An Alternative to the Dark Ages News

I am a news junky.  I usually listen to it in the background whenever I can, like now.  But it is so depressing and the news media continues to normalize what the Trump Administration is doing that you just get depressed.  In the Press Conference this morning, the press corps ask how Donald Trump could believe what is provably false, that 3-5 million illegal immigrants cast votes for Hillary and the response was alternative facts.  Actually he said President Trump had data from 2008 that showed all this illegal voting.  Of course all of that has been debunked, but we moved right along to pretending the other things he is doing is rational and normal. Again legitimizing alternative facts.

So what to do?  My answer is my new background TV is the Science Channell.  First it is damn interesting, but that implies you are willing to be exposed to new concepts.  Second, here are the people who are my heroes, facing extremely difficult problems and solving them with science, innovation, and knowledge.  And most importantly, when things don’t work out, they don’t deny reality, and reinvent a new one, they go back and re-examine their assumptions. It is the best of human problem solving 101. Here is the antithesis of the Trump Administration.  Facts and reality do mean something and you cannot progress without them.

Now you can argue that the conservatives have a different perspective.  Okay, I buy that, but they don’t have different facts, and they can’t just reject data that says what they believe is not true. Alternate facts don’t exist, just lies. That is the world we live in right now so I am watching the Science Channel.  Almost all other news is insipid, except for Vice (HBO) and maybe PBS.  I wonder how the Republicans will figure out how to kill all this too?  It makes them very nervous that asking questions could throw their whole creation thing in the dumper.  Actually science already has, but they haven’t noticed. Then there is global warming.  My God, knowledge could destroy their whole world.

 

Our Theocracy of Economics and Religion

Here is one thing few people are writing about*, I guess because they think Trump is not really a religious man, many of the policies that will come out of the Trump administration will be based on a very narrow view of religion.  Not only did we get conservative economic ideology (also a religion**), but in many of the social policies, they will be heavily imbued with a religious belief.  I guess because the media is afraid to point out or criticize religion and its influence in our government, this is just ignored.  The idea is that we respect freedom of religion and attacking religious beliefs is really un-American.  But what do we do when they define Government and our policies, and those religious beliefs are a narrow conservative evangelical Christianity?

Think about Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education.  She wants to basically end public education and fund religious schools and charters that, “will continue to advance God’s kingdom.” Note that while it barely came up in the hearings, she has given generously to groups “funding Christian schools, evangelical missions, and conservative, free-market think tanks like the Acton Institute and the Mackinac Center that want to shrink the public sector in every sphere, including education.”  She has support groups who want to relax the boundary between religion and government. (Mother Jones). It’s all about getting our kids to be thinking right evangelical thoughts.

Think about the EPA nominee, Scott Pruitt.  He is another conservative Christian who “as a state senator,  proposed one of the most onerous anti-abortion laws in the country, and as attorney general, he helped lead the opposition to the recent Department of Education guidelines on transgender students using gender-appropriate bathrooms.”  As the Daily Beast implied, he comes from the evangelical groups that believe, “Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.” In other words, What Me Worry.  Science is rubbish.

Think about the Vice-President, Mike Pence whose policies on abortion and gays is driven by his evangelical Christian views.  Then there is Ben Carson, and like Pence, a creationist, or Rick Perry who has been quoted as saying evolutionists are “out there”.  A more in-depth look at this comes from Israel’s Haaretz.com and I suggest you read it.  Basically we are seeing an evangelical religious government being put in place.  But what of the  inclusion of so many Goldman Sachs alumni former generals and billionaires?

There is no contradiction here.  The folks that come from conservative economic ideas have the same zeal as religious fanatics and approach other points of view with the same closed mind and sense of heresy.  The market place is God, deciding winners and losers. the winners are the anointed people, and government intervention is heresy.  Wealth flowing to the wealthy is a result of this system and is a system of right, wrong, punishment, and reward determined by their God, the market place which fits very nicely with evangelical Christian belief.  If many suffer under this system, it is okay because they deserve it, just as those who don’t believe as the evangelical Christians believe, are doomed to hell.  We are now living in a Theocracy of Economics and Religion.

