Join the Movement

I’ve been reading Trump stuff all morning.  I’m making myself ill.  It is so frightening, what is happening here.  The good thing is we are working to get rid of him, and his cabinet. Unfortunately, the only one I don’t see implicated in the Russia thing is Pence.  Was that planned?

At the moment it appears nearly his entire cabinet and most of his advisers are involved in lies about Russian ties.  The bad thing about it will be tying up the courts for the next four years with a constant stream of impeachments.  Nothing will get done.  But at least it would stop these cretins from doing wholesale destruction of the US and our Constitution.

There are plenty of protesters.  Don’t believe the Faux News when they tell you that we are paid protesters.  That’s completely absurd, though I know there are plenty of Trumpsters who do.  Who would be paying us to protest?

And protesting works.  We are building sustainable groups.  Indivisible is a nationwide group actively involved in protests, marches, getting Reps to hold Town Halls.  We are calling our reps to get them to vote down all of Trump’s nominees, bills, etc.,  We are writing cards to the White House demanding resignation of Bannon, and firing Trump (#TheIdesOfTrump).

We have a group meeting with the Police Commission and the ACLU next month, as well as the Tax Day Protest, and the environmental march.  We are halting the progress of the #Freespeech bus.  There are many of us, but there is power in numbers!  The Trump team and Russia stole the election.  A virtual coup by Putin.  We need your help to take our country back.

Here are links to just a few groups you might look into.  It doesn’t need to become your second job or take the place of college.  Be as involved as you want.

http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/

Resist Meetup

The Nation

Indivisible 

People Power

I’m Getting Angry, Then Sad

I am angry, sad, confused, and just plain put out.  Common sense has disappeared from Congress.  Our protests gain a lot of press time and piss off Dump and Pres. Bannon, and yet, they seem to be ineffectual.  How do you keep up the heat?  I have only been actively involved a short time, and yet I already feel utterly defeated.

Here is a link to an article about how senators have voted on each Dump cabinet pick.  This list did not make me happy.

 

Sure, we should hang in there, wait until 2018 with the mid-term votes.  But both my reps seem to vote (mostly) how I want.  But I can’t vote for other states’ reps.  I can’t make the people in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. see it my way.

We can keep up the heat on declaring Dump incompetent due to mental illness, but we’re still stuck with all the other swamp creatures!  How do we clean up that mess?

Yes, I know, one step at a time.  But patience and persistence are not going to be enough.  I can’t sit here and hope the people in Blue States start calling their senators.

I feel like Dorothy, caught in a black & white tornado, and suddenly dumped (pun intended) in the middle of a bright orange swamp!

 

 

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

The Dump Years

That’s how I have begun to define the next four years.  The Dump Years, when the US turned to shit.  My only hope is all that shit will somehow fertilize things.  Maybe after the debris settles and the Muslim Americans have been released, and the illegal immigrants are put on a path to legality, we will have a better America.

The shocking thing to me is how singularly idiotic the Trump supporters are.  How clueless.  Do the folks in the Red States really believe he will bring better employment opportunities?  The only way that will happen is if they try to put a pipeline through Ohio and Pennsylvania. There will be jobs, but the land and water will be poisoned.  How can they not see that? Surely, some Trumpsters must be intelligent?  Some must have a college education, or are well read?  Hopefully some recognize the serious error of buying into Trump’s rhetoric.  I hope some of those who voted for him are having second thoughts.

The majority of Trumpsters seem fueled by hatred: of Muslims, immigrants, any non-whites.  They hate our government, our laws, our Constitution.  These otherwise probably normal and pleasant people are easy prey for a guy like Trump who spouts lies as easily as he combs his hair.  No.  Lying surely comes easier to him.  I doubt he even combs his hair, but has someone do it for him every day for $1000 an hour.

His cabinet nominees grows more awful by the day. Here is his latest list as posted by The New York Times (updated Dec. 5, 2016).   Most of these positions require Senate confirmation, but with a Republican dominated Senate, I don’t see a lot of opposition.  I most afraid of the three that do not require Senate confirmation:

Warning!

As many intelligent people, I have been scared shitless that the idiot commonly known as Trump would actually win the election.  Now that it has come to pass I’m even more terrified.  Just watching the people he is putting into key positions, and heading every major department.  I’m fucking horrified.  Every day is worse!

Supreme Court Nominee

National Security Advisor

Attorney General

 

Here is what you can do that might make you feel a tiny bit better.

Call the House Oversight Committee :  Call to demand that Donald Trumps financials be released and investigate any conflicts of interest.  We must make this call NOW!  We only have a few days left to make an impact.

 

Or if you prefer, donate to one of these charities in the name of your favorite asshole. They will receive a thank-you letter for each donation.

Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ rights)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

American Civil Liberties Union

Protect the Environment

Anti-Bullying (which will need more support as adults and children learn to bully by watching our “President”.

I am scared and angry and worried for the future.  I’ve started a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LSJRevolution/ where I will post on ways to help ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of the US.  I hope to put up information on when, where and how to protest.  Join me in fighting against Trump, his growing circle of incompetents, his followers, and other haters.  Please!

Addiction Is Not A Choice

I’ve been gone for a while…life had been going so well.  It’s taken a significant downturn lately, and recent events have brought on this rant.

Son’s addictions have taken him to the bottom and he’s finally asked for help.  Great.  Now try to find a program in the US that will take an unemployed, under-insured man.  Blue Cross, Aetna, sure we’ve got space.  Medicare? um, yeah, but…  No. Not Medicare.  Medi-Cal.  Same sort of service, but at a state level.  It was all the coverage he could get through the Affordable Care Act.  Medi-Cal, I have been informed by a well-known and respected hospital that there is a waiting list for a bed in Detox/Recovery.  Six month-long waiting list?  Meanwhile he continues to use and falls deeper into addiction.  His only recourse is the ER.  Not the place for an addict, since they eventually note that he is a ‘drug seeker’.   Rather than treat them as they would treat someone in a wheelchair, suffering from stroke, or blind.

I want people to understand Addiction Is Not A Choice.  No one gets up one morning and thinks, “I’ve never tried heroin, I think I’ll go score some.  I hear it’s really addictive.”  No, they think, “yeah, it’s addictive, but I’m not addicted to anything else, maybe I won’t be this time either.”  Or any similar thought.  Usually the addict is young, lonely, and in pain either emotional or physical, and they are unable to get legitimate doctors to listen to them.  “Of course I’m seeking Oxycontin, I’m in pain you idiot!”  Just because they see nothing in the X-ray, doesn’t mean he has no pain.  Instead, a note is made in the file and they are labeled and addict and therefore lumped in with other undesirables.  The addicts are today’s Unclean.

Search for Rehab Facilities.  Count how many are touted as “luxurious”, “spa like”, and have a 360 degree view.  Hundreds of them up and down the coast.  And my son, because he lacks the resources is relegated to the bottom of a long list, left to his own devices for six months.  A lot of damage could happen in 6 months.  In that time, he could get arrested and sent to jail for three years on some drug possession charge.  Left in a cell to go through withdrawals sick, alone and scared…I don’t care how tough you are, withdrawals make you feel like you’re dying and most people are afraid of that.  No sympathy from the guards, they figure you’ve got what’s coming to you, what with you being some scumbag dope addict.  Like it was a choice!  It happens.  To a lot of people.  A poor decision, some bad luck or serious falling out with friends/family.  That drug filled the deep black hole of depression, made me imagine I had a heart again.  It made me feel better, why is that wrong?

The US justice system is how we deal with our societal pariahs.  I believe we do need a prison system.  But it needs reform.  NOW.  We must work to change the laws, states should have standardized sentences.  Like all states should put your standard rapists away for a minimum 10 years, and wear a bracelet for another ten (for example).  That way people like Brock Turner are held for an appropriate time, regardless of how well liked he is by the judge.  Consider arsonists.  Some are very smart and do their research.  Arsonists live in states with lots of far away places to burn: California, Texas, AZ, etc.  If Arizona’s state law says arson with no injuries to persons or property receives a sentence of 18 years.  But in Texas they’d only get 3, wouldn’t you think that would attract  the wrong sort of people to Texas?

What really needs to be standardized and seriously changed are the drug laws.  Many of these laws were written in the 50s and 60s.  We have gotten smarter and understand more about addiction and mental health than ever before, and yet we continue to lock up sad, but mostly harmless, addicts for $25 rock of crack.  The police and lawyers have been trained for years to treat addicts like criminals.  Just as people were once imprisoned for loving the “wrong” sex, we will see the errors in incarcerating our addicts.

I want to see doctors and those in the justice system treat addiction as a mental illness.  Our justice system is broken, poorly run, and employs far too many people who don’t really care.  Probably because of overwork and inadequate compensation.  We need more mental health service providers, more doctors, hospitals.  We need more classes graduating more nurses each year.  We need Government money to fund these programs, not the nickel and dime donations volunteer groups raise.

The end result of this rant is my desire to do advocacy work in this area.  I am overwhelmed by the dearth of specifics provided on various mental health sites.  Most sites have a button saying “Get Involved” and basically ask for a donation.  How do I get my view to policy-makers?  Should I just write my president and representatives so I can get a nice reply letter saying thank you, but this is a complex process and blah, blah, blah.

How do you change the world?

