Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sentiments from a friend

A friend sent the sentiments below to me.  She is one of the nicest people I know who lives the words on the sign.  It is good advice for the New Year and
I will try to perfect its thought although I know at times I will fall short.  We can only try to do the best we can with the life we were given making the best effort we can to transform the injustice and inequality suffering of others into justice and equality for the world entire.

Inline image 1

Friday, December 29, 2017

Confession

I must confess. I want to reflect the characteristics of a Heather Hier who gave her life in Charlottesville protesting against right wing nationalism and extremists.  She stood for the causes in which I believe. I feel, in part, that I am like the person they say she was. She was a person who stood for justice, had empathy for the poor and wanted to provide hope to those who had none. 

It is the injustice of the Trump presidency I cannot bear. It is the lies and the fact that he stands for the 2% richest while he says he stands for the opposite. He is using, I believe, this presidency and the people who should not support him, for one thing -- the money he can make from it and them.  I get infuriated by the injustice he has perpetrated, the minorities he has hurt and the death his policies will cause against those who can tolerate these injustices the least.

I am angry at the lies Trump tells but I am even angrier at the persons who believe his lies and cement a low base that supports him. I am so saturated with anger, fear and disbelief at this unjust and unfit-for-the-presidency man who captured the the most powerful office in the world that sometimes I verbally Vesuvian erupt when the situation does not warrant I should. I fear I become more like the hardened opposition I loathe then the people with whom I truly identify. So I will say here, I am sorry for those things I say in anger; things that should not be said by me. I say them because I am frightened for the first time in my life by my country in which I had so much hope.  This nation which is capable of much humane social change has become in this era at times unrecognizable to me. I begin to feel hopeless that those in this nation who need help will not get it or, indeed, have the things for which they worked so hard get taken away by the richest among us who want it all and found a leader in a zero conscience Trump who will give it all to them and take his helping of it as well.  

The last thing I would want is to become so hardened in my position that like the opposition I do not see the real forest through the trees. The real lush forest of our nation, I believe, is its ability to change and to rescue those who face hardship in this nation and those who face it in the nations of their births; those who face poverty, disease, disenfranchisement and death in nations they once called home.  Facebook offers one the ability to state one's beliefs in a public forum. It is so powerful that things stated in the heat of debate with faces hidden from view can make one immune and not listen to opposing beliefs and worse say things one would not say to another's face.  I do not want to become like that.  I want to stand for humane policy, for understanding, for empathy, for inclusion and, perhaps, most of all for the tolerance I would want others to bestow upon me.

In this New Year I will at least try to not say unto others that which I would not want to said unto me.  I will, in this New Year, I hope, try to do better.

Happy New Year to all my friends and even to those who are not.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tallying the Damage of Trump's Presidency in 2017 by Tessa Stuart of "Rolling Stone Magazine" + My Comment -- The Trojan Horse Trump

Though the tax bill was the only piece of major legislation Trump was able to get passed this year, the 45th president got plenty done





Donald Trump on Inauguration Day. Patrick Semansky/AP





Last week, after the mad dash to pass the GOP tax bill and last-minute scramble to fund the government, President Trump finally had a moment to pause and reflect on his first year in office. And, as he does when he has a thought, he tweeted about it: "So many things accomplished by the Trump Administration, perhaps more than any other President in first year. Sadly, will never be reported correctly by the Fake News Media!"





The thing is: he's not entirely wrong. It's true the tax bill was the first and only piece of major legislation he was able to get passed this year – an almost unimaginable reality, considering his party has control of both chambers of Congress – but even without many actual bills to his name Trump has gotten quite a bit done this year. Starting with his very first act in office.

The Federal Housing Administration was poised to cut mortgage fees the week Trump was sworn in, a move that would have made home ownership more accessible and less expensive for everyone across the board, but especially for the poorest Americans – "the forgotten men and women" he often spoke of on the campaign trail. Mortgage lenders, home builders and real estate agents were united in their support for the move, but Trump scrapped it an hour after the inauguration. His reason, outlined in a letter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was vague: "more analysis and research" was needed to assess how "potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy" could impact future rates, the agency said.
Reportedly, there was no reason. The decision was motivated by the fact that Trump didn't want anything – no matter how popular or uncontroversial – going through if it was endorsed by President Obama. The FHA decision was, ultimately, emblematic of Trump's first year in office: a symbolic move chiefly motivated by spite that had serious, negative consequences for actual people. In this case, the change would mean as many as 40,000 buyers couldn't buy a home in 2017, according to estimates by the National Association of Realtors; the week after the decision, mortgage applications dropped 3.2 percent.

