Click through and READ these three posts, and every link embedded in them.

I’ll wait.

Done? Great. Moving on.

By the time we get to modern history, the Koch brothers and Robert Mercer, we are well past the ability to reverse the damage.

I invite you to read everything I’ve written since November 8th. It’s not all that much, really, but it’s not above me to say “I told you so.

Tonight, Trump launched a direct attack on Syria, doing precisely what he (and a lot of theoretically liberal apologists accused Hillary Clinton of planning to do throughout her presidential campaign).

“But her emails…”

“Wikileaks…”

Save it. You did this. Own it.

The Big Social Security Lie…

The Big Social Security Lie…

Social Security isn’t entitlement and it isn’t an open gift to the government. It’s my money, taken by force out of my paycheck starting with my very first job in 1983. The government thugs who raided the fund in the first place should repay what they stole or go to jail, just like any other thieves.

Yes, all of them.

But who are they? Are they even still here? Well, that’s an interesting question. It requires some major fishing into the dark depths of history. Head all the way back to 1983 with me. That’s where it started.

Maybe you weren’t paying attention. I was, because I was receiving Social Security benefits as a teenager, thanks to the disability and early death of my mother. And here’s where it all began. With Ronald Reagan.

But not really. Actually, it’s Alan Greenspan who did the dirty work here. Reagan just signed off on the bill. Like the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s going to crush all of us unless we figure out a way to get out of the way.

What follows is a bunch of link sausage. A lot of these links are thick with details that may seem unnecessary, but trust me, they build my case that this is, and has been, the whole goal of the GOP, ever since Reagan’s election. And with all that hindsight, it’s clear we’re getting screwed. And we’re not even getting the courtesy of a thank you or a payment for services rendered.

See, from my perspective, it started when Reagan decided that survivor benefits could be cut. First direct cut into my direct benefits as a college student. Forced me to get a student loan for my first year in college. Lucky for me, my grandfather was in a position to help with tuition, after he buried my mother.

From the first article, at FedSmith.com: Ronald Reagan and The Great Social Security Heist, some choice selections for the TL;DR crowd:

Instead of being a proud day for America, April 20, 1983, has become a day of shame. The Social Security Amendments of 1983 laid the foundation for 30-years of federal embezzlement of Social Security money in order to use the money to pay for wars, tax cuts and other government programs. The payroll tax hike of 1983 generated a total of $2.7 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue. This surplus revenue was supposed to be saved and invested in marketable U.S. Treasury bonds that would be held in the trust fund until the baby boomers began to retire in about 2010. But not one dime of that money went to Social Security.

The $2.7 trillion, which is alleged to be in the trust fund, was all spent for wars, tax cuts for the rich, and other government programs. If the money is repaid at some point in the future, we could say is was just “borrowed.” But no arrangements have been made to repay the money, and nobody in government is suggesting that the money should be repaid. So, if it is never repaid, the money will definitely have been stolen.

And that brings us to Iran-Contra, G.H.W. Bush, and Black Monday.

Black Monday? Yeah. Stock market crash. Under Reagan’s watch. Tied to a small oil problem with OPEC. Funny thing, the Bush family is deep into oil. So, we put an oil man in the White House.

And what happens then?

Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Fortunately for us, Bush fails to gain a second term. We have eight years of Bill Clinton’s administration, where we try to gain back some of the momentum, but we overbalance, and suddenly the GOP take the House. Hello, Contract With America. Goodbye cooperation in the House and Senate. For good and all, it seems in hindsight. And hello to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Another bubble, and then Enron, and suddenly the SEC is all over accountability. Finger pointing…goes nowhere. To be sure, it’s a problem, but soon forgotten in the post-election sorting out, 9/11 and infighting that comes out of the election, which put G.W. Bush in office. And like magic, the solvency of the Social Security Fund was an issue.

Again.

NPR: Bush Questions Solvency of Social Security Trust

Now to be sure, I’ve skipped hundreds of small details to get to this point, but I wanted you to have some background. What follows is essentially link sausage, but it all points to one thing: The GOP want you to pull your money out of what ought to be a stable financial environment and trust THEM to keep your money for you while you age.

So if you want some stomach-churning reading material, click away.

The Huffington Post: 7 Ways The Bush Tax Cuts Wrecked The Economy

The Hill: Scrapping the Social Security payroll tax cap

This. This is what we are fighting in the government. Were you born before 1965?

You’re going to see the hit, unless you die of cancer or heart disease first. Which is entirely possible if the GOP get their way and make the death…I mean health industry private for everyone.

With an entire subsequent generation in jail or jobless, and wages that are virtually unchanged in 30 years, we are indeed in a pickle, but it’s one we could have avoided if we’d managed to keep the greedy bastards from getting their hands on that money. MY money. YOUR money.

This is a disaster that could have been avoided.

How? By stopping these people from bankrolling the deception and the lies.

The Atlantic: A Guide to the Billionaires Bankrolling the GOP Candidates

Chew on this: How much have you heard the big buzz that privatization of social security is the only way to save it?

What does that mean? Pushing everyone to purchase stock, either outright or in funds.

Have you been paying attention to Wall Street this week? In just two days, my teeny tiny IRA has lost a third of its value, on three stocks. I’m not sharing which because that info’s irrelevant. Suffice to say, if I’d tossed the money into an index fund, there’d be even less. I might as well have invested the entire amount in PowerBall lottery tickets.

Welcome to the latest bubble. Tied to the sudden drop of oil.

And thank your stars the GOP hasn’t yet gotten its way, because if they had, many of you who might depend on Social Security for at least some of your income could be SOL right now.

Buy low, huh? Yeah.

Daily Finance: With Oil Prices So Low, Are Oil Stocks a Good Investment?

So, how long do you think it will take for oil prices to rocket skyward if the GOP takes the White House? Four months? Two?

And in the meantime, I hope your retirement fund, that IRA or 401(K) of yours survives. Because without that and your precious Social Security and Medicaid, you, my friend, are screwed.

This is what’s at stake with the coming election. Bernie Sanders knows it. So does Elizabeth Warren.

Do you?

10 years ago Osama Bin Laden ruined my life…

10 years ago Osama Bin Laden ruined my life…

Am I glad he got what was coming to him? You bet. That doesn’t make this announcement or event any less bittersweet.

I’m only a degree away from people who lost loved ones at the Pentagon and a couple away from those who were lost in NY. My heart goes out to the untold numbers of people who have been caught in between our gun sights and the leadership of this vile, self-serving organization.

There are no winners here, and the war isn’t over, but perhaps we can take a step back from the abyss, and perhaps the current situation can cool down just a bit, knowing that with persistence we will still get the job done.

I am sorry it took so long. And sad.

Here’s a new thing I can definitely get behind…

Here’s a new thing I can definitely get behind…

Last night as I went to bed, I watched friends respond with horror to the Supreme Court ruling, giving corporations (non-human entities) the right to free speech. While I could go on at length about the ludicrous concept that a corporation can have an opinion about ANYTHING (because it’s not the corporation but the people who run it who have the right to free speech), I think the following is DEAD on.

I would support such an amendment to the constitution.

And, while we’re at it, I can foresee how this court will rule when the question of marriage between same sex individuals comes before them. If they can decide a non-living entity is the same as a person, they can decide a living person is a non-entity. I fear for my human friends.

It’s time to start waking up and smelling the coffee. This is part of G.W. Bush’s legacy.

Remember what I said about Avatar? The mess they created was at the hands of a CORPORATION, in search of the almighty dollar. Sure, it’s easy to make fun of the movie, but the message was loud and clear to me. This is just plain wrong.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.