 

About Paris

About this awful attack in Paris.  Horrible.  Horrible for these ISIS/ISIL people to decide to commit mass murder in the name of their god.   They need to be caught and punished.  We all know that.  But how is bombing the people of Syria going to do that?  Do the people of Syria want ISIS in charge?  I didn’t think that was the case.  If so, wouldn’t killing thousands of innocent people be just as wrong?  Or even more wrong, in my opinion.

I don’t understand that there are apparently rules to war.  Apparently it’s ok to wipe out one group to get at another.  It’s illegal to take out the head of a country.  Stupid, but there it is.  I know it really doesn’t apply to zealot groups like Al Queda and ISIL.  Their leader doesn’t count as the leader of a country.  Yet we sent in a specialized team after Osama Bin Laden.  They were successful.  Why can’t we simply eliminate these zealots?  Shouldn’t our vast system of intelligence be able to find these people?

Probably not.  The US is too busy spying on all the innocent people in the US, searching for people who do a google search for ‘pressure cooker’ or similarly [non] threatening items.

The Reagan Administration, with their Iran/Contra affair, helped put Al Queda in power.  According to the linked article, Iran is still funding Al Queda.  (http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/02/22/iran-hezbollah-reportedly-backing-al-qaeda-attacks-against-us-interests-in-the-middle-east/#)

During the long-running Iran-Iraq war, the US had defended Iraq, providing troops, weapons and training.  Only to bomb them years later.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War#U.S._involvement)

Bush I put on a show with a ‘bomb the hell out of ’em’ attitude, which everyone said was a ‘good start’ to the problem but he didn’t take it far enough. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War#Run-up_to_the_war)

Bush II brought us to an illegal war that we’ve been fighting for 14 years!  After 14 years, isn’t it clear to anyone else that our current system of warfare is a waste of time, money, resources, and most of all, people.

And that’s just the last 30 years or so.  Haven’t we figured out this idea of bombing works, but not very well.

They say “well, we have to bomb the people of Syria because that’s where the bad guys are.” We’re the ‘good guys’, here to save the people of Syria– by bombing them?  Well, sure, if we kill everyone in Syria we may catch the people behind ISIS.  But our military loves to play with their million dollar jets, and tanks.   They want war, it’s what they do.  The military is by it’s very nature, a killing machine.  How does killing bring peace?  Shouldn’t we have a Peace Department instead of a War Department?

What about all the good guys?  All the collateral damage.  Bridges, roads, homes and farms destroyed.  What about the women, children, old men that are killed in these assaults?  I’m lead to believe there is no other way.  Don’t innocent lives of Syrians matter as much as the lives of the people killed in France?

If We are supposed to be the good guys, shouldn’t we be able to come up with a better way?  Ideally the elimination of organized religion would be my choice.  Of course, you can’t do that.  Deny someone their religion, and the wars just continue.

So, people will want their religion.  Some people obviously need their religion.  Yet, when religion goes wrong, like it does in Islam as well as Christianity, we just nod and say, well that’s the way it goes.  “Those” people aren’t as good as “my” people.  They are not as important as I am.

There are plenty of people think religions other than Christianity are wrong.  Do I have to mention the Jews here?  Sure, ISIS isn’t a bunch of innocent German Jews, they are vicious, horrible, immoral people.  Intent on doing what they believe is right.

This is and has been a war of religion.  As it has been since the beginning of religion.  The Christians have fought the Muslims for thousands of years.  There seems there is nothing to be done about it.  Can we intercede, take these deluded individuals out of the equation?  Why should 1000s of people die?  We need good intelligence on where these people are, how they operate.  Obviously, our intelligence is pretty lousy.  Too many hands in the pot, diluting our resources, taking the long way out.

There is no end to war, because so much of it is caused by a few deluded  religious zealots have decided the rest of the world is wrong, and that it is up to them to change their world more to their liking.

I don’t mean to disparage people’s religions. Certainly, religion in and of itself is a good thing.  Brings people comfort to believe there is a power bigger than they.  Gives people a sense of security.  Churches and synagogues are gathering places for people of like mind.  A community.  I understand that, but the facts are there folks.  Just open up your mind and look.

Instead of killing innocent people, isn’t there some way to target only the terrorists.  Individually, if necessary.  We have highly trained snipers.  Once one of the terrorists is identified, I should think it wouldn’t be difficult to dismantle ISIS by simply eliminating those responsible?  What if we don’t get them all?  We won’t.

There will always be religions.  Therefore there will always be zealots, there will always be war.  Unless people want to change.  Sadly, it is very apparent that most people would not like to change.

We’re all grown ups, we all have the ability to speak.  Is there no way to speak to zealots?  A way to stop them before they start killing?  I truly believe there is something, some way.  I just don’t know what it is.  To me it’s a simple matter, but it has been pointed out to me many times that it isn’t simple.  I still think governments create chaos and confusion because they still operate with a First Century idea about winning a war.  We need 21st Century thinking.