How do We Recover? the rise of The Intolerants

Memorial Day

agent orange patch

Last evening I bumped into YouTube videos on The War in Vietnam. This was apropos for engaging in Memorial Day sentiments.

I was hooked into that war. I was the levy clerk at an Army post and it was my responsibility to send enlisted men over to Vietnam among other places.

Towards the end of my one year, eight months and twenty-two days of drafted service, in addition, I started to process officers.

That war means more than just words on a page. As I have only shared that side with only a few select people, one of whom is my psychiatrist, I will not be exploring that minefield here.

As I stated, I watched several excellent videos on the war and posted them on Facebook. I do not know if anyone watched them, I didn’t get any feedback but that is not important.

What was important was that I sent out memorable moments that were excellent examples of what our focus has been on Memorial Days.

The next morning I had a rude awakening.

BAM! I barely got my eyes open and focused when I read Trump’s sick excuse for a tribute to men and women who have given their lives so he can twist and turn the Constitution to line his pockets.

Later in the day as my bride and I were unpacking items we were moving into our new home, a two-bedroom apartment, I took a break and opened this article.

This article expresses my concerns to the nth degree. I had to share it with most of my family and fired off the article to two brothers who will jump on me for my sentiments.

Very seldom do I hear blowback for any of the articles on posts to Facebook.

My position is that if someone is carping about Trump I will unfriend him because I don’t have time to waste on arguments that will not shed a ray of light into that person’s brain.

I will get back to the core of article but there are at least two avenues to follow that will shed light on this analysis.

The Trump Effect

The first is an article by Noah Berlastky ” The Trump Effect: New Study connects White American Intolerance and Support for Authoritarianism”. This article is available on NBC “Think” at nbc.com dated May 27, 2018.

“The research suggests that when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people they abandon their commitment to democracy.”

Until now their response has been unfathomable. The more Trump abuses immigrants the his “base’ love him.

“Intolerant White People”. What a great label! I have been trying and failing to find a label that fits.

So as Hilary exclaimed “Deplorables” I now call the “Intolerants“.

A Light Shines

Part of the reason Trump can get away with what he does is that his base is pleased.

All he has to do is stage a campaign rally (which is illegal), holler about immigrants (racism is illegal), point to suspected ‘spies’ on his campaign trail (illegal? -slandering another agency of government).

” The GOP has dug itself into such a hole on this that the most practical effort to stave off these impending losses is to disenfranchise the votes of the same ethnic/racial outgroups against whom the GOP messaging has been stoking animosity.”

What does this mean?

Republicans know they are at risk in the 2018 Mid-term elections.

How do they handle that? They set up voter suppression for people that they know will vote against them.

If they can’t vote, they can’t vote against them.

This cuts out BlacksNative Americans, and a lot of other minorities.

What we know is that in 2006 John Dean (Mr. Dean of Watergate infamy) wrote a book “Conservatives without a Conscience”.

A quick read of the book’s highlights:

“Studies reveal that authoritarians are frequently enemies of freedom, anti-democratic, anti-equality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian, and amoral. They are also “conservatives without a conscience”.

Another telling excerpt: they “define themselves by what they oppose, which is anything and everything they perceive to be liberal. This can be Democrats or anyone they disagree with.”

So, those of us that are of a liberal or progressive ilk that cannot understand how Trumpsters can turn a blind eye and ear to everything we see as wrong.

What’s wrong with Trump?

We now know how to reach the “Intolerants“.

We can’t.

This important study confirms what we’ve known (see ‘Conservatives Without a Conscience, 2006).

It is past time to recognize it is not Trump’s “nationalism” that threatens our well being, it is his “authoritarianism“, with his fear-filled followers.

“Liberalism, Conservatism and the Intellectuals” a lecture by Paul Starr February 8th, 1995 at New York University Institute for the Humanities, in a lecture on “Intellectuals and Public Life”.

Mr. Starr enlightens his audience with tales of the Liberal Intellectual past and Conservative Intellectuals present. If you check the date it is 1995.

I thought I had found my answer when these “Intolerants” had taken shape around 2006 of John Dean’s book.

Now here I find the underlying currents of social conservatism and conservative (the new not the historical conservative thought) thought was well developed by 1995.

I have been scratching my head for the last two years wondering how in the world I had missed the signs of the deep unrest presented by Trumpsters.

The history and ideals I grew up with are now dead. Maybe not dead yet, but on life support.

I have often asked myself, this person and I grew up together and went to the same schools how did he end up taking a left turn that is so different?

Well, now it seems both of us were just listening to different drumbeats that were pounding through this country.

Stanley Milgram

A deeper look into John Dean’s book on page 43 discussed the work of Stanley Milgram.

