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…

 

 

Advertisements

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.