Friday, February 7, 2020

Speak Up and Speak Out


Image by ArtWithPam from Pixabay  




As some of you may know I am an active contributor to Medium.com.  Recently,  with another writer Sherry McGuinn, we started a new publication on Medium called The Militant. This new publication is for people to speak up and speak out about what Trump is doing to our country and how he and his Republican sycophants are destroying our Constitution and Democracy.

At a time when remaining silent is the same as aiding and abetting Trump installing himself as a dictator reigning over a fascist state, we are asking people to read this publication and/or submit your own articles for publication.  Please help us defend our democracy.

About
The Militant
There’s a time and a place for outrage. The time is now, the place is here. Stop “taking it on the chin.” Our country, our world, our very lives hang in the balance. Politics. Healthcare. Ageism. Sexism. The environment. Animal rights. Sound off and fight back.
Note from the editor
There’s a time and a place for outrage. The time is now, the place is here. Stop “taking it on the chin.” Our country, our world, our very lives hang in the balance. Politics. Healthcare. Ageism. Sexism. The environment. Animal rights. Sound off and fight back.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

RIP American Democracy

                 Born July 4, 1776, died January 31, 2020

Image by John Hain from Pixabay


Today our Founding Fathers are crying, Lady Liberty is broken and weeping and those veterans who gave their lives in all of our wars fighting for democracy lay in their graves having died in vain. This afternoon the majority Republicans in the U.S Senate voted 49–51 to refuse to hear the truth from witnesses in the impeachment trial of our country’s most dishonest, treasonous and corrupt President.
Even though a number of those Republican senators admitted Trump was guilty they still refused to consider the overwhelming evidence that was presented to them. They refused to hear from first-hand witnesses who observed Trump’s illegal behavior, even though one of those witnesses volunteered to testify. They chose to deny the truth and they defied their oaths to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
I can say that I am not really surprised that our Republican Senate chose to legitimize and crown a dictator. I’m sure that the vast majority of them are either terrified of Trump or complicit in his criminal activities and enriching themselves from his affiliations with Russia and our own oligarchs. They have chosen money and party over country. Now there is nothing we can do to them, or Trump, except for destroying them at the ballot box this November.
What does surprise me and pisses me off royally is the stupidity, laziness, apathy, and cowardice of the American people. While Trump’s team has been locking up children at our southern border and ripping them away from the arms of their parents there has been mostly silence. While Trump is rolling back or killing regulations protecting our climate and environment there is silence. While Trump is destroying our long time alliances with those countries we stood shoulder to shoulder with, in defending democracy there is mostly silence. While the rights of our fellow American citizens are being attacked there once again is only silence.
I can remember in my youth protesting an immoral and illegal war in Vietnam because we felt it was our duty. We did not stand for our government sending our fellow youth to fight and die in an unjust war. We protested en masse for our beliefs. We protested who we thought was a corrupt and immoral President. Eventually, Nixon resigned before he was impeached because Americans made their voices heard. Recently I have witnessed tens of thousands of residents of Hong Kong marching for pro-democracy, risking arrest, injury and even death. They were protesting for something they wanted and were willing to die for, and that was democracy.
Since Trump took office in 2017 there has been a steady erosion of the values and beliefs I grew up with. The United States I knew and loved is changing. We are going backward. Backward to the days when straight white Christian males ruled with an iron hand. Non-Christians, people of color, LGBTQ people and immigrants were not considered equal. Women were considered property. All of these people were considered inferior.
As this country continues this downward trend I ask where are the people? Where are the Americans, descendants of immigrants who shaped this country? Where are the sons and daughters of the greatest generation who fought the Nazis so that we may be free? Where are those Americans whom the world became to know as generous, empathetic and welcoming to those less fortunate? Most of them are sitting on their fat asses because they don’t want to be involved! They are content with the financial scraps Trump has thrown them in the guise of a “tax cut” that only made the rich richer. Hey, the stock market is doing great, even though they have to have three jobs to pay for housing and can’t afford decent healthcare. Marie Antoinette’s words, “Let them eat cake” sounds appropriate here!
During this impeachment trial, in which our democratic form of government is being destroyed and our Constitution is being shat upon, there is little resistance. One would think people would take to the streets in protest, but they haven’t, at least not in large numbers. Admittedly there have been protests but the media has managed to look the other way. Oddly, the media is partially responsible for Trump’s rise, but now even as they are being viciously attacked by him, they remain silent.
Not only haven’t Americans not demonstrated to take their country back, but they are reticent to even engage in a discussion of what is happening. On sites such as these people are afraid or are unwilling to have an opinion or take a stand. You don’t see very many articles about resisting Trump’s activities garnering many views or notoriety here. I guess that’s because that would mean they would be getting “involved”. How many times have I heard the phrase, “I don’t like politics”! What bullshit! These people are the same as those people in Germany who looked the other way during the Holocaust.!
I know I am not the only one who feels this passionate about our country and what Trump and his fascist cohorts are doing to destroy it. I hope there will be more intelligent and patriotic people who will take their heads out of the sand and join me and the founder of this publication, Sherry McGuinn in fighting for our democracy and all that this country stands for. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns and stand up for yourselves. We have so much to lose! Standing together WE CAN save our freedoms.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Be Afraid, Be really afraid


