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.

 

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.

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.

 

While we celebrate Labor Day. . .

While we celebrate Labor Day. . .

One of the great incongruities, and condemnations, of Christianity is that black Americans and white Americans both prayed to the same God, from the Civil War, through the Jim Crow era, which has ‘ended’ only in our imaginations right up to present day America, where that conundrum continues.
And while black Americans prayed and strove—almost always peacefully—right up to today, for the simple freedom of equality, white Americans have responded, and respond today, with guns and fires and explosives and other forms of violence. This has always been supported by the conservative church through means ranging from cowardly silence to active participation.
So much for the image of a ‘just’ God, and Godly “Christians.”
Wonder no more about why modern Americans increasingly turn away from this religion awash in its own hatred, bigotry and hypocrisy.
Here ends the sermon.

Labor Day And The Elaine Massacre Of 1919

America’s Greatest Evil = Fake Christians

I’m using this post to share a horrible news story and introduce humanity’s—and morality’s—public enemy of the day.
Adam Fannin, a “pastor” of dubious sanity who is given legitimacy by religion, , is openly calling for the murder of Sarah Silverman, from the pulpit. He is just the latest individual hiding behind the trappings of clergy while he spreads hate and, in this case, openly solicits the commission of murder. Deranged individuals like him are exactly the reason intelligent and thoughtful people continue to turn away from churches to seek personal spirituality in place of a sick cultism that has long poisoned Christianity.
This deranged and hateful man should be arrested and charged with soliciting murder. 
If anything happens to Sarah Silverman, or if someone even attempts to harm her, Adam Fannin must be charged as a co-conspirator.
Adam Fannin—and religious zealots like him, of which there are plenty—are a danger to all decent people, and an affront to God and Jesus. They must be held accountable for their hateful rhetoric, which goes well beyond any freedom of speech.
The wild ravings of Adam Fannin and others like him are not inspired by God, any God. They are the sick manifestations of a diseased and hateful mind. They are antithetical to everything Jesus taught and would have us be. They are born from a sick hate of anyone ‘different.’ They are diseased.
If there really is a “rapture,” these fake Christians will be shocked to discover themselves the ones left behind.
The story is here:

How Much Trouble?

I recently saw an opinion piece musing whether Americans know how much trouble they’re in. Read on. This is how much. I read this morning that Nancy Pelosi, who is reluctant to impeach, appears all-in on issuing contempt citations to Trump’s people who do not comply with subpoenas. Sounds good, right?  Yay. Go, Nancy. Rah rah rah.

But wait a minute. I managed to control my enthusiasm and stop doing cartwheels long enough to look up just how that whole contempt of Congress thing works. I needed to read this article about contempt of Congress in Wikipedia twice to be sure I understood it.

How the House enforces a contempt citation, From Wikipedia:

“Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia;[15] according to the law it is the “duty” of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action. However, while the law places the duty on the U.S. Attorney to impanel a grand jury for action, some proponents of the unitary executive theory argue that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President and that compelling the U.S. Attorney amounts to compelling the President[citation needed]. They argue that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch. The legal basis for this position, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote “The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” This approach to government is commonly known as “departmentalism” or “coordinate construction”.[citation needed]
Others argue that Article II of the Constitution requires the President to execute the law, such law being what the lawmaker (e.g. Congress, in the case of statutory contempt) says it is (per Article I). The Executive Branch cannot either define the meaning of the law (such powers of legislation being reserved to Congress) or interpret the law (such powers being reserved to the several Federal Courts). They argue that any attempt by the Executive to define or interpret the law would be a violation of the separation of powers; the Executive may only—and is obligated to—execute the law consistent with its definition and interpretation; and if the law specifies a duty on one of the President’s subordinates, then the President must “take care” to see that the duty specified in the law is executed. To avoid or neglect the performance of this duty would not be faithful execution of the law, and would thus be a violation of the separation of powers, which the Congress and the Courts have several options to remedy.
The criminal offense of “contempt of Congress” sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not more than $100,000.[16]”

So the bottom line is that if Congress holds any of these people in contempt, they must instruct the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to convene a Grand Jury.
*Guess who the U.S. Attorney works for? Righhht.
*Guess who is ultimately responsible for making the U.S. Attorney do this? Righhht again.
So the House tells the U.S. Attorney to convene a Grand Jury. But that individual works for Donald Trump. The task of making it happen, or not happen, ultimately rests with Donald Trump.

