One can not simultaneously "respect the office of the President" and respect the trans community now
We need to crack the bully pulpit.
I believe it is time to refocus our goals and create new ones, we have a great deal of problems in our society and in the political sphere, and while I plan to vote Democratic in 2018, 2020, and beyond, it needs to be one prong in a multi-pronged strategy.
You see, this has been a week of straws; Trumpcare advancing, Lamar Smith going from denying climate change to now embracing it and endorsing a sort of passive genocide to groups like indigenous Siberians and other people living in the arctic, and now the insane and reactionary transgender ban... this is of course on top of other previous weeks and months of straws such as waving off corruption, the stunning hypocritical treatment of Trump against Obama, and we also can't forget about the Trump supporters who cheer on your access to medical care being cut so billionaires will get a tax break and say that we need to make nice with a certain autocrat in the Kremlin so we can somehow wage a better war against a billion and a half Muslims. If you've reached the final straw like me, then please pay attention.
For a long time now, I have been sending private messages to some members here telling them of another group to spend some time at another group, this network. After consulting with some of the other members, there has been a realization that it is time to make this go from private message to opening it up to everybody.
I want to introduce the Trident Network to you, and ask you all, if you are interested, to please join any and all groups you think can help in and if you join one group with the exception of one, then the credentials should work for the others on top of joining very easily (Use a throwaway Hotmail address if you don't want to use anything else), nearly every group is interested in discussion of the news and general discussion, but there is also targeted discussion focused on the specific issues we are aimed at, as well as looking for actual things to do that can create real social change with some things that we can do today with more coming in the days and weeks ahead.
This network consists of:
* The Burn Notice: The nexus, here are general goals we look at, as well as a place for people from the sum of the groups to meet at.
* PALLADIUM: Specific goals; whether it's defense from Fancy Bear and Trumpcare, getting the US healthcare to more treatment of diseases and disabilities and less social control, resisting marginalization, resisting the alt/far-right, challenging the notion that wealth is equal to godliness and deconstructing class, busting binaries, working to ensure people with Trumpgrets have genuine Trumpgrets, deconstructing gender and race, resisting Putinism while supporting human and civil rights for Russian people and working with progressive Russians, and resisting the Daesh and far right shared delusion that there is or needs to be a war between us and the Muslim world.
* Right Wing Infopedia: This wiki was founded about a decade ago to detail the dirty and sordid details of stealth conservatism, and it is still about that, but now with a forum, it has also spread to get the dirt on the who/what/where/when/why/how of the virulent strains of disordered thinking that is sweeping the political arena today.
* Discordian Brain: All about highlighting and challenging thought-terminating cliches and "serious" rhetoric and more through absurdity, parody, and noting contradictions. Let your hair down a bit here.
* Endangermicide: A fight needs to be done against the very punishments that are used against the disadvantaged, these punishments are the fangs of the status quo, and it's time to defang it; whether it's in the form of general havoc in the forms of discrimination against unemployment or (medical) debt or the continuum of endangerment as a whole, which means we need to be cutting vicious circles and exposing disparities.
* Operation Pulpit Crack: If the Trump administration has proved anything, it is definitely that the growth in power of the executive branch over the years is too much for one man, or for one manchild. Trump's power is not divine or genetic, it is agreed to by us, and not one day every four years, but every single day. Many unofficial powers of the office of the President are only here because we have "respect for the office of the President", but if the choice is between protecting the environment, saying no to romanticizing war, and standing up against authoritarianism; then what kind of progressives are we if we are siding with this so-called "respect"? It's time to say no more.
* Crisis vs War Watch: Named for the fact that the "war on drugs" became more of a "public health crisis" when the face of drug use changed from black and inner city to white and suburban, here there is a focus on 'other' issues that are no less important, ranging from the politics that invokes symptoms of personality disorders, food security, lead poisoning, to social contagions.
* Dread State: Dread not at the Dread State, here the goal is to highlight, challenge, and destroy systems that reinforce corruption, hate, inefficiency, and more that exist inside and outside of the government. Somebody has to be a check on these systems, if the government will not or can not do it, then it has to be us.
* Olfactorius: A slightly different focus, will not look at the groups or individuals involved in the body of corruption, but at the more subtle problems, Olfactorius aims at discrediting the tropes associated with this corruption, at turning the cliches that justify it into sources of annoyance.
* Peerless Innovation Systems: My own personal project, I believe that a possible way to resist system justification and fundamentalism is to push ahead with innovations in science and technology, this is the place to give them a small showcase, discuss them, and find ways to support them.
* Your group? Your own groups can be a part of this network, if your goals mesh with our goals, if you adhere to economic power of valuing social change over change in the form of money then there might be a place for you.
