Our Place in Systemic Racism (emphasis – being white)

hotrod die cast model on board
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

 

What is it?

Systemic Racism clearly exists but as a white male living in a mostly white, small city I have known this kind of racism exists. Because, currently I have no black friends, one Asian-American acquaintance; I am not confronted by systemic racism daily so I haven’t felt it, until recently. But I am a part of white male privilege and I have used compartmentalization to screen out the privileged system I am a part so I don’t feel its affects until recent events: the brutal murder of George Floyd. And the constant barrage of bigotry against people of color, non-Christians, Hispanics and so on.

This makes me a racist.

I am part of the system and up until now I have only been tacitly fighting against the systemic injustices (monthly donations to the SPLC, ACLU etc.). I have not used my privilege to help level the playing field. Inaction while pleading ignorance is inaction, indifference and systemic racism.

Anyone who is different is often shunned by their community and/or persecuted.

Most white people don’t think they’re racists when they are; because of prejudices of an exclusion mentality (us and them). On an individual basis of meeting a black man, woman, an Asian man or woman, or an indigenous American there is a kindness that may exist and treating people as equals in-person (taken out-of-context of “privilege”). As a group whether the people are thought of as different or consigned to a lesser-than position than another group then this is part of systemic racism and is most likely an unconscious response.

One reason we may not be aware of as members of a white privileged class is one of systemic laws that arise out of the Jim Crow Laws after the Civil War to redlining (economic denial of people of color based on segregation and location for private sector benefits as well as government benefits thus keeping people of color — mainly blacks — in economic slavery). In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down part of The Voting Rights Act of 1965 on the assumption that racism had been eliminated and as a result opening up states’ rights to discriminate against blacks and people of color. This along with gerrymandering to keep politicians in power — mainly Republicans currently. These are examples of systemic racism — and have been hidden from well-meaning liberals by Mainstream Media. Once again, here is the out-of-sight / out-of-mind rubric at work. It’s easier for privileged whites and white males to say they are not racist because of the body of laws that exist systemically to keep black people and people of color enslaved are hidden from public view.

“pull yourself up by your bootstraps”

Anyone who is different is often shunned by their community and/or persecuted. They may take up positions of isolation to feel safe. This is a two-tiered process of racism at work. Isolation in more obvious examples lead to segregation. Those who are shunned from the white communities are put in positions of “out-of-sight / out-of-mind”. However black people have contact with white people in the course of daily life. Due to many hundreds of years of oppression / slavery from injustices related to: economic, educational, social, police harassment, brutality and death and the (in)justice system including needless incarcerations of young black males, voting rights prejudices, bias and bigotry (written into law) are some of the examples of systemic racism.

If you were born into white middle- and upper-class culture you and I are a part of systemic racism whether we admit it or not. The first step in resolving a problem is admitting there is one.

 

The “Pull-Yourself-Up-By-Your-Bootstraps” Metaphor

What does this mean?

If it were so simple that’s what people with profound depression, or people of color would easily do if circumstances were fair or the playing field was all equal and level. The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” metaphor is usually spoken offhandedly by those that consider themselves strong individualists often from white middle class or upper-class families (or disenfranchised white male members of Right-Wing or Neo-Nazi radicalized groups). They are firm believers in the American Dream: work hard and achieve your dreams. They have no idea that the American Dream is only available to those with privilege and wannabes (see end notes on wannabes). Being so entrenched or enamored with(in) the system of privilege they deny their place in it.

I didn’t want to give up the privilege of wearing a man’s body

So, they make idiotic, cavalier statements without understanding their so-called “superior” status in the world of privilege and dismiss others without it who often find themselves in positions of slavery.

 

Privilege and Exploitation

We shun or are afraid of others for their differences most times unconsciously. It has been my choice to isolate and privilege has allowed that option. From privilege comes advantage. From advantage comes exploitation.

Let somebody else do it.

Privilege, advantage and exploitation can easily be rationalized away as a racist stance by power-possessors and those who have money and the power that massive accumulations of money create. The bubble of Republicans before and after Trump has been one of male white power in a world being transformed by an influx of non-whites in numbers to the United States. Fear, prejudice and bigotry have been and are being manipulated by many Republicans to hold onto their power. Blame the Blacks, Hispanics, the Muslims, the Asian-Americans, the immigrants, the other to foment racist furor in those afraid of the changes.

 

Money and Transformation

And yet everyone who has some money would like to hang-on to it even if it means depriving others that may need it. The thought is – let the rich pay for the changes needed for economic transformation. Let somebody else do it. And so everyone thinks the same way whether its economic justice for all or remedying the climate crisis.