Through Mr. Milgram’s observations and tests, he asserts that the ‘work that ordinary people, doing their jobs, without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terribly destructive process. It is very difficult for a remarkable number of people, to disobey authority figures, but quite easy for them to set aside their conscience.” (underlining is mine)

Still, deeper in the book, Mr. Dean takes up the study of “The Authoritarian Personality“. Some people may be “proud to be individualists but live in constant fear of not being like others”. They are jealous of other’s independence because “they themselves are inclined to submit blindly to power and authority.”

A fascinating tidbit “Authoritarianism is consistently associated with right-wing but not left-wing ideology”.

We have taken a turn around the country looking at modern conservatism and social conservatism (read alt-right religion).

We have undertaken to understand how two people who grew up in the same town, with the same teachers could now have two so opposing views.

One clinging to what may be a dying ideal – liberalism, and the other the rising tide of authoritarianism taking control of our country.

Just to reinforce the absolute scariness of what I have been reading I am going to quote from the Abstract of Study by Steven V. Miller and Nicholas T. Davis “White Outgroup Intolerance and Declining Support for American Democracy” date May 31, 2018.

White Supremacist March Charlottesville's White Pride Rally Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images
White Supremacist March Charlottesville’s White Pride Rally

Social Intolerance embodies an unwillingness to associate or fraternize with individuals whose cultural, racial, or religious ideas or ways differ from one’s own group.”

Using World Values Surveys from 1995 to 2011, we find intolerance toward cultural, ethnic, or racial ‘others’ reduces the value that white Americans assign to democracy.

This means that white Americans, the “Intolerants” are willing to devalue the separation of powers and to support Authoritarian Rule.

What is authoritarianism?

Google defines it as “the enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom. A lack of concern for the wishes and opinions of others.”

Do you find this as scary as I do?

I, along with the press and most people that stand against Trump denigrate his supporters as the 33 million or 30% of the electorate that is his base.

How naive I have been.

We are not faced with a political division we know and understand.

I now believe we are faced with a very real menace to democracy in America.

Wikipedia expands on ‘authoritarianism’ is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms, individual freedoms are subordinate to the state and there is no Constitutional Accountability under an authoritarian regime.” (highlighting is mine)

Just today there was an article about the Government Accounting Office not receiving information from the White House.

What does this mean?

The White House is telling us they don’t have to follow the rules.

Hasn’t this been Trump’s modus operandi?

He doesn’t play by the cultural norms that earlier presidents have followed.

He plays by his own rules.

The so-called Republican party lets him.

Why?

Because they are not the Republican Party any longer.

Today John Boehner, former Speaker of the House, slammed the Republican Party  “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump Party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere”.

There is no Republican Party.

There is a Trump Party. It is an Authoritarian Party.

This is an animal that the press isn’t talking about.

This is an animal the Democrats aren’t talking about.

So if no one is addressing the real problems how is it going to get fixed?

John Boehner former Speaker of the House of Representatives USA Today
John Boehner former Speaker of the House of Representatives

In an article today in Vox by Matthew Yglesias, the headline reads “The raging of controversy over whether to call Trump’s lies “lies” explained”.

Mr. Yglesias turned my head a few times. I guess I didn’t understand where he was going with his examples and explanations.

He identified where first Trump used lying to gain power in his first book “Art of the Deal”. He admitted to routinely lying about important matters in a sworn deposition.

He continues to disregard the truth and no one calls him on it. Mr. Yglesias also states “in addition to being a liar, Trump is unusually ill-informed about public policy.”

He says “that even the New York Times euphemistically referred to “unconfirmed accusations” rather than say baseless conspiracy theories.”

Mr. Yglesisas shares glaring examples of Trumps lies but he ends his piece “Nobody can stop him from acting this way if he wants to, but we need not act naive about it. When a hardcore serial liar says something new, treat his claim with the extreme skepticism it deserves.”

We know Trump is a liar.

We know that the Republican or what was the Republican Party doesn’t hold to their constitutional duty to make sure that the rule of law is followed.

We know that the Trump Party is moving away from democratic principles toward an authoritarian government.

Evil

What else do we know?

We know that Trump is Evil.

I started this post relating that I had read an article “This administration isn’t Simply “Corrupt” – by Any Definition it’s Evil. OpEdNews 5/31/2018

I will return to that for a few minutes before concluding this post.

Trump’s policy of snatching children from the arms of parents as they cross the border is EVIL.

Trump’s policy of not supporting American Citizens in Puerto Rico has become publicized.

Over 4,500 people have died because his idea of helping them was to throw paper towels at them. 4,500 people sacrificed so this liar that is claiming to be president can ignore them. EVIL.