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I have spent all of my 71 years on earth as a citizen of the United States. I have always been proud to be called an American, that is up until this past couple of years, especially now during the impeachment of Trump. I not only feel shame, but I feel terrified for myself, my friends and my country.

I have felt anger and shame as our President has destroyed our relationships with our allies and kissed up to the dictators leading those countries we have considered our enemies and have sworn to destroy us. He has demonized those countries who stood by us during the attacks of 9/11 and fought next to us in World Wars I and II.

I have felt anger and shame as this President has verbally attacked the press, handicapped people, Gold Star families, children fighting to save our climate and fighting for sensible gun control. I have cringed when he has shown support for white supremacists and incited violence towards the press, people supporting rights for all and anyone who dares disagree with him.

I have been angered and sickened by his attacks on Muslims and other non-Christians and people of color. I have been disgusted by his attacks on immigrants of color, those seeking asylum in our traditionally welcoming country and even naturalized citizens and their descendants who have helped build this country.

I have watched with horror as this President and those in his administration have strived to destroy the rights of those minorities who have fought for their God-given rights for years, to be accepted as equals in our society. I have watched this self-serving, amoral spawn of Satan divide our country along racial, religious, ethnic, political and gender lines while surrounding himself with bigoted and racist hypocrites professing to be followers of Christ. A man thrice married who has a history of infidelity and adultery and has had numerous accusations of rape and has rarely stepped foot in a house of worship, is himself being worshipped as being anointed by Christ to lead them!

I have witnessed his administration separate children from their families and lock them in cages simply for wanting a better life. I have seen this President and his followers look the other way as some of these children have died from neglect or suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of those sworn to protect them, while his own children are financially raping the American taxpayer. I heard this lowlife blame all the ills of our society on these children and those who share the same skin color.
As a gay person, I have particularly followed Trump’s systematic destruction of LGBTQ rights which were attained through years of hard-fought legal battles and advocacy by myself and others and all those who have preceded me. All the while Trump is bragging about how much of a strong supporter of this community he is, he is stabbing us all in the back. Why? All because he needs the support of those religious bigots who make up his base. Soon I and others like me will have no legal protection from discrimination. Homophobia will not only be legal, but it will also be encouraged.

It is not just in the gay community that I have noticed the rollback of civil rights. I have seen how Trump’s Republican party has been actively destroying voter rights, in an attempt to deny the vote to Blacks, Native Americans and other persons of color, who traditionally support Democratic candidates. This has especially been evident in Southern states where millions of people have been purged from the voter rolls. In some parts of the West with a large population of Native Americans, polling places have been moved to places that are difficult o find or are inaccessible to people without transportation.

I have been watching Trump and his family and wealthy friends enrich themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer, as he has divided the country. He has single-handedly destroyed the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution as he has slowly eliminated the middle class. The government of the United States has become part of the Trump family business!

With all of his crimes and misdeeds becoming commonplace as the Republican party is either scared shitless to stand up to him or more likely are implicated in his wrongdoings, he finally got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. On December 18, 2019, Tump was impeached by the Democratic House of Representatives and in January the articles of impeachment were delivered to the Republican majority Senate where they will be ignored.

