Standing Rock

The history of the United States has its share of blemishes. When most people think of atrocities and crimes against humanity, their thoughts linger on slavery. Yes. Slavery was an abomination. It is a dark blight, a broken, disfigured skeleton we push back in our closet. But, at least we discus it. We teach it in American History classes, even if it is watered down. We accept the principle that slavery is wrong and that people should not be bought and sold and shackled in the servitude of another. But there is a darker past to our nation. It paved a shining road to slavery; a path of Anglo supremacy and xenophobia which defined everyone who was not a white protestant as sub human. This ideology justified the greatest atrocities in our history: the genocide of indigenous, Native Americans and the theft of their land and resources.

First, let’s dismiss the ideology that Native Americans were backwards, uncivilized and ignorant savages. They had sprawling cities and trade routes which spanned from the Great lakes all the way down to the gulf of Mexico. The Iroquois Confederacy was a sophisticated treaty governing over six nations guaranteeing freedom of speech, freedom of religion and separation of powers in government with checks and balances. It is recognized as a fundamental blueprint for many of the primary elements of our constitution.  Yeah, it was actually the land of the free and the home of the brave long before we got here.

So, what did those Anglos contribute? Well, they brought plague. Not just The Plague, but measles, small pox, scarlet fever, typhoid, influenza, pertussis, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria and more. In fact, they didn’t even suffer from the common cold until Europeans brought it over. The reality is that North America was densely populated with a rich, cultural society. Europeans couldn’t get a real foothold of a settlement anywhere, but not for lack of trying. Those early illegal immigrants brought the apocalypse with them. With almost zero immunity to these new diseases, a plague spread across Eastern America, killing what is estimated between 90%-96% of the population. (estimates are between 70-140 million people.) The first colonies were not forged from the wilderness, but reconstituted from abandoned cities lost to the plagues.

It is important because it is only because Europeans chose to colonize in this post apocalyptic territory that they were successful. Despite their gun power, without this event, Europe would never have been able to push the native tribes from their homes.

But that is not even the genocide. The genocide came when Anglo Protestants got a foothold and enough numbers to pose a threat. They pushed more and more into Native lands and the Native Americans began pushing back. The immigrants felt entitled to the lands (because they were told they were), and the government reacted violently to any hostility, attacking entire villages, killing men, women, children and even babies. The native people were called savages, labeling them as something barely better than animals. Oddly enough, while this was the governmental stance, much of the general population had to be guarded so as not to leave the settlements to join the Native American culture and society.  Maybe that had something to do with the government and religious sponsorship of propaganda dehumanizing Native Americans. Yep, that is right! Much of the anti-indigenous racism that still exists today was intentionally introduced by government and religious leaders to ensure the success of the Anglo Protestant Colonies. If it is one thing government leaders and religious leaders have in common, it is a love of power over people. So, if the people defect, then there is no one left to govern, no one left to preach to. Not much power in that, is there?

You heard me right, the Native Americans were deemed threats not nearly so much because they defended their lands from illegal immigrants, but because they had a rich culture with more to offer that appealed to a large number of settlers. Now, the Europeans had been successfully manipulating the masses with propaganda for centuries. They were real pros at this already. So, a pound of distrust in people who look different, a cup of suspicion in a different culture, throw in a few diced up lies about their customs, three tablespoons of religious fervor, and salt to taste makes a compelling recipe to motivate almost any ignorant mob. Thus inspired, we began killing them and pushing them back, forcing nations against nations as they struggled for lands and resources to survive. And still the ‘pioneers’ pushed on, grabbing more and more territory.

These lands were not purchased from their original owners. They were stolen and claimed. Finally, when the white man had pushed from coast to coast and deemed it all his own, he had to come to some terms with the indigenous peoples. Outright  slaughter of a defeated people was too unseemly, so they chose to “give” them lands by treaty. Of course, they chose land that seemed inhospitable and unwanted. They forced the tribes onto these reservations of land but did not stop humiliating them or their efforts to eradicate Native Americans from the continent. Children were stolen from their families and forced into boarding schools where they were not allowed to speak their native language, were dressed like white men and even forced to attend church. They were not allowed to grow their hair or practice their customs.

Then, as those reserved lands became valuable, the government stole them back. The tribes had no recourse, they had no right to the courts and they only had voting rights if they renounced their Native tribe for U.S. Citizenship. They had no representation nor right to representation. The government simply decided to change the treaty and did so, reducing native lands and taking what they wanted. Over and over again.

Today, what is left of a great society which once numbered in the hundreds of millions, is gathering at Standing Rock, unified. They are fighting to preserve the integrity of their water source for what is left of their land.  The pipeline does not cross their present boundaries, only because the government stole the land it is passing through. The oil pipeline was not even supposed to go through that area, but the much more Anglo population of Bismark did not want the pipeline near them, because they feared it might pollute their water. Evidently the water for white people is more important than the water for others.

Unlike the warriors of years past, these Native Americans are protesting peacefully, trying to save not only themselves from the pollution that is sure to come, but also for the millions of people downstream  who depend upon the river for their lives. But this really does symbolize so much more. How much is the government and greedy corporations allowed to take before we say no more? Corporations have no conscience. If their products fail, they lose profits, while the people pay with their lives.  There has to be a time we say no. The convenience and profit of a corporation is not more important than the life of even one citizen. The pipes leak, not if, but when. Therefore, we have to say no now, because if we wait, it is too late.

Are we going to be a country ruled by corporations or by the people? That is the choice at Standing Rock. That is a choice which was clear to a people who refused to be defeated, who refused to have their culture and history wiped from the earth. They are showing the rest of us how to be strong and how to say, “No more.”

And will it be in vain? No. No matter the outcome, it will not. It will be the rally cry to stand at the next injustice, and the next. Stand with Standing Rock. Without water there is no life, without life, there is no freedom.

