Aftermath (Part 9): Won’t be long now…

Aftermath (Part 9): Won’t be long now…

Through the genius of the Wayback machine that is the Internet, let me refresh your memory.

http://www.thecassietimes.com/2013/10/05/spineless-i-dont-think-so/

http://www.thecassietimes.com/2013/10/08/it-all-comes-down-to-this/

Continue reading “Aftermath (Part 9): Won’t be long now…”

Burden of Proof…

Burden of Proof…

This nugget showed up on a friend’s FB post, which I can now no longer find. Chances are, either the friend decided it had to go, the genius who posted it blocked me, or I blocked him.

At the time, (sometime just after Christmas, I think) I thanked the guy for posting virtually every propaganda-driven talking point Alex Jones and Fox News have shoved into his brain in the name of truth. Here it is, folks. GOP trash talk, all in one convenient comment.

He said:

Stop watch mainstream media it’s bad for your brain. If we look back in history even JFK said Tax cuts like these would bring economic boom like no other. As far as healthcare goes the ACA screwed that up a long time ago anyone who tried to tell you that trump is the one that caused premiums to almost tripe this year in some places it out right lying. Also those so called environmental regulations had nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with eliminating clean coal. Just look at the Democratic controlled Flint, Michigan they still don’t have clean drinking water. Stop looking at the virtue signaling idiots saying everything is bad and open your eyes markets up, costs are dropping, companies are pledging billions in Christmas bonuses to their employees, you are no longer forced to buy health insurance that most cannot afford, you also won’t be penalized for not buying health insurance you can’t afford, and last but not least we now have evidence of the Russian collusion that liberals have been so desperate for. Unfortunately the proof is the Hillary Clinton sold 40% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia and the Robert Mueller as well as Obama were in on it.

Fallacy Ref: Burden of Proof

Then he told me I had to debunk all the claims he made. First I said no. Normally I’d have called him on the fallacy, because it’s not MY job to prove he’s wrong. It’s HIS job to provide his source.

But then I thought about it and decided to make an example of him. It’s too good to pass up, because this is a dump truck load of bunk.

Note: If you find the text out there, you’re doing better than I. And I left every grammatical error, all the fallacious bullshit, all the propaganda where it is.

I’ve addressed each point. You’re welcome to follow (and read) all the articles below. Obviously there’s a lot to read. Heck, took me almost a month just to sit down and compile this post, but then it’s been sitting in my draft folder all this time and frankly, I need some time to process the current spy novel that is our political situation in the US, so this is acting a little like a sewage-based palate cleanser.

Your mileage may vary. Additions to the debunking are welcome, as are corrections. This stuff is like a fast moving freight train. Four of the articles came out in just the last week.

Onward…

But whatever. It’s an exercise in researching and I’ve got nothing better to do. Well, that’s not true either. I’ve left all the impressive typos and grammar as an exercise in identifying a fool. Feel free to interpret his prose the way I did.

Best way to do this is to break it down, one bogus claim at a time.

Here goes:

1. If we look back in history even JFK said Tax cuts like these would bring economic boom like no other.

Well, no. Forbes: The Laffer Curve Files: JFK’s Advisor Said Tax Cuts Raise Revenue

Also: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Kansas Provides Compelling Evidence of Failure of “Supply-Side” Tax Cuts

2. As far as healthcare goes the ACA screwed that up a long time ago anyone who tried to tell you that trump is the one that caused premiums to almost tripe this year in some places it out right lying.

From a conveniently timed article posted TODAY by the NY Times:

Why Is U.S. Health Care So Expensive? Some of the Reasons You’ve Heard Turn Out to Be Myths

In a new, detailed international comparison, the United States looks a lot more like its peers than researchers expected.

There were two areas where the United States really was quite different: We pay substantially higher prices for medical services, including hospitalization, doctors’ visits and prescription drugs. And our complex payment system causes us to spend far more on administrative costs. The United States also has a higher rate of poverty and more obesity than any of the other countries, possible contributors to lower life expectancy that may not be explained by differences in health care delivery systems.