There may be an unconscious element at work in electing a president and other representatives. When we elect them, we trust them to do the right thing much the same as a child trusts a parent. We the people often leave the practice of democracy to others to our elected representatives and activists rather than joining with activists in a truly participatory democracy. After all we have had a marvelous tool to help us in participating in democracy computers and the Internet – but again for the privileged who can afford it.

If everything isn’t addressed at once from my pocketbook and yours. By everything I mean:

  • Replacing Privilege with the Public Good
  • Economic equity and justice
  • Healthcare for all administered by Government through heavily regulated Insurance, Big Pharma, the AMA.
  • Justice for All (especially for those that can’t pay for it)
  • Prison Transformation
  • Investments in Public Education
  • Investments in the Postal service
  • Investments in Public Infrastructure
  • Balancing Police and Defense Spending with Public Investment
  • Investments in Methods that Save the Planet from the Shortsightedness of Predatory Capitalism from industry and consumer/citizens point of view
  • Replacing Predatory Capitalism and its singular focus on profit to the expense of all else, to a longer-term system based on human and planetary health.
  • And more… (I’m sure I’m leaving something out.)

 

Let’s not leave anybody out because we cannot embrace our shadow and own the darker elements of our psyche.  The first step in solving a problem is the admission that we have one.

 


*Wannabes – are people who live outside the American dream who may or may not be privileged. They are often NOT people of color. They believe so strongly in The American Dream and being the strong individualist that the public good does not enter their rubric of the American Dream. They look to and worship those that – in their eyes have achieved the American Dream and sacrifice all for either worshiping their heroes or amassing more and more money to achieve the Dream. But “More” is never enough.

Marketing “Nothing”

BeingTime

AUDIO FILE to listen while you read (with maybe one reading error):

So, it’s come to this?

I started a reading a piece based on a lecture based on book called, you got it: “Doing Nothing”

It had nothing to do with nothing. It was a ploy, a tease, a ruse, a lure to get me to read an article about the meanderings of a creative artist’s mind. I felt irritated – however the artist had some brilliant pieces of art she had photographed and a chuggingly slow river of tangential ideas, images and sensations. I suppose if one weren’t withdrawing from the intoxication of USA productivity and strung-out on random stuff it could seem like nothing relatively speaking. If it wasn’t titled “Doing Nothing” I might have liked it.

But I was anally attached to finding out how to do nothing, which, of course is an oxymoron. And I’m still attached aka stuck in the fucking past obsessing about not finding nothing. Go ahead – smile and feel embarrassed for me. And I’m being serious.

Let’s face it – no can do nothing at any time. But—

If we rule out autonomic functions such as blood pimping around in our arteries and veins or breathing then we have at least pretended we can make a space for maybe doing nothing.

Here’s the thing though – and I know I’m splitting hairs (very hard to do by the way) – as a nation of workers who eschew down-time and laziness the idea of doing nothing seems more Zen and cooler than acting lazy.

Maybe, the closest seemingly non-action state we can take is Za Zen Meditation. If it weren’t connected to the idea of mindfulness it would be an excellent cover for laziness. I mean sit and just “watch” all your thoughts and ideas et cetera coming and going. The one who watches is the mindfulness give-away so it’s not as close to doing nothing as I might imagine.

There’s lots of apps – one of which promotes “doing nothing” for a certain number of minutes – but in reality it’s listening to rain and sounds of nature as a mediation. Anyway, you get the idea.

The idea is that as workaholics who love to work, work, work – even if you love what you do and in your spare time you work and improve yourself – if you’re filling up all your time with stuff to do then you’re never celebrating laziness.  Here’s what I think – Americans love to be busy, even when they’re in downtime. So, when some American says:

“I’ve been doing nothing,”

it really means they are doing something that seems like nothing in comparison to a super busy lifestyle. They need re-grooving in the cognitive think department – unless they are attempting to market “nothing”.  Marketing “nothing” is got to be the perfect scam, because you can make up anything especially if its tangential, has no plan and seems like the positive side of laziness – though I don’t see how doing nothing is more positive than being lazy.

I say celebrate your laziness!  

You lazy ass.

I’m the President of the Lazy Ass Club

An O Social Commentary Dictionary

yellow tassel
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I thought of calling this dictionary the FKO Social Commentary Dictionary – after my initials, but would that give a flippant and a wrong message. You get the idea.

So, I thought “O”

As in Oh or “O”MG.

“O” is the first and last letter of my last name letters and could signify – “what goes around – comes around.” Maybe it is an endless cycle of karma or in a higher realm dharma.

