Archive for the 'Politics till it hurts' Category

March, Organize, Resist

February 5, 2017

It’s hard to believe that we are only 16 days into the presidency of a ‘person’ who lost the popular election by roughly 3 million votes and only won the Electoral College because of 77,000 votes. I use the term ‘person’ loosely, because the so called president is really an animated caricature of an actual human being. And I refer to him as the ‘so called president’ because if you account for all of the voter suppression tactics employed against us, then the so called president most likely wouldn’t have won the Electoral College either.

So here we are in what can be called a coup. Our democratic processes have been hijacked, our election stolen, and every single part of our government and all of its institutions are under siege. Forces beyond our shores have crippled our national dialogue through deceit and manipulation, and internal conspirators have fed into, and used for their own nefarious purposes, our distrust, our ambivalence, and our disorganization, to achieve the goal of rendering us voiceless and powerless.

We are a divided nation, a conquered people. For decades many, if not most, of us have bitched and moaned about bureaucracy, have complained endlessly about the tone deafness of D.C., and have watched with disdain as our tax dollars were pissed down the drain by a greedy and power hungry cabal of empty suits who always promise the moon but rarely deliver more than a few rotten crumbs for the huddled masses to fight over.

We have always known that there were people among us who wished to do this nation harm. But instead of focusing on the few who would rule us, we have often fallen into the trap that it is our neighbor who is to be feared. That the person who looks, speaks or worships differently than us must somehow be trying to take something from us. The tactics of fear and paranoia keep us at war with each other. Meanwhile the 1% steal our rights and plunder our national treasures.

Though most of us may have hated the way Washington works, few if any ever gave up on the notion of representative democracy. We never called for the complete destruction of the institutions that make up our government. What many of us have always called for is recognition and reform. We have fought for the recognition of all people, regardless of race, class, creed, or gender, as equal partners in, and equal members of, this self governing experiment. And we have striven to reform the system to make it better represent and serve everyone, not just a chosen few.

What is happening now did not materialize over night. It has been a long game, a campaign by the most craven and zealous fought both in the open and behind the scenes. While most of us are worried about paying the bills, the elitists concern themselves with their own enrichment at our expense. While we vote in each election with the hope that our representatives will use their time in public service to make life better, fairer, for everyone, an army of lobbyists representing the moneyed interests seeks to undermine democracy and shift the profits of our labors into the pockets of their masters.

I wish I could provide a sense of hope in these troubled times, say that our marches, our letters, our phone calls will save us. And maybe they will. If we find focus, if we become organized, if we stay engaged and don’t give into fatigue and despair, then we might just have a chance in hell of resisting the forces that have seized control of our government. The so called president, his minions, and the power brokers will not tire of the fight, so neither must we.

The history of the last century has shown us the dangers of fascism, of totalitarianism. It has laid bare the dangers we all now face. Unfortunately that history also shows us how easily people can be convinced to give into the worst of human nature. How in our longing for something better, something or someone to save us, we become willing participants in our own enslavement.

The question is, will we as a people unite in our own defense? Will we find common cause, realize that we are all in this together? That our greatest strength is unity? That regardless of whether you live in a small town in the mid-west or a coastal city, your rights, your dreams, your future are in peril? We breathe the same air, drink the same water, depend on the same structures and have the same fundamental yearning to live a full and meaningful life.

My goal over the coming days, weeks and months is to find that common cause, and to figure out how to voice it in such a way that I find unity with my fellow citizens. Screaming at each other is what got us here. Perhaps it’s time to listen to each other. To learn to speak with each other, not at each other. Because otherwise we all loose. Maybe I am being idealistic, but I do believe that the majority of people are decent, and that ours is a shared struggle. I refuse to be dragged into nihilism, to give up on my brothers and sisters.

