Get Your Torches and Pitchforks Boys, We’re Having A Witch Hunt!

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Republicans have just declared that the Mueller Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election is a “Witch Hunt”.  And who would know better than them?

Witch Hunt cartoonAfter several separate Congressional investigations into the 2012 Bengazi embassy attack/Clinton Email controversy, Republicans were unable to find any wrong-doing or criminal activity.  The FBI even launched an exhaustive investigation and came to the same conclusion.   So, end of story right?

No, Republicans continued to beat that dead horse by holding a grand total of EIGHT separate investigations.  For this, Democrats called the never-ending investigations a “Witch Hunt” and rightly so.  None of the subsequent investigations produced any changes in the verdict.  It became obvious that the investigations were a blatant attempt to find something by which to discredit Hillary Clinton, the presumed front runner for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination.  Or in other words, a witch hunt.

There was a time not long ago when witch hunts were very serious and dangerous business often ending with the accused (usually women) being sentenced to death by burning, drowning or hanging.    The idea of witches and the need to punish them is first brought to us by the Bible (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10-14; Isaiah 8:19-22; Leviticus 20:26-27; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8 just for starters).  Exodus 20:18  specifically states that “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

Witch Hunt Salem

But there is not much evidence of Jewish witch hunts.  The religion that really took up witch hunting with great zeal and vigor was Christianity, particularly Medieval Christians who were chock full of superstition and fear.  In their narrow-minded worldview they found the idea of witches, as the manifestation of the Devil, to be an evil so threatening that it had to be destroyed by the most extreme measures..  Witch trials were an outgrowth of the Inquisitions — Papal sanctioned eradication campaigns against any religious group such as Jews, Cathars or Waldensians who refused to recognize the Pope as God’s Supreme Pontiff.  The Jesuits served as judge, jury and executioner of these cruel and mindless Inquisition trials.

Witch Hunt Poster
 Witch hunting was most popular between 1560 and 1650 in Europe.  And in the American Colonies, the famous Hartford and Salem witch trials took place between 1670-1692.  Historians have documented at least 12,000 witch executions but they also believe many more went undocumented.  Of those, 75-80% were women.  (https://www.thoughtco.com/european-witch-hunts-timeline-3530786).

Compare that to how we use the phrase “witch hunt” today: it means a hoax, a lot to do about nothing,  a wasteful, meaningless process.  This a perfect example of how a once-upon-a-time unshakable religious doctrine evaporates in the light of science and knowledge.   Now we have the Republican party, heavily favored by Christian Evangelicals, using the word “witch hunt” to describe  something that they believe is a hoax.  Too bad they can’t appreciate the irony.

The Mueller investigation is anything BUT a witch hunt.  In 7 short months, Mueller’s team has already issued indictments to two of Trump’s top campaign officials:  Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager; and Manafort’s second-in-command Rick Gates.  They have also obtained guilty pleas from two of Trump’s administration officials:  one from George Papadopoulos, a senior foreign affairs adviser and Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, both for LYING to the FBI.

Sorry Republicans.  It can’t be a “witch hunt if it is actually uncovering wrong-doing and crimes at the highest level of Trump’s campaign and White House staff.  And Mueller is just warming up.  Now that Flynn is cooperating, the odds that Trump will get swept up in this investigation has gone up substantially.

Which is precisely why Republicans have raised the “witch hunt” mantra.  When the Special Counsel was formed back in May, Republicans and Democrats were almost unanimous in their support and respect for Bob Mueller.  He had the credentials and reputation to handle this investigation, possibly more than anyone else.  Not to mention that Mueller is a registered Republican.  Since then and up until recently there has been virtually zero controversy about the investigation — except for Trump tweets.  Then it was reported that two members of Mueller’s team,  FBI agents, were dismissed last August because they exchanged anti-Trump tweets.

Republicans went freaking ballistic!  You would have thought that Mueller had promoted those agents to Chief Investigator!  Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) charged that “if every member of Bob Mueller’s Special Counsel team who was “anti-Trump” was kicked off, I don’t know if there’d be anybody left”.  Really?  That’s just inflammatory bullshit.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) brought back McCarthy era style interrogation of FBI Director Christopher Wray by listing the names of top FBI administrators and investigators, one by one, then asking Wray to reveal whether these individuals had demonstrated political partisanship (anti-Trump) in the line of duty.  To which Wray replied “No” each time.

The real Witch Hunt going on in America today, an actual, old-time witch hunt, is the persecution of women who have come forward to accuse powerful men of sexually abusing or harassing them; men like Donald Trump, Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein; and who have been called liars, political tools and publicity hounds.

Yet the sincerity and persistence of these women’s claims cannot and should not be so summarily dismissed.   What motivation other than truth and justice could so many of them have?  Why would they expose themselves to such harsh scrutiny, public humiliation and even more persecution?   No court can resolve these charges, it is literally her word against his.  Instead, we Americans must be the jury and based on the overwhelming evidence, we must presume these men to be guilty.  Their punishment will be light, no prison time (unless the charges of rape can be proven), only removal from their offices of power and permanent shame.  Moore was defeated, Weinstein has been fired, many other predators have resigned or been forced to quit.

This is no witch hunt, these crimes are REAL.  Donald Trump is a CONFESSED sexual predator.  He should never have been elected.  But now that the ‘Reckoning’ is taking place, it is time the American people demand Donald Trump leave the office of the presidency.  If he doesn’t, the Mueller Special Counsel witch hunt may do it for us.

Witch Hunt medieval
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Get Your Torches and Pitchforks Boys, We’re Having A Witch Hunt!

0

Republicans have just declared that the Mueller Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election is a “Witch Hunt”.  And who would know better than them?