Trump’s policy of undermining the Freedom of the Press by throwing bombs at them is a flagrant abuse of the Constitution regarding the Fourth Estate. This is EVIL.

Trump’s policy of undermining the FBI, the Justice Department, even the Attorney General of the United States is a flagrant abuse of the Constitutions. It is EVIL.

d’Artagnan

The author of record for the article “This Administration Isn’t Simply Corrupt- it is Evil” originally appeared in the Daily Kos and it is attributed to Dartagnan (Comte D’artagnan was Captain of the Musketeers of the Guard to King Louis XIV).

That author makes the point that “the distinguishing feature of evil is that it causes unnecessary, arbitrary harm to others.”

He continues “The Holocaust is trotted out when people need to grasp the conveying extent of evil. The Holocaust is the most vivid and well-known manifestation of evil in the past hundred years, the only time frame of reference for everyone alive in the world.”

I was concerned well before the campaign was underway. In May 2015 I blogged against the fascism I saw Trump cavorting in public.

After researching for this post I learned about how the Republican Party started way back in 1995 to eschew democratic ideals and lay the groundwork for the government we see today.

That John Dean wrote a book in 2006 “Conservatives Without a Conscience” and the Democrats didn’t line up to rail against the real and growing threat of Authoritarianism is inexcusable.

But the real question is: How do we recover?

Even if the Democrats succeed in overturning the Republican Congress how does that change the landscape?

hey liberals better get your guns if you try to impeach trump Gaylord County Maryland
Hey, Liberals Better Get you Guns if You try to impeach President Trump.

 

CARE ABOUT VOTING

The Graphic 'DID NOT VOTE' was the deciding factor in the results of the 2016 elections Google Images
The Graphic ‘DID NOT VOTE’ was the deciding factor in the results of the 2016 elections

Thanks for stopping by.

Craig

 

red-rose-svetlana-manic-674670-unsplash

Advertisements

What are We to Make of It?

Date: 5/12/2018

What a way to start the day!

Another disagreement.

Another temper tantrum.

Why does it always have to be this way?

I just open my mouth and the volcano erupts spewing hot venom from one end of the house to another.

Why do I feel challenged all of the time? Why can’t I just have a conversation in a normal tone of voice?

Paul Ratner guides us through the material first discussed by Paul Graham “How to Disagree Well. 7 of the best and worst ways to argue.”

But that will have to wait.

People Mentioned: Paul Ratner, Paul Graham, Evan Mandrey, Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Toobin, Mike Pence, Rudy Guiliani, Robert Mueller, Richard Nixon, Reagan, Chuck Colson; Paul Ryan, Norm Coleman, Corry Bliss; Jake Kasdin; White House Aide (no name), Mick Mulvaney; Senator John McCain; DID NOT VOTE; Senator Tammy Duckworth; Krish Vignarajah; Kelda Roy; Liuba Grethen Shirley; Joya Misra;

Major Topics: Discover two great sites; DRUMBEAT – efforts to derail Mueller Investigation, Republicans deserting the ‘rule of law’; Republicans on the hook for $1.5 trillion tax give away to the wealthy and corporations with no tangible increase in wages; AMERICAN TAXPAYERthe childrenthe 1%; very real threat to American Democracy; The Vietnam War; Today’s war; Veteran’s Statistics; “The Nation at War with Itself; The Beginning of the End – May 10, 2018; Economy of the North Shore of Lake Superior; THREE FORCES MOVING THRU HISTORY:Republican Corruption; YOUTH; WOMEN; VIETNAM INTO THE PRESENT; US ranking: Maternity Leave and Public Spending on Child Care and Education;Global Recession; Middle Class; the Middle Class disappearing act; FRUSTRATION;

 

 

I just discovered two sites that contain fountains of knowledge, “BigThink” and “The Conversation”. I want to devote a whole post just to pry open the lid on the information available on these sites. Amazing!

Both of these sites collect professional, academic topics and distills them for lay people. Very instrumental in explaining the hot topics of today.

Drumbeat

The drumbeat tempo is picking up. Faster. More intense.

I am speaking of Trump’s efforts to derail the Mueller investigation. How do we know that?

He has slammed his new mouthpiece –  Giuliani – shut.

The ‘Go-to-Lawyer’ renowned for successfully battling mob bosses into a whimper is now on the back burner. He is not up to corralling Mueller.

He has also sent the vice president of Donald Trump (in contrast to his title “Vice-President of the United States) to mouth words that first issued by Richard Nixon. Almost word for word. “It is time…”. “We have cooperated…”. and on and on.

C’mon guys. Such drivel.

Except that the base is lapping it up. As are the Republicans in Congress. Fox News is the lapdog panting at the master’s commands.