Stupid – as in stupor – could be a zombie-like absence operating as if conscious from a place of shock and emotional regression. In short, a dissociative state brought on by triggers. It was once thought of as being struck by too much of “something” – like information and then by fear choosing a non-rational or irrational answer. Cognitively operating from this place empowers the user via the uses of anger, rage and righteousness that arising from being overwhelmed superseding logic based on faulty premises. When this happens, the person falls into the ocean of stupidity.

Another nation, Torpor is where the block of non-voters live & who can blame them?

Then there’s Stupid’s cousin and sometimes spouse Ignorance. There may be a lot of inbreeding between Stupid and Ignorance, but not always. This is a common disease amongst the moderns – probably originated in the autoimmune cue. Stereotypes come to mind, but to repeat them is to dip into elitism where ignorance also breeds and may fall into the stupor.

Ignorance – to turn away or not pay attention as in ignore. Unlike stupor ignorance arises from increasingly narrowed states or focused frames of reference brought on by fears and anxiety of the other especially when the other is unfamiliar or strange. Everyone shares ignorance to some degree except perhaps those that are enlightened. When ignorance begins to feed their spouse/cousin information then Ignorance and Stupid are super-glued together dance partners headed towards the flat edge of the earth and fall off into the sluggishness of torpor. Another nation, Torpor is where the block of non-voters live and who can blame them?  Sometimes seeming non-voters might be suppressed voters by those noble Night Riders the GOP protecting us from those minority illegal voters, right? Wrong!

In fairness haven’t we all been falling into occasional stupor and ignored some things out of fear? (To be dealt with in another installation of An O Social Commentary Dictionary.)

 

Entrenched Ignorance and Stupidity often produces children of Prejudice, Bigotry, Racism, Misogyny, Homophobia and some more I’m not recalling in this instance.  They huddle in camps, groups, communities maybe smoke too many cigarettes, vape, drink or do opioids in nations named Xenophobia – A Nation set out to blame the strangers.

Pointing out the ignorance and stupidity in others by identifying their logic is a fruitless endeavor, they are too much inside to see that the macro ideals are arising from a fear/anger base.  For instance, I have a relative that rarely listens to me, talks non-stop and told me that we wouldn’t have to worry about climate change because we’d be dead by the time the worst comes (each of us has no spouse or children BTW). Mischievous me interjected: “What about reincarnation?” The next time we talked – or they talked, they told me “I don’t want to be reincarnated as an Indian.”; meaning a person residing in India – and from the tone of their voice they meant a poor person or an untouchable. I said “It’s highly unlikely that you’ll remember this life (meaning their current life). And, wow, you’re a racist.” Oops – didn’t follow my own advice. They denied it, said they were friendly with Indians living nearby on the same street in the USA.  Nevertheless, they were friendly in-person but had a racist bias towards a group but denied this. Then they segue-wayed into their disgust of younger people that expressed themselves with ink, said that tattoos were unhealthy for the skin – I interjected that tattoo artists had to have licenses from the board of health. But their anger / fear found its mark and would not have stopped save I had an upcoming appointment. All that anger feels so sad.

 

The Rise of the Stupid from the Swirl of Ignorance

Part of the problem is that the education system (now more than ever is a training system and does not care about education) has thrown out critical thinking and compassionate self-examination. Other than elite private secondary education and some higher educational institutions the focus of learning is to learn how to do a skill etc. that is solely oriented towards tech, finance, or sciences with the emphasis on money, profit and whose vehicles are conquering mentalities.

Critical thinking be gone!

A good attribute of ignorance is a way of screening out the glut of weaponized commercialism thrown at people through media – including the internet. If we didn’t have a perceptual filter to ignore the barrage of information that assaults us daily we wouldn’t enter into zombie dissociative states and file mindlessly into massive stores and buy massive stuff. Right? Right? R-i-g-h-t… (Not a stutter). Although we could use critical thinking to screen out weaponized data – but OMG that might require some work, aghast!

Critical thinking be gone!

It’s all about me and carving my place out in the American Dream with as much money as possible so I can have a buffer from those in-control and blah, blah, blah…. I imagine some people think critical thinking is having mean thoughts about someone else.

 

Finally, there is so much loss – humans find loss unbearable – and loss begets grief. Rather than face the unbearable, grief gets rationalized, filed away, goes underground and becomes fear of change masked by anger and ignorance. We as a people – in general ignore our losses, act as if it was better in the past – pretense on some level and justify a steady state of rolling back progress or trying to keep things normal, while an existential crisis brews.