3. Also those so called environmental regulations had nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with eliminating clean coal.

Um…

National Geographic: Can Coal Ever Be Clean? It’s the dirtiest of fossil fuels. We burn eight billion tons of it a year, with growing consequences. The world must face the question.

Coal ISN’T clean. That’s a lie told by coal and oilmen who don’t want to see their profits cut through advances in renewable energy like solar, wind, or hydro-energy. And this guy has forgotten what life was like before the EPA.

4. Just look at the Democratic controlled Flint, Michigan they still don’t have clean drinking water.

That’s a massive oversimplification of the problems that led to Flint’s water disaster, and it ignores Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s role in the decision-making process. From Politifact:

Who’s to blame for the Flint water crisis?

Our conclusion

Based on what is currently known, Snyder does bear a significant share of the responsibility. His fiscal approach helped set the stage for the water switch that led to the poisoning, and it was his hand-picked emergency managers who implemented the changes. Snyder also oversaw the state environmental and health departments that have come in for sharp criticism for their failures to act quickly and forcefully when the first indications of a problem cropped up.

However, experts say that claims from Clinton and Sanders that focus on Snyder alone oversimplify matters — and give a partisan spin to what is more fairly characterized as a broad failure of governance at all levels. Such one-sided accounts gloss over the responsibility borne by local Flint officials who supported the decision, by an EPA that failed to press harder for changes as the problem worsened, and by officials of both parties who contributed to the longstanding fiscal problems at both the state and city level.

5. Stop looking at the virtue signaling idiots saying everything is bad and open your eyes markets up, costs are dropping, …

Well, not exactly…

NY Post: Wall Street surges on strong hiring, low wage growth

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 440.53 points, or 1.8 percent, closing at 25,335.74 Friday after the Labor Department reported the US economy added 313,000 jobs in February — blowing past analyst estimates of 200,000. Unemployment remains at 4.1 percent — its lowest level since December 2000.

Meanwhile wages, although still climbing, grew only 2.6 percent in February over the last year. That’s down from the 2.9 percent year-over-year growth initially reported for January.

But that’s not the whole story either:

NY Times: Are Wage Gains Picking Up? Stalling? Questionable Data Makes It Hard to Say

When the Labor Department reported last month that average hourly earnings had jumped 2.9 percent in January, it looked as though the long, steady recovery in the American job market might at last be translating into faster wage gains for the nation’s workers.

Then came Friday and the latest jobs report, which showed that wage growth was weaker in January than initially reported and that the gains in February were weaker still, up just 2.6 percent from a year earlier.

The muddled data on wages was a potent reminder that even the strongest job market in a generation has not been robust enough to reverse a longstanding pattern of lagging pay.

With flat wages and a reduction in what your money actually pays for (like, for example, the quantity of orange juice in a carton, which used to be 64 fl. oz. but is now almost always 59.5 fl. oz. instead, for more than we paid 10 years ago), the wages haven’t kept pace with the actual costs. While it looks like goods are getting cheaper, they’re just less high priced. When the prices return to the same level as they were when people first started earning these wages, come talk to me about lower costs.

6. …companies are pledging billions in Christmas bonuses to their employees, …

Yeah, about that…

Fox Business: Bankrupt Toys R Us execs could still get up to $21 million in holiday bonuses

Chicago Tribune: AT&T hands out bonuses to 200,000 workers, pink slips to 600 others

Newsweek: COMCAST FIRED HUNDREDS OF WORKERS BEFORE CHRISTMAS ALONGSIDE PLEDGE TO GIVE $1,000 ‘TRUMP TAX CUT’ BONUSES

7. … you are no longer forced to buy health insurance that most cannot afford, …

Sure we’re not…

Idaho Statesman: Nebraska groups rally behind Medicaid expansion ballot drive

He’s got a nasty surprise coming, in about a year, I’m thinking because…

8. … you also won’t be penalized for not buying health insurance you can’t afford, …

Still not correct. As a matter of fact, the IRS has a bit to say on that subject:

IRS: Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions

And his crowning achievement, the 2017 equivalent of Benghazi:

9. … and last but not least we now have evidence of the Russian collusion that liberals have been so desperate for. Unfortunately the proof is the Hillary Clinton sold 40% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia …

*eyeroll*

Snopes: Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States’ Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations? Allegations of a “quid pro quo” deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

Unsubstantiated. That’s because this is bullshit. See below.

