Fatal Miscalculations: Who Will End Up Paying For The Red Plague?

I freely admit that I considered the 2016 election results as a catastrophe for individual liberties, the environment, consumer rights and more. Now, I see that I totally underestimated the damage Trump and the GOP threaten to do to the vast majority of Americans. I’m talking about the 99% who struggle to get by while the 1% feast off of our miseries.

Between the latest version of the AHCA (Anti Health Care Act), that was pushed through the House of Representatives without anyone knowing how it would actually impact Americans, and Trump’s robber baron budget, which portends an unholy transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the 1+%, we are facing a financial threat to our very survival. With a flair for the melodramatic at times, I have chosen to call this threat The Red Plague, since it was brought about by all the red states on the electoral map. And, make no mistake, it is a plague upon our country.

Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Paranoia? Well, I suppose it depends upon where you are in the spectrum of differences that seem to divide rather than unite America. If you’re wealthy, white, a religious conservative, bigoted and a fervent nationalist or some combination thereof, then you probably think all of what’s happening is good. You’re the ones that Trump and the GOP are counting on. They keep you happy by appealing to your fears and prejudices while stealing your money as well as our money and our rights.

On the other hand, it’s a very real threat for those of us who believe in liberty and justice for all, the welfare of others, that health care should be a right not a choice, that people should be paid a living wage, that greed is not good, businesses have a moral responsibility to their employees and their communities, that our environment needs to be protected and that those who need help should get it

Now, I do understand that a number of otherwise good people voted for Trump because he said he was going to bring back jobs to this country and put more people back to work. Well, like everything else he said, it’s a case of over promise and under deliver. As an example, take the big deal he made about getting Carrier to stay in Indiana rather than move jobs to Mexico right after the election. Well, that didn’t last long, because Carrier is going to lay off over 600 people in Indiana and move the jobs to Mexico. (Read the Chicago Tribune story here.)

Then he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare with something so much better that would cover everybody for less. What we have so far is the 2nd version of the AHCA, which the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) now says will result in 23 million people losing their health coverage and those who have low incomes, people with pre-existing conditions and older Americans will get socked with huge premium increases and less coverage. And that’s just part of the pain we’ll be enduring while the wealthy will get huge tax cuts out of it. Call me crazy, but I don’t see that as an improvement. (Read more about the CBO report here from CNN Money.)

Then we have Trump’s attempt at a budget, which is based on a combination of avarice, cruelty, alchemy and wishful thinking. Under the banner of supply side / trickle down economics, which has proven to be a failed approach, this budget gives huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and corporations plus spends massive amounts on defense, while cutting welfare, medical research, medicaid, children’s health insurance, food stamps, student loan programs and public education. Apparently, Trump thinks the poor shouldn’t have chosen to be poor in the first place. Wonder if he has ever heard of King Louis XVI of France and  how that kind of thinking turned out to be a real pain in the neck? (Read about Trump’s budget in this CNN.com report, and it’s miscalculations in this MSN.com story.)

So what does all this mean? Right now in this country, we have a huge problem as more and more of the money is siphoned out of the economy and into the hands of am wealthy few. That is unsustainable. Automation, irresponsible and obscene pay for CEOs without long-term performance goals, predatory financial policies, outrageous health care expenses even with Obamacare and other issues have left many Americans feeling like they have nothing left to lose. And that is how revolutions start. The heads will roll — just look at Louis XVI!

Those in power might want to ponder just how much pain the people can endure from The Red Plague, before they turn on the ones who are spreading it. A miscalculation could be fatal.

Stand up and be counted! Demand your rights! Tell your representatives in Congress that Trump’s budget and the AHCA are DEAD! We want Medicare for all and a budget that assures the wealthy pay their fair share!

Be Vocal! Be Adamant! Be Strong!

The Divine Miss Bri


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When People Put Party Over Country, It’s Time To End the Party

While it’s no secret that I have no love of the Republican party, especially since it was completely taken over by hard line conservatives, the party and its elected officials have, with a few exceptions, basically turned a blind eye to the string of of apparent lies, deceptions and potentially treasonous acts committed by the Trump administration. Many in the GOP just ignore the threats by saying there’s no proof and dragging out or sabotaging Congressional investigations. The truth is they don’t want to turn up proof of the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians, Trump’s attempts to derail the FBI’s investigation by firing Director Comey, and now his apparent leaking of top secret intelligence to the Russians.