I have watched little of the trial in the Senate as I know what the results will be. There is an abundance of testimony and evidence proving Trump guilty of obstruction of justice and abuse of power. For a man who staunchly professes his innocence, he has refused to provide any information that would attest to that innocence. He has refused to allow any member of his cabinet who has first-hand knowledge of his abuse of power to testify. Now that his trial is going on in the Senate the Republican Senators are fighting to prevent any witnesses to testify.
Even though former National Security Advisor John Bolton has first-hand knowledge of what happened and has stated so in his upcoming and yet unpublished book The Republicans will not allow him to be called as a witness. If, or when, the Republicans get their way, there will be no witnesses in this trial. Putin’s Russia and North Korea have trials with no witnesses or proof of innocence allowed and we now will join this not so illustrious group of authoritarian regimes.

Even though all of Trump’s aforementioned behaviors have frightened me, this sham of a trial terrifies me. When the Republican Senate acquiesces to Trump’s wishes and does not allow witnesses or any relevant documents, heretofore hidden by the White House and Attorney General William Barr, they will vote not to convict Trump. With this vote, the Senate will have essentially crowned Donald Trump King and destroyed our democracy.

For whatever reason they do this, they will be acting against the desires and wishes of the majority of Americans. They will not have to suffer the wrath of Trump if they had done their duty and they will probably reap some sort of financial benefits, but they stand a chance of losing their seat in the next election. That’s all they have to fear now.
But what about the rest of us? Donald Trump has a history of seeking revenge against anyone who he believes has done him wrong. Hell, he ran for president only so he could be in a position to destroy anything Obama did simply because Obama once cracked a joke about him at a White House Correspondents dinner in 2011.

Trump will view the actions of the Senate vote as a full acquittal. He will be re-energized and will feel as though he can do anything he damn well pleases. In short, he will be above the law and there will be no one to stop him. He will be free to do anything he wants to stay in office, legality be damned. This will mean the end of our Constitution.
Post impeachment there will be nothing to stop Trump from implementing all of his racist and bigoted policies, with the help of his chief white supremacist Stephen Miller. He will become Adolf Hitler on steroids. We will have passed the point of no return, much as Germany did pre-WWII when German citizens looked the other way as Hitler carried out his final solution. I fear for myself and my husband first, but I fear for all of us, especially the next generation, as they will never know what America really was before Trump.

Rest assured that once this impeachment has passed Trump will seek revenge on Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and all the Democrats he thinks wronged him. I would not be surprised if physical harm came to these people and those who bore witness against Trump in the House impeachment. In preparation for the 2020 elections be prepared to have Trump win at any cost. Don’t be surprised if once again he incites his followers to violence during the election and certainly after if he loses. And of course, be prepared for Russia to play a prominent roll in the election. If by some chance Trump loses all hell is going to break loose. He knows he could go to prison once he is no longer President and he and his cult will act like cornered rabid animals to prevent this from happening.

Regardless of whether Trump wins or loses in November this country is in for a wild and dangerous ride, from now until after the election. We will not be the same country we once were. We may lose our democracy and our rights and some of us may even lose our lives. I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen, but right now I’m afraid, really afraid. And you should be too.


Originally published in Rogues' Gallery on Medium.com

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Trip to the Grocery Store, And a test of my patience

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay


I had just come from the gym where I had an encounter with a couple of old farts who were staunch Trump supporters. After hearing them spout off about Obama being a Muslim, born “in a foreign country” and Nancy Pelosi working for Iran, I had no desire to deal with morons and other people who get on my nerves. To top off my day my sinuses were acting up, with my teeth aching, eyes bulging and my head feeling like it would explode any moment. I had one more stop to make — the grocery store.

I felt that grocery shopping was a safe activity where I need not become involved with anyone who would further grate my nerves. I needed a respite. What could go wrong in the aisles of Wegmans? A lot!