We are One Woman, One World.

https://www.gofundme.com/veterans-for-standing-rock-nodapl

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Trump has raised a beast he can’t control

We have heard a lot about the Trump Effect, which is typically associated with how his divisive rhetoric has impacted children and schools. But it is so much larger than that. Thanks to the results of a questionable election, the effect has spilled over… boiled over… hmm… EXPLODED far past the boundaries of school children being bullied.  And yes, the election results are highly questionable. Why? Well, the NSA has confirmed, outright, that Russia intentionally interfered with our election process to the express benefit of Donald Trump. Russia claims they were in close contact with the Trump campaign prior to our election on November 8, 2016.  Anything that seems too coincidental, almost always is no coincidence at all. Donald Trump is the world’s expert at throwing shade. Everyone knows it. So, when he began screaming the election is rigged and pointing to Democrats, there were a lot of raised eyebrows. The real problem is that it doesn’t appear he really took it seriously. Maybe he toyed around with the Russians but didn’t really believe they could have a true impact. He just enjoyed watching his enemies suffer. He enjoyed riling people up. He fed off their adoration and reveled in seeing their fury directed at his adversaries. But in his head, it was all just a con. It was all a publicity game. He planned on launching a Trump news network and he was building a mass following. All those loving faces turned towards him were dollar signs. So the more he fed to their base fears, the more money he stood to make. And then the most unexpected and terrible thing happened to him He won.

He had awoken a many-headed beast of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny and violent hate. He promoted violence and exclusion. He used innuendo and keywords to send an ill disguised message in his rhetoric, supporting the alt-right, like suggesting his followers could use the second amendment against his opponent. Now that he has won, the Trumpeters are sounding all over the nation. The Trump Effect has exploded into open acts of discrimination, hostility, assault and hate against minorities, women and Muslims in states and schools all over the country. Domestic terrorism has become common, because that is exactly what this is. Inciting fear, violence, and the threat of violence against groups of people because of their race, heritage, gender, sexuality or religious beliefs is terrorism. These alt-right, white supremacist terrorists believe they have a champion in Trump. He used the right words, conveyed the right message and spoke to them. Now they feel empowered and are acting out against the oppression of an equal society which did not recognize them as superiors.

And here is the worst part. Trump never planned to actually do anything he said, because he had never planned on winning. Well, that might seem like a good thing on the surface, like he might not get anything done and we’ll just have four crappy years of stagnation until we can elect someone who knows what they are doing. But that is not the case. Trump sees the beast and without an opponent to direct them towards, all eyes are on him. Now that beast expects to be fed and he, himself, has suggested some pretty graphic ideas of what should happen to a caretaker who cannot feed them what they want. He is sure to backtrack on what he can, but make no mistake, he will feed that beast for his own preservation.

This is why it doesn’t even matter if Trump makes speeches or sends out tweets repudiating violence and hate towards minorities, LGBT and Muslims. The Trumpeters only see that as him “looking presidential,” and assume the wink and nod in their direction. They believe he supports their actions even if he can’t publicly say so and that it will all change once he is in office. Trump is doing nothing to circumvent this idea. Just take a look at those appointed to his transition team and on his short list for his cabinet. Of course, he won’t really oppose them, he can’t afford to turn those eyes back on him.

Because Trump never thought he would actually win, he and his staff are in a state of crisis attempting to create a transition team and hastily draw up those do-or-die policies he promised. Even worse than the campaign promises he plans to make good on, like registries to follow Muslims and immigrants and imprisoning and deporting millions of people, is the fact that he has no real, well thought, workable plan. That means, in order to fulfill the promised dinner, he will implement quickly devised schemes without the necessary checks, balances and research to not only ensure legality, but to prevent human rights violations.

Does Trump even know what it takes to deport an individual or does he simply think you put them in a bus and drive them into Mexico and drop them off? Once these people are kidnapped by federal agents, our government has to prove they do not belong here. Then they have to prove where they do belong. Amazing and fun fact, not every person with a Spanish accent is from Mexico. There are, literally, twenty-two Spanish speaking countries in the world and we have immigrants from all of them. So, once they decide they haven’t illegally apprehended a United States Citizen in their xenophobic conquest, then they have to figure out, are they Mexican? From Chile? Argentina? Guatemala? Cuba? Peru? Seriously, I can keep going. Then, once you know the country of origin, or think you do, then you must contact that nation and arrange the deportation procedure (when and if the other country agrees). This is not an overnight, quick and easy process. Every single person detained is entitled to due process to ensure that people who are here legally or are (aghast at the thought) citizens, are not mistakenly sent to be an illegal alien in another country (against their will). Haste causes mistakes. Usually, lots of them. And then let’s talk expense.

The cost of this, if it could be streamlined as much as possible and no one makes mistakes, to deport three million people is, on the low side, roughly thirty BILLION dollars. That is only if every single one of them is picked up and deported within a week or less. But that can’t happen because of due process. Instead, we will have to house, clothe and feed these millions for weeks, months and sometimes even years while sorting through the actual process. Now that thirty billion is sounding cheap. If you are wondering why it costs so much, let us just reflect on that, things Trump probably didn’t think about.

You have to pay for the resources and enforcement agencies which must isolate and detain the individual. The alleged immigrants must be picked up and transported to a facility. They must be initially interviewed and a file created. There must be a background check. There must be a hearing. The country of origin must be identified and contacted and return negotiated. The government must provide housing, food, sanitation and even medical treatment, if they are sick, during this process and they must be monitored and guarded. If they are deported, there is travel expense. Considering all that is involved, ten thousand dollars estimated per person is starting to sound on the cheap. Some may be less, but most will be much more. Don’t get me wrong, $10,000 per undocumented immigrant is the average cost, but if the system is flooded with millions of detainees, the wait times to process each of them will increase drastically, even if we quadrupled the processing staff and built hundreds of detention centers. That also figures into a much bigger budget. And, by the way, that thirty billion isn’t to deport all ‘illegal’ immigrants, just the first three million Trump has promised to oust his first month as president. There are over eleven million undocumented immigrants in the United States right now. With those wait times and no place to put three million people, how do you avoid human rights violations? How do you ensure health and safety for a population larger than Houston or Chicago? You can’t build a camp and shove three million people in it.

