The Voices of Women – Meaningless? And the Erosion of Democracy…

Apologies to the length of this writing (this is TL;DR for some) but Trump, Kavanaugh, McConnell, Flake, Collins, Hatch, Graham, Manchin and injustice is making life, well, Topsy-turvy to be polite…

Well. It appears that the voices of women mean nothing where it is most important – in sexual assaults (and in every day life to be fair). Even if an event happened 30+ years ago, the voice and statements of a woman are still important.

As of today, Saturday – Oct 6, 2018, America has voted onto the Supreme Court an individual with more divisiveness; with a more controversial background than Clarence Thomas had.

I’m a guy and what women say IS important, always!

That is, until it is proven it is not true. But, where it is ambiguous and no concrete evidence can be found, many of us will side with the woman – not just give lip service and say ‘we believe her’ as certain members of Congress have done (so the congressional members can retain their positions of power in their home state/district). What a woman says can make a difference. In many of the sexual assaults it is primarily a crime not witnessed by others and that is why the victim does not come forth and the guy gets away with it. (Sometimes, sometimes, yes indeed – there are women who also commit sexual assaults, it is just not that many.) And Trump – making an outlandish tweet that young men should be scared is ridiculous. No young men should be assaulting women in the first place (that goes for older men as well).

In America, or rather parts of America – certain Americans have decided that a man with a blemished background and temperament can be put into a position of significant influence and power. Certain Americans have placed an individual with what appears to be a highly tainted past onto the highest court, a court which now will be looked at for every decision it makes for the next 30 years with a jaundiced eye.

All because an individual who was put into the White House due to many electoral college members deciding that this person was the best choice for America in 2016. Trump.

If this Supreme Court vote turned your stomach, you had best “get your butt off the couch and go vote” in the NEXT SEVERAL voting turnouts, for the next couple of decades! The mid-terms, primaries, all of them. This will be the only way to restore some semblance of sanity to America.

Because if you do not, we, America, will be doomed and damned!  Are you one of the people looking to return to the ‘Dark Days’ of yesterday when only the males of one race had the power to lord over everyone else of a different color and all women? Do you really want to return to the days of suppression and repression…?

More and more pieces of democracy (not talking about the democratic party here, just democracy) will be chipped away as they are being done today. More “socialist” programs will be lost for years, if not decades until we can return to the path of growth and equality that we were on until Trump was put into the White House. And what I mean by socialist programs are:

  • fire departments (think you don’t need this socialist program when your home catches fire)
  • libraries (not everyone has high speed internet or even computers at home)
  • police departments (what happens when your local police department is gone and you need law enforcement)
  • schools (everyone needs to seriously consider removing Betsy D. from the dept of education…)
  • hospitals
  • social security (what are you going to do when you are older and have no money to rely on)
  • should I go on….?

Socialist programs, today, in 2018, are meant to help everyone, not just the poor and downtrodden – the programs are meant to make the lives of everyone easier,  better and safer.

This is how Hitler grew into power. Think about that – think long and hard – do your ‘own’ thinking. Over several years, Hitler and the people around him whittled away at more and more programs until they gained power – a vise grip on EVERYTHING! (There are some who say this erosion actually started right before Hitler came into the picture – but we all know for fact, Hitler destroyed democracy in Germany.) And what was the result of that, guess! Extermination of massive numbers of the Jewish race, in multiple countries (Poland, Germany, France, Austria and more). The Holocaust was the ultimate disgrace to democracy. Things started out small in Germany and many of the Germanic race were happy and fine that Hitler was looking out for them. Hitler was going to “Make Germany Great Again!But then when it was too late to do anything, such as removing Hitler, Himmler, Goering and others of the SS and the Nazi party – it was far, far too late.

