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.

Connecting the Dots, Part 2

Connecting the Dots, Part 2

United States of ALEC from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

On October 11, 2012, I wrote the following post: Do you know ALEC? If not, you should. And you should be afraid.

The video above was part of the above post. I just watched it again. Somehow, there has to be a way to get the word out that ALEC isn’t just a lobbying organization masquerading as a non-profit educational organization but is actively writing legislation that states are voting on now to take away individuals’ rights. Including the Stand Your Ground law, Right to Work law and more.

Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia…they’re in every state (including Maryland, where I live).

Fortunately, Maryland still carries Democratic Majority, and we are still able to pass legislation that protects our rights, much to the NRA-backed gun lobby’s consternation, but if we don’t spend the time and learn more about ALEC’s activities today, we’re dooming our country to a corporate-driven demise not seen since World War II, or possibly ever.

(Yes, I don’t like the source, but the sources he quotes are legit, and frankly, he’s not the only one who’s noticed the parallels between then and now. If you have a real problem with the site, go to Harvard and view the docs there instead: http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/)

Back in the late ’90s, Hillary Clinton referred to a “vast right-wing conspiracy” targeting Bill Clinton for takedown, first with Whitewater and then Monica Lewinsky. The GOP-backed House, led by Newt Gingrich, almost achieved impeachment, which failed in part because the 1998 election cycle brought in enough senators (not exactly bipartisan, but enough who crossed the lines to make acquittal possible).

Most people blew off  the possibility that there was an actual right-wing conspiracy as improbable at best, unprovable at worst. Who knew the conspiracy would be driven by corporate America, interested most in retaining the bottom line.

Enter the makers of the documentary above.

Suddenly, 40 years of American political history starts to make sense.

The New Yorker, in August 2010, published Jane Mayer’s investigative biographic article, COVERT OPERATIONS: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. In the article, she outlines the role the brothers have played in shaping conservative politics.

Forbes Magazine, on March 21, 2011, published The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy 2011: Less Vast- More Powerful as a clearer picture of the men behind the curtain, but even this article failed to get to the true depth and breadth of the organization.

On September 12, 2012, in the heat of last year’s election cycle, the Center for Media and Democracy published this article, which helps map out the relationships between the top three conservative think tanks:  Paul Weyrich’s Troika Reunited: ALEC Partners with Republican Study Committee at Heritage Foundation.

The Trayvon Martin case, as sad as it was, has served to expose ALEC’s role in state government politics. Every time I hear the phrase “States’ Rights” I go back to one thing: We have set ourselves up via the Constitution for a corporate takeover the likes of which has never been seen.

All the signs are there. Social programs designed to protect the poor? Gone. Equal pay for equal work? Laughable. Health care? Social Security? Even privacy? Every last one of these is suspect.

So today, we come to this (from Salon.com, today): The Republican Party is officially broken: Washington’s problem isn’t partisanship or a fatally flawed system. It’s that one party is massively dysfunctional

Only, I would argue that they aren’t broken at all. They are operating exactly, specifically as planned. And unless we can find some way to stop their progress, before 2014, there will be no way to fix what’s wrong with this country because Corporate America will have won.

Public school will eventually cease to exist, becoming private (commercial). Tens of thousands of people will die because they can’t afford the cost of healthcare. We will decrease the unnecessary surplus population and that will suit the Suits just fine. The Tea Party will do all the driving if we don’t figure out a way to stop them. Because the Tea Party is leaving “Brownshirt” stains everywhere.

Heck, if this keeps up, I may have to buy a gun.

Remember: You heard it here. Spread the word.

Today’s the day.

Today’s the day.

There is no irony for me today, no sense of amusement that our recognized Inauguration Day falls today on the same Monday when we honor the life and recognize the too-early death of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday, in our congregation, we sang this anthem and spent a time considering not just its historical significance but also how far we still have to go before we can truly say that all men and women are free in this country.

Too often in the last few weeks have I heard that we are all entitled to keep our guns, that the KKK would not have been controlled without them. And yet, I have come to realize the truth, so simply stated and yet so lost in the mists of time, that without them slavery would have ended before the Declaration of Independence was signed by rich white men who made decisions on behalf of other rich white men.

Given our past year’s worth of revelations, I am sad to say that so little has changed.