 

 

Overcoming – “The Mercury Retrograde Blame-Game”

planet-mercury
Planet Mercury – closest planet to our Sun

What did we all do when we didn’t see the negative, downside of thinking and communicating on Mercury Retrograde? I got a second-hand report that Mercury Retrograde starts affecting everyone 3 days before it actually goes retrograde. There is a phenomenon in astrology and astronomy where a planet appears to stand still in relation to Earth. This is called stationing. That three-day period has nothing to do with Mercury stationing. It has more to do with fueling the Chicken-Little hysteria and “The Blame Mercury Retrograde Game”. You too can play so you can go wild and crazy and up your stress levels. Sounds like fun, right? NOT! The three-day period before Mercury retrograde is usually less than half a day when stationing is in play.

 

Stationing Explained —–      During the summer solstice the amount of daylight around June 21st only changes by seconds leading up to 6/21 and the same in the days following. It could be up to 20 days of only changes in seconds in the amount of daylight. This is an example of stationing in the Northern Hemisphere near or above the Tropic of Cancer in the continental US and other countries that fall near the Tropic of Cancer. Move further from Earth and stationing becomes longer and seconds moves to minutes and degrees.

Pluto (non-planet, though still considered a planet in astrology) takes a longer time to station than Mercury. Mercury going retrograde on July 7th took 10 hours 7 minutes of stationing before retrograding at 4:15 pm PDT. Pluto stations (appears to stand still beginning on 9/28/19 goes direct – out of retrograde on 10/2 and continues to station until 10/8/19 for eleven days of stationing.

Retrograde Mercury has gotten more bad press than any other retrograding planets. Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for 3 weeks.

Pluto and Mercury in retrograde —–      Pluto an outer planet is the transformational planet. Pluto destroys in order to create something new from the ashes. When it transits a planet, a house – such as the ascendant read: personality presented to the world; or mid-heaven read: meaning of life and / or career – work, it wreaks havoc. But, since no one pays much attention this challenge is squandered by most. Pluto has been in retrograde since April 24 and will go direct on October 2, it will affect the greater population and world more intensely and those born in January, November, August and April in the most challenging ways on these dates: 10th through the 16th approximately. Pluto will have been retrograding 5 months, 1 week and 2 days. But, oh yeah, blame all of Pluto retrograding on Mercury. Just kidding.

Part of Being a Change Agent —–      People who know a little folklore about Mercury Retrograde and not much about astrology or other retrograding planets load more importance on Mercury Retrograde rather than take responsibility for their feelings, behaviors and decisively act. Other Western Astrologers get into the fear game too, in my opinion, and many don’t as well. Many Western Astrologers talk about the shadow period after a planet retrogrades and goes direct it covers the degrees it went over while retrograding and this has significance. This is astrologers being influenced by predatory capitalism and sloppy thinking after all a retrograde “motion” is an optical illusion. The only “shadow” experience doesn’t have to do with a shadow at all. When a planet retrogrades, our experiences are one of increased intensity due to the planet’s proximity to Earth. Retrograde is indicative of two factors astronomically: 1. It “appears” to go backwards across the zodiac in relationship to our point of view on Earth (Animation Gif of Retrograding Mars); and 2. The retrograding planet is as close to Earth as it will be in the course of its orbit around our star, the Sun.

Retrogrades are About Intensity  —–      Vedic or Jyotish Astrologers interpret retrograde motion as an increase of intensity of the attributes of the retrograde planet due to its proximity to Earth (as close as it will be in its orbit). Western Astrologers believe that the energies of the planet are turned inward making life difficult and, in my opinion, setting up a victim mind-set. When it goes direct its orbit is farther away from earth, so less intense.

Taking Command during Mercury Retrogrades  —–      Once a belief has been created, perceptual filters formed where like-others and/or community shares a belief then free-floating fears and anxieties become attached to the belief and it is re-enforced. This can be said of any belief.

One example of a Change-Agent is a willingness to examine beliefs especially ones based on fears and anxieties even if they are mild.

