Category Archives: Politics

We Need a Change

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Time and time again, we think the Trump administration can’t sink any lower, yet they do. Last week was one of those moments. When The Trump administration took its hardest line yet to legalize anti-gay discrimination on Friday and asked the Supreme Court to declare that federal law allows private companies to fire workers based only on their sexual orientation.

An amicus brief filed by the Justice Department weighed in on two cases involving gay workers and what is meant by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination “because of sex.” The administration argued courts nationwide should stop reading the civil rights law to protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers from bias because it was not originally intended to do so.
I won’t go into all the specifics of the case though honestly it isn’t that complicated. The Supreme Court will hear the cases October 8. If the Court sides with the government, it will set LGBT rights back 50 years, because there will be a snowball effect.
Excuse my language and anger in the next paragraph, but while the first part of this post could most definitely affect me, the second part of this post directly affects now. And I am quite angry about it.
In other Trump disasters, those idiotic motherfuckers denied my Public Service Loan Forgiveness application for my student loans, because I haven’t made 120 payments while working for a non-profit. I was clearly told to apply now to get into the program so I could make the 120 payments required for loan forgiveness. I was told by the loan company, a subsidiary of the government, that one must apply, be accepted into the program, make the required payments, then ask for forgiveness. Now they are saying that you have to make the payments first then apply. What bullshit! A coworker was denied because the Department of Education said she did not work for a non-profit, which we clearly do. Now they are telling me something different. What they hell! This is so fucked up. We need someone who knows what they are doing at the DOE, and to just one of Trumps floozies.
Trump has got to go and we need to make sure he and his cronies never influence American politics again.

Hmmm…

I really don’t have much to say today. I watched the debate last night, at least most of it. Biden is the only one of the ten up there I could stand. The night before we at least had Pete. As Dylan commented yesterday, I’d love to see a Biden/Buttigieg ticket. They are both moderate and sensible. They have plans that can actually work. I’d rather see Pete Buttigieg at the top of a presidential ticket, but I don’t think it will happen this time around.


Summer Debate

I watched the debate, fell asleep towards the end, and didn’t have time to write a proper post. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer.

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Independence Day

I realize that the Declaration of Independence is much longer than I normally post, but the entire document is worth reading. With Dumbass in Chief (DIC) as president, we are coming closer and closer to the tyranny the colonists faced under a George III. I hope you’ll read the entire document. It is the original document that lays forth what we want in a government, and DIC is eroding at those very freedoms.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having qin direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The Declaration of Independence is arguably one of the most influential documents in American History. Other countries and organizations have adopted its tone and manner in their own documents and declarations. For example, France wrote its ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man’ and the Women’s Rights movement wrote its ‘Declaration of Sentiments’. However, the Declaration of Independence was actually not technically necessary in proclaiming independence from Great Britain.

A resolution of independence passed the Philadelphia Convention on July 2. This was all that was needed to break away from Britain. The colonists had been fighting Great Britain for 14 months while proclaiming their allegiance to the crown. Now they were breaking away. Obviously, they wanted to make clear exactly why they decided to take this action. Hence, they presented the world with the ‘Declaration of Independence’ drafted by thirty-three year old Thomas Jefferson.

The text of the Declaration has been compared to a ‘Lawyer’s Brief’. It presents a long list of grievances against King George III including such items as taxation without representation, maintaining a standing army in peacetime, dissolving houses of representatives, and hiring “large armies of foreign mercenaries.” The analogy is that Jefferson is an attorney presenting his case before the world court. Not everything that Jefferson wrote was exactly correct. However, it is important to remember that he was writing a persuasive essay, not a historical text. The formal break from Great Britain was complete with the adoption of this document on July 4, 1776.

Jefferson wrote the Declaration in a way that was meant to be read aloud.  The first two paragraphs are some of the most powerful words ever written.  


