#antifa ?

Good grief, the mess in the US has become so bad I can’t even keep up with the factions and hateful hashtags!  aka # "what?"

The horrific clash in Charlottesville, VA (August 11 – 13) where an innocent woman was killed and many more injured has exposed yet another aspect of our national nightmare… an alleged violent far Left which the racists, neo-nazis and our so-called POTUS are calling #antifa.  I had never heard of it until this past weekend.  Apparently I’m not alone.  Just typing  “what is…  ” into the search bar, before I got any further, brought up hundreds of references to #antifa.  Use of this 1930s term appears to be a backlash to the term “Alt-Right”  (or Alt-Reich, as some have taken to calling extreme Trumpers.)  antifa

Antifa stands for anti-fascist. The original European movement was formed to resist the rise of Hitler and Mussolini.  The use of #antifa on social media seems to have gained momentum here in the US around the time of the early 2017 Berkeley protests where hate speech was not tolerated on that campus. Extreme white Nationalists, Trumpers and those labeled “Alt-Right” claim the violent left is the problem.  (Doing my best to report this in a factual way, but about to “go rogue.”)

The problem with blaming the left is that Trump encouraged violence at his campaign rallies whenever peaceful protesters dared to show up.  He penned reporters in cages and taunted his supporters to boo and hiss at them. Since allegedly winning (or being propped up by Putin) he has done nothing to calm any of the factions. In fact, he has plucked former subculture extremists, skinheads like Stephen Miller and blatant racists like Bannon, and put them on the Federal payroll in our White House!  Trump aligns himself with what had previously been a small, unstable faction. The REAL trouble, IMHO developed when conservative Republicans supported this sick movement in a greedy play to get their diabolic legislation passed.  Repubs were so desperate to get a “conservative” SCOTUS on the bench that they literally sold their souls.  The only thing after that you need to hear is Trump reciting “The Snake” poem and you’ve got the complete picture.  Anyone who voted for Trump should have listened more carefully about relying on a snake.

Back to a more balanced view, if some counter protesters in #Charlottesville were planning for violent clashes, wearing #antifa badges to incite trouble and especially if they came with weapons, then I hope local authorities get to the bottom of that.  We must see clearly that violence begets more violence.  Hate and intolerance is not a solution– only peaceful protesting can work.  We’re truly in a mess and the only way out is going to be a diverse, bipartisan coalition that can calm anxieties and fears on both sides.

For now, Karma is in control…

Good Karma?

On the first day, actually in the first hour, of Anthony Scaramucci’s new gig as #Fake45’s White House Communications Director, he claimed Trump has “really good karma.” What? 😵
The hedge fund manager turned communicator is not Seeing Clearly* how karma works.

CNN’s lovable Jake Tapper wasn’t much clearer claiming karma “takes place in the next life.” Not necessarily.

It’s trendy thinking that yoga is primarily poses and postures and karma is only tied to the afterlife, but actually neither is true.  Yoga refers to practice, usually a spiritual practice, and karma is cause and effect (which can ripen immediately or much later.) Either way Trump is FAR from generating “good karma.”

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/jake-tapper-hilariously-mocks-scaramucci-for-insisting-trump-has-really-good-karma/

Nothing limits karmic consequences to a future life…  in fact, “extreme thoughts of malice” often ripen quickly (in this lifetime.) We can “purify” (clear karma) or continue on mindlessly, uncontrollably repeating our patterns (sound like our fearless leader?)  While “negative” actions can result in a miserable future life, in Buddhist thinking it’s also possible to prevent future rebirths through beneficial actions in this life. Who knew karma was so complicated, Moochie!

As you can see, it’s basically impossible for me to write about Trump without generating angst, anger and karmic consequence for myself.  It’s why I stopped blogging about him. I’m convinced the candidate and and his campaign colluded in Russian espionage to get into the White House and don’t understand why the “MSM” is so willing to accept that he won legitimately. Let #Mueller or a totally independent, bipartisan commission decide that.