Possible steps to overcoming beliefs that block our path towards personal truth:

  1. Observing oneself dispassionately with regard to gathering information. If judgments arise suspend them, differ them and/or soften them. Don’t go into fix-it mode. Observing is the first step. You are gathering information about yourself. (see also Autogenic Training);
  2. Once you have enough data – say for example 9 weeks of periodic observations you made during 3 weeks before, during and after a Mercury Retrograde period. During the next Mercury retrograde period (approximately every 4 months) put in an experiment with actions that counter your normal (9 weeks – 3weeks before, during and after) Mercury Retrograde behaviors with the rubric that the attributes of Mercury are more intense. (the next Mercury Retrograde period is October 31, 2019 and ends on November 20, 2019).
  3. The object of the experiment isn’t necessarily to make your fears associated with Mercury Retrograde “go away”. It is to “test” that if a different way of thinking or acting has any overall effect on your state during Mercury Retrograde. One way of implementing this test could be the following: Anxiety goes up or a fear appears and an immediate thought is Mercury Retrograde. When you catch yourself thinking it’s because of Mercury Retrograde ask yourself – “Is the intensity of the situation right now influencing my feelings, thoughts and actions in any way?” If yes then ask yourself – “What are the challenges I am being presented with right now.” Choose one challenge and with your mind’s eye confront the challenge and overcome it, or soften the challenge with you mind so it doesn’t appear so daunting.

This has been an experiment and is by no-means complete.

 

A final note: “I get sensitive to Mercury Retrograde”  —–      Inherent in this quote is that sensitivity is not desirable especially during Mercury Retrograde. More likely Person A is feels more sensitive due to the fear’s others have and is sensitive to those fears. Sensitivity has been given a bad rap in our culture.

Once one identifies that sensitivity isn’t a bad thing where one is made to feel a victim for being “too sensitive”. My mother used to project her feelings of upset onto me and I would burst into tears. She would admonish me for being too sensitive and tell me to “act like a man” and be angry with me. Really, I was expressing/acting-out her suppressed feelings of frustration and grief without realizing it. Practice is needed in identifying the emotions of others and building a strong sense of self in dealing with others emotions and my emotion response. Sensitivity is actually a strength when we’re (the sensitive empaths) are not being overcome by others emotions.

This requires skill building and a new mindset to see that sensitivity is a good thing.

 

Comments about Driving a Car, Being On-Time and Multitasking

action asia asian auto

I currently operate two businesses out of my home so my need for driving has been reduced to three to four days a week.

When I worked a 40 hour per week job about 20 miles from my house the commute time to work ranged from 45 to 50 minutes with moderate to heavy traffic on the way to work, and 20 to 30 minutes returning. I worked swing shift and a couple of graveyard shifts.

increased stress and anxiety

When I was working I practiced the art of being on-time, which is arriving 5 to 15 minutes early if possible. With the USA work ethic is a frantic obsessiveness to gain every advantage and never stop working. Such illusory notions as multitasking have been introduced to give us more time to do everything and this is: The Myth of Multitasking

multicolored abstract painting

Trying to compress more activities into a finite time can lead to maddening outcomes with increased stress and anxiety. Down-time can lead to creative leaps in our work when we appear to be doing nothing but day-dreaming perhaps.

The Peace System or cooperative automobile driving – works.

asphalt blur car city

When I was commuting to work 4 to 5 days a week using a car I purchased it gave good gas mileage. Now that I am working from home and ninety percent of my trips are short and local gas mileage has dropped (admittedly not very good planning – unforeseen health challenges forced me to retire earlier than I had intended). To work on the ecology of it I drive less. This means planning trips even short ones. I apply the same principles of arriving on time to driving to a destination like a friend’s house, the Post Office, market, or bank.

Driving is about intention followed by executing actions

Drivers, Roads, Traffic, Traffic-Lights, Freeways, Police are part of the largest Peace System in the world. Each of us gets a license to drive a car by which a certain set of rules are applicable. The Police are there as part of a safety-net to ensure that the rules are followed so the system runs as smoothly as possible. When we follow the rules, we can move from place to place safely. The Peace System or cooperative automobile driving – works.

I give myself enough time

Driving is about intention followed by executing actions. Intention/action moves can be carried out with a calm compassion, with thoughtlessness, with humor, with thanks, with rushed anger and entitlement (or wild abandonment) etc. I depart (most of the time) 10 to 15 minutes before an appointment so I can have a stress-free drive, use intention effectively and work on being patient especially with drivers who think they are control the only car on the road. If I am turning the car I try to use my turn signal at least 500 to 1,000 yards before the turn. This is about good communication (with intention).

Projecting an intention towards another driver allows me to be more aware of possible unpredictable actions they may take based on their distractability or in other words driving defensively. Also I find that keeping my speed within the limit allows me to minimize wait times at traffic stops even in heavy traffic to some degree.

person performing fire dance at night

Driving becomes pleasant when I give myself enough time to do it. When I give myself time to work and lie idle as long as I apply a modicum of awareness to what I am doing.

Thoughts?