Now, this is not saying Trump is a Nazi but – he is providing a helping hand in the destruction of the American way of life and all of its democracies. Trump has enabled the worse of the worst to come forth (recall the nighttime ‘Tiki Torch’ parade). Trump has unleashed the hounds of hell, to put it mildly, to come out of the wood-works and raise pure hell. Look at:

  • early February 2017 where the House and Senate voted to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule”- Coal companies now have a freer hand in dumping mining pollutants into streams
  • the white nationalist rally incident in Charlottesville, VA where Heather Heyer was killed
  • Chris Collins and his insider trading on the lawn of the White House – how brazen was that?
  • Many of the cabinet members Trump installed and the self-aggrandizement these individuals did while in power – sound-proof phone booth in his office (guess who that was);
  • Expensive furniture, what was it, ~$31,000 for his office – you know who this was, the man qualified to run HUD because he grew up in the projects (I grew up in the projects too)…
  • Zinke of the Interior Department and his sell off of federal lands
  • The black protestor who was sucker-punched by a white man in the stands at a Trump rally in Fayetteville (and trump said he would pay the legal fees for the puncher)
  • we could go on and on with this list…

The point is, if Americans do not come to their senses and stop this extreme political partisanship, we will continue going down the rabbit hole of more:

  • hate crimes – racially & religiously motivated
  • individuals like Michael Gerard Grimm, former congressman & former FBI, who threatened to throw a reporter off the balcony – a reporter who was doing his job (after his prison term for that, Grimm had the audacity to try running again for public office)
  • corruption – how can people follow the law when the law makers and peace keepers are the ones causing this corruption and excess to continue – so they can feel powerful and make money in many cases for doing so
  • erosion of public lands for corporate revenue – oil exploitation, so that oil companies can continue to make large pools of revenue before the clean energy wave really kicks in and fossil fuel use will be a money pit
  • inequalities – women and racial – women and those of different skin colors doing the same job as men of a certain color “SHOULD BE PAID EQUALLY” for doing the same job
  • anti-discrimination against new immigrants to America – and we all know this is how America started
  • to name a few….

What do we need to do people? You all have to use your head and think!!!!

You have to perform research and think and talk about your actions before you do them! You cannot just listen to unqualified individuals who spout hate and conspiracy theories. You must do your own thinking, it is what makes you “you”!

So, what are you thinking? Are you thinking things in the political environment are going in the right direction?

Are you thinking Trump is making America great – when he raises tariffs, the ultimate cost is on you, the American citizen because you will be the one paying more for the products with the tariffs. 

Do you think the tax cut he instituted was wonderful? Well – continue thinking about that when your local services (any or all of them) are cut or eliminated due to your city budget does not have enough revenue – ‘because of that tax cut’.

What about clean air and clean water? Think your kids are going to be able to run around as you did years ago but now the air and water are more polluted (remember, the coal mine dumping above and the Trump administrations’ attempt to relax car emissions letting car makers off the hook…)

Use your brains. Think about the future. You cannot just think about yourself because you do not like gays or dark skinned people. You cannot say “hey, my religion is the foremost important thing in the world” when other people believe in a different religion. Do not make a mistake, as an American and a global citizen – I. DO. NOT. WANT Sharia Law anywhere near America.

Ultimately, what is being stated here is that Americans need to be better.

  • Give women their voices – it is hard enough to come forward publicly as it is
  • Think about unity, amongst all Americans (i.e. why do we still have Sundown towns in parts of America? Why do we still have so many skinhead/white nationalist/white supremacist groups around the country?)

Because America has to come together again and be a “United States” and grow stronger and be better as a country for itself. As well as in the face of rising problems with:

  • Russia’s Putin doing the meddling he is doing globally and
  • China doing what they are doing – attempting to force people / countries to kowtow to them; giving China hemispheric power to do what they wish, such as build man-made islands in the South China Seas and claim more of the region as belonging to them (we could discuss the Uighurs and the police state they are living under as well as the great firewall of China as well as internet and public censorship so the Chinese citizens have no voice and are unable to vote politicians out of power – these are big stories on their own…)

We are losing the luster of being a world leader because we do not have any serious diplomatic power. Who do we have that is a shining star in the world of diplomacy? Our ‘leader’ in the White House is not one who has great powers of diplomacy. He is continually causing America to devolve into a laughing stock of the world every time he utters a sentence or disseminates a tweet.

We are a country where it is now up to the states to institute clean air and clean water and equality for all. That is, those states with a forward looking mindset for the next 10 – 30 years…

 

 

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Lunacy – Politics, Dictators (& Trump) and Race

It is now 2017 and we, as a global people, are facing more and more lunacy in the world.