10. … and the Robert Mueller …

No. Just no.

Snopes: Did Hillary Clinton Tell FBI’s Mueller to Deliver Uranium to Russians in 2009 ‘Secret Tarmac Meeting’?
Hyperpartisan web sites mischaracterized a State Department cable alerting the U.S. Embassy in Russia of a transfer of criminal evidence obtained in a sting operation.

Mischaracterized. Meaning twisted, slanted, or otherwise spun to tell something that isn’t true. Go figure.

11. … as well as Obama were in on it.

Oh, the conspiracies. But never about the Republicans, only the Democrats. The poor guy just isn’t going to get it until after the 2018 elections are over, and when he realizes how screwed he really is, he’s going to turn around and blame everything on the Democrats, just like his masters have told him to do.

This *just in* (and right on time, too).

Washington Post: The ‘dossier’ and the uranium deal: A guide to the latest allegations

As a service to readers bound to be confused by an increasingly complex story, here’s a brief guide to the latest developments in the tangled allegations involving Russia, President Trump and Hillary Clinton.

But wait. There’s more!!!

Reuters: Informant had no evidence Clinton benefited from uranium sale

An informant whom House Republicans have said could reveal a link between a 2010 sale of U.S. uranium supplies and donations to the Clinton Foundation provided no evidence of that during a four-hour interview with congressional staff last month, Democrats said on Thursday.

The informant, lobbyist William D. Campbell, “provided no evidence of a quid pro quo involving Secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the Clinton Foundation and no evidence that Secretary Clinton was involved in, or improperly influenced” the uranium sale, the Democrats said in a five-page summary of the Feb. 7 interview.

And that’s that.

No cries of foul, no backpedaling. Once you toss the junk out into the Internet wild, like those tiny microbeads of plastic in the Great Lakes, it’s out there, suitable for framing or tossing into an otherwise sensible discussion of politics. And no need to declare truth because who wants to take the time to sort it all out?

Seriously.

This guy used virtually every Alex Jones/Breitbart/Daily Caller/Gateway Pundit PROPAGANDA-based talking point to try and refute a legitimate source for something he disagreed with, and that’s what’s wrong with American Conservatives today.

They have no idea they’re being told lies, have no filters for this BS, and think liberals like me will waste our time trying to tell them the truth when they’re not going to listen or believe it anyway.

I tell ya, I ought to get paid for this stuff.

Now where’s my Soros check?

*kidding*

Connecting the Dots, Part 7…

Connecting the Dots, Part 7…

There’s a benefit to following folks I’ve never met anywhere else but FB. Occasionally, someone shows me a bit of the Internet that I’ve missed before, and because it flew under the radar, I didn’t have it available to draw connections.

Today, someone revealed a tiny tip of a much larger iceberg, and now I’ve got the first Dots post in almost seven months.

This could have been an Aftermath post, but it’s not, because it’s a train wreck in progress and it’s likely already too late to stop it from taking our country down.

It annoys me that people still have the guts to complain about Hillary Clinton, who still think she just made things up when she said there was a vast Right Wing conspiracy. That’s where the first Dots post derived, and this is actually no different.

I woke up this morning to a typical political argument on FB between a handful of people who, like the characters in Into the Woods singing about whose fault it was that the Giant “Trump” was ruining their lives, want to assign blame over how we got here.

Sondheim is a musical genius. The number “Your Fault” in Act Two is a perfect illustration of that argument I walked into this morning, and others I’ve seen since Trump has blossomed into the full blown conman cum tin pot dictator he’s always wanted to be.

Don’t know the show? Here’s the Disney version. You might recognize a couple of the faces here. Or not:

But see, that’s why I blog. Because it helps me collect my thoughts so that the next time I wander into one of these He Said/She Said/They Said arguments, I have the ability to narrow down the argument to a single point.

