Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Don't Get Distracted

If you've been following twitter, you know what's up.  If you're not, you should start a new account - some nom de plum - and take a peek... we could start a new hashtag trending, if you posted some story or meme with #VeryDarkAge in the tweet.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

States' Rights

California overwhelmingly voted to reject Donald Trump.  As did New York. As did Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, New Mexico, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware.  By narrower margins, he was rejected in Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire.

There appears to be little we can do to stop the Autarch-in-waiting from initiating his dark vision for America.  We cannot prevent him from sending ICE agents into our state to round up undocumented immigrants, but we can, as Mayor Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck of Los Angeles have stated, refuse to direct our law enforcement personnel to assist in this effort.  We can likewise defend the rights of our fellow Californians who are Muslim by refusing to aid the federal government in oppressing them.  We can strengthen marriage equality by putting a proposition on the ballot in 2018, or sooner, to make marriage equality a state law in those states where it is not.  We can strengthen environmental protections at the state level.  We can resist efforts for federally owned lands to be placed into private hands, both in Congress and by civil protest.  We can protect the uninsured by following Massachusetts in passing an affordable healthcare law of our own.  We can try white supremacist groups accused of violent crimes under anti-gang ordinances, already existing in most cities.

What we cannot do is give in to pressure by the federal government to surrender our values - even if that means passing bond measures to maintain our own roads and highways.  What we cannot do is leave our environment to the whims of kleptocracy-driven executive policy.  what we cannot do is leave our most vulnerable citizens at the mercy of discriminatory federal policy. What we cannot do is leave our educational system to the whims of theocratically-minded bureaucrats in Washington DC. What we cannot allow is our law enforcement organizations to do federal policing in opposition to our own state, county and municipal mandates.

What we cannot do is secede.  Secession would give the Autarch cause to activate the armed forces and place us under martial law, at which point, the Autarch does with us as he pleases.  Put all romantic notions of "Calexit," "Cascadia" or whatever other aspiring regional republics are being floated right now, out of your head.  Such an enterprise will most assuredly end in bloodshed and loss of what little state autonomy we have left.  As states, we have the power to contest the Autarch in the courts, and at present, SCOTUS is inclined to favor states' rights.

All of the GOP emphasis on States' Rights gave them control in both Houses of Congress and perhaps even the Presidency.  What propelled them to national control has also enshrined our resistance in law.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mission Statement

This weblog exists to one end: to restore the democratic institutions to the people of the United States.  At the time of this writing, Donald Trump has not yet taken office, but there is every reason to presume he will.  We may indulge in speculative scenarios which may prevent this: the Electoral College actually does its job casts all of its Republican votes for Mike Pence; the DOJ brings an investigation, such that Trump fails to secure the requisite 270 electoral votes, and Paul Ryan is appointed Interim President.  There are rules permitting either of these outcomes, but no precedent.

We face the inevitability that a candidate ran as an authoritarian, and won.  Those of us who underestimated him before he became President-elect, assumed when he said the election was "rigged," he was lying, bracing his minions for his inevitable loss.  We assumed when he listed the states he expected to win in, it was simply more braggadocio.  And in both cases our assumptions were wrong - he was telling the truth: the election was indeed rigged, as hundreds of thousands of voters purged from the rolls in each state Trump won in, yielded low ten thousands in margins of victory for him; his predictions, which defied both public and internal polls by significant margins, turned out to disturbingly accurate.  For all of Trumps blatant falsehoods, his powers to divine the future are outright prophetic.  Of course, Trump is no prophet.  He is no messiah.  He's not even a scientist.  The only way Trump can predict the outcome of the future, in defiance of all predictive markets, is if he has information the predictive markets did not, and since he refused to pay his pollster, we can be assured it was not internal polling.  We can speculate on how he came about that information, but the safest conclusion is that he behaved the way autocratic rulers do: he broke the rules, or knew that someone was doing it for him.  In other words, it is the assertion of this publication that Trump did not win the election per the rules, and is not the President-elect, nor will he be our President.

Our mission is to show no respect the office - not as long as Trump is in it.

Our mission is to delegitimize his rule, before he ever takes office.

Our mission is to financially support our print media institutions*, who resisted him.

Our mission is financially support the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other not-for profit.

Our mission is to delegitimize the television and radio media/web sources** who carried his water.

Our mission is to call attention to Trump's apologists attempts to intimidate his detractors.

Our mission is to stand against the hate groups, emboldened by his election.

Our mission is to defend the groups, targeted in his campaign rhetoric.

Our mission is to raise the alarm loudly when he uses his power for petty vendettas.

Our mission is the preservation of  human dignity in Trump's reich.

Our mission is to resist autocratic rule until we can't anymore.

And for those of you who have wild ideas of armed revolt, STOP.  Once he has ascended to power, the Autarch will have the power of the state behind him.  Far more principled Presidents allowed the NSA to conduct unwarranted surveillance on our phones, emails and texts.  The Autarch will become aware of all voices against him and try to silence and/or discredit us.  He will not hesitate to use the power of the FBI, whose Director publicly abused the power of the Bureau to the end of electing him.    He will not hesitate to bring the power of Homeland Security to bear.  He will not hesitate to use the awesome power of our military, just as Nixon did, to make an example of protesters or any other group that dares to demonstrate publicly against him.  And make no mistake: an armed rebellion, like the one the FBI indulged in Oregon, will not result in jury nullification, but in a decisive massacre of armed civilians.  We can resist the Autarch's march toward totalitarianism by refusing to normalize his tenure in the White House, by organizing, by throwing our full weight behind our democratic institutions while they still exist.  We must write letters to our Senators and Representatives in Washington; we must support those organizations who can contest his executive orders in the courts; we must support our national print media: those three groups are all that stand between the Autarch and the destruction of individual liberty.

*   Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek,  AP, Los Angeles Times
** CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, Breitbart, Drudge Report, Russia Today, Sputnik, NPR, Rush Limbaugh

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Autarch

A shadow fell across the bright, sunny landscape of Southern California.  Panic erupted.  While rural whites cheered in the rust belt, blacks, immigrants, women and the LGBT community in liberal strongholds across the U.S. were confronted with a sense of revulsion and horror.  The election we'd hoped would repudiate the craven bigotry, xenophobia and misogyny we'd stood against during the Trump campaign, turned out to be a repudiation of us.  Our values, our ideals, shared by most of the voting population, did not have the commensurate weight of the Electoral College behind them.

Some of us took to the streets.  In the exurbs and bedroom communities, we drifted in to work, detached and numb.  Our co-workers who'd voted for Trump coalesced into whispering circles that didn't include us "libtards."  While protesters marched through city streets and blocked freeways, those of us excluded from the giddy circles gradually found each other.  We were bonded by same sense of grief, loss and terror that was gripping the nearby cities.  In our small, quiet numbers, we held onto each other.

The shadow and threat of autocracy looms on our horizon.  Climate change deniers, anti-Islamist, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and anti-LGBT forces have marshaled around a pending executive who would unmake the very Constitution they will soon take oaths to defend.  Our friends and neighbors are being accosted by a once latent culture of white supremacy.

We have much to fear.

We have much to fight.

The time to protest will soon reach its end.  The time to organize against the autarch is now.  We survived McCarthyism, Jim Crowe and the Hoover FBI.  We will survive - and overcome - the coming autarch.