 

I took a stand with Starbucks and lost – or maybe not

adult attractive background beautiful
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

 

I go to Starbucks to buy iced tea mostly because they are located less than a mile from my house. I have a rewards card and they recently bumped the required number of points for a “free reward” a drink up 25 points without any warning.

I have an allergy to wheat – but not wheat gluten. I also am lactose intolerant and eat very little meat.

Because of the bump in points I decided to unload regarding the no-food choices and the bump in reward points even though I didn’t expect any satisfying results. What I didn’t expect was to be treated as a non-person:

In the first email to them I enumerated the wheat allergies etc. I did write that I could eat wheat flour made from ground wheat berries but that regular wheat flour caused an allergic reaction of bloating, an energy crash and at least 24 hours of a depressive mood. In the second email I bemoaned that they had misunderstood my first email by misreading that I was allergic to wheat gluten and had not read all the way through to read and understand the lactose intolerance and almost no meat in my diet.

The second email was worse than the first. They obviously had been trained to see any wheat allergy as a gluten allergy and ignored the lactose intolerance and the meat. They treated me like an idiot. They wrote that the Greek Yogurt was gluten free – duh, but because they didn’t read / acknowledge the lactose intolerance issue, after all Greek Yogurt is made from dairy products.

I receive emails about “members” deals once, twice of three times a week. Because they are all about marketing and greedy capitalism and less about customer service. I felt demeaned by their communications. My new strategy has been to take an opposite anti-capitalistic stance and buy only ice tea and skip the occasional soy decaffeinated mocha. Also, I stopped hanging out there, although I like the staff.

I am weaning myself off of them and transferring my business to maybe Peets and just reducing trips out.

Starbucks didn’t understand me and showed their true colors of marketing to me as just a consumer instead of a person. I didn’t fit into their capitalistic marketing system and I am glad of it. Regarding their emails – now I ignore 90 percent of them because I don’t want to feed their market-greed values.

Rant done. Copy to blog. Link to Starbucks, maybe…

 

3 Commentaries – Politics

wethepeople

On Recent Income Taxes to be revealed to Run for President in some states:

Requiring that any candidate running for President release his/her income taxes is about the stupidest idea (with the best of intentions) that could ruin the elections. Here are the reasons as at least one has already been stated:

  • It’s unconstitutional – the stated one;
  • Trump has not protested one bit about it;
  • Trump has not protested one bit about it because it falls under his agenda why? –
  • If it looks like he is losing it gives him an immense amount of time to challenge the laws all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary – maybe 1 to 6 months extending his presidency into April (at the latest) of 2021 during which time:
  • He could call off the elections for a do-over;
  • Claim the elections are rigged against him – he’s very good at playing the victim card; inciting riots;
  • Declaring Marshall Law; or any numbers of scenarios; and on and on…

 

Die-hard Bernie supporters voted for Trump in 2016 (according to Newsweek)

The people that don’t vote – are one of the largest blocks of potential voters. They don’t vote because they don’t trust government, are cynical etc. They believe government is for the rich and that government doesn’t care about them (they haven’t been wrong). Hoping they will vote may be the same as believing that Angels will save us from corruption. Some Liberals I know are still angry at Bernie Sanders in 2016. A lot of the people who were going to vote for Bernie turned and voted for Trump. Both Bernie and Trump at that time represented outsiders that were going to take on establishment government, that’s why they turned away and voted for Trump. Fear and anger when whipped up into a frenzy makes people do things that they may later regret.

 

Trump Supporters and the Top 1%’s notion of the Divided States of America (DSA):

I know a few people that are Trump supporters, some highly educated, some simple people – they do not go to Trump rallies and are not part of his perceived “base”. The common element between these Trump supporters in my opinion are:

  1. They want a leader that will take care of them and mirror back to them the ideas of s simple government;
  2. In the face of an increasingly complex world and the threat of climate change they want a simple world based on the romanticism like their youth – based on the ideals of a strong, rugged individualistic type that believe in loyalty, a clear sense of right and wrong, a sense of family values;
  3. They are afraid of what the future brings and cling to conservative values and ideas of the past;
  4. They believe in “the American Dream” and if they are wealthy Trump supporters see Trump as their savior and those who are not so wealthy may believe they can achieve wealth on the backs of those who are oppressed and poor and “don’t deserve the American Dream because they want something for nothing”.

To call a Trump supporter stupid is unproductive and stops conversation between people that we may have called friends that are now enemies for what they believe – a quality that social media encourages because of the anonymity of our responses. Would you call a friend stupid for their support of Trump if you were face to face with them? How would you feel if someone called you stupid for being a Biden supporter face to face? You disagree.

