On What Courage Requires

This is a blog.

It is, in its expression, a vehicle of free speech. It is not a part of “The Media”, that nebulous and undefined phrase that pretends to have semantic value, falsely presents itself as some sort of “real thing” and is used to excoriate those in journalism, entertainment, and expression of art, science, and knowledge.

But it is already, and will get much more so, very critical of the incoming administration — so critical, in fact, that outside of quotes in which the term appears, I will never use the name of the person at the head of it.

I will never, ever acknowledge nor give respect to the person taking that office. The kindest thing I can do is to use the name I have created for him: iDJiT, which is at the least based on his initials.

This places me at risk.

Some folks will say this is because he is white, or he is a man, or he is straight or cis or able bodied or (now) conservative or whatever they think of in terms of “political correctness”. They will deride and defame me as a liberal, a dummycrat, and all manner of stuff.

They are liars, of course, but they will refuse to believe that.  Which is fine.  I don’t give a fuck about their beliefs, since they are anti-American, and that is why I oppose the motherfucker.

He is Anti-American.

Not UnAmerican.  I know a lot of people who are unAmerican. Libertarians, Anarchists, Socialists, Communists, assorted and sundries variations and combinations.

I mean, explicitly, Anti-American.

He demonstrated it, to cheers and applause, for a year, and won.

And now, because he won — and to the great delight of millions of Anti-American citizens of the US — I am at risk because I will speak out against him, against his cronies, against the efforts of a motley collective that seeks to regress this nation’s progress and undo the just society that has been fought against by them for over 150 years and has taken over a party that once stood for everything they oppose.

Anyone who opposes the orange fuckup, the iDJiT, is at risk.

Here is a challenge for you. One you need to think through, very carefully.

There are seven major television news networks in the US.

People don’t like that they are effectively normalizing the iDJiT.

How do they not do so?

How do they cover the person occupying the most powerful office on the planet, the de facto leader of the very nation they exist in, without normalizing him?

To answer this, keep in mind, you need to understand what normalization is, how it works, what does it, and why it happens.

You also need to understand the business of news, and the give and take between ownership and the audience ratings and the need to sell commercial time.

So, understanding these things, you can answer the question.

Which is still, how do they not normalize him?

This is a tough question to answer, one that few will be able to handle on “my side” of things.

Because it offends us, it offends our sensibilities, our very USian natures, the history and ideals of the very people who founded this nation.  Because the US is the product of the Constitution, and the Declaration, and the Bill of Rights, and those three things are the product of Liberalism. Literally.

To be an American is to live under Liberalism. Every nation that places human Rights at its core is a product of Liberalism. Many folks think of liberalism as an economic system (and a capitalist one, specifically), but it isn’t. Socialism and Communism are forms of Liberalism.

And because the nasty piece of human excrement is Anti-American, those of us who still hold to those ideas and ideals are at risk.

Which means we require Courage.

We will be threatened.

We will be intimidated.

We will be arrested.

We will be jailed.

We will be smeared in the press and on social media.

We will be attacked at your home and place of work and we are likely to be fired for it.

We will find that as more people — the loudest, most popular ones, first — are subjected to this, that more people will grow quiet.

We will be told to be silent for our own safety, to go along to get along. To not rock the boat or makes waves or be warned about being a team player with analogies to baseball and football and basketball.

We will find people moving away from you, calling us weird, unaware of how accurate that word is.

We will find that these things happen to us when we speak out, act out, stand out, in opposition to the new administration.

Names will be taken, so we will never give ours. Photos will be taken, so we will never allow it.

That is what they want. These anti-Americans.

That is what they will do.

This is what we need to prepare for. This is what Courage Requires.

Not in fear, though. We do not fear any of these things. We will embrace them. We will not hide, will not run, will not say we will behave.

We aim to misbehave, aim to be louder, more visible, more defiant, more courageous and more powerful.

Now, more than ever before in our lives, we will be the change we want to see in the world.

Be brave. Be defiant. Be the voice of Freedom.

Be ourselves, no matter what the world throws at us, knowing they will throw everything at as.

We will smile when they do it.

Because the fact they do it proves that the ones who are truly afraid are them.

Of us.

On Caricature the Cacophony

So today I have been honoring a man who’s life is, far too often, invoked as a condemnation of my efforts.

Of the efforts of any person of color, of any woman, of any disabled person, of any LGBT person.

“You are too vulgar, too confrontational, too angry, too egotistical, too masculine, too aggressive, too loud”

This is their words, their too and their much, and their too much of me in their head and in their eyes and in their face and space and I am just over and through and around and within them and that offends them into defends of their too and their much and their too much.

They start seeing me in my paleness, bleached by the dark and the hiding from the sun, and think me like them even as I call out my darkness and my difference and shed the things they put on me to reveal my many colored robe and all the truths within it.

Patchworked and frayed, like some country tune, my robe of many colors is cast in drab hue and cry and the then they see me only as the black one that deceives and lures and now they forget that I am more than one thing and so never so easily contained, oiled and slick from the failures of their own efforts to punish and silence me by drowning my brilliance in the darkness they concoct and convene and conveniently they tell themselves they can escape now.

“Be like King!” They extol and exhort and exhale and hex bring this marvel of a man as a shield for themselves, coopting and co-owning and appropriately appropriating the approximation of what they see as acceptable and allowable and apple pie a man with dark skin and a dream they breathe to lift themselves up and never my peoples, never my tribes, never my families.

They catch a drift and caricature the cacophony and complain about the noise like a short king to a wizard, hey man the peasants are revolting and you can say that again.

But hey, they are good and they are loving and you cannot grasp what love is without knowing what you are loving and like they have made me they are too thin and pale to grasp the color of love and the weight of it and burden of having to be the ones that love when all that is returned is hate.

Love is telling you that you are wrong, and love is you listening and asking and thinking and realizing that you are wrong.

If I say to you that you need to step back and let that black or brown sister step up and you need to point to her and say hey, listen up, that is me being loving and me loving you and loving the work and yet you turn to me and you say that you cannot find a woman to lift up or that woman isn’t deserving or good enough or useful enough or pretty enough or why don’t you just say it plain and real that she ain’t white enough you saltine looking piece of work.

Love does not mean you, with your newfound struggle, are better at this than we, for whom this struggle is as old as the blood and bone in our bodies, weaned on The Talk that you don’t even have to have to have because to you the Talk is about sex and for us it is about living and how your code switching in your newfound world is stolen from we who have done it from the moment we learned that the world was out there.

If I tell you that rap is your poetry slam, your spoken word art and you roll your eyes at fuck tha police and can’t tell a Run from a DMC and say yeah, but that ain’t your jam I am gonna laugh.

Because who gave you your jam, but we?

You call it eggshells, correctness, politics, and what that is is you being careful not to be nonracist but to not show how fuckin racist you already are and how sleeping you are while we are woke and shaking in the middle of a long dark night you don’t even know is there.

You think of me and you think of rambling lessons and crystalline posts that make you feel good or feel bad but make you feel without feeling it, and then I bust a piece of heart like this here and you blow it off and wonder why I don’t just stick to shouting at windmills since my lance has been broken and my Pancho is a coffee bean you drink with a pretty label that says the right words even though we all sit in a nation where even a child makes more as an allowance than that coffee bean farmer does in a year.

I don’t want your guilt. I want your blood, your sweat, your tears, your risking your job and family and hopes and dreams because that is what we risk walking down the street around you every day.

And now, no matter how many of you get this and cheer this and celebrate this know that it wasn’t We who put hell in office.

It was you, and you are they, and we do t have the luxury and the privilege of saying but it was those bad ones.

Remember this on the Day of the King, and Know that love never tears down, that love can sting, and that love sometimes means discipline to show you a better way.

On the Path Forward, 5 of 5

So for those wanting to red the whole thing in a print format, there is a PDF of all five parts at the bottom of this post.

One and one and one is three. One thing I can tell you is you got to be free!

Come Together.

All of this stuff I am telling you, this whole deal about how you can be part of a massive change in the way things are done with only 20 hours a month — less than a part time job — has been about *you*, individually.

But you aren’t doing this alone. I write this to get those who are not already doing this stuff involved. To get them up and active and spending the time and energy and yes, money (because gas ain’t cheap, and hunger doesn’t stop just because you are busy, and winter is cold and summer hot and water wet) and get out there and make this happen.

But truly, you will not be alone in this.

In the Indivisible guide, they tell you to get together with people in your area. Here is where social media is really useful. You have a precinct.  You will meet people at your party meetings, you will meet people at your city, county, state and federal officials offices, you will meet people online if you want to put in the time for it.

Now, you don’t have to get together in person. You do need to get together. To come together.

It doesn’t have to be many of you.  Five is enough.  Meet at a house once a month, swap stories and snacks and maybe have a viewing party of some tv show or movie.

A small group like that needs to happen in every single precinct.  You end up going to places together. Share the cost, the burden, the babysitting.

Help each other out. Bring other people in.

Have fun.  Truly.  Because fighting against oppression does not mean that you can’t get into Game of Thrones. Or Westworld.

Hell, go out for pizza and beers after you drop by your COngressman’s office in mass to talk about a bill.

A good group will have someone who watches the local council, legislature, and related websites, watches for new legislation.

Another person will focus on the people. Hell you are all essentially neighbors. You might even be int he same city councilman’s district, but in different districts for State and federal offices.  Fine.

Belong to a couple groups, and let them get together once in a while.

The basis of the group should still be Oppression opposition, should still be based in Human Rights. Talk about them once in a while. Talk about how human rights involve you, personally, and each of the others.

When you go to the precinct meetings, you will be a group of people, and you will get listened to, because there is likely going to be one of you that has a big mouth.  Which is good — even if it is an annoying big mouth.

A moment is made when one person starts acting in a way that is different. A statement is made when three people join in. A movement is made when five to seven other people join in.

That’s all it takes.  You stand up, you stand out, and you speak truth.  Truth that is this nation is founded on the opposition to oppression; that what makes us strongest is the power of human rights; that we are a nation built on the idea that all of us are created equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights that we must always and forever be vigilant about protecting.