I want this venture to be a failure because I believe deportation on a massive scale hurts our economy (which is supported by the income loss in states which have enacted strict laws against undocumented workers). I believe this is why, every few decades, we need an amnesty program which fast tracks work visas and citizenship without requiring people to leave the country first. It is cheaper, economically sound, and maintains our values of welcoming immigrants to the Great Melting Pot. But it is important to me how it fails. We are on the fast track to people being subjected to inhumane conditions which could result in injury, illness and death. That is not the way I want to see this fail.

But hey! History is on their side, right? I mean, we’ve had mass deportations before without a problem, haven’t we?  Oh, wait… no. There was the Mexican Repatriation which was dominant during the Great Depression. Everyone who was Hispanic was considered Mexican, even if they were United States Citizens. Masses of people, including citizens, were raided and sent to Mexico. Those who were not gathered up  and bused out against their will were harassed and cities offered to pay for bus tickets for them to leave. Approximately one third of the Hispanic population in Los Angeles was deported between 1929 and 1944. Any Hispanic family receiving public assistance was asked to leave the country and offered a ticket to do so. We are talking about United States Citizens by birth right. So, who cares about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Real bright moment in American History. Oh, but why were so many here in the first place? That’s right! Because it wasn’t illegal. The United Sates had no restrictions on Mexican migrants and even encouraged them to come as laborers. The first immigration restrictions passed in the United States occurred in 1924, denying all Asians entry and placing limitations on those from Europe. But they did not restrict Mexico or Canada, wanting to keep a close relationship with our neighbors. So ALL the people they raided, more like kidnapped, and shipped out came here and were here legally.

Later, in 1954, (after passing legislation to restrict Mexican immigration) we went after the Hispanic population again. The Notorious “Operation Wetback.” Yes, seriously. That is what it was named. Under the OW (no, I’m not going to keep saying that offensive name) just over one million people were shipped off to Mexico in the first year (Technically it only lasted a few months). Unfortunately, hundreds of them (that we know of) were citizens denied the opportunity to provide proof of their rights. Hmm, sound familiar? And, as difficult as I am sure it is to imagine with a name like that, there were over 11,000 documented cases of human rights and civil rights violations, including false imprisonment, physical abuse, rape and even death.  Good job Eisenhower! By the way, the program was a massive failure which quickly ran out of funding, not helped by the agriculture industry who continued to hire the now illegal immigrants to avoid the massive and costly red tape which mortared the Bracero program.

Both of these instances proved to be little more, well in the first singularly, attacks on the Hispanic population in our country. It was purely xenophobia, which seems to creep up and grip our nation repeatedly. Evidently, this is a chronic condition and the United States seems to go off its medication every so often.

But we aren’t stopping with the Hispanic culture. We are going to have a registry for all Muslims. According to Trump’s staff, they are considering the possibility of internment camps for Muslim immigrants. They also want to track all Muslims, possibly even have them wear or carry identification. Hmm, like what? Like an arm band?  Oh, I know, maybe we can tattoo each of them with a number! (please denote sarcasm). Or, we could put one of those nifty microchips in their arm like we do our pets! Nothing demeaning to that, after all, we chip them because we love them, right? (Yes, still sarcasm.) No room for abuse with that, is there? And, of course, remember that most everyone arrested for attempting to go off and join ISIS, or some similar group, were United States Citizens, not immigrants. So are we going to tag everyone who is of the Islamic faith and follow them? What is to prevent a terrorist from simply saying they are Christians? Or is it just going to be by race? If you are Muslim decent, then go get your tag! What if you are white, from London, but you practice Islam? Does Trump even know the difference between the Muslim race and the Islamic faith? Does he know that Indians are Asian and not Muslim? Does he know that people can convert their religion? Oh, heck! This is getting too confusing. Maybe we should just make everyone register their religion and ethnic heritage, just to be safe. Don’t really know your ethnic make-up? I hear Ancestory.com has an easy DNA test that can fix you right up. Who knows? Your fifth cousin, twice removed on your mom’s side might be a terrorist!

And you know, why stop there? Aren’t we sending enough of our jobs overseas to China, already? Why do we have so many Asians taking up jobs here, too? Well, our very first legislation restricting immigration was to ban Asians, why not do that again? We could start revoking their visas, denying admissions and maybe just round them up, too. Why not? We have a long history of not caring about civil rights where immigrants and immigration are concerned, or for anyone who looks like they might not be “American.”

This is the road of xenophobia. Once that beast, that angry horde of supremacists starts down this road with their torches and pitch forks, this is what is looks like. It becomes easier and easier to turn away from our constitution, from our morals, from human rights and decency and from our freedom. Because, make no mistake, as they come for one group, they will not stop, they will come for more. And Trump, who only cares that they don’t come for him, will not blink an eye when they come for you.

Donald Trump arose this hungry beast with its insatiable appetite from the ashes of our history, from the remnants of everything we have overcome. It will take every person who values human decency to stand against this behemoth before it consumes us all.

No one is insignificant; no one is too small. We all can help. Every voice matters. We are not just fighting to define our country and its morals. We are fighting to ensure its continued existence as the Land of the Free.

We are One Woman, One World.