Denigrating someone’s intelligence without exploring this point of view is a discounting of them as a person. I stop seeing them. This is what the Corporate dollars and the top 1% want – a Divided States of America, one way to further their agenda.

Isn’t part of being liberal an ability to tolerate opposing points of view without condemnation of the “other”?  What if we applied our social / public behavior with others to how we express ourselves on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?

Exclusion, condemnation and vitriolic rhetoric makes for increasing divisions – how can we begin the healing?

.

The Obstacles and Solutions for a Democrat Candidate to Win in 2020

architecture art clouds landmark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Introduction

When I began to look at gas prices in New England compared to California which were much cheaper in the early ‘70s I asked my father about this. My father explained gas prices were higher for us because the closest refinery was in New Jersey (we lived in central Connecticut). That was before the Oil Embargo of 1973. After the embargo ended 6 months later in March 1974 the price of crude went up.

Now gasoline prices are rising for a variety of reasons, price of crude oil, summer time blend, in California several refineries have been taken off-line. If President Trump goes forward with economic sanctions against Iran selling oil to China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey who have waivers to buy oil – gas prices will rise in here in the USA.

Even though gas prices are subsidized in the United States and ten other nations, five of whom are Middle Eastern, prices will rise if Trump puts sanctions on China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey for buying oil from Iran. The waivers expire in May 2, 2019.

As gas prices rises the cost of many other items rise because we as a nation are mainlining oil. Ecological concerns aside this effects the pocketbooks of all Americans (to a lesser degree hybrid and EV car owners). The impacts are felt to a greater degree by the 99%.

Money, the cost of living is the bottom line for everyone in our culture.

He [Trump] creates crises so he can manipulate outcomes

I bring this up because everyday concerns of Americans are concerned about money and costs:

  • Healthcare
  • Climate Change
  • Justice for All
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Taxes
  • Consumer Protection
  • Education
  • Immigration

This list is not in any order, though each issue reflects economic issues basic to all Americans and is about cost and /or survival.

 

The Trump Strategy

One of the primary aims of the Trump strategy is to have the spotlight on him at all times whether it is positive or negative. He does not tolerate being ignored and will go to great lengths to remain the center of attention.

He is expert at making himself the victim.

He cannot bear criticism and has a shifting base of lies and an alternative reality in which he resides to combat criticism. He lies and whips his base into the frenzy of rage and hatred against “enemies” and /or scapegoats much like the rallies of Nazi Germany. He uses these lies to fix himself as a victim and as the center of attention while acting as an example for others to act ragefully and vent rage onto scapegoats. He is expert at making himself the victim.

He ignores protocols, laws and the Constitution to bend any and all in his way to his will. He manipulates and cons others to seeing it his way. He has most Republican Congressional Representatives and Senators; the Supreme Court and the Attorney General in his pocket. He continually demands that everything goes his way and does not act in a presidential manner but as a dictator.

He creates crises so he can manipulate outcomes.

A prime example is the crisis at the southern border that he has created by drawing attention to it with lies and manipulations. He draws attention to the caravans as evil so he can build “the wall”. Oppressed peoples in Central America countries who live under terror and are afraid for their lives see “the wall” and the crisis at the border as becoming worse so they must flea and get into the US before they can’t do that anymore. In short Trump has fomented the crisis to bigger proportions. His administration has cancelled aid that was attempting to make conditions better in Central American nations south of Mexico because they hate Obama – who began the programs, deemed it as a total failure and cut it because it cost too much. Thus, Trump is helping to create a problem that he is trying to solve. Then he can distribute migrants and refugees to sanctuary cities to overload those cities and then later blame them for the problems.

 

Circumventing the Trump Strategy and winning in 2020

While impeachment is a good idea the timing of it is wrong. As it stands right now impeachment hearings are unwarranted because not enough evidence has been gathered to enter into the process.

Trump is using every means at his disposal to prevent his taxes from being revealed to members of the House. He is using and abusing laws – no doubt to stop and/or delay this act as long as possible. He could delay all the way up to the time of the election.

He lies and whips his base into the frenzy of rage and hatred against “enemies” and /or scapegoats much like the rallies of Nazi Germany

 The Democratic Candidates running for the Presidency who are beginning to focus on impeachment are grandstanding, taking focus away from their agendas and setting up more opportunities to lose the election if they are nominated and further damage the party.

Focus on impeachment sets up skirmishes with Trump that he can use to bleed energy out of their campaigns through criticism, character defamation and making himself look like a victim that needs rescuing by his base and “true Americans” etc. He will call in the “Deep State” conspiracy too.

