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.

Endarkenment…

Endarkenment…

Guardian.com: If Donald Trump wins, it’ll be a new age of darkness

We are almost there. The countdown says two days. This time Tuesday, we’ll be minutes away from the closing of the last polls, except for Alaska and Hawaii (IIRC). We should already know how things look in the East. We might know the Central states. We will start to have an idea of how the Mountain states are doing.

My kids and I will bear witness to history, because this will either be the election when a woman finally steps up to the helm of my country, or we tip over the cliff to full-on fascism.

You can go back and search on the keywords to the right to find all the posts I’ve written concerning our drift to the extreme right. You can look at the photos, read the articles aggregated here, and you can see much of what I’ve written (though not all of it, because I’m still merging two blogs and a lot of material I posted on my FB account).

What you won’t see, at least not for a couple of months, is the effect this campaign season has had on our country. We ought to thank Donald Trump for outing all the hatred, misogyny, and racism that some of us have known about for decades.

Hidden in the crevices, spoken in whispers, quietly shared in dark meeting halls and on gun ranges all over the country, the nastiest, most dreadful schemers have stockpiled millions of weapons, just waiting for the signal to tell them it’s time.

Whether or not Hillary Clinton overcomes the dark money plot to divide us, the damage is already done.

I know I am standing on the right side of history, but what that history will show in fifty or a hundred years is anyone’s guess. I’ll probably be long gone by then.

It’s no wonder that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s gift to the modern American musical, Hamilton, centers around the gun. There has never been a better time to witness, firsthand, what civil war will do to a nation at odds with itself. We are overripe, and overdue, for our own war to end all wars.

I’m not a praying woman, by and large. I came late to a faith tradition and my current circumstances keep me from attending weekly services, so it’s easy to forget the process, but I am hoping with every fiber of my being that come Tuesday I won’t have to figure out how to survive in the new regime.

I want to know that my friends in same sex marriages, with kids or without, on the big, beautiful heritage, gender, and intellectual spectra, will still be welcome in this country come Wednesday.

I will bear witness on Tuesday, and I will post the results as they come in, so that I can continue to bear witness to history.

And I will remember. All the lies, all the slander, all the hatred and intolerance, all the righteous indignation that somehow we are something other than that which our founding fathers envisioned over 200 years ago, all that and more, for all of that I will bear witness.

We are the product of 240 years’ worth of fighting for independence.

If only we knew what to do with it.

#ImWithHer #Election2016

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.

Connecting the Dots, Part 3

Connecting the Dots, Part 3

When I wrote this post back in 2012, just before the 2012 election, I was doing everything in my power to get the word out that we couldn’t elect Mitt Romney because he was backed by American Fascists.

Je suis Charlie…

Je suis Charlie…

Hi. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Yes, yes, I know. Busy, distracted. My, how time flies.

Truth is that I’ve been tied up in knots between a new job I started in August and keeping my head above water with classes in the fall. And, truthfully, it was feeling just a bit like I was shouting into the wilderness in here. So? I withdrew to FB and kept most of my ranting there.

Since then, we’ve had a sweep of the House and Senate, and now the GOP is unleashing every bit of stored up agenda against the American People for the sake of American Business and I’m counting the days until the Presidential Election to see if they take the third branch as well, or if we finally wake up in this country and do something about our so-called leaders.

It’s funny, though. Here I sit, cozy in a house full of books and movies, connected at whim to the Internet where I can write whatever I like, so long as I’m not telling lies, and nobody will come to my place and shoot me for writing these things.

Right?

Isn’t that what every journalist believes? Isn’t that the truth we all understand – that we are entitled to say what we want and to speak the truth, so long as we aren’t hurting anyone else?

Yeah.

Tell that to the ten journalists and two cops who died in Paris yesterday. Or to the journalists in the past year who’ve been beheaded. Or to those who were shot in South America. Or, in fact, anywhere else in the world, just for speaking out. Ever.

There are no links to other sources in this post. There’s no reason to link elsewhere. You want facts? You can Google them yourself and find what Google wants you to find, and present it as truth. Wikipedia? Ditto. I know. I do it all the time. And (truthfully) I’m righteously sanctimonious when I do it, too. Because I’m right and you’re wrong. Or I’m right and you’re merely uninformed.

I think it’s completely ironic that in the Islamic State’s desire to silence its critics, it has chosen the one industry that will say what it pleases, dig in its heels and cry out for more truth, even in the face of guns, bombs or knives.

In taking on journalism, they have created a hydra all their own. We ARE all Charlie.

Every Blogger. Every Twitter user. Every FB and LJ and WordPress and Pinterest user. Every last one of us who puts a finger to a keyboard – we are all capable of crying out TRUTH. In a radical version of a religion that supposedly values martyrdom, what on earth were they thinking when they took on journalism and free speech? Did they somehow think they would silence the voices simply by killing the cartoonists?

I haven’t been posting because life overwhelmed me for a bit. I may not post again for a while because next week classes start all over again, and I’ll be busy. But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking and observing, even as I have to turn the input devices off so I can concentrate on my work.

Tune in and pay attention. That’s all I’ve ever asked. Look around at what they’re saying to you.