 

citations: 

http://www.factcheck.org/2010/07/hoover-truman-ike-mass-deporters/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Wetback

https://thinkprogress.org/heres-how-much-trump-s-mass-deportation-policy-would-cost-everyone-3e19f51ff8cf#.tnkzssslr

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-04-04-1930s-deportees-cover_x.htm

https://books.google.com/books?id=1A6iBy_0qacC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Decade+of+Betrayal:+Mexican+Repatriation+in+the+1930s,+by+Francisco+Balderrama+and+Raymond+Rodriguez.&source=bl&ots=U-DNkPV0JQ&sig=uNsYtxFYETHjMv_c_bRph-9zIVg&hl=en&ei=ouMoTJ6ZFsP38Aap-IDZBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result#v=onepage&q=Decade%20of%20Betrayal%3A%20Mexican%20Repatriation%20in%20the%201930s%2C%20by%20Francisco%20Balderrama%20and%20Raymond%20Rodriguez.&f=false

https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/OO/pqo1.html

https://iiif.lib.harvard.edu/manifests/view/drs:4673882$19i

http://www.archive.org/stream/annualreportofim1955unit#page/15/mode/1up

photo credit: http://www.commonplaces.com/blog/the-return-of-the-multi-headed-beast-html-and-your-website/

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It Is About Solidarity: It Is Not “You Are Safe With Me,” But, “We Will Fight This Together.”

Wow. Can I just say, “Wow!” ? I read an article on Huffington Post bashing the safety pin movement. They criticize it as a ‘white people’ thing assuaging their guilt. They make it sound like all white people voted for Trump, and they didn’t. And, they make it sound useless to wear a safety pin. Well, guess what. It isn’t. You are wrong. Dead wrong and self-righteously full of yourself. You should be ashamed, both Keelty who penned the piece and Huffington Post for promoting it. And now I will educate you as to why.

First, it is not only white people wearing the pin. Get over yourself. If it were just white people, especially straight white people, then that promotes the opposite of what it stands for. The pin means, “I’m against discrimination and hate.” The pin means, “I don’t judge people based on color, sex, sexual orientation or identification, or based on religion.” It says, “I stand against xenophobia in our country.” It says, “I am standing against hate, not with it.” And it is for anyone and everyone who feels this way. It doesn’t tell someone “I am here for you,” it tells them, “We are together.”

The safety pin movement has meant different things in different places. But here, in the United States today, it has taken its broadest movement. We are not just experiencing backlash against our Muslim population. Every single minority group is being targeted. Muslims, Blacks, Asians, LGBT, Hispanics, Native Americans, Non Christian Religions, and Women. More than half of our country is being targeted. Get it? Not a minority of our country. The majority of people in our country are subject to abuse right now. The safety pin is about us all standing together against it. It is a silent, simple protest which says we do not accept vile, discriminatory behavior. We will not accept abuse. No one here is second class. No one goes to the back of the bus. No one hides their religion. We are proud of our immigrants. Our diversity is our pride and strength and we will reject xenophobia.

For those who want to make the safety pin, or any other action, exclusive to certain people, then you are why we fail. When you attempt to exclude anyone who wants to help in any small way, then you are self-righteous and more concerned with how you look doing something than actually accomplishing anything. We want everyone who can do any small part to take part. If all they can reasonably do is wear a symbol, then great. Why? Because that symbol helps spread an idea. It helps deliver a message. It says something. And saying something is far better than saying nothing.

And stop condemning white people who do wear this. Guess what. You are wrong. It is not embarrassing. It is not to assuage guilt. I’m white and I wear it and I will continue to do so. The people who do wear these in public are subjecting themselves to ridicule from racist bigots. They are being called “Ni**** Lovers,” “Fa*****,” “Traitors,” and worse. When they put that pin on, they know they open themselves up to discrimination and hate. They also know that they could leave it off and never be bothered, sail under the noses of the vile deplorables with their white skin. But they choose not to. So stop condemning people who choose to put themselves at risk of abuse because they believe in something.

Finally, it is not just white people wearing these. My husband is an Asian immigrant. Not only is he wearing these, he took them to work, where he says other affected groups are taking part as well, Asians, Hispanics, Women, African American, Muslim, and White people, all taking up this cause together. It is about solidarity. It is that we are all one people. We may celebrate different histories, different cultures, different languages, different religions, different holidays, but we are all human and we are all equal.

So, I encourage you to stop assigning limitations on who is allowed to protest. Stop segregating people or creating an elitism for dissidence. If the safety pin isn’t your thing, fine, don’t wear it. Contribute how you feel comfortable and safe doing so. But this is how I wear mine:

img_1703so that I always have one to give to someone else. Safety doesn’t have to mean, “you are safe with me.” It means there is safety in numbers. It means we are fighting for a country that is safe for everyone.

So, if you have the audacity to be offended, get over yourself. It is not just about you. This is about taking our country back from hate mongers who feel empowered by Trump’s victory and letting them know their vitriol will not be accepted. It will not be mainstream. There are more of us and we have power.

We can push this back into the depths it crept out of by showing solidarity against it. A hateful man is not going to yell at a black woman or try to pull a Muslim woman’s Hijab off on a bus or subway or even on the sidewalk if he looks around and sees twenty safety pins around him. Get it? By a display of solidarity, we change what is socially acceptable. This is how we push them back. This is how we restore decency and public safety.  Hey, did you get that? Public Safety -> Safety Pin…

There has been no doubt about the uptick in hate crimes, intimidation and public displays of hate and xenophobia. I’ve listed a few links to articles below as examples. We cannot allow this to be mainstream. We must do something in solidarity to push back against these people who have abandoned human decency and respect.

I am encouraging everyone with some sane amount of decency who is willing to be a sign of hope for our future to take part in this public statement. It does not matter your race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or gender. You are a voice and such a simple thing unites you with others who, they too, believe public displays of intolerance and acceptance of those displays, should be unacceptable in our society. I encourage you to take a safety pin and have a few to spare. Stand with us.

This is a protest of inclusion, not exclusion. Do not allow it to be co-opted by the vain or discouraged by the self righteous. Maybe you can’t participate in a march or walk around with signs. You may not have an audience which allows to speak to thousands or millions. But you can wear pin, just like my husband. Just like my son. For crying out loud, I even have one for my cat!

img_1707You don’t have to say word, but you will speak to every person you pass. There is power in that.