Ironically, Trump has been most successful at the very thing he criticized Obama for – extensive use of executive orders to achieve his policy goals. And, for all his high-profile legislative belly flops, since assuming office nearly a year ago he's managed to do an incredible amount of damage – to the environment, health, education, civil and labor rights – entirely outside of Congress.
Here's a rundown.





Health careTrump failed, repeatedly, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress, he has found ways to undermine the law. The tax bill Congress hastily approved just before the end of the year included a provision repealing Obamacare's individual mandate to buy insurance. The mandate, originally devised by the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation, imposes a penalty on anyone who doesn't buy insurance as a way to incentivize more individuals to get coverage, expand the risk pool and drive down costs. It's unclear what repealing the mandate will do, but economists believe it will drive up health care premiums, causing the ranks of the uninsured to swell by almost one-third, or an estimated 41 million people, by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Those premium increases will be in addition to ones that were already anticipated after the Trump administration announced in October it would stop paying for subsidies that offset out-of-pocket costs for low-income Americans. (Insurance companies warned the decision could force them to stop offering plans on the Obamacare exchanges.) That's fine with Trump's Department of Health and Human Services, which is actively working to discourage enrollment in the exchanges. The agency shrank its budget for ACA advertising by 90 percent, slashed funding to groups that help with enrollment by 40 percent and cut the enrollment period in half – a move that will automatically re-enroll some Americans in plans they no longer want before they're eligible to switch to another.
In 2017, Trump also reinstated and expanded the so-called global gag rule, a Reagan-era relic banning foreign aid to NGOs that advocate for abortion access, offer abortion services or even discuss abortion with clients. The move imperils a range of programs around the world aimed at addressing outbreaks of HIV, malaria and Zika. Plus, Trump reversed a rule here in the U.S. that banned states from withholding federal funds from clinics that provide abortion, withdrew a rule that would have reimbursed active-duty military and their family for travel to medical appointments, and revoked another rule that banned the mentally ill from buying guns.

ImmigrationJohn Kelly's tenure as the head of the Department of Homeland Security was a short but busy one. He oversaw the implementation of and court challenges to Trump's Muslim ban. The Supreme Court ruled in December that the full revised ban, restricting travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries plus North Korea, could go into effect while challenges to the law work their way through the court system. (A handful of government officials from Venezuela and their family members are also banned by the order.)
The Muslim ban has received the most attention, but Trump also has managed sweeping reversals of Obama-era immigration policies. Under Trump, ICE is hiring thousands of new agents (it plans to double in size by 2023) and enlisting the help of local police, expanding the criteria for deportation and fast-tracking deportation hearings. Kelly withdrew an Obama-era memo, never implemented, that would have protected the parents of U.S. citizens from deportation and suspended a proposed visa that would have encouraged entrepreneurs from other countries to remain in the U.S.

Pending action by Congress, Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which granted protected status to 690,000 people who came to the U.S. as children.

He ended a program that granted temporary legal residence to children who fled to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, impacting more than 2,700; ordered 2,500 Nicaraguans and 60,000 Haitians with provisional residency to leave the country over the next two years; slashed the number of refugees the U.S. would accept by more than half, from 110,000 to 45,000; and imposed new screening procedures that could drive that number even lower. Refugee resettlement this year dropped precipitously – as of October, 1,242 and arrived in the U.S. in 2017, compared to 9,945 the previous year.





EducationUnder Trump – the former proprietor of Trump University – the Department of Education has moved swiftly to dissolve rules on for-profits colleges and dismantle protections for student borrowers. First the agency withdrew a slate of policy memos designed to increase accountability for student loan servicers, then it gutted two Obama-era policies that would have offered relief to students misled or defrauded by colleges and withheld federal student aid from programs that habitually left students with more debt than they could repay. The agency has abandoned work on joint lawsuits with several states against for-profit schools, too. (The DOE official in charge of policing such predatory behavior is a former dean of DeVry, a for-profit school prosecuted for predatory practices.)

The Trump Department of Education also withdrew guidance for addressing sexual assault complaints on college campuses, discontinued a grant designed to increase socioeconomic diversity in public school districts, revoked 72 policy papers on the rights of students with disabilities and rescinded protections for transgender students.