The American public or at least some of it has been here before.

Now a new iron in the fire to be wary of. The rush to war with Iran. Trump believes that a Commander-in-Chief will not be tried during wartime.

I sure hope he is wrong.

He has put the lives of so many young Americans at risk. It is unconscionable.

That the lives of Israelis and Iranians are at risk even sooner is unconscionable.

That Republicans are deserting the ‘rule of law‘ at an ever faster pace is even more unconscionable.

Why can they not do their jobs?

On the Hook

These members of Congress must be on the hook to Trump for something. I think it is mainly due to the fact that they want to continue to receive campaign funds from corporations and individuals that they gave such a huge tax break to back in December 2017.

Remember all the raises and bonuses that were going to flow out from the generosity of corporations big hearts?

Hah!

That money has rewarded the owners and stockholders by companies buying back stock so as to increase the value of the stocks they own. Some much for the windfall for the American Taxpayer.

And they are still trying to peddle that drivel.

These companies are thwarting the will of the American people. This has been going on since the first payoff to the wealthy and corporations by Reagan and now with the $1.5 trillion gift from the Republicans.

They have been very successful in thumbing their noses at the taxpayers. But I think that may soon end. Taxpayers put up with an immense amount of tomfoolery and criminality but even they will awaken.

What they forget is the stench emanating from Trump’s swamp is stronger even than during Nixon’s reign of the ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’.

Above the law. Wiggle out from under the law. Then Nixon found out he was wrong.

SAY WHAT???

A major thorn in my brain is the lawyer and Harvard Law professor and civil liberties lion, Alan Dershowitz.

Mr. Dershowitz is profiled in the article “What Happened to Alan Dershowitz” published on politico magazine.com.

This insightful article on article on Mr. Dershowitz was written by Evan Mandery, May 11, 2018.

Alan Dershowitz has been a lion as a strong advocate for civil liberties.

As a criminal defense attorney, he was on the legal team of OJ Simpson. He defended and gained the acquittal of Claus von Bulow.

His career goes back to 1963 when he was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg.

He drafted a memo crucial to the death penalty being overturned when it was ruled unconstitutional.

Evan Mandrey portrays his public persona as “loud, provocative, brilliant and principled.”

Mr. Mandrey also notes that Mr. Dershowitz  is ‘relentlessly self-promoting” and tolerated by the legal profession because his “legal arguments have been acknowledged for their moral seriousness.”

Recently he has been arguing “that a sitting president could not be guilty of obstruction of justice.” (WHAT ???)

He has been shunned by friends of the civil libertarian persuasion.

Indeed, Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN confronted him directly on Anderson Cooper 360, “I don’t know what’s going on with you…this is not who you used to be.”

Mr. Dershowitz does not see himself as a turncoat. He’s waging war against what he sees are liberals who have “dropped their principles in a moment of political threat and are taking out their anger on a man who has been their (the liberals) staunchest ally.”

Alan Dershowitz Google Images
Alan Dershowitz

From a constitutional rights perspective, I can’t give a qualified answer on his positions regarding Trump since I am not an attorney under White House retainer.

From a civil rights perspective, I can’t give a qualified answer since I am not an attorney under a branch of government.

My understanding is: under the rules of governing you have to perform on the world stage in a manner that is above suspicion and reproach. Even a hint of a scandal should end your career.

I am not going to get into his legal arguments because I can’t accept them let alone try to explain them since they are foreign concepts to me.

Suffice it to say, I reject his positions as a ‘cop-out’ against a very real threat to American democracy.

I don’t understand how a legal scholar and practitioner can, in good conscience, fight on the side of Trump.

Back to my positions on Trump

Just as Nixon found that he was boxed in by his illegal actions, I believe Trump will be found out for his collusion and even treasonous actions.

Whether the Republicans in Congress will vote with their conscience or their wallet remains to be seen.

Trump with his abdication of the Iran deal which prevented them from building nuclear weapons has aimed the children of the United States and Israel and Saudia Arabia on a course that will end in combat.

The children of the United States won’t have to worry about all the jobs being lost (to artificial intelligence and machine learning) and because of Trump’s ill-considered trade war with China.

What better way to take a person’s mind off not having a job – throw them in a foxhole.

I wrote a blog post regarding the children of the United States being relentlessly killed by mass murderers. In that post, I also laid out a way to return our country from the grips of the 1%.

I also showed how, by standing up to wealthy and the corporations, the citizens of this country were able to wrest control from the greedy and return it to the real wealth of this country – its people. For a short time but nonetheless, the will of the people overcame greed.

The future our democracy is at risk. That is hard to say and harder to imagine. But the trend speaks for itself.