So when you see the first policies coming out of the Trump administration, things like moving the embassy to Jerusalem, moving quickly on defunding Planned Parenthood, another round of attacks on gay rights, an attack on climate change, even defunding the Endowment to the Arts, it makes perfect religious sense.  Wait till we see what Betsy DeVos does in the Education Department.  It is about taking narrow evangelical Christian beliefs and forcing them on the rest of us (the Endowment to the Arts attack is because the arts challenges us to think about who we are as opposed to accepting scripture).

The Economic theology will come quickly enough as the attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and of course using that money to fund tax cuts. Only the right people are rewarded. We are about to become a total Theology which has combined conservative economic ideology with evangelical religious beliefs.

The Constitution is clear about religion and government, but this flock sees no problem with using their religion to define the world and use government to inflict it on the rest of us.  Rational debate need not apply.  And that is what is happening.  What will save us is that reality will run head long into ideology and finally something will have to give.  But in the interim a lot of us are going to suffer and there could be violence and unrest as these failed ideas are put into policies around the world.  We are entering a new Dark Age.

*I found the best coverage of this from all places, Israel in Haaretz.com which is an Israeli publication.  I thank them for their work.

**I use the term religion to mean a set of beliefs not subject to rational debate, but accepted on faith.  Not all religions are like this, but in this context, that is exactly what is going on.

TPP, Normalization, and Other Topics

I turned on the TV this morning as I do my crunches and other exercises to distract myself from the fun on the floor.  I watched MSNBC, while pointing out the lying from the White House, let Republican apologists come in and spin it as learning curve and try to normalize what they did.  Here is where the Press Corps still has not learned their lesson.  They still think they can allow alternate points of view to be broadcast when you have the facts to say, no that is a lie.  Somehow most of them cannot bring themselves to call out a lie, afraid to be either rude, or not fair and balanced.  And when they do the other side uses rudeness as Kellyanne did on Sunday, to outshout them.  Until our media learns to turn them off when they take over the microphone, they win.

Okay, TPP.  Trump signed an executive order today to withdraw from the negotiations.  Yeah team. Not so fast.  TPP served two purposes, one, the obvious, was a trading agreement.  The other was really a treaty agreement that binded Pacific Rim countries together in a trading block to ward off the Chinese.  So China will fill the void.  Now some Democrats are celebrating, but they should not have been.  The TPP as it was negotiated in secret by the Obama Administration and mostly by industry representatives, was certainly flawed, and on my scale of good or bad, it protected too much wealth transfer to the rich.  But it also had important environmental and worker protections in it.  So what needed to happen was to renegotiate it to make sure that all of us benefited, not just corporations.  Just as an aside, the “Fast Track” vote was a gross mistake and in the end, failed also.

Instead, it is gone, and that will leave the U.S. To negotiate with individual countries.  Two problems.  First do you really think with the line up of Wall Street in the Cabinet, it is going to be negotiated to protect the environment or workers rights?  Second, as countries negotiate their own deals with China, our influence in the region wains.  In the same way, Trump signed an executive order to start negotiations on NAFTA.  Again, do you really think the boys and so far no girls in the Cabinet are going to do anything but increase profits for themselves?  Be careful what you wish for.  The world is not that simple.

There are going to be more and more things to write about, and I think they will overcome us.  I think the best I can do is try to pick out the really big ones and try to write about them.  This weekend’s lying from both the President and the White House, followed by Kellyanne’s alternate facts is extremely important.  Once we no longer trust government to tell us the truth, our institutions are all are risk.  That is exactly what this was all about, a fight over who defines reality.  It is time for our media to step up and so far they have failed to do that.  If they don’t, there is little hope that the lies will not become reality to Trump supporters.  And our government no longer looks like anything we recognize.  The real problem is that when reality hits this Administration in the nose, it could be violent.  Our media needs to step up and do its job to prevent riot in the streets.

Oh, and one think I forgot.  I guess you saw McCain, Graham, and boy wonder, Marco Rubio, caved on Tillerson.  There are no values anymore, just ways to ensure you stay in power.

