Posts tagged ‘revolution’

Playing with Real Fire

No, not the child in the Bronx that burned down his building, the Republicans.  But the result could be the same, with damage, destruction, and death all around. With the further release of data showing the President obstructed justice by trying to use the Justice Department as a shield to any investigations, in this case little Jeffey Sessions, the letters from Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham to investigate the author of the famous dossier on Trump and Russia (A British citizen who will never be investigated, nor is there any basis for the investigation), new investigations into Hillary and the Clinton Foundation that nobody cares about and has been investigated to the ninth degree, and Congressman Nunes attempts to gain access (apparently successful) to Mueller investigations to try to thwart it, it is quite apparent that Republicans are now fully engaged is trying to thwart finding the truth.

Right now President DFF is having a meeting with senior staff and his Cabinet at Camp David and guess who did not get an invitation?  Little Jeffey Sessions.  Fire him and put some in place who can seriously damage the Mueller investigation or fire Mueller?  As the NYT opined this morning:

All of these specifics make sense within the constructed world of the Trump presidency. But we shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees. Trump’s view of his power and the power of the Department of Justice he leads is that this power can justifiably be leveled against his political opponents. This is in part because Trump fails to understand that the allegations he’s embracing are often specious (a diet heavy in Sean Hannity will do that to you). But it’s also in part because Trump came to office with the idea that he would wield influence at the White House as he did at Trump Tower: by fiat and without question.

It was expected that the delicate-if-uneven balance of power in Washington would help guide and temper Trump’s inclinations to target his political detractors, and it has, for the most part. This week, though, we saw a number of ways in which that balance is testing — and wavering.

Said in another way, are the institutions that we believe in finally being totally corrupted by the Republicans to serve political ends that undermine our faith and adherence to out government and the rule of law?  As one reader commented, “…after a year of sustained assaults, federal law enforcement is crumbling as an independent institution and is morphing into more of an authoritarian model, in which the FBI pursues the political enemies of the ruling party.”  I think we have entered various dangerous times.  If this perception becomes widespread, and remember the majority of our nation neither voted for or supports this President, what happens to the rule of law?

Trump and the Republicans are making an assault on states with the tax bill which penalizes those who voted against him, his ruling to ignore states’ ban on off shore drilling (this has even angered some Republicans), his attack on the legalization of marijuana, and his disregard for global warming. The Republicans have now joined in, afraid their hold on power is slipping.  The very people who are supposed to be the firewall against this kind of tyranny are aiding and abetting it.  Are we now lighting the fuse for mass demonstrations and violence? The Republicans are laying the ground work for violent protests and revolution.

My own feelings are one of extreme anger and I am an old may with not a lot of time left on this planet.  I cannot imagine what young people are feeling when they see the ignorant of our political spectrum take over and destroy this country.  Democracy depends on institutions that are insulated from the political whims of politicians, and seek justice and fairness, not political gain. When that is lost, and make no mistake, the Republicans and Right Wing media are doing their best to destroy it, revolution will result.  Who could have thought this could happen in America?  And no, both sides don’t do it, Republicans are in charge.

One reader of the article cited above said this: “We are in uncharted territory, in which the greatest national security threat we face is the President of the United States.” I would add, and what makes this now so dangerous, the greatest national security threat we face is the President of the United States and the Republican Party.  If you have not figured it out, the days of working together died in 2008.  They have been at war with us since.  It is time to return the favor.

This Crazy Progressive

Crazy, it would seem, depends on your perspective.  While I, and much America, see the Freedom Party as crazy, from their perspective, they believe they are quite rational.  It just depends on whose facts are actually facts.  Yesterday there was the endless coverage of what happened at the debates and I heard to interesting comments.  The first from Chris Mathews who characterized Bernie Sanders as a radical left wing revolutionary.  The second from a CNN host (whose name escapes me) who comment about Bernie’s plan to pay for college, “That will never happen.”.  Crazy and what is possible depends upon the reality you perceive.