Witch Hunt cartoonAfter several separate Congressional investigations into the 2012 Bengazi embassy attack/Clinton Email controversy, Republicans were unable to find any wrong-doing or criminal activity.  The FBI even launched an exhaustive investigation and came to the same conclusion.   So, end of story right?

No, Republicans continued to beat that dead horse by holding a grand total of EIGHT separate investigations.  For this, Democrats called the never-ending investigations a “Witch Hunt” and rightly so.  None of the subsequent investigations produced any changes in the verdict.  It became obvious that the investigations were a blatant attempt to find something by which to discredit Hillary Clinton, the presumed front runner for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination.  Or in other words, a witch hunt.

There was a time not long ago when witch hunts were very serious and dangerous business often ending with the accused (usually women) being sentenced to death by burning, drowning or hanging.    The idea of witches and the need to punish them is first brought to us by the Bible (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10-14; Isaiah 8:19-22; Leviticus 20:26-27; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8 just for starters).  Exodus 20:18  specifically states that “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

Witch Hunt Salem

But there is not much evidence of Jewish witch hunts.  The religion that really took up witch hunting with great zeal and vigor was Christianity, particularly Medieval Christians who were chock full of superstition and fear.  In their narrow-minded worldview they found the idea of witches, as the manifestation of the Devil, to be an evil so threatening that it had to be destroyed by the most extreme measures..  Witch trials were an outgrowth of the Inquisitions — Papal sanctioned eradication campaigns against any religious group such as Jews, Cathars or Waldensians who refused to recognize the Pope as God’s Supreme Pontiff.  The Jesuits served as judge, jury and executioner of these cruel and mindless Inquisition trials.

Witch Hunt Poster
 Witch hunting was most popular between 1560 and 1650 in Europe.  And in the American Colonies, the famous Hartford and Salem witch trials took place between 1670-1692.  Historians have documented at least 12,000 witch executions but they also believe many more went undocumented.  Of those, 75-80% were women.  (https://www.thoughtco.com/european-witch-hunts-timeline-3530786).

Compare that to how we use the phrase “witch hunt” today: it means a hoax, a lot to do about nothing,  a wasteful, meaningless process.  This a perfect example of how a once-upon-a-time unshakable religious doctrine evaporates in the light of science and knowledge.   Now we have the Republican party, heavily favored by Christian Evangelicals, using the word “witch hunt” to describe  something that they believe is a hoax.  Too bad they can’t appreciate the irony.

The Mueller investigation is anything BUT a witch hunt.  In 7 short months, Mueller’s team has already issued indictments to two of Trump’s top campaign officials:  Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager; and Manafort’s second-in-command Rick Gates.  They have also obtained guilty pleas from two of Trump’s administration officials:  one from George Papadopoulos, a senior foreign affairs adviser and Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, both for LYING to the FBI.

Sorry Republicans.  It can’t be a “witch hunt if it is actually uncovering wrong-doing and crimes at the highest level of Trump’s campaign and White House staff.  And Mueller is just warming up.  Now that Flynn is cooperating, the odds that Trump will get swept up in this investigation has gone up substantially.

Which is precisely why Republicans have raised the “witch hunt” mantra.  When the Special Counsel was formed back in May, Republicans and Democrats were almost unanimous in their support and respect for Bob Mueller.  He had the credentials and reputation to handle this investigation, possibly more than anyone else.  Not to mention that Mueller is a registered Republican.  Since then and up until recently there has been virtually zero controversy about the investigation — except for Trump tweets.  Then it was reported that two members of Mueller’s team,  FBI agents, were dismissed last August because they exchanged anti-Trump tweets.

Republicans went freaking ballistic!  You would have thought that Mueller had promoted those agents to Chief Investigator!  Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) charged that “if every member of Bob Mueller’s Special Counsel team who was “anti-Trump” was kicked off, I don’t know if there’d be anybody left”.  Really?  That’s just inflammatory bullshit.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) brought back McCarthy era style interrogation of FBI Director Christopher Wray by listing the names of top FBI administrators and investigators, one by one, then asking Wray to reveal whether these individuals had demonstrated political partisanship (anti-Trump) in the line of duty.  To which Wray replied “No” each time.

The real Witch Hunt going on in America today, an actual, old-time witch hunt, is the persecution of women who have come forward to accuse powerful men of sexually abusing or harassing them; men like Donald Trump, Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein; and who have been called liars, political tools and publicity hounds.

Yet the sincerity and persistence of these women’s claims cannot and should not be so summarily dismissed.   What motivation other than truth and justice could so many of them have?  Why would they expose themselves to such harsh scrutiny, public humiliation and even more persecution?   No court can resolve these charges, it is literally her word against his.  Instead, we Americans must be the jury and based on the overwhelming evidence, we must presume these men to be guilty.  Their punishment will be light, no prison time (unless the charges of rape can be proven), only removal from their offices of power and permanent shame.  Moore was defeated, Weinstein has been fired, many other predators have resigned or been forced to quit.

This is no witch hunt, these crimes are REAL.  Donald Trump is a CONFESSED sexual predator.  He should never have been elected.  But now that the ‘Reckoning’ is taking place, it is time the American people demand Donald Trump leave the office of the presidency.  If he doesn’t, the Mueller Special Counsel witch hunt may do it for us.

Witch Hunt medieval

Re: The Republican Tax Scam. Excerpts from my “The American Pluto-Kleptocracy” post 4/17/17

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With the Republican Tax Scam progressing through Congress, I felt compelled to republish excerpts from my April ’17 blog post below.