Why am I and others so suspicious of Trump’s Russian connections? 1) there are an INCREDIBLE number of ties and links (to use Trump lingo) so many that a Buddhist might call it “auspicious” (but that exalted term is reserved for “good karma” not dirty tricks. ) 2) follow the money. Financial trails are quite revealing. In this case, after the Donald had stiffed all the U.S. banks (call that “bad karma”), he found friendlier funding sources through Deutsche Bank, Chinese and Russian banks and maybe some in Cypress.

And, it’s impossible to search Trump topics without encountering nefarious web sites. Russian and Ukranian hackers and bots have created so many #FakeNews sites, that unless you are a savvy web user, you can easily get sucked into scam sites and stories. I’ve noticed that if I click on some of these dubious links I get virus warnings (from my non-Russian security software) and often my VOIP (internet-based) phone rings! This happens on my desktop PC. I don’t know what the karmic consequences are of following such links on a phone or tablet.  I try not to.

Bottom line: the difference between real news and #FakeNews is not what Donald Trump thinks; it’s actual, factual information on established news sites not made-up stories created by hackers. When reporters or journalists use the term “sourced” part of the sourcing is knowing who you are speaking to (okay, “to whom”– Trumpism is wearing down my standards.)

I could go on and on, but let me close where we began, with karma.  When asked about the Chinese military torturing and killing Tibetan monks, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has commented:  “No I don’t hate Chinese people for the terrible human rights violations their government engages in. But, I do feel compassion for the future suffering they are creating for themselves.” That answer, my friends, is good karma.

*Shameless plug for my book  😇

VERY #SAD

Our U.S. Senate just voted 52 to 46 (Friday, Feb 17) to put the final nail in the planet’s coffin.  Approving Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency is truly tragic.  This Republican dominated so-called Congress has really shown us who they are.  TRAITORS.  Yes, they’re ALL traitors and they should ALL be in jail! They have betrayed Americans and now our beautiful natural resources.MoneyBag

First, be proud of our Senate Democrats.  They pulled several all-nighters to extend the debate time and allow the public to contact their representatives so we could oppose extreme bigots like Jeff Sessions (for Attorney General), the totally unqualified Betsy DeVoss who bought her way to Education Secretary, and the Dems testified again last night trying to stop Okie AG Scott Pruitt.  Pruitt’s claim to fame has been challenging EPA rules that protect human health and the environment.  As my own wonderful New Mexico Senator (D) Tom Udall says, “Pruitt is all about special interest, not the public interest.” Amen.  With thousands of pages of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) material about to be released showing Pruitt’s links to fracking and oil money, we’re about to learn a LOT more about Scott Pruitt.

But, the self-serving Republicans couldn’t be bothered with facts. They’ve just been ramming through all of Trump’s appointees as fast as they can since they have the votes.  They wanted NO public comment time, and the creepiest creep Senate Leader McConnell actually had the Senate switchboard disabled (using fax signal rather than phone) so we couldn’t call Congress today.

Seriously, after we almost broke the phone system with opposition calls to Jeff Sessions and DeVoss, Mitch disabled it.

Yes, the same smashed-mouth Mitch who shut down Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor as she tried to read Coretta Scott King’s  (MLK’s widow) letter into the record during Jeff Sessions’ hearing earlier this month.  McConnell cited some antiquated, obscure rule to silence Warren.  She was told to “sit down.”  In my long career of watching and covering news, and now tweeting about it,  I cannot recall a male Senator being censured or told to sit down.  SC (R) Lindsey Graham said, “She had it coming.”  VERY sexist.

Today (after the Pruitt vote) weird Mitch had the audacity to stand on the Senate floor and attempt to make fun of progressives, calling us “knee-jerk liberals.”  I say attempt, because creepy goofball Mitch  doesn’t even know his name-calling facts.  Knee-jerk refers to “unthinking emotional reaction”, but sadly that’s the Republicans, not us. We’re the “elitist, fact-obsessed, media” remember? We actually know stuff.

There are no more real Republicans, as I used to credit them. Trumpism has taken over the entire GOP, and it’s far from a grand old party these days!