So here is the reality I perceive.  In earlier blogs I have indicated that there are really only two real issues, economic inequality and global warming.  All the other  issues, even foreign affairs are subsets.  I have rethought that and I have come to the conclusion that there is really only one issue, economic inequality.  Even global warming is a subset of that.  The reasoning is fairly straight forward.  Economic inequality puts all the money, and the power it can buy, in the hands of a few.  And that few wants to maintain the status quo.  See Exon’s program to deny global warming in the same way the tobacco companies denied the cancer caused by their products.

Change, moving from one energy source to another, to making college free, changes who the winners and losers are in our economy.  Conservatives love to point out the jobs lost, but not the jobs gained.  The status quo is their mantra. So if you believe that economic inequality is what empowers this bunch and makes our democracy an oligarchy, then you wonder what is the best way to redress that problem.  And given the power of the present system, how do make those changes?

It is refreshing to see that most of the Democratic candidates for President understand this problem.  But their understanding lies on a spectrum from tinkering with the existing system, to a complete overhaul of how the spoils of our economy get shared.  I am with Bernie Sanders and the Joseph Stiglitz in systemic changes to way we do business and I have written before about my justification for this.  But whether you agree with me or a more gentle approach of Hillary, the question is what and how do we get it through Congress?  Just hold hands and we will all agree?

That is where Bernie is speaking truth to power and everyone else still thinks you can just tinker with the system.  Bernie calls for a revolution in new voters who understand these issues and hold Congress liable.  So the big question is how do you mobilize those voters.  And here is why I side with Bernie, although Hillary will probably be the candidate, because Bernie is trying to mobilize an energized progressive base around these issues.  He promises real change.  Hillary promises safe change, but that won’t get the voters who need to change Congress out.

So what may sound crazy today, may just be obvious tomorrow.  I guess what I am trying to say is first and foremost, Bernie is right about we have to get Congress on board to make even minimal changes.  What I am trying to express is what a Black Lives Matter activist said in response to a question about whether Democrats take them for granted.  He simply said they better not.  They won’t vote for a Republican, but turn out could be a real problem for Democrats if they do not have real programs to take on systemic racism.  Unless the agenda and the base that Bernie has mobilized is adopted by whoever the nominee is, they find also find turn out an issue with no mandate to move the country, and a Congress looking like it does today.

So what sounds radical to mainstream Democrats like Chris Mathews and a certain CNN host who is probably a moderate Republican, may be the only way to bring about change and make America a better place for all of us.

More on Conservatives Inciting Violence

Yesterday I tried to make the point that conservative Republican policies exacerbate the very circumstance that give rise to terrorism and violence.  Those are:

  • Increasing economic inequality (and blaming the poor for their predicament)
    • Against a living minimum wage
    • Against equal pay for women
    • Against a healthcare system for all
    • Against extending unemployment insurance
    • Against any investment by government to create jobs
    • Against women’s right to choose and limiting their health and economic choices
    • For Lower taxes for the rich paid for by the middle class and poor
    • For gutting regulations that protect workers including unions
    • For gutting programs that help the poor and level the economic playing field
  • Disenfranchising the voters at the polls giving rise to feelings of powerlessness
  • Passing laws to expand gun access, stand and defend, and harsh punishment that is demonstratively applied unfairly increasing the sense of inequality across the nation

But that in and of itself would not have the poor and middle class rise up against them in terms of violence and revolution as long as they believe elections can be fair. No, the real violence is going to come from their own base.  The Republicans really represent the only the wealthy.  But here is where the real evil lies.  