If the Tax Scam succeeds, it is clear that a majority of Trump voters will be amongst the country’s biggest losers.  Republicans have already tried to take your health care away, now they are going to stick you with a bigger tax bill so corporations and the richest 1% can pay millions less.

If you know a Trump voter, please forward this article.  They need to try to understand the consequences of their actions.

And please Trump voters, remember this when you go to the polls, from now on.

To read the entire post go to:  https://wordpress.com/post/laresistanceamerican.wordpress.com/434

Income Inequality Cartoon

America’s biggest problem is not illegal immigrants, or radical Islamic terrorists.  It’s not Planned Parenthood, it’s not guns, it’s not even religion.  These are issues that powerful special interests use to divide us and pit us against one another so they can further tilt the economic and legal playing field to their advantage.

Our biggest problem?  The political structure of the United States has become (once again) a plutocracy and most recently has devolved into a kleptocracy.

A plutocracy?  A government by the wealthy (Meriam Webster).  Ploutos is Greek for “wealth”.

A kleptocracy?  A government or state in which those in power exploit natural resources or steal; rule by a thief or thieves (Dictionary.com).  Klepto is Greek for “thief”.

Most of the significant problems that exist in American society today are at least in part attributable to the Plutocracy:  income inequality; excessive money dominating our elections; voter suppression; social inequality; criminal injustice; corporate welfare over human welfare; environmental pollution; our contribution to carbon dioxide waste and climate change; lack of a comprehensive immigration plan; the suppression of women’s reproductive freedom; a ridiculously expensive and horribly inadequate health care system; reductions in essential social services; our outrageous level of military spending; and war.

We haven’t always been a plutocracy but it has happened many times before.  It could be argued that our country started out as a plutocracy — after all only white, male landowners could vote and run for office.  During the Industrial Age of the late 1800’s , the “Robber Barons” (powerful and wealthy corporate monopolists) controlled and manipulated many essential U.S. markets and exploited cheap labor.  J.P. Morgan was so wealthy that he famously rescued the U.S. economy in the Panic of 1907 when asked by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt.

The Roaring 20’s were a time of unprecedented monetary gains for the wealthy.  They were also a time of high anti-immigrant sentiments, alcohol prohibition (that went over well!), low taxes rates (see chart below) and rampant stock speculation. It was the Great Gatsby decade — our most recent fling with a plutocracy.

And how did things end?  With the Great Depression of 1929 that brought this country to it’s knees.

The really scary part is the similarities between the ’20’s and the 00’s. (See the chart Figure 1 below. )

Middle America, wake up.  When the plutocrats start talking about cutting taxes; what they really mean is they give us a little “teaser” cut and their tax savings will be HUGE.  Significant reductions in income tax rates, creates an even bigger and wealthier plutocratic class.  The chart below (Figure 1) shows who benefited most from the 1920’s tax cuts (represented by the  column on the left).

Income Distribution 1920's70% of income growth went to the top 1%.  The bottom 90% split up 17%.

Notice too that after the Great Depression and well into the 60’s and 70’s, we were able to neutralize the plutocracy and produce income gains amongst the 90% that well out-stripped gains for the upper 1%.  Income tax rates went back up too;  in the 1950’s & 1960’s the highest income tax bracket was 80-90%.  In the 1970’s, it had dropped a little to 70%.

Then came the so-called Reagan Revolution.  The top tax rate, paid by the fattest of cats, fell from 70% in 1980 to 31% in 1992 (see chart below) after 12 years of Republicans in the White House.  The fat cats were keeping over 2 times as much income!

 It was a revolution all right, a wealth windfall for the richest and most powerful people and corporations in the country.  They called it  “Trickle down” economics.  And that’s exactly what it did, wealth gushed in for the top income earners and everyone else had to live on a “trickle“.  The Plutocrats had returned to power!

Once the economic playing field becomes tilted to the rich and powerful, it’s very hard to level it out again.  Power and money generate more laws favorable to the wealthy:  caps on interest rates are lifted; restrictions on financial institutions are dropped; corporate tax loopholes multiply; tax rates are cut; politicians are bribed with dark money; lobbyists and lawyers run amok; safety net programs are defunded;  environmental consequences are ignored in favor of profits; huge advertising and PR budgets are used to mask corporate and political crimes and lies;  CEO’s of receive huge bonuses even while crashing the economy.  Plutocrats rarely go to prison

* * * * * * * * * * *

Unfortunately the attention span of the average American voter is very short — a fact upon which Plutocrats rely.  In the 2016 Presidential elections the Republicans ran the biggest, baddest Plutocrat in recent memory.  He easily bamboozled the Republican middle class by convincing them he was a “populist” and using rough, tough language and a 4th grade vocabulary.  He distracted these voters with bullshit, knee jerk slogans such as  “Make America Great Again“, “Build The Wall”, “Ban Muslims”, “Drain The Swamp”, Fake News Media”, “Only I Can Solve It”  to cover up the fact he was a snake-oil salesman, pathological liar, provocateur, predatory scum-bag named Donald Trump.  Those voters drank his Kool-Aid.

The Trump Administration has not only brought back the bad-old-days of Plutocracy, they have, with the help of the Republican Party, devolved our political system in to an outright Kleptocracy.  The simple act of refusing to release his income taxes defines Trump as a kleptocrat.  He does not want us to know how much he makes, how much he owes and to whom, where he has his investments, nor who his partners might be.   This has already raised conflict of interest questions in regards to his ties with other kleptocracies such as Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to name a few. He refuses to completely divest himself from his various companies and investments that are making more money now that he’s the Predator In Chief.