Whatever you do today, be kind to those around you. If they call you names, don’t call them names back. If they push you, don’t push back. Lead by example. Show everyone around you that decency and compassion are greater that hate and fear. Most of all, refuse to accept the notion that all is lost. This is my biggest challenge for sure. We are still here, every one of us. Our government may be currently infested with a tyrannical disease, but that doesn’t mean we have to give ourselves over to its sickness. Continue to speak truth to power. Your voice is your weapon. Focus its strike at the true enemy, not those around you acting out of their own sense of loss and desperation.

March, organize and resist.

Advertisements

So That Happened

November 17, 2016

I have been trying to put to words my thoughts and feelings on the election. For now this video will have to do:

Aftermath November 2016 from Steve Cohen on Vimeo.

Just a thought…

May 11, 2013

Still waiting for those hearings on the invasion of Iraq. Any day now…oh look, Benghazi, that’s a foreign sounding place. Close enough I guess.

Something I need to get off my chest.

May 11, 2013

The argument has been put forth that we, the citizens of this country, need guns because one day (soon to some) we will need to fight off a, make that our, tyrannical government.

Here’s my problem with this notion.

The reason our government is so jacked up is because of ‘we’ the citizens. That’s right, we either keep voting the same people into office, or we don’t participate at all.

We never hold anyone accountable. We don’t study our own history. We don’t pay attention unless something dramatic, and usually pointless, happens.

So let’s say this fairy tale battle takes place, and we defeat, um, ourselves? I mean who the fuck are we going to be fighting anyways? The military made up of our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, etc?

But that’s beside the point. Let us say we ‘win’. Tyranny defeated. Do you really think that somehow everything is just going to shit itself right?

Suddenly everyone is going to put on their magic thinking caps and actually change their ways? Please.

Give it a week and we will vote the same assholes right back into office in our new and improved super-duper America.

Guns don’t protect you from tyranny in a democracy (I know, it’s technically a federal republic but whatever). Paying attention, voting, participating, you know, doing something other than sitting around polishing your guns and waiting for the end of times, those things protect us.

That’s the genius of our system. And its weakness. Because it depends on ‘we’ the citizens, not guns, not war. Us.

A Must Read (or two)

October 18, 2011

Sums it all up pretty darn well.

Universal suffrage and liberal freedoms empower all citizens in a radically equal manner. But the one-person/one-vote principle does little to prevent oligarchs from exercising the power of money in a manner that is profoundly unequal. Formal juridical equality is essential to human freedom. But full political equality, even in the most liberal democracy, is impossible as long as concentrated wealth places grossly unequal political influence in the hands of a few citizens. Democracy fused with oligarchy is certainly better than no democracy at all. But there should be no illusions that it is anything other than a partial step toward full political equality and representation.

OK, this is a good one too. Glenn Greenwald at his finest.

Some Texas news

October 3, 2009

Who would have guessed that the State of Texas would put an innocent man to death? Sadly I’m not surprised. I used to support the death penalty until I actually took the time to read about all the cases where people have proven they were wrongly convicted. You would think more effort would be put into a case where someone’s life is on the line. But that just wouldn’t make good headlines. No, we have to look tough on crime.

From the article:

In what some opponents say looks like a political move and Gov. Rick Perry says was “business as usual,” the governor replaced the head of the Texas Forensic Science Commission and two other members on Wednesday, just 48 hours before the commission was to hear testimony from an arson expert who believes that Mr. Willingham was convicted on faulty testimony, a conclusion that has been supported by other experts in the field.

Mr. Perry’s decision to shake up the commission and put one of his political allies in charge has, at the least, delayed the inquiry into the Willingham case. While Mr. Perry says he has no political motive for the move, his opponents have called for the commission to finish its inquiry.

Playing politics with someone’s life; how very Texas Republican of Perry. I guess he’s trying to follow in Bush’s footsteps. After all, Bush played politics with millions of people’s lives around the world, and we all know how that worked out. Everyone sure loves the US right now.