In a lot of ways, I fulfill that role of the Witch: Pragmatic to a fault, trying too hard to protect the thing she loves, afraid of what will happen if she loses control of the situation. I relate to that character far more than I should. And yet…

Tonight I discovered that I missed something really REALLY important about the 2010 election that other folks having a similar argument just pointed out to me. The starting point is here, in a source I only sort of like, because Salon often reproduces other people’s articles without attribution or linking to the original source.

I try very hard not to plagiarize, and I want to give credit where credit is due. I’m also keenly aware that this medium is Orwell’s Memory Hole.

In the time it took for the Salon article to hit, the source of its postulations has already vanished. Fortunately, though, there are other sources, so I’ll post the article and then I’ll follow the rest of the leads.

And never fear: I have local copies of the things I think matter, and I’ve already archived some of the site material as well, because sooner or later the folks who started this will make it disappear again, as if it never happened. Because that’s what the Ministry of Truth is all about.

It starts here:

Salon: How the Republicans rigged Congress — new documents reveal an untold story

The title is misleading (as is a lot of what Salon publishes, but that’s a different subject). Fact is, someone FINALLY noticed that the Republicans laid the roadmap (or rather REDMAP) out a long time ago.

I was just as clueless about what happened in 2010 as the next Democrat, after President Obama won in 2008. I was THRILLED to see the back side of President Bush. And I was busy with my kids, trying to stay afloat with a part-time job while I looked for something full time in a truly awful job market, living in a house that was upside down on it’s mortgage.

Distracted. Missed the details, didn’t look where I needed to look, and then BANG! New congress, Republican sweep, so many Red States and Tea Party EVERYTHING. I started paying attention, but I still wasn’t looking where I needed to look.

So when today’s Politico post dropped, I spent an hour poking around trying to locate the offending PowerPoint that showed us everything we need to know. And I got…nowhere.

The link to that PowerPoint is gone.

But…but…that’s not the end of the story.

The analysis I just finished aggregates the empirical data that shows how well the plan worked. It gives an insight into WHY the polls were wrong, and it proves out what the GOP already know.

They’re counting on low Democratic voter turnout this year. Folks are looking at Doug Jones like he’s the Blue Messiah and I can’t begin to tell you how dangerous that narrative is, because it’s based on a LIE.

Let’s back up for a moment, though.

This site seems innocent enough. It’s ancient news, in fact. http://www.redistrictingmajorityproject.com/.

According to the site’s About page:

What is redistricting and why does it matter?
At the conclusion of the 2010 national census, congressional seats will be reapportioned to each state. The states with a shrinking population will lose congressional seats and states with a population boom will gain seats. A massive effort to redraw state legislative and congressional lines will take place according to each state’s laws. The party controlling that effort controls the drawing of the maps – shaping the political landscape for the next 10 years. In 38 states, governors and state legislators play a determining role in the redistricting process.

What is REDMAP?
REDMAP (REDistricting Majority Project) is a program of the RSLC dedicated to winning state legislative seats that will have a critical impact on congressional redistricting in 2011.

How can REDMAP succeed?
REDMAP succeeds with your help. Only by staying up-to-date on the latest news, and engaging your friends and family about the importance of our effort, can we succeed.

How can I help?
REDMAP is a grassroots effort. We are funded solely through contributions from commonsense conservatives throughout the country – and we rely on grassroots conservatives as our best means of alerting fellow conservatives across the country to our efforts.

Grassroots my ass.

The Tea Party started out as a Grassroots organization, until the Koch brothers took it over and helped sweep in the ultra conservative Freedom Party Republicans in office today. And now Rand Paul, one of its founders, is bound and determined to shut down government rather than sign off on a budget bill that addresses all sorts of long term issues.

NY Times: Government Shutdown Looms as Rand Paul Protests Budget Deal

So really, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

I mean, I’ve laid out a lot of the groundwork for how we got to the mess we’re in, but I mean the GOP majority that has us so screwed we can’t actually produce a budget, and even if we could, would make it impossible to balance without taking a hacksaw to what’s left of our shredded safety net.

