Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?

Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?

It’s remarkable, you know. I see patterns other people don’t and there are people who know me and think I’m too full of hyperbole to pay attention. Even when I’m right. Continue reading “Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?”

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.

I think for myself…

I think for myself…

There is an oft-paraphrased poem that circulates around the Internet. It goes something like this:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It comes from the earliest form of this this speech, given by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) in Frankfort, Germany on January 6, 1946 (translated thus):

When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers.
Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians – “should I be my brother’s keeper?”
Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. – I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it’s right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn’t it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? — Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers
I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.

I started this post before the Vice Presidential debate last night, and I was just going to talk about Trump’s attacks on Social Security, soldiers living with PTSD, and his $915,729,293 loss, but I’m on a different path this morning and I need to see it to the end.

First and foremost, Mike Pence ought to scare the hell out of you. As bad as Cruz was, he’s far, far worse. For starters, there’s no question regarding his citizenship. Unlike Cruz, whose birth in Canada is controversial for far better reasons than President Obama’s ever was (leaving off his American mother who renounced her citizenship), Pence has a clear track record in his service as Governor of Indiana.

Two articles scratch the surface of the issues I have with Pence:

Mother Jones: Stop Calling Mike Pence Boring. Here’s His Track Record on Gays, Women, Immigrants, and the Planet.

Patheos: Mike Pence Promotes Christian Theocracy

Trump won’t do a single thing while in office, besides take vacations and find new, exciting ways to ensure he’ll never go personally bankrupt again, but Pence? If you thought Dick Cheney was bad news, take a look at what Pence did to women in the time since he took office, in January, 2013. His Wikipedia page reads like a blotter for the Conservative Christian movement.

I hear plenty about how Trump is a Democrat in disguise, but he’s not going to do a damn thing in office. He’s all talk, no actual action. He will say anything to anyone if he thinks it will give him center stage.

Pence isn’t like Trump. He’s moved the ultra conservative agenda of ALEC forward with a vengeance.

Hitler didn’t do the things he did all by himself. He had help.

No, not generals. We know about them. They come to mind easily.

He had a secretary, who controlled access completely: Martin Bormann. If you wanted anything done, you had to go through Bormann.

Mark my words: If Trump wins, this will be a Pence presidency, as sure as I’m writing these words.

Meanwhile, the title of this post – I think for myself – comes from virtually every Bernie Bro (and Sis) who is truly Anti-Hillary. It’s taken me months to come to this conclusion, but I’m there. It would not have mattered if Bernie Sanders hadn’t run. No matter what, these people who refuse to listen to history, who believe it just can’t happen here, who live in nice communities with manicured lawns and comfortable homes with access to the Internet whenever they want, they just don’t have the ability to imagine how close we really are to disaster, whether Clinton wins or not.

They refuse to see the 36 year war of propaganda waged by dark money. They don’t believe there is anything wrong with voting “conscience” when there is so much overwhelming data to draw parallels between the US today and Germany in 1919.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe it’s all imaginary. It can’t happen here.

But these same people turn around and point to mass incarceration as proof that we already have these things and we’re still free.

They are blind.

They refuse to see between the lines of every single election that puts another Republican in charge of our day to day lives. People like Pence, who enact unconstitutional laws that force women to pay for burials for every unsuccessful pregnancy and more. Unconstitutional, that is, until we start replacing our Supreme Court Justices.

For every voter who insists “I think for myself” – this election is your opportunity to prove it. Denying evidence that’s out there will seal our fates for the next 50-90 years. You won’t see recovery in your lifetime. Your children might not, either. And if you think you’re safe, better think again if you’re anything but a devout Christian.

Don’t just think.

LEARN.

This is my formal declaration:

I regret choosing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. I am sorry that I worked for his campaign, if by running he brought us to this moment. That his “followers” were never about Bernie and all about Not Hillary was never clearer to me than it is today.

#ImWithHer

But you have to stay…

But you have to stay…

Ya know, since I started posting about this election cycle, the rhetoric has gotten increasingly difficult to take, from both sides. For those of us who are all #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, it’s a no-win scenario.

From either side, I hear that I’m supporting someone disingenuous or incapable of winning. Hillary supporters think Bernie can’t do the job, that his plan is lacking, and that all he has is momentum, and not as much of that as he ought to have. Her supporters think I’m somehow less of a feminist if I support Sanders instead of Clinton.