Instead of “Draining the Swamp”, he has brought in super-sized Alligators and Snakes in the form of the wealthiest cabinet in American history.  But wealth isn’t necessarily the worst of it.  As Brooke Harrington points out in a 1/19/17 Washington Post article titled “Yes, Trump’s Cabinet is super rich.  That’s not why we should be worried.”:

“On the whole, Trump’s picks are more renowned for enriching themselves than for giving to needy causes or serving others. For secretary of labor, we find the chief executive of a fast-food company who opposes a higher minimum wage and other labor regulations that cost him money (he has since resigned). For leader of the Department of Health and Human Services, the nominee is an orthopedic surgeon who as a member of Congress built a track record of opposing policies that cut into physicians’ profits — including programs such as Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, which limit reimbursements for medical services.”

Trump has now been in office for almost a year.  Now we can judge the man-child by his actions not just his bombast.  He’s making money off of being President: higher membership fees at Mira Lago; higher prices at Trump Tower; and countless businesses and financial entanglements that he refuses to reveal; his sons, Uday and Qusay (Bill Maher’s nicknames for them) are travelling the world, making deals with oligarchs and kleptocrats alike because the Trump brand is now worth even more — and we, the taxpayers are picking up the tab, so far $100,000’s, for their Secret Service contingent while the family enriches itself.  If this isn’t illegal it sure as hell should be.

Back on the home front,  Trump and his fellow Republican Plutocrat lovers are passing legislation to aid and abet his wealthy friends and donors:  removing environmental regulations so energy companies can pollute more and profit from it;  attempting, but failing, to pass a health care bill that would strip health care from some of the neediest 24 million people, while giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy; defunding and neutralizing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau whose one and only goal is to protect us, the consumers, from predatory lending practices, payday loans and risky investment schemes;  Defunding Planned Parenthood that offers a variety of women’s health services and tests to an estimated 4,000,000 mostly middle and lower class, women.  And coming soon a income tax overhaul that will include big tax cuts (remember the real meaning of that word when it comes from a Plutocrat).

The 90% is getting completely shut out of the big wealth transfer planned by the Republicans.  We can’t take this sitting down.  Stop making excuses for these pricks.  Don’t let them distract you with wedge issues while they pick your pockets, toxify your air and water and steal our future.

There are two ways to stop a Plutocracy/Kleptocracy:

1) In the 1920’s the Plutocracy came to a screeching halt because of the Great Depression.  After the collapse, government policies, laws and programs (like the New Deal) were created to aid the real victims and the neediest and most vulnerable in society.  Thanks to these measures, it took 50 years before the Plutocrats could gain the upper hand again.  So, one way to end the Plutocracy is total economic collapse.  This is not the preferred solution because while the Great Depression hurt rich and poor alike, middle and lower income earners always suffer more and endure economic hard times longer.

2)  The second way to end a plutocracy can be done without an economic meltdown — it requires a massive shift of voter consciousness.  The 99% of us must suspend our ideological war against one another over zero-sum wedge issues and vote as the cohesive economic block that we are.  Economic conditions that deny minorities decent wages, health care and wealth accumulation also deny white Americans from similar economic status the same opportunities.  Remove consumer protection regulations from the financial/insurance industry and it won’t be long before they are raiding and pillaging the middle class again.  Cut funding and enforcement for clean air and water and the 90% gets it the worst.  The recent Michigan water crisis happened in Flint, a prototypical middle class city, not in well-to-do Bloomfield Hills.  Deport undocumented workers and prices on many staple goods and services will go up.  That hurts the 99%, not the 1% that pass the laws.

We are the 99% and despite Citizens United, unlimited contributions, dark money to political entities and a Kleptocrat in the White House, we can absolutely overwhelm the Plutocrats with voting power.  This is exactly why the Republicans (the more pro-plutocratic party) depend upon spreading unsubstantiated fear, exploiting racial issues and using wedge issues to divide the 99% and dupe roughly half of us into voting against our own economic self-interests.  See my previous posts “The Successful Republican Election Strategy Parts 1 & 2” — 1/23/17 and 3/14/17 for a more detailed report on this phenomenon.

A prophetic quote from the movie “The Big Short” (2015):  “I have a feeling, in a few years people are going to be doing what they always do when the economy tanks. They will be blaming immigrants and poor people.”

The Republican Plutocracy

I encourage all voters earning under $250,000 to set aside their never-ending battles over social issues and in 2018 (or before if there are special or local elections) and 2020, VOTE TO END THE KLEPTOCRACY!.  Hold elected officials and candidates accountable for their positions on vital issues such as health care, reasonable environmental regulations, tax cuts and budgeting that hurts us and aids the wealthy, full disclosure of their financial entanglements and tax returns, their stance on reasonable Consumer Protection Laws, ethics laws, Citizens United and dark money in politics and the power and influence of lobbyists and foreign governments.

We have tried “Trickle Down” economics and it has been a complete failure for everyone except the super rich.   A Plutocracy is not a stable way to run our country.  Sooner or later it will produce a catastrophe of greed and avarice.  It weakens America, not make it stronger.  A Kleptocracy is even worse.  We, the 90-99%, are allowing thieves, swindlers and sociopaths to run roughshod over us, manipulating markets, bilking tax payers, destroying our environment, and selling us hot steaming shit and telling us it’s caviar.

We can stop them.  And all we have to do is vote.  Vote smart, vote your pocketbook, vote for the 90-99%.  The way America becomes stronger and ‘greater’ economically is from the middle class out — the exact opposite of “Trickle Down”.   The tax laws, economic opportunites, job growth, health care, educational decisions must be designed to help the middle class first and foremost.  Should we be successful, the fat cats won’t suffer too much.  But just remember, the Plutocrats will always be lurking, waiting and watching for us to drop our guard, become too apathetic or easily distracted.   For a better, more prosperous America, we can’t let that happen.