The children won’t have to worry about jobs – they will be sent into combat instead.

Since the gutless and immoral wonders that are the Republicans in Congress won’t stand up to Trump the die is cast.

Citizens United has freed money to flow from the wealthy to politicians without regard for controls, influence pedaling and outright fraud and corruption.

We are witnessing the results of that horrific Supreme Court decision in 2010. The Supreme Court opened the spigots of uncontrolled money to influence politicians to the detriment of the ordinary citizens.

But it will not continue forever.

I cannot see how any other administration can be more corrupt than this one.

What will stop the deepening of the swamp?

Is it ever going to be drained?

No.

It will implode from the weight of its corruption. 

What the pundits are missing.  And what the current Republicans are ignoring is that sons and daughters will be sent into harm’s way.

Voter suppression? Republicans believe in it.

Racism? Republicans believe in it.

Bribery? Republicans believe in it.

 

Guideposts to War

Vietnam

Those of you that are old enough, remember the build-up in January 1967.

The first of the large-scale operations.

The first Search and Destroy campaigns.

The first large numbers of US troops killed.

There were 480,000 US troops in South Vietnam at this time.

At its peak, the number was 549,500. (1969 and the war cost $77.4 that year; Total killed in Vietnam: 58,148; One out of Ten was a casualty; Total Wounded: 304,000; Severely Disabled: 75,000; Homeless in 2018: 39,471 on any given night (all conflicts); PTSD: one study showed TWO THIRDS of Iraqi War and Afgan War suffer from PTSD ( other surveys show between 8 and 13%

 

Veteran’s Crisis Line 24/7: 1-877-424-3838

agent orange patch

Asia, Europe, Africa

We are now fighting in Syria, Afganistan, Iraq, Africa (Somalia, Niger). Additionally, troops are in Poland, Ukraine, and Kuwait

There are currently 1.3 million military personnel. 450,000 are deployed overseas.

Now add in hotspots that are quickly escalating. Watch Israel, Saudia Arabia, Nigeria in addition to Iran.

Watch again the Vietnam experience.

Less than one year after the first large-scale operations in Vietnam, the March on the Pentagon woke people up. October 21, 1967, 2,500 US soldiers watched as 100,000 protesters descended on them.

March on the Pentagon  2,500 troops against 100,000 protesters

Flower Power was born!

One year later the Tet Offensive exploded. The American public started to not believe what the military and the government were telling them. America was NOT winning the war.

May 4, 1970

Mary Ann Vecchio a 14-year-old runaway at the body of Jeffry Miller

The Murdered at Kent State and the fuel it fed to protesters “They Can’t Kill Us All”

The result of the Massacre?

450 college campuses were closed as protesters increased the drumbeat.

Chuck Colson, Counsel to Nixon went to the basement of the Executive Office Building and encountered the 82 Airborne which was on standby. He remarked ” This can’t be the United States of America. This is not the greatest free democracy in the world. This is a nation at war with itself.” “Nixon: A Presidency Revealed” Broadcast February 2007

By 1973 there were 50 US troops in South Vietnam.

The Beginning of the End

How do the words of Chuck Colson resonate with you? (He would later serve prison time for his role in the Watergate Breakin)

” A Nation at War with Itself”

It is always a challenge to affix the label “The Beginning of the End” after the fact. To label is at it happens is, even more, a fool’s errand.

I will spare the pundits the chore of affixing the label in future years.

I will affix it for them.

May 10, 2018.

In a pre-dawn interview, Mike Pence called for an end to the Mueller Investigation.

He used almost the exact words of Nixon those many years ago.  Nothing has changed.

Money still rules.

Corruption is at a scale never seen before, even in the Nixon years.

When politicians, probably unknowingly, use the same words used by a major crook that was brought down. A new beginning is taking place.

Faced with the documents showing that not only AT&T and Novartis among other companies engaged Michael Cohen, “Trump’s attorney for favors”, but also a Russian Oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg also channeled money to Michael Cohen in the amount of $500,000, Pence has the gall to accuse Mueller to ‘wrap up’ the witchhunt?

By extension, Pence is also calling on all Americans that are lining up to accuse the Trump administration and it’s unholy cohorts, to cease and desist.

Americans don’t have the right to hold their government accountable?

The drumbeat increases in pace and volume.

More Republicans start to beat down Mueller and the investigation as merely a witchhunt.

Why am I so bold in my labeling May 10, 2018, as the beginning of the end?

First, it is the day I started to write this post.

Secondly, there are powerful forces working in the undercurrent of Trump’s wave “Make America Great Again”.

The Forces Now Moving thru History

Two very important forces are moving thru history. There is a third but it is not as much as the other two.