LaborUnder Trump, the Department of Labor has aggressively abandoned rules governing exposure to harmful chemicals. Among others, it delayed a rule on silica, which is linked to lung disease and cancer, and abandoned ones that would have imposed exposure limits on styrene, another cancer-causer, and 1-bromopropane, a neurotoxin. At the same time, the agency did away with regulations designed to keep track of workplace injuries and deaths. The administration also nixed a rule designed to help close the wage gap by requiring companies to report what they pay by race and gender, and ordered a review of a rule meant to protect workers from bad retirement saving advice.

Civil rightsSince taking the helm at the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has undermined the rule of law while preaching a tough-on-crime philosophy. He ordered a review of agreements struck between problematic police departments and the DOJ's civil rights division, instructed federal prosecutors to pursue the heaviest penalties possible for all defendants, ended a program to improve forensic science standards and rescinded a directive to stop using private prisons.
A legendary hardliner on immigration, Sessions also instructed DOJ lawyers to pursue felony charges not only against immigrants re-entering the country – formerly a misdemeanor crime – but also against anyone who gives them a ride or offers them a place to sleep. And he changed the department's position on a high-profile case about voter ID laws in Texas. (The Department of Justice under Obama contested the law on grounds that it was discriminatory; under Trump, the department has decided it's not.)

Sessions reversed discrimination protections for transgender workers and did away with a rule that would have ensured homeless transgender individuals could choose to stay at the sex-segregated shelter that matched their gender identity. He also issued new guidance on the interpretation of religious freedom, a move that civil rights advocates worry will give religious groups grounds to discriminate against LGBT people.





EnvironmentUnder Trump, the U.S. withdrew from the Paris climate accord, and is now the only country in the world that is not party to the non-binding agreement to address global warming. The administration also announced it would cease payments to the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund and disbanded a federal advisory panel on climate change, while the Energy Department banned the use of the phrase "climate change" itself.

Trump's EPA greenlit completion of both the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL pipelines. The Keystone XL, according to a report produced by Obama's EPA, will increase and accelerate the rate at which greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere, worsening climate change. Construction also threatens habitats of a number of endangered species, including the whooping crane and swift fox. The Dakota Access pipeline threatens the safety of drinking water.

Trump's EPA overturned, threw out or otherwise abandoned rules that banned lead bullets from National Wildlife Refuges and the sale of plastic water bottles at National Parks, created standards for recycling aerosol cans, protected whales and sea turtles, restricted what coal companies could dump into streams, reduced pollutants at sewage treatment plants, and limited methane and other greenhouse gas emissions. The agency also delayed implementation of rules aimed at preventing accidents at chemical plants and limiting power plants' ability to dump heavy metal-laden toxic waste into public waters. Against the advice of its own scientists, the EPA chose not to ban a widely used insecticide believed to harm children's mental development.

Trump reduced Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments by two million acres, introducing the possibility of future oil and natural gas exploration, mining and logging in an area sacred to local Native American tribes. He lifted an Obama-era moratorium on coal mining on public lands, signed an executive order directing the Interior Department to re-examine a ban on offshore drilling and revoked an order protecting the northern Bering Sea region in Alaska.
Though he probably doesn't realize it, Trump benefits from doing so many ridiculous things that his crises steal attention from each other. Recall the overwhelming year of Trump. Watch below.

My Comment:  This article makes my head explode.  If you are not feeling the same effects I wonder why.  What composes the character of a man that would reintroduce cancer and other disease causing chemicals into the environment and open up gorgeous pristine areas with beautiful scenery killing animals that live there to the spoliation and pollution of oil drilling and gas exploration two known causes of global climate change.  Does this ignorant Cretan president with his evil numb heart and his know nothing family not enjoy breathing?   Do you not want your family to enjoy good health?  This man is not only a malevolent danger to us but to future generations if his policies remain intact.  I do not know how if one loves their family or even cares about oneself anyone on planet earth could call themselves in this modern era Republican and be proud. Our nation has enacted post WWII many life threatening policies and conducted the killing field of slaughter all over the world of which I have often been an ardent critic but never did I think the majority of this nation's heart was  was cruel, unjust and without an ounce of character or conscience until now that it has seen fit through an electoral college flue to elect this Trojan Horse Trump.  He is a killer with zero conscience, hides his face under a metaphor KKK sheet and is said to alleged have a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf at his bedside.  The fact that can believe that true tells one all one nees to know about the content of this man's rancid character.  RESIST BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Man of the Year

"The Stranger Who Sent Steve Mnuchin A Box Of Horse Poo Has Come Forward"

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox?compose=16092e85a989ba03
 
My Comment:  The man who delivered a box of horse$^%$# to Trump's so called "Treasury Secretary," Steve Mnuchin, is named Robert Strong. 