Be safe, be strong. Be the world in which we hope to live.

We are One Woman, One World.

Related Links:

www.reuters.com   www.aljazeera.com   www.independent.co.uk   www.cnn.com  qz.com

Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!

AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com    UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

The Fight Continues

diverity

I know for myself and many more people who have worked so diligently to promote equal rights, not only for women but all people, last night was a like a shot in the gut. This morning, I will admit, I felt the needles of depression prickling through my body. But I took a breath and asked myself, “why did I take up this cause? Why did I begin down this road?”

I did not begin this journey because of an election. I began working to promote women’s rights, civil rights, religious freedoms, LGBT rights and human rights because I want the world to be a better place for my fellow human beings, for my friends and family, for people I love and even people I do not like; for strangers and friends I haven’t met yet. I want a better world for our future. I wanted to be a voice to promote equality.

While the embodiment of that growth towards civilized humanity took a definite blow, we cannot allow ourselves to be a silenced majority. We cannot stop fighting for what is right simply because the path ahead is more difficult. Freedom is never free. It is bought and paid for by the sacrifice and dedication of those who fight for it. I will continue to fight as long as it takes to be a voice for equality, where women stand equal to men; until we no longer distinguish people as minorities, segregating them in our society, but see all citizens as completely equal; until LGBTs have full rights without discrimination; until people of all religions and no religion feel completely free and safe from harassment and ridicule; until Native Americans are respected and their treaties honored; until we are guaranteed clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

When any of these are missing from our civilization, we are not free. When anyone is greater, is systemically afforded more power and opportunity, then there cannot be equality. Refuse to be the silenced majority. Renew your mission and your strength. The fight may be more difficult, but, united, we can be more than its equal. We will not step calmly aside and give away all that we have accomplished. Women will not step back and be submissively ruled. What is right does not change simply because it is more difficult to achieve.

So, take a moment, if you must, to breathe. But once you have caught your breath, we have work to do. It takes every single one of us to be the voice of reason and to sing the song of change. And what is that change? We can’t legislate it with enduring power. The true change has to happen in the ideology of society. We need to be the people who represent that change: inclusive, empathetic, logical, humble, educated, helpful, generous and caring. We change the world by being the world.

We are One Woman, One World.

photo credit: nipic.com 

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VOTE!!

It is not just your civic duty, it is your right to vote. That right was earned by the blood, determination, imprisonment and ridicule of those that fought for it. Our country didn’t begin with voting freedom. In fact, only male property owners over the age of 21 were allowed to vote. That pretty much restricted voting to white, protestant men.  Since 1776 we have come a long way, broken through many barricades. Eventually all white men, then black men, then women, then Asians, then Native Americans and then finally citizens ages 18-20. (Until 1971, you had to be 21 years old to vote). There were more obstacles than you can imagine. As soon as a voting privilege was extended, there were barriers erected to block them. Examples of these barriers were polling taxes, religious requirements, literacy tests and language requirements. Voter suppression has been the greatest battle in the American voting system. Men and women have paid for these rights through terrible and painful sacrifices. So please, on November 8th, take a moment to recognize the blood, defiance, sweat, tears, pain, joy, celebration, and victory that went into your right to cast a vote. Recognize, for just a moment, how precious it is.

No matter how you are voting, remember that when you hold a ballot in your hand, you have power over the government. In that moment, the great machine answers to you. It is a great responsibility and an even greater honor.  So, do not be silent, let your voice be heard. Vote.

We are One Woman, One World.

Find your polling place! pollingplaces.democrats.org

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AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com    UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

 

From Russia, With Love

There has been a great deal of activity in the world with regards to Russia, and it has not just happened over the last few months. Make no mistake, Vladimir Putin is a legendary scaled authoritarian who rules with cunning intelligence and extreme patience. The former KGB officer is well versed in planting seeds and cultivating them into opportunities. In light of so many recent revelations and testaments to Trump’s ties with Russia, it is more than fair to ask: Is Donald Trump one of Putin’s seedlings?  And it is better to ask that question today than a week from now.

I began to suspect a direct Kremlin tie to Russia some time ago, however, without enough research, it was largely speculation and a hunch. But hunch sounds a lot like super-spy conspiracy whack job theories based off the plot of a B grade movie when you start linking the Presidential Nominee of a major party, his wife (the potential FLOTUS) and his campaign chair and advisers to Cold War styled Russian Espionage and manipulation. That wouldn’t make me sound like a nutcase at all! (insert sarcasm, please).  I am actually quite a sensible and logical person, so I knew if this was really bothering me, I should try checking it out, and preferably before I told anyone with ready access to a straight jacket and a vacant, padded room.

I started out not by looking at Trump, per se. Instead, I looked at Putin. Now, when we do research, we tend to go about it by means we can understand and relate to. I am an author. I write various genres of fiction under several pseudonyms. Why is that important? Because I create worlds and in those worlds, I create villains. My favorite kind of villains are intelligent ones. I like a bad guy with whom readers can identify and relate to, ones where people can see the logic of their choices. I love a patient villain who meticulously accounts for every rational probability; who carries their own absolute sense of justice and morality. Their viewpoint is a product of their experience and it is their dedication and intelligence which takes them beyond the criminal and into true villainy. Vladimir Putin is a true, living, breathing,  embodiment of a real life villain. It would be difficult to cultivate a fictional character so well developed and honed as the leader of Russia. And I understand, where I come from, that is a seriously backhanded compliment. But the truth is that Putin cultivated his rise to power and has been putting everything in place to be exactly where he is right now for well over two decades. He does nothing rashly. Every move he makes is accounted for and to serve a purpose. He is the ultimate chess player and he is moving the world around like pawns. And what does it look like all this is coming to? What do you find at the end of almost every scenario from his actions? In almost every direction, you find war.