That is the heart of America.

Truly, that is the heart of everything.  Religions around the world hold that the key to being a good person is treating everyone equally.  The followers suck at it, but the religions are pretty good about it.

I have explained to you how there is a constant presence within a section of America where the opposition to Human Rights is pretty much a given.

So let’s talk about that. In light of the ten things I say we should do. TO give you an idea of how you can speak to your list of things.

Minimum Basic Income

It has taken me a very long time to get to a point where I support this idea. The turning point for me was when I realized that we already do provide such, just on a more limited basis (a basis that was grounded in compromise with those who oppose human rights).

Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, TANF, SNAP, ACA – these are all programs that seek to provide a minimum basic income to people. There is a lot of resistance to these programs. They are expensive, they are disliked in principle by those who “don’t need it”, and they are disliked by those “who have to pay for it”.

Some will argue, right now, that Medicaid, Medicare, and the ACA are not part of this.  Fine.  Go ahead.  But remember the Earned Income Credit and Bush 2’s here, have a bunch of a money. They are part of this same issue.

Yes, the money has to come from somewhere. I get that.  Getting the money is a challenge. But first and foremost, let’s understand that we are not arguing about *should we do it*.  We have to — we support human rights.

In my list, several of them point to this: 

1.3.1. The Government, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take the measures, including specific programs, which are needed:

1.4. The Government has an obligation to ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized shall have an effective remedy.

1.5. The Government shall ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have is right thereto determined by the Constitution and the authorities it vests.

1.6. The Government shall ensure the equal right of all persons to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights as set forth herein, by law, by action, and by intent.

3.11. All Citizens shall have the right to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their family, including

3.11.1. adequate food,

3.11.2. clothing and housing,

3.11.3. and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.

9.2 Each citizen shall have the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and

9.2.1 the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control,

9.2.2 Through the action of the State, for the duration of their lives, in a manner which is reasonable and affordable for them, in accordance to the Without Distinction Rule.

9.2.2.1 This action on the part of the State shall be without regard to risk measures.

So, in my Line (my list of Human rights, pulled from reputable sources), it is fairly apparent and obvious that since the government’s job is to ensure these rights, that the government needs to do it.

Moreso, in guaranteeing *everyone* a basic minimum income (the rich and poor alike) we actually simplify the basis by which we do it.  Social security becomes something we do for everyone, all the time.

Aside from giving a boost to the economy (and inflation), it makes sure that people don’t starve, that the unemployed can survive, and that the infirm or ill can make ends meet.

We have a moral, ethical, community duty to see that his happens.

You want details now? How much per person, how to pay for it, how to do it? AWESOME!!!!

That’s where we need to be.  But we aren’t there yet.  First we have to recognize that this is a human right, and it is the government’s job to attend to it, and that is not where we are.

We can actually do this — and answer all of those questions — within the next decade.

But, again, first, we have to change the culture of our Government to one that recognizes that its job is to protect our human rights.

So that is one example.

Me, I say we tie the rate to a baseline of minimum standards and then increase according to costs.  Right now, I think that would be around 15K a year. Not enough to lift one out of poverty, but enough to make sure that those in poverty have a chance to get out of it.

500 million people getting 15k a year is not going to be done without taxes. Have to be realistic about it. We also have to defend our nation well, and we have a lot of enemies. While a lot of them will go away over time, it will take time, and we need to be secure in the meantime because, well, let’s remember: some folks never get the message.

(yes, I know there are not 500 million people in the US. There will be. Soon.)

Universal Healthcare

The other part — and here you can’t argue that we aren’t talking about the ACA and Medicare and Medicaid.

The money we give them with the MBI is going to be swallowed up super fast by medical bills among the poorest if we don’t take care of them medically, and, if you look at the examples I pulled from my list above, you can see they also argue this one.

Co-pays are fine. Insurance companies are fine. They can do it. THey just can’t say no, and they do have to cover things, and yeah, they need to set firm lines on that cost.

This one is a no brainer.  It is being done all over the world, in all manner of ways, and hey, we are supposed to be Americans, the best of the best.  Act like it for a fucking change.

And, again, here we are talking about not if it should be done (that thinking is in opposition to human rights) but how to do it.

Are you now seeing the power of that simple thing about making the Law be about human rights?

Our laws are, for the most part, about Property. People were once property — Black people, women, children — all property.

Not all our laws — we have the bill of rights, which only covers 10, and from which we have built the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and so forth, but the basis of our laws is quite different from a focus on Human Rights.

This is the Radical aspect of what we are trying to do, and you likely never even realized how radical it was when I mentioned it in part two.

Remember that? Here’s a refresher:

A bill that says, simply, that Law and Justice are in the Service of Human Rights, because the United States is about human Rights. And here are those human rights that we hold to be self evident.

Law and Justice are in the Service of Human Rights

Did you realize that is a radical concept when you read it?

That it is so far fucking left it essentially counts as an extremist position?

Now, here’s the kicker.  That line is pulled from the goals of the Framers. The folks who met in 1787 and 1788. As the sorta government they had going at the time was falling apart and the freedom of the nation was at risk in that 6 year window.

We went a long way away from that, didn’t we?

IT doesn’t seem like such a big deal because the US is founded on that idea — it lies in the back of the heads of all the folks I told you about in the last part.

But we keep fuckin up because we have not put that idea into practice. That is what we need to do, now as The Resistance.

TO put that simple and easy to recognize but incredibly radical and holy shit there are a lot of human rights to the point.

The United States of America essentially bullied the rest of the world into creating the United Nations. The Soviet Union — and now Russia — joined mostly to keep us in check and keep it from becoming a US toy.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was one of the major reasons that the UN came into existence. Making that the centerpiece of its existence, the basis for which it worked. Not all the members joined in on that, but a lot of them did.

We have never made it law in the US.  Never made it part of the Bill of Rights.

We need to.  Most of it was created from lessons we learned here in the US already.

And we start by using it as our path forward.

The incoming Administration and Congress are going to be dismantling the systems that were built over decades of effort to meet that goal.  That goal of  Law and Justice are in the Service of Human Rights.

Now, imagine how hard it is going to be for them to deny that their efforts are in opposition to human rights?

They don’t give a damn that millions of people are losing their health care. That millions more are at risk of being fired or kicked out of their homes for being gay or trans. That women get paid less than men and are raped at utterly unacceptable rates. That a woman cannot have control over her own bodies and that black people are being gunned down in the streets in the name of Law and Order or imprisoned more harshly and for longer than white people.

They

do

not

give

a shit

about

any

of

that.

IF they did, they would be introducing bills about it. If they did, they would be calling for investigations. If they did, they would not be doing everything about money money money money when money is what shields them from the realities of the death of the middle class.

Tax and Spend Democrats is what these people used to call folks on the left.

Money politics is white politics.

Yet note that I took just one suggestion above, about money, and grounded it in the moral, ethical, human decency basis of human rights.

The third item I would cover is recognizing the human rights of all Americans.

In my list, this is referred to as the without distinction rule. That rule represents everything that those who oppose human rights have been fighting against for decades.

1.2. The Government has an obligation to undertake and ensure to all citizens within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction these rights without distinction of any kind, such as

1.2.1. Age, Race and Color,

1.2.2. Gender and Sex

1.2.2.1. Inclusive of identity, sexuality, and heteronormativity

1.2.3. Language, Ethnicity, and National or Social origin,

1.2.3.1. Although reasonable definition of common language for governmental purposes is allowable

1.2.4. Religion, Creed, Political, or other opinion,

1.2.5. Property, Birth, Social Class, or other status.

1.2.6. This code, 1.2 inclusive, shall be referenced herein as the Without Distinctions Rule, and shall apply, wholly, to all these rights herein, with only the specific exceptions so stated.

That is it.

That is what we are fighting for, and if you stop for a few moments to think about it, you come to realize that is what we are fighting about.

The idea that the government is supposed to fight for our rights, supposed to defend them, ensure them, protect them.

That is what makes us The Left, why we are The Resistance.

Because if law and justice are in service to human rights, then all politics must be in the service to human rights. And when politics, law, and justice are all in the service to human rights, the peoples beneath them are, as well.

That is how we regain our country, and that is why we start locally, and work our way up.

And why we can do it in two years and in four years and make it a reality within the next 20.

For another 240 years.

I am a Liberal. Because as a Liberal, I hold this truth to be self evident: that Law and Justice shall be in the service to Human Rights. As that, first and foremost, is what being a Liberal is about.

On The Path Forward1 A PDF containing all five posts, plus On Oppression and On The Line.

On the Path Forward, Part 4 of 5

So there is, if you are sharp, more reasons for getting to know your local legislators than just being able to ultimately make an impact on them, and possibly even get them to vote against damaging proposals.

In the past, I have taken flak from religious people for not being willing to hear their concerns.  Like most people, I have often reacted negatively — defensively, to such accusations. One of the things that happens when you get defensive like that most commonly is that you think “oh hell no!” and then you look for a reasons why you aren’t whatever you are accused of.

Following that most common of thinking is the most common of responses: “well, no, and here’s an example of why — I have friends like Kathy Baldock and Lance Jayden who are deeply religious people.”

Seriously, if you don’t know who Kathy Baldock or Peterson Toscano are, you should go and find out.

But understand something else — it is really fuckin horrible when someone does shit like pull out the “Friend” card. Because there is no logic, no honesty, no value in doing so.  You do it to evade and avoid, to shield and to obscure, to distract and to ward away the actual problem, which is not listening to the accusation about you.

And worse — defensiveness hits only when you don’t really want to face something about yourself you already know to be true, but don’t like.

Now, knowing that, and recalling that earlier I said “in the past”, understand that I haven’t done such when it comes to religion in a very long time. I can say that I don’t need to do so, in no small part because unlike a lot of folks, I recognize the value that religion has in our lives, personal and collective.

I do listen. Closely. My being outspoken like I am is not a new thing, but, really, while I have long had strong opinions, my willingness to express them have not always been as strong as they have been the last decade or so.