In Turkey, we have Erdogan who constantly expands his political powers to where it is reaching dictatorial levels. When you:

  • Modify the political system;
  • Suppress journalists, military, educators, other political parties and
  • Control the media

— you are a dictator.

In Venezuela, we have Maduro with his recent critically gained presidency. Currently he is an authoritarian (some of us prefer the term ‘dictator’). He appears to be on a track to continue absorbing more power – by rewriting their country’s constitution, even while it is reported that 98% of the country’s people rejected that idea. Approximately, 3.6 million people voted according to an independent analysis. Here are a few of the actions he, Maduro, has implemented or rather, allowed to take place:

  • delayed elections,
  • jailing of opposition leaders,
  • increasing influence of the army, and
  • efforts by the government-appointed courts to curtail the powers of the opposition-held national assembly.

Note, he has the backing of Russian and Cuban leadership…

In Iran, Hassan Rouhani, won the recent presidential election to continue holding office. One item he ran on was to include women in the cabinet. That, as it turns out, did not occur – it is an all-male cabinet…  That is not progress. He ran on the platform of being a reformist.

In Russia, well, actually, do we need to add anything more on him than what we already know of him (and Medvedev)…? When you:

  • Control the political system (arrest opposition on false charges of embezzlement in order to label the person as a criminal, which under Russian laws, the person cannot run for certain offices);
  • Control the country’s media (to spread whatever propaganda is desired); put in a VPN prohibition (so citizens cannot have secure & private communication with the outside world);
  • Use your police force, your military & intelligence services to force how ‘protest rallies should be held (i.e. maximum of 250 people and constrained to protest only within a few block area)’; and
  • Control state conglomerates in order to line the leadership’s pockets with BILLIONS of dollars (& Swiss Francs, Euros, British Pounds and even Bitcoins)

— if that is not dictatorial, not sure what else it could possibly be.

In China, we have a country that wants to be capitalistic but is still hugely communistic. This is a country that:

  • Is also banning private citizen use of VPNs – sorry, correction, citizens can ‘apply’ for use of a VPN (but that means that citizen would have to provide a back door {or front door} into that VPN’s communication path…
  • Has a Communist party with significant control over the country’s media – with an iron fist.
  • HAS BUILT a man-made island in the South China Seas (Spratly Islands) in order to, ahhh what was it they stated (one reason) – to protect their sovereign rights and regional territories. Remember, that area is a hotly contested area for “centuries” by countries in the area (Taiwan, China, Vietnam, with Malaysia and the Philippines).
  • Wants foreign investors (tech) to give up source code to ensure there is nothing hinky or spying related in order for those foreign firms to do business in China.
  • Still has huge human rights issues (think Falun Gong and {two spellings} Uyghur & Uighur people of western China)
  • Wants to completely take over Hong Kong despite what China promised in 1999 (freedom to continue progressing)
  • Suppresses all (or as much as they can find) negative commentary regarding the country and the political leaders

In America, we have someone who may not be dictatorial but is clearly not of the right mettle (and state of mind) to run a country and grow.When we have:

  • An EPA that is relaxing/eliminating rules/regulations left and right to allow toxins into the air and water, it is a very bad sign.
  • A Dept of Education that believed that HBCUs were a wonderful alternative and is attempting to have more charter schools across the country AND not listening to the educators in her own Department – that is a bad sign for our children and future leaders.
  • An Attorney General that should not have been appointed to being with (there are all kinds of reasons to choose from if you wish to do a little research and analysis of your own) – that is a bad sign for the country’s law enforcement system.
  • A Commerce secretary who wants to relax rules and regulations (just recall the sweat shops and lack of workplace violations of yesterday) – we have a problem in that more business will start doing what they want to do without protecting their employees.
  • A secretary of State who does not talk to his own senior leadership nor allow press conferences – that is a bad omen of things happening behind closed doors.