Off the Deep End

Alabama has gone off the deep end. The legislature can’t even pass a fucking education lottery to get the state out of the bottom in education, but they can pass some of the most asinine laws. First they made it a 99 year prison offense to get an abortion, and the governor signed it. A woman herself and the senile old bitch signs the most anti women’s rights bill in America. Now they’ve outlawed marriage licenses. Just because some probate judges couldn’t follow the fucking law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples in their county. I think you need a marriage license not a marriage “document” for a legal marriage. To me this law invalidates all marriages in Alabama. It makes me a bastard, when my parents have been happily marriage for nearly 50 years. I know that it is extreme to think that way, but I can’t help feeling that they are doing away with real marriages. I’m so pissed at my home state. A Republican legislature. A Republican governor who not only is a traitor to women everywhere but has long been rumored to be a lesbian and a traitor to the whole LGBTQA community. Then there is the all Republicans Supreme Court which will uphold these laws. Thank God they will have to go to SCOTUS, which I hope they both do and are both overturned.


What the Hell, Alabama?

From AL.com by Mike Cason

A bill to eliminate marriage licenses in Alabama and instead have couples file an affidavit that probate judges would record as part of a marriage document moved a step close to becoming law today.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range. Albritton has tried to pass similar bills since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

After the Supreme Court decision, probate judges in some Alabama counties stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether because they did not want to license same-sex marriages. Albritton said his bill would eliminate the discrepancy.

“This will allow everyone to be married in their home county,” Albritton said.

Current law says couples wanting to get married must obtain a license from a probate judge. The law says probate judges “may” issue licenses but does not require them to.

“There’s still counties that will not issue marriage licenses,” Albritton said. “They take the word may to the extreme, if you will.”

Albritton did not know exactly how many but said there were probably about seven such counties.

Albritton’s bill said probate judges “shall” record each marriage if couples provide the proper documentation. That includes affidavits saying they are of legal age, are not already married, are not related and are competent to enter a marriage.

“I would suggest this is the end of the state telling people who they can and cannot marry. A license is permission,” Albritton said.

His bill would also eliminate the requirement in current law to hold a ceremony to “solemnize” a marriage. Current law requires the minister, judge, retired judge or person otherwise authorized to perform a ceremony to sign the marriage license before it is recorded as a certificate or marriage.

The committee approved the bill on a voice vote today. Rep. Merika Coleman, D-Pleasant Grove, voted against it. Coleman said she opposed the bill because of its origins, the resistance of some probate judges to licensing same-sex marriages after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

“I do remember the original dialogue where it came from,” Coleman said. “So that was my no vote. It was still one of those kind of protest votes against what I felt was the original reason why we were here with this bill in the first place.”


President George HW Bush Has Died

No president before or since had arrived with his breadth of experience: decorated Navy pilot, successful oil executive, congressman, United Nations delegate, Republican Party chairman, envoy to Beijing, director of Central Intelligence. He was in a category all his own, and through he only served one term as President and was a Republican, he should be considered one of the greats.

Over the course of a single term that began on Jan. 20, 1989, Mr. Bush found himself at the helm of the world’s only remaining superpower. The Berlin Wall fell; the Soviet Union ceased to exist; the communist bloc in Eastern Europe broke up; the Cold War ended.

His firm, restrained diplomatic sense helped assure the harmony and peace with which these world-shaking events played out, one after the other.

In 1990, Mr. Bush went so far as to proclaim a “new world order” that would be “free from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace — a world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.”

Mr. Bush’s presidency was not all plowshares. He ordered an attack on Panama in 1989 to overthrow strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega. After Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, Mr. Bush put together a 30-nation coalition — backed by a U.N. mandate and including the Soviet Union and several Arab countries — that routed the Iraqi forces with unexpected ease in a ground war that lasted only 100 hours.

However, Mr. Bush decided to leave Hussein in power, setting up the worst and most fateful decision of his son’s presidency a dozen years later.