Orwellian Future

The pomp and circumstance of the inauguration is now over.  We have now seen the whites of the Republicans eyes and we know where we are going.  Trump goes to the CIA and blatantly lies to them, packs the crowd his lackeys to laugh and cheer at the right places, and then does a tantrum on the numbers at inauguration.  The White House Press Secretary then calls a press conference and again blatantly lies trying to create an alternate reality. Then Kellyanne comes out with “alternate facts” which are simply lies and we now have double speak.  White is black, and black is white.  Then she throws a tantrum and threatens to end the interview with uncooperating news organizations. And that is the way this thing is going to go.

They, to use the language of the conservative fear mongers, are coming for our health care, Social Security, and Medicare.  The difference here is that they really are as they are real proposals to destroy all of them.  If you think getting rid of Obamacare is not going to throw the whole insurance market into chaos you are smoking something.  While people who really need Social Security are living shorter lives, the Republicans want to extend your age before you receive it and give it to Wall Street.  Medicare as block grants is going to bankrupt states and result in less coverage, not more.  Oh, and we can afford all of this if we don’t give massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

Women can kiss their reproductive rights goodbye.  The Republicans are actively looking for a candidate who thinks Roe versus Wade was an abomination.  This is actually what one candidate on Trump’s list said.  And you can be sure an attack on gays and lesbians is next.  All those people who overlooked this part of him for change are about to be woken up.  Birth control will be next.  I am sure they are coming after the Dreamers and will try to institute a Muslim list.  Many of us will probably have to do what abolitionists and the Hitler resistance did, provide safe havens for those persecuted.  Sound far fetched?  I don’t think so.  The only thing slowing them down is their incompetence at governing.  The efficiency of running government like a “business” has failed to show us anything yet, as the have been almost totally incompetent at filling critical positions.

And it is just going to get worse.  The Woman’s March, which is not getting the media attention it deserves is just the beginning. Just as an aside, the media missed the real unifying theme in the march, it was kindness, empathy, and tolerance.  And of course, we will protect those that the Trump Administration and the Republicans try to prey on.  I think it was a sign that America is waking up with a hell of a hangover as the reality sets in.  That does not mean I forgive those who voted for Trump or a third party opening up a path for Trump.  I finally read an op-ed on Sunday that caught my thoughts here by Kevin Baker, The America We Lost When Trump Won.  Here are some exerts that perfectly captures my feelings:

Nothing is settled anymore in America, and it appears that so many of the gains we have fought so hard to win over the years are about to be rolled back by our new president and the party that has so cravenly backed him, even when it knows better…I have listened to all the blame foisted on the Clinton campaign for doing this or that wrong, or the media for not exposing Mr. Trump, or for giving him too much airtime. I don’t buy it. Hillary Clinton’s campaign wasn’t that bad, and Mr. Trump was exposed enough for any thinking adult to see exactly what he is.

…From assorted commentators I have heard that it is unfair or condescending to say that all Trump voters were racists, or sexists, or that they hated foreigners. All right. But if they were not, they were willing to accept an awful lot of racism and sexism and xenophobia in the deal they made with their champion, and demanded precious few particulars in return…I know that Mr. Trump was elected, in part, because too many people were still hurting in this economy, from the terrible disruptions of their lives and their communities over the last 25 years.

…Yet that is no excuse for what we did last November…Even in the Great Depression they did not succumb to the ideologies of Fascism and Communism sweeping the world. When the system seemed broken in the past, when the elites and the major parties seemed irretrievably corrupt and deaf to their appeals, their response was to build true democratic movements from the ground up, and to push them on to victory even if that took decades.

…Today’s passive, unhappy Americans sat on their couches and chose a strutting TV clown to save us.

…What they have done is a desecration, a foolish and vindictive act of vandalism, by which they betrayed all the best and most valiant labors of our ancestors. We don’t want to accept this, because we cannot accept that the people, at least in the long run of things, can be wrong in our American democracy. But they can be wrong, just like any people, anywhere. And until we do accept this abject failure of both our system and ourselves, there is no hope for our redemption.

He captured my sentiments exactly.  Like all crises in our lives, nothing changes until we look into the mirror and understand that we have hit rock bottom.  With Donald Trump and the Republicans, we have hit rock bottom.  Now we have to look in our own soul to root out the evil before we can throw them out of office.  The Women’s March last weekend was a sign that we do have that strength.  Kellyanne and company will continue with the double speak to tell us white is black and black is white.  The real question is are we going to rise up and do something about it.  I think so. Women in America have given me hope.  I guess now it is time for the rest of us to get off our couches.