 

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON TODAY!  TELL THEM “NO” TO THE REPUBLICAN TAX SCAM.  “NO” TO TAX FAVORITISM FOR THE WEALTHY.  “NO” TO CORPORATE TAX RATE CUTS — THEY DON’T NEED IT!  IF THERE ARE GOING TO BE ANY TAX CUTS, THEY MUST BE DIRECTED EXCLUSIVELY TO MIDDLE AND LOWER ECONOMIC GROUPS.

IF THAT REPRESENTATIVE VOTES FOR THIS CRUEL AND UNJUST BILL ANYWAY……….VOTE THEM OUT AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY.

 

Pro-Life and Pro Gun??

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Pro Life Pro Gun sticker (2)_LI

Yeah, I know the picture sucks.  I was driving and photo-shooting at the same time.  I had seen a similar bumper sticker before and had vowed that if I saw another, I would take the pic.  Best I could do.  In case you can’t read it, it says:

SAVE FREEDOM    NRA     PRO-
TRUMP/PENCE                    LIFE

I have long been tempted to print up a bunch of bumper stickers that simply say:

…..AND I’M A MORON.

And stick them on cars like this.  I would also target the bumper sticker that says:

AREN’T YOU GLAD YOUR MOTHER IS PRO-LIFE?

As is so happens, my mother is Pro-Choice you brainless twit!  Does this car owner actually believe that only Pro-Life Mothers give birth?  It really only makes sense if it continues with ….AND I’M A MORON.

But back to the sticker in the photo above.  Please, someone explain to me how you can be simultaneously Pro-Life and Pro-Gun?  Even if you only shoot deer or ducks, using a gun for anything other than target practice, generally means that something is likely to DIE.  So where does the Pro-Life shit come in?

And if you’re Pro-Life/Gun how exactly do you square your beliefs with the fact that last year, in the U.S. alone, there were over 33,000 gun deaths and another 75,000 gun injuries (CDC)?  It appears that firing a gun is actually more of a Pro-Death activity.  And because Pro-Life is specifically a cause against the so-called “murder” of “children” via abortion, what do you think the owner of this car would say about the fact that 2800 children and teens die by gun EVERY YEAR?  Or that in 2010, the American Journal of Medicine reported that of  23 high-income countries, 91% of children killed by firearms were in the U.S.?

If you’re Pro-Gun, you can only be Pro-Life in the narrowest and most hypocritical sense of the word (i.e. Pro-Life for fetuses).  Or as the comedian George Carlin famously said about Pro-Lifers, they believe:  “If you’re Pre-Born you’re Protected.  If you’re Pre-School, you’re Fucked!”

I suggest a law that if you have both a Pro-Life and Pro-Gun bumper sticker on your car, you are hereby required by law, to add my ….AND I’M A MORON sticker along side it.

Hard to believe that in the second decade of the 21st century, an entire major U.S. political party is rallying around the ignorant hypocrisy of being both Pro-Life and Pro-Gun.  Go figure.  And what’s worse, they don’t even see the irony.

 

 

 

THE #1 LONG TERM CHALLENGE FOR HUMAN CIVILIZATION IS NOT CLIMATE CHANGE…

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What is your guess for our #1 Long Term Challenge?  Nuclear Proliferation? Food and Clean Water Supply?  Globalization?  Climate Change?  Energy Resources?  Bad Drivers?   Job Opportunities/Displacement?  Environmental Toxicity?  Donald Trump?  War?   Ethnic Cleansing?  Lack of Medical Care and Supplies? Pandemics?

Every one of these issues are ultimately related to, and are merely symptoms of the really BIG problem — Over Population.  Too many humans and not enough resources, technology or distribution networks to serve them.  In 1980, 37 years ago, world population stood at roughly 4.5 billion people.  Today we’re at 7.2 billion and climbing.  A 62% increase in under 40 years.

Future population projections vary based on the modeling data used, but the average of a number of studies predicts a population between 9.2 and 10 billion by 2050.  This means Earth’s population will have doubled in 70 years.  Or put another way, we have been adding 70,000,000, to 80,000,000 people to this planet PER YEAR.

Population World

This rapid explosion of humans has been bad for living conditions on planet Earth.  We’re heating our atmosphere, contaminating our soils and streams, piling trash as high as mountains, hunting and killing other species to extinction, acidifying our lakes and seas and polluting our air.  We have created huge plastic “islands” in the middle of our oceans.   We are draining underground aquifers that have existed for 15,000 years.  We humans are already the cause of what some scientists refer to as a MASS EXTINCTION EVENT (see chart below).  Due to the current rate of species extinction, humans are believed to be causing a Sixth Mass Extinction, which could ultimately include us.  (Highly recommend The Sixth Extinction:  An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert 2014).

Mass+Extinction+Events6th mass extinction event   sixth_mass_extinction

But let’s be selfish for a moment.  Forget the damage we are doing to other species and let’s think about what we are doing to ourselves: our inability to provide basic human needs to a large percentage of our population such as; adequate, nutritious food, clean drinking water, medical care and supplies, and reasonable shelter.

From the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) February 2015:

—  almost 1 billion people suffer from chronic hunger and almost 2 billion are under- or overnourished.

From the World Health Organization (WHO) July 2017 update:

  • 844 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 159 million people who are dependent on surface water.
  • Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces.
  • By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

Also from WHO June 2015:

— 400 million people do not have access to essential health services and 6% of people in low- and middle-income countries are tipped into or pushed further into extreme poverty because of health spending.

From Futurism.com Sept. 2016:

— A follow up study conducted by Habitat in 2015 showed that there were 1.6 billion people lacking adequate housing.

