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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 06:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,057

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

Where We Go From Here: 5 Key Ways to Build a Movement

Just the section headings from the somewhat long article:

1) Unite around a populist message to combat Trumpism

2) Combine electoral and grassroots activist work in local communities

3) Dialogue with working class and rural people

4) Welcome new energy

5) Substitute community cooperation and the common good for rampant individualism

From the last section:

In response to the You Are on Your Own philosophy of the Trump Administration and its right wing allies, we must substitute the idea that We Are All in This Together. While competitive individualism is a foundational cultural norm in American history and contemporary society, community spirit and cooperation is also an important part of the American culture. While the current constitutional framework permitting Congress to regulate for the common good in order to solve national problems must be preserved against the right wing assault, the idea that local communities must band together to help their neighbors and solve common problems ought to be play a central role in any movement against the Trump Administration’s policies.


This "you are on your own philosophy" is at the heart of Libertarianism and the post Reagan GOP. The idea that each person is in competition with everyone else. It is a philosophy that is totally destructive of group action and destructive of forming a group identity to resist the 1% who promote Libertarianism.

NOTE: I highlighted section 3 because I feel that it is vital to pursue the 50 state/all regions strategy.

Facing 10 years in prison for protesting

From the short article:

IN AN ominous sign of the Trump administration's intention to crack down on the right to protest, federal prosecutors plan to charge 230 activists arrested on Inauguration Day with felony riot charges, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.....
Jeffrey Light, an attorney based in Washington, D.C., who has represented protesters whose rights have been violated for more than a decade, said he's never seen felony riot charges filed against demonstrators........
The Trump administration may hope to make such harsh treatment of demonstrations and protests the "new normal." It will be up to activists, civil liberties advocacy groups, civil rights attorneys and other social justice organizations to mount broad defense campaigns to respond to these blatant attacks on the right to dissent.

Read more:

As part of Making America Hate Again, dissent must be severely punished. Even if, as during the World Bank protests, the punishment results in significant financial penalties for the Government. The Trump Administration obviously hopes that the severity of the crackdown inhibits even more protests.

It is up to American citizens to show that such tactics will only encourage further protests.

January 20th anti-Trump protests in Chicago:

From the article:

Two organized demonstrations in Chicago on the day of Donald Trump's inauguration merged into a single if splintered downtown protest with crowds chanting in opposition to the new president as they marched through the streets.
After speeches at Daley Plaza, protesters took to the streets and a large crowd gathered at Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue, across the Chicago River from Trump Tower. Police stopped them from crossing the river to get to the skyscraper.

It was cold and damp, but that did not stop thousands from gathering at 3pm in Daley Plaza. There were many speeches in Spanish and English with a common theme of resistance and the necessity to continue protesting and challenging Trump's version of normal.

And we will continue.


The GOP Congress setting the example for US workers.

For the entire year (of 2016) the House is (was) scheduled to be in session for 111 days.


Paul Ryan has a plan. Part of the plan is to reform Social Security by requiring actual workers to work until the age of 70 before collecting benefits.

Now little Paulie has lived in the Washington DC swamp his entire adult life. He earned 174,000 a year as a Congress member, and earns $223,500 as Speaker of the House. Little Paulie had the House in official session for 111 days in 2016, leaving plenty of time to go home to Wisconsin and to fundraise. So he has no experience in the real world where people work hard for many years in hopes that they can collect Social Security or possibly a pension when they retire.

So when the GOP talks of reforming Social Security, meaning to force people to work until 70, does anyone here think that the irony ever occurs to them?

Boycott LL Bean? Why not WalMart also?

If one wishes to boycott LL Bean, a relatively small business, because one family member supported Trump, why stop at LL Bean? WalMart is run by an extreme right wing family of greedy capitalists, as is Amway.

WalMart drains money from communities by demanding, and receiving, tax breaks to build their monster stores. These stores siphon off business from smaller community businesses, and Walmart workers frequently depend on state aid to survive. WalMart is a leech draining money from the economy and putting it into the pockets of 6 people who have a combined wealth greater than the bottom 40% of Americans.