I do not have the ability to do something like that nor the psychological daring it would take to do it. However, this man probably did more to impact our cause, to collect the anger no furiousness against not only this Republican economic horse dung bill but the lies about the Republicans' everything under the sun as well as a bill they name in Orwellian fashion the "Tax Cut and "Jobs" Act" which is, in reality, the opposite of what these Republican liars and con men named it. More appropriately it should be called "The Middle-class Jobs Cut and Tax Act for the Rich" bill.  I say good for you, Robert Strong. What a great Dickensian name for the deliverer of such a profound and correct response. 

Millions of us salute and bless you, Mr. Strong, for having the guts to do what millions upon millions of American middle class, working class and the poor would have loved to be able to do! Time Magazine, name Robert Strong "Man of the Year!"

Monday, December 25, 2017

The fault dear Bannon is not in the stars ​but in​ you​!


​"​
Steve Bannon Blasts ‘Javanka’
​(Ivanka and Jared) ​
As Everything Wrong With The White House
​." (See link below).

My Comment to Bannon: Bannon, ​
​ ​
you​ ar​e ​to blame ​in extremis ​for starting the Trump ​campaign of chaos on its road to failure​. ​ ​Bannon, take advice from allegedly your ​Catholic faith​ ​"Do not criticize someone with a speck in his eye when you have a log in your own.​"​


Bannon, you characterized the essence of the American public in error. You thought
​ ​
​ ​it was reflective of how you feel about life. You took an extremist right wingnut part of the electorate which was always there but on​​ the political periphery, ratcheted ​it​ up and gave ​it ​a screaming voice using Trump as ​its mouthpiece​. It is why Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million. An Electoral College fluke did not give you the beating heart of our democracy. The extremist anger you hold elected ​Trump ​
​ ​
because ​those​ who hold that anger​ are not only ​are angry but many are haters of "the other" a left over from ​history​. Lincoln Rockwell (one of the first American Nazis who was gunned down by one of his own), George Wallace​, Bull Connor​ and others were always there but got nowhere because when all is accounted for most American hearts, as Anne Frank might have said, are basically good​ and because the arc of our history is long and bends toward justice in the long run justice prevails​. Your Republican Party has been turned​,​ ​over many election cycles since Nixon's Moral Majority, ​into the Party of hate so the Democratic opposition has a glowing chance ​now ​to not only in one election crush Republicans but destroy in the process the Republican Party ​as we have known it in the modern era.​


It will take time to disinfect this poison and cleanse it from our body politic but ​it will be done. This nation did not fight WWII for nothing. We fought it, won it and stopped fascism in its tracks. That is the true essence of our people and you missed it.

​You have shown what happens when the Republican Party goes extremist right. It is ultimately rejected because some of those others you hate so much​ who ​need the help ​that ​only government can ​provide will organize with their allies and rise up to defeat you. Count me in as part of that electoral insurrection.​ ​Moreover​,​​ ​isolationism and "America first" foreign policy does not work. We are an economically global society affected by world business and opinion. We must take part in world discourse understanding its needs as well as our own and we must acknowledge science which will have the last word.

I don't know what made you ​and Trump, as I see you, ​the
​ ​
​psychologically sick ​bestial creature​s​ that you are but to have inflicted ​your​ hate on our once decent hearted people makes me feel profound sadness not for you but for our nation. You and all you represent ​will​ be defeated soundly​ soon​. ​Never ​again​,
​ ​
​​I hope, ​
​ ​
will our nation fail to stop those with a political agenda filled with psychological malady, perfidy, treason, and the exclusion of ​"the other." O​ur forebears ​came here to achieve a better life, to breathe free and for shelter from death itself. Lady Liberty tells us that.


I thought if Trump had changed his mantra and moved to the left of his extremist right positions, ditched his hateful rhetoric and policy, stopped tweeting alienating nearly everyone ​here and many around the world ​he actually could have had a charismatic​ ​and decent presidency. History​ would have​ judged him more kindly. Instead he will leave office shamed and history throughout the ages will define him with ​a ​ harsh ​verdict. It will define him as a political
​American ​
exception to the general
​American ​
rule​. The fault, paraphrasing Shakespeare's "Julius Ceasar," dear Bannon, is not in the stars ​but in​ you​!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Al Franken -- Shoot to Kill

If you get a chance to listen to Al Franken's departing speech I recommend you do so. It was wonderful and touched on everything you might think he would. A tear fell from my eyes as he came to the end.