At 7.2 billion people, we are seriously failing to provide the basic daily essentials to 2+ billion people.  That’s roughly 1/3 of our species.

By 2050 that percentage is expected to rise significantly.  WHO projects that 2/3’s of Earth’s humans could suffer from water scarcity alone (April 2015).

These are projections based on current trends and technologies but there is no telling how these numbers will actually be effected by climate change.  For a more in depth look at the challenges of Climate Change read my blog https://wordpress.com/post/laresistanceamerican.wordpress.com/4169.
Here are some possibilities to consider:

  1. Food Production — climate change will radically alter crop yields.  Sudden severe changes in rainfall will create precipitous drops in food availability.  While these conditions might be acute, they could have horrific short term impacts.
  2. Immigration — Over 1 billion people currently live in low-lying coastal areas — mostly in Asia (worldoceanreview.com).  This means that our present level of displaced humans could easily increase four to ten fold in the coming decades just as a result of sea level rise.  Imagine a world with a billion displaced people.
  3. Water Scarcity — Potable water is poised to become the world’s most desirable commodity by the middle of this century.  The have-nots will be forced to re-locate or perish.
  4. Energy — our largest population increases in the 21st century will occur in less-developed regions such as Africa and Southeast Asia.  Those areas are already the most prone to burn fossil fuels, thereby adding more carbon to our atmosphere.
  5. War — A persistent lack of food, water and medical care will cause mass migrations, instability and violence which will spill across borders and infect larger areas of our globe.  Desperate people (and governments) do desperate things.
  6. Pandemic Diseases — A high population density coupled with poor sanitary conditions makes a perfect breeding ground for infectious and communicable diseases.   War, poverty, climate change, mass migrations will all contribute.  The more we cram together the more vulnerable we are.

It might be tempting for some to shrug off the OVER-population problem on Africa, India, China or Malaysia.  After all, population growth in many European countries and Japan has been relatively small in the last 36 years:

Country                   1980                        2016             % Increase       Total Fertility Rate*
Germany           78,000,000            82,670,000               6                             1.45
France               55,000,000            67,000,000              22                            1.96
England             56,000,000            65,600,000             20.7                         1.83
Russia               139,000,000         144,000,000              3.6                           1.67
Japan                117,000,000         127,000,000              8.5                           1.44

Now let’s look at population increases from some of the countries that keep popping up in the headlines:

Nigeria               75,000,000          186,000,000              148                         5.42
Sudan                 19,520,000           40,000,000               105                         5.05
Egypt                  44,000,000           95,500,000               117                         3.35
Pakistan             78,000,000         207,000,000              165                          3.27
Indonesia          147,500,000       261,000,000               77                           2.33
Turkey                44,000,000          79,500,000               80.6                        2.07

And let’s not forget the real heavyweights:

India                  700,000,000        1,324,000,000           89                            2.38
China                 981,000,000        1,380,000,000           41                            1.66

And finally:

United States    226,500,000          323,100,000           38.5                          1.85

*Total Fertility Rate is the expected number of children born to a woman of that country during her child-bearing years.  These numbers were an average from three studies: the ’16 World Bank; ’17 Population Reference Bureau; and ’17 CIA World Factbook.

Clearly, in the 21st century, rapid population growth/high fertility rate is a key contributor to national and regional insecurity.  The simple facts confirm that most governments and economies cannot keep pace with the social and economic demands of a booming population.  Worldwide we are literally breeding ourselves into catastrophe.

United States citizens can smugly claim that we have relatively low population growth and fertility rates therefore the problem lies somewhere else.  But that belies the fact that per capita, Americans consume the lion’s share of the world’s natural resources.  From worldpopulationbalance.org:

Per Capita Energy Consumption in named country vs. the US.

United Kingdom 1:2  (The average American uses TWICE the energy as the average Brit)
France, Germany and Japan  1:2
China  1:4
Turkey 1:5
Egypt  1:7
Indonesia  1:13
India  1:17
Pakistan  1:21
Phillipines  1:23

I couldn’t find data for countries in Africa.  Safe to say, the average American uses 40, 50 maybe 100 times more energy than the average person in Africa’s poorest countries.

The point is that during the lifetime of EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN, we will use many times the energy of any other individual on our planet.  China consumes slightly more energy overall as a country.  But per capita, Americans are far and away the greatest energy hogs on Earth.

By every model, projection, prediction and forecast over the next several decades, our current lifestyle and way of life is unsustainable.  We as citizens of the world are facing some very painful options– and the longer we wait, the more painful those options become.  We can voluntarily and drastically reduce our birthrates and dynamically alter our consumption habits — in which case we may be able to mitigate the pain and suffering to humanity.  Or we can move slowly (as we have been) or ignore the threat all together (as many American Conservatives prefer) in which case, we will no longer control our own fate…..it will be left to Mother Nature to do with us what she will.  And Mother Nature doesn’t give a rat’s ass about humans.  In fact, She may be better off without us.

We will never fully come to terms with climate change (or any of the other above-mentioned problems) unless we recognize that the engine that propels those issues is OVER – population.  We need an aggressive global initative to fund woman’s pre-natal care and education; a vast network of health clinics staffed with professionals specializing in obstetrics and gynecology;  a plentiful supply of safe, effective and affordable contraceptive options available to women and men world-wide; and, as an important and necessary last resort option, women must have access to safe, economic abortion procedures.  These all should be VOLUNTEER procedures and services.  There should never be coercion or mandates in these matters.