Well, there’s a clue right here. It came out before the end of the Primary season, and folks might have noticed, but like I said, a lot of us were distracted with trying to find work and keep our houses, and we weren’t spending a lot of time idly reading articles on an election process that would clearly take care of itself.

After all, we had our first African American president! What could possibly go wrong?

Politico: GOP could gain redistricting powers

And

New Yorker Magazine: State for Sale A conservative multimillionaire has taken control in North Carolina, one of 2012’s top battlegrounds.

These reporters were on to something, but nobody wanted to listen because we couldn’t lose. Why worry when we’d just waste our time. Of COURSE we’d keep all those seats.

Only…that’s not what happened, was it?

No.

Why?

Because the moment President Obama took his first oath of office, the Republican billionaires knew they had to stop the progress Democrats made, the movement President Obama inspired, and the progress toward a more liberal landscape. And that’s when REDMAP was born.

Here’s what it looked like, in July of 2015, one month after Trump declared his candidacy,

The following June, just as the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence started to heat up for both Clinton (publicly) and Trump (in silence), New Yorker Magazine featured a story that highlighted David Daley’s book “Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy” (Liveright).

Daley tried to tell us, but we were too busy making fun of Trump and being horrified that Cruz might win, we didn’t pay attention then, either.

Little by little, piece by piece, as the GOP realized Trump was the key to everything, they all lined up behind the grifter, the demagogue of Mar-a-Lago whose failed businesses let him deduct almost a BILLION dollars in bankruptcy claims, screwing every contractor he encountered, and seated him at the desk in the Oval Office.

Hindsight, as they say, is crystal clear. We got here because we failed to connect enough of the dots early enough in the process to stop this grassroots takeover. Like a virus, the GOP have sucked the Blue out of most of the US. There are islands, pockets of liberalism, and they’ve all been neatly tied up with a big red bow, designed to ensure that those seats will never turn blue again, no matter how many angry Democrats turn out.

There is no guarantee the GOP will run candidates like Roy Moore. There’s no guarantee that a million voters will blow off the Midterm elections because they hate all the candidates.

On the contrary, the majority of Republicans will seem to be almost okay, just enough different from the Democrats that those people who adore false equivalency will tell themselves again that it makes no difference, and they’ll vote for the guy at the top of the ballot, because he’s already got the seat and what could possibly go wrong?

It’ll be that way all the way down the ticket. Just look at what happened in Virginia. With the race down to the very last legitimate ballots, the GOP were able to pull out that one last ballot, put two names inside film canisters, and draw lots. That’s where we are today. An entire state legislature decided on a single solitary ballot. And we have people like Ed Gillespie to thank for this.

The Washington Post: Gillespie took partisan mapmaking to a new level. Try turning that into a bumper sticker.

Here’s what the goal is, for 2020. Feel free to drag that line to the left and right, to see what the GOP expects the landscape to look like after 2018. Go ahead. Check it out. It’s what I’m predicting will happen.

https://rslc.gop/map-center/

Democrats still think we can play by the rules. Greens think their high moral ground will protect and insulate them from the damage this country has already suffered and will continue to suffer under Republican rule.

They don’t understand that our country’s election process has become a game of political Calvinball, where the rules change from moment to moment, to suit the needs of the GOP.

If we keep having these blame-storming arguments that revolve around purity tests, we’ll be the rest of the way back to the Gilded age, with all the gains after 1900 just plain gone.

Back to the days of billionaire robber barons, landed gentry, slavery, and feudalism.

You think we’re there now? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

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 5): Patriarchal Theocracy

Aftermath (Part 5): Patriarchal Theocracy

patriarchal

  [pey-tree-ahr-kuh l]
adjective[1]. of or relating to a patriarch, the male head of a family, tribe, community, church, order, etc.: my father’s conservative, patriarchal ways.2. characteristic of an entity, family, church, etc., controlled by men: the highly patriarchal Mormon church.

theocracy

 [thee-ok-ruh-see]

noun, plural theocracies.