But what really stands out is that bad science is to blame. Well of course we use bad science in Texas, just look at our school board. The right hates science. Hell, I’m more surprised they did any investigation at all. Would have been easier to just tie a rope around the guy’s neck with a rock on the other end and then throw him in a river. If he floated, burn the witch. If he drowned then innocence proved. See how easy this is. All that money wasted on investigations when the Dark Ages provided us with the simplest tests for finding out people’s true nature. I hear thumb screws save a lot of litigation time.

Hank Gilbert calls out Perry’s bullshit:

“Governor Perry’s decision to remove and replace three very competent members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission with three partisan ideologues should surprise absolutely no one.

This was a political decision by a Governor who wanted avoid criticism of the horrendous record Texas has regarding the execution of the innocent. The Governor’s decision should make it crystal clear to every Texan that justice in this state is controlled by the whims of an out-of-control Governor desperate to retain his grip on power.

Governor Perry’s actions were wholly unacceptable. Texas deserves better.”

I would say that humanity deserves better.

—————————————–

In other news, a Dallas judge has ruled that same sex married couples should be allowed to divorce in Texas. Oh the horror. What is so bad about this? Well, we don’t like them gays in Texas, even though the only things that come from Texas are steers and queers (at least that’s what my drill instructor said in basic training, how original).

Although the case is far from settled, and the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage is a long way from being thrown out, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruling says the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.

No shit. But we wouldn’t want something as silly as constitutional rights to get in the way of religious justice. We should burn the witches! Seriously, the whole same sex marriage ban is based on far right religious fear mongering; the lies that churches will be forced to perform gay marriages and that traditional marriage will suffer because we will all have to marry a gay person.

Two things; one, marriage is not controlled by religion. The state marries people all the time. Two, allowing states to vote against people’s basic rights is insane. We all know there’s a couple of states in the southern part of our country that would vote back in slavery if given the chance. The whole state’s right argument is crap; the Constitution trumps any state’s decisions. I know Governor Good Hair hates to hear that. Might explain his desire to start his own little fiefdom.

A study has been released showing that “there is no significant difference in emotional problems experienced by children adopted by heterosexual and gay or lesbian parents.” But this won’t stop the right from screaming that gays are a threat to families!

—————————————–

On a good note, Texas just become home to the largest wind farm in the world.

The farm contains 627 wind turbines on almost 100,000 acres of land near Roscoe, Texas.

Wind energy is big business here in Texas, generating more energy with wind than any other state. The Texas grid is the 10th largest in the world, and 12 percent of our electricity currently comes from the wind. We are set to double that in the next 5 years.

To harness all that wind Texas created the CREZ program, committing to build 2000 miles of transmission lines to bring the energy to market. This is creating a lot of jobs right now which are sorely needed. And the towers being built are made from recycled steel.

We should place a wind mill in front of Governor Perry every time he opens his mouth.

Hank Gilbert at the Texas Democratic Convention 2006

September 27, 2009

Here’s Hank speaking at the 2006 convention when he was running for Agriculture Commissioner:

Hank Gilbert interview on WFAA

September 27, 2009

I like this guy. Reminds me of Howard Dean; straight forward, real. He will be in Tarrant County at the Mid-Cities Democrats meeting on October 22.

Hank Gilbert for Governor

September 24, 2009

Elect Hank Gilbert for Governor of Texas!

More to come….

Two Quick Points on McCain’s Comments

October 16, 2008

Being a veteran doesn’t mean you can’t also be a big fat fucking racist piece of shit. Don’t give me that respect all veterans shit traitor. I served with some of the most ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic assholes I’ve ever know. And most of them were great soldiers, but they were still pieces of shit.

Second, ACORN is a red hearing. Their the Mexicans of 2008 that are tryig to steal our democracy instead of our jobs. ACORN is not a bad group. The Republicans are spreading this vote stealing meme to stir up controversy and change the subject from the economy to anything else.

Ok, three comments. Vouchers are another way for white people to get their kids out of schools with “others” and put them in religious schools. Period.