Reason #3: Republicans are more corrupt now than at any other time I have watched politics unfold. Not even during the Nixon era were the Republicans as corrupt as they are now.

Paul Ryan may be leaving Congress but he is still leaving his corrupt footprint for history to follow.

Three days ago a party led by Ryan and including Norm Coleman a Minnesota politician who chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition, Corry Bliss who oversees the super PAC and Jake Kasdan. Ryan’s wife Miriam was also along for the ride of a lifetime.

Ryan pleaded the Republicans case with Sheldon Adelson to pry money out of this mega wealthy donor.

Since Ryan can’t legally solicit or accept a seven-figure political donation he left the room after his jawboning.

After he left, Norm Coleman made the ask and secured a $30 million contribution.

Aren’t political crooks fun to watch? I have often wondered whether Ryan or McConnell or Trump for that matter ever consider how history is going to record their actions?

Maybe it won’t condemn them. Maybe they will be the torchbearers heralding a new era in American politics “Come Feed My Bank Account” as opposed to ‘Come feed my children’ as Jesus requested.

Of course, we know that Sheldon Adelson acted out of the kindness of his heart and expects nothing in return for his $30 million. My goodness no. That would be a quid pro quo which is illegal in finance contribution regulations.

But wait! We now know that Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and now also the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that he is dismantling, announced to a roomful of bankers that he only talked with people that donated to his campaigns when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

No behind the scenes snarking for him. He even had the gall today to defend the White House aide that made a snide remark about John McCain ‘dying anyway’.

Apparently, the Trump base laps this stuff up. In that case, they are correct in their threat that if Trump goes down there will be armed rebellion.

If you doubt what I am saying check this site for the newest news on the latest and greatest #MAGA.

Please get a good breath of clean air before dumpster diving!

I have taken to calling Republicans and others who promote the ‘share the love’ campaigns of Trump – dumpsters.

I am sure none of my Facebook ‘friends’ follow me any longer. Just as I am sure that when Trump goes down and evil is always pounded at some point there will be an armed rebellion by the dumpsters.

So that was my third point – Republicans are more corrupt now than at any time in history.

My second important piece that is moving thru history and will give Americans a chance to reclaim our country.

YOUTH

Republicans have passed voter suppression laws in many states to keep minorities from voting.

A glaring case from Texas concerns teens registering to vote. You can use a conceal/carry license to register to vote but not a student ID! This includes college student IDs.

Due to the confusion surrounding the requirements and opportunities to vote, only 43% of eligible youth voted in 2016.

This year there are major campaigns to register young people to vote. I read that one state is even 16-and 17-year- olds to vote. They can’t vote until they turn 18 but the paperwork will already be completed.

In California, they can even register to vote online.

 

WOMEN!

I hope that all the people that did not vote in 2016 (AND YOU WERE THE ONES THAT ELECTED TRUMP!)   will reconsider their choices for 2018 and 2020.

The Graphic 'DID NOT VOTE' was the deciding factor in the results of the 2016 elections Google Images
The voter ‘DID NOT VOTE‘ was the deciding factor in the results of the 2016 elections

As women were a major deciding factor in electing Trump (46% of white college-educated women voted for Trump in the 2016 election!) I do not know why.

The same margin held true for the election involving Roy Moore in Alabama except that he did not win.

Why women have voted that way I do not know. Nor do I know why so many women are now on fire to defeat Republicans. But that news is always good news.

Some big events that are shining light on women in politics:

Senator Tammy Duckworth is now permitted to nurse her newborn on the Senate floor!

Maryland’s Krish Vignarajah and Wisconsin’s Kelda Roy made waves with their campaign ads showing them nursing their infants.

According to an article in ‘The Conversation” a Democratic congressional candidate in New York, Liuba Grechen Shirley was just granted permission from the Federal Election Commission to use campaign funds to cover the cost of childcare while she runs for office.

However, it is still very discouraging to read in “The Conversation” of April 19th in an article by Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology & Public Policy, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that parental leave and maternity leave are so dismal in the United States to the rest of the world.

Paid Maternity Leave around the World 'The Conversation'

As you can see Finland rates as the most generous country in the world by giving 161 weeks of paid maternity leave. The US? ZERO WEEKS! Other countries that share the same position as the US? Lesotho, Liberia, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland.

I wonder if Trump-land is going to introduce legislation to fix this stark and unflattering discrepancy? Your thoughts?

Public Spending on Child Care "The Conversation"

In a world lead by France where 99% of children age 3 thru 6 receive support for child care.

The US ranks below Hungary and above only Chile, Mexico and Turkey.

The only way this conversation will be changed is for women to enter politics at all levels and get elected so that the real cultural values of this country will be recognized.