The further we are dragged down this road into full fledged fascism—and extreme lunatic theocracy—the more I realize that the founding fathers, in twisting themselves into pretzels trying to ensure that no branch of the government trilogy ‘had an unfair advantage’ over the other two, created instead an almost perfect recipe for a person exactly like Donald Trump, with the Senate in his pocket, to become a dictator while the House dithers and scrambles about mice in a maze without an exit.

In order to get the money to build their houses, the three little pigs had to float a loan from the wolf.

How much trouble are we in? As many of us have long been saying, one whole hell of a lot.

# # #

House Majority Leader threatening to hold all Trump allies who defy subpoenas in contempt of Congress: ‘This is a huge cover-up’

 

Thank you Nancy Pelosi — NOT

Like it or not, the simple fact is that Donald Trump is proving Congress to be as impotent as a eunuch. You’ve probably already read, or heard, that now he has ordered Hope Hicks not to turn over documents to Congressional investigators, even though, as one legal expert said, he has no authority to do so since she no longer works for him.
     So far—and this is only a sampling—Trump has refused to show his tax returns, refused to conform to the emoluments clause, made every possible attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation, lied to Congress (and the people) time after time after time, refused to obey subpoenas and told everyone in the administration to do the same thing, kidnapped thousands of children, favored foreign dictators over the American people, etc.
     The Senate, of course, is controlled by the Republican party, which has sold any genuine morality it ever possessed in order to genuflect for Trump. But what about the House of Representatives, now under Democrat control?
     It turns out that Nancy Pelosi is the fly in Sam Houston’s buttermilk.  After standing up to Trump about funding for his wall, she has become indecisive and—something we would never see from her—frightful. She is afraid to impeach. Whereas Mitch McConnell runs the Senate like a son of Heinrich Himmler, Pelosi wrings her hands and tries to say meaningful things while not allowing the House to take any concrete action about Trump’s multitudinous dictatorial acts. Day by day she behaves less like the leader of the very body which is supposed to provide oversight on the Executive, and more, much more, like Margaret Mitchell’s Melodie Hamilton.
     I and many others have said before, here and everywhere we can raise our voices, that Donald Trump is leading the United States straight down the road to a full fledged fascistic dictatorship, ala Adolf Hitler. The Republican party is riding his coattails in hopes of achieving what is, in effect, a coup. Look at McConnell’s iron fisted patently immoral manipulation of the entire legislative process in the name of stacking every federal court possible, not just with Republicans, but with conservatives so far to the right, both politically and religiously, that they qualify as cultists.
     Seventy-five percent of America fidgets. We scream and wring our hands while Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House cower behind procedure and fear of making a misstep.  We the people are left bemoan the loss of liberties and basic rights, one by one, group by group: LGBTQ Americans because they “are different;” progressives and the ‘educated elite,’ because they are the dreaded “socialists,” Christians who don’t believe the same demented way as evangelicals; anyone who would threaten the greedy power mongers.
     But short of armed revolution, that seventy-five percent is helpless, dependent on the separation of powers which the forefathers built into the Constitution but didn’t build well enough. Seventy-five percent of America is steadily slipping under the jackboots of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the rabid minority made up of religious and social cultists and corporate controlled rapscallion Republicans no longer possessing any moral compass.
     The 25% is winning, and turning America into a fascist regime shaped by theocratic lunatics and greedy oligarchs, one of whom defiles the highest seat in government just as Hitler once did in Germany. The election of 2020 is too far away and too tenuous. If the collapse of our Republic isn’t already complete by then, it surely will be a certainty if Trump cheats his way into re-election.
     And why shouldn’t he? The system of checks and balances intended to prevent what we are seeing has so far proven completely ineffective. He lies, and defies anyone to do anything about it. He breaks the law, and dares anyone to stop him. He kidnaps children and says “So what.” And he gets away with it. Every. Time. Because half of the legislature is in on the takeover, and the other half is afraid.
     The Republic is falling, and it is as much the fault of the cowardly defenders as of the aggressors. If we are waiting for the Nancy Pelosi led Democratic House to save us, we might as well start shopping for white flags.