Now if you stuck around here’s your reward. Bonus material.  The REAL scoop. Trump actually is doing what he said he would.  FecklessRightThe real shock is that the ignorant Republicans (all of them combined) can’t outsmart him.  He told you he negotiates. So, the first name he tosses out is the most abhorrent– an actual joker. If you’re gullible enough to settle for the first offer (like Sessions, Mitch’s wife or Rick Perry) then score one for the deplorable Trumpers. They’re laughing their asses off. (NOTE: Not all Trump supporters are deplorable, but card-carrying deplorables are Trumper twits.) In Jeff Sessions, we have the most bigoted, throwback imaginable in charge of the Justice Department. Funny, huh?  You’ve got a hedge fund guy who scammed the system (and a lot of home owners) in charge of the U.S. Treasury. Hilarious, right?  A homophobic, pro-lifer running our medical system (BTW, he also pulled scams with medical stocks) and Big Oil (literally the CEO of the world’s largest oil company, Exxon, who has pending deals in Russia) running our foreign affairs.  WHY? 

Don’t blame Trump, blame Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. These Traitors, along with Lindsey Graham, and other former “Real Republicans” have a scheme that’s backfiring.  They thought they could use Trump to ram through their key legislation, like repealing “Obama Care” (the Affordable Care Act) and screw poor people in other ways by messing with entitlement programs, BUT #FAKE45 is having the last laugh.  (Click and read the image above.) What they’ve really done is stick America with a truly deplorable cast of characters. (Notice that when unions and the old organized labor networks pulled together, they were able to dump Puzder for Labor Secretary.)  Trump negotiated in return offering up the more reasonable (and Hispanic) Alexander Acosta.  Did Mitch or Lyin’ Ryan try to negotiate?  Nope, too stoooopid.  The original wheeling and dealing (before Repubs totally sold out)  had to do with the Supreme Court pick, but that’s a longer story.

BOTTOM LINE:  When Trump is inevitably impeached for all his lying, Constitutional violations, con jobs and bufoonery, we’ll be stuck with VP Pence and people totally incapable of running the departments they head.  Oh, and Trump will have still made a killing with the deals and contacts he’s cultivating.  The country will be bankrupt by then, real people will have suffered (and died) and our democracy left damaged by #RussianCollusion (aka Treason.) PLUS we’ve just spent somewhere between 10 and 25 MILLION in less than a month for extra security (travel and intel costs)  for Trump’s weekend jaunts to Mar-a-lago and to keep the First Lady holed up at Trump Tower.  Wait til we see the other bills racked up by Bannon, the Flynn fling, and all the fam hanging out at the White House.

So much for America First! (you might want to read that NPR link and also my last post on Who is Moral?

Who got duped? More than just the deplorable supporters, that’s for sure.  Sad, very #SAD!

Last Chance to #StopTrump

#StopTrump
(Click banner to READ)

My last post was too rambling. Let me get right to the point. We have ONE last chance to #StopTrump. That is NOW before the Electoral College takes its final vote December 19. Why? Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution.

“No Person holding any Office… shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind… from a foreign State.”

It is crystal clear that Trump would be in violation of this Constitutional clause the moment he takes the Oath given his debt to foreign nations and undisclosed business dealings in over 25 foreign countries.  Trump boasts that he “can’t have a conflict of interest” BUT Harvard professors and the former Bush administration ethics attorney claim he will be in violation of the Emoluments Clause IF he takes the Oath of Office.

Therefore, no Elector– not even “Republican loyalists”– can vote for someone whose election is a violation of the Constitution!

Seems to me that the Electors should go with the popular vote and the candidate who has been CLEARED of all wrong-doing! But, that’s for them to wrestle…what they cannot do is elect Trump!

Trump is NOT the “President-Elect.” The election has not been “certified” as some Trump surrogates claim. News organizations should NOT call him “President-Elect.” The Electoral College vote is set for December 19.