Time is short, so there is an urgent need for agent-activists who will have a leading role in these things to do we are looking to do every day, for researchers to collect information and categorize it, and for moderators to keep these groups alive, secure, and on-topic, so if you join and are interested in these roles, then you can be fast-tracked into them.
All are welcome if you support the mission, although I fully expect that the far right will not feel welcome because of the things we want. So if you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket, if you do not think we have until 2020, or even until 2018, if you are like me who is seeing the last straw on the camel's back and who has loved ones that you worry more and more about their future every day, and if you want to be the change in a small but growing network, then look us up.
You pay for their healthcare, now they're going to turn around and cut your access to services, insurance, jack up prices for medical services, but hey, at least they get tax cuts for billionaires and we all know erectile dysfunction and affluenza will never be pre-existing conditions.
Where is the line?
At what point do we say "No more!"?
How about here? Why not now?
If they pass Trumpcare; defined as 'replace', defined as 'repeal', defined as 'let it fail'; then do not pay your medical bills, nobody pay anything, if you do pay, then pay as slowly and in as small increments as possible in the form of physical checks, send your bills to your Representatives, to your Senators, and to the members of the Electoral College who were OK with this travesty and tell them to pay, resist medical debt collectors, and if you are a doctor or nurse, then don't pay school loans and tuition.
Maybe it's time for a no-payer system.
"Repeal and replace" IS Trumpcare
"Just repeal" IS Trumpcare
"Just let the ACA 'fail'" IS Trumpcare
They own this, don't let them say they don't.
Subvert the rhetoric.
This is the end result they want.
You may notice that the concern about "Czars" has dropped off after the Obama administration, well I think it's time we get the ball rolling. We can ask why the media is not calling high-level officials in the Trump administration "czars" or we can start calling them by that title ourselves.
Ivanka - Genetic Lottery Czar
Jared - Failed Negotiations Czar
Donald Jr - All about adopting Russian kids and not really about scrapping the Magnitsky Act Czar
Bannon - Breitbart Czar
Gorka - Fraudulent Security Czar
Do your part to spread the word.
We remember them calling Obama a horrific dictator but then turn around and praise Putin for being tough and generally doing all the things they were accusing Obama of doing.
Why the love? Why the urge for a need for collaboration?
Illusion and delusion. The American right wing has created their own alternate reality that simply because Russia has cast off communism, that in itself means they must have become a utopia... binary thinking to be sure. You've heard sickening references with the glow of high grade polonium I am sure, I've personally heard right wingers talk about Russia having zero percent unemployment and a fertility rate that would put an army of rabbits to shame, all untrue. And of course never mind the facts of the corruption, the lack of freedom of the press, persecution of religious minorities, and more.
Neo-colonialism. A lot of them are practically salivating at the idea of the US and Russia joining forces to create an 'axis' against Muslims. Their perception is really that if we work together, we can have a great war; the white people of the global north finally destroying the non-white people of the global south, especially Muslims. Something for all the cuddliest people out there; racists, anti-Muslim bigots, investors in the MIC, people who want to bring on the end times, etc.
So we have work to do. Let's not attack Russian culture, but let's treat the Putin regime as illegitimate. An enemy of both freedom and the Russian people. Let's talk about Sergei Magnitsky, about MH17, about Alexander Litvinenko, and more. Let's call attention to ethnic groups in Russia like the Siberians, many of whom want autonomy from the Kremlin and are also concerned about climate change threatening to destroy their very culture and lives. And we need to find and pull in people opposed to Putin and Russian liberals, they aren't our allies... no, they are our brothers and sisters.
In a conversation with pro-Trump prophet Frank Amedia this week, televangelist Jim Bakker proposed that all the church people band together to launch a class action suit against them, whoever they are who are literally stripping the power from the president of the United States.
Bakker and Amedia were discussing the Supreme Courts decision to allow Trumps travel ban to take partial effect while they wait to hear arguments on its constitutionality, a case that Amedia insisted the courts should have never even heard.
We were headed to having a president, a leader, who had no power, Bakker marveled. They were literally stripping the power from the president of the United States. If we would have had an army attack us, they want to take his power away.
He then proposed a class action suit against them, whoever they are, whoevers taking the power from America because theyre destroying the United States of America.
Theyve unelected a president, Bakker said. Its wrong! It should be a great crime.
Trump has revealed the danger of the power of the executive branch, it can be no different than giving a loaded handgun to a toddler. If there is protecting the environment, standing up to authoritarianism and bullying, and saying no to romanticizing war on one side and "respect for the office" on the other, then I'm not going to side with the latter, sorry. So yes, there absolutely should be an agenda from the bottom and from the top to strip powers from the President, it's time to crack the bully pulpit.