Bernie supporters think that she’s a pathological liar, she’s in bed with Wall Street and not interested in serving MY needs, and all sorts of other things besides.

Never mind that the press and politicians haven’t touched Bernie and his Democratic Socialism yet because until he’s a real threat (which they’re denying as hard as they can because they would rather continue to smear Hillary). This crap isn’t new. In fact, it’s nearly 40 years old, and ought to be recognizable as a historically embarrassing time in our history. Except, of course, that the history books bear NO mention of what those years really looked like. And haven’t been taught. If the student never studies and never sees what happened, did it ever happen at all? That’s the core of 1984, and the whole of the GOP’s strategy against Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, there’s…Trump. Three times married, crude, lewd, greedy narcissistic jerk that he is, he’s garnering the Christian Conservative vote, the White Supremacy vote, the Never Hillary (and Bernie won’t get there) vote, and the Narcissist vote. He’s got the backing of the NRA, and pretty soon, the Koch brothers will line up behind him because it’s the only way they get their way in politics.

Someone asked if anyone else was sick of the rhetoric. I raised my hand, with a link to this article on Rawstory.com regarding Trump trolls posing as Clinton/Sanders supporters, and the link to the stories out of West Virginia talking about the open primary there and who actually crossed the line and why.

BUSTED: Trump-loving comment trolls pose as Sanders and Clinton supporters to divide Democrats

(Note that 4Chan is NSFW, but you can still see the original trolling posts there.) I got back a comment that it was just one guy.

Sigh.

Every time this subject has come up, I’ve said that I won’t stay in the US if Trump wins. I have no desire to live in a fascist theocracy or dictatorship, and I’m absolutely certain that’s what’s coming, with the certain replacement of three to four Supreme Court justices within the coming presidential term.

And the response? You can’t leave! Who’ll fight the battle for the US?

Well, let me tell you, it won’t be me.

I don’t love my country so much that I’m willing to die or be maimed for it. If that makes me a heretic, so be it, but I know for a fact I’m not alone here. I chose not to serve in the military for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I’ll make cannon fodder out of my kids because I opted to stay and fight.

The last post I made, You say you want a revolution…, got a *crickets* response. People really think that revolution is actually a bloodless, painless affair. They truly don’t understand history, have no frame of reference for what freedom fighters did and what it cost them to do it. They can’t fathom what life was like for Anne Frank, or how concentration camps actually worked because teachers don’t teach the history anymore. They’re too busy making sure their students can pass the Pearson tests that fail to cover these aspects of history, whitewash what slavery was truly like, and promote ignorance over reality and historical fact because it’s inconvenient.

No, it’s NOT my job to stay here, take up arms, and fight for my country. It’s my job to protect my kids and to raise them in a safe environment, to ensure their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere in that language does it say I have to wield a gun to make that happen, no matter how many 2A apologists want me to think otherwise.

If that’s all the US has left, to give itself over to misogyny and hate, I’m out of here. My passport’s current. Is yours?

If you want me to stick around, make sure Trump doesn’t win.

That’s YOUR job.

If you can’t say it to my face…

If you can’t say it to my face…

I woke up this morning at 2:30am after a fitful night’s sleep. I was trying to concentrate on homework before I crashed, but there was an incident last night in my favorite restaurant/hang out that bothered me on a level I failed to interpret properly, and I woke up and realized I needed to unload before I could go back to sleep, so I turned on my computer.

That led to a variety of things, including more work on the homework and, more importantly, some solidifying of my thoughts on what happened.

A few days ago, I posted a link to a quote on FB that appears to have grown legs. The quote appears to be a paraphrase of this article on Examiner.com, written by William Hamby: What if gun laws were like abortion laws?

My post, with a paraphrased version of the comparison Hamby made, continues to generate likes and has also attracted a couple of trolls who would rather point their flamethrowers at anyone who thinks pregnancy choice is a problem (read: Pro-Birth) than discuss the actual issue: Gun control.

 

I could address an anti-choice rant and get involved in a days-long fight with someone who’s only interested in posting on FB to generate arguments and feed the hate, who’s largely impervious to reason, employing logical fallacies rather than discussing the actual problem and identifying solutions, or I could eliminate the source.