More common for me is a willingness to help other people express their opinions, and crafting things around those opinions to support them. I enjoy the task of thinking things through.

These days the accusations are more likely to center around race (in my case, that I am not sensitive to the needs of white people by folks who have obviously never looked at my family, lol, let alone where I live or what I have done most of my life), and partisan politics.

Partisan politics.

I liked the fact that Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic party primary. Yes, I will note that his particular brand of populist politics is “#whitepolitics”, and I will note that people of color overwhelmingly opposed him.

But that doesn’t change that I liked what he did. He moved the discussions in the party to the left and kept them from moving more right than they already had moved. History is almost certain to record him favorably for that task — and others, such as Warren and even Booker, will likely be remembered as well in that vein.

I spent 21 years as a member of the Republican Party.  The ideals I celebrated, I enjoyed, I embraced, that I was raised on, were why I was in that party. The very ideals I often speak to now.

Chief among them was human rights, which almost certainly is worth a good belly laugh, because we know now that for much of the last 60 years, the Republican party has done its best to dismantle such.

But, really, is it the Republican party?  No, no, I get it – they are the enemy. Tea Party and Religious right and all that. But for several thousand years, when you have an enemy, one of the first things a smart mother fucker does, something known from the boardrooms of business and the gilded chambers of the rich down to the local street thug peddlin safety to skinny kids is “know your enemy”.

In the novels Catching Fire and Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen is told more than a few times to “remember who the enemy is” — and we, carried along in this journey with her, buffeted by people and circumstance when all she wants to do is keep Pris and her Mom and Gale and Peeta safe, feel the same emotional reaction to that statement: the enemy is Snow.

Just like we have been told the enemy is the Republican party.

But that isn’t really true, is it?

It is a general statement, and has value there, but, really, now, bear with me, and let’s look at something important here.

When I was in the Party, my particular section of it was called Rockefeller or Goldwater Republicans. I grew up, both in the world at large and in terms of my political growth, surrounded with that. It meant a distrust of globalization, but it meant a reverence for human rights, a strong favoring of intelligent thinking. And with it, truly, came a deep and abiding mistrust of the extremism of the Religious right that came to dominate all the politics of the eras.  Especially after Carter.

OMG< after Carter — the most openly religious President in ages. The guy who gave away the Panama Canal. Who opened the door for the repatriation of Hong Kong. He actually offended the Religious right so much they did the very same things that the Tea Party did decades later. And they never stopped doing it. This is part of why there is so much overlap there.

An interesting thing about that — the core of the Religious right, the real fire and brimstone folks who pushed this stuff through, who drank the Rushdooney flavored pisswater, they *chose* the Republican Party. And it was a big deal, because most of them had been Democrats.  These were the people whose parents had been saved by the New Deal. They had supported it, benefited from it, and they had survived the Dust Bowl and the Depression and a World War and they were fucking pissed like you cannot imagine at Truman for integrating Blacks into the Armed Forces.

And they lived, primarily, in South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, and Arizona.

The Religious Right. That is their core region.  We even have a name for it: The Bible Belt.

These days we can add Utah to that list.

Now, for an even more interesting thing for you to think on.

The Religious Right began to dominate Republican Politics beginning in Carter’s term. They claimed massive local victories in the mid term elections in 78. They did it on the backs of the victories involving those damned gay teachers and with the support of the Catholic Church and the Baptist Churches.  The closed down Johns Hopkins gender center through the appointment of their pet Good Christian who went in saying that was what he was going to do before he even got the job.

They had help from the oppressed groups they hated in the process, by leveraging the internal fight that was going on among them to divide — a division which is still not fully healed today.

They did that. They claimed the moral high ground and then they got pretty drunk with power. They shut down the ERA, they took Nixon’s strategy nd ran with it — Law and Order means keep those poor crazy people in line and DOnt forget Twinkies and now we have trickle down economics and holy doodoo and pass the ammo.

Then came Cable.

In the mid 90’s, they owned Politics. Then a guy from Alabama — one of those states that is their stronghold — grabbed the Presidency, and they grabbed Congress.  The rise of Gingrich was not accidental, it was entirely part of the goal there.

They essentially declared war on everything that FDR was about. Truman was the real villain, remember, but he wasn’t talked about as much as the three time President with the decidedly not a role model wife and the Intellectual, effete disdain for religion that so offended them.

He was a Northerner, after all. Dismantle those things, they said, the Churches should do those things. Government was a business, should be run like one, and look at how God fearing folks had succeeded doing it and look how they are good white people.

They didn’t say “white people”. That’s just all they showed.  And it got worse when a Black family was top of the TV ratings. Meaning Popular.

The Government is a business deal was not new — it had been pioneered in those states mentioned earlier at the local level. In one case, as a push to recognize a holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr reached a cresendo, one Governor they had supported (a used car salesman by trade) refused — outright refused — to do so.

The state was damaged tremendously.  Internally, it led to s shakeup where Dems kinda regained control for a while, but they had to be moderate.

There was a rebirth of Dems under that Alabama boy, though, at the local level, and that in turn triggered a shift in those folks in those states.

The Religious RIght began to lose power, because their message wasn’t doing what others wanted.  Others wanted Power, for its own sake.  They wanted wealth. They wanted no taxes, and no government, and they loved the ideas of people like the billionaire Ross Perot about how people need to be fuckin standing on their own two feet, not weighed down by governmental regulation and not by the people who had been in power for freaking ever, and BY GOD when you say no new taxes, there had damn well better not be any new taxes.

They bitched. They moaned. They got their Randian savior to run. And, again, and this is key, they had their core power base situated around South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, but also Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Utah, and Arizona.

This group, too, *chose* the Republican party. Their rise to power, especially in its early stages, drove the last of the Moderate Republicans out. Killed the Goldwater/Rockefeller Republicans. Gerald Ford was such. Only time one ever really occupied office. Not too memorable except for his pardoning Nixon and being shown by Chevy Chase as a bumbler.

Sounds like history to most, but really, all of this is sociology.  All of this is the stuff that goes on when a Structure is being attacked by the very people that it exists to Oppress, and this is what people who benefit from that Structure do.

Did you notice anything there?

This new group became the nucleus of the Tea Party — they were not many, and if you want a nice concise idea of how they did what they did to the Republican Party, read Indivisible.

A long while ago, when this site was crammed full of posts going back a decade before my bad times hit and it went offline, I wrote about a gathering together across the nation in small groups and hammering out ideas and then working, separately, across the country, and sending representatives to a single big meeting to hammer out details of a really cool thing and the response to that post was “eh, not really possible” despite it happening over and over again not only every two years, but around 240 years ago in a bunch of places while the people doing so were declared seditious and traitors.

That’s what the Tea Party did.

That’s what the Religious Right did — only they had the meetings every sunday.

But I want you to really note that these groups are only republicans by default. These days, they essentially control the party bottom to top, and there is no one currently in office except for a handful of Northerners whose small states are more libertarian in nature anyway who is not beholden to one or both of those groups.

Including the so called Maverick who started out a Goldwater disciple and then sold out after he tried to interfere with a federal investigation of a savings and loan magnate.

Power for Power’s sake.

This is why I call the Republican Party by a different name these days.  I call them the Regressive Party.

The goals of the groups in power there are to roll everything back. Newt Gingrich recently noted that killing the ACA and them Medicare are the first steps in rolling back the New Deal.

Now we have the remaining malcontents who have, once more, as their power base, those states of South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Utah, and Arizona.

One difference — and it is an important one. This group has been active online, and been radicalizing online, and their message is contemptuous, embracing the very heart of what should be obvious to anyone who has made it through this post to this point.

They oppose human rights openly. They mock those who do support the idea. They operate in bands, in groups, in mobs that use social media as a lynching ground to intimidate and terrorize those who openly dare defy them.

They are the most extremist of all the rises, and they have catapulted their allies because, really, their allies did all of that stuff they did for the same reasons, but weren’t interested in being open about it.

The catalyst?

Barack Obama. President.

Which, when their brains translate it, reads “A Black Man as President.”.

There is no greater threat to structure, to Power for Power’s sake, than when the very people who that Power is supposed to harm rise to the top of that power’s system.

Now, I am pointedly not saying that Racism is the basis behind all of this.  It is not.  It is part of the excuse for this, it is the emotional basis for a lot of it, but it is not the basis.

Oppression is.

Oppression: the combination of social power with aversion, anxiety, and/or animus, singly or in any combination.

The source of this oppression is an ongoing failure to deal with the understanding that South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Utah, and Arizona were all states where the rights of some human beings were ignored, and the basis of this refusal to permit them to have human rights was that they were less than, of less value, less capable, less deserving, less useful, and generally good only as property.

So we ask ourselves, now, who is the enemy.

Perhaps it would be better to ask what is the enemy. 

Because the enemy isn’t a Party — they are merely the convenient scapegoats.  A way to attack a large and while not particularly diverse group of people, still people.  It is a great generalization tool, but there is a risk that comes of such a use.

The enemy really isn’t that.  They are the tools of that enemy. They are acting, mostly, without understanding in a truly conscious and aware way of what it is they are defending, and they are defensive about it when confronted with it.

But they are only the tools of it.

The enemy is the Structure itself. The ideas, the systems, the policies and the laws and the basis by which they argue — and it is not wise nor smart to forget that the very document which was created to fix the problems of a government that failed to govern itself incorporates that lesser existence and continues to provide validation.

Remember the Revolutionary War ended in 1783.  George Washington was not named President until 1789.

It took six years to create a nation founded on the principles of Human Rights.

Six years after a war against Oppression to create a nation founded on it with a document that itself propelled Oppression.

Another war was fought over Oppression.  Some like to argue that it was about money.  White folks, who have ties to those states listed above, really.  Who see nothing wrong with flying the flag of betrayal and of a desire to perpetuate Oppression.

It was the bloodiest war in the nation’s history.