Amway is a classic pyramid selling scheme.

Uber is a scheme to enrich the creator of the app.

Amazon is another plantation employing thousands of poorly paid and constantly surveilled workers.

So why just LL Bean?

Wheres the GOPs Health-Care Plan? (byKatrina vanden Heuvel)

From the article:

For six years, Republicans have voted more than 60 times to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “Repeal and replace” was a staple of Donald Trump’s stump speech. Give us control, Republicans promised, and what Mike Pence promises as the “first order of business” will be repeal and replace.
Only one problem: There is no plan. Republicans have hundreds of ideas but no replacement plan and no consensus. So now the same politicians who couldn’t come up with a serious plan in six years are considering a new idea: repeal now and replace later. Use the arcane rules of a “reconciliation” bill to push through repeal; replacement plan to come later. Promise. Trust us, they say, we’ll come up with something in a few months, or a couple of years, with a “few bumps along the way,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said . (“Bumps” is a euphemism for sick Americans losing health care, giving new meaning to the phrase “road kill.”)


The GOP has no plan, just as the GOP has no actual plan for governing. The GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%.

Kellyanne Conway: Stating the obvious

I know that this sounds silly. It is not any sort of deep analysis but I have to say it.

One does not have to go any further than her name to know all there is to know about Kellyanne.

Conway is her last name. Con way. The way of the con. The name says it all. Con way.

So when she opens her mouth to spew anything, remember that she follows the way of the Con.

Today's sermon is on intolerance:

Our reading is from the Gospel according to C.S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity, and it deals with intolerance.

The late, ex-atheist, C.S. Lewis once wrote:

“ If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong all through. If you are an atheist you have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all these religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth. When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most; when I became a Christian I was able to take a more liberal view.”

C. S. Lewis (1960). Mere Christianity (New York: MacMillan)

What Lewis is referring to is the many paths argument. That there can be many paths to God, and many paths that result in a good life. Each person might have their own personal path, and that path might contain elements from a number of belief systems.
But if some atheists must, as a function of their beliefs, reject all other paths as false, what does that say about these atheists?

Now, if this definition by C.S. Lewis of what it is to be an atheist is correct, does this mean that atheists are sui generis intolerant of all forms of religious belief? Before we consider that, it would be good to consider another source which defines what it is to be an atheist. To help me, I went to the American Atheist site.

The reason no one asks this question a lot is because most people have preconceived ideas and notions about what an Atheist is and is not. Where these preconceived ideas come from varies, but they tend to evolve from theistic influences or other sources.
Atheism is usually defined incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.


So C.S. Lewis defines atheism as believing that all religions, and all believers, are mistaken.
The American Atheist site rejects the word belief when describing atheism. I cannot speak for them, but perhaps their idea is that the word belief is too loaded with religious connotations.
But no matter if one believes in a god or does not, neither belief is provable. The concept of atheism can no more be proven than can the concept of a god. Theism, or non-theism, is a belief system.
We believe in things like religion, or philosophy, or political things, even though we cannot demonstrate that what we believe is provable in a scientific sense.

And the point of all of this, this sermon on intolerance, is that intolerance is a very human failing. It is not limited to certain groups of people, it is universal. We can read of centuries of Christian intolerance for non-Christian belief systems, but we can also read of the intolerance for theism that was and is demonstrated by the non-theists who govern in Russia and China.

And we can see the obvious intolerance, expressed as condescension and mockery, that people like Richard Dawkins exhibit when referring to people of faith. The condescension that is referenced by C.S. Lewis in his book. The idea that people of faith are simply wrong about their faith because Dawkins has come to the conclusion that there is no God. And because Dawkins has arrived at this conclusion, he apparently must go out and preach the Gospel of anti-theism. In my mind, this makes Dawkins every much as intolerant as any theist who denounces all other beliefs as sacrilege.

In conclusion, we must always remember the words of Jesus from Mathew 7:5 when he said:

First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.

Go in peace brothers and sisters.
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