Honor and Sacrifice and Responsibility

Today we honor our soldiers lost; those who gave theirs lives for their country. These soldiers did not have to believe in the conflict. Some volunteered and some were sent, but every one of them answered the call and stayed any question of why. To honor them, it is our duty to hold those who send our brave men and women into combat responsible for every life. Is it fair to hold our politicians responsible for the weight of every death? For every ounce of blood spilled in lives which will never return? Yes. When they stand to support or oppose acts of war or conflict, our leaders should feel the weight of every sacrifice and the grief that comes with every soldier who does not come home to his or her family. They should feel consumed and crushed beneath the magnitude of sacrifice as if it were their own grief. Some battles must be fought. Sometimes we must accept the inevitable death of war to ensure safety and freedom. But only through feeling that pain and loss can we ever assure the veracity of that decision. When wars are fought for resources and money, then our soldiers are treated like expendable toys. The best way to honor our soldiers is to recognize that their sacrifice does not equate to supporting the political cause. Their country called and they answered. We must hold political leaders responsible for their decisions, and do so without undermining the bravery of those who gave everything, who no longer have a voice, but whose silence should be our conscience.

We are One Woman, One World.

Ann Lavendar-Truong

Shout out to Anne Coffer, great friend and amazing colleague and author. She has a new book out, just released, that is fantastic, Edge of Ridiculous . I loved it! Get it! Read it! Then tell her how awesome she is! 

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 GOP: Money, Sex, and Slavery

The fight for healthcare persists. Given eight long years to formulate a better plan for healthcare and the best the GOP can muster is a giant gift to the wealthy and a plan that would leave 23 million people without coverage, 20% higher premiums and the majority of citizens with a reduction of coverage, including tens of millions experiencing denials for preexisting conditions and the loss of reproductive healthcare for most women. Those women (you know, this HALF of the population) won’t have subsidized alternatives if they are lower income, as Planned Parenthood and its affiliates will be defunded.

The GOP plan is a misogynistic tool to put women back in their place in society. There is a backwards concept that women are inferior and should defer to men. This is another way for them to attempt to control women’s sexual behavior, by denying birth control, and punish them for sex by denying abortion, but not just that, they punish women for choosing to keep their child as well. They scream on and on about the “sanctity of life” but in every aspect of their legislative attempts, they show no love of life, no adoration for the unborn or the newborn, mothers or children. Their legislation does not seek to promote life, but to control sex.

In fact, I am starting to think these people are real perverts. Honestly! They can’t keep their brains out of our bedrooms. Why are they anti LGBT? Because they don’t like how they have sex. Why are they against abortion? Because if women have sex, they should accept pregnancy as a possible outcome. Why are they opposed to birth control measures? Same reason. If women are going to have sex, then they should expect to get pregnant. Why are they against maternity coverage? Because if women aren’t financially stable enough to pay for having a baby, maybe they shouldn’t get pregnant, which means they should not have sex. Why are they against paid maternity leave? Because they should have a husband (who makes more money than they do) to support them while they are off work. If they don’t have that support, then they should not have gotten pregnant. (aka, they shouldn’t have sex). Cuts to Medicaid mean poor people just shouldn’t breed. Now poor people should not have sex. They call pornography a public health crisis, why? Because it is about sex. Sex Sex. Sex.

Everything in the GOP agenda boils down to two things: Money and Sex. And they want to control the flow of both in our society. They want to control who has money and who is allowed to breed. With a new age of designer healthcare, infant mortality rates are expected to rise significantly, along with completely preventable deaths of mothers during childbirth. Children and adults with preexisting illnesses are gong to die because treatment is not an option for them. Thus, they will weed these undesirables from the population. They will reduce poverty by allowing the impoverished sick to die. And with the lack of accessible birth control, the healthy ones can go on to become barely educated drones working for scraps, taught to be thankful to their masters.

By controlling sex in our society, they can burden people with the manner of their conception. You’ve seen this before, like the stigma which once existed for being a bastard. Children of unmarried parents are called illegitimate. Think about that term. it tells a child they are not from a legitimate birth, that they are wrong, less deserving, less than others. What is the point of that, if not to subjugate them and classify them as inferior?

The severe cuts to education will not have much affect on middle class and no affect on the wealthy. It disproportionately targets poor communities and children with disabilities.  And how does controlling their sex lives factor into it? Well, barely educated masses are easy to contain, easy to control and distract. By not funding healthcare, they remove the weak from that community. By not supporting birth control, they ensure enough pregnancy rates in those communities to keep them bound to their poverty and, in doing so, ensure the next generation of cheap labor.