Is it truth? How do you know?

And when you figure it out, say something about it. BE Charlie.

Keeping it to yourself doesn’t help anyone else.

See you soon.

It’s all right there, if you want to see…

It’s all right there, if you want to see…

ol·i·gar·chy (noun ˈä-lə-ˌgär-kē, ˈō-; plural: ol·i·gar·chies)
Full Definition of OLIGARCHY:
1 :  government by the few
2 :  a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also:  a group exercising such control [emphasis mine]

On April 9, 2014, this report was released on Princeton University’s website, and it’s shaken up news reports all over the world. It might come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that I’m not shocked at all by the finding. In fact, I’ve been using the term for at least the last several years, to describe in various threads just exactly what our country has become. If you think we’ve somehow escaped notice, think again:

The Telegraph: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

Defence Pakistan: US is an oligarchy not a democracy, says scientific study

UPI: The US is not a democracy but an oligarchy, study concludes

All of a sudden, this is news. Only it’s not news.

 New York Times: Oligarchy, American Style (11/3/2011)

Mother Jones: How the Oligarchs Took America (12/2/2010)

Robert Reich’s film, Inequality For All, does a spectacular job of tying all the loose ends together to explain what happened to the U.S.A. over the last 30 years. I’ve written a lot about the symptoms in the last year and a half, but nothing connects them half as well as this simple, elegant movie.

Too many people spend their time repeating the talking points without understand the source of the platform. They trust the office without paying attention to the officer. They don’t know how to read between the lines because their education fails to explain that the subtext is just as important as the message. We got where we are today because the Republicans beat the Libertarians in 1980, and the Libertarians took a different path.

You can (and should) go back in this blog and read the articles I’ve posted on the Koch brothers, you can listen to the things Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have to say (because comedy is the best source of truth these days), or you can analyze the political rhetoric that’s starting to hit for each of the Senate and House races this year, but the bottom line is, we have maybe two years to get our act together and do something about the GO(T)P.

They’ve got a lock on two of the four (yes, four) branches of government: The Supreme Court and the House. Without cooperation across the aisles, the Senate is barely holding on. Today, the Senate leans Democratic, but that’s not a given based on the 2014 election analysis.

If the Senate flips back to the GO(T)P, and we put another Republican in the office of President, we can write off our country. The poor will become modern-day serfs and the middle class will join them because that class is a modern myth. The combined branches will finally get to do what they always wanted – rewrite the Constitution with impunity.

The Presidency depends on having enough votes in key states – most of which are undergoing the same sort of voter crap that Florida’s done. We tip one or the other (senate or presidency) in the direction of the GOP, and what little remains of our safety nets will disappear completely. Want some practice at reading between the lines? Try these articles out for size:

Huffington Post: Florida’s 13th District Bellwether Report: Why Obamacare’s Least Of Democrats’ Worries

Christian Science Monitor: Court rules Florida voter purge illegal, but will it stop GOP voting tweaks?

Purge the rolls of Democrats, lean a little in the direction most conservatives think they need to go, or split the vote a little more with the splinter parties (Green or Socialist) and the GOP will have what they want: Total control of the US government. Once that happens, they can rewrite our constitution, revise the rules for who gets to vote. Can’t happen? We have three Supreme Court Justices who are on the edge of retirement, and the guessing game for who will retire first, and who will replace them, is heating up. Have a good look at the Tea Party line and platform and you’ll see the fundamentals of the Neo-Fascists who are presently armed to the teeth, thanks to the NRA.

We can still stop the madness, but it’s getting harder, not easier. I’d hoped the GOP was the party of the Old White Male, but that ignores the younger population who are moving in through the Tea Party. I recognize that the Democrats have issues, but the things they want to support – the Social Safety Net, universal health care, public education – will ALL go away if they lose.  So like I said: We’ve got maybe two years to turn this around. We can’t wait until 2020. This election is important. The next one is critical.

Reblogging on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht…

Reblogging on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht…

This is important and you need to see it. If you really want to know what drives me to write the pieces I do, read the post below and watch the clip.

Life in a Minor Key:

November 9: Cabaret ~ Tomorrow belongs to me

And consider this: In the world today, neo-Nazi and neo-Confederacy groups are working hard to control American politics. Our country is in the same place Germany was when the Third Reich rose to power. We are still putting so-called conservatives in power because many people in the south miss their rich, fat incomes thanks to the destruction of slavery. Some of them believe slavery was a good thing.

Think I’m making this up? Think again:

Arkansas Lawmaker Concludes That
Slavery Was Actually Good for Black People

CPAC Participant Defends Slavery At Minority Outreach Panel:
It Gave ‘Food And Shelter’ To Blacks

Look into our prison system, in restaurants, fields, garment factories (where they still exist) and in other places where menial labor means hard work for little pay, and you’ll find modern slavery, “human trafficking.”

It’s all well and good to view our nasty Civil War history through rose-colored filters, but then folks like Steve McQueen (director of “12 Years A Slave”) come along and blow all that rose-colored fantasy away.

