An Open Letter to Joe Collins, Republican

Well, it happened again. l sat down with my first cup of coffee, opened my email, and there was a campaign slug from a Republican. This one is Joe Collins, and he’s running against Maxine Waters in California’s 43rd district in November. His salutation was “Friend”
My response to Joe is this open letter.

Joe,

Your campaign letter to me opened with “Friend,”

I’m not your friend, Joe. I never will be, and I do not want Maxine Waters gone. The Republican party has not been the friend of Americans since Eisenhower, the last great Republican. Today’s GOP is a sludge of greed and corruption. Don’t talk to me about tax breaks. Republican tax breaks go to the 1% and the wealthiest corporations. The $1200 given to each American in the recent stimulus bill was an insult, while the ultra-wealthy were favored, even to the point of allowing rich corporations to steal help intended for small businesses. Your Republican party today is a disgrace. It is the farthest thing from concerned about “average Americans.” It has become a sludge of corruption, racism, and the destruction of the middle class. Ike would be ashamed of what the Republican party has become, just as have the many prominent Republicans who have renounced the party of Trump and McConnell It is a party that has waged class warfare against the middle class begun by Nixon, supercharged by Reagan, and now reached the level of traitorous obscenity when working Americans have to have two incomes, two or three jobs, to survive, and then barely; a party that daily endeavors to twist and nullify the intent of the founding fathers for this to be an America where all men—and women, are equal; a country where  LGBTQ people, those who dare to not be evangelistic cultists, and the entirety of the American working class that is denied decent wages while being charged exorbitantly for both housing and health care—are considered as nothing more than servants to corporations.

 

Your party is not the party of Lincoln. It never was. It is the party that opposed Lincoln. Check your history to find out how the two parties morphed in the decades after the Civil war. Today’s GOP was the Democratic party of Lincoln’s time, only worse. No, don’t call me friend. The Republican party has become an abomination.

 

You will never have my support, only my disgust. I was long an Independent, with progressive leanings and a tether rooted in cautions conservatism. The GOP has changed that. Your foundations in a conservative philosophy that can only be described as Medieval, your fealty to wealth above the common American, your hatred of everything—and anyone—not rooted in evangelistic ignorance, your disdain for the rights of women, and anyone who isn’t “straight,” your inability, or refusal, to face the fact that civilization either grows, changes, moves forward, and evolves, or perishes in a pool of their own ignorance and obstinance, is astounding.

 

No, Joe, I’m not your friend, and you are not the party of Lincoln. You the opposite. You are not the party of Eisenhower. You do not deserve to invoke either of those names. The GOP today is the party of regression, destruction, corruption and hate. You are the party of a particularly onerous fascism. You are the party of Trump, and you are the party of Hannibal Lector. Your leadership is rooted more in 1930’s Germany than in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

 

Do not refer to me as “friend.” You don’t deserve either my friendship or my respect. We need a hundred more Maxine Waters in the House and the Senate, and a hundred fewer decayed Republicans.

 

And Trumpites Still Don’t Get it.

I’ll use this post to share a ‘breaking’ news story out of Washington.

The Trump administration’s ‘monstrous idea’: Direct payments in exchange for cuts to Social Security benefits

Of course, this is unconscionable. Ruinous. Corrupt to the tenth power. The Trump Administration—with the full complicity of the Republikkkan party— has sky-rocketed the national debt by giving trillions to big corporations, billionaires, and millionaires at the expense of ordinary working Americans. They are not only robbing the working class blind, they have been accelerating the process. Their whole philosophy is based on using working Americans as virtual slave labor. And now this?
 
What is truly incredible, is that he still has the support of the people he will damage most and perhaps destroy. They truly are so ignorant they do not understand that the Democratic party is the one fighting for their Social Security, Medicare, their very future.
 
And still, even while being vilified by these people, the Democratic party works tirelessly to help them, to maintain the very lifelines the people they support keep trying to destroy with equal furor.
 