But not just cheap labor, poverty wage labor. Those who do not conform or who fight back are imprisoned and turned into free labor. Sessions’ new war on drugs which focuses the harshest punishments for the most minor crimes, seeks to fill for-profit prisons with slaves, stolen from low income communities. There is a reason why the GOP so vigorously fights against raising the minimum wage. Poverty ensures petty crime and crime ensures cheap labor and free labor. Slave labor.

Yes. You read that right. It is the Alt Right’s new technique of slavery and domination. Except the people don’t even realize they are slaves. Instead, they are criminals, drug addicts, or just poverty stricken trying to survive. The technique plays into class warfare, which uses birth status to keep people in the classes they belong, with a dominantly white upper class, a majority white middle class and people of color making up the bottom rank majority. But that only works if they can shame people for illegitimate births. It only works if sex is taboo and a function of socially designed couples. And, of course, they cannot socially design appropriate couples if women are free and equal. They must recreate a society where women are dependent, as well. Welcome to the new White Supremacy movement.

So maybe they aren’t just sex perverts, after all. Maybe there is much more to it than that.

Resist. Our freedom depends upon it.

We are One Woman, One World.

Ann Lavendar-Truong

Shout out to Anne Coffer, great friend and amazing colleague and author. She has a new book out, just released, that is fantastic, Edge of Ridiculous . I loved it! Get it! Read it! Then tell her how awesome she is! 

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

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

And it is only Wednesday?

Okay, so on Monday I was scanning through all the news, looking at topics and trying to consider what to write with my potentially limited time for research, since I am on stand-by for jury duty this week. I’m not complaining about jury duty. Just acknowledging that if they text me, then I have an hour to report. Woohoo! That can interfere with things like researching blogs. I hear they really don’t like the jurors writing blogs during voir dire. But then there has been the other aspect of this week: What the hell?

Living in Trumpland has been like a excerpt out of the Twilight Zone, at best, but wow. Last week was crazy. Clapper and Yates giving some not-so-great-for-Trump testimony, then Trump Firing Comey, then Trump meeting with Russians right after firing Comey. I mean, last week was difficult to top, you’d think. But in what has become America’s “hold my beer,” fashion, it just keeps spiraling into new levels of crazy.

So, then Trump admits the FBI investigation regarding Russia was a consideration in terminating Comey in his interview with Lester Holt. And then, all hell breaks loose as we discover he gave the Russians classified information we received from another country who specifically did so under the condition we DON’T share it with anyone else. Then (wow, I am saying then A LOT) the White House denies Trump gave them classified intelligence. Then Trump circumvents them all and has a notorious twitter meltdown, not only admitting he did what his staff has vehemently been denying on his behalf, but claiming he had absolute authority to do so, and seemed rather proud of it. Oh, and somewhere in here, Trump threatened Comey with tapes which may or may not exist. Tapes was written in quotations, and we are now unsure what quotes actually mean in the Age of Trump.

But then, BAM! Comey took notes and made memos. Now, the terminating of Comey isn’t even the biggest issue, it is what he had asked Comey to do, which was LET FLYNN GO. Someone needs to let Trump know that this is absolutely obstruction of justice and interfering with an investigation and abuse of power. And obviously, it was threatening, since Comey’s job was evidently at stake for not complying.

Now even a circle of Republicans are dancing around with the idea of a Special Prosecutor and discussing possible impeachment.  Man, it has been crazy. And even with all of this, what frightens me most happened yesterday. It was not at a press conference. It did not come across Trump’s twitter. Nor did it occur outside the White House. NO. It occurred on Embassy Row, outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence while the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was inside. On the street outside, however, were protesters.

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Outside, exactly where they are legally allowed to congregate, were gathered those people who oppose Erdogan’s new, near dictator status in Turkey, along with others who support a separate Kurdish state. They were breaking no laws. They were not encroaching too closely upon the residence nor were they endangering anyone.

But despite our clear rights in the United States to dissent and protest, our Turkish guests brought their authoritarian enforcement to our streets. Upon seeing a flag supporting the Kurdish PYD Party, the Turkish President’s security detail stormed into the crowd of peaceful protesters and attacked them, throwing them to the ground, hitting and kicking them repeatedly. The security detail was assisted by like minded people who had shown up in support of Erdogan. But make no mistake, the entire incident was caused by Turkish security attacking people protesting them on American soil. A couple of assault arrests were made, but no outrage. No outcry from our government. The wanna-be president, who had met with Erdogan only hours earlier, certainly didn’t say a word about this authoritarian display. And this is frightening. How close are we to seeing this expanded? It must be denounced. Turkey must apologize for this violation against our laws and fundamental principles. Those we elect surely must speak out, embrace and protect these rights… right?