Kellyanne and Alternate Facts

No, she really said that this morning on Meet the Press and to Chuck Todd’s credit he interrupted her (I did not think that was possible) to clarify that alternate facts are lies.  This was all in response to Chuck’s question about why the White House decided to mostly lie in their first Press Conference, where they took no questions, lied about the crowd size with easily refutable facts (facts? Whose facts?).  So our fears of what this administration is going to be about has been confirmed in the first 24 hours.  It is about an autocratic state where Donald Trump will decide what the truth is.  George Orwell’s 1984 has finally arrived in 2017.

Clearly they intend to control all information. Say goodbye to data on global warming. The Government produces all kinds for data for both business, science, and politics.  Both sides use it.  So what happens when only information supporting his fantasy reality is allowed to reach the public?  Far fetched?  Over reacting?  We just saw it in action on a trivial and obviously provable event.  All the data released by the White House has been countered by the actual data collected.  Clearly they were trying to create an alternate reality to satisfy Donald Trump’s ego.  This is not just scary, this is the road to autocracy.

The one person who has been waving the flag with what is happening, Masha Gessen, has given us good advice about the way forward.  She did this in a New York Review of Books article the day after the election.  First she pointed out the nonsense in both Clinton and Obama’s statements about the peaceful transfer of power seeming to rule out protests (the implied equivalency between civil resistance and insurgency).  She also gave voice to the false proposition that we should give him a chance to govern:

“We owe him an open mind.” It was as though Donald Trump had not, in the course of his campaign, promised to deport US citizens, promised to create a system of surveillance targeted specifically at Muslim Americans, promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico, advocated war crimes, endorsed torture, and repeatedly threatened to jail Hillary Clinton herself. It was as though those statements and many more could be written off as so much campaign hyperbole and now that the campaign was over, Trump would be eager to become a regular, rule-abiding politician of the pre-Trump era.

She is waking us up to the reality of the autocratic take over of Donald Trump and the enabling of him by the media, Republicans, and even Democrats who normalize him.  So she gave us a way forward from her days fighting tyranny in Putin’s Russia until she was forced to leave.  And as you read these think about how the media except for few exceptions still tries to normalize him, report his lies as “alternate facts” or can’t quite bring themselves to call alternate facts lies.

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. Back in the 1930s, The New York Times assured its readers that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was all posture….He [Trump]  has no political establishment into which to fold himself following the campaign, and therefore no reason to shed his campaign rhetoric. On the contrary: it is now the establishment that is rushing to accommodate him—from the president, who met with him at the White House on Thursday, to the leaders of the Republican Party, who are discarding their long-held scruples to embrace his radical positions. [Remember what he said he would do.  It was not campaign rhetoric.  See quote above]

Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality. Consider the financial markets this week, which, having tanked overnight, rebounded following the Clinton and Obama speeches. Confronted with political volatility, the markets become suckers for calming rhetoric from authority figures. So do people. Panic can be neutralized by falsely reassuring words about how the world as we know it has not ended. It is a fact that the world did not end on November 8 nor at any previous time in history. Yet history has seen many catastrophes, and most of them unfolded over time. [We have listened and listened to pundits talk about Trump pivoting and taking his one nice statement about Hillary at the inauguration luncheon as he is normal]

Rule #3: Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed. The capture of institutions in Turkey has been carried out even faster, by a man once celebrated as the democrat to lead Turkey into the EU. Poland has in less than a year undone half of a quarter century’s accomplishments in building a constitutional democracy…The national press is likely to be among the first institutional victims of Trumpism. There is no law that requires the presidential administration to hold daily briefings, none that guarantees media access to the White House. Many journalists may soon face a dilemma long familiar to those of us who have worked under autocracies: fall in line or forfeit access. There is no good solution (even if there is a right answer), for journalism is difficult and sometimes impossible without access to information. [The media right now is still unable to understand what is going on.  They covered a church service yesterday focusing on Trump when on of the biggest resistance movements was protesting around the world.]

