Monday, July 30, 2018

What is the Purpose of a Religious Liberty Task Force?

  
Wikimedia Commons

    Today our illustrious Attorney General and staunch supporter of white supremacy, Jeff Sessions, announced the formation of the "Religious Liberty Task Force".  According to ABC News Sessions said the task force "will help the Department fully implement our religious  liberty guidance".  Sessions further explained that Trump's election has given the religious right the opportunity to stop the dangerous erosion of religious liberties in this country.  So what is this Religious Liberty Task Force and why it is needed?  In short this task force was established to allow racists and bigots the legal authority to discriminate against anyone who did not fit their description as a white Christian, especially gay people.

    The Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services has quietly been, at the behest of Christian conservatives, pushing the advancement of religious freedom policies that would allow physicians, nurses, EMT's and other medical personnel to deny services to LGBTQ citizens.  A full explanation of the background and proposed workings of this task force can be found here in this article in The LGBTQ Nation.

    If there is any erosion of any liberties in this country it is the erosion of those liberties earned and now enjoyed by ALL Americans, which include the hard fought civil liberties of people of color, gay people, women, the handicapped, the elderly and immigrants.  Every since Trump illegitimately came to power, through Russian interference in our election to influence the small minority of Trump supporters, commonly caused his base, civil rights have come under attack..  Since his election the well founded tradition of separation of Church and State has all been destroyed with the help of the cowardly GOP in charge of Congress.  With Trump's desire to hold on to absolute power he has been kowtowing to white supremacists and bigots who make up his base.  Trump has become the first president who does not serve all of the citizens of the country, but only himself and those racists who help him remain in power.

During the campaign Trump stood with the rainbow flag and promised he would be the best friend the LGBTQ movement ever had.  Since his election, he and his administration have disgraced that flag and done everything they could do to roll back the rights earned by the gay community in the last 50 years.  From banning transgendered people from the military to removing protection of LGBTQ youth in our public schools, through Betsy Devos' Department of Education, Trump is doing the bidding of the Christian right.  With a complicit GOP congress gay rights will most likely be eliminated if Trump and the Republicans remain in power.  At one time we had the hope of a non-politicized Supreme Court defending the rights of all people, gay or straight, but now with Gorsich on the Court and Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh looming in our future we have little hope.  The only way this war on gay people can be stopped is if people vote in November to take back our country.  I hope that the American people realize that if Trump and the religious right succeeds in denying rights to gay people, non-whites and non-Christians will be next. They must also realize that Trump is not doing this out of religious convictions. He is doing this to stay in power and strengthen his power.  The man doesn't have a religious bone in his body!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Well Done Malaysia!

  
Wall Street Journal

    I moved to  Malaysia immediately after my retirement  and lived there for about seven years before returning to the United States four years ago.  I enjoyed living there except for the constant heat and humidity which was almost unbearable.  The reason I moved to Malaysia was to be with my same sex partner, who is now my husband.  As soon as same sex marriages were made legal in the US we visited the US to be married and the following year we moved there to live permanently.  My partner now is a US citizen.

    While living in Malaysia we had to keep our marriage secret, only telling a few close friends, as homosexuality is a crime in this predominantly Muslim country.  I really loved the Malaysian people and most of the culture, but I really hated the government with a passion.  Because I was living in the country on a guest visa I dared not say anything critical of the government.  I wrote a blog called Retired in Malaysia, in which I described my life there, but I had to be very careful not to say anything negative about the government.  Since I was so used to the freedom of speech, which I enjoyed so much in the United States, but really took for granted, it was difficult for me to keep my mouth shut.  Malaysia is a Muslim majority country and it is a punishable offense to say anything that could remotely be considered to be putting Islam or even the government, in a negative light.  Prime Minster Najib, was a member of a political party that had controlled the government since Malaysia gained its independence from Great Britain over 50 years ago. He skillfully remained in power by jailing his opposition on trumped up charges, controlling the media, paying bribes and holding rigged elections.  I remember during one election he had rented seven or eight 747 jumbo jets to bring planeloads of Nepalese, who were given 24 hour citizenship and a small cash payment, to rural areas to vote for Najib!  There were also numerous incidents during elections when his ruling party was in danger of losing, a sudden power loss occurred and in the end his party won by a landslide as "new" ballots were deliverd by the army under cover of darkness.

    Satellite television, radio and newspapers were owned by the ruling party and contained no positive mention of the opposition parties.  Opposition parties did exist but their means of sharing their messages with the public were severely hampered by their inability to advertise in the mass media.  Naturally opposition parties turned to social media and the internet to spread their message.
The government tried to ban social media to prevent this, but they were not very successful. The rural poor and uneducated were paid to vote for the ruling party, but with the spread of the internet into rural areas the government began to lose support.  The Prime Minister and his wife were embroiled in numerous corruption scandals and lived luxurious lifestyles. while the majority of the population was living in near poverty. In May of this year the citizens of Malaysia said enough! Enough to Najib's lying, his family making money from the his position and his corrupt lifestyle!  He and his political party were dealt an astounding defeat!  He and his wife are now under arrest for their crimes.

   Sound familiar?   Even though my husband and I are now living in the US, we were both exceedingly happy to see his fall from power and Malaysia returned to the people!  Another reason I was so happy was that this gave me some hope that here in this country we could do the same and drive this corrupt, lying, criminal, little dictator Trump from power and restore the US back to ALL American citizens!



   

Ablog about liberal politics andsocial issues