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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
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Journal Archives

A letter to Republicans I just posted on the Hill.

Well, I just got off the phone with both my US Senators and my Representative. I'm calling them daily until we can find a resolution to this moral crisis. Two things: Trump tweeted that it is the Dems fault, and equates immigrants with vermin who infest our country. In other words, like the Nazis in the 1930s, he is systematically working with his base to dehumanize people who disagree.

Then there's a memo from DOJ to ICE that calls for agents and judges to go through six weeks of training on 'mass migration emergencies, enforcement initiatives and management needs including staff shortages.'

Problem is, I object to being dehumanized, and I object to the cruelty of this policy. You want to be tough on immigration? Fine. You don't want to let these families in? Fine. But don't take the children away from their parents and put them in cages. That is a crime against humanity. Because they ARE human. As human as you.

And you know what, to the people who will reply to this with some flippant thing that says, in effect, that it is either a) the Democrats' fault, and/or b) the suffering of the children is the fault of their parents, I ask how you sleep at night. I'm looking at the picture of the little two-year-old girl crying as ICE takes away her mother, the photos of caged children living in the new Trump 'hotels' in southern TX, and a picture of rosaries confiscated at the border.

Those rosaries remind me of the piles of wedding rings the Nazis 'confiscated' from their victims before the gassed them and cremated them in huge ovens. I remember the railroad car full of shoes at the Holocaust Museum.

So, for those of you who are all frothy and worked up about MS 13 - that's a 1980s LA street gang whose members are all probably well into their 70s by now. Maybe it exists, but to say that ALL of these people seeking asylum are MS 13 is the same as saying because this granny smith apple is green, all apples are green. It just isn't so. If you think that imposing cruel and inhuman punishments against people who come to this country with hope in their hearts and ask for asylum is OK, if you think taking children away from their parents and putting them in cages is OK, think again.

Your party will not always be in power, and the arc of justice is moving. If camps are built and children die, there will be a tribunal, and those responsible will be put in the dock and held accountable for their crimes against humanity. We did not accept the excuse that "I was just doing my duty" at Nuremberg, and we will not accept that from these ICE people. So be careful. Stop this cruel policy. Nip it in the bud now. Be tough on immigration - that's fine. But do not forget the humanity of those who look at America with hope.

Bill Clinton says impeachment process over Russia probe would be underway if Democrat were in office

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)Former President Bill Clinton said that impeachment hearings would have begun if a Democratic president, instead of Donald Trump, were in power and the Russia investigation was as far along as it is now.

"I think if the roles were reversed -- now, this is me just talking, but it's based on my experience -- if it were a Democratic president, and these facts were present, most people I know in Washington believe impeachment hearings would have begun already," Clinton told "CBS Sunday Morning."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/03/politics/bill-clinton-donald-trump-russia-investigation/index.html

Right he is. If a Dem were in the WH and Republicans controlled both houses, impeachment would be in progress whether there was a crime or not.

But Republicans have a different take on the law in terms of whether they should have to obey. They believe they are above the law.

Protesters hold 'die-in' at grocery store

Source: CNN

Publix has suspended its political contributions as it re-evaluates its giving processes, the national grocery chain said in a statement. The announcement comes days after Parkland student activist David Hogg called for a "die-in" at the grocery store to protest its support for a Florida gubernatorial candidate backed by the National Rifle Association.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/05/26/david-hogg-publix-die-in-abc-orig-vstop.cnn

That's pretty much all the text in the article, but the video is worth watching. Those Parkland kids are really inspiring.

A 'die-in!' Who would have thought? And...more importantly, who would have thought it would change the way a corporation donates?

In preparation for upcoming election

Since the Secretary of State in Colorado is Republican, he sent all of our voter registration information to the Trump administration when it made that illegal request.

I just checked my registration, and those of the rest of my family.

Colorado allows us to perform such a check online, so it was easy, and we have mail-in ballots as well. We can a) mail it in, b) drop it off, or c) vote in person on election day.

I urge all of you to perform these checks regularly on your own voter registration. I think our party will have an historic turnout for an 'off-year' election, and the worst thing that can happen is if you show up to vote and they don't let you. It's going to happen, but we must try and minimize it.

Death penalty and assisted suicide: the right to die.

Every day, we see a dozen new outrages from these horrible Republican cretins. Since I sometimes weary of adding my minor 2 cents worth to these despicable happenings, I thought it might be fun to introduce a topic for discussion that I know we don't all agree on.