Ha! Right. And, just moments ago – while writing this -, I was informed the Department of Justice has appointed a Special Prosecutor into the Trump/Russia Election Scandal. So, I’m betting we will get no demands for apologies from Trump or any of his goons while he is holed up in the West Wing ranging between fits of rage and sucking his thumb asking for his mommy. Had we any decent human being who honored our country and constitution above their own petty interests, then this would not have been a side story in a week of lunacy. This would have been an international incident and an affront to our very values.

And that is the most frightening part of this, well aside from the whole threat to safety and national security and potential world war stuff of Trumpdon, but that we have lost something incredibly valuable amidst the chaos. Between fighting for science, fighting for voting rights, fighting for equal rights, fighting for LGBT rights, fighting for reproductive rights, fighting for healthcare, fighting climate change deniers, fighting for  free press, fighting to keep environmental protections, fighting to keep safety standards, fighting for fair wages, fighting for rights to privacy, fighting against corruption, fighting for education, and fighting for immigrants, we are losing our vision; the fundamental essence of our freedom. Nothing in the news said this more than this story of a foreign police, a security detail not unlike our secret service, committing violence in our streets against our people, people under our laws and protections, because of political dissent. They, as guests in our country,  felt they had a right to attack our people on our soil, committing crimes against our constitution, the very fabric of what we stand for, and this was all sidelined. it was minor news.

What other atrocities are we missing? How far into authoritarianism will we slip without realizing we have fallen? When we emerge from this orange cloud, how different will we be? What a week. And, yeah. It’s only Wednesday.

We are One Woman, One World

Ann Lavendar Truong

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/videos/a55104/turkish-president-security-assault-protesters/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/17/erdogans-bodyguards-in-violent-clash-with-protesters-in-washington-dc

Shout out to Anne Coffer, great friend and amazing colleague and author. She has a new book out, just released, that is fantastic, Edge of Ridiculous . I loved it! Get it! Read it! Then tell her how awesome she is! 

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

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

USA: Democratic Dictatorship

A form of government where the candidate is elected by popular (in this case electoral) vote but rarely or never actually enacts any policies that reflect the actual wishes of the constituency. The elected representative can either use subtle diplomacy to deflect criticism, arrange for various forms of distraction to divert public attention, or be brazen in publicly declaring that policy will be different to popular opinion. Coined by Tim Francis in 2005.

In case you are not tied into National and World Politics as I am, or you have been cowering in a corner of your local coffee shop trying to have at least one freaking day without Trump doing something either destructive or embarrassing, and if not a day, then at least get through your Caramel Frappucino: Well, this is not that day. Sorry.

On the heals of the Yate’s testimony yesterday, which by all accounts did not look good for the administration, Trump set off another bombshell. He is seriously tired of people taking this whole Russia/Treason thing seriously. He says there is nothing to it… so why won’t we all just ignore the evidence and believe him, already? Well, as any good dictator would, Trump has had enough. Today he fired FBI Director (and Republican) James Comey. You’ve heard of him. He’s the one who has been investigating Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia and Russian operatives since last July. Yeah, that guy.

I guess the best way to end a ‘bogus’ investigation is to pink slip the guy heading it and replace him with someone who has the good decency and polite manners not to question the President of the United States. After all, he’s the POTUS, he makes all the rules and everyone has to follow them, right?

Welcome to the Dictatorship of Trump.

Make no mistake, he plans to replace Comey with someone who is willing to squash the investigation against him. With Republicans in charge of the Senate, he will get it. I fear we are devolving into a third world dictatorship where those in power are above the law. A place where civilians are prosecuted for laughing at the ruling power. The Trump administration does not only blatantly ignore the law, they flaunt their ability to do so without repercussions. This is a very dangerous sign that they do not fear future elections and that, perhaps, election interference is here to stay. After all, who is going to investigate it? A Trump appointee? The Republicans? This has not been an election cycle. This has been a coup.

Resist.

We are One Woman, One World.

Ann Lavendar Truong

Sources:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=democratic%20dictatorship

http://bluetribune.com/2017/05/09/trump-fires-fbi-director-james-comey-details/

photo credit: http://all-len-all.com/putting-the-terrorist-threat-in-perspective/us-flag-crosshairs/

http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/news/former-fbi-official-tells-nbc-news-one-of-the-things-we-all-suspect-about-james-comeys-firing/

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

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

Trumpcare Again: New and Improved to kill more people!

Yeah, you read that right. Although we are definitely still waiting on the verdict to come back from CBO (Congressional Budget Office) to see just how many more people will lose healthcare coverage under this new plan, make no mistake, that 24 million will go up. Why? Because, in order to strike a deal with hardliner Republicans who think poor people are lazy moochers and should just die, the GOP managed to cut even more protections for patients