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.

Welcome to the Corporate <s>United</s> States of Amerika…

Welcome to the Corporate United States of Amerika…

61 days and counting…

“I listened as they called my President a Muslim.

I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.

Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.

I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.

I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I’ve tolerated all I can.
Now it’s their turn to tolerate ridicule.

Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump’s fault, just as much as they thought it was Obama’s.

I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give.”

–Author unknown

#TheResistance

Your reading selection for the day comes from a series of articles that posted not long after the results hit the news. They may have been buried in your newsfeed, or you might not have seen them at all, depending on your echo chamber settings (thanks to FB’s algorithms).

The going conversation sounds polite (“It won’t be that bad. You’re exaggerating.”) or obnoxious (“Suck it up, buttercup.”) but the message is the same either way. It’s all about denying reality.

In the meantime, life goes on, people try to normalize a situation that is far, far removed from normal, and we drift ever closer to the end of life in the US as we’ve known it for our whole lives. The vast numbers of people who served in or grew up during the Great Depression and World War II are either dead or dying.

Many of our heroes are also dying, because of bad genes or poor lifestyle choices, or because they’re just plain old and we haven’t noticed because we still feel the same. Every voice that’s stilled, every change in history that can no longer be confirmed, is another step on the road to erasing the past.

It may already be too late for us. Our history goes in 100 year cycles and we are way overdue for civil or world war in this country. Our politicians protect the interests of the rich. The oligarchy has taken over. We are the Corporate States of Amerika and Revolution is coming.

Will you be prepared to stop the cops or the mob from taking your neighbor? Is free speech important? Do you want a place for your children’s children to grow old? Can you find somewhere that’s safe?

Think about it.

#TheResistance

Esquire.com: Great. Here Comes Another Constitutional Crisis. Time for the Democrats to wake up.

Al Jazeera America: Jim Crow returns. Millions of minority voters threatened by electoral purge

TheGuardian.com: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems. Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?

The New York Review of Books: Autocracy: Rules for Survival

Statistic Brain: Voting Turnout Statistics (A different set of stats from this year’s election process.)

Wikipedia: Stockholm Syndrome

Aftermath (Part 1): And so it ends…

Aftermath (Part 1): And so it ends…

Dear Reader,

You’ve gotten this far, so it’s likely that you can find all the ways in which I predicted the outcome of this year’s Presidential election. There isn’t anyone as clear on the subject as Jim Wright, so I will let him tell you what I think of the situation, at least in part. Stonekettle Station: Bug Hunt

There. Got that all out of your system?

Excellent.

There’s a new sticky post on my blog, which is gonna stay there for a while, containing the names and links to organizations that need your support NOW, before the feds pull any money they receive through grants. I can personally guarantee you that half these organizations will cease to exist without direct donations from you, because they serve to support everything the GOP despises.

I have said that this is the end of America as we know it. It’s going to take some time to see the damage, if you’re still here to see it (and I encourage you to stick around).

What’s coming? Why the storm?

You can scroll back through all the posts I’ve made regarding war. Feel free. They build my case.

We are long, long overdue for civil war in this country. It took less than 24 hours for the violence to start, whether your local news organization is covering it or not.

Let’s be clear here: With all the hate crawling out of the cracks and crevices, targeting those who don’t sort easily into Straight, White, Christian, and Male, is it really any wonder how this happened? And to those people who are all “Trump won, get over it,” you have absolutely no idea what you’re glibly asking people to do, because you’re safe.

You’re not LGBTQ, you’re not a person of color, you’re not a woman or girl, you’re Christian. And if you are in one or more of these demographics? Try to remember that your pragmatism is causing one of two possible reactions: “You Asked For It (insert excuse here),” or “It can’t possibly be that bad.”

Either way, you’re wrong.

Flat wrong.

In the first case, your view is the classic abuser line that survivors hear all the time: You must have done something to deserve this.

In the second, most of the people you’re talking to already struggle with otherness, and you are telling them to shove themselves back into a closet, to get over their disabilities, to pretend they aren’t who they are.

If you don’t think it’s going to be that bad, you’ve never experienced life as a target. You can pass just because of the color of your skin. And that makes you an unfeeling asshole.

That’s how you sound to people who are already in same sex marriages, who contemplated a life that appeared to celebrate equality, that allowed women control over their own reproductive health, who depended on health insurance. And to those who were already targets in the sights of our justice system? That was a colossal Fuck You to every unarmed victim of police shooting.