Rule #4: Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself. [Kellyanne today telling Chuck Todd not to over react]

Rule #5: Don’t make compromises. Like Ted Cruz, who made the journey from calling Trump “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” to endorsing him in late September to praising his win as an “amazing victory for the American worker,” Republican politicians have fallen into line. Conservative pundits who broke ranks during the campaign will return to the fold. Democrats in Congress will begin to make the case for cooperation, for the sake of getting anything done—or at least, they will say, minimizing the damage. Nongovernmental organizations, many of which are reeling at the moment, faced with a transition period in which there is no opening for their input, will grasp at chances to work with the new administration. This will be fruitless—damage cannot be minimized, much less reversed, when mobilization is the goal—but worse, it will be soul-destroying. In an autocracy, politics as the art of the possible is in fact utterly amoral. Those who argue for cooperation will make the case, much as President Obama did in his speech, that cooperation is essential for the future. They will be willfully ignoring the corrupting touch of autocracy, from which the future must be protected. [Democrats are already talking about when they can work with him, maybe on infrastructure.  But the devil will be in the details where most of it will be for privatizing government and tax cuts to the wealthy to build toll roads.  Republicans are already rolling over for Rex Tillerson (McCain and Graham)]

Rule #6: Remember the future. Nothing lasts forever. Donald Trump certainly will not, and Trumpism, to the extent that it is centered on Trump’s persona, will not either. Failure to imagine the future may have lost the Democrats this election. They offered no vision of the future to counterbalance Trump’s all-too-familiar white-populist vision of an imaginary past. They had also long ignored the strange and outdated institutions of American democracy that call out for reform—like the electoral college, which has now cost the Democratic Party two elections in which Republicans won with the minority of the popular vote. That should not be normal. But resistance—stubborn, uncompromising, outraged—should be.

As I tried to indicate above, we are already violating these rules, and we are seeing blatant examples of how autocracy is being implemented in day one of Trumps administration.  And the rubes who voted for him also gave him both houses of Congress and we have seen how they become toadies to power.  Masha has given us a way forward.  Hopefully out press will join the fight.  So far only a few.  The sooner we quit normalizing this and understand we have a very unstable autocrat in power, the sooner we start to turn things around.  Women did that yesterday, but let me give an example of how far we have to go.

I published some pictures of she who must not be mention here in Sacramento’s march.  One of the conservatives up here I live commented that if Hillary had been elected, there would be similar crowds protesting.  I don’t think she has a clue about who she probably helped elect, and what that protest yesterday was about.  It wasn’t just about Donald Trump, it was about tolerance, empathy, and kindness.  Yeah I can see Trump supporters out in the cold and rain fighting for tolerance, empathy, and kindness.  It is just sad how clueless they are.

Some Last Thoughts From the Day that Saved Me

I don’t think I have laughed so hard or felt so uplifted since the election of Trump.  What a wonderful day where w0men of the world showed all of us the best of all of us.  They were out there for many different reasons, but most importantly to stand up for the rights of all people.  And you did not see one rock thrown or car overturned.  What you saw was spontaneous joy in feeling the power from each other to push back.  Oh, and I saw so many strong, intelligent, and powerful women speak eloquently about the issues.  We are in good hands.  Take over the world gals.

On the other side of the coin was the Donald and his administration showing us what we are going to be up against, lies and propaganda.  The President went to the CIA, then stood in front of the Wall of Stars and told the CIA how much he valued them and then took the opportunity in that hallowed place to turn into a seven-year-old and accuse the press of misrepresenting the numbers at his inauguration.  Some respect.  But it gets better.  The new spokesperson for the President announced a press conference and after much delay comes out and presents totally bogus numbers about the attendance.  Then refused to take any questions. Hint: The women’s march did not happen.

Now that is a wake up call for those who still haven’t it figured out yet.  His administration is about inventing facts to support what Donald Trump believes.  So if you respect intelligence work so much are you going to put them in quotations again when they present you with facts you don’t want to believe.  Of course he is. He will try to intimidate them into inventing intelligence to support his views.  See Dick Cheney.  That is why he is such a dangerous man.  