Why? Because proving any of these allegations would completely delegitimize the election results and jeopardize their agenda to pay back their wealthy contributors by passing legislation to arrange one of the biggest transfers of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the wealthy with tax cuts for the rich funded by stripping away our healthcare, our environmental protections, our financial protections, our rights as workers and more. Literally, the GOP cares more about party power than they do about the country.

What we need is a fully independent special prosecutor to investigate all of the allegations. The old adages of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck,” seem relevant enough with what we have seen happening to justify the investigation. When the truth is sorted out, we may very well find Donald Trump’s cooked goose. Trump protests his innocence while continuing to do things that sure make it seem like he has something to hide. These perceptions are crippling our standing in the world and creating serious questions about who even cares about the country.

Tomorrow, Trump is scheduled to speak at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement in CT. And in many ways it will be an insult to those graduates, who are tasked with protecting our borders and enforcing the law, to be addressed by a man that wants to take money from the Coast Guard to build his wall and who has no respect for the law since he doesn’t believe it applies to him. But an even graver insult to these graduates is the failure of key Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, to call for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s ties to the Russians. The questions need to be answered and the issue needs to be settled by collecting evidence and testimonies that will prove or disprove the allegations.

We need the investigation to remove the cloud over this administration or remove this administration depending on the results. We need to again establish that no one, even the president is above the law. And, we need to prove that the rule of law is more important than party loyalty and power. Otherwise, America is doomed to become a Russian oligarchy and we can kiss out freedoms good-bye.

Call your Congressional representatives now and demand that they call for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and determine if they colluded to influence the election and if there are other illegal activities involved.

We deserve to know the truth! Demand it!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Stinging Barbs of Truth: Pun-ishing Would-Be Tyrants With Comedy

Ever notice one of the things missing from countries ruled by a dictatorship? It’s laughter, especially the type incited by sharp-tongued comics. Tyrants and would-be tyrants are notoriously thin skinned and do not suffer lightly the insolence of truth delivered with a knowing smirk. It threatens their image of absolute power, makes hollow their illogical rants and exposes their deceits for the world to see.

In a free society, politicians and celebrities expect to find themselves as fodder for jokes by stand up comics and show hosts across the spectrum. And, while some may not take it all graciously, most laugh at themselves along with us. That’s the American way. On the other hand, when the high and mighty start getting too high and mighty, comedy becomes the singular most important tool for bringing them down to earth … and hard reality.

Since the 2016 election, the political follies and excesses of the Trump administration and conservative Republicans have fueled volley after volley of well-justified and well-aimed comedic barbs, from show hosts that include Bill Maher, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, and, the focus of this blog, Stephen Colbert, host of Late Night with Stephen Colbert on CBS!

I admit to having become enamored with Colbert’s monologues as he has mercilessly carved up the ineptitude, arrogance and lies of Trump, his lackeys and conservative Republicans with razor-edged comedic barbs. And, while it has certainly gotten under the skin of Trump and his supporters, it has also catapulted the Late Show in the ratings. It’s required watching for me now.

So, it should come as no surprise that I stand in solid support of Stephen Colbert after last week’s big stink about his joke about Trump — “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c— holster.” The “obscene” word was bleeped out, but irate Trump supporters and others went ape-shit (NO Bleeps here), even calling his comment “homophobic” (an unbelievably bizarre comment for a conservative to make) and started a #FireColbert Twitter storm which was countered by variations of #LoveColbert and #KeepColbertFireTrump. Some went so far as to complain to the FCC, which under it’s Trump appointed chairman now stands for F*ck Consumers Commission. The commission reviews all complaints but has not opened an investigation so far.

What I find most annoying is that these same people have no complaints about the Rush Limbaughs who fill the airwaves with angry, idiotic falsehoods intended to hurt real people with real issues. Now that’s obscenity! But they will argue freedom of speech. Fine, so will I when it comes to Colbert!