You may think Russia wanting war is stretching things, but I’d argue this is the easiest conclusion to draw. They illegally moved into Crimea. They continually break ceasefire agreements. They claim the area is disputed territory. They move into Syria. They increase their oil production and give OPEC a big, fat “I don’t care what you think.” They move military, masses of military, to strategic locations threatening Europe. They began practicing drills for nuclear attacks on their country. They increased state supported cyber attacks on the United States and allies, leaving an obvious trail of breadcrumbs leading back to them. They want us to know it is them. They hack government agencies. They send influxes of spies. They have even attempted, and succeeded to a large degree, to interfere in the democratic process of the United States. They have openly called ustheir enemy and even called their diplomats home. They push and push and push, ever more working the popular opinion towards one of hostility. Putin is smart. Very smart. He knows the U.S. will not go to war unprovoked, and even then, it must have the support of politicians and the public.

Well, the next question I have to ask is, Why? What would Russia have to gain from war? Well, let’s take a look at that!

Take a look at this map:

eastern_europe_map

See that little red circle I drew there.. that is Crimea, you know, that chunk of the Ukraine that Russia, in 2014, just decided should be theirs, so they moved in and still haven’t left. Nice location, isn’t it?

Now take a look at this map:

historical-polit-89

This is an Historical map of the Soviet Union. This is what it looked like before the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact Nations

Now, don’t be confused because not all of these are pink. All of this area answered to Mother Russia and its Communist Party. So, in short, Russia controlled a lot more real estate. And just how does this apply? Well, if we are in a state of war, Russia can quickly sweep right through and reclaim all of this territory, before we could do much about it.

But then I wondered, why are they preparing for  nuclear attack? They certainly know we aren’t about to unleash Hell on earth. It had to be more than just instilling fear among his own population and, by proxy, the world. It had to be more than simple fear mongering. Putin is far too smart.  Then I looked at Syria.

map-of-the-middle-east

Do you see it there? it’s the purple one situated on the Mediterranean Sea, just beneath Turkey and neighboring Iraq. If you were interested in Middle Eastern oil resources, Syria is an excellent strategic staging point.

Oh, I know, these are Muslim countries, and Russia most certainly would have learned from their disastrous attempts to occupy Afghanistan, that this simply can’t be done. And you are absolutely right, the people would fight to their last man, woman and child. But this brought me back to the nuclear bomb raid tests conducted in Russia. What would draw a nuclear attack on their homeland, almost guarantee it? Well, maybe if you had launched one, it might get other countries in the mood.

No, I do not think Russia would launch any serious nuclear attack against the United States. Why? Because we are far way and they have little to gain from it, since we have excellent defense systems. No, they would want something that gives them an advantage, something useful. Oil is useful. If you control enough of it, you can shape much of the power in the world. If you are sitting where Russia is and if you have an arsenal of nuclear weapons (far cleaner than those dropped on Japan) and you place little to no value on the lives of religious people who have been a thorn to you for decades… and you are already at war… the most strategic place to drop your bombs is across the Middle East, wiping out the would-be adversaries who are likely supplying your enemy with much needed resources. Boom. Just like that. They are gone. Within a few months, the radiation is all but gone and Russia can have people rebuilding the oil fields. The indigenous populations would be decimated. The small bands of rebels which may survive would be powerless, without funding or even a people to fight for.

Frightening prospect. And if this were the mastermind plan of an arch villain, the next question to ask is: Why Trump?

Sure, he is bombastic and easy to rile and manipulate. But that just really didn’t seem like quite enough. Oh sure, the manipulation factor is paramount, but Putin has to have something more. I can’t believe he’d put all his beans into the deplorable basket simply because he knows The Donald can be incited with a tweet. And honestly, I don’t believe he would stake his whole plan on Trump, anyway. But still, there has been considerable effort placed to influence this election in Trump’s favor and we must ask: Why?

So I started looking at the Trump campaign. Not the Russian influences that are absurdly evident, not even the ones which may be placed with ultimate finesse. (We’ll visit that one later) I looked to the Trump policies which might benefit Russia and how.  Of course, there is Trump’s flattery of Putin, which I am sure means less than nothing to good old Vlad. There is the anti Muslim sentiment. It makes a nice distraction for the United States, but doesn’t really help the Motherland. The anti immigrant policies help to weaken our stature with other countries. The isolationist ideology helps separate us from allies. Still, those seem more like perks easily overcome if needed. What else? Then I got to China. Trump wants to make serious changes to our agreements with China. Hmmmm… ding ding ding!

Now think about this. China owns a significant amount of U.S. debt. While that sounds bad to us on the surface, what it actually does is give China a vested interest in the growth of our economy. China does not wish to see the U.S. destabilized because it has a negative affect on their income. When you are talking about a world economy, sometimes a debt can be an asset. In this scenario, were Russia and the U.S. to go to war, China would likely remain neutral because they have no vested interest in Russia’s success and have more to gain selling goods as a third party with their huge manufacturing power. They are too close, especially ideologically, to side against Russia unless there is some serious grade diplomatic maneuvering going on. However, should Trump manage to toss out our trade agreements with China and default on that debt, China has more to gain by supporting Russia. This is the angle which is most productive for Putin. Trump can be goaded or manipulated into making poor foreign policy decisions regarding China and effectively handing Russia the most valuable ally on the planet. The turn around would cripple the U.S. and Western based markets, leaving us with little ability to wage any large scale war, even to bring to justice for genocide.