1. a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God’s or deity’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.
2. a system of government by priests claiming a divine commission.
3. a commonwealth or state under such a form or system of government.
(http://www.dictionary.com/)

If I had ten dollars for every argument I had in the last several years over the ramifications of choosing to vote third party, I’d be able to buy a private island and escape this bullshit, but no, nobody paid me to argue my side and so here we are. I’m still Cassandra, and our social safety nets aren’t just unraveling, they’re on fire. How long before we return to the world of robber barons, Standard Oil, and the Gilded Age? As early as the end of 2018, by my reckoning.

The text below began circulating Facebook at the start of this week. I’ve been trying to coalesce my thoughts since I copied and pasted to here, but I had to start with links to the text in each of the bills below.

This isn’t a drill. The Congressional House of Representatives controls the US budget process and they are working on the next budget for Trump to sign into law, after it passes the Senate, but that’s not stopping them from deleting whole line items, piecemeal.

Since President Obama left office in January, we have been operating on the last Obama-era budget, such as it was. With the end of FY 2016-2017 on September 30, that changed. We are now in Trump territory. If there was ever a question about his agenda, today’s reprehensible Executive Order should answer it for you.

Soon after Trump signed the executive order, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman threatened to sue the administration if it oversteps its executive power.

“President Trump now appears to be trying to accomplish by executive fiat what he could not through Congress,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “If the Trump administration takes any action that violates the law — or tramples on New Yorkers’ constitutional rights — we will take them to court.”

And while Trump was entertaining his audience (so much so, he forgot to sign the actual order and Pence had to remind him AGAIN not to leave first), the House is presently debating all of the bills below.

Every one of these hideously grotesque bills belongs to the Republicans in charge. Affix blame where it lies: At the malicious feet of the radical right who’ve taken over our country during the last 40 years.

Distracted by bump stocks, taking the knee, Corker tweet storm, “real” first lady, IQ challenge?
The following bills have been introduced (as of last week):
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Another attempt to Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one is devastating to the working class … it ALSO applies to Union members)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
Contact your House Representative.
Copy, paste, share

Combine the concerted attacks on the Affordable Care Act with the recent language change on human conception and meaning from Health and Human Services, and Trump’s change to the mandate for covering birth control and you have the toxic makings of a Patriarchal Theocracy.

So much for our Republic. One nation, indivisible, but only for rich white men.

That’s been the plan all along, ever since Carter had the audacity to take the election from Gerald Ford and Bob Dole. Make sure if the Democrats are in power, they never get another chance to do what FDR did, and erode those policies as fast as possible, by any means necessary.

These acts of Trump and the GOP are not just to destroy President Obama’s legacy. They intend to restore to the plan before Bush left office. If only McCain had won, like he was supposed to, this is what would have happened eight years ago. It’s what would have happened if Romney had won in 2012. And it’s why the hypocrites in the GOP hitched their wagon to a narcissistic imbecile like Trump, who doesn’t give an actual shit about anything except protecting his own assets.

I want to be positive, so here’s a prediction: I’m positive that if we don’t get our collective shit together before 11/6/2018, there won’t be another election in this country. Not one we can vote in, anyway.

Either we’ll be dead or the GOP will have rigged the process so that we can’t actually cast ballots for anyone, including dogcatcher.

It takes a lot to grind a functioning social region to a halt. The DC metro area does one thing and it does it very well: We support all those people who make the US Government function. Shutter three agencies, remove the regulations for private industry, shift the center of government elsewhere, and take action against all those who oppose the plan? That’s fascism.

Like I said.

Edited to add:

Just as I was getting ready to put this to bed, FB popped this article up on my feed.

The Hill: Trump to become first sitting president to address Values Voter Summit

The SPLC has identified the Family Research Council as a hate group. More from the SPLC can be found here:

SPLC: VALUES VOTER SUMMIT: WHOSE VALUES?

Tell me I’m wrong.

I dare you.