What can you do? Two things. First, watch the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and drive up his ratings even further. (That shows your support and will certainly tick-off Trump!) Second, you can call CBS programming at 212-975-3247 and express your support for Stephen Colbert. (They have very short hours, but you can leave a voicemail!)

I should also mention that Speaker Paul Ryan’s office took exception with Seth Meyers featuring Ryan’s statements about rushing Obamacare through a vote and all his complaints about that as compared to the way the current version of the AHCA was rushed through passage in the House last week. (Apparently, they were bothered by the truth. That truth can be so damned inconvenient. You go, Seth!)

So, remember to keep laughing ’cause it totally pisses off would-be tyrants like Trump the First, or is that worst, or maybe it’s both. Take our president, PLEASE!

Comedy is a weapon of Freedom! Ready, Aim, Colbert!

The Divine Miss Bri 

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Our Country Is Being Stolen: It’s Time To Take Back The Real America

There comes a time in every person’s life when they look around and start to wonder what the hell is going on? Well, for those of us brought up to believe in the promise of America and what it could be, we have reached that point as Trump and conservative Republicans are hard at work trying to steer us into becoming something far more sinister and repulsive.

Today’s House vote that rushed through an even worse version of the AHCA, now Trumpcare 2.0, is symptomatic of what has become a persistent march toward an America that is defined by equality only for the wealthy, white males and the religious right. It is extreme capitalism, nationalism, racism and religious extremism all rolled up into one unholy movement that rejects our basic rights as being un-American. They believe America must be purified under the auspices of far right conservatism. All we need is a swastika across the Stars and Stripes or just adopt the Confederate battle flag, and call ourselves Amerika!

Again, I point to the latest iteration of the ACHA, or a I call it, the Anti-Health Care Act. Without CBO estimates, because it was rushed through without complete details, there’s no way to know for sure just how many millions of Americans will lose coverage or go bankrupt because lifetime caps may be reinstated. What we do know is that the wealthy will get big tax breaks and older Americas, poorer Americans and Americans with pre-existing conditions will get royally screwed. Plus, Congress exempted itself from being covered by the new act’s provisions. That smacks of the way the pigs changed the rules in Orwell’s Animal Farm from “All animals are created equal” to “All animals are created equal, but some are created more equal than others.”

Add in the steady stream of bills and executive orders that favor corporations and businesses over workers and consumers, from overtime rules changes to loss of internet privacy to ripping up regulations to protect the environment, everyday Americans keep losing ground and our rights. And, just yesterday, activist Desiree Fairooz was convicted in U.S. Court for apparently laughing at a controversial (and it was laughable) remark made by a Republican panelist during Jeff Sessions’ hearing on his nomination for Attorney General.  (Read Story Here.)

Today, Trump also signed an executive order giving churches and religious  institutions more leeway to endorse political candidates without losing their tax exempt status. It stopped short of allowing what the fundamentalists really wanted — the ability to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens without fear of sanctions. It’s a bad step on the slippery slope toward ignoring our long-standing principle of “separation of church and state.”

Frankly, I’ve had enough of this whole ugly state of affairs. Lord knows America has its share of problems, but the key to solving them is to move forward as a more egalitarian society that works for the collective good while respecting individual liberties. Certainly free enterprise is a key component, but it has to have boundaries because “greed is not good!” The wealthy should pay their fair share because they benefit the most from the system. And the system should help lift up those who need help.

Unlike conservative perceptions, the poor and the sick are generally not responsible for their situations, nobody’s race or religion makes them eminently superior, and all of us are entitled to the same rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Finally, the most egregious sin committed by the GOP has been their not-so-subtle attempts to limit voting rights in order to create and maintain their electoral advantages. That’s an attack on our very foundation of democracy. It is time NOW for all true Americans to stand our ground and say NO MORE, NOT HERE!

Petition! March! Protest! Rally! Blog! Tweet! Contribute to candidates if you can! Get active in local politics! Run for office! Call your representatives! Make your voice heard until it deafens those who would trample our rights and makes them quake in fear of what comes next! We should not fear our government! Our government should fear us!