Then we did it again, having finally reached a point where we were able to compete on a global stage, as the Oppression of Empire was challenged and the process of breaking them up began. Wasn’t happening fast enough, and some folks didn’t get the message (some folks never do — important to remember here, since we just talked about a bunch of them), so we had to do it again, and in both cases, those wars we bigger than us, and in both cases we did our damnedest to stay out of them.

We aren’t perfect. As a nation.

And a part of the problem is that we like to fight over whether or not we should do something about oppression, instead of actually doing something about it.

Even on the Left.

Over the next two years, we are going to watch what Structure does when the Agency of the Oppressed becomes too strong.  This is, truly, the fight of our lives.

This is the fight before we become a force so overwhelming that the electorate is changed forever.

They know it is coming, those who favor Oppression. They know it, and it scares the fuck out of them, so they shift the conversation to money, knowing that money can insulate you from such things.

Money can protect you from oppression, from seeing it, from feeling it, from having to deal with it. This is why the wealthy are “above” all this, and why they so often make mistakes when trying to speak to it.

It cannot protect you from stigma, but stigma is only a manifestation of part of Oppression.

When you get to know your local legislators and city councilmen and even your congressmen, you personalize their acts of oppression. You embody it.

But, more importantly, when you do so without being defensive about it — and there is never a need to be defensive about Human rights and opposing oppression (although we often have a need to do such and be such when it comes to racism, or transphobia, or homophobia, or misogyny and sexism, or ableism) — you open something that you don’t always realize you have the ability to open.

A way forward that promises that America is the Land of the Free (those who are not oppressed) and the Home of the Brave (those who oppose oppression).

The last part will come tomorrow. The history lessons and asides are done.

All of this will be available as a single download at the end of the next part.

On the Path Forward, part 3

Why is a diamond ring the thing you buy to get married?

The answer is “A diamond is forever.” Nearly every single thing you can think of relating to a diamond ring being the thing you buy to say I love ya is linked to that sales pitch, that commercial series, that was first aired in I think the late 1940’s.

That awesome Marilyn Monroe routine so well known, was written at the request and via the funding of the same people as part of that campaign.

The Bond movie was named after the campaigns’ slogan.

And the purpose of that was to make you think a few different things: first, that you need to buy a diamond; next, to further the idea that diamonds are rare.

Diamonds are not rare. Their supply is limited, intentionally, but there are gazillions of them. Sapphires are more rare than diamonds. Gold is more rare than diamonds.

I tell you this because part of what we need to do is sell an idea to people that is as capable of changing the way people think about things as that campaign is.

The idea of Human Rights being what America is about.

It is not going to be as easy as you might think, since odds are pretty good that the Dems or the Greens or other political party aren’t going to take out TV spots that sell people on the notion.

They should, mind you. How the fuck do you think people either laughed at or cheered the orange nightmare until it was too late?  One of the most important tools of the Reagan era campaigns was their reliance on some really powerful commercials to sell an idea of America.

With microtargeting and online interaction and a rushing need to reach those key demos, the basis of selling America to Americans was missed — see that whole four dots thing from before I was talking about.

Now the trick is selling them the idea that Human Rights are what America is about, but the value in doing so is really simple:

We are going to tackle the big problems, head on. Climate Change. Wealth inequality. Racism. Sexism and Misogyny. Homophobia, biphobia, Transphobia. Homelessness. Poverty, Hunger. Affordable healthcare.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Sounds like a freaking social justice warrior’s wet dream! Well, at least to the other side.

But we aren’t going to talk about those things. At least, not in that way.  We are going to talk about ending oppression.

Because everyone is oppressed. If you doubt me, go put up a booth and offer free something to anyone who is oppressed.

Everyone is oppressed. They just don’t think others are as oppressed as they make out, or as oppressed as them. It is an olympic caliber sport, the competition.

We use that.

Sounds kinda slimy, doesn’t it?  Hello, its politics, and its the fate of our country, and our very lives, and I think that if it sounds slimy that’s because you underestimate some basic facts about social beings called humans that no one wants to tell you and no one wants to hear.

Its owning the narrative and controlling the discourse, something the other side has been doing since those Reagan Era ads I told you about with the entire story that created a crapton of “fiscal conservative, socially liberal” types that do not realize that is part of the trickle down economics currently being shoved down our economy’s throat even further. Because it has been part of things for so long, and the ideas behind it are so commonly ignored except in long winded think pieces no one reads to make a difference to them.

You know, like this one.

If you have followed me for a while, one thing you can easily note is that one of my chief tools in overcoming those who hate is to use their own words and ideas against them, and I do it by knowing their ideas and their words really well, because they simply aren’t that creative.

But the best part of it is that I do not hit them in a way they expect.  And trust me, the other side does not expect us to go human rights.  They expect Civil Rights (which becomes 1960’s chaos and disorder), they expect Racism (which doesn’t exist anymore) they expect Gay rights and Transgender Rights (which are special rights and perversions).

They expect all those things.  Their arguments about those things are boring. Reruns. Like watching old episodes of a bad 70s sitcom on the channel only old people ever turn to when they are too cheap to spring for cable.

Yawn. Hell, we are tired of them — seriously, the run of the mill person who would vote if they had a good reason to doesn’t want to hear about the culture war anymore.

The other side knows that.

We cannot argue white Politics, which is money, because white politics ignores the needs of everyone who isn’t white — and money won’t solve those issues. Plus, it feeds into the very narrative that is being set up because it divides the country by forcing people of color to stand up and say hey, can we talk about Racism, and women to step up and say hey, can we talk about sexism, and so forth, and they have to do that but what happens is that in the mind of the average voter, who has been surrounded by white supremacy their entire life, it becomes the scary folks and the womenfolk (mostly scary womenfolk,) are whining about how poor they are.

So we lose.

I’m pretty sure more than a few of you are expecting me to bust out some sort of long winded explanation of how that works, but, really, I already have, and I get tired of cut and paste stuff, so right now, if you have a hard time buying that, its on you.

So the job is selling it to them.  That means talking about them. To talk about something, you need to understand it. Hence why for so long I have been trying to get people to look at the various incarnations of The Line.

I do get to talk about them with folks on occasion, and I pay attention to other things as I have gone on over the years, and so yes, the Line has changed a bit here and there as I have tweaked something here or added a bit more there.

When the UN Human Rights body noted that internet access was a human right, I sorta had to rethink some stuff, for example.

So let me explain something here.  If laws exist to support human rights,  and, for example, they were to need to follow the human rights listed in that, then it would be really hard for lawmakers to stop some things.

It would, in fact, not be possible, especially if we got them to a point where they were part of an extension to the Constitution, but that’s reaching, so lets just settle for now for making a law that says laws have to focus on them.

If you think we already do that, then you don’t understand what human rights are.  The US is not well known for human rights support and maintenance.

Right now,  there are laws on the books that are directly in opposition to the Human rights in my Line. Laws that people are not happy about.

The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act is in direct opposition to the Line.

Yes, really. Indeed, the ACA does not go far enough, in my opinion, but barely meets the requirements and is not even close to perfect in terms of doing what it does without going to single payer.

Because there is a human right to health care. Competent health care, inclusive of in a language that can be understood.

The human rights there also support the Establishment of a minimum basic income for everyone. Oh, look, a major boost to wealth inequality. That has to be paid for, which means taxes, yes, but you know what else it means?

It means being much more responsible and accountable in our budget.  Indeed, much of the value in human rights is that they sorta make it hard to waste money on things like, oh, I don’t know, war machines.

The criminal justice system has a rather notable problem with the way that sentencing is done. White kids getting sentenced in one state for a crime that is essentially the same crime but done by black kids in a different state, and the white kids get a lighter sentence.

There is a mechanism for that in human rights.

Now I am saying this, and I am also saying that my Line is not perfect. It is a start. A point of reference.

A place to ground our efforts going forward.

This is what I mean when I say that everything we do must be grounded in human rights. Because when you start in human rights, you no longer get to say “oh, that’s too hard” or “oh, that’s too expensive”.  It is human freaking rights people. Now you have to figure out how to get it done. How to work within it.

How to compromise not on what needs to be done, but how to do it.

Which is a huge shift from where we have been pretty much since Tricky Dick took office and started the long slog of dismantling the work of FDR and Truman to make America Great Again.

Without the cheesy slogan. IT fell to JFK and especially LBJ to push through the Civil Rights and do something concrete about racism — but Truman took the first step there.

FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, GoldenCalfhorseturd.

Look carefully, there. Nixon made Ike and Truman’s warnings real — and remember that Ike was a Dem two years before he ran for Pres, and was a friend of Truman’s. Truman and Ike built the nation’s highways, but also gave us the HUAC and the Red Scare that were essential to Nixon’s power, which was built on the first major stirrings of the white racist resentment we have seen flower today.

Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush were all very different, but keep in mind that Clinton was closer to Bush 2 and Ford in policies. I know Clinton was pretty popular among Dems. I get that.

But politically, he was centrist in a time that centrist had moved right of center.

So we have effectively had Right of center leadership for all but four years of the last 55 years. And we are getting another four years of far right leadership now.

That is two generations. Gen X and Millenials really cannot remember a time when the main thrust of American Politics was not against the work of FDR, Truman, and even Eisenhower. Work which built the very foundations of the most recent popularly recalled era of prosperity (the 1950’s).

Work which was, largely, guided by the idea of human rights.  Especially by Truman (who is the person who made them a big deal, because, well, FDR was more about the idea of global peace), who kept the United Nations going and made damn sure it was an instrument of US policy.

Which was picked up by LBJ, who needed something, anything to get away from the unpopular war he was finding himself stuck with, after thinking it was going to be like Truman’s Korea. Which didn’t end well, you might recall.

Boomers might recall the time if they are of the older portion, but the younger portion were surrounded by a very different kind of thinking.

Now, all of this is still warm up, and is me selling you on the importance of reclaiming the mantle of Human Rights that essentially lies at the heart of Liberal efforts.

Because we let it drop.  Aside from the very Honorable John Lewis, who carries it now — and Lewis is never going to be President.