I’ve always considered myself to be a tolerant person, although as I grow older I find that I can get pissed off at certain people much easier. I try to be somewhat politically correct, although I don’t believe that some people deserve to be included in that category. Some people are just plain stupid, rude or just assholes and it’s their own fault. It’s not an accident of birth, but it may be genetic.
Well anyway, I grabbed a cart and began my shopping. I didn’t get very far down the first aisle when I came upon two women with their shopping carts chatting as they blocked the entire aisle. They become irritated as shoppers on either side of them try to get by. Finally, with a look of disgust, one of the women suggests they move so “those rude people can get by”. They move to the side and give all of us waiting a dirty look. I can feel my blood pressure begin to rise.

In the next aisle, I stop to help an elderly lady retrieve an item off the shelf because it is too high. She pleasantly thanks me and I can feel my faith in humanity begin to be restored. At the end of the aisle, however, is a young mother with her 3 children around 8 or 9 years old, pulling stuff off the shelves and screaming for their mother to buy the items for them. Mommy isn’t the least bit perturbed and never once attempts to even try to correct their behavior! I notice that other shoppers steer clear of Atilla the Hun and her children.

I’m amazed at the number of young women who stroll the aisles with their cell phones held between their shoulders and chins. At first, I thought they were maybe asking about some of the products they were buying, but I was wrong. I know I shouldn’t have eavesdropped, but I just had to know what was so damn important that they couldn’t concentrate on what they were doing. They were gossiping about friends and relatives! How urgent!
Don’t get me wrong. Not all of the shoppers were women. I encountered quite a few men shopping, many of whom were also on their cell phones. They weren’t gossiping though. They were on the phone with their spouses or significant others either comparing prices or following strict instructions on what to buy. I guess that’s safer than taking a guess on what to buy.

The most exciting incident I observed took place in the produce aisle where the bananas were being restocked by one of the store’s employees. The stock boy was being verbally attacked by an irate elderly gentleman speaking in a heavy Italian accent. The old gentleman, pounding his cane on the floor, was berating the stockboy for not treating the bananas properly. Apparently the old man, in his youth, had worked with produce back in Italy and knew what he was talking about. I felt sorry for the stock boy but knew enough to mind my own business.

As I approached the checkout line I could feel my sinus pressure getting worse, but at least I knew I would feel better once I got away from the annoyances of my fellow shoppers. After I checked out I decided to buy a couple of lottery tickets from the machines lining the walls of the exit ways. I maneuvered my shopping cart so it wouldn’t be a hindrance to anyone and approached the machine which had the tickets I always bought. Then I noticed the vending machine was blocked by a middle-aged woman in an electric shopping cart.

This didn’t bother me until I noticed that it was a woman I just saw at the gym earlier. I remember her because she is always complaining about how tiring and boring it is to exercise. She also bitches about how hard she tries to lose weight even though she tries very hard. There she was sitting in the electric cart blocking myself and others from using the machine, as she put her money in the slot with one hand and munched on a donut in the other. I waited along with a few others as she got about $50 worth of lottery tickets all the while eating her donuts. While waiting I saw elderly people and handicapped people struggling along with their groceries who would have benefitted from using an electric cart.

Finally, I was out of the store going through the parking lot towards my car. It wasn’t over yet! Parked next to my car I see the old white Datsun pickup truck belonging to the village idiot of my community. This truck is plastered with stickers praising Trump. “Trump 2020”, “CNN Fake News”, “Obama’s a Muslim” and of course “Lock her up” cover the entire truck, including some of the windows. As the bearded, camo wearing nearly toothless driver and I meet face to face I just shake my head and smile. F***ing Moron! Then I drove off to the tranquility of my home.

know some people will criticize me as being insensitive for complaining about some of the people I encountered, especially the darling in the electric shopping cart. But come on. We all know that there are plenty of people who use these carts intended for the handicapped because they are just lazy. I’m willing to give a person the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve been around enough to see that there are a lot of people out there who take advantage of the system, the elderly, the handicapped and society in general. I threw away my rose-colored glasses long ago.

Maybe I lose my patience more easily and more often as I grow older or maybe I’m beginning to realize this isn’t a perfect world. There are a lot of beautiful, kind-hearted, caring people in this world who come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. And there are also a lot of assholes!

Originally published in The Partnered Pen on Medium.com

Ablog about liberal politics andsocial issues