I still think it was a cave by Democrats to give in to Republican attempts to unseat one of the best and most powerful of progressives in the history of the Senate.  He as he said he was influenced by the great progressive Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone. 

Being the ardent Democrat I am I am never surprised at the lengths to which Republicans will go to lie to stop progressive policy from becoming law. In the end, though, besides Franken's first accuser whom I allege was a right wing plant and who broadcasts a right wing radio show there were others, it seems, who accused Al Franken. Only he knows the truth of the claims. If some were, in fact, true and I do not know that they were, he would himself have to be blamed for sewing the seeds of his own demise just as I thought Hillary did by not understanding what she knew that Republicans will go to Herculean lengths to bring down Democrats especially the Clintons and especially for the presidency. Hillary's insistence on using private email for government business to stop FOIA requests was foolhardy not just to her but to those of us who saw and worked hard for her as president.  How much better would she have been than Trump?

If persons who want to run to support progressive policy especially if they run for higher office they must now make damn well sure they do not bestow Republicans with a gift to foil Democratic attempts and never, most especially, send emails subject to possible subpoena or indictment later showing scurrilous content and/or profane images. This is the time in which we live.  We must be sure never to give the unprincipled opposition ammunition which they will use against us and shoot to kill!  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Is our nation dying?

This blogger says it all:   "Nunes, the Republicans, and Fox Republican Media are doing all they can to undercut Mueller, even trying to find justification to bring charges against agents investigating Trump and against folks on Mueller's team, including Mueller. The nation was founded on three "separate but equal" branches of government, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Republicans are so determined to not lose their president that they are willing to crush the legitimacy of the Judiciary branch to do it. If they do, this will be unprecedented, and a grave assault on our democratic form of government."

My Comment: Two agents on the Mueller team back in July communicated in a form they should not have. Mueller instantly fired them. But that is not enough for Republicans. They are blowing this up like a hot air balloon waiting for it to explode. Some Republicans not connected with the Intelligence Committee are taking or should I say stealing classified documents taking them into another room and combing them for bias against Republicans and Trump. Who allows one wily nily to take classified documents they should not have and walk into another room to examine them? What gives them the right to do that in a NON bipartisan fashion? Answer: They have no right. Fox News and Company are disparaging in hysterical form, the pinnacles on which this nation stands keeping the blaze of discord bright.

Another group of Republicans will be investigating Hillary's connection with uranium they say she authorized to be sent to Iran. This has been disproven.

Republicans with no Democratic votes passed a tax document full of errors which must be corrected. Healthcare has been demolished in the most secretive way and millions will lose coverage. Some even many will die. Senator Mark Warner ranking member of the Senate investigating Russian hacking of the 2016 election gave a riveting speech in the Senate warning Republicans and Trump not to touch Mueller, and impede the process of his investigation. He warned Trump not to fire Mueller, he said, "before it's too late." My question is before it's too late for what?

It feels like the Republic is on a civil war precipice of anarchy. Trump, empowered from his tax win, fires the flames of tweeting discord which could translate into electoral violence if Trump fires Mueller and/or Rosenstein both Republicans. When Senator Warner said resist the forces trying to fire Mueller "before it's too late" the most important question before us is: Does "before its too late" mean our nation is dying?


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Realityland -- mendacious merchants of mayhem and greed

We know Republicans and especially Trump lie and they lie all the time.  Here is the reality world analysis of the mammoth tax cut for the rich they just passed and not the fantasy land analysis that Donald Trump and his Republicans say it is. 

Trump and his merry men are selling this latest legislative horror as a tax cut for the middle class and called it the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017."  Unless you have been living on Pluto you know that is a lie.  It is most definitely not a tax cut for the middle class but It is a humongous tax cut for the 2% wealthiest and an ultimate tax increase for the middle class and the poor.  It most definitely will not, as trickle down economics never does, create jobs.  The tax cuts for the rich are for corporations where they have slashed the rate for them from 35% down to 21%.  This humongous cut for corporations along with other giveaways to the rich like the Estate Tax repeal and as the Washington Post said "talking about closing the loophole of "carried interest" isn’t the same as closing it" which they didn't.  This horrific tax bill will add 1.5 trillion dollars to the deficit.   Someone has to pay for it.  The question is who or what.