Women don’t have to be elected to office in order to have a voice in how this country is run?  There are so many opportunities to get involved and legally influence the legislators across the country.

Please follow this link to the World Economic Outlook website to find several eye-opening statistics and trends regarding the topics above and others such as how globalization is spreading tech across borders.

IT PACKED A WALLOP

While I am still out of sorts from the preceding topics I will close with what I consider a major disaster.

The global recession may technically be over but it still casts a black shadow in the United States.

This dragtline represents the darkness over the United States that still prevails from the last global recession. Google Images
This drag-line represents the darkness over the United States that still prevails from the last global recession.

Nighttime is still here for the middle class.

In fact, the middle class was the big loser in the last economic downturn. The rust belt is disappearing at an increasingly faster rate.

A study by Joseph Morreale, Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Pace University with Julia Young, Pace University depicts the loses of the Great Recession (late 2000s).

The middle class in the United States of America is only a shadow of its earlier self.

Their analysis showed that from 1970 to  2010 the middle class shrunk by 6.9%.

In the same time period, the Top 20% of all households rose 6.9%.

The Pew Research Center published an income calculator which stated that “half of the American adults lived in middle-class homes in 2014.”

“In percentage terms, 51% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 20% in upper-income households.”

The PEW Center’s new analysis “shows that the American middle class lost ground in the vast majority of metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014.

The share of adults in the lower-and upper-income ranks in most areas rose in most areas.

“There was more movement into the upper-income tiers in about half of the areas, while in the other half there was more movement downward.”

I entered my personal data similar to my status.

Based on household income and the number of people in your household, I was in the lower-income tier, along with 20% of adults in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area.

The lower tier in this area was 20% in Minnesota compared to 29% for the US.

“Among  all American adults with my education, age, race, ethnicity, and marital status,  11% are lower income, 58% are middle income and 31% are upper income.”

(The calculator is weighted so that each household’s income is equivalent to a three-person household (this is the whole number nearest to the average size of the U.S. household which was 2.5 in 2014).

A comparison of the results of the two studies are similar to the Pew report which designated 11% more people to the upper-income bracket.

Morreale and Young, after a lot of testing, settled upon the variables that were most significant:

Percent of college education (2 or more years in college)

Single-parent households (Female Householder)

Unemployment

Real GDP (in billions).

This demonstrates the birth of the discontent among middle and lower income levels as to government not listening, loss of middle-income jobs and increases in economic and social strife.

No longer is the belief held that if you worked hard enough, smart enough and long enough you would achieve middle-class standing.

The worse the economy got the worse a lot of the middle class got.

The more the economy grew (small but steady during Barack Obama’s term) the worse a lot of the middle class got.

People could not and still cannot get ahead.

Unless they can get the education necessary to learn the new technology namely machine learning and deep learning, and neural networks they now will realize the loss of a dream.

I spoke with two men in the waiting room on a recent afternoon. One was an auto mechanic that owned his own shop and the other was a retired man living north of Grand Marais in Cook County, Minnesota.

The comments of these men centered on the cost of new equipment or updating the equipment used to run his business so he decided (as do many other mechanics and small business owners)  not to invest many thousands of dollars in computer equipment and training.

Manufacturer’s certified technicians were nonexistent in rural Cook County

A dealer of recreation vehicles and equipment such as snowmobiles, chain saws, lawn mowers complained bitterly of training mechanics from no experience to manufacturer certification only to lose them to the lure of more money in the city of Duluth, MN.

Cook County is a favorite place for big city folks who travel the 3 or more hours to the wilderness of Cook County. They are fleeing the rat race of the ‘big city’ to recreate in the many lakes, forests and yes, even a  ‘mountain’ or two.

The real bite is that manufacturers of the equipment used in the playground of Cook County (and no doubt across the nation) require that warranty work must be completed by certified mechanics.

The Frustration Runs Deep

At almost every new thought, the mechanic I was speaking with, took off his obligatory baseball cap (grease stained and crumpled so it was almost not recognizable as a baseball cap! MAC TOOLS was emblazoned on the front) and ran his hand through his hair, raised an arm in frustration and slammed it down into his lap.

The retired gentleman recalled the small business owner as saying that since he would train new technicians only to lose them to a car company or something else in Duluth, he was his highest paid technician.

Frustration at not being able to have any influence on one’s destiny runs deep and wide.

While this frustration may account for many of Donald Trump’s supporters, I still do not understand how these smart, intelligent men (they claim to be not smart or tech savvy except for the mechanic who admitted that he had a smartphone “but only for business” but said that he could go on the internet and learn something) find the gumption or whatever the elusive connection is called, to support #MAGA.