We would also lose the manufacturing power of China. We would rather have China neutral than set against us in the event of a war. And the only way to maintain some control over China is to play what they love best, money. For so long as they are invested in the stability and growth of our economy (expertly achieved through trade and debt agreements) we maintain a measure of control and, more importantly, safety. Don’t think for a minute that China was tricked. They weren’t. They knew exactly what they were buying into, which is why the deal had to be sweet enough for them to sign on. While people stomp their feet, wave their fists and complain about how unfair to the U.S. this China trade deal is, they have failed to think of anything beyond themselves and the true complexity of the world to understand the genius of it. This deal is what has prevented a China-Russia world domination alliance and it is because those orchestrating our foreign policy recognized a significant difference between the governments of China and Russia. Putin wants power for Russia, to be the world power. China, however, sees power in money. They know they have more people and enormous manufacturing capacity. And they care about their bottom line. This realization and the foresight to act upon it was brilliant. Yet, it only takes one orange man easily manipulated or, worse, instructed to tear that alliance apart. Should that happen, China has far more to gain from assisting a rising dominant power, who has also secured considerable wealth by taking over a large segment of the world’s easily accessible oil fields. Suddenly the balance of world power has shifted. Hint: We would not be at the top of it.

Now, I know, we have heard a lot of talk about Trump being erratic and the thought of him in charge of the nuclear codes as horrifying. Certainly he would retaliate, launch an arsenal of nukes over Russia and obliterate them. Right? Sounds plausible, I guess. But, in honesty, Trump is a bully who spends a lot of time pretending he has more power than he has, and more courage. In truth, he is like all other bullies. He is a coward hiding behind a tough-faced mask. I doubt he would launch nuclear missiles if Russia did not overtly strike us. Which they won’t. They are too smart. The nukes they are preparing for are from places like Iran, Pakistan, Israel, etc.. The West will not be overly eager to launch their nukes even after witnessing the genocide of the Middle East. They will know that if they strike, there will be retaliation and the result will be global nuclear war.

Trump, being a coward who is always afraid of altercations he cannot win and anything that puts himself at risk (draft dodger comes to mind) is far more likely to accept Putin’s terms than someone with real foreign policy experience. In fact, it may not even be left to chance. In light of the recent revelation of a former soviet counter-intelligence officer (spy) it has been claimed that Russia has had information to blackmail and has been in control of Trump for many years.

Sound far fetched? Guess again. Russia is long known for this particular technique, and it did not always work in their favor. The KGB once attempted to blackmail the Indonesian President, Sukarno. On a diplomatic trip to Moscow, he had a good time with a few Russian beauties, who also happened to be operatives posing as flight attendants, and unknowingly became the star of his own porno orgy flick. KGB agents brought him in and showed him the video, expecting a humiliated  man more than ready to cooperate with them. Instead, the foreign leader decided it was a gift and asked for copies to show in movie theaters across Indonesia. He claimed his people would be proud of his prowess.

Despite the one off scenario, a great many dignitaries and wealthy, powerful people have been subject to Russia’s blackmail campaign. If Trump were making trips to Russia, there is little doubt they would attempt to gain some leverage over him. And he did make trips to Russia. And, well, let’s face it, Trump’s known philandering and questionable (at best) morals regarding sex and women, young women, makes him a pretty easy target. The Donald would be no match for one of their elite Illegals. ‘Illegals’ is the American name for the Russia’s SVR program of elite spies specifically trained for sexual encounter operations. These typically result in some form of blackmail, but Russia would never say no to a very well placed operative.  The women are beautiful, highly intelligent and enter countries under various disguises, as businesswomen, socialites, models, and even housewives or entertainers. They were (are) typically identified fairly young and well trained both in sex and politics. While their families would not be privy to the knowledge their daughter was becoming a soviet sex spy, they would find themselves in better circumstances most frequently, and the women, in exchange, were promised a life of privilege and adventure. What did the government look for? Well, exceptional beauty, intelligence and an affinity for languages.

Hey! I know someone like that!  Yeah, I’m gonna go there.

Melania Trump, previously Melania Knauss, was born Melanija Knavs in Slovenia, which was part of Yugoslavia in 1970. Her father was a registered member of the Communist Party. In case you are not all into modern historical geopolitical science, Yugoslavia was not technically part of the USSR, but was essentially Soviet because it was heavily dominated by the Soviet Union, which controlled the ruling communist/socialist party in Slovenia until 1991. Melanija was recognized young as an exceptional beauty with the grades and linguistic talent to match. Here in the states, many people falsely assume Melania Trump is just a pretty face and hot body but seldom give her any credit for keen intelligence. After all, why would such a beautiful, intelligent woman subject herself to nude photographs and escort services? This is a woman who speaks five languages, appears to have no dating or relationship history prior to Donald, but had no problem posing for lesbian inspired pornographic photo shoots for male fantasy magazines.  And let’s not forget that upon leaving Slovenia for Milan, her first modeling agency was run by Paolo Zampolli, which just so happens to be the man who introduced Melania to her famous husband.

Now, am I saying Mrs. Trump is a Soviet Spy, one the highly select “Illegals” trained by the SVR and planted in a fantastic spot to tag along with the braggadocios, self-proclaimed billionaire who likes to rub shoulders with every truly powerful person he can manage to squeeze himself into the room with? Even without a presidential bid, Melania would be excellently placed. And let’s face it, she is entirely too smart for a man like Trump who sees nothing past her body and pretty face. But no, I am not saying she is, just that given all the unlikely circumstances, it is questionable and her parents did somehow come into a very comfortable living long prior to her hooking up with the Donald.

Aside from Melania, there have been other Russian or Russian sympathetic influences surrounding the Trump campaign, like his previous Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort. Manafort has aided Russian Sympathizers and Sympathetic foreign leaders and is reported to have been receiving money from Russian related sources even while acting as Trump’s Campaign Chair. The last allegation was the reason Manafort stepped down from that position but he remains a close adviser. There are additional advisers with close relationships to Russia, such as Retired General Michael Flynn, whose has had close proximity to Putin, and financial adviser Michael Cage. Cage was formerly the head of the Meryll Lynch offices in Moscow. And then, there is Michael Caputo. Caputo formerly worked for a Russian Media firm and is attributed with assisting in Putin’s attempts to gain more likability in the United States. Hmm,

Russia has its fingerprints, palm prints and probably even footprints all over Trump. He has legitimate, inarguable business ties , which he attempted to hide. National Security has verified that the Russian government is actively seeking to influence our election and, miraculously, against every conceivable odd, Trump–Donald Trump– is the Republican Nominee. Remember, that is despite the fact that he was never really a Republican in the first place.