Impeachment is a distraction from the issues that affect the 99% of the US population. It will build distrust in those swing voters [and amongst the biggest demographic – the non-voters who have given up on government] that feel they are being left out of the attention they deserve for justice that may never come (at least between now and the 2020 elections).

When Clinton was being impeached for a mistake it hurt the Republican Party in the next midterm election when the Democrats picked up seats.

A focus on the issues is a focus on the people. This wins the election.

Those candidates that are currently pressing for impeachment could slowly back-off while proclaiming that more evidence be gathered while they focus on the basic needs of the American people.

States that have passed laws that demand that candidates reveal their taxes in order to be on the ballots are fine in principle but will not hold up in court. There has been no criticism from Trump about these laws because they will work to his benefit on many levels at election time. If the election is going badly for Trump he can delay voting by taking these states to court individually and maybe all the way to the Supreme Court to delay election results. This will give him more time to be the victim and /or invalidate the election process if it looks like he’s losing.

One solution to these laws – that when they are challenged by Trump a plan can be made by each state Attorney General to suspend the law in favor or a speedy election and review the law later. In this way it could work to the advantage of each candidate especially those that have revealed their tax returns under this law.

Where the focus of each candidate running for president needs to be on what is to be done to help the 99% in the issues that most affect us:

  • Healthcare
  • Climate Change
  • Justice for All
  • Labor
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Taxes
  • Consumer Protection
  • Education
  • Immigration

Healthcare:

If corporations and governments worldwide took responsibility for the toxins / poisons they are allowing into environment and current healthcare system’s bottom line was not profit then universal healthcare would not be necessary. That’s why Universal Healthcare is a right. But it is also a band aid to the larger issue of personal and planetary health.

Climate Change:

There are immediate and longer-term solutions that must be engaged now if the human species is to survive the adversity to come. The Green New Deal is a start.

Justice for All:

This includes various movements that are unfortunately necessary in this climate of hatred. Black Lives Matter comes to mind. Training by police, greater interaction between police and communities. Civilian oversight of police. Tolerance and Compassion trainings in communities and schools. Justice for women, minorities, people of color, LGBQT peoples, people of color, indigenous peoples and more… Justice extended to the environment, water, trees, – perhaps a bill of rights for the natural world. Remake the Prison system.

Labor:

Encouraging Labor Unions

Economy:

Wall Street investments are very different from the health of the economy. The rich need to be taxed as well as corporations. The buying power of the middle class needs to be stabilized. Income inequality balanced.

Environment:

Restoring and augmenting the power of the Environmental Protection Agency. Shifting away from fossil fuels. Protecting wild spaces, trees and national forests and parks.

Taxes:

Equitable taxes that benefit the 99%

Consumer Protection:

Bring consumer protection back.

Education:

Raising teachers’ salaries so the young people yearn to be teachers. Bringing tolerance training to all public schools. Bringing free higher education to public universities allowing tuition to be paid only be individuals with incomes above 200,000 dollars a year. Make public education a crowning jewel in the US.

Immigration:

Demilitarize immigration to start. Stop the use of concentration camps.

 

A focus on the issues is a focus on the people. This wins the election. Everything else is unnecessary.

 

However

Should Trump win in 2020. Let impeachment begin. And investigate McConnell for impeachable offenses.

 

 

Why the Mueller Report Isn’t that Important and What Is:

background beautiful blossom calm waters

Keep it simple:

  1. While the fight against Trump is important, the focus of the Democrats is in the wrong place. Therefore: All investigations into Trump should be behind closed doors – unavailable to the public and the media until sufficient evidence has been gathered to make a definitive indictment against the President on multiple fronts. (media attention on investigations into Trump serve as a distraction to the focus of the people – what is being done to help and serve the 99%)
  2. A public announcement by Democrats must be made to show that the primary focus of the party will be on what is good for all the people, including the working class, the middle class, the poor, small farmers, women, minorities, Medical for All, Climate Change initiatives – that put people to work, infrastructure -that puts people to work, Education incentives etc.
  3. Continued current legislation will include The Green New Deal, a detailed plan for Medicare for All, Changes in the Tax code (to benefit the 99%).
  4. Public Pressure on the DNC to support progressive platforms to win the presidency on behalf of the 99% people and a future where climate change is being acknowledged and managed.
  5. Support of an outsider amongst the field of Democrats running for President because the people NOT voting believe that its pointless to vote due to the Corporate-Congressional complex that excludes the people in favor of the moneyed interests…