The Divine Miss Bri

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100 Days of Trump: My How Time Drags When You’re Stuck With A Narcissistic Buffoon

So, you may infer from the headline that The Divine Miss Bri is not pulling any punches in this blog post! And you’re right! After 100 days, we can safely say that the Trump administration is possibly the worst administration to govern this country since King George III! And it’s not showing any signs of getting better. However, we can’t solely blame the crooked idiot in the White House. He’s had lots of help from a Republican majority Congress that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Money.

Now, let me say that it hasn’t been all bad during the first 100 days. That’s because Trump has a number of failures, which we should  celebrate as good for America, including —

1. Failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act (Ryancare/Trumpcare), which would have resulted in millions of Americans losing their health care coverage.

2. Failure to get approval for financing his stupid border wall.

3. Failure to get an immigration ban that will pass judicial review.

For those failures, let us give thanks!!!!

Unfortunately, Trump still managed to screw over most of us in one way or another via executive order or Congressional bills, including —

1. Stealing a Supreme Court seat and filling it with a conservative political hack.

2. Filling the swamp with alligators and snakes, in the form of Wall Street insiders and big donor cabinet nominees, instead of draining it as he promised.

3. Gutting environmental and worker safety regulations under the pretext of stimulating jobs, but which is mainly aimed at increasing corporate profits at our expense.

4. Backtracking on LGBTQ protections enacted by the Obama administration either directly or through cabinet appointees.

5. Setting in motion the elimination of climate change protocols and public education.

6. Appointing a known racist as Attorney General.

7. Letting ISP’s sell our web search histories and other sensitive information, which sacrifices our privacy.

And, of course, we cannot forget how his actions and those of his staff have diminished the office he temporarily holds, including —

1. Appointing a known fascist to the National Security Council (Steve Banon, who has since been removed)

2. Appointing 2 of the dumbest or most inept spokespersons in “Duh?” Spicer and “Alternative facts” Conway.

3. “Crowd Envy” … worrying more about the size of his “inauguration crowd” than running the country.

4. Refusing to release his tax return as promised and leaving questions about what he is hiding.

5. Constantly whining about the media for holding him accountable.

6. Making idiotic tweets which embarrass him and our country.

7. Single-handedly running up the national debt by spending more time golfing in Mar-A-Lago than he spends in the Oval office.

Plus, and here’s the biggie, trying to hide his Russian connections, including how directly his campaign staff coordinated with the Russians to affect the outcome of the election!

And to think that I have not even addressed his absolute disregard for facts about history.

Keep your signs and keep up your protests! It’s going to be a long 1,361 remaining days until we can say “Good-bye and Good Riddance to 45”!!!!!!

Be Strong! Be Persistent! Be Resistant! We Will Prevail!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Marching Against Greed and Ignorance

I made my sign for the Tax March on Friday night, but was too sick to attend on Saturday.

While issues in my personal life kept me from participating in the local Tax March and the March for Science, I stand with my fellow concerned citizens who are trying to stop the current administration’s mad rush to devastate the middle and lower classes financially plus ravage our environment. What’s behind this mad rush? It’s fueled by a “political” formula of sorts: Greed + Ignorance = Power x Stupidity = Disaster.

Call it a formula or a recipe, the result is the same. If allowed to continue unchecked, Trump and the GOP will do more damage to America than Kim Jung Un could ever do even in his wildest dreams. And you can thank the Citizens United decision for that. If it seems like I keep coming back to this, there’s a good reason. Everything we’ve been protesting against is a result of the 2016 election results and how ridiculous sums of money, along with some timely help from Trump’s Russian buddies, conned America.

The amount of money tainting our election process is obscene!

Last week, we had the Tax March to demand that Trump release his tax returns,which shouldn’t be a problem if he has nothing to hide. Apparently, he must be hiding something then. But the Tax March was also an opportunity to protest the sense of entitlement the wealthy seem to feel. Their owned GOP representatives keep coming up with tax breaks for people who don’t need them and aren’t going to use the extra money to create jobs. And here’s why, based on my analysis of information found on open secrets.org.