So, maybe this all seems a bit far-fetched. Maybe. But everything in this election cycle is. How is any of this normal? How do we have a presidential nominee who has a fraud case and a child rape case pending against them along with 71 other lawsuits sitting in court? We can see the Russian connections everywhere, which is the purpose of this article, to question: why Trump? The potential for war with Russia can likely happen no matter who wins the presidency. Russia can back us into that corner. The real stopper for that is if we have the ability to negotiate with China on our side. Putin is smart enough to know that China must, if not allied with them, remain a neutral party. Unless that avenue is secured, it will not be realistic to move into full scale hostilities. Can Clinton manage the diplomatic miracle of making China an ally against a potential conflict with Russia? Probably not, but she certainly fairs far better than pretty much anyone else.

Note, there is nothing here to believe. It is speculation. This is not so much a conspiracy theory as it represents taking a deeper look into what has happened, what is happening, what may have occurred and what it all means, cumulatively. I have no doubts that Putin’s actions mean something. He is far too methodical a person and leader for them not to. I want to open people to the possibilities which exist, which are not nearly as far fetched as they initially appear. But the point here is not absolute truth, it is about looking deeper and trying to understand what is at play. It is easy to claim our government sold out American workers to China, but you never take the time to consider what it was that they bought. Politics are filled with complicated subtleties and finesse, with skilled understandings of compromise and an acute knowledge of the tides of power and balance. Having an outsider to the political arena sounds like a good thing, but it is a bit like asking a baker to step in for a brain surgeon.

So why bring all this up? Why bring up potential possibilities? Because they matter. Because right or wrong how a person could cope with these scenarios is a realistic part of the job of the President of the United State, as is being able to imagine them and be prepared. The point is that there is so much happening and so much more to consider in every encounter than we, as civilians, can possible imagine. And trust me, I have an awesome imagination. A huge imagination. Seriously,  the biggest imagination you could possibly imagine. Sadly, however, everything I have mentioned is well within the realm of possibility, some within the realms of established facts, and others are plausible possibilities based on current knowledge. One thing is for certain, no president has ever had such a complicit love affair with a country who calls us their enemy as a Trump presidency would. No one has taken seat in the oval office with so much potential to be coerced or manipulated. Make no mistake. A man who can be coerced by blackmail and place the secrecy of his own misdeeds ahead of the security of his country is a traitor. I don’t know if Trump is a traitor or just a man stupid enough to be easily maneuvered and manipulated by a cunning foreign agency. Either sounds absolutely appalling.

Your vote matters. It could matter more than you know. It would be terrible to look back and wonder, “if only I had voted.”

Vote. It is your right and your civic duty, it is the basis of what keeps us free, it is the premise of our equality. I encourage you to vote to keep us free, to ensure equality and to secure our safety, not through fear and deference, but by strength an unity.

We are One Woman, One World.

Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!

AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com    UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

Links to related sites and Research

newyorker.com/magazine

wikipedia.org

yourchildlearns.com

wikipedia.org

pravdareport.com

mashable.com

/www.motherjones.com

www.salon.com

time.com

Someone In The Trump Campaign Is Feeding Russian Disinformation Propaganda To The Donald

www.dailymail.co.uk

news.groopspeak.com

www.yahoo.com

www.cnn.com

No, It Is Not the Orange Way Or No Way

Trump is trying to do to the Nation what he has done to small businesses across the country. He is attempting to force his deal down our throats. Donald Trump has a history of making great propositions, pulling people in with what appear to be fair, reasonable, even profitable agreements and once he gets what he wants, he changes the rules. He calls them in and tells them he is not going to pay them what he agreed. Trump, and his team of lawyers proceed to explain that this small businessman can either take half, or less, of what was agreed to and be happy about it, or Trump will pay him nothing and tie it all up in litigation for years. The small businessman, who doesn’t have the monetary means to pay lawyers for years of litigation, and who needs to pay those who work for him, is coerced into accepting Trump’s terms because it is the only path forward. He just has to cut his losses so he can move on.

Trump’s talk of a rigged election is his way of justifying not accepting the outcome. And now, he has made it abundantly clear he does not plan to accept defeat graciously if he loses the election. Instead, he is positioning himself, and in fact telegraphing to the country and the world, that he either gets his way, or no one wins. He is telling the American people that if he doesn’t win, then he is prepared to make it so that no one does and undermine the transition of power from one president to the next. He will attempt to throw it into litigation for an indeterminate length of time. Oh, but America, you can avoid all of that. All you have to do is give The Donald what he wants. If you vote for him, then you don’t have to worry about him holding the presidency hostage. That’s the Art of the Deal, so to speak.

This is the essence of his refusing to accept the outcome of our election, a temper tantrum meant to bully people into just accepting him on his terms. Of course, it makes sense. This is a tactic which has worked for him over and over again. He is used to using his money and power (and lawyers) to intimidate and take advantage of others.

But Donald, the Presidency of the United States of America is not a position you can bully your way into. You cannot hold it hostage in lawsuits. Your thinly veiled threat is an indecent proposal that should even shame you, if you understand that emotion. In the end, you will not only go into the bowels of history as the most petulant, vile man to ever run for the office of Commander in Chief, but as the worst loser in history. In the meantime, while you are waving your fists screaming about how unfair it all is, how the election (like so many other things in your life that didn’t go your way) was rigged against you, we will move on.

But you won’t have much time to grieve, as you have a fraud and racketeering case to attend to on November 28, and then a child rape case in December.

Vote! Your voice is important. It is your right and your duty.

We are One Woman, One World.

Photo credit: dandyfashionerdotblogspotcom

Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!

AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com    UtimateGalacticUniverse.com