I can boil our country’s problems down to keywords. I don’t have to talk about them. I only have to say their names and you will know what I am talking about. That is the awesome and terrible power of the Internet and of the media. From Hurricane Sandy to Sandy Hook, from Aurora to Afghanistan, Algeria, Syria and Israel. From Pakistan to Palestine, there is great injustice in the world, but no less great than right here in the good old U. S. of A.

Selma, Montgomery, Memphis, Jackson, Birmingham and Atlanta stand as just a few reminders of our country’s dark past – one I don’t share except by the color of my skin, because my family did not arrive in Brooklyn, NY until the turn of the last century. Although I don’t share that past, I am no less appalled. Rather, I am learning to make changes so that we can truly fulfill our potential as leaders in democracy and freedom for all.

Today, we have a new form of slavery – just as despicable and yet so little recognized that we prefer to think of THEM and justify all sorts of horrible things because of our obviously European roots. The “war on drugs,” rights to gun ownership, arguments against affirmative action, public school access – these all have a common thread of race that ties them together and keeps our classes apart.

Public schools have become prisons designed to indoctrinate instead of inspiring our children to do better. We want our children to toe the line, to become polite, subservient cogs in the machinery of our corporate system. We eject those who fail to fit, forcing most into what amounts to a lifetime of slavery. We should be appalled at the statistics, not just of the prison populations but of the total number of people we lose every year to violence in general.

In Australia, after a mass shooting in 1996 led to sweeping gun ownership reforms, the University of Sidney launched a web site which I discovered yesterday in response to a conversation on Facebook about gun ownership. The conversation started with an image on the Being Liberal Facebook Page, but it didn’t end there, because a friend posted a link to gun homicides in the US, thinking (I assume) that was the end of the discussion. The fact is, his numbers were deceptive because they ignore all the OTHER deaths by gun in this country and elsewhere. It’s a sad testament to the power of the National Rifle Association that we have to go outside our country to find accurate statistics for gun violence.

From their own web site: “GunPolicy.org is hosted by the Sydney School of Public Health, [at] the University of Sydney. The School provides internationally recognised leadership in public health by advancing and disseminating knowledge — in this case, supporting global efforts to prevent gun injury.”

The Unitarian Universalists have launched a new campaign: Thirty Days of Love. The movement calls for us to think about mass incarceration not just to take criminals off our streets, but as an opportunity to see WHO is being swept into prison and the effect imprisonment has on our country.

On August 28, 1963, a little over two months before I was born, Rev. King gave his “I have a dream” speech, not quite 15 miles from where I live now. It saddens me to know that we still have so far to go to achieve Rev. King’s dream.

President Barack Obama took the oath of office yesterday, so that he can carry on the work he began four years ago. There is still a great deal to do, so long as there are still people who think of him as “uppity” and unfit for office simply because of the color of his skin. I don’t often pray, and seldom to god, but I will pray that the people in this country and elsewhere learn to understand and savor our differences and to choose responsibility over prejudice.

We have a long way to go.

36 Windows: October 15, 2012 – Civil Liberties

36 Windows: October 15, 2012 – Civil Liberties

These links represent a variety of violations to privacy, personal liberty, even truth.

Especially disturbing, the Contraception video, which seems to imply that our coming Baby Boom problem would be cured by breeding enough children to help us cope with the coming onslaught of elderly and sick, but which  fails utterly to discuss the realities of raising children specifically to care for their elders. How would this be any different from slavery?

Under Legal, racial profiling gone horribly wrong, not just for those whose rights have been violated, but for the officers forced to comply with the quotas. Turn these tables and imagine that these officers are teachers trying to keep their jobs and being judged for their students’ test scores, and you begin to see the problem with the assumption that the only way to know a public servant is doing her job is by the volume of reports she files each week.