“In the 2016 election cycle, 12 of the 20 top individual political donors contributed $19,465,831.00 in hard money directly to the Republican party and its candidates.  But that’s not all. Seven of these same 12, plus two spouses not in the list of 12, contributed $166,780,558.00 to Super Pacs supporting conservative causes. And that does not even include corporate contributions as well as other large individual contributors. If they can afford to spend that much to buy politicians, they can damn well afford to pay their fair share of taxes instead of shifting the burden onto the poor and working classes.

Greed and ignorance are a toxic combination when it comes to our environment.

These people, and their corporate brethren, are also the ones fighting to discredit science, whether it’s about vaccinations, global warming, air and water pollution, or food safety. Interestingly enough, they think science is great when it comes up with money-making products companies can sell, but not when it indicates they need to change how they operate. Companies will spend fortunes on tainted research to support their current way of doing things, lobbying state and federal governments and buying elections. They should just spend that money on complying with regulations.

The other thing all this money does is purchase ignorance. Say what? Yes, it buys ignorance through disinformation spread through fake news outlets to discredit climate change and blame environmental regulations for killing jobs and whole industries. And people believed it enough to elect the most dangerous government we’ve ever had.

We need to keep marching, keep protesting and keep pushing back against these threats to our survival at all levels! We must bleed the conservative donors dry by mounting serious races to oust their chosen representatives and replace them with progressives. The conservatives had better be looking over their shoulder, because we are coming after them.

Join the revolution and fight for our rights, our planet and our survival!

The Divine Miss Bri


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A Scorched Earth Defense: Stop Gorsuch At All Costs

With all the distractions involving the Trump-Russia investigation, the AHCA debacle, and the headlong rush to destroy our environment, Trump and the GOP have been hoping to wear the opposition out and assure that Neil Gorsuch is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. THAT SIMPLY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!!!

Confirming Neil Gorsuch would be a unmitigated disaster for everyone who believes in equal rights for all and that corporations should not hold ultimate authority over our lives. He is cut from the same mold as the five justices who produced the Citizens United decision, one of the most egregious crimes ever committed against the American people. It opened up a flood of dark money campaign contributions and allowed the far right to literally buy their way into power.

This allowed extreme conservatives like the Koch Brothers to pour billions into electing tea party Republicans, while corporations poured money into financing obstructionists like Mitch McConnell. It’s a sad truth that if you tell a lie often enough to enough people, they’ll believe it. Consequently, we have Republicans in Congress who are some of the absolute dumbest creatures on the planet. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them switched to wearing loafers because they couldn’t figure out how to tie their shoes.

What’s even worse than their ignorance is their arrogance. They only believe in keeping their party in power, regardless of whether that involves trying to cheat the neediest

Crocodile by water edge with open mouth, Australia.

Americans with the AHCA or trying to sabotage an investigation into possible treasonous activities involving the Trump campaign. They are also some of the most racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic bigots imaginable.

They fear progress as a threat to their place in the world. They want to take us back to a time when white, so-called Christian, presumably heterosexual males ran everything and nobody questioned the husband, the boss or the preacher. That, however, is a world that doesn’t exist anymore, if it ever really did in the first place.

Progress comes eventually. You can embrace it and learn to mange it or you can fight it and be destroyed by it. Gorsuch would insure that the Supreme Court helps the right roll back the progress we’ve made to date and prevent any gains. His litany of non-answers to questions from the Senate Judicial Committee, the worrisome nature of many of his lower court decisions and his political leanings leave little doubt that he should not wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice.

In addition, this Supreme Court seat was stolen by the Republicans who refused to even grant a hearing to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. That was a total disregard for tradition and a dereliction of their duty under the Constitution.

This is where Democrats in the Senate must use every tool and weapon at their disposal to block confirmation of Gorsuch! They need to dig up every scrap of potentially damaging informationabout Gorsuch and publicly rake him over the coals. And, if it takes a filibuster, then they MUST filibuster! We are talking about a scorched earth defense with no surrender and no retreat.

What if McConnell and the Republicans invoke the nuclear option? Democrats need to make sure that the Republicans get burned by the fallout. We need to bring government to a screeching halt! At the same time, we need to raise more money, make more phone calls, post more blog entries, participate in more marches until we get enough progressive candidates elected to return control of our government back to all the people!