Republicans in Libertarian clothing…

Republicans in Libertarian clothing…

Back on September 26, I posted this on my FB feed, but clearly I didn’t address the issue here because I’ve been looking for supporting material and can’t find it.

So, now, we’re just shy of a month away from the actual election and it’s time to deal with the issue.

Civil Liberties
garyjohnson2012.com

I have been accused (inadvertently or not) of talking about only two candidates for President. There is only one other of the five still running for office who appears on all 50 state ballots, six weeks out from elections. That morning I woke up to a feature on NPR’s Morning Edition, highlighting Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.

Leaving aside his world leadership and world geography gaffes (which are substantial), I was surprised to hear that former Governor Johnson believes in legalizing marijuana, in marriage equality and in a woman’s right to make her own decisions during pregnancy until the point of viability of a fetus. I’m wondering how many of his supporters have paid attention to these three platform statements (viewable here: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues).

To be fair, here are Dr. Jill Stein’s issues (Green Party): http://www.jill2016.com/platform.

Darrell Castle (Constitution Party): http://www.constitutionparty.com/.

Folks who support these three alternative candidates should read their platforms very closely. You might be surprised to see what each candidate believes.

If, as it presently appears, the US House will retain its majority of GOP over other candidates, I think Dr. Stein’s chances of achieving her goals are slim to none, much as I agree with her stance on some issues.

But she simply isn’t a viable candidate. Goode isn’t either. Neither is polling in numbers to sufficiently dent Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com predictions, and I believe both are actually irrelevant to the election at this point. A vote for either one (despite all the yowling of the Greens I know) is a waste of time, except for one thing: Taking that vote away from Hillary Clinton gives Trump an advantage he wouldn’t have otherwise.

Gary Johnson is no prize. He’s largely acknowledged as a Republican running in Libertarian clothing, and he’s got the backing of the Koch brothers because they aren’t wasting their money on Trump. There’s no point. He’s in it for himself and not even Pence will be able to stop him until he gets bored with being Emperor of North America um…I mean, President. And if he was running for the ONLY third party (there are half a dozen in this race) he still couldn’t win, but he could do significant damage.

But some folks have done some digging and I dislike what I see:

The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics

Gary Johnson is Worse than Donald Trump

No, Not Gary Johnson: The Libertarian candidate puts a likable face on a deeply troubling economic policy.

I just don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Be educated before you walk into the voting booth.

My take on Machiavelli’s <em>The Prince</em>, and a little history…

My take on Machiavelli’s The Prince, and a little history…

Okay, so way back in the end of 2012, I found out I qualified for a college scholarship. I got my first degree in 1985, which managed to be enough until we got to human resources databases that reject people if they don’t have the “right” degree.

After being stuck in a dead-end part-time job for the better part of three years, I figured that there was only one way to move forward again, and that was by going back to college for a degree that proved I knew what I was doing with web design and art. Unfortunately, the requirements for the AA degree (in Interactive Media, if you must know) included taking a basic art class on which everything else hinged, and without that class, I was dead in the water.

So, okay. Take the one class, start full time in the fall. I can get behind that, especially since I’m only part time at work anyway. But in order to get the scholarship money (or a fraction thereof), I need to be at least part time at college, and that meant taking a second class in something. Anything.

When I launched this blog back in 2012, I was already compiling a bunch of historical data (dates, names, events) for arguments on Facebook and Live Journal, and that was a darn sight better than I did the last time I took a history course (American history, and I got an incomplete, so there was a reason to worry).

I looked at the catalog and found World History to Modern Times. The actual range of dates (which I wasn’t expecting when I walked in that first day) was 962-1949. Daunting? You bet. Until the professor allowed me to use my laptop for taking notes. That, friends, changed everything. And it’s a good thing, too, because I still have the spreadsheet I used for tracking my timeline.

See, the professor threw dates, names, events and phrases around with wild abandon. He offered a set of study guides that were essentially in timeline form, and he insisted that we read a book (that he never actually referred to more than twice in the entire semester, or I’d have included the title here). There were questions from the timeline study guides, and questions from the stuff he threw out in his lectures. And if I hadn’t captured ALL of it and then checked for sources and more data using the campus internet connection, I’d have bombed this class, too.