You may think Republicons hate deficits and, of course, they say they do.  Because they say they do when the deficit balloons 1.5 trillion dollars more because of the tax cut Republicans will try to say they must cut spending to fill the hole since deficits according to Republicanland are so bad.  Where do you think Republicans will want to go to fill the tax cut hole in the evil deficit they themselves exploded?  Will they cut the military source of our greatest spending?  No. They will never advocate for a trimming the military's budget since Republicans have never found a war they did not like to send our troops in which to die.  Wars cost money .... big money.

Naturally, Republicans will say the deficit they raised must be cut by trimming "entitlements."   I loathe that word "entitlements" because if you are receiving Social Security and Medicare you did not take a handout rather you paid for it when you worked.  No matter, Republicans will try to convince you that these must be cut or even eliminated in favor of block grants or whatever pro Wall Street Ayn Randian bs thing they can come up with in their life-long attempt at privatizing everything.  Why would they want to do that?  Simple answer Republicans do NOT let me repeat NOT care about you, your retirement or your health and as George Carlin said "at all, at all, at all."  "They are", he said "coming for it all and", he said, "they'll get it, they'll get all of it!"  Again Youtube George Carlin's "American Dream" to get in touch with perceptive Realityland.

I want those, who experienced in 2007 the Great Recession, to imagine if Social Security and Medicare were not available to you?  The answer is you would die and who would care?  Surely not Republicans.  They do not care a whit about you.  Now understand that following great economic booms like we are in now is often a bust in the form of a Great Recession or even if severe enough another Great Depression.  This takes time to happen and I think one should make no mistake that it will and it may even be worse than the 1929 Great Depression as Trump has seen fit to executive order all regulations out of everywhere with tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%.  What could possibly go wrong with a Wall Street unchained?

Do not be fooled by these mendacious merchants of mayhem and greed.  The tax cut for which they just voted is not for you it's for them, their family's inheritance, their buddies on Wall Street and the corporate donors that keep their cash coffers overflowing with pay for play cash so Congresspersons can stay in power.  They did it for their donors who demanded it or else.  Or else what?  Or else they pull their money from them.  Welcome to Citizen's United America an America that does not care about, as Jesus said, the least of these.  They do care about the richest of these though and you can take that reality to the bank!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Harassing the Harasser --The McCarthy Era at Work--Process Must Prevail

Al Franken solidified my opinion on the dozens upon dozens of men both here and around the world who are being accused of sexual harassment by dozens of female accusers. Those who know me understand I am an ardent feminist and yet ... and yet ... these massive accusations of sexual harassment are levied against men who fall from positions of high status and even ones who are not among the 2% richest fall as if they are feathers on a shelf that come down with one breeze.  I am a feminist because I love civil liberties and want them protected at all cost.

I examine our nation once an example of a modicum of judicial fairness devolve into a Rod Serling "Twilight Zone" episode, an Orwellian 1984 nightmare novel, a Hawthorne "The Scarlett Letter" shame and an Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" where fair play gives way to public hysteria that smothers the accused who has no right to a rational defense.   A man has the basic Constitutional right to face his accuser(s), be provided evidence of such accusations and compose a defense in front of an impartial jury before they melt into tears and resign their positions.  Even in the case of sexual harassment process must prevail.  Some process, as Mika Brezezinski on "Morning Joe" so correctly states, needs to be enacted to preserve the shred of this nation's civil libertarian due process rights that are left before the Trumpian train wreck will have killed all of them.

The horrific train crash near Seattle yesterday is a metaphor for our nation.  It has gone off the rails while the Constitution that has propped it up and protected it for over 240 years is coming down.
Much depends on what happens to the Abuser in Chief Trump who has been sued and quietly settled a complaint of egregious attack on a young girl.  The Billy Bush Access tape is evidence that mounts against the emoluments flouter Trump but Al Franken first accused by a right wing talk show host is not allowed to produce evidence of his innocence and be heard. Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is investigating the other egregious Constitutional abuses the flimflam artist president has allegedly committed.  When through, one will need a wheel barrel to carry the final report and/or indictments to read.  I suspect Muller will not be through with Trump at Christmas nor will he exonerate him hopefully ever.