They need their base to keep them in power and need to keep them fooled on who they really represent.  Remember, this is the base who screamed keep your government hands off my Medicare.  So while they continue the policies listed above that really hurt this base and make them feel threatened (economically), they feed them a continuing stream of propaganda and conspiracy theories to secure their support to include:

  • Government is the problem (All government is bad)
  • Guns secure your freedom from an out of control government (An armed nation)
  • “Others” (non-whites) are taking over the government (and surveys show they will) (racism)
  • Supporting the wealthy by lower taxes and destroying unions creates more jobs (Flow down and job creators, both proven false)
  • Democrats are trying to give away their hard-earned money to slackers (Them against us))
  • Continuous propaganda and conspiracy theories that government is behind an evil usurption of power (All government is bad)
  • The poor are takers and deserve their fate (Them against us)
  • Immigrants steal your jobs (xenophobia, racism, and us against them)
  • President Obama is evil and violating the Constitution (racism and all government is bad)
  • Americans need to take back their government (Anarchy is freedom)

All of the above has been proven untrue (except whites will soon be a minority), but their base is buying it.  We saw that in Nevada over the weekend as we saw the Frankenstein they are creating raising its ugly head, armed to the teeth.  This is where the real violence is going to come from.  Along with their failing economic policies, the lies and misconceptions the conservatives are creating are sowing the seeds of violence.

The real problem in this country are the militias being created to “protect their rights” who have been fed and believe a continuous stream of lies and propaganda based on conspiracy theories and hate the government from conservatives.  The conservatives have created this monster to vote for them and keep them in power even though their policies weaken them economically.  When the violence comes, and it will because of all the bulleted items above, they will wonder what happened and deny their responsibility.  But we know where that responsibility lies and we should hold them all accountable.  Most should never hold office again.  Their definition of patriotism is in reality, sedition.  I wonder how long before we have another Oklahoma City?

Are Republicans Setting Us Up for Terrorism and Possibly Violent Revolution?

If you look back at history, you see that most violent uprising are caused by a combination of these factors:

  • Severe Economic inequality with wealth focused in the few with the majority having little hope of improvement
  • The majority of citizens disenfranchised from control of their government
  • The system of justice that is unfair and unequal

Said more simply revolution is set in motion when a group disproportionately holds more power and wealth, and abuses that power and wealth. Our Founders in the Declaration of Independence gave reasons for throwing off British rule and our revolutionary war:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

The Constitution lists 27 abuses that justify their Declaration of Independence and they fall into the general category of the items listed above. So how are Republicans setting the groundwork for terrorism and revolution?

First, we are looking at economic inequality that is increasing and is now the largest in our history. This is not a result of “the capitalist system” but the policies we put in place to distribute the returns of our capitalist system. While the Democrats certainly have been along for the ride on these policies, the Republican agenda is clearly to increase this as evidenced by the Ryan Budget, lower taxes for the wealthy, and paid for by cutting programs to help the poor.

Republicans continue to block programs that will improve employment or invest in our country unless they can further cut the programs such as food stamps that help our less fortunate survive. They have actively prevented millions from enrolling in Medicaid that is resulting in an estimated 27,000 deaths because of these Republican governor’s actions. Their failure to address unequal pay in the workplace for women, and block all efforts at immigration reform, disenfranchises millions more who see their government not working for them. Their failure to move on a livable minimum wage is further evidence that working hard is no longer the road to success.

Republicans have begun a program to disenfranchise voters at the polls with unneeded and restrictive voter ID laws, restricting voter access through moving polling places and restricting operating hours, and restricting easy registration to vote. This is not lost on those affected and their anger is building as they see their basic right to vote being suppressed.

Republicans, with Democratic acquiescence, have turned our justice system into the largest Gulag in the world. And the majority of the inmates are poor and of color. The justice system has handed out harsh sentences for the poor while the rich go virtually unpunished for the same crimes. See anyone go to prison for the crimes Wall Street committed? Police tactics of an overuse of force (see Albuquerque) and the stop and frisk tactics of the NY police force further build distrust of the system and its rules.

Republicans and some “moderate Democrats” have made the access to weapons that can cause great harm easily available to those who “want to take back their country”. Conservative talk shows actively promote hate and a feeling of disenfranchisement from their base with false accusations and wild conspiracy theories. The white racism and hate Obama literally seethes from these shows. The makers and takers of conservative ideology is literally the basis of all revolutions.