Good, honest, decent men ensnared in the massive changes underway in the current market and not desiring because of age, health or another reason, did not/could not learn all the new technology, “there is no way to keep up with the changes.”

What a massive, unexpectedly complex post. One topic was encased in another so that both had to be acknowledged, however briefly.

But that is the way in today’s world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution stomps on. Sometimes it ravages people’s live. Sometimes it increases the options for other people. But always under the HARSH gaze of politics.

Footnotes:
Morreale, Joseph, and Young, Julia, "Impact of the Great Recession on
Middle-Class America" (2012). Student-Faculty Research Projects. Paper 2
https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/ugfacprojets/2
Richard Fry and Rakesh Kochhar: (https://pew research.org/staff/richard-fry);
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/5/11/16/are-you-in-the-american-
middle-class/

Thanks for stopping by.

Craig

Black and white hydride tea rose with water droplets on it's petals. Svetlana Manic 282267 Unsplash!
Svetlana Manic 282267 Unsplash!

Let’s Talk!

Date 5/5/2018

As Kathy Griffin would say.

As Michele Williams would no doubt say.

Since when is it a crime to speak your mind in this country?

I guess since the fascist dump and his minions took hold.

Hey Base!

You have had your chance to speak your mind since the end of WWII.

Did you?

YOU have had your chance to speak up for the last 50 YEARS! to make your opinions known. To be part of the American Discourse.

If YOU didn’t?

TOO BAD!!! Don’t try to prevent others from doing so now.

Did YOU serve in the Korean Conflict?

Did YOU serve in the Vietnam War?

Did YOU serve your country at all?

Did YOU stand up for the rights of Minorities?

IF NOT!

I don’t have any use for your ‘OPINIONS’.

If YOU didn’t have the guts to let the draft take you.

If YOU didn’t have the guts to stand up for the rights of those less privileged than you.

If YOU don’t have the conscience to wonder if YOU should be helpful to those less advantaged than YOU!

If YOU are only concerned about how much the government can make for you!

Then I don’t have any use for YOUR opinions. AMERICA has ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS stood up for more than ME!

Since the REVOLUTION IN 1775  is has ALWAYS BEEN THUS!

Now it seems to be ME! ME! ME!

Get over YOURSELF!

I have had Facebook ‘friends’. Yes believe it or not.

When I found out that they vehemently espouse the Populist, Nativist belief system!

I UNFRIEND them.

They don’t deserve my time to read their drivel.

That person is not deserving of respect the title of AMERICAN CITIZEN! conveys on them.

Are they an American? Yes.

Can they vote? Yes.

Are they deserving respect as an AMERICAN CITIZEN? Not a fat chance.

What have they done that has earned RESPECT?

An immigrant that has contributed to the growth of DEMOCRACY, to the growth of the AMERICAN IDEAL  is MORE worthy of respect than a tadpole on a slimy rock!

The person that has squandered their devotion and allegiance at the altar of POPULISM rather at the altar of ‘WE HAVE A LOT TO OFFER THE REST OF THE WORLD!’ and has not earned the respect to be known as an AMERICAN CITIZEN.

That person does not understand that being an AMERICAN CITIZEN means to be part something bigger than THEMSELVES.

That person is history!

If that person is ready to accept is ready to accept that being an American Citizen means that they must be part of something Bigger than themselves!

Then and ONLY then will I accept them as an AMERICAN CITIZEN.

Otherwise, to continue to spew words and promote the actions of a NAZI or a WHITE SUPREMACIST means to be a dreg found at the bottom of history as a FASCIST!

They are not a democrat. Yes, small ‘d’. As in democracy.

If someone willing to accept that others are as deserving of respect as they are then they can attain to the virtue of known as a being a democrat. Then that someone is deserving of an honorable place in history.

If you look down on others as ‘dogs’.

If you look down as on others as deserving of less respect than you.

Then you are not deserving of the title AMERICAN CITIZEN!

Do you accept others as deserving of less respect than you?

Do you accept yourself as being more worthy of a place at the banquet table that Jesus has laid out than others?

You have chosen your place and it is not at that table.

You are not in the place that Jesus has chosen for you!

You have decided that you are NOT welcome at HIS  banquet! Read the REAL gospel! Not the FAKE one.

GOD DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE!

men do

If you feel you are BETTER  than someone else

You are the one that is not welcome!

You are certainly welcome to your opinion.

You are not welcome to your own GOSPEL!

You are the one that is UNWORTHY!

And that is OK.

That is YOUR Choice.

Shalom!

GOD IS FIGHTING FOR YOUR PEACE!
Thanks for stopping by.

Craig

Black and white hydride tea rose with water droplets on it's petals. Svetlana Manic 282267 Unsplash!
Svetlana Manic 282267 Unsplash!