Good and humane policy in our nation is being trampled and crushed by unfair tribal loyalties, division and human discord around the nation ignoring due process.  Our nation is spinning out of control and revisiting the McCarthy era.  Paraphrasing Joseph Welch confronting Joe McCarthy the accuser of Communists in every corner of government -- "At long last have you no shame?" At long last, Republicans who pass an egregious humongous tax bill that unfairly gives Trump and his billionaire cronies massive tax breaks and killing healthcare while eventually sticking the middle class with the bill and Democrats who indicted Senator Franken without benefit of hearing have you no shame either?  McCarthy is dead but his era is still at work.   Sad!

RESIST

Monday, December 18, 2017

Reckless

In response to Mr. Golden's December 15, 2017 opinion in the Metro West Daily News "Recognize Jerusalem as Capital of Israel" linked below I could not disagree with him more.  I have been an ardent supporter of Israel up until two things occurred: (1) Netanyahu visited the Republican congress and insulted president of the United States Barack Obama who did not invite him  (2) Trump, a sad excuse for a president, took it upon himself to overrule even his advisors to do the most utterly egregious thing he could - declare the capital of Israel Jerusalem.  It was the most insane piece of what passes for "foreign policy" this know nothing unfit-to-be president president could do.  Announcing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was reckless if not stupid.  Just how does one think the Palestinians will react to that?   Will they say alright we give up it's yours.  I suspect not.  Already two have been killed over this statement, many wounded and I am sure more will be even in other lands.  The intifada, once quiet, may now resume.  Jewish people may be murdered as well. The peace process no matter how difficult should be pursued.  It is the only way short of eternal war killing many.

Trump already has blood on his hands and will have more.  I cannot think of a more irresponsible, foolhardy, reprehensible and downright dangerous statement for Trump to make.  Then again it's Trump who did that not because he cares about Israel and certainly not Jews no matter how Jewish his window dressing orthodox son-in-law is.  He is playing to his puerile supporters to gain his stuck- in-cement base's support of 35%.  Trump cares nothing for anyone's life but his own.  Sad!


http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/opinion/20171215/golden-recognize-jerusalem-as-capital-of-israel

Saturday, December 16, 2017

My Facebook Friend says: It all boils down to this: by Robert Reich

Robert Reich is 100% absolutely correct. You should read and send this to all whom you know.  Get this message out to every American everywhere. It is truth, it is exactly correct and it is what George Carlin in his Youtube "American Dream" so presciently said. Google it. 

The con has been set by the greatest con man ever -- Donald Trump.  Shame on us for voting this habitual liar and Constitutional flouter as president.  We should all be embarrassed by a man who lies every time all the time.  The "tax cut" is one of the most horrific pieces of legislation in the history of this nation.  Ultimately it will, of course, kill people with the exception of the top 2% richest.  The distribution of wealth will go even more to the top 2% wealthiest and as much as Trump says it will be bad for him IT WON'T believe me.  Billionaires will make out like the bandits many are.  The middle class will in short order know they have been had properly had.  Read this and learn! 


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Friday, December 15, 2017

"The Dopamine Economy" by Umair Haque --an excellent read

My Comment: This is a fabulous article a friend sent me and right on the money so to speak linked below. The media and its incessant algorithms sweep over us like a tsunami. We must break away from it and I too try only to return. It's a vicious cycle, promoting crudity, coarsening of culture and a removal of the individual from well everything except his i phone, computer and himself. People's heads are buried in them because great minds have figured out the algorithms that turn us on (and out.) Will this truly be the death of America as we knew it or could its strength honed 250 years ago by genius men of their time survive it?  I don't know.  Here are some extrapolations from it.

Quotes to whet your appetite. 

So now we reward people, as if they were lab rats, with little tiny morsels of reward, whether they’re coupons, clickbait headlines, discounts, special offers, prizes, and so on, and somehow, they always come back for more. We don’t really know why — and so we don’t know what fire we’re really playing with, that we’re toying with the basics of human neurobiology itself, that every click’s effect is something like a heroin injection, dopamine triggering adrenalin surging through the system. This dopaminergic, which is to say, unidimensional approach to human potential, is a behaviourist approach to human potential, and it is a linear approach to human potential: the presumption is that through systematic rewards that trigger just one kind of experience, over and over again, fight-flight, adrenaline high, addictively, people can be trained to become…what, precisely? I’ll come back to that.