So the day reassured me that most of the rest of the world gets it, there are millions who will fight Trump, the world is full of smart agressive women who can lead us, and I got Donald Trump totally right about how he needs to reinvent reality to meet his fantasy world.  The press has it’s work cut out for them.  But the good news is they were all over his first attack on them about the inauguration numbers.  They did their fact checking.  So here we go.

Something Really Stupid Today

Or why our media is so insipid.  Thomas Roberts of MSNBC was trying to balance the rhetoric, I guess, and said the following:

Hallie, I can ramp up to the comments of John Spicer (about to speak from the White House), a lot of folks probably watching this coverage (March) and seeing so many people coming out in major cities and mid market cities around this country to be a part of the women’s march were probably saying, well hold up.  We got to give this administration a chance. They have only been in office, this is their first full day and they don’t even have their Cabinet in place (whose fault is that?).  Donald Trump making that remark in the briefing at the CIA before the stars of those who have been lost about the little political games about Mike Pompeo that is the Kansas Congressman that he wants to be the new CIA Director that made it through procedural Senate confirmation hearings  to get confirmation and then got held up and it seems we are going to go through a little administration obstructionism from the left to try to prove a point about how they can work together.

WTF!  First, we need to give them more rope?  What did Trump campaign on?  Taking away the rights of Dreamers, Muslims, women, and just about every minority.  He told us what he was going to do. He also admitted to sexual assault of women and objectified his own daughter as a sex symbol.  That is what he show us he would do.   He and his cohorts have promised to defund Planned Parenthood.  Now we need to wait to see him do it as President?  Again, WTF!  Oh, and looking at the people he is putting in his Cabinet from Jeff Sessions to Betty De Vos, we should wait again until they actually take away our rights?  This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard and nobody rebutted him.

Oh, and on part two about obstructionism from the left, where was this moron when the Republicans obstructed almost every Obama appointee and let’s not forget Merrick Garland.  In some cases after eight years many of his appointments never got a hearing.  So the Democrats want a little advise and consent instead of rushing these people into place before they take away our rights.  WTF! You wonder how we got Donald Trump and it is because we have correspondents (or maybe that is too kind) like Thomas that says something so outrageously stupid trying to be fair and balanced when there is no balance.

We had one of the biggest protest march in our history today where women reminded us to be strong.  They turned the page today. Meanwhile the nitwit Brian Williams, who got fired from NBC and now being rejuvenated for lying about his war experiences, has a problem with some of the profanity and is focused on that instead of the message or the immensity of the March. Did pussy grabbing offend you?  So Brian, in the words of Madonna, Fuck you. It is how most of us speak these days and shows the emotion in the country. Get over it.  Sometimes we need to be real.  Your network helped to bring us the abomination of Donald Trump and you are offended by a little profanity from people who expressing their feelings honestly?  Go look in the mirror you Fucktard. Yeah, I am worked up.

 

Women’s March!

My spirits are already lifted.  Watch it on CSPAN as you get the uncensored version.  Ashley Judd may have given a classic speech that made me laugh and hopeful that maybe women can save us.  Read the signs and the T-Shirts.  I want the one that says “No es mi Presidente” or the one that says “Grow a Vagina”.  What an antidote to yesterday.  Watch it and get psyched.  She who must not be mentioned here is marching in Sacramento as we speak.  What a wonderful moment.

Why are We Watching a Church Service Right Now?

The media, instead of covering some of the things the Donald is doing to us, is covering a church service while the Donald sits there with his pouty mouth.  What does that have to do with anything?  Okay, I admit it, I am wrong.  Religion has a lot to do with the Donald and the Right’s agenda.  As one commentator said yesterday, the Donald had surround himself with religious leaders that were telling him God selected him for this job.  Nope.  The rubes in middle America.  But religion has everything to do with conservatism.  It allows them to assume their policies are what God wants and they don’t have to question themselves.  As the Nazis believed they were the superior race and that superiority allowed them to commit horrible atrocities, so too does religion assign superiority and history is replete with examples of atrocities done in the name of God.

And of course there is no God just man’s foolish need for superstition to anoint him special.  If you don’t believe that ask how if there was a fair and just all powerful supreme being, why we have Donald Trump.  There are a lot more elegant arguments to refute religion, but that may be the most salient one.  Oh, play that funky organ white man, play that funky organ white man.