Underneath those MAGA hats resides some of the most astounding levels of hate and stupidity you could ever hope to find. This has to be the most astounding example of biting the hand that is trying to help you I have ever witnessed. The Republikkkans and their chosen Fuhrer are trying to initiate a plan that might as well be poisonous snake in the mail boxes of all Americans receiving Social Security, and the intended victims are hoping they get theirs soon. 
It’s time to face the fact that the madman in the White House is only the tip of the iceberg of insanity.

How Moderates are Killing America

. . .and the world

First, I spent most of my life as a moderate. That said, this country can no longer afford moderates, any more than it can conservatives. The problem with moderates—and again, I was one—is that they vacillate. They are incapable of forceful, decisive action, because they are always too ready to “see the other guy’s side.” We find ourselves in a world dying first from those who hate, covet, and destroy, and second from the strength afforded them by moderates who just want to see every side without making anybody uncomfortable. Moderation is fine if we’re talking about ice cream. I like chocolate, you like strawberry, no problem. Your teams are the Braves and the Rams, mine are the Cardinals and the Chiefs, we’re cool. But when we get to things like discriminating against people, denying their basic human and civil rights because “your” religion says it’s okay, we have a problem. Moderation is unacceptable. If “your” philosophy is based on “your” supremacy because of the color of your skin, moderation is out of the question. When 1%, or 3% of the country skates along on obscene wealth created for them by 97% of the country doing the real work while being denied a living wage in return, Moderation becomes obscene. The problem with ‘moderates’ is that they want to keep everybody happy and avoid conflict, and in the process tacitly approve and accept the worst abuses of the society, including the destruction of the very air we breathe, water we drink, land that supports us, and animal life we drive to extinction, through their unwillingness to address the issues in any meaningful way. They embolden the worst humans among us, their abuses and destructiveness, by simply keeping their mouth closed. “Unity” is a myth, unless the stakeholders—as in all of the people—are served, protected, and respected. “Unity” is the cry of the abusers, far too often and too consistently heralded by moderates, who mistakenly see “peace” and “unity” as the same thing. We now find ourselves in a near apocalyptic state environmentally, socially, and economically, largely because of decades of moderates siding with the destroyers and greedy by preaching “unity,” when what they really mean is “let’s just not have any trouble, ok?” Moderates will not serve or save the environment. Moderates will not stop the rise of white supremacy neo-Nazism. Moderates will not ensure the rights of all Americans in the face of “religious” bigotry and racism. Moderates will achieve none of these things because they do not have the strength. They don’t have the stomach for the fights we absolutely must now win. They are unable to face the reality of the fight that must be made, and so they preach peace, let’s not have any trouble here. And to them, that is unity. Their unity is acquiescence to the likes of Trump, McConnell, the 1%, the KKK and neo-Nazis, the insanity of the evangelical church, the greedy polluters who count their money while the world strangles. Moderates are the Neville Chamberlains of today. They see themselves as deal makers, the crafters of reasonable compromise. Check your history. “Reasonable compromise” has always been a sliding step into retreat. We can’t afford them. I’ll vote for Joe Biden, simply because absolutely anybody would be better than Trump. Biden at least doesn’t want to be King. But Joe’s “moderateness” is in reality more angled toward the right wing. He is not a centrist. He ideologically incapable of taking sufficient steps to save us from any of the nation-destroying forces we’re facing, and in terms of an environmental apocalypse, he is a disaster.

Poor Rush Limbaugh — Not

I see that now Limbaugh claims the coronavirus is a worldwide hoax, and that the “common cold” has been weaponized as a weapon against Donald Trump.

When I think of Limbaugh, I am reminded that in the days of outhouses, they always smelled like feces. The deep stink assailed you even before you opened the door. Rush Limbaugh is exactly like those old outhouses, and for the same reason.