I’ve been told that one of the individuals in question is a “professional troll” and I’ve got a clearly stated policy against such behavior on my FB page. Posting inflammatory rants borne of logical fallacy for the sake of pissing off the liberals is reason enough to eject someone from my space. I don’t tolerate trolling behavior and I try not to derail the conversation with straw man arguments or false equivalency, but the simple summary that generated the latest response struck me as a concrete analogy and that’s why it was important to share. 

 

Too often, 2nd Amendment supports see their right to guns as trumping any other rights to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. The trouble is, with today’s all-too-often climate of “shoot first, ask later” and doxxing as a means to settle arguments, you actually can’t be too cautious about who you invite to the conversation.

 

Maybe that’s wrong, but I called the police tonight on a guy in my local favorite restaurant (which, by the way, is run by a Muslim family) because the ass wipe was behaving in a manner that threatened him and his family. So when I say I won’t tolerate behavior and I’ll say it to someone’s face, I back that 100%.

 

Why did I call the cops? He was harassing the chef’s daughter, who does not speak English and was wearing her hijab. She was sitting quietly at the end of a long day, and he wandered through, heaping verbal abuse on a guy he called a “f**king queer (who packed up and left in a justifiable huff) and attempting to start a conversation with the daughter. I was unable to keep working on the homework. I felt threatened, and he wasn’t addressing me at all.

 

Two days ago, an American shot up his workplace after leaving angrily. This guy was wearing a cammo coat and was clearly drunk. What was going to stop him from going to his car, hauling out a pistol and exercising his 2A rights, as he saw them through a haze of alcohol? So, I called the cops, because it was necessary. It’s sad that I had to go there at all, but it was clear from where I was sitting that he was unloading all that hate just because she was wearing something he could identify as a target for abuse.

 

It’s the same hate I’ve seen filling the arenas where Trump and Carson and the rest of the bigots in the GOP try to pander to their racist, homophobic, xenophobic base, out of fear they will become irrelevant if they can’t control all the branches of government.

 

It’s the same hate that made the GOP vote to repeal the ACA (Obamacare), and defund Planned Parenthood (even though the federal government is banned from financing abortions).

 

And now that we’ve finally seen Daesh on our own shores, maybe we’ll finally see some action regarding control of weapons, even though the vast majority of mass shootings occurred with a Christian or Atheist at the trigger. The irony hasn’t escaped me, but the question is: Why now? Why not back when Lanza shot all those children in Sandy Hook? Or when the kids shot up their classmates and teachers in Columbine?

 

You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to force me to risk my health for your firmly held belief. That includes your opinion of Planned Parenthood facilities, semi-automatic weapons, medical Mary Jane or anything else. And you sure as hell aren’t entitled to say whatever you want on my FB wall or here, with no consequences to your actions.

 

I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you. Deleting the hate-filled spew on my wall and blocking the source is as much a self-defense mechanism as anything else. If people can’t be civil, they can leave. I’ve said as much on FB, right here. And if they won’t leave, I’ll eject them. It’s really, truly, that simple.

Second class citizens…

Second class citizens…

On Monday, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin (which divided itself by conservative and religious lines), declared that employers who object to contraception as a violation of their deeply held religious beliefs do NOT have to cover their employees, one of the most important points of the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading “Second class citizens…”

When the hospital plays God…

When the hospital plays God…

It’s Karen Ann Quinlan and Terri Schiavo all over again.

Only this one’s different. This one involves a pregnant woman, and the rules have changed. Because this is Texas, where, thanks to George W. Bush, fetuses trump everything, and the only sacred thing is birth. But this isn’t just about Bush and it’s not just about Texas, either.

Did you know that roughly one third of the United States have enacted similar laws? Where do you live? Have you checked the rules? Is there the remotest chance you could become pregnant, then incapacitated, and then be forced into the role of incubator at the pleasure of the State?

This article, from the Vermont Law Review, dates back to 2005, and was published shortly after Bush signed the bill into law in Texas.

DIE FREE OR LIVE: THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF NEW
HAMPSHIRE’S LIVING WILL PREGNANCY EXCEPTION

But the article isn’t about Texas. It’s about New Hampshire. Which other states have such laws on their books? I can’t tell you. There is no quick summary to tell me which states ignore Advanced Directives in favor of pregnancy. And I’m not in a position right now to devote the time it will take to review the laws in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US territories.