Countries that block these urgent health care needs should be economically and politically sanctioned and treated as pariahs in the world community.  Like climate change, OVER-population is a GLOBAL problem.  One country’s irresponsibility can diminish the quality of life for all of us.  Part of the education process must include MEN.  Men are a huge part of the problem.  Men must be re-educated that they do not dominate women; own women; control women; beat or kill women; or impregnate them without consent.  They also must learn that if they father children; then they must father those children either through direct involvement in their lives or by providing financial support.  Our laws must be prioritized to insure these goals.

The other obstacle that must be overcome is Religion.  For thousands of years, Religion has endorsed Male Domination and Control and the reckless notion of “Be Fruitful And Multiply”.  These are archaic notions left over from a time when humans knew nothing about biology, ecology or science of any kind and when world population was measured in ‘millions’ of people instead of ‘billions’.

Also in the ancient world, before ”God’s order” had been altered by modern science, average human life expectancy was 40 years +/- and infant mortality rates (rates of death for fetuses in utero to babies up to 1 year old) was, in many cultures, between 20-50%!  So you had to have lots of pregnancies in order to produce a family.  Today’s infant mortality rates in developed countries are well under 1%.

Population dynamics are completely different today which makes practices such as large families, failure to use contraception, poor access to prenatal care, and restrictions on abortion are not only outdated but dangerous contributors to overpopulation.  These provincial attitudes must end.  Womens Fertility Rates vs LiteracyWorld religions must ease up on their scriptoral interpretations of keeping women “barefoot and pregnant”.  Equal rights for women will be every bit as important as carbon-free energy to mitigate the looming disasters of the 21st century.

 

On the other side of the life spectrum, religions must move out of the way on the issues of euthanasia and death-with-dignity.  The health care system in the U.S. is going to implode under the weight of aging baby boomers.  Population of 65 and over Today, there are approximately 50 million Americans 65 or older (see chart).  By 2040, that number is expected to be almost 80 million!  That’s only 22 years away.  Does anyone in their right minds think our health care systems can handle that?  This could bankrupt Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and where are we going to put all these people?  End of life care is by far the most expensive type of health care — hogging up over 15% of total medical spending (De Nardi M, Jones JB, French E, McCauley J (2016). “Medical Spending of the US Elderly”. Fiscal Studies. 37 (3-4): 717–747. doi:10.1111/j.1475-5890.2016.12106)

What to do?  It’s not just about the money.  The entire system cannot be maintained.  We must open a dialogue immediately about end-of-life options.  The taboo must be lifted.  Doctors and health care workers must get on board.  Prescribing a dignified, voluntary death to end suffering and terminal conditions is not only an obvious solution but a necessary one as well.

This is tough medicine to swallow but we, as a country, as a specie, must understand that, right now, we have the technical and medical capability to voluntarily reduce birth rates and offer death-with-dignity options immediately, safely and affordably.  It must become a global priority.  Simultaneously, with dynamic, visionary thinking and innovation on climate change, alternative energies, food and water distribution, transportation and computerization, we still have a chance to preserve a reasonable quality of life for our children and grandchildren.   This is no time to be hamstrung by ancient fairytales or primitive thinking.  Either we use every humane yet effective way to solve or at least mitigate these problems ourselves or, over the next several decades, many millions, perhaps a billion people could die cruelly, horribly and with great suffering.  The scope of devastation could touch the family and faith of every human on Earth.  Don’t think for a second that being a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim is going to save your ass either.  This isn’t an Armageddon, Apocalypse or the Last Days.  We’re talking straight out Biological Evolution, survival of the fittest.  When species overpopulate and destroy their habitats, the population is systematically reduced by the most efficient natural means possible.

If we fail to rise to this challenge our only excuses will be “we” were too deeply mired in our archaic religious superstitions; “we” were too arrogant, ignorant and selfish; “we” failed to recognize the greatest threat to human civilization even though it was staring us straight in the eyes.   Future generations will judge us harshly.

This is also a moment where humans have an unprecedented opportunity to alter the course of civilization.  These threats and challenges can motivate us to usher in a New Age.  Countries or cultures that most aggressively pursue solutions via technology, science and production will most likely become the leaders of the 22nd century and enjoy the highest standards of living.   The United States should unquestionably be among them, preferably leading them.  But we can only lead by example.   We cannot ask others to do that which we cannot do ourselves.   Nor can we lead in innovation if we fail to recognize problem.

The United States has already begun the process of abdicating that leadership and entrepreneurship.   We have done an about-face and we’re marching backward in search of a world that no longer exists.   Municipalities, states and private industry are trying to fill the vacuum and their efforts are notable and should be applauded.  But if America is going to lead, our government must be ALL IN.   And it’s not.  Americans must go to the voting booths and change that starting immediately.

What can YOU do?

— Register to vote, if you haven’t already.  Nov. 2018 is less than a year away and there may be special elections in your area before then.

— Vote for smart people, who support top-flight public education, low-cost secondary education and have a basic understanding and respect for science and proven facts.  Support candidates who are Pro-Women’s Equality, Pro-Choice, Pro-Contraception, Pre-Natal Care for all women, and Medical care for all children.  Pro-Death with Dignity.  Pro Health Care for all Americans.

— Vote also for politicians who make decisions based on the best evidence available regardless of party doctrine.

— Get involved politically to support candidates described above.  Or better yet, run for office yourself!

— Reduce your carbon footprint anyway you can.  Save energy and water, recycle, use alternative fuels, plant a tree or garden, don’t be wasteful, use re-usable shopping bags, cut down on eating beef, cut down on meal portions, exercise, walk more/drive less.

—  Write your representatives in Congress and demand action.  Feel free to send them a copy of this blog!

—  Keep reading and supporting La Resistance American.  We will continue to fight the battle for hearts and minds.