Limbaugh has spent his entire professional life doing nothing but spew garbage for the sole purpose of lining his own pockets. He found a solid audience in a tiny percentage of Americans who are as morally and intellectually as miniscule as himself, and fed them a steady string of bile ranging from that which had little truth, to that which had none at all. He has insulted, maligned, and belittled countless of people—from military veterans to public servants to the elderly and the poor—with no goal other than that already mentioned.

The definition of fraud is one who commits “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.” That definition could be Rush Limbaugh’s epitaph.

We seem to always try to find at least one or two nice things to say about someone who has died or been struck by a terrible disease like cancer. I actually tried to do that in Rush Limbaugh’s case. I came up empty.  Rush Limbaugh was, among other things, one of the world’s most profound hypocrites. I refuse to be one.

Suck it up, Rush. You only have a bad chest cold. The whole lung cancer thing is just a hoax to attack people that don’t like Trump.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. This ill wind, sadly, happens to millions of people a million times nicer and better than Rush Limbaugh.

Three Thoughts about Impeachment

This one will be short, but definitely not sweet.
 There are three things that are obvious to anyone with eyes, ears, and a brain.
1. Of course Trump is guilty. He’s as guilty as were Bonnie and Clyde. All of the evidence is clear on that. Donald Trump is the most monstrous criminal who ever stepped foot in the White House.
2. The Republican Senate knows he’s guilty as well as you and i do. They. Do. Not. Care.
Trump is their leader, their Hitler.
3.The GOP is interested in only one thing: completing and solidifying their coup and destroying democracy. The GOP as a body is the greatest traitor our Republic has ever seen.

Time for Bernie and Liz to come together

I’m going to keep this one short and very much to the point.

It’s time for a dual ticket.
It is time, I believe, for two Democratic candidates to come together and campaign as a president/Vice-President combination. Those candidates are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Liz and Bernie would need to reach an agreement with Bernie at the top of the ticket, I think, with Elizabeth primed to succeed him. I base this strictly on Bernie’s age.
Yeah, I know campaigning as a pre-set ticket ‘just isn’t done,’ but it’s time to change that. A fully-formed ticket would remove the Bernie vs Liz dilemma going into into primaries.  I think that if they came together like this, a Sanders/Warren duo would set up a powerful vision of continuity for America. It would could unite the supporters of each, and the entire progressive movement. I don’t think Trump and his corrupt Republican party could stand against it.

Could it backfire?  Possible. But here’s the thing. We have reached the point, in terms of a crumbling environment and insane level of wealth distribution  that the only way we can save both the planet and our society is with aggressive, unified action. Any move toward centrism is doomed to be too little, to slow and too late.

 

Reflecting on that holiday meal

My plea for this Thanksgiving. Please don’t have turkey, or ham, or pot roast, or any other meat. Please have a vegan substitute. Yes, I know that “No matter how good it just isn’t quite the same.”

You can save a turkey from dying and suffering along the way. Or a pig, or a cow. Oh, it won’t be saved this time, but others will be save as more people do what I’m asking you to do and the demand for the suffering of those animals diminishes.

I know, too, that a turkey, or cow, or pig, isn’t as cute and cuddly as your dog or cat, and that for those ‘pet’ animals you would do anything to keep them from suffering.

But you see, that turkey, or pig, or cow, has the same ability to fear, to feel pain, to love its offspring, as a dog or a cat. They bleed and scream and feel the terror just as dogs and cats do.

And here’s the thing. If you say you love animals, but you also say you just have to have your turkey and chicken and cow and ham, then you have to face that fact that when you say you love animals, you are lying. You are lying to me, you are lying to whoever reads this and whoever you talk to. Most of all, you’re lying to yourself, so that you will be able to shrug off the guilt of the pain and suffering and terror that YOU cause.

Please. Don’t be a liar.

Take a moment. Close your eyes. Now imagine as vividly as you can, these animals being caged and beaten and then forced down a narrow inescapable chute, pressed together with those in front of and behind them. Imagine the screaming they do and hear, the terror they feel and sense in the others. Smell the overpowering stench of the blood they are approaching. Terrified, Knowing what’s coming, helpless to escape.