Trump claims he will reveal on Dec 15 how he “plans” to “divest” himself of his business holdings. But, we have no idea what he will actually do, and after Dec 19 it will be TOO late.
The Time is NOW to #StopTrump and protect our Constitutional rights.
Tump has also PLEDGED to destroy our First Amendment rights. He’s threatened Free Speech, the media, and especially print newspapers claiming he will “open up” libel laws in the United States so he can sue news organizations. Just as importantly, he has openly threatened our religious freedom with claims of banning Muslims and has openly expressed his desire to make this a “Christian Country again.” America was NEVER a “Christian” country! The original revolt from England had everything to do with FREEDOM to speak, worship in our own way, and to avoid oppression.

The Founding Fathers and framers of the Constitution were careful to protect our “inalienable rights” which include equality for ALL Americans, no restrictions on religious freedom or upon speech. Trump continues to threaten our rights and freedom. His choices for various cabinet and “at will” positions makes it clear he intends to repeal or restrict Civil Rights and social programs. He only seems concerned with protecting Amendment “two”, as he might call it, and doesn’t truly understand even that one.

So if you CARE about your rights and future, you MUST lobby the Electors of your state– particularly Republicans who think they are bound to Trump. They are bound to the Constitution!

Below are more resources and detailed information, but the easiest way to locate members of the Electoral College for your state is to simply contact your Secretary of State’s Office.

“A demagogue is a tyrant who owes his initial rise to the democratic support of the masses. Huey Long, Hugo Chavez, and Moqtada al-Sadr are all clear examples of this dangerous byproduct of democracy. This compelling narrative (by Michael Signer) weaves stories about some of history’s most notorious figures, including Adolf Hitler, Senator Joe McCarthy, and General Douglas Macarthur, and explains how humanity’s urge for liberty can give rise to dark forces that threaten that very freedom.”

#StopTrump NOW before it’s too late!

Tweaking the Vote: the Electoral College & Recounts

Before I get to tweaking, let me say a word about the Twits (that I recently called out online.) Who are they and why do I call them Twits? They SHOUT with capital letters, usually inane, frustrated, meaningless comments or like a recent Texas Twit told me, “close your account.”  They rarely offer any useful comments or info.  I should use Buddhist logic and see these folks as an opportunity to practice patience. In fact, no excuses going forward,  I must do that or actually get off social media if I can’t.  (This is called Grappling, the topic of my next book.)

As for the Electoral College, it’s obsolete and should have been discontinued after the 2000 election fiasco. While I like this Atlantic article by Peter Beinart (whom I’ve seen several times on cable news), the E.C. was actually designed to give white male property owners the final choice for President.

Back then women and slaves were chattel and men who did not own land or chattel were considered “lesser” votehackand not worthy of a say on such lofty matters as who should be President.  As for the “states” argument, in this day and age of instantaneous info and mobility, geography should not determine the Presidency either.  The Electoral system is outdated, offensive and should be eliminated.

That said, research shows Electors are free to vote for whoever they want. Any restrictions placed on them by a state is unconstitutional. Since we still have this antiquated system, this is the time, as Peter argues, to use it to the fullest and in his words:

“prevent an irresponsible demagogue from taking office.”

That’s why I have repeatedly posted #DisqualifyTrump and urged Electors to support the popular vote when your state participates in the “college.” Votes will be tallied on December 19. That is when we will know the “official” 2016 Presidential election outcome (unless recount challenges turn up fraud. More on that below.)

I must say how fascinating that Trump supporters so quickly embraced the complicated Electoral College. You know if Trump had received TWO MILLION votes more than Hillary, but had lost the EC, they would be screaming in ALL CAPS about the RIGGED system.  That brings us to the need for a recount…  a full AUDIT would be even better!

Good for Jill Stein to take the lead and raise millions (overnight) for a recount. It’s not for her campaign. She is doing this so we can resolve the many complaints and questions about irregularities with electronic machines, voter suppression techniques, like provisional ballots and purges (that primarily affected minority groups), and alleged hacking by various groups.

Purging registered voters ahead of the election, by the THOUSANDS, is a particularly “dirty trick” employed by Republican-led states and election officials who then give the voter a provisional ballot that often is never included in the vote totals– especially in the unofficial “election night” totals. This is possible because Republicans have spent the last several years gerrymandering districts to their benefit so they can exert more control at the local level.  They use their power to reduce voting sites in minority areas which resulted in HUGE lines that disenfranchised many who simply had to get back to work and could not wait all day. Terrible and unconstitutional in my opinion.