The Morning After

I cannot describe the feeling of loss I feel this morning.  It is almost as though one were grieving and in many ways I guess I am. American, at least official America, is a reflection of the rubes who elected Donald Trump, and it truly sad that we have now dumbed down the Presidency.  I watched some interviews with Trump supporters and they really are rubes.  They come from middle America and really are simple, “nice” folk, oblivious to what they don’t know or understand or the danger they have put this country in.  One told a reporter how happy she was to finally have a business man in charge.  We will see how long that lasts.  It always amazes me why people confuse success with the profit motive for a single enterprise with running a government for the benefit of all.

I guess I could run through all the contradictions and warnings we saw in Trumps speech or the white Aryan nation look of the crowd, but it was out there for all to behold if they were looking.  Probably what is more important is to see what he did in his first few hours.  I say he, but I am not sure the Donald really is in charge and is just signing papers others put in front of him.  If he were a detail man, he would know the error of his ways.  It is always in the details.  But let’s look at what I know he did yesterday:

  • First up, he signed an executive order ordering that minimizes the economic burden of Obamacare.  Rubes are ecstatic, and we are not sure what that actually means, but I can tell you what it means.  It means the individual mandate is dead and that is the very heart of the funding for the whole thing.  If we all don’t have to contribute and share costs across all those in the pool, the prices go out of sight for the rest of the members.  It will throw the whole system into economic chaos with rapidly rising prices, or insurers dropping out of the pool.  Then they will say, see, Obamacare failed just like we said it would.  Sadly the rubes have no idea how Obamacare controlled costs or increased their benefits, but sure as hell they have driven a stake into it.
  • Second up, they ordered the Justice Department to file papers delaying the hearing on the suit in Texas on voter suppression.  The courts had already ruled this law in Texas was not even a thinly disguised attempt to limit minority voters, but one very conservative judge had sent it back to the original judge who had lambasted it as a gross abuse of voter access to reconsider whether there was intent or that was just the effect.  Here is what is really going on:  They are ending the Justice Department enforcement of voting access.  If you can’t win the popular vote, continue to limit who can vote. I wonder if the rubes will ever consider that someday, if they wake up to Trump and start to oppose him, their voting rights are also at risk?
  • Third up was the continued dumbing down of America through the blocking of information.  The LGBT, climate change, health care, and civil liberties pages disappeared from the website of the brand new Trump White House.  I think you know where this is going. But hey who believes in global warming, gay rights, civil liberties, or needs healthcare?  That is only for the losers who are disenfranchise from the white, religious ideologues we just put in office.  Rubes just might get this when their health insurance skyrockets or their civil liberties are trampled upon.  Then again, maybe not.
  • Then there is the raising of the FHA mortgage insurance premiums.  “The FHA backs loans for millions of homeowners, offering more lenient credit requirements and allowing down payments as low as 3.5%. But borrowers are required to pay insurance premiums to help protect lenders in the event of a default.”  They are in the process of raising that, pushing out lower income people from purchasing a home or if they have one, putting more of a financial burden on them.  Some of the rubes in middle America might just get this one.

Where do I think this is going?  I hate to say this but I see mass civil disobedience and riots.  As people lose their rights they will take to the streets.  Will civil servants say in the Justice Department and NASA follow what they see as illegal orders or suppressing science?  Will minority and poor Americans stand by while their voting rights are taken away.  Will those who lose their healthcare and maybe watch love ones die without proper care stand by?  I don’t think so.

You know it is funny in a sad ironic way.  The Rubes bought into the language that the country was ripped apart by Obama, was not functioning properly, and violence was everywhere.  Now they are most responsible for electing the guy who will in fact make that a true prophecy.  It was not true before, but here it comes.  I know this is selfish, but I am so glad I live in California where we won’t tolerate the taking of voting rights away from anyone.  We won’t tolerate the disenfranchisement of people for their sexual preference, color, or religion.  We will protect our public schools and we will protect our immigrant population.  But the rest of the country is in for a large wakeup call.  The rubes won the day yesterday.  Today that reality of what they legitimized will start to sink in.  Just wait to all those Wall Street moguls bring back your jobs (done by machines). Fasten your seat belt.