I do this because it seems to me that after November, we will be having some different discussions, and after November 2020, we will quite likely be debating issues like this among ourselves.

So here goes:

I often accuse anti-abortion folks of not being 'pro-life' because how can you be if you don't care about people after they are born?

But, here, in our party, we have what I suspect is a sizable minority of people who are pro-assisted suicide, and pro-death penalty.

In my state, we passed a referendum that made it possible for someone terminally ill, and having six months or less to live, to die by assisted suicide. How this looks on the ground is that you need to get two doctors to sign off on the prescription, which is hard. They want to know if you're of sound mind, if you have thought it through, etc, etc, ect. Personally, I'm for this and think it is fine, but I fear I might not do such a thing due to residual religious upbringing (i.e. fear of consequences in the afterlife for copping out in this one.). Still, it has always irked me that we must have life forced upon us regardless of its quality.

And, as to capital punishment, I'm for it. Because I cannot think of anything, ANYTHING, more cruel than being caged for the rest of my life. I would rather die, because that seems to me more humane. Of course, it should be limited to people we're absolutely sure, due to DNA evidence and witnesses, did the crime. And as to method, I have always believed the more 'humane' ways of execution are actually the most cruel. Lethal injection? The horror. The chair? No.

If I were to be executed, I would want to have it done in the least cruel method possible - either the firing squad or the guillotine. Those, it seems to me, are the most humane because they are instant.

So how do you all feel? Will you bother to comment? Doesn't matter, really. But if you do, that is great.

Powerstroke Rams and makin' Murika grate.

I saw something scary a couple days ago on my commute to work.

There was a giant RAM powerstroke truck. One of the big ones with the extended cab.

On the back window were some very troubling decals.

First there was a little decal that said 'Merica. I'm not kidding.

Then, there was an American flag made from bullets laid horizontally, with the stars made from bullet holes.

Finally, the piece de resistance...you know those decals of families? Where you have a little Dad, a little Mom, and several kids, all standing side by side decorating the rear window of a car? Well, this guy had the same decal except they were assault weapons. No kidding. I don't know the shapes of guns enough to identify them, but Dad seemed to be one of those assault weapons that has recently been used in mass shootings.

There were a whole bunch, too. All standing up in a nice little line - maybe 10 white-silhouetted guns on the decal.

So, I basically slowed down and let him get ahead.

Question submitted by PatrickforO

The text of this question will be publicly available after it has been reviewed and answered by a DU Administrator. Please be aware that sometimes messages are not answered immediately. Thank you for your patience. --The DU Administrators

In these days of 'alternate facts,' and truth being shouted down, of

dollars being considered 'free speech,' and the very strong meme among about half of American that the government is bad, evil, the enemy, we are in very real danger of losing this republic.

I have become convinced over a number of years that we Democrats must add a Fairness Doctrine to our platform. Reagan let the old Fairness Doctrine die in 1987, and that caused the growth of corporate propaganda stations like Fox, Breitbart, numerous websites and hate-talk radio.

Obama said in the interview he did with Letterman earlier this year that our polarization is the result of not everyone operating from the same set of facts.

The cure for this is to get back the Fairness Doctrine and hold news sacrosanct from ratings so that journalists can once again report the facts surrounding events - who, what, when, where and how. When they get into why, then the different sides must be represented. Always.

When we got away from that, we positioned ourselves to enter the realm of 'alternative facts.' Remember that this phenomenon began with the election of Obama - you'd see Republicans go on talk shows and shout down everyone else, reject the facts and keep parroting talking points.

That's the root of this tribalism; the lack of a Fairness Doctrine.

And the root of the 'hardening' of the right-wing 'tribe' is corporate propaganda. The reason we have corporations pouring money into this propaganda and into organizations like ALEC is the way corporate charters are written.

These corporate charters call for the C-level officers of publicly held companies ONLY to increase earnings for shareholders. That is the ONLY job of any CEO of a publicly held company. It is called 'fiduciary responsibility.'

Look around. This fiduciary responsibility is the cause of the pollution that is killing our planet, the climate change denial, the merchants of doubt that are paid to cause us to doubt that things like fracking hurt the environment, the massive transfer of wealth to the few and the horrible corporate corruption created by the Citizens United ruling that dollars are 'free speech.' That is the root cause.

Two policy changes could ameliorate these problems:
1. Reinstate a 21st century Fairness Doctrine that operates like the old Fairness Doctrine did.
2. Force changes to all corporate charters of companies doing business in America to enlarge the scope of fiduciary responsibility to include the workers and their welfare, the consumers and their welfare, the well-being of the communities where the corporation is doing business and the environment.