Legal

The Hunted and the Hated
An Inside Look at the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy (Upworthy):
http://www.upworthy.com/meet-the-17-year-old-who-blew-the-lid-off-racial-profiling-with-his-ipod

US court says reading other people’s online email is OK, privacy be damned (Naked Security/Sophos):
http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10/15/reading-online-email-privacy/

The Lunatic Fringe

You Deserve to Know the Truth: Contraception
http://www.upworthy.com/wow-just-wow-anti-women-propaganda-at-its-finest

Christian Group Finds Gay Agenda in an Anti-Bullying Day (The New York Times):
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/us/seeing-a-homosexual-agenda-christian-group-protests-an-anti-bullying-program.html

Let’s Do Lunch! Religious Right Attacks Kids Making New Friends in School (Americans United):
http://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/let-s-do-lunch-religious-right-attacks-kids-making-new-friends-in-school

New Metro Ads Protest ‘Hate Speech’
Religious coalition calls on Metro to donate the money it received from a controversial ad campaign (NBC4 Washington):
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/New-Metro-Ads-174184471.html

Education

The School Voucher Crisis (Center for Inquiry):
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/advocacy/the_school_voucher_crisis/ and http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/OPP_School_Vouchers.pdf

A kinder way to tackle truancy (The Guardian):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/apr/03/kinder-way-to-tackle-truancy

Back to October 15, 2012 “36 Windows…”

Education cuts? Good grief!

Education cuts? Good grief!

Lawmakers looking favorably on cuts in education funding: A first step might be easing counties’ obligation

I don’t get it. We mandate by federal law No Child Left Behind, then pull funding from schools to ensure that the only thing teachers can teach are the ways to pass the tests mandated by NCLB. Who wins here? Certainly not the kids.

I want to rant all over this but I’ve got a headache and I’m trying to work on too many things around here. I could flail around wildly trying to affix blame for where we are educationally, but there’s very little point and in the end I won’t have accomplished anything useful.

Education should be this country’s number one priority. Without it, our kids won’t be able to get themselves out of our houses, and we’ll fall even farther behind the other countries in our ability to compete and grow. If a kindergarten teacher can’t even take the time to help teach a kid to tie his shoelaces, then we’ve done something terrible to our educational system. Driving teachers out because we can’t afford to pay them, increasing class sizes because we can’t afford the teachers, making teachers follow strict guidelines over what they should teach and when burns out all but the most dedicated (or least flexible) of people.

When are we going to wake up and do something about this?

How blindingly stupid can we get?!?

Comments:

CS:
Stupid, or maybe evil. Sometimes I think that certain people, having failed to get prayer into public schools, are now trying to destroy them.

Down here the state budget shortfall is resulting in furlough days for state employees, including public school teachers. If there were teacher unions down here they’d have a much more difficult time of it.

Back in Reagan’s time the conservatives wanted to “starve the beast.” Well, there may be times when smaller government is a good idea, but starving the beast to death is insane. Do these people really want to get elected to the government in order to destroy it? Isn’t that treason?

BJ:
Sadly we can get pretty darn stupid. Neither political party wants to work together because that would mean compromise and that would mean a loss of power. Cant they seem it is not productive to play us verses them? and hat is sadder is that it seems the majority of people can’t see that they are playing a divide and concur game. And the ones who really pay teh price are the children.

RP:
I’m afraid it will only get worse. As a voting bloc, parents of school-age children will lose out to retiring baby boomers within the next 10 years. Guess what parts of the budget will become untouchable?

LS:
Yeah. I have a rant going in my head but it’ll just make my head explode if I let it out. So yeah. Pretty effin stupid, is the answer to your question.

Insert witty title here…

Insert witty title here…

CNN. Gotta love them. Better than the Enquirer any day…

The good… [No longer CNN but NY Times, because this is the Memory Hole.]

Florida Court Strikes Down School Voucher Program

Gov. Bush vows to find ways to continue nation’s first program

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The Florida Supreme Court struck down a statewide voucher system Thursday that allowed children to attend private schools at taxpayer expense — a program Gov. Jeb Bush considered one of his proudest achievements.

The bad… [No longer CNN but Media Matters. See above.]

Robertson suggests God smote Sharon

Evangelist links Israeli leader’s stroke to ‘dividing God’s land’

(CNN) — Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.

[Robertson later apologized here, because he was threatened with fund withdrawal: Robertson apologizes to Sharon’s son]

And finally, the ugly… [This one IS CNN.]

Wal-Mart ‘heartsick’ over DVD grouping

Reports: No. 1 retailer apologizes for racial links on Web site, spoofs poor holiday sales in song.

I don’t have an icon to reflect the proper sense of mixed disgust and relief. Must try to do something about that…

Theme: Elation by Kaira.