I strongly suggest that if you have even the remotest chance of becoming pregnant and you think you have a Living Will or Five Wishes document in place, you check your state laws and make sure your family won’t be trapped in Erick Muñoz’s living hell.

Fetus in Muñoz case is “distinctly abnormal,” attorneys say

We don’t understand nearly enough about the dying process that I would even consider the possibility of remaining on life support to continue carrying my unborn fetus, unless that fetus was near term. A couple of days? Yeah, I could see that, but Marlise Muñoz was barely out of the first trimester when she collapsed. Based on nutrition alone, that’s going to have a massive effect on the health of the baby. Then there’s the oxygen deprivation, circulatory regulation, and more.

And then, there’s the enormous load of ethical questions of cost for care and who should bear them. Texas is absolved of the responsibility. If the hospital shunts its responsibility back to the already grieving father who is taking legal action against the hospital, how is this even remotely right or responsible?

The question is so charged with ethical questions, in fact, that the first judge set to hear the case has recused herself. Don’t skip this article. It has links to a bunch of other related articles I won’t reproduce the links here, and to understand what’s happening in Texas, and could happen in your state as well, you need to read through all of them.

Judge recuses herself from Muñoz case against JPS hospital

In fact, there are so very many questions, starting with the right to choose coming from the family, I can’t even begin to list all the reasons why this is so tremendously awful. It’s Quinlan and Schiavo all over again.

I recognize that I’m an atheist at best, but there’s doing what’s right and then there’s this. Religion and morality get in the way of doing the right thing and that’s the sole reason for the separation of church and state.

I find it profoundly disturbing that there is no simple summary of the states that would force a family to maintain a pregnant woman on life support as an incubator for her fetus. In fact, the laws are so variable I strongly suggest that if you have such a document in place, you investigate for yourself what your family will face if they have to make the decision for you.

Pregnancy is such a loaded event. It’s hard enough to imagine the responsibilities of caring for a person from birth through to adulthood. We invest so much in child bearing and so little in child rearing, and focus so much attention on abortion and choice, that we forget sometimes the state will trump our right to choose. If you think about it, you shouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that the next logical step is jail for miscarriage, but that’s the case in some of our states.

Miscarriage? Face Prison Time For Murder

Government so small it fits into a woman’s uterus.

Think about it. Fight against it, because we’re just one thin line away from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

[Addendum 1: After publishing this post, I found the following link, to the Center for Women Policy Studies’ article entitled Pregnancy Exclusions in State Living Will and Medical Proxy Statutes. I strongly recommend this article if you or your child(ren) are of an age where pregnancy is an issue. Whether you live in one of the five states that allow advanced directives for pregnant women (Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Vermont) or not, pay very close attention to your state laws.]

[Addendum 2: MSNBC is reporting that John Peter Smith Hospital has been ordered by a Texas judge to remove Mrs. Muñoz from life support, no later than 5 p.m. CST on Monday, and that her death on November 28th places her outside the legal requirement for maintaining the acknowledged non-viable pregnancy. It is unclear whether the hospital’s administration will follow the judge’s ruling at this time.]

Critical thinking and the 2012 Election

Critical thinking and the 2012 Election

Critical thinking and the 2012 Election

From the start of this political season I have been saying that who we elect as President will determine the make-up of the Supreme Court for decades to come.

If you look at the current seated justices, there are at least two, possibly three who will be retiring during the next term. Romney knows this and thinks he is free to say whatever he thinks will get him into office, but his campaign managers know better and they have been correcting the candidate for weeks, after his appearances, because Romney doesn’t know when to stop.

This latest gaffe proves my point: Romney says he’ll be softer on abortion. His running mate, Ryan, is ultra-conservative about abortion policy and has tried more than once to pass laws that restrict availability. The results? 

“Romney said in September that he would prefer to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that would oppose Roe v. Wade.

“I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution,” he said at the time on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe V. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.””

The issue isn’t about choice. It’s about a candidate who simply can’t tell the truth because it damages his position. Electing a leader who will say anything and giving him the power of protection now afforded to the President of the United States isn’t just foolish, it’s dangerous.

If George W. Bush could ruin our economy in four years, putting this man in office when we are now bottoming out will drop the bottom out of our recovery. Please do NOT let this happen!

Theme: Elation by Kaira.