Finally, electronic voting machines that do not have a paper trail should be carefully audited. These type of machines have been investigated since the 1980s when in my state (New Mexico) election officials were accused of programming the machines prior to elections so that regardless of what choices were made, the votes would go to a certain party. I immediately recognized the machines a couple of days ago, when I saw one (on TV) with its large green “vote” button. An official was pointing to it and saying that machine could not be hacked because it’s not linked to the internet. That’s right.  But they sure could be, and WERE, programmed for desired outcomes in the past and have since been banned in many states. New Mexico is back to paper ballots that are fed into scanners to tabulate the votes. Sadly, I still worry because any electronic data can be hacked or manipulated, and probably has been somewhere in the US. That’s why if there is any suspicion in Wisconsin, Michigan or any state,  especially any state that used those type of machines, we should have a recount and analysis of data and paper ballots with plenty of bipartisan monitoring.

So, yes, let’s have a recount (for states “too close to call” or where irregularities have been found) and Electors, DO THE RIGHT THING! Let’s elect whoever has won the official popular vote.

My First Protest

ejmprotest
selfie with my neon NO DAPL Permits sign

Sounds like something a 15 year old would write. I actually DID protest, kind of, during the 1972 election when McGovern tried to defeat Nixon.  I was in high school and my boyfriend (later first husband) and I drove around with NO MORE WAR  and McGOVERN  painted on his muscle car windows.  But, I wasn’t out walking in the street.  I was Tuesday!   I had to support the #NoDAPL —  NO Dakota Access Pipeline (project) that I’ve been railing against on Twitter.  It was not only my duty to join millions in supporting our original Native Americans and protecting THEIR sacred land, but also a minor miracle that I could raise my right arm (after my recent bout with partial paralysis) so I did!  (Let’s not forget it was a Native American Sobadora who healed me!) Also, as a former journalist, news reporter, and government flack (spokesperson),  I could not participate in protests for over 35 years. I’m a private citizen now.

It was scary (in this current political climate) but I’m so glad that participated.

This pipeline project is horrifying on many levels. 1) That a profit-making “energy” company is exploiting tribal land, 2) that the Obama Administration did not already totally deny the permits,  and 3) the ungodly attacks on Native Americans with pepper spray and GUNS!  I feel we MUST stand with the Standing Rock Sioux to protect their land and also protest further drilling in the Dakota Badlands.  Not everyone agrees. Watch this CNN video and read the article about the project.

What IS certain is that our so-called President-Elect* Trump can’t wait to allow the project to proceed. He will grant the wishes of Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren who donated $100 hundred thousand to his campaign. (Warren admits to this and claims it’s “100% certain” they can proceed come January.)  Trump is also said to have invested between 500K and a MILLION dollars to Warren’s company.  (I wonder about this since Trump isn’t a “stock picking” investor. His money is mostly in real estate and a few mutual funds.)  Trump also has big plans to deregulate the EPA along with many other Federal checks and balances against such devastating projects.

Here in Albuquerque I was proud to see nearly 500 peopleprotestgroup show up for a peaceful demonstration and hear Native speakers.  The Army Corps District Office here is the only one within over 400 miles so many people drove long distances to participate.  It would have been perfect except for two things:  1) local cops had blocked all roads and access to the Army Corps office, so we had to park far away.  (It didn’t slow down anyone.  We just marched our way carrying our signs and chanting.  2) I overhead a cop telling a security guard, “It’s the highest concentration of Prius driver’s in New Mexico.”  They both laughed.  I wanted to reply, “and fuzz explosion.”  (Of course, I didn’t.)  Instead,  I survived to write this!

*Footnote:  Trump is NOT yet President-Elect. The vote is still being canvassed and the Electoral College is not final until the meeting Dec. 19.  I remain hopeful we can disqualify him then!  PLEASE contribute Elector info and ideas on Twitter using hash tag #DisqualifyTrump.