Instead, I built a fairly solid picture of where we were and how we got there, from the Holy Roman Empire to Nazi Germany.

You can check out the spreadsheet to see what I mean. Lots of notes, some of which are designed as simple date reminders for regurgitation on the tests. I’ve only just added an eighth column, to hold the relevant Wikipedia link, which I should have done way back then but didn’t bother to do because I could always look it up when I wanted to. Since I’m making my work available to you, I figure anything to make the source easier to locate is a good thing.

Now, before you go all “Yeah, Wikipedia. Like THAT’s trustworthy!” on me, bear in mind that some pages, like the one on Hitler, contain so many outside references, there’s no limit to the number of additional reading sources for you to consider. And I encourage you to do just that. Go check the sources. Get lost in the data. And then come back to the spreadsheet for further source material. Eleven centuries of history (give or take a year) is a lot to digest in one sitting, or even one class. And this is World History, not just American History, so context is everything.

Anyway, with the class, there was a required paper. It’s a history class, and I think I got off easy with just one paper and an extra credit question, aside from the weekly quizzes and midterm exam. The paper is reproduced below. It’s long, so you’ll have to go under the cut to find it. If you haven’t read The Prince yet, the link to Gutenberg is below. There’s really no excuse.

I’ll leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

How did we get here?

One step at a time.

Oh, and the class? Got an A. (On the paper, too.)

A Reflection Paper: The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli

April 26, 2013

Continue reading “My take on Machiavelli’s The Prince, and a little history…”

And another thing…

And another thing…

I’m going to riff off the post I made earlier on FB, because it summarizes the problem we’re facing today. If you already read my post, feel free to share it. I’m following on from my last post, Connecting the Dots, Part 4, where you’ll find the current stats for the 2016 Primaries and Caucuses.


What did the GOP establishment think was going to happen when they kept comparing President Obama to Hitler, told their constituents they ALL had to have guns to protect themselves, that the country is in crisis and only the GOP will save them, and then put up a field of candidates who couldn’t actually deliver?

When the real deal–a pure fascist demagogue–comes along with actual authoritarian values, charismatic appeal to the basest senses of fear and loathing, and stirs up the spoon-fed population of fully armed racists, bigots, misogynists and zealots and tells them he’ll do everything their narrow-minded hearts desire, who are they going to follow?

Make no mistake here: The GOP establishment and their crony capitalist billionaire thugs built this, and they’ve intentionally rigged the system with deceptive voting machines, voter ID laws and outright fraudulent counting practices just to ensure their candidates can’t lose. When Trump sweeps in come November, it will be because of everything WE let them do in the last eight years in service to the government they’ve sworn to destroy.

What they’ve all failed to remember–every last one of them–is what Germany looked like for DECADES. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the final reunification took place in 1992, almost 50 years AFTER the end of World War II in 1945.

Think about that for a while, as you chew on all the rhetoric that says it can’t happen here, that Trump isn’t electable, that somehow Bernie Sanders or Hillary Rodham Clinton will win and we’ll all be okay.

The Right doesn’t recognize fascism because they think it’s a 54 year-old black man from Kenya.

Think about it.


Addendum 1:

This just crossed my feed. It doesn’t name names or call the question of where ALEC derived, but everything I’ve been saying since 2012 is here. What we’re seeing is the natural progression of decades of hate and manipulation, coalescing around Trump and Cruz (recently compared elsewhere in my feed to Mussolini and Hitler).

They built this.

Vote Libertarian and you suck votes away from the GOP. Vote Green or Socialist and you suck votes away from the Dems. And if, as I suspect, Cruz moves forward and takes the nomination away from Trump, there will rise a third party, that will split the GOP straight down the middle. IF Cruz gets enough support.
Regardless, that is the ONLY WAY this election won’t produce a Republican for the White House. Your choice: Authoritarian Fascist or Christian Theocrat. Which is worse: Concentration camps or the Spanish Inquisition?
Take your pick.
Theme: Elation by Kaira.