Where’s your empathy?

But I’m not a racist! I love my black friends. We have lunch together.”

Really?

Have you ever once considered the possibility that from the moment many of these people walk out of their homes they’re targets? That they (and YOU) can be arrested and charged with resisting arrest, and be jailed indefinitely for doing nothing more than walking out of the house at the wrong time?

Don’t tell me that’s hyperbole. Tell it to Michael Brown. To Trayvon Martin. To any of the millions of men and women incarcerated now, who work as slaves to the justice system. And go read the USA Patriot Act again.

This country has gone conservative. It’s been clear for decades…DECADES…that this was the path our country was going to take.

All the wrongheaded protest votes in the world, all the polls, all the expectations tossed down our throats by pundits who simply couldn’t conceive or wouldn’t be honest about where we were headed, they put us where we are today.

Trust me. We are going to war.

It won’t be immediate. It’s going to take some time. Give it six months, though, tops, before we have boots on the ground somewhere. The only question I have is whether it will be here in this country or overseas, but it’s time. The clock has finally struck thirteen.

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Or was that Eastasia?

Welcome to Oceania.

Enjoy your stay.

Peace.

Out.

Orlando…

Orlando…

In January 2013, after the Sandy Hook massacre, I was moved to write this post. Last night I attended the Orlando memorial and vigil, combined with the movie Pride, which my art house theater showed for free. I held one of the candles early on in the evening, before the movie, to honor the dead.

While I was watching Pride, some things boiled back up to the surface, not the least of which was my time at New Paltz as part of the theatre community. The scenes where the wives of the miners go to the London scene could have been right out of my own experience.

I tried briefly to call up all the names and faces of the people I met then, to remember my high school friend Eric, the first guy I knew was out and proud, and all the people I’ve met in between. I can’t count them all.

Before I got through the movie, I knew already how it would end, at least in part. And I wept, not just for those killed or injured at Pulse, but for every one of the people I’ve met or been friends with in my life.

Even without my theatre experience, I knew I was always an ally. The community that the shooter violated is in part my community. If this had happened 1984 or 1985, in the bars where my friends and I went to dance, it could have been me.

Empathy. That’s what this is.

Any 2A argument that this could have been solved with a good guy with a gun fails to understand the nature of these safe havens. Guns aren’t necessary when you’re home. And if you think they are, I feel sorry for you, because you have no safe place.

That is why I weep for my country, for my brothers and sisters, wherever they fall on the spectrum. AIDS wasn’t a punishment or divine retribution. Neither was the attack last weekend. If you think otherwise, I feel sorry for you because you have lost the ability to empathize.

May you come to your own peace. I am still working on mine.

( i )


GOP Congressmen Offer “Thoughts and Prayers.” Here’s How Much the NRA Gave Them to Offer Nothing More.

Is your Representative in the NRA’s pocket?

Gingrich: Let’s Create New Version Of House Un-American Activities Committee

NRA breaks its silence and blames ‘Obama administration’s political correctness’ for Orlando shooting

STONEKETTLE STATION: The Seven Stages of Gun Violence

Obama Had This Haunting Confrontation With A Pro-Gun Activist Just Days Before The Orlando Massacre

Democratic senator frustrated by inaction on guns wages filibuster

Guns? No. Radical Islam? No. LGBTQ Rights? No. Insanity? Close…

Guns? No. Radical Islam? No. LGBTQ Rights? No. Insanity? Close…

UPDATED: 7:49pm

 

I didn’t want to go there, but I sure had a sneaking suspicion, and I’ve just been proven right.
According to Gawker Magazine, the shooter was a regular at Pulse. This was no random attack. It was cold blooded, premeditated murder. Daesh had nothing to do with it.

 

Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App

 


There are plenty of words for what happened in Orlando but I promised not to say any of them yesterday because the families and friends of the dead deserved that much.

It’s disgustingly typical of Conservative America that the 2nd Amendment remains more important than human life, but how will the deluded reconcile too many guns with radical Islam and manage to keep the dialogue from devolving into “more guns would fix this?”

Make the problem into a self-righteous rant that they must have deserved it because LGBTQ? (Nope. No cognitive dissonance there.)

No. Not quite.