But what is most surprising is that the revolution will not come from those who are being disenfranchised the most, the poor and middle class. It will start with the conservative generated hate the government propaganda. We saw the beginnings last weekend when heavily armed militia men (mostly white supremacists) showed up to protect the Nevada Rancher from the big bad Federal Government whom they don’t recognize. And our Federal government backed down*. That is what they have sown and what is now one of the biggest threats to our democracy.

So the party that says it is freedom loving and protects our Constitution is in fact the party whose policies and actions are setting up the real possibility of violence and revolution in this country that makes a mockery of that Constitution and equates freedom with anarchy. I wonder when they will wake up to the Frankenstein they are creating?

*The facts in this case clearly indicate that the Rancher is a taker who is stealing from the federal government and we the people. The BLM backed off because they saw the real potential for violence. But these people, if allowed to continue, undermine our system of government. There has to be a real plan to take stern action against both the rancher who is stealing from the federal government, and those that tried through violence to thwart the legal actions of the BLM.

Television Writing that Drives me Crackers

I watch a lot of what I would call entertainment SyFi because it gets me through a workout on my elliptical or stationary spinning bike. I usually watch news when I weight lift for the anger factor and increased strength through adrenalin rushes when somebody says something that makes me want to strangle them. So anyway I record these shows so I can skip through the commercials and distract myself from my cardio work. So here are some of the things that drive me crazy in the plots and see if you can relate:

  • Beauty and the Beast – Kat loves him, Kat distrusts him, Kat trusts him, Kat distrusts him. Kat hunts for months focused on finding him because they have this connection and then has all these doubts. She finds her father who is a jerk and all of a sudden she wants to bond? This is one screwed up lady
  • Person of Interest – Mr. Kung Fu macho man did not see the shooting of his Detective Carter love interest coming? Talk about not being aware of your surroundings. Oh, and the machine will talk to a pyschopath, but not its creator?
  • Arrow – Please, shoot to kill so we don’t have to deal with repeat villains because they keep escaping. Arrow’s one endearing quality was his decisiveness and now he is a bleeding heart liberal?
  • Grimm – Okay, I could suspend my disbelief, but if half the population is some kind of weird creature, wouldn’t we have noticed by now, and are they acting out creature problems just in the Seattle area? Maybe it is the coffee.
  • Hostage – Okay again, things get bad and then they just get worse. How does anybody come out of this a good guy? They did get politicians right though and they all are scum
  • Blacklist – Elizabeth Keen knows she is adopted but never wonders about why Red takes such an interest in her. Has she heard of DNA testing? Oh, and talk about being oblivious about her hubby. Red has never lied to her. For a profiler, she sucks. Also she lets a lot of people escape. She doesn’t shoot them when she should and shoots them when she shouldn’t. Oh and on most of these cop shows when they are rushing to the scene, do they ever think about calling the local police who might be closer?
  • Mentalist – Anybody sick of Red John yet? And when Patrick feigns giving up, well haven’t we done that before. Oh, and Lisbon, when you go into a dangerous situation, call for backup. It is standard police procedure.
  • Revolution – Anybody besides me want to slap the sniveling Aaron? In reality he would have been dead a long time ago. He runs from everything, doesn’t want to ask obvious questions, and generally is useless. The nanites in the atmosphere who Aaron created, are so confused by his confusion, they showed good judgement and desert him when he wants them to kill the people who killed his love, instead of restoring her to life. Discerning little creatures. He rejects the one force who could make them safe and maybe restore the power. For someone who is supposed to think logically and write algorithms, this guy could not use logic to open a door. Just about everyone else has situational morality and it is really a downer
  • Haven – This one does not even pass the sniff test, but Audrey is really fun to look at.

Of course, you could just suggest that I read a good book, but they are also getting harder and harder to find.