Now yes, I realize that I spent a lot of time previously talking about local stuff, but I know you are just as concerned about the federal stuff as I am. And the federal stuff is where we go after we get the local stuff, and we have time.

We start by fighting Oppression. Oppose Oppression. This is the heart of the Resistance!

Oppression is the anxiety about, aversion to, and/or animus towards a grouping of human beings based on some characteristic combined with the societal and institutional power of the group that benefits from that anxiety, aversion, and/or animus to form a whole which subjugates the group being oppressed.

It is violence, of the sort called evil.

Misogyny is oppression
Racism is oppression
Islamophobia is oppression
Homophobia is oppression
Ableism is oppression
Transphobia is oppression

Members of the group that holds power cannot experience oppression along that axis.

So here’s the next piece.  You’ve been primed by everything that has come before.

Think of ten Policies that you want to see happen.

Here’s my list:

Minimum basic income
Universal college education
Human rights defenses and protections
Single payer health insurance
Corporate tax deductions elimination
Increase to 25% tax on all incomes over 100k
Minimum wage
Ending reliance on fossil fuels
Preparing for the impact of and mitigating climate change
Sensible gun control laws

Your list can be anything that you want it to be — even most of the stuff on my list.
Everything on my list has a direct basis in The Line.  One that I understand and can explain to those interested — even though to me it seems obvious.
Make your list.  Be sure to draw it from human rights.
Go to your precinct meetings. Dem for certain, green or even Rep if you want. Speak out in favor of human rights.

Go to your city councilman, to your school board, to your state legislator. Speak out in favor of human rights.

Use those words: Human rights.

Do not talk about racism, sexism, poverty, taxes, the closing of the town mill…

Talk about human rights, because in doing that, you talk about all those things, but they might not realize that. Get them involved, supportive, find them in a place that you can now do because you know them — you’ve been visiting them for a few months now. They probably know you by freaking name.

Talk about “all people are created equal”. Another exact set of words.

Talk about common decency.

Talk about how Human Rights are a moral necessity.
Talk about how human Rights are an ethical imperative.
Casually mention something funky like:
Prescriptivist thinking limits people to known boundaries, conserves and regresses.
Descriptivist thinking frees people, is limited only by what they can see is possible, progresses and liberated.
A prescriptivist person describes you as either/or. A descriptivist one labels you as all and of…
As them where they fall.

Talk about How human rights apply to people no matter what they are.

Talk about three other things that you care about.

When people raise objections, say this:
“Well, how do we make these two things work together?”
Then figure it out.

When someone says racism and sexism are less important than classism, say “how do we do all of them?”

And then remind them you talked about human rights and mbi and single payer and free college for everyone and better pay for teachers and more funding for schools to do important stuff like teach kids how to manage their money and live together as roommates and do well in that free college.

Do this, constantly. Weekly and monthly.

About eight months from now, a few people in those precinct meetings will start to talk about candidates. Money will be mentioned, volunteers sought.

Seek out the one that listens to you, that understands these “radical” ideas are not radical at all, and back them.

In about 18 months, you talk about bussing voters. About raising funds for voting daycare. About registering new voters and doing door to door sweeps.

And in 23 months or so, you organize a march for fairness. For human rights.

Even if only two people show up, you make it into the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is the place where the internet and your social networks come in handy.

Then you vote. You help others vote. You do everything you can to turn the red blue and make a change for the better.


That is the plan we follow for the next six cycles. Remember that a cycle is two years. Every Four is a big one.
But the really big thing is that you no longer support people who are not big on human rights.  You look for people who do and you say “hey, let’s get some signatures and get you elected.”
Because that is how we change this stuff.  The folks who wrote #Indivisible know this.  They know that calling a legislator or senator or city councilman who is not *yours* is actually hurting more than it is helping.

That online petitions are only useful when the people in charge care about such things — and the folks in power don’t. If they did, the orange turdblossom wouldn’t be where he is.

You give 20 hours a month to these things, we can have all of them within a decade.

Now, think about this:

Abusive language is not politically incorrect. It is immoral, unethical, disgusting, violent, and cruel. Decent people do not make abusive statements.
Denial of human rights is always abusive. From denying a woman the right to her own body to denying a woman the use of the restroom because you think she isn’t woman enough to saying that couple of men cannot get married or adopt children because they aren’t approved of by your religious faith to mocking the disabled on national television to throwing coffee on someone because they happen to believe in their religion that keeping their head covered with a pretty wrapping is important.These are acts of violence and abusive. These are immoral, unethical, unprincipled, disgusting, loutish, filthy actions and words and those who do such things are anti-American, in opposition to human rights, and trashy.
Now realize that I just told you 20 hours a month for the next 12 years can make all those things possible, and you probably don’t really believe me.
Except that is exactly what the extremists in power now did. And that’s part of how they did it.
The rest is in #indivisible.
So do not tell me it cannot be done or that this wouldn’t work.
I mean, after all, what is it you think a lobbyist does?  They just do it with more money and as a job, so a lot more than 20 hours a month.
Now, what will really blow your mind is that I said all of this stuff about 5 or 6 times over the last 6 years or so.
And that I said if we didn’t do it, the Dems would lose the election.
Although, to be honest, when the time came for the election I didn’t think the fascists had a chance either…

On The Path Forward, 2 of 5

If only you knew the headaches I had getting the last part to post, lol.

So, moving on, you should have registered by now. Registered to vote, even if you were already registered Because yeah, they gonna try and take that away from you. Especially if you are not white, straight, cis, and have an income under 20k a year.

They are going to make it as difficult to vote as possible. Especially in the States of South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, but also Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, and Arizona.

I mention those states for specific reasons. The sharper among you will recognize that collection of states. Will be aware that for over 150 years that specific collection of States have resisted to the maximum ability they could the expansion of human rights in the United States.

It has always been those states, and so those states are the ones where the most effort needs to be applied. Not all of it — we have to defend the bastions of Democracy and US Values we do still hold — the large cities, the major states, all of which will come under fierce attack — but we must make inroads in their homes, destroy the lock of a century and a half of frankly, racist motherfuckers who think women should shut up and look pretty but not bother themselves with important work and who have consistently tried to hate off on LGBT and other groups as a tool to keep their bitterness alive.

There is a flag that is still popular in those states, still  not seen as a declared and open support of Slavery, of white supremacy, and they all manner of pretty suggestions to shy away from that, yet it remains that the symbol is a symbol that was created and developed to resist the march of Human rights, and that serves to declare opposition to such.

Might seem odd to you that I bring that up. Might even seem untoward. Perhaps even a bit hysterical or exaggerated.  Fine.  If you want to see it that way, then by all means, go right ahead.  We do live in a time where people are supposed to be thinking whatever their golden orange idol wants them to think, where truth is “fake news” and falsehood is accepted as Gospel of the New Era.

I am a sociologist.  These things are real, these things are current, and these things are part of what underlies the ongoing conflict. We can undo all of it, but to do it, again, we must concentrate, we must make sure that everything we do is based in a central proposition: Human Rights are the heart and soul of what it means to be an American.

There is a post here for what those Human Rights are.  You might want to read it.  It does not follow the usual conventions, and there is at least one that many Progressives will find shocking. But read them.  And remember that Human Rights exist first, and that these are the things we are fighting for — all of them. Laid out in black and white.  At least, I’m pretty sure it is black and white.  Could be Gold and Green, given the official colors of the new era…

So now we have a baseline of what Human Rights are, and a conviction and purpose of ensuring that they are the purpose to which we apply ourselves over the next decade and a half.

The next step is to the immediate effort.  We need to know who our legislators are, in person, and, more importantly, we need to make them aware of who we are, in person.

Throughout history, one of the most powerful tools of all time is the personal relationship.  It is really hard to be a complete asshole to someone you like. It is very difficult to be a dick to your friends, to make them suffer.

Politicians are generally an exception to this, but they are still susceptible to it.  So, the first order of business is to know who yours are.

When I have done various speaking engagements, I have used knowing who your representatives are as a tool to demonstrate to others how not knowing something can be dangerous to you.

Liberals, today, generally do not know who their legislators are at the local level. They don’t know the people on the staff.  They tend to think in terms of Congress, of national level effort, and forget that all this stuff starts at home — in part because without realizing it, they take it for granted that the folks at home won’t be dicks, or they have become cynical about those folks at home and no longer try at all because “it won’t make a difference”.

So they stopped doing the hard work of making themselves known.  This is perhaps the single most important part, though — because the folks currently in place are the ones who are most likely to move forward, from overseeing your little area to becoming Congressmen — and if we can shape their policies locally, we can shape policy nationally, as well.

So the first place to start is the school boards, the Elected Jurists, the “dogcatcher” jobs.  And, here, most importantly your city council member or Borough representative

Find out who they are, first.  Then you find out where their offices are.

Then you go and you visit them.

Here is the real trick: get to know the staff there.  When you go and visit them the first time, do not go with an agenda of being against some sort of bill or with a policy in mind, or even just to say hey, don’t be a dick.

GO there with the heart and soul of you, as a person, in all your good and bad and otherness and say Hi!  I thought it would be cool to meet the people who represent me.

Don’t even really try to get to know the Councilman or Alderman or whatever right then. Get to know the people who work for them. Are they young or old, do they have families or are they single, are they religious or meh, do they like country or pop, how do they feel about hip hop, rap, and Blues?

I mean, literally, get to know them as people. I don’t know about you, but I have lots of friends who I have, recently, called immoral, unethical, indecent, gullible, and ignorant. Those precise terms I have said of them, At least a few are in government work.

They are still my friends.  I am a woman of color, bisexual, mixed race, poor, trans and annoying.  The odds of me not having friends who are immoral, unethical, indecent, gullible, and ignorant are not in my favor. I have family that falls into that same trap.  It doesn’t change that they are my friends or my family.

But what it does mean is that they understand that I am affected by their actions and that there is a penalty there — and I am paying it, so when it comes time for helping me, they had damn well better be there.

Lo and behold, because they are friends and family, they do. Some take arm twisting, but, yeah.