So, that list could have easily continued but many of you know the shortfalls of our current administration. We now come to our president – a choice that the electoral college should never have made when the popular national vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the other candidate. We have a president who:

  • Listens to select individuals, who may not be qualified to provide those kinds of opinions
  • Says whatever he wishes without ANY deep thoughts or consideration, from what we observe – he likes to gain information and content from Alex Jones
  • Gives oversight and strategic control of the military to the generals – that is a bad idea (extrapolate down the road and into the future – you’ve got a big brain to do so)
  • Is a completely bad and wrong role model for youth growing up, who aspire to be someone important – do we want that kind of leader sprouting up everywhere in 10-20 years…? He is definitely not a role model for many of us.
  • Allegedly cooked the books for his Grand Hyatt hotel partnership in New York in the mid-80s (here is one link but please do your due diligence: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/trump-files-how-donald-screwed-over-new-york-city-his-tax-bill/) – Trump had ordered the Grant Hyatt to change its accounting methods to lower its reported profits. Check out what the city’s auditor general at the time (Karen Burstein) reported. And he, Trump, is well known for stiffing everyone he can, from lawyers to chefs in order to get out of paying for it.
  • Barely raises an eyebrow at the Charlottesville, VA white supremacist rally where James Alex Fields Jr, allegedly killed, via a hit & run, a female pedestrian and injured 19 others (ala, an ISIS style vehicle attack). And if I’m not mistaken, he was on the stage behind  and on Trump’s right at some Trump rally late last year or earlier this year. Some media outlet should do a facial scan for this person in the archives – to see what kind of rally he and his friends were attending.  And also, no, Obama did not raise the white racist, supremacist, Nazi spectre when the idiot, Dylann Roof, shot the people in the church. But that was a different scenario – this time (Charlottesville) it was a massive gathering the day after a Tikki firelight march by, hmmmm, individuals of a certain color. The tension and hatred was already at a known and anticipated high level (witness the police and state trooper presence). The Charlottesville situation was not a surprise but our president only gave a rather tepid response for this mass gathering and protest that many people have likened to Hitler and his brown shirts…

The U.S. has a president that is causing this country to waste more money and time on stupidity and inane actions, not just domestically but globally, than we should have to. NOTHING is really getting done and please do not tell the rest of us that he is bringing back manufacturing jobs, those numbers are not significant, especially not for the long run.

 

So, with that list above – definitely not an all-encompassing list of lunatic actions around the globe but it seems to be a glide path for disaster if we do not somehow come together to make change happen. Selfish racial beliefs are not beneficial for a society as a whole – it should be societal belief of everyone helping everyone (no, I’m not intimating that we should be become a socialist society, sorry). We should be working, together, around the globe to make life better for everyone. We, the U.S. cannot even:

  • Make health care affordable to everyone, from poor to middle class in this country when there are other countries who are making it work by using one form or another of Universal Health Care or a One Payer system.
  • Improve our infrastructure system.
  • Innovate and improve our educational system so that it is equitable for all, not just pockets of people scattered around the country.
  • And for sure, we are still leap years behind where we should be where it comes to diversity and dropping discrimination of all forms (race, gender, age) to historic lows.

Instead, we, Americans, have a president that seems oblivious to who he has selected to help run the country – oblivious to what he is saying to the world (where he is a laughing stock, check it out) and oblivious to the image he projects to others outside of his base (which appears to be shrinking, finally).

We should still be the leader of the free world, but that may be gone now in no small part due to our leader. And without having that kind of leader status, we may be a contributing (not root) cause to the rise of lunacy in the world – in race, politics and pop-up dictators.

 

UNITY! – Terrorism – Je Suis “Charlie” – Je Suis “The World”

 Je Suis “Charlie”  Je Suis “The World”

President Hollande said it right when he called for UNITY in the wake of the insane terrorist attacks in his country this past week. And yes, it is far beyond the time for people of the world to come together and stamp out terrorists and their terrorism attacks on a free democracy.

 

People of the world need to wake up and come together become more than just “Charlie.” People of the free living global population must rise up together and become “The World.”

It is that time.