Now imagine that’s your dog or cat. If you wouldn’t let that nightmare of terror and suffering death happen to them, then why do you think it’s all right to sponsor it happening to other? Hmm?

I spent my life living that hypocrisy because I was brought up in a fashion that simply didn’t let me think about it. I had this marvelous fantasy that made it okay. In this fantasy, you see, each animal was loved and treated well until the time of death, which came as a complete surprise and with such suddenness that they didn’t suffer. That made it okay to eat all of those hamburgers and roasts and chickens and turkeys. But it’s not at all like that. And in today’s world, you know that. You just have to face it.

What I wouldn’t give to have come to the awareness I finally found decades earlier. How much clearer would be my conscience and how much cleaner would my heart feel, if i had leaned the reality, and the lesson, forty, or fifty, or sixty or seventy years ago.

You have the opportunity, the marvelous chance, to face your reality much sooner than I did mine. But like the other side of the coin, this means you also have to face up to your own guilt, your own role in this awful, immoral, insane suffering meted out so that you can have your meat. You are responsible. You can’t deny it, you can’t avoid it. You cause these animals to suffer untold terror and agony on the way to an ugly, vicious death.

You cannot say you love animals, and respect animals, and still be a part of this. It’s not possible. No excuse makes it permissible. You had the courage to read all of this. Now it’s time for you to make a decision.

Please. Don’t be a liar.

And please, please, please, pass it on. Share. Help someone else find the truth.