This is war! Join the fight!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Exercising Our Rights: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

“Use it or lose it!”

We use that line to talk about a number of things, but it is most appropriate when referring to our rights in a democracy. While it’s most frequently applied to voting, which is critically important, it also applies to demonstrations, marches, holding your elected representatives accountable and other forms of active, participatory democracy.

Although I grew up in the era of the Civil Rights protests and the Vietnam War protests, I was mostly too young to participate, plus I lived in a conservative area where protests of any kind were pretty much non-existent. However, at the still young age of 62 (survival tip: it’s safer to agree with me here than to argue), I was inspired by the Women’s Marches right after the inauguration. Since then, as regular readers of this blog know, I have joined the ranks of activists locally to take action in trying to defend the rights of all against the imminent threats from Trump and the far right since the election.

Today, I took another step by participating in my first protest march, an Equality March in Hartford, CT. It may not have been a huge affair compared to the Women’s Marches, but it was important for those of us who took part. Among the salient points that I took from today’s event:

First, we were a very diverse group of people supporting equality and rights over a broad spectrum of groups: Trans Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Civil Rights, Animal Rights, Workers’ Rights, Immigrant Rights and more. Within this diversity, there was a definite sense of camaraderie and fellowship because we recognize that we are all in this together. There can be no equality until we  achieve equality for all! So, we marched and chanted together for each other.

Second, we were all on the same page about making it a peaceful march. We can all be passionate without being violent about it. And there was no reason for even a cross word. Several people waved and gave us a Thumbs Up in support. We also had a police escort to help us get across intersections as a group, so we weren’t worried about anyone bothering us.

Third, the Hartford P.D. officers were very nice and respectful of us and we were respectful of them. Every situation is different, but mutual respect goes a long way in  minimizing “incidents.”  Can’t always guarantee it on either side, but it helps to try at every opportunity.

Fourth, while rarely will a single action / march / protest result in change by itself, the effects are cumulative so we need to keep it up. The only way to get the other side to understand that we are serious is to outlast them. This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. And the race has just begun. However, we all have to pace ourselves. When we were talking amongst ourselves before the march started, we all realized there are so many events going on that it’s hard to keep track of them all. That’s good, because there’s always something going on that you can be a part of somewhere. We all need to do what we can, while still taking care of things like work, family and life.

For those of you in CT:

Saturday April 1, from 2:30 – 4 PM, the CT Rally to Support Trans Youth will take place on the steps of the CT Supreme Court building (231 Capitol Ave. Hartford) For more details, visit www.GLSEN.org .

Tuesday April 4th there will be a Teach-In: The Immorality of Inequality starting at 6 PM at the Shiloh Baptist Church (350 Albany Ave., Hartford). For more details visit www.FightFor15.org

There’s so much still to be done, so the keep the faith and stay active, my friends.

And remember to chant: We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!

Victory will be ours!!!

Equality Through Peace and Unity

The Divine Miss Bri




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This Is War: The Fight To Save Our America Is Just Beginning

It has been just a little over 8 weeks since Herr Donald took office as Liar-in-Chief and proceeded to continually prove his unfitness to occupy our nation’s highest office. Not because he is inept (I wish that was simply the case), but because he is a devious con artist who engages in trickery and deceit to keep everyone distracted while he and the Republicans in Congress dedicate themselves to stripping away our rights and protections in order to give more power and money to a ruling class of wealthy individuals and corporations.

Call it Libertarian. Call it Conservative. Call it whatever you choose, but it is a dire threat to our progressive values and our freedoms as individuals. It replaces government protections with licenses for the wealthy, corporations and religious extremists to bully and discriminate against anyone (especially immigrants, LGBTQ, seniors, poor and low income Americans), pollute our environment, mistreat workers, invade our privacy and more. Even worse, they are also working hard to leave us with no recourse through the court system to stop these abuses.

Now, it is true that we “supposedly” live under a democratic form of government in which citizens vote and governing is done by majority rule. It has become quite apparent, however, that our system has been “corrupted” by the Citizens United court decision, which essentially allows elections (and thus politicians) to be bought with unlimited campaign contributions, and Russian intervention in our political process, especially since it appears that Trump benefited from that intervention. This calls into question the actual validity of the election results and, consequently, the validity of the current government.