And yet the result even for us, the masters of this dopaminergic approach to human possibility is a vicious cycle. We have to offer ever more intense and more fleeting rewards than the next person. This is Amazon’s game, Facebook’s game, Tinder’s game, Instagram’s game more or less. Swipe. Don’t let it get away! There’s an endless universe of stuff out there, and you’d better click now, unless you want to wander lost in it forever. “You need your pretty little fix now, don't you?”, the algorithm whispers. You’ve heard it and I’ve heard it, and we’ve both responded desperately, too.

So what should we be doing? Giving people ways to express themselves. Not their “better selves” or their “true selves” or any of the rest of it. Just themselves. Aren’t we doing that? No. Are you kidding? We’ve created a performative game, in which true self expression is mocked, scorned, thwarted, and stifled. I’ll leave that topic for the future. Suffice it to say that algorithmic addiction is one the gravest new problems of now.
Read the article below:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Harassment How Judge Alex Kozinski Made Us all Victims and Accomplices by Dahlia Lithwick and My Comment

Dahlia Lithwick is a brilliant writer about the courts and analyzer of the law for Slate.  She has appeared many times on The Rachel Maddow Show and gives on point well spoken analysis of many legal and court issues.  The article linked below she wrote on the alleged harassment of Judge Alex Kozinski whom she first met when she was a clerk for the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  She discuses her response​, ​silence to it and indicts herself for remaining silent about it for so long.  Few of us, though, I believe, should judge the path other women have chosen to respond or not to the sexual harassment behavior of powerful men.

I am not a lawyer but worked in milieus of the very powerful who could fire me on a whim thereby cutting off my venue for survival forcing me to go on the hunt for another job not easily acquired. Sometimes when the opportunity presented itself I would argue in support of a workplace issue that favored my employer rather than incur its wrath by arguing for what I thought the morally right opposite position should be.

It happens whether about sexual harassment or something else that we are too fearful of the powerful who can determine almost literally whether we eat or starve even live or die. I was then sometimes, if you will, a self-admitted kisser upper because I simply never wanted, using the cliche, to rock the boat and threaten the wrath of the more powerful. Other times it was because it simply is not in my nature to do so. As a Jewish woman I believe some of it, too, is in my ethnic survivalist DNA. What will we take and how demeaning will it be to ensure we even live. I may be way out in left field with that analysis because we know sexual harassment crosses all ethic lines. For me, though, it is just one more explanation among many why we do what we do.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

More Moore?

There is no one on planet earth who would LOVE the teen predator Roy Moore to lose more than I would. I do, however, believe Roy Moore will win and sadly so.

What is happening to our nation under Trump is sickening and soon when they pass the middle class obliterating tax bill all those middle, working and lower class whites will realize what they did by voting Trump Republican.

Maybe someday the southern states which need government help the most and get it will realize they are stepping on their own toes by voting Republican.  Trump does not care one fig about them. He is in the presidency for the bucks and even one of his children said his father was not about loving them he was about making money.  When one realizes that all the news that is fit to print makes sense.

Alabama, I pray, I know futilely, should vote their economic and healthcare interest by turning from screaming red to a beautiful blue. Make the south great! 



RESIST

Growing up in Gaza in the Dark -- My Comment: Amen

Yes, I am a Jew who once gave Israel my entire support until most especially now with Trump doing the unthinkable making Jerusalem the capital of Israel knowing it would provoke violence around the world and ostracize this nation from humanity's hug once again. Of course, it has provoked violence most especially in Gaza but even in NYC where the transit bomber said that Trump's words on Jerusalem, in part, compelled him to strap a bomb around his body and attempt to blow the subway rail line up and innocents with it.

Horrific and though the event small I suspect it brought chills down the spines of those of us who lived through 9/11 and even ones who did not. Any bomb exploded in NYC does that to me. I paste the video link below entitled "Growing up in the Gaza Strip in the Dark" because I have reexamined the Palestinian plight which I have done periodically throughout the years but never more so then now. 

Listen to that story linked below and empathize with the conditions that provoke so many Gazans to violence when desperation reigns and the fatal Trumpian Injustice Disease spreads.

I wish, though wishes will not make it so, both sides would take a breath and come to compromise for a two state solution where each major religion shares a part of Jerusalem and two states one Palestinian and one Israeli, share it as its capital. What would the sound of the silence of peace feel like?  Nirvana defined in part by Webster's Dictionary as "place or state of oblivion to care or pain," .... to that I say Amen!

https://www.nbcnews.com/leftfield/video/growing-up-in-the-gaza-strip-in-the-dark-1114372163560