So get to know these people.  You don’t have to make friends with them. But you should get to know them, and they will get to know you.

A weekly visit to your city councilman’s office is a good start.  A half hour, hell, if you can pull it off, a full hour. Once a week.  This early part of things, right now, isn’t going to make much difference anyway, and we are playing the long game here, not the short one.

Now, you might be thinking that I am going to say go visit the other city council folk.

Do not.  Avoid them.  THink of them — with the exception of the Mayor, who, technically, has the whole city — as kind of like scary people.  Avoid them, Hide from them.Unless you know them personally, in which case keep your interactions separate from their offices.

In my case, my City councilman is a woman.  She is also Vice Mayor, here, and she is close friends with the Mayor, who happens to be a liberal.  Moderate with centrist leanings. She’s pretty similar.

Getting to know their staff over the next month and a half or so, just stopping in to get to know them, will put you on the radar.  It will annoy them a little, as well, as you aren’t there for business.

But you are. Your business.  Which is, after all, human rights.

After about two months, you start in with the requests.  You will, by then, likely have email addresses, and know who to talk to about what topic and subject. You will know what they like, how they think and hey, maybe even a few birthdays and anniversaries.

And they will have come to know you.  In my case, I am that trans gal who is annoying but had the balls to stand up to a really disliked leader of the opposition in the State legislature.

But originally I was just that gal who was running a homeless shelter. I never talked about my blog. I never mentioned that I had been a member of any political party.  I was just a citizen who wanted to see the sausage made, and maybe I could help now and again.

Which is pretty much how I do things.

So as you get to know your city council person, and maybe your school board members (that could be a second hour, but monthly on that one).

That’s 5 hours a month, so far Plus travel time, and I will assume for you that’s a PITA, so we’ll add a couple hours travel time in there. Call it 7 hours a month so far.

Now, I also think you should look at your County leadership.  Here, in AZ, County isn’t quite as fancy and powerful in my area, but in the rural parts of this state, County leadership has a lot more pull and power.

Give them 30 minutes of time, plus 30 minutes of travel, once a month.  More, if county in your area — say, for example, Nashville –is a bigger power base.

That’s 8.

Then you get to your State Legislator. This one you want once a month, if the legislature isn’t in session. But when they are, you want it weekly as well.  Just like the city councilman. For some folks, that will be hard — especially rural folks.  But a good State Legislator has a local office.  They might not ever be in it, but they try to have one.

Go there. As often as you can, again, to get to know the people working for them. So they can get to know you.

Let’s call that 12 hours a month so far. Give you a little more room for travel time, call it 15 hours a month.

Now, you might be thinking that what with your working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet that such a time request is beyond your ability.

Well, bad news: in about a year and a half, you won’t be able to make ends meet with those two jobs. So work them while you can.  Because the shit is raining down, and the devil has diarrhea.

But if you can’t spare the time, you can’t spare it.  But odds are good you know someone who can spare the time, so help them out in spending that time on your behalf.

A note, here: you can do this at any age.  Sixteen years old?  Go on, do this.  Now. Hell, you might even get a part time job out of it.

Eighteen, don’t feel like college, but the military isn’t on your radar either?  Try this out.  Do it. Get involved.

I started when I was 22, in earnest, but I had a slight advantage in that I knew a lot of this stuff already from being the grandchild of a woman who worked for Congressman. One who helped my uncle get into the Naval Academy. One who introduced me to Barry Goldwater. When I was like 12.

So, yeah, I know this stuff the way I know restaurants, but for years I hated politics because, well, I mean, seriously, have you read the news since 1973?

Then I went to work for some of them, contract basis. Helped them do things.

So I’m not a staffer type, like the folks who created Indivisible.  I’m more like one of those party types who have influence but you never know their names.

So now you have the local stuff figured out.

You know your precinct by now, and you are registered. If you registered for a party, go to their meetings. They can be god awful boring, and the amount of fawning that can go on is pretty icky and there are always a lot of grey hairs, but seriously, go.

Speak up and talk to everyone there that you know about the key things to be talked about.

Attend every meeting, and be vocal about the people you support, and keep hammering on the key things that we need to do.

Which is, first and foremost, Human Rights.

Before anything else, we need to make damn sure that people start putting into the order of the day and talking about Oppression and human rights, using those words.

Oppression.

Human Rights.

Let’s say you don’t like my list of human rights here. No, it doesn’t matter that my list comes from really great sources including the Bill of Rights.  Maybe you don’t like Section 8.  Maybe section 10 doesn’t work for you.

So sit down and right your own bill of rights. yes, Really.

You have some amazing resources:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Bill of Rights

The Yogyakarta Prinicples

You also have the arguments that have been going on about various human rights for the last 70 years.

Dive in, figure it out, research it, come up with a list and then…

Go and talk to people about introducing a bill.

A simple bill.  In your local city council, in your school boards, in your county governments, in your state legislatures.

A bill that says, simply, that Law and Justice are in the Service of Human Rights, because the United States is about human Rights. And here are those human rights that we hold to be self evident.

No, you probably won’t get it to happen at first.

Yes people will roll their eyes at you.

Keep doing it.  Keep talking about Oppression.  DO not talk about racism, do not talk about misogyny, or homophobia, or transphobia, because by breaking Oppression down, in this climate we are in, we fall prey to the division of Oppression, the idea that somehow we can achieve this goal by miraculously doing one thing at a time.

DOn’t fall prey to that trap.  Stand up for human rights. Stand up against oppression, in all its forms.

When someone says to you “Hey, this won’t work.” Ask them why.  Then ask them “hey, how can we make it work?”

Because who is American and claims to be against human rights?

Remember those who are.  Speak their names, loudly, often, and always be sure to say they opposed a bill that says the United states is about Human Rights and they opposed human rights and they were working for Oppression.

DO not mince words, but don’t add anger to it.  Just keep hammering away about human rights.

At all those offices.

Get other people to do the same thing. Your neighbors. Your local businesses. Your co-workers.

I mean, its human rights.  If they are already guaranteed, then what is the harm in saying these are human rights?

Most folks will not read your list of them, just as most of the people who like my list of human rights haven’t read it.

Because we are Americans. We love human rights.

THe orange golden calf idol that is about to take office does not love human rights.

But then, they aren’t American.  People who oppose human rights are UnAmerican.

But of course, the big question will come up, eventually.  The important question, the one that is the point of working to make this discussion happen about America and Human Rights.

The question is “How does passing such a thing make my life better?”

How does making this simple effort to have a bill passed in every city, in every county, in every state that says, simply and elegantly, that human rights are what America is about, that law is about human rights, and here are these human rights, make a difference in the lives of people in the rust belt, of poor trans folk like me, of elderly struggling to survive on an ever dwindling social safety net….

That’s part three…

On the Path Forward, 1 of 5

There are a lot of talking heads in the major media outlets who have been chattering away about how this was the problem or that was the problem; folks who say we need to reach across the aisle, and talk about how half the country supports the kind of thinking that has led to the complete usurpation of government at all levels over the majority of the US map.

The ascendancy of the populist collective of disaffected people we are dealing with is actually pretty historically justified, when you realize, accept, and embrace that it is backlash to the election of a Black man as President.

I don’t care what your party is. I don’t care who you think should have won, or could have won, or how they were screwed.  I can argue all those things too, but the time for arguing about how we got here is over.

We are here, and, ultimately, one thing that isn’t political, but rather asinine, is behind it.

We, collectively, forgot what we as a nation are about.

It would be nice to blame this on failing educational standards or deep poverty and desperation, but to do so is still not accurate. Especially on the side of things that supports an America — a USA — that is strong, and leads the world, and does so in wealth that is monetary and knowledge and freedom-wise as well.

We forgot, in this gradual shift of the Center of American Politics to the Right that began following the debacle that was Nixon’s second term, that what this nation is about, first and foremost, is Human Rights.

We have fought four huge wars over human rights — and they are the wars we usually look on with pride — Revolutionary, Civil, WW1, WW2.

None of the wars we have fought since have been about human rights.  Be it a war on poverty or drugs, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, or the liberations of Afghanistan and other parts of the middle east (wars which we, in part, are responsible for starting in the first place, if you know your history), we have plastered over them the notion of fighting for democracy, but the impetus for them is rarely so clean and precise.

Indeed, I have argued in the past that pretty much everything we have been seeing since 1945 is the collapse of the old Imperial systems that governed the word for much of the last five hundred years.

The backlash isn’t just about a Black President, though. It is about a browning population, a manifestation of white privilege in the political arena as they realize that their understanding of the world is finally truly at risk, since they see themselves as the rightful heirs to planet, from their White Jesus to their White Dollar.

I have begun, of late, to speak about “white politics” — to call out a problem within the Left as a whole — the centrist, the radical, the moderate, and the progressive arms of it.

This is a politics that looks at things from a markedly white perspective, and has little to do with the figures who preach it, but much to do with what is seen, when it is viewed through a lens of whiteness, as the key problem: money.

Classism is not strictly about wealth. But for most white folks, it is essentially synonymous with how much money you have — there are the poor and there are the middle class and there are the wealthy, and if we can just get the wealthy to do less taking and more giving and spread it around a bit, things will get better.

Which is true.  Things will get better. For white folks. Even more specifically, for white men with college educations whoa re able bodied, straight, cis, and conforming.

The rest of the country, though, will get screwed by such a focus on politics, because classism is the simplest form of division, the least dangerous form of oppression we are dealing with, and, ultimately, the easiest to solve if you look at it through the lens of seeing it as being about how much money one makes.

Except that isn’t classism  That’s wealth inequality, and wealth inequality is seriously easy to fix.  It is the low hanging fruit, but it does not intersect well with other forms of oppressions because it hasn’t had the strength in it yet (though, under the new regime in DC we are facing, that could seriously change).

Now, some folks reading this,with eye rolls and bitching about how Ii must hate Sanders or be some Hillary lover and blah blah are forgetting a few things.