 

We cannot let terrorists and their hare brained attempts of having a global caliphate through any or all of the various extremist Islamic groups:

  • ISIS (or ISIL or IS)
  • Al-Qaeda (or Al-Qaida)
  • Abu Sayyaf
  • Jemaah Islamiah
  • Boko Haram
  • Etc., etc., etc

People of the world must stand together and stamp out such extremist groups, groups that purport to want to bring purism to the world, by exterminating others who do not fit their standards. This is what entities such as the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) and Nazism (via Hitler) attempted to do – kill off blacks and Asians and Jews through mass genocide or to keep them as some type of cattle.

These last two groups were completely wrong in their efforts. The KKK wanted to have only a white world when there was and is a large number of whites that are of mixed race – but they do not know that. Hitler wanted to have a pure Aryan race even though at that time, there were a goodly number of mixed race Germans amongst his ranks of “pure bloods.”

 

Freedom means being free to express your viewpoints without the fear of hatred or retribution. Even if people should know better than to make fun of some image, religious figure, ideology, person group of people and so on – it does not give ANYONE the right to kill someone for making the fun of any of those groups.

Sure, these religious zealots may have been in ‘right’ back during the dark ages of ignorance and superstition 1,000, 2,000 or more millennia ago when people did not know better or were completely suppressed to the where they could not know better. There is no place in the world, among civilized people of the 21st century where there is the right to kill someone for blaspheming (making fun of or going against) any religion.

Anyone should be able to make fun of some religious – if it is good natured fun that’s one thing, if it is education that is another thing, if it is stupidly obnoxious or evil that is another animal. IT STILL DOES NOT GIVE ANYONE THE RIGHT TO KILL SOMEONE FOR DOING SO!!!

Making fun could be making a point or it could be just simply ignorance – we all bear that price for a free society.

 

People of the world must stand together and stamp out these extremist groups. It means reporting these people or these groups who would cause bodily harm to others or physical damage to public/private structures. And reporting on other people you may know does take courage but it has to be done. No one can just turn a blind eye to others of their own faith, even if it is extreme, if the perpetrator of a future is going to cause physical harm.

Take the attempted firebombing of the NAACP building in Colorado, purportedly by some white guy. First he botched the attack but why did this individual want to firebomb the NAACP? Was it because they were of a different race? Because if it was because of the folks in the Colorado NAACP being black, well, this firebomber has a rude awakening – times have changed and he and others like him need to move on become more sophisticated as we move deeper into the 21st century.

And this goes for people around the globe, this is a new time. This is not 1,000 BCE (or BC if you prefer) where superstition was rampant. It is not 1,000 CE (or AD) where ignorance and suppression were the law (so to speak) of the land.

 

This is 2015, we must all learn to live with each other and accept the other for the differences there are between you/us. The world is becoming smaller every day, the number of people on the planet keeps going up and living spaces are shrinking as more people move to cities. Religious groups must adapt and learn that their religion is not the only religion or the best religion – there are many but none of them gives anyone the right to kill in the name of religion as the Christian Crusades wrongly did (to name one set of extremes) for so many years, multiple times.

 

Freedom means that women can have equality in pay for work; or that women can drive a car, unchaperoned in the mid-East. Freedom means that girls and boys can go to school to gain an education rather than girls being banned from learning and boys only attending mind and soul sapping madrassas. Freedom means that if you are of one race or religion, you can freely marry someone of a different race or religion without the fear of being stoned to death.

Freedom means just that, being free to do what you, as an individual wants to do – not because some religious faction or extremely conservative religious organization tells you what to do.

 

We have freedom of choice; we need to spread it around the world. The world must stand together and stamp out these wildly extreme terrorist groups like Boko Haram. If a country like Nigeria cannot stop the spread and terroristic killings committed by Boko Haram, then the world must step in and help. For example, the African Union and neighboring countries must band together to stop this insidious spread of fanaticism and wholesale murder. Other countries should be willing and wanting to step in and stand with a country such as Nigeria to curtail and stamp out Boko Haram, especially as Boko Haram attempts to compete with ISIS for world attention.

If we do not stand together and stamp out these terrorist groups, they will continue to sprawl out, gaining more converts and continue killing.

WE – MUST – STAND – TOGETHER – NOW!!!!

 

People! Please – Get Out and VOTE – Make a Difference…

It does not matter if you are conservative or liberal.