ANSWER YOUR FUTURE GRANDCHILDREN:  WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU LEARNED OUR HUMAN HABITAT IS UNDER ASSAULT?

 

 

 

 

The Lesson From Virginia

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A CLEAN SWEEP FOR DEMOCRATS OF TOP OFFICE HOLDERS IN VIRGINIA!

GOV.-ELECT NORTHAM WINS BY 9 POINTS!

Virginia just showed us the way forward.  The way to destroy Trumpism and everything it’s stands for.   ENERGY, SOLID CANDIDATES AND MASSIVE TURNOUT.

When Democrats have these three ingredients we win, not everywhere or every time, but we can begin to reverse stranglehold Republicans have had in recent elections.  We create energy about EVERY election, no matter how small.  We put forward well-vetted candidates who have no fear of promoting and supporting issues that will benefit the lives of the majority of people.  And we turn out to vote in massive numbers.

More importantly, Democrats flipped at least 15 seats in the Virginia House, with 3 contests still undecided.  Republicans had held a 28 seat advantage (66-34).  If the Dems win 2 or more of the remaining races, the balance of in the legislature is even.  All this DESPITE intensive Republican gerrymandering in the state since 2000.

I completely underestimated the number of votes needed to win the Virginia Governorship.  In 2013, current Governor Terry McAuliffe won with just over 1,069,000 votes to his opponent’s 1,011,000.  That was only a 2.5% difference.  I figured if Democrats could turn out 1.1 million voters, Northam would win BIG.  Turns out that the loser, Ed Gillespie, received 1,173,000 votes!  Fortunately there was a “Blue Wave” of Democrats, 1,405,000 votes for Northam.  A 9% margin.  One of the biggest margins of victory in any Virginia governorship in modern memory.

In the Democrat’s giddiness we must remember that Gillespie received 162,000 more votes than the Republican candidate in 2013.  That’s a 16% increase!  We must not forget that Republican voters are much more disciplined and consistent in participating in off-year elections.  With the built-in advantage they already have in a majority Republican controlled states PLUS all of the phony voter suppression laws (i.e. Voter ID’s) and the illegal use of gerrymandering (redistricting) to alienate voters by race and ethnicity; Democrats must turn out in HUGE numbers if we are going to flip the Senate and to flip the House we will need another Blue Wave.

MAKE 2018 A BEAUTIFUL BLUE YEAR!!

Let us celebrate for sure.  Thank you Virginia and New Jersey in particular!  But we must never again be as complacent as we were in 2016.  Never again!  Follow this blog and your regular news outlets:  STAY INFORMED, REGISTER AND VOTE.  ELECTION 2018 is exactly ONE YEAR AWAY.

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The Battle for Virginia continues…

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Democrats, Liberals, Progressive and Independents in Virginia.  IT’S TIME TO VOTE!!

On Tuesday, November 7 there is an important state-wide election in Virginia to elect your next Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.

For Governor the candidates are Ralph Northam (D) and Ed Gillespie (R).

Ralph Northam  Ralph Northam.

Northam is currently the Lieutenant Governor of the State and has been since 2014.  Northam has staked out a centrist Democrat position.

Gillespie is the former Republican National Committee chairman under Dubya Bush and was later in the Bush White House as an advisor.  Gillespie had always associated himself with more center-right Republicans.

But he has been running behind in the polls and in order to boost his numbers, Gillespie recently became ‘Trumpatized’, that is, using negative and misleading ads to promote fear, hate and divisiveness into the campaign.  These are Trump tactics 101 and are a complete departure for Gillespie who had previously spoken out against such strategies.  For more on Gillespie’s message read:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/11/01/daily-202-negative-ads-are-helping-ed-gillespie-win-over-trump-supporters-in-the-virginia-governor-s-race/59f9276930fb0468e7653ff4/?utm_term=.41ebab34baff

We cannot allow these tactics to be successful.  We must fight against this naked attempt by Republicans to further divide this country for the self-interests of greedy bizillionaires, corporations as well as white and Christian supremacists.

If you have been disgusted by Trump Republicans, if you wish to take a stand against the weakening and exploitation of American democracy — we can send a loud and clear message by defeating such candidates everywhere possible.  The formula for success is simple:

VIRGINIANS — YOU MUST VOTE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7.  A huge turnout will smother the Republican candidate.  WE ARE THE MAJORITY!  But we can only succeed with massive voter turnout.

Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to vote.  If you can’t make it to the polls, complete an absentee ballot and send it in right away.  YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT!

Complaining about government and politics is an EMPTY GESTURE unless you are willing to show up at the polls.  PLEASE VOTE NOV. 7 for the following Democrat candidates:

RALPH NORTHAM for Governor

JUSTIN FAIRFAX for Lieutenant Governor

MARK HERRING for Attorney General

In 2013, the current Governor, Terry McAuliffe (D), received 1,069,789 votes and won by a small margin of 2.6%.

Let’s give NORTHAM over 1.1 million votes and insure a victory.

VOTE OUT REPUBLICANS –they have enabled and supported Donald Trump who is mentally unstable, clearly unfit for office and who, after the Charlottesville protests, praised Neo-Nazi’s and White Supremacists as “some fine people” and cast blame “on both sides”.  Republicans have already cut healthcare to millions of Americans; they have removed many Environmental protections including the Clean Water Act, vital to the protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and have threatened to cut significant amounts of funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay program.  And finally, as we speak, Republicans are preparing to pass a large tax cut, 80% of which will benefit wealthy individuals and corporations.  And the crumbs will be spread amongst the 90+% of us.

WE MUST DRAW THE LINE HERE.  VOTE VIRGINIA!  NOV. 7