The problem is systemic and so the response needs to be multi-pronged. Voting and getting adequate representation is just one prong, but doing it alone will not fix the problem, we need real bottom-up resistance, things we can do, things we have to do in order to get the ball rolling for a real recovery.
Just some key things that we need to do:
Realize the full implication of Trumpcare, it's to help the people who already have capital at the expense of those who have none. Learn about preventive medicine and teach others what you can about it. Trumpcare will not save you.
On that note, we have to realize that healthcare in the US is less about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses, injuries, and disabilities, but more about control; control of the 'wrong' people, excluding them, creating differences in class, race, and gender, and more. Spreading the word about this and finding ways to mitigate this control is vital if we want real healthcare in the US.
We need to fight against endangerment. We need to find ways to actually reduce the harm one encounters when one is unemployed, uninsured, or any other kind of 'un'. Fighting against disparities can start with simply noticing that they exist, this is something we can do too.
Think and act globally for a moment. Liberal Russians who are opposed to Putin and the whistle blowers in the molds of Sergei Magnitsky and Alexander Litvinenko, Filipinos opposed to Duterte, and progressive Muslims like Noor Tagouri, ISPU, and the MPV aren't our allies... no, they are our brothers and sisters. All three face erasure from authoritarians and fundamentalists and not to mention the last group applies to us as well, with the right wing saying "Cold War's over, new Crusade now!" If we're not pulling these people in with us and if we're not fighting alongside them in some way, then we're not fighting at all.
And finally, for the sake of this post, we need to look at the Executive Branch and the power it has. Trump as POTUS has demonstrated that maybe no one man should have all that power, and if the choice is between resisting authoritarianism, standing against bullying, saying no to romanticizing war, protecting the environment, and more on one side and "respect for the office of the President" on the other, we have to side with the former or what are we? We have to crack the bully pulpit.
And so much more.
The challenge is high, but so is the risk, but it can be done, even through just a little bit every day or if you can't then giving some measure of support to those who can. I just hope we are up to the challenge.
For those keeping score at home, this is the world we live in:
Trump recently backed off a proposal of having a joint cyber-security unit with Putin, if it sounds crazy, let's keep going. This is a government that has affected our elections, has killed dissidents and journalists, fatally poisoned an ex-operative in the UK, invaded one of our allies, and that's just scratching the surface. This isn't about Russia as a whole, mind you, but Putin, his circle, and the Kremlin. On that note, can you imagine if Trump invited ISIS (Which will be known as Daesh from here on out) to a joint counter-terrorism unit? What about Muslims who have no connection to Daesh? Well, the right did throw a huge hissy fit when Laila Alawa was brought onto a panel for just that, they balked at that. Wonder why? Oh right, it's the same people who say we can't have a "cold war" with Russia, and we shouldn't, but yet apparently a new crusade is just fine with them. Because, apparently the hostile Putin regime is our friend, but Muslims who run the gamut from liberal to conservative, secular to devout, and who live, work, learn, and play here and as American as the rest of us are all worthy of suspicion at the least.
Seems kind of funny that after eight years of "He put mustard on a hamburger!! Aaaagh!!1!", "WHERE'S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?!", and "He said 'uh' in a speech! IMPEACH NOW!!!!1ONE!" when it came to Obama, we now have Trump, where scandals are explained away because "he doesn't know any better", just like a toddler, and he gets to hear he's doing a great job if he behaves according to the minimum standard and doesn't wet himself in public, just like a toddler.
Funny how that works, right?
So let's talk about those supporters for a little bit, the same ones who turn being 'anti-fascist' and 'anti-racist' into bad things, very bad things. But yet they are OK with the far right, you know, the people who watch The Purge and ask "How can we do this in real life?" They call us to account for the actions of every anarchist yet they have yet to respond to the cretin who shot up a mosque, or a bar, or the one who attacked patrons of a coffee shop with a hatchet.
And finally, let's not forget that if you're upset about the tainted 2016 election, you might be told to "get over it" by somebody who will ignore, enable, or even participate in rituals of waving the confederate flag but yet will stick their fingers in their ears and yell "La la la! Can't hear you! La la la! No political correctness! La la la!" when you remind them the south lost over a century and a half ago.
Oh well, what are you going to do, right?
Well, lots really.
Call attention to the contradictions, complain about them, ask irritating questions about them. Never let one of these contractions that we have now, and more we're going to see in the coming days, be OK with you. Resisting Trump means you can't ignore these or accept them as facts of life, you don't have to.
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