I am white, for one.  I am also black and native. None of those is over the other for me — unlike President Obama, I am light skinned enough that folks do not immediately decide that I am more one than the other, and most of the time they default to white until I mention something about whiteness.

But the point of my noting I am white, for one, is to point out that what  am saying about whiteness applies, at least in part, to myself, as well. I am well educated, I come from a truly middle class background, which is reasonably conservative, and I have had access to privilege for a large chunk of my life, even if much of that privilege is presumed, instead of possessed.

I am, however, to use the vernacular, woke as fuck. And still waking in many areas.

The other thing they are forgetting is that there is an excellent time period to reference when the degree of wealth inequity was minimized, the same period that is thought of as a marker of a “great time” — the “best of days” that is used by both Left and Right as a Halcyon moment in US history — is the 1950’s.

In terms of wealth inequality, it was at an incredibly low point — if you were white. Racism was still overt — Truman was just starting to integrate the Armed Forces, the Civil Rights Act had yet to be passed, evolution was still  not taught in schools, and college was only for those who could afford it, yet it was, in comparaison, far, far cheaper than it was today, even by today’s dollar value.

Women were incredibly limited, and single young women were not expected to actually learn anything at a college if they were wealthy enough to sent to one — they were there to find a husband and learn effective social graces.

So wealth inequality being incredibly low did essentially bupkiss for the rest of the nation — yet that was the concern of white feminism, and it is the concern of socialism (indeed, Marx was, himself, rather racist and quite ignorant of it, and you really don’t want to go into the world of Engles), and the same can be applied to Libertarianism (which, at its heart, is opposed to the very foundational understandings of what makes the USA a nation, as a matter of Philosophical understanding, since the constitution itself and the notion of human rights themselves are contrary to the underlying basis by which Libertarianism arose).

At this point, even more people are angry with me right now. They won’t describe it as angry — they disagree with me.

They don’t think of socialism as Marx established its premises as being racist, and no doubt have many great arguments about it, yet likely remain blithely unaware of how it was influenced and generated in an era of imperialsm and colonialism and is itself an imperialist and colonialist idea. That’s fact — it doesn’t take much to realize it beyond understanding it.

Yes, modern effort within it are much better, but it is still Structurally racist in a great many ways.

Which is not to say that Capitalism is any better — it isn’t.  Neither system is better, they are simply different; The way they are framed within the broader system is what matters.

Libertarians are trying to figure out how to argue that their political philosophy doesn’t run counter to the constitution, yet those that are doing so almost certainly fail to realize that their entire philosophy grew out of the movement that was opposed to things like a Constitution. Even that is too limiting.

But then, most of them are in that party over the money and taxation thing — and truly would not be fans of Hamilton, musical or otherwise, and much more fond of Burr.

this is the difference understanding what you are talking about makes. And to be frank,  am having a hard time coming up with ways to make people see that the focus on wealth inequality is not what the Progressive, Moderate, Centrist, or Radical wings of the Left need if they are to win back the city, county, state, and federal branches of government.

Note that when I say Left, I do not say Democrat or Green. That is intentional — fuck your party. Your party sucks. All of it.  Which I say as a registered Democrat, myself.

I could have registered as a green or an independent. Indeed, I was registered as an independent for several years after I switched from Republican. And, to be absolutely factual, it was Hillary Clinton who caused me to switch to Democrat.

And, just to show you how truly different I can be, I say that while she lost the Primary, I never liked her husband and worked against his election, twice.

But I did like Barack Obama. Still do. Love the man. Yet, I will point out that he is Left, true, but he is a Centrist Left. HE would have been Moderate Left — perhaps even Progressive Left — if he had been gifted with a Dem majority on Congress for more than one cycle, but Dems are notorious for failing to work on mid terms and for the last several decades have essentially said fuck it when it comes to the states.

Which means I am saying it wasn’t *just* Hillary’s fault she didn’t tour the upper Midwest Rust Belt. Those places have been ignored for longer than just her campaign, and at a more local level where such stuff really matters a lot for affecting the mood of an electorate.

Late in this last campaign, the orange fuckup’s team was even uncertain they were going to win, until they consulted with their statistics people.

This is a group of folks who are data miners.  They have made enormous fortunes on Wall Street, and guided merges and all manner of stuff, and they are not Bankers or brokers.  They are computer scientists and sociologists and social psychologists and really brainiac types. In the sense of the Superman Villain, for those who don’t realize the reference.

They crunched numbers using their data — which comes from places like facebook, tumblr, twitter, instagram, etc, as well as from purchasing habits in grocery stores and online surveys and so forth — and they said “nah, we’re good.” and from that day on, the entire team of the orange menace said, basically, we got this.

The Dems and the Greens need that kind of social data mining and such — flat out, they need it.  The place that the orange shitpile used is tight with the Heritage Foundation. Should be — by some estimates, they doubled the money that most of the wealthiest folks there had in under two years.

I kinda do that sort of stuff, except I don’t have supercomputers, I just have my own brain, and my own faults and prejudices.

I want you to think about this for a bit. I am telling you all of this because I want it all in your head, however meaningless it seems to you right now.

Because for the next 20 years, we are in for the single greatest change in US history since the Civil War, and you are going to be part of it.

Where that change takes us is entirely up to us, right now — and it will get harder over the next four years and then easier to do.  Possibly too easy — but if we start to go overboard, I will still be there, saying the same stuff, because of the fundamental guiding point that *must* underlie all our efforts from now on.

The United States of America exists, in part, to Oppose Oppression. It says so, in the Declaration of Independence, it guarantees it in the Bill of Rights, and it describes how in the Constitution.

It historically sucks at it, mind you. Not gonna gloss over the millions dead, the internment camps, the forced death marches, the invasion and occupation of foreign territory, etc.

But it does get better at it, each time, and this time, we need to change our focus as a country back on to that noble and worthy goal — and, for those still smarting about the whole white politics thing, that does include income inequality.

When I talk about Opposing Oppression, I am not trying to avoid talking about racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism and so forth. I am talking about all those things.  All at once, in fact.

They are all Oppression. By shifting our discussion to all of them, and the ways that they all work, it becomes more and more apparent that what we are doing is talking about specific ways in which oppression affects specific groups, and the resistance to talking about oppression as a collective issue actually contributes to the division we have in dealing with it.

Especially since, well, white folks think that things are much better for black folk than black folk do.  And Black folk think things are much better for Native folk than native folk do.  And so forth and so on and we get caught up in this bullshit oppression Olympics and forget that what we are all trying to do is End Oppression.

We are human beings. When we put our focus on one of four things, the other four tend to disappear — this is fact. If you don’t believe me, let me show you something:

Take a piece of paper. Draw four stars on it, in four different locations, like on a die — a six sided die, or maybe even a playing card.

Now, set the drawing out in front of you and focus your eyes on only one of the stars.  Keep doing that for a bit, and you will see the others start to fade, or wink out.

Yet they are all still there.

That is us when we focus on just Racism. Or just Transphobia. We are aware the other exist, and we know they are all in the same space — the sheet, itself, is Oppression as a whole — and the more we focus on one, the less we see the others.

That is the human brain actually working. It does that on purpose. And while the trick of it is nice and all as an exercise to prove a point, the point still remains:

We need to restore our nation’s focus on ending Oppression within our own borders.

Once we do that, we can focus on doing so beyond our borders, and believe me, we will have a lot of that to do.

Especially with the effects of Climate Change, nationalist movements on the rise around the world, and extremism dictating policy by fiat.

Now, the really cool thing here is that we can actually make significant, long term, hard to dismantle and easy to perpetuate systems and programs that get this done, and we can do them within six years, and we can achieve this with only one half of the nation involved in doing so.

Not even kidding.  We can flip red states purple in such a way that it will be a decade before they can even think about going red again, by which time we will have shifted the economy so much that the voters might not want to, and in the process ensure that no matter how incredibly bad the incoming orange fucksup is, he goes down in history as the worst President to ever sit in that office — *while he is alive*.

Sounds pretty unbelievable, I know. Sounds downright undoable, even, to a lot of folks.

Three things can stop it:

1 – Cynicism. This is what kills democracy, and right now is what led to the state we are in now.

2 – Cults of Personality.  The slavish devotion to a particular person because you like their ideas or their leadership as a specific political figure. The person is the least important aspect of this plan — and indeed, they will be the things that get in the way most often.

3 – Not Participating. Not voting, not speaking out, not being willing to engage with people. This includes being willing to engage with the small percentage of really horrible human beings out there. The engagement with that sort can be really short — but if you are willing to even run into them, to even go and hold your nose while you vote — maybe even for the first time in years –then you are already ahead of the curve.

The process of making this happen is surprising simple, which, in my experience, is part of the reason it is so damned hard to make it happen.

Oh, yeah — this is going to be hard. It is work.  It is effort, and for something that you will not benefit from for the most part for at least eight years.

But seriously, you will get something out of it, even if you die in the interim.

Are you feeling defeated?

Are you feeling hopeless?

Are you feeling as if your voice is unheard?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, then it is on you, personally, to register to vote, to work towards ending oppression beyond wealth inequality, to attend your precinct meetings and to fight for what is right, to support those who may not be the most eloquent speakers but who are Americans that understand that the job, first and foremost, of all Americans, is to end Oppression, regardless of the form it takes.

Do not assume your registration is current. Go and register again. Now. In case they try to take that away from you as others have done in the past.

 

If you are a “fiscal conservative & social liberal”, remember that you are a liberal first, because until we solve the problems of the social side, the fiscal side can never be balanced in any way except to benefit those in power or coming into it.

There are four types of people on the Left.

There are the Centrists — who are, currently, right of center.

There are the moderates — who are, currently, left of center.

There are the Progressives — who are what we used to call Unionists, and Agitators, and Nuisances

There are the Radicals — who are far right.

There are also the extremists on the left — those who would undo the constitution and the history of the US in order to create something new.

I am a Liberal. Capital L. My heart does not lie on my clothing, pumping out blood. I am about Human Rights, first and foremost.