With his initial budget proposal, Donald the Destroyer, has take a slash and burn approach to the “liberal enemies” of the far right and corporate rule — such as those notoriously slacking seniors who are served by Meals on Wheels, those future protesters and criminals who are served by free school meals and other beneficial programs, those lewd anarchists in theater, music and painting who benefit from support of the arts, and those elitist revolutionaries served by public broadcasting. At the same time, he is proposing a massive investment in our military, but why? What are they protecting? An underpaid, overworked and over-taxed population of drones who have no healthcare, no rights to privacy, no safety nets and no protection from corporate abuses. Hmmm, maybe that’s really why Trump wants his wall — to keep us from escaping!

Well, enough is enough! The longer this goes, the harder it’s going to be to stop it. And stop it, we must. Any way we can! Many of us have already begun to fight back, but this is going be a  long war. Yes, I did say war, because it is nothing less than a war against tyranny, against ignorance, against prejudice and against the rule of money. It will require many battles and many sacrifices. Freedom does not come cheap. For now, we have a number of peaceful means at our disposal that we must use to the max, including mass public displays of protest, contributions to organizations that are battling for us, access to our representatives at all levels and the ability to organize in groups to stay focused and active in the fight. We must also get involved in local politics to build the kind of progressive government we want and need.

However, we need to recognize this may not be enough. If that time comes, we need to be ready to “just say no!” No, we will not comply! No, we will not surrender! No, we will not disperse quietly! No, we will not accept this anymore! How far do we go with this civil disobedience? As far as necessary! We simply cannot compromise our values, because they define who we are. We cannot acquiesce to their surrender.

We are powerful when we are united in righteous indignation. A government that does not fear the people has no checks on its power. Let them tremble!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Like A Sci-Fi Movie, Republicans Selling Out Our Rights To Corporations

Face it, folks, we live in the scariest of times. Responding to the bidding of their rich corporate masters, Republicans in Congress along with Trump the Terrible are in the process of stripping away our rights in the interest of making corporations even more profitable and powerful. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to go to the bathroom at home without your boss’ permission (or even worse, without him or her watching).

Between Trump’s appointments from the wealthy insiders’ club and the GOP corporate lackeys in Congress, the government is trying to eliminate all citizen protections from Wall Street greed, corporate pollution, debilitating health care expenses, hazardous workplaces, unpaid overtime, corporate restrictions on what we can access on the internet, and NOW forced genetic testing by employers.

According to a story in the Washington Post, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives would allow employers to require that employees submit to genetic testing as part of a wellness program. And, if employees refuse they could be penalized! Holy invasion of privacy, Batman! (Read story here.)

“Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law.

“In general, employers don’t have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program.”

Conspiracy theory? It would be hard not to see this as part of a vast conspiracy to undermine our fundamental rights and transfer all power to a vast corporate oligarchy. They are setting it up so that you can’t afford to leave a company because you can’t afford to buy health insurance on your own, while at the same time they can use your genetic testing to raise the amount you pay for company coverage. Eventually it will become like the company store where miners were paid in script that could only be redeemed at the company store, where products were over-priced and miners could quickly get in over their heads and “owe their souls to the company store.

This sudden onslaught of fresh efforts to transfer our last remaining liberties to the corporate monster is very much akin to the rise of the evil galactic empire in Star Wars. As the Dark Lord of the Rich, Darth Trump, consolidates his power with the help of his henchmen, we will soon find ourselves imprisoned in the mind-controlling corporate matrix or clawing for survival as ciphers in the barren wastelands.

So, how do we fight back? First, we contact our representatives and tell them to block this bill in any way possible, even if we have to make it a scorched earth policy. We should also look carefully for the corporations that donate to the GOP and start boycotting their products until they stop. And in the event that this bill passes, we should organize protests and boycotts against any companies that try to institute such testing.

There are some lines we can’t allow to be crossed!

Let the R.A.I.N. make the revolution grow!

The Divine Miss Bri

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