In the wake of that 1991 victory, Mr. Bush’s approval at home approached 90 percent. It seemed the country had finally achieved the catharsis it needed after Vietnam. A year-and-a-half later, only 29 percent of those polled gave Mr. Bush a favorable rating, and just 16 percent thought the country was headed in the right direction.

The conservative wing of his party would not forgive him for breaking an ill-advised and cocky pledge: “Read my lips: No new taxes.” What cost him among voters at large, however, was his inability to express a connection to and engagement with the struggles of ordinary Americans or a strategy for turning the economy around.

That he was perceived as lacking in grit was another irony in the life of Mr. Bush. His was a character that had been forged by trial. He was an exemplary story of a generation whose youth was cut short by the Great Depression and World War II.


Excerpted from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/george-hw-bush-41st-president-of-the-united-states-dies-at-94/2018/11/30/42fa2ea2-61e2-11e8-99d2-0d678ec08c2f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0a0abc3af1d8


In Connecticut

I’m at a conference in Connecticut. We had drinks while watching the returns come in. There was good news and bad news when I went to bed. I hope the good news wins out, but it wasn’t looking good for Christine. It seems that everything else in Vermont went Democrat except for the governor. I’ll check final results this morning if they are in, but I just couldn’t stay up late last night watching returns. I had to be up early this morning for breakfast before the conference sessions start.


Election Day

Nothing human disgusts me unless it’s unkind, violent.
-Hannah to Shannon, Act III,
 The Night of the Iguana 

Hannah’s words to Shannon is my favorite line in The Night of the Iguana. While she is a chaste woman, she does not judge others for their sex/private lives. If more people had this attitude, the United States would be a much better place. That’s why it is so important that we go vote today. Everything Donald Trump and his MAGA minions stand for is “unkind, violent.” We can change that. We can vote and put Democrats back in office. We can strip Trump of his power. Get the message out, and please go vote. Vote to have sanity back in the United States. Vote for hope, not fear. Vote for change. Vote Democrat.

I leave today to go to a museum conference. I’ve been to academic conferences before, but I’ve never been to one specifically for museums. Even though I will be leaving this morning, rest assured I will be voting before I leave; I’m casting my ballot especially for Christine Hallquist. She has a vision to bring Vermont into the twenty-first century. While socially the state is mostly ahead of its time, economically it is far behind. She can make the changes we need which is why I’ll be voting for her. I believe in Christine for Vermont. I believe in Democrats across the country. I will cast my vote first thing before going to work today. Please vote today for a better United States of America.

Christine Hallquist

Christine Hallquist is an American politician and former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC). She is the first openly transgender major party nominee for governor in the United States, winning the Democratic nomination with over 40% of the vote on August 14, 2018. Hallquist worked at VEC from 1998 to 2018, the last 12 years as CEO, when she resigned to run for governor. Drawing national attention as a pioneering example of a CEO transitioning while in office, her transition was documented by her son in an award-winning documentary, Denial.

Hallquist grew up in Baldwinsville, New York. She attended Catholic school as a child. She moved to Vermont at age 20 and worked for IBM as an electrical engineer. Hallquist lives in Hyde Park, Vermont, and has three adult children and two grandchildren.

Hallquist’s professional life began at IBM, then she took a job at Digital Equipment Corporation. There she became part of a training program to become an electrical engineer at the University of Massachusetts and worked with Digital to create low-cost power supplies quickly using lean manufacturing. She took an early buyout from Digital and moved back to Vermont to become the CEO of a small electronics company in Barre, Vermont, then founded a consulting firm that worked with such companies as Xerox, Miller Beer, and Honda. She started at VEC as engineering and operations manager in 2000, shortly after its recovery from bankruptcy.

She announced her gubernatorial campaign in Morrisville, Vermont on April 8, and said, “I truly believe Vermont is ready to elect a transgender governor because I don’t think Vermonters are going to look at that.” Hallquist is running on a platform of increased broadband access, universal Medicare and aggressive action against climate change.

She has my vote in November.


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