I am about human rights first and foremost because when this nation was founded — the result of a bitter and bloody war, the first of its kind fought over the ideas of human rights — that was what drove them, the birth of a concept the media has come to call the Great American Experiment.

It is not an experiment, to me. It is a way of life, a way of living, a manner of dwelling side by side with those who disagree with you in the effort to achieve a better place for everyone. An ever growing effort that is informed by truth, honesty, knowledge, conviction, and the power of the people, collectively.

It has not always been good at it, but four times this nation has fought wars over civil rights, over human rights, over the ongoing battle of man’s inhumanity to one another.

So all my politics are grounded, are based, are started with the notion of Human Rights first, because from there, everything else is possible.

And now, as we watch the first rumblings of the single most unprecedented attack on human rights in the history of the nation — one coming from those who are supposed to uphold and defend them, who are, philosophically, ultimately descended from those who have fought against human rights since before this country arrived — it becomes apparent that more than ever before, this is where we must ground ourselves as we begin the fight to take back our nation from those who would destroy it.

There is much talk of how we get the support to make that push, and I will tell you that Human Rights is how we do it, that opposing oppression is how we do it, that what we build now is what will shape this nation for the next 20 years if we focus, and if we do so with earnest zeal and devotion, we can ensure that no one will do it again for at least another 240 years.

For we hold these truths to be self evident, even as those in power do not: that all people are created equal, and that they are endowed at birth with certain unalienable rights, among those rights the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Because what we are seeing, right now, is a golden idol that is screaming the opposite.

That said, let’s take a break and get ready for Part Two of this post.

While on your break, grab a copy of Indivisible, from the staff of experienced progressive lawmakers in DC. Everything there also applies to the local spaces.

Need a link?  Here: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/web

I read it.  It contains all the stuff I did locally to make what I was doing for years possible.  Including killing bills that would have shut my effort to help people down before they even got introduced.

Also, register.  Because that is step one.

We are gonna go into the steps in the continuation.

On The Trans 100 for 2017 — Nominations open, and going for it

Its been a pretty rough time for Ole Dyssonance the last few years.

I’ve whined about it a lot. Like, tons. So you don’t need that anymore.

But the one thing that I give a damn about the most in terms of work I want to see grow is The Trans 100.

Getting the oomph back to do it has been a nightmare for me, because, well, personal stuff  But sometimes you just have to say screw it and go for it.

So I am.

I burned some bridges — bridges I didn’t want to burn and that I wish I hadn’t, but I did, it, I own it, and so things aren’t exactly the way I would like them, but well, as they say, shit happens.

When there isn’t a hill for it to roll down, you get mired in it, and it took me a while to dig my way out.

Bluntly, if you have a pdf copy of the old lists, I would love to have it. The ones I had are gone, and I really would like to get them up on the TheTrans100.com.

The nice thing about being the gal who does this stuff is that when the noms go up, I get to make the very first one.

There are rules, you know.  So long as I run the Trans 100, I can never be in it. Its a hard and fast rule that I made. The Team itself (the people who are part of the actual team that, I sorta hope, will one day get paid) cannot be on the list.

Curators can be. Always. But not “staff”, not me.

This applied for a while. To one person without whom the Trans 100 would never have been possible. Jen Richards.

So, yes, the first nomination was indeed Jen Richards. I just hope the curators include her. In case you wonder the basis of that idea, it is Her Story — the Grammy nominated web series.

Because of my personal crap, there was no 2016 Trans 100. So this year, folks can be nominated for their work in 2015 as well.

It will be the only year for such, by gum!

There is more coming down the road — a list of our great forebears and the people who made it possible for us to be here.  The folks who lived and died in service to their community, and the ones who are still around but maybe not so active because it does take a tool, and we tend to forget those who came before really easily.

That will start up with nominations in April, and be delivered in late summer.

The Trans 100 is about celebrating Trans Lives, about recognizing our contributions to the world at large, and showing that we are more than just potty breaks and whatever hate of the moment is spewed at us.

This year, I don’t think there will be an Event. Primarily because I haven’t the first clue how to set one up.  Really. I don’t know the costs, I don’t know the places, and I just plain don’t know the people to talk to that make such things happen.

I have contacts I can reach out to, but like I said, I burned some bridges. I’m not sure they are still willing.

Besides, that’s what I need partners in recognition for.

So the task begins again, on a much compressed timetable.

Less than 20 days to research, vote, and collate a collection of 100 amazing Trans people.

But it will happen.

Oh, and yeah — I am doing an international list this time.

Because this is America.

Nominations for The International Trans 100 for 2017

Nominations For the US, Canada, & Mexico (North American)

 

 

On White Politics versus White Supremacy

Let’s chat about “white politics” for a moment.

I don’t mean white supremacist or white nationalist politics. If I did, I would have said “racist politics”, instead. I mean white politics in the same way that people mean when they say white feminism.

That is, a politics that is focused and concerned and inside a silo built by white Privilege and focused on the perceived needs and concerns of white people. Even more so: white, straight, Cis, able bodied people of means.

Now, just like when we talk about great feminists of the second wave, there are people who do good and have strong ideas and great popularity and are doing it for good reasons.

Folks who “buck the system”, have that maverick brand or stand out as being the thorn in the side of the Establishment.

But not too much, of course, since they are in that establishment.

One name comes to mind pretty much immediately here, given the last year. Another pops in after a bit of thought. I am sure many of you will find more interest as things go forward.

Bernie Sanders is the most obvious of current choices. He is a guy who is trying to shift the so-called Liberal wing to the left. He has a focus on class and wealth politics that is very appealing to Millenials and X’ers disaffected with the consistent harm done by Boomers, he has the gravitas and effective stability in office to accomplish stuff, and he has grasped a movement of these young, overwhelmingly white and intensely loyal voters who see his promises as the new dawn of progressive effort.

He also unwittingly colluded with a foreign power and so did many of his most loyal followers, focused on the task of undermining and teaching a lesson to the Liberal (more truly described as centrist) wing of the electorate and the Establishment about their internal problems.

Enough so that the election was swung towards the orange iDJiT in the key areas.

This isn’t about the failures of the election, though, on any side — the centrist, progressive, and radical wings of white liberal thought all failed.

All of them. Despite being more popular on a national level as a whole, they went down under the weight of white politics versus white nationalism.

We can see that now more clearly than we could before in part because of the revelations that the liberal wing got played by a foreign power and the lack of technical capability on the part of the Establishment.

Yet we were also done in by our collective certainty, which was palpable as early as August, that the dumpster fire wouldn’t happen.

I am saying, though, that the basis for this is White Politics. Because that is what we had to work with, and it wasn’t just Bernie. It was Stein, as well.

White politics do not lift others up. White politics do not stop not fighting when the fight is over. White politics are focused on money and things. White politics use things like BLM for support or ignore them.

White politics is the argument that free college is good for everyone, but when examples are given, all of them are for those of means. White politics is the argument that money will solve the problems of police brutality and barely restrained anger at not being able to trust authorities.

White politics is looking at four able bodied people beating on a disabled person while venting their rage about the election results and the white Supremacist supporters of the orange iDJiT and thinking “dammit, why did they have to be black!?”

Then, white politics is thinking through that and concluding that ending poverty is the way to fix that.

White politics is about class, wealth, and money. It brings in the issues of human rights that are closest to whiteness first — feminism (white), for example, is easy to bring in.

Racism isn’t. Transphobia isn’t.

Homophobia is, as long as Teh Gayz don’t bitch too much, and only of late. Hell, this last election, a lot of folks harped on the actions of a previous Liberal wing President (centrist who co-opted the right’s talking points).

Forgetting that there wasn’t as strong and tested a power back then.

White politics cannot win against White Nationalism, though. Or White Supremacy.

Because white politics are easily glossed over and suborned and laughed at and criticized. It is white folks getting together and the whiners are the ones that lost.

Sure enough, the last two months have been whiners trying to argue this all just white people being white people and fighting about class, wealth, and money and no, the rest of that stuff is just ancillary, good for a filler piece in a column inch need or a two minute talking head beat on you cable news channel of choice.

White politics is why the Liberal — no, scratch that. The liberal (small letter because ya’ll forgot human fucking rights are not bought) wing lost because of White Politics.

Because white politics thinks that money is the cure, is the solution. That once we get taxes back to the era of Truman and Eisenhower, we can start building the great society because everyone will have the money to afford it and those rich fat cats won’t have the power they have now.

white people arguing over money.

White Politics must die now. They belong to two centuries before this one. They belong to a time when white people fought wars so vast they encompassed the entire world and shattered colonial empires that had forced themselves on non-white people who died for them.

White politics are no longer what serve us, or meet our needs.

When there was talk of holding new elections, I always said the same thing:

Sure, as long as no one who ran in the last one can run this time. HRC supporters liked it because that meant no Bernie. Bernie supporters liked it because that meant no HRC.

I laughed at all of them. I said it because it meant that maybe someone who wasn’t interested in white politics would get a chance.

Because what I want to do is stop trying to play white politics, and instead play Oppression Politics, where the focus, the goal, and the ideas are built on opposing oppression of all kinds, all at once, to include money shit, but only as a secondary element, because in the end, the money won’t change the violence, and until we do, the money will just go back to where it is now.

 

 

 

 

 

On the Russian Revelations

I know ya’ll are salivating over the way the iDJiT is reacting to the fact that he won by cheating and is trying to blow it off.

What you are missing, though, is how he won by making “progressive” and “Liberal” people fight over who to support, and through the spreading and manipulation of the news and information about Hilary Clinton.

Which means everyone that was saying shit like “Shillary” were and are part of the problem — factually.

Now, the best part, still, is that by having it come out now, right at the time when “progressive” and “liberal” groups should be getting back together and going “well, shit, we got played” and not arguing about which candidate should have or could have won, and fighting with each other over it, the folks who manipulated the election are getting the second big win:

They are destroying the opposition from within.

So…

If you think that my stating a fact above — the thing about shillary — is a bad thing, and offensive, then you are missing the point.

And proving mine.