20 Rules for Surviving Halloween

Provided free of charge by the

Agency Governing Humanely Horrific Haunted Halloweens

  1. Don’t go anywhere alone.  In fact, don’t go anywhere.
  2. If you must insist on leaving the safety of your house, go with a large group. The more of you there are, the better the chance be a survivor, not a bloody memory.
  3. But if you are determined to leave your house by yourself, at least be prepared.  Practice screaming. You should also carry the following: a loud whistle or digital screech alarm, a large crucifix, a string of garlic worn around your neck, four cans of pepper spray; a police baton, a taser; a handgun, a shotgun, a machine gun. You might want to consider a hand grenade or two. Rear running shoes, and take time to practice running without falling down. Whatever you do, avoid all old, abandoned buildings, especially asylums, schools, hospitals, prisons, any building more than one story tall, and filling stations.  And if you’re even considering going to a graveyard, there’s no point in reading further. Just kneel inside the entrance, stretch your arms out, and yell “Take me!”
  4. While you’re out there, be alert. Trust no one. If you see a clown, spray it. If it turns out to be some idiot in a clown costume, they should have known better. Stay in the light. Generously spray shadowy areas with the pepper spray. If you are approached by an eighteen-inch tall, sneering doll, anybody wearing a Scream mask, a hockey mask, a Hannibal Lector mask, or a burlap mask and carrying a knife or chain saw, turn and run. Run as fast as you can. And come to think of it, leave all of the guns at home.  You’ll just panic and drop all but one of the bullets and then miss with that one shot anyway. Leave the hand grenades too.  You’ll shake, drop the pin, drop the grenade, won’t be able to find it in the dark, and then . . .well,  just leave them at home.
  5. Do NOT stand your ground. You have to run. It’s expected.  While you’re running, remember this. Do. Not. Trip. You should know, too, running won’t  do any good. You’ll run, exhausting yourself. Meanwhile, your pursuers will walk, stumble and fall, stop for a sandwich, take time to sharpen their knife, or chainsaw, pause to take pictures. Oh, you’ll put a mile or two between you, but whenever you stop running, they’ll be there waiting for you. It’s a rule. On second thought, forget the running. Break the rules. Stare right at them, raise your arms to the sky, and yell as loudly as possible, “Look behind you! It’s Elvira!”
  6. If you’re smart you’ve decided by now to stay home, where it’s comparatively safe. DON’T EVEN DO THAT ALONE. Invite a friend over. Several friends are better. Rule 2 still applies. But there are things you must remember.
  7. Make sure all of your friends know the deadline for arriving.
  8. Turn on all the lights in the house. That’s all the lights. This is no time to conserve electricity.
  9. As soon as the deadline for arriving guests has passed, lock your doors. Front, back, lock them both. From this point forward, do not open those doors for any reason. Ignore knocking. Late arrivals are on their own. If you look through the peep hole and see a friend, don’t be fooled. Halloween monsters wear costumes too, you know. Pay no attention to children chanting “Trick or Treat.” Some ghouls are shape shifters. And now that you think you’re safe in your locked house, remember these rules.
  10. Don’t have wild sex. Those people are always the first to die.
  11. Avoid drugs and drinking. Those are the next to go.
  12. Ignore all outside noises like car crashes, wild running and yelling, sirens, evil chants and screams. Make a special point of ignoring those screams. Their serial killer is their problem.
  13. A special caution is in order here. Pay no attention to any pounding on your doors or windows accompanied by terrified calls of “Help me! Let me in! Help me please!” Bloody horrified faces clawing at your windows pleading to come in will not be bothersome if you close the drapes and blinds.
  14. If your friend heads for the kitchen and says he or she will be right back . . . they won’t. Do NOT go looking for them. Wait five minutes, then board up the entrance to the kitchen.
  15. Do. not. check. out. that. strange. sound. And there will be strange sounds. Where?  Everywhere of course. Be particularly careful not to investigate children’s laughing voices that seem to move around.
  16. Do NOT look under your bed or in your closet, no matter what. Do. Not. Do. It.
  17. If a bat is bumping against your window, point your crucifix straight at the window, hold onto the string of garlic tied around your neck, and yell three times loudly, “You are NOT invited in!” You say you don’t have a crucifix? Well. May the dumb be with you.
  18. Don’t answer the phone, no matter how many times it rings, If it’s someone in the family calling for help, they should have picked a better time. Don’t they know you’re trying to survive?
  19. Ignore all ghostly voices. ESPECIALLY if they are right behind you. This will be easier if you watch the DVD of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the sound turned up high. Excuse me? You wanted to watch a horror film? On Halloween night? Are you nuts?
  20. Do NOT look for friends who disappear. Save yourself. When you’re the only left, there’s only one sure-fire, guaranteed way to survive the rest of the night. Dash to your bedroom, put on your Winnie the Pooh jammies, climb into bed, and pull the covers up over your head. That always works.
  21. You’re welcome. Happy Halloween.

Those sly Republicans will be, well, sly…

This time around I’m providing a link to an excellent, thoughtful, article debunking one of the GOP’s sly talking points: the sacredness of the Electoral College.

This is definitely a MUST READ. The Washington Monthly accurately and succinctly exposes the lie of the Electoral College serving as a beneficial tool in Presidential elections.

Well-indoctrinated Republican, Dr. Lerah Lee—please excuse me, but I’m always amused  by people with a PhD or EdD who insist on referring to themselves as “Dr.” as if they are a real physician, or somehow much smarter than you and me—is running for Congress in Georgia’s 7th Congressional district.

In her email, which somehow found its way into my In-Box, Mrs. Lee fervently, while also attacking Democrats in general and specifically AOC as racists, defends the Electoral College with the same old Republican talking points. The Republican party has always had a problem with things like LARA: Logic, Analysis, Reasoning, and Accuracy. This article explains exactly why their talking points attempting to prop up the archaic institution of the Electoral College are 100% wrong. 

If you have received an email from Mrs. Lee, you will want to read the article. If you have a friend who has received one from her, or another Republican stalwart, please pass this along to them.

Facts are facts, and in this case the facts are also the truths. Please don’t be fooled, and don’t let a friend be fooled.

The link:

The Electoral College is not what its defenders say it is