Do these two things and we won't have 'hardening' tribalism any more, and we can start concentrating on building a government that actually addresses the needs of the people - economic and social justice.

Bernie/Hillary controversies and the (real) civil war.

Feeling my oats a little today, so this is a rant.

Everytime we get a post in here the encourages the Bernie supporters and Hillary supporters to snipe at each other, a whole bunch of people seem to rise to the bait. There are some really, really long threads with many people making good points. I've weighed in on these things more often than not, though not so much lately.

People do like to get in a last word about things the feel strongly about. It is our nature.

Personally I am quite progressive, and support Bernie's platform. Happily, many of the things he campaigned on are now in the Democratic platform if they weren't before, because a lot of them were all along. I know because I'm on my county's platform committee, and we just met yesterday post-caucus and post-county-assembly.

We need to remember first of all that come November, we need to vote straight Dem tickets. It's really come to that - we've got to get rid of these right wing crazies from all levels of government. Just roll over them at the polls. And, we need to flip both Houses of the US Congress.

When this is done, we need to impeach Trump and get rid of his whole corrupt, crooked, treasonous administration.

Then, when the right wing crazy 'militias' get their gunz out, put on their cammies and hit our streets with their filthy swastikas and brown shirts and faces contorted with hatred, we need to pressure the Dems we've elected to send in the Army and the National Guard and put them DOWN - either in prison or back under their rocks.

Because they are victims of right wing propaganda and nothing can change that. Many are fanatical true believers. That is why this IS gonna happen - it is quite likely to come to fighting before it is over.

So, let's work TOGETHER and take back our republic.

Only after this, should we argue about planks in the platform. And I'll introduce one right now that is VITAL. We need to reintroduce a 21st century version of the Fairness Doctrine to ensure that news is news and we all hear who, what, where, when and how. This way, we'll all be operating from the same set of facts, and the divisions will slowly heal.

In the meantime, for your amusement, and in honor of the Millennials and Gen Z:

I've got my clipboard, text books
Lead me to the station
Yeah, I'm off to the civil war
I've got my kit bag, my heavy boots
I'm runnin' in the rain
Gonna run till my feet are raw

Slip kid, slip kid, second generation
And I'm a soldier at thirteen
Slip kid, slip kid, realization
There's no easy way to be free
No easy way to be free
It's a hard, hard world

I left my doctor's prescription bungalow behind me
I left the door ajar
I left my vacuum flask
Full of hot tea and sugar
Left the keys right in my car

Slip kid, slip kid, second generation
Only half way up the tree
Slip kid, slip kid, I'm a relation
I'm a soldier at sixty-three
No easy way to be free
Slip kid, slip kid

Keep away old man, you won't fool me
You and your history won't rule me
You might have been a fighter, but admit you failed
I'm not affected by your blackmail
You won't blackmail me

I've got my clipboard, text books
Lead me to the station
Yeah, I'm off to the civil war
I've got my kit bag, my heavy boots
I'm runnin' in the rain
Gonna run till my feet are raw

Slip kid, slip kid, slip out of trouble
Slip over here and set me free
Slip kid, slip kid, second generation
You're slidin' down the hill like me

No easy way to be free
No easy way to be free
No easy way to be free

Slip Kid, by the Who
Songwriter: Pete Townshend

Kentucky Teachers Shut Down Schools After Public Pension Overhaul

Source: Huffington Post

Kentucky’s public pension system is among the worst funded in the nation. Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has prioritized reforming it since he was elected in 2015, and Republicans have taken up the issue since gaining control of both houses of the state legislature in 2016.

Teachers and public employees have fought the proposed changes, which have included transitioning new hires into a “hybrid” system that more closely resembles a 401(k). They argue that such changes would lead to steep cuts to their retirement systems and could violate their contracts with the state.

Educators have spent weeks protesting the proposed pension plans, and appeared to have derailed any potential reform earlier this week as Kentucky’s 2018 legislative session drew to a close.

But on Thursday afternoon, Republicans tucked many of their proposed changes into a piece of legislation relating to public sewage. And after mere hours of debate, both state legislative chambers approved the bill in late-night votes, with the state Senate voting around 10 p.m. to send the bill to Bevin’s desk.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kentucky-school-shutdown-pension_us_5abe4233e4b0f112dc9baeee

Once again, in a late-night stealth vote, Republicans vote to steal pensions from hard working people.
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