It does not matter if you are poor or middle income.

It does not matter if you are a high school dropout (for whatever significantly important reason you had) or a highly educated person with one or two PhD’s.

It does not matter if you are a woman, man, or teenager (of voting age).

It does not matter if you are blue, orange, black, brown or white or whatever color you are or represent.

GET OUT AND VOTE! And not just for a Presidential election but for all elections; in your community, your county and your state elections too.

Get out and vote and make a difference. If you wish to make a change in government; local, state or federal – get out and vote.

If you are disenfranchised for whatever reason, the only way change is going to happen is if you GET OUT AND VOTE!

 

If you are facing horrendous voting restrictions – get out and vote somehow and use your power of the vote to make changes for the future.

If you are facing situations where you cannot control your own destiny, your own body – get out and vote to change that situation.

If you are in a situation where education is or becoming compromised because of the way a vocal few dictates (or attempting to dictate) what you learn – get out and vote. Use YOUR knowledge and education to make a difference (check out the Colorado school district where the board wanted to, well, basically, water down our controversial and at times violent past and only teach the ‘positive’ things of the U.S.).

 

Come on people, how do we, as a community, get the vast majority of Americans (naturally born and naturalized) to become more civic minded and vote? How do we motivate you, even if you do have hardship conditions to vote in – how can we collectively get the vast amount of eligible voters to GET OUT AND VOTE?

 

If you want to change the way things are going in this country, such as the horrific amount of money going into all the various elections – GET OUT AND VOTE! The amount of money going into politics has become unimaginable. Ever since our U.S. Supreme Court saw fit, in their inestimable intelligence, to allow virtually unlimited amounts of cash to slosh around politics via so, so many venues of open and dark money outlets – it appears to be locking out the average citizen to raise money to enter politics and be a voice heard for their constituents.

Many in politics now seem to spend a great of time attempting to raise money for their campaigns rather than working harder for the people in their communities, their districts and states. That to me, seems rather a sad farce to all Americans – that many of our political leaders act out of tantrums because they cannot “always” get some issue their way.

 

People! Please, make a difference from this point on, GET OUT AND VOTE!

We need to change the sadly bad trajectory this country seems to be on. We need to make America stronger and not some divisive or fractured groups of people living in various parts of the country.

We need to bring people closer together rather than going further apart. We have too many militias who want to bring anarchy if they can. We have Sovereign Citizens who want their own strange world. We STILL HAVE Nazi wannabes in different communities of the country.

Education believe it or not will bring people together. We have to gain a society of more educated people, of all ages and eliminate all the many pockets of educational disparities. We have to bring better schools to all communities – hopefully this will stop the insane movement of self-segregation that has been occurring around the country. We were supposed to be moving forward, integrating people into all walks of life for a better future, yet we seem to be going in reverse in so many ways.

 

And vote with your head. Use your own brain and the great thoughts you have formed on your own.

Stop listening to rabble rousers who are not using facts but instead are using innuendo, veiled slurs and outright lies against others – just to gain YOU as a listener to their vitriolic conversations. Sure, you can listen to whomever but do your own research too. Listen to others of different parties, different TV and radio stations – get as many DIVERSE viewpoints as you can, even if they are hard to listen to or to stomach.

Only by listening to multiple channels of information can you make an informed decision. Listening to one TV outlet or a single radical radio station or reading a niche newspaper is not the way to informed decision making.

Listen to or watch or read: FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, Al-Jazeera, Washington Post, N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian, and several of the many news and talk show radio programs. Even if it is at times just flat out difficult.

Then do your own fact checking and research. Then, do your own critical thinking. Debate it with others around you – not just the like-minded who are the same as you (same race, same age, same educational level), but others who are diverse or different from you. I did not say foolishly argue or get into name calling but true, honest debate.

Then and only then, make an informed decision.

Because, otherwise, you “will” wind up with someone in office who has no head for: fairness, science or for equitable politics and getting the important things completed and not just getting the job done for those who pay the most or are the most vocal (read as extreme).

 

People! Do yourself and your great-grandchildren a favor.

PLEASE, GET OUT AND VOTE!!!