Whether the lone wolf shooter, who will remain anonymous in this post, is or is not an actual member of DAESH is truly irrelevant here. He was born in New York City, was not even observing Ramadan (the holiest month in the Islamic year), and in the usual 20/20 hindsight that comes after these events, was unstable, violent, threatening, and still employed despite a co-worker’s warnings that he was dangerous. The shooter was licensed and fully able to acquire the firepower he needed to do roughly a third the amount of damage as took place November 13, 2015 at Le Bataclan in Paris.

The problem lies not in the shooter’s actual affiliation but in the dialogue that will come from this horrific event. It lies in this statement, posted by WTOP at 5:50 a.m.:

The Islamic State’s radio has called the Orlando mass shooter “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”

Al-Bayan Radio, a media outlet for the IS extremist group, on Monday hailed the attack that left 50 people dead [including the shooter], saying it targeted a gathering of Christians and gays and that it’s the worst attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Authorities say [the shooter] opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at a gay nightclub early Sunday before being killed in a shootout with police. Another 53 people were wounded in the shooting.

The broadcast is apparently an opportunistic statement as IS has not officially claimed responsibility for the Orlando attack.” [emphasis mine]

You want to see how this stacks up against reality?

Have you been reading my posts? I’ve explained this already. And I’m not alone.

As mass shootings plague US, survivors mourn lack of change

There can be no rational discussion ever again about common sense gun control, because GOD NRA FORBID we exercise control of our emotions long enough to realize we’re talking about human lives, of people with the same exact rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whether it’s the brand of happiness we think is acceptable.

When single issue voters choose the Second Amendment over anything resembling sanity, this is what we get as a result: “The state of Gun Violence in the US, explained in 18 charts.”

In 2009, when there were still enough Democrats in Congress to make a difference, the House and Senate finally passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Obama later signed into law. It would never have passed today.

According to Vox.com, the bill, which added perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities to the list of protected classes under existing federal hate crimes law, was passed as a rider to one of that year’s Defense Spending bills, no thanks to the following individuals, who voted against the bill.

[The names in RED are running for re-election this November. Remember that when you go to the polls this year. Again, emphasis mine.]

In the Senate:

Sen. John Barasso (R-WY)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

 

In the House

The following are ALL up for re-election, except where noted, and you can vote them out in November:

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Dan Camp (R-MI)
Rep. Shelley Capito (R-WV), who’s now a US senator
Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Rep. John Chaffetz (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN)
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who’s now a US senator
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)
Rep. Steven Guthrie (R-KY)
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Pete King (R-NY)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. John Mica (R-FL)
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)
Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

 

What are YOU doing on November 8, 2016?

It’s time for a NEW Equal Rights Amendment.

It’s time for a NEW Equal Rights Amendment.

This is not a link share, but my own opinion and you’re welcome to do with it what you will.

In the last two days I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion. If the Equal Rights Amendment as originally written is dead, then it’s time for a new and improved Equal Rights For ALL Amendment, that covers everyone, with no exceptions for race, gender or ability.

The amendment MUST make clear that this right transcends due process and extends to every individual person in the country. And by person, I am specifically excluding corporations, which are not now and never have been people.

To wit:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of gender, race or ability.

Section 2. Rights shall extend to every individual within the borders of the United States and its territories, regardless of nationality.

Section 3. The word “individual” shall not be construed to mean property held by an individual in the form of a corporation.

Section 4. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 5. This amendment shall take effect one year after the date of ratification.

I’ll make an appointment to see Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer if I have to.

If certain members of the Supreme Court can decide to ignore the 14th Amendment, because it’s not specific to equality and equity (which are similar but not the same), that’s proof enough for me that the states made a bad decision and that this needs to be addressed.

No riders, no “must ratify by” date limitation.

It’s long past time.

If you agree, spread the word: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pass-equal-rights-all-act-amendment-us-constitution/4TdbChJP [Petition now defunct. -CT]

On the eve of a great decision, with hope…

On the eve of a great decision, with hope…

On Friday I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my evening and I spent well over an hour browsing through Netflix in the hope I would find something interesting. Rather than one thing, I found many, but couldn’t decide, and in typical fashion I complained on Facebook. (First World Problems, I know.)

I received instant feedback from three or four friends who were paying attention when I posted, and I followed through on one of the suggestions last night instead of attending a party because I was simply not in a party mood. Mad Men was a disappointment in just two episodes. Between the overt misogyny and the smoking, I couldn’t handle a third episode.