Imagine for a moment what would happen if the Tea Party got its way and actually rose to power, with a representative in the Oval Office and enough of a majority to squash the actions of the Senate the way they do the House. Unthinkable, right?

We have less than a year to the 2014 elections. While I don’t see a lot of change in who’s seated in the Senate, there’s a whole mess of trouble in our House of Representatives. In case you’ve forgotten, the next government shutdown threat is scheduled for December. And unless I’ve missed something major in the news, we are no closer to a budget deal than we have been in the last five years. Where’s the discussion? Nobody’s talking. There hasn’t been an update since the end of October. Well, okay, there’s this:

Paul Ryan warns budget talks doomed if members argue about taxes

Now, maybe it’s just that they’re trying to work hard and keep the press out of the discussion, or maybe it’s that there hasn’t been any progress. I’m sure everyone would be happier knowing we’re not going to wind up with another shutdown just as the Christmas season gets underway, but I’m not willing to bet we’ll be any further along than we were on the 17th.

How does this all tie in together?

Here’s a massively oversimplified description of the events that led up to the rise of Hitler:

Nazi Germany Before World War II

But that really misses the bigger picture. The US wasn’t the only country to suffer in the Great Depression. It was global, no better in Germany than it was here. And that’s the key.

We are in the same depression recovery the Germans suffered in the 1930s. Look at Detroit as a clear example of what our depression has done to the people today. Who’s running Michigan, anyway? Oh, right. Rick Snyder. Not an extremist Tea Party member (in fact, they’re mad at him for promoting tax money to cover infrastructure), but a member of the GOP and a venture capitalist on the side of corporate America.

This is what World War II looked like through the lens, as compiled by The Atlantic in 2011:

World War II in Photos: A retrospective in 20 parts

Why am I telling you these things?
Because of this:

Swastikas, Slurs and Torment in Town’s Schools
Pine Bush, N.Y., School District Faces Accusations of Anti-Semitism

It’s not theoretical racism. We are not immune. And unless we start to realize and do something about it, we’re going to wind up just like Germany 75 years ago.

W. T. F.

W. T. F.

Just in case you missed it, because it sure hasn’t been discussed in the news yet.

This video was published on Oct 12, 2013.

The notes regarding the video say:

Late in the evening on September 30, 2013, the House Rules Committee Republicans changed the Rules of the House so that the ONLY Member allowed to call up the Senate’s clean CR for a vote was Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his designee — all but guaranteeing the government would shut down a few hours later and would stay shut down. Previously, any Member would have had the right to bring the CR up for a vote. Democracy has been suspended in the House of Representatives.

 

Repeating: The House Majority Leader is the ONLY person who can bring Senate bill to a vote. The House Majority Leader is Eric Cantor.

Read the transcript of the activity here: http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx?day=20130930

Who voted how: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll505.xml

Was there a doubt in your mind as to what’s driving the continued shut-down of our US government? Wonder no more.

Unless Eric Cantor or his designee feels like it, this resolution will not come to the floor.

If you thought there was obstruction before, here it is, in black and white. With votes.

Disgusting.

UPDATED:

But wait, there’s more.

There’s a growing movement to “Throw the bums out” again. Or Rascals. Whatever.

See, I remember this rallying cry because it’s an echo of decades past. Two decades, in fact.

Do you remember when Newt Gingrich rose to power? When was that? Oh, yes, in 1994. The Gingrich Revolution, it was called back then, and it came in midterm elections during Bill Clinton’s second term. Their agenda? Destroy Healthcare Reform.

Sound familiar?

In that year, the GOP rose to take the House, and they kept it firm until 2006, when the Democrats finally got a toe back in. It lasted just four years. By 2010, the Tea Party retook the House and set us up for the mother of all obstructionist battles.

This isn’t a fight months in the making. That’s horse manure. This is a fight 20 years in the making. That’s why Gingrich has resurfaced to warn the House that they’re playing with fire. He’s reliving history.

We have just four days left before we go over the Debt Ceiling cliff and pull the world economy with us, and the House has rigged the game so that only they can vote, and then only if Eric Cantor decides it’s okay.

Don’t give me this “both sides are equally guilty” crap. It’s a lie. This is a GOP-sponsored plot to destroy the US Government.

And the seven Democrats who voted in favor of the bill?

Elections are coming in 2014. Please take note.

Well now, this is something else…

Well now, this is something else…

You know, the more I think about this, the more I wonder. Is the President waiting for default to declare actual sedition against the members of the Tea Party and GOP who are pulling this stunt? They can try to impeach him if they want, but they don’t have the foolproof 2/3 majority they would need in the House anymore, and I imagine they’d be hard pressed to find Democrats who would back such a measure. Meanwhile, driving the country over the Debt Ceiling cliff could well be the seditious action required to arrest the key members who brought the country to its figurative knees over this.

Arguing about what sedition means, I found two links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition

and within that,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seditious_conspiracy

So, do we need to wait this out and see if the GOP pulls up? Is that why the Koch brothers have suddenly changed their tunes?

Might be a very good reason to backpedal, in public….

Trouble is, all you really have to do these days is follow the money. The New Yorker figured it out way back in August of 2010. It’s just not that hard to draw the lines between the dots.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.