Now I know the series I want to see, but I don’t have HBO. So far, of the clips I’ve seen, I would LOVE the show The Newsroom because in as much as I’ve only caught snippets, Jeff Daniels’ character is dead on right about his assessment of our country, meaning Aaron Sorkin, the show’s creator has it absolutely right. The clip near the bottom of the article linked below is in the opening salvo…I mean first episode of the series.

thoughtcatalog.com: 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America

The article’s author, Mark Manson, also has it right.

I am terribly tired of the jingoism and the reliance on our past successes as predictors of our rosy future as a country. I feel like I have to apologize whenever I visit Canada. I learned an awful lot about perspective last summer during a family road trip to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Seen from the other side of the U.S. border, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 look very different.

Read and learn. And if you don’t like what you’ve read, consider that we are not what we once were and do something about it. Many, many  lives are at stake here.

I hope to be less embarrassed by my alcoholic country than I have been when I visit another’s in the future. I still hold my hand over my heart when I sing the Star Spangled Banner or say the Pledge of Allegiance, but it’s increasingly difficult to be proud of that allegiance.

Tomorrow marks what will likely be a historic set of opinions handed down from the Supreme Court. I hope the justices, and we all by extension, can rise above the filthy rhetoric of the far Right and recognize our duty to all citizens regardless of their orientation. The Prop 8 and DOMA decisions will not fix everything, especially as long as Citizens United, the Patriot Act and ALEC are the guides by which our laws are created in at least a third of our states, but they could go a long way toward addressing equality for all Americans, regardless of whom they love.

You say banana and I say tomato…

You say banana and I say tomato…

I’m from New York state. New Paltz (where I received my BA in Theatre) was the first town in the state to recognize same-sex marriage as a right, a point of particular pride for me. This morning I got hammered for expressing an opinion that we should call it simply what it is, Marriage Equality, based on the following meme:

GAY MARRIAGE: The widespread use of the term is in itself a sign of discrimination. After all, who says "I have an interracial wedding on Sunday" anymore?
Facebook meme courtesy of Support Marriage Equality in Ohio

You want to call it Same Sex Marriage? That’s okay, though the phrase cuts out Transgender relationships for what I think are obvious reasons. If you want to hold the line at calling it Gay Marriage, recall, please, that Gay is not a catch-all phrase for the LGBTQ community at large, and I will hold you accountable for leaving out anyone in the discussion.

I’m going there because that’s where this discussion truly belongs. It takes us into territory that we are really only just starting to understand, but avoiding this aspect doesn’t help my trans friends unless we treat every single person as a person REGARDLESS of their orientation.

Sexuality is a trait, just like skin, hair or eye color. You are born Jewish if your mother is Jewish, because being Jewish is a genetic heritage, but you choose to observe (or not) the tenets of Judaism. Christianity is a choice. And if you choose to discriminate based on gender identification because your chosen faith tells you to, that’s still bigotry.

Those who want to withhold the right of marriage for SOME couples are choosing to do it on the basis of a TRAIT they do not believe exists. Being Gay is not a choice. You can’t choose to have green eyes if you were born with blue. Sure, you can choose to cover up that trait with green contact lenses, but that doesn’t change the fundamental fact that you still have blue eyes. And you can choose to marry someone of the opposite sex to reap the benefits obtained through marriage, but that doesn’t make you straight.

Dark skin is not as easy to disguise, but it was (and still is, at some level) the basis of discrimination. Anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books until 1968. It took us 300 years (give or take a bit) for the Supreme Court to take that ugliness on and it’s STILL a problem to this day, but at least now the courts have recognized the discrimination, even if our people haven’t. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscegenation)

I’m thrilled that we’ve come as far as we have, but there’s still a very long way to go before it becomes safe to say that we are all free to be with and love whomever we want and to share what we have in a legally binding way. All I am saying is that there should NEVER be references to sexual or gender orientation when discussing rights and the law. As the popular saying goes, you don’t need a court system to give you rights. That’s why they’re called rights. I am arguing for equality under the law, regardless.

Marriage is a financial contract committed by people who want to share their lives and livelihoods with each other. In a more sarcastic mood, I would say that every couple has the same right to unhappiness that I have, but I truly know better.

We are starting to hear rhetoric that bothers the hell out of me because it sounds (on the surface) like the bigots have a hook. I want to take that hook away. Equality under the law is the only way to do that. Either everyone has the same rights to marriage or NOBODY does. That simple. Now this blog post, has sparked more, sometimes combative, conversation:

This one will probably get me hate mail from both sides, Gay Marriage

Blogging, in general, consists of opinion sometimes threaded with references to the articles that helped inspire the post in question. WordPress is easy to set-up and allows for free publication – vanity press for the 21st Century. The Cassie Times (this blog) also resides on WordPress. It costs me nothing to write, and you some time to read. It’s where I try to keep my more complex posts, because I like the ability to include multiple references, and that ability sucks in Facebook.

The post in question is a purely op-ed piece, without references to anything concrete. Opinions are free and open, guaranteed by the First Amendment. I haven’t read anything else. His comments about saying that being gay is a lifestyle choice tells me I’m pretty sure I’m not interested in the rest of his opinions, though he does raise several points.

This one in particular:

Why not have a ballot initiatve [sic] that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership? GASP! But where would be the controversy in that? Then we wouldn’t be able to scream about hatey hate mongers and stuff.

…would be fine except that civil partnerships that aren’t for absolutely every person in the country are the definition of “Separate but Equal” and the moral equivalent of the Whites Only drinking fountain.

If you truly want to argue for civil unions, get yourself to your congressional representatives and argue your case for rewriting our laws or our constitution at the federal level, because anything else fails the test of Equality Under the Law.

State’s Rights has been the traditional bastion of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and every other separation you can name. Until we abandon its siren call, we will continue to harbor and encourage inequality on all levels of our society. Arguing for Civil Marriage for everyone without actually doing something about it means you keep a class of citizens in their separate place. No matter how you slice it, that’s wrong.

Talking Points Memo: Georgia GOP Chair Warns That Straight People Will Enter Sham Gay Marriages For Benefits

People already get married to reap the benefits of medical insurance and tax shelters. That they are not same-sex is irrelevant. Her point is invalid, unless she wants to come up with a valid test for love. And, since love is often secondary to an arranged marriage (which still happens in this country, depending on the couple’s ethnicity), that point’s invalid, too.

I don’t know about the rest of you and so can’t say that this would be the case for anyone else, but considering the cost of a wedding anywhere, let alone the church-sanctioned variety, I’d think very long and hard before selecting a location or an officiant who did not want to perform my ceremony. Frankly, there’s plenty of fish in the sea, including county clerks (ooh, government again) and justices of the peace who are more than happy to perform such ceremonies. If the priest or church doesn’t want me, I’m pretty sure I don’t want him, either.

The church had nothing whatsoever to do with my marriage, from beginning to end. I have found comfort in belonging to my Unitarian Universalist congregation, and I *might* (or might not) choose a UU minister to serve the next time – if there ever, ever is one – but I would at this point be just as happy to go to the county courthouse and do the deed right there. Having a church-sanctioned wedding and having a legally binding marriage are two totally separate things. The sooner everyone on the religious right stops flapping about rights infringement, the better off we will all be about the issue.
Your argument is (and remains) invalid. While I don’t like the idea of divorce, the act remains legal. Based on NOM’s rhetoric, there are plenty who would be happy to take that right away and turn the USA into Ireland. Fortunately, this country was founded on the separation of church and state for a reason.

And here’s another thing:

The Raw Story: Baptist pastor tells ABC: Same sex marriage is ‘the freedom God has given you’

Because not everyone with religious beliefs thinks same-sex marriage is a problem. And for that, I’m grateful.

Returning to reality…

Returning to reality…

When Jon Stewart called Rove out in this episode of the Daily Show (here: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) he was pointing out a problem with Rove’s math.

All day, when I haven’t been plowing through deadline-driven work or cleaning up a huge backlog of filing, I’ve listened to news stories on NPR and reading articles about the aftermath of Election Day 2012. The news items all fall into roughly two categories of analysis:

1. We knew it was going to turn out this way and how sad it is they didn’t; or: Why it worked out this way and what we/they did wrong.

2. What now? How are we going to fix the mess we’re in, now that the game has changed?

One thing is crystal clear: The GOP miscalculated their margin of viability and they’ve gotten the wake-up call they deserve. Denial is a hard place to be, which is why I’ve thought all day about how to write this post without sounding like a gloating witch. Honestly, in the hard, cold light of day, we’ll get over this.

Rachel Maddow explains the 2012 election and its result in 3 minutes, 13 seconds of glorious truth.

The transcript here, because eventually the YouTube video will vanish again into the Memory Hole of the Internet:

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night and he really did win.

And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month.
And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.
And the polls were not skewed to oversampled Democrats.
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.

And climate change is real.
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is a thing.
And Benghazi was an attack on us. It was not a scandal by us.
And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns.
And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.
And the moon landing was real.
And FEMA is not building concentration camps.
And UN election observers are not taking over Texas.
And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.

Listen.

Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons, but it was also
possibly a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two-party system in government and the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to
confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems and we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff.

And if the Republican Party and the conservative movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed door locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual lived truth of the world then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the Republicans got shellacked and they had no idea it was coming

And we saw them in real time–in real, humiliating time–not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they’re going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again.

And that will be a painful process for them I’m sure but it will be good for the whole country, left, right, and center.

You guys we’re counting on you. Wake up! There’s real problems in the world. There
are real, knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there.

If the Republican Party and the conservative movement and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation.

And in that spirit, congratulations everybody. Big night.

Since January, in ever-increasing ways, I’ve become thoroughly sick of the radical Right’s rhetoric. I honestly thought, after growing up during the 1968 riots and surviving ten presidents, many race-based assassinations  (I was 16 days old when Kennedy was assassinated so I count his administration, too), that we were past all this thinly veiled racist, misogynistic,  homophobic crap, but there is simply no question about what the GOP in general and the Tea Party in particular expected in this year’s Presidential race.

NPR’s probably got the best lock on the main deciding factors: The “brown” vote, together with a diverse coalition of citizens whose liberal politics and religious beliefs, gave President Obama the edge he needed to win, not just by popular vote but by an Electoral College landslide.

Facebook has images popping up on multiple feeds that compare the “red” states of 2012 to maps showing slavery states in 1860. These remarkable divisions are clear and extremely disappointing. Why aren’t we beyond this by now?

The summary works like this: If you choose to accuse every brown person (African-American, Hispanic, Asian or other) of being part of the 47% who suffer from greed and laziness, failing to tow the imaginary line of strict morality, expecting them to give up rights to healthcare, family planning and legal immigration, you get what you deserve.

Reducing a woman’s access to family planning and abortion, particularly in regard to rape, is going to get you booted out of office. Basing your agenda on abridging basic civil rights, regardless of your opinion over the appropriateness of private behavior isn’t just wrong, it’s reprehensible. And it will cost you a seat in the Senate or the House.

The GOP has barely retained their majority in the House, but they have lost ground in the Senate. Continued shenanigans with filibusters and the looming economic Fiscal Cliff will ultimately cost the Tea Party’s constituents, and there is absolutely nothing standing in the way if President Obama wants to clasp his hands casually behind his back while Sequestration kicks in, meaning GOP leaders will either find a way to compromise or find themselves on the other side of the Capitol’s chamber doors in two years (or less).

It’s game over for the obstructionists of 2010. They no longer have the mandate they once did for doing as they please. While most of the GOP’s supporters remain white, male, and over 50, that number has shrunk sufficiently to tip the balance in favor of those whom the social safety nets protect. Four years down the road, their majority will shrink even further, leaving more progressives in place, in areas with higher populations.

Of all the reactions I read in the last two days, Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) says it best with this post: Hemlock With A Small Side Of Schadenfreude. I warned my Facebook friends this morning to swallow whatever they had in their mouths before reading this article because Wright is dead on with his analysis, not just of the utter disappointment in Romney’s huge loss, but in the way the world will be now that the election is over.

I’ve posted the articles I found most useful or interesting below.

“We knew it was going to turn out this way and how sad it is they didn’t; or: Why it worked out this way and what we/they did wrong:”

John Scalzi (Whatever): Post-Election Notes For the GOP (Not That They’ve Asked For Them)

Slate: The Five Stages of Fox News Grief

Slate: A Vast Left-Wing Competency How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning—and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon.

NBC News: Karl Rove’s election nightmare: Super PAC’s spending was nearly for naught

“What now? How are we going to fix the mess we’re in, now that the game has changed?”

The New York Times: Back to Work, Obama Is Greeted by Looming Crisis

Politico: The new Senate: More compromise, less filibuster?

In the end, we’re in for an interesting couple of months, while Congress figures out how to pull back from Sequestration, if it happens at all. No matter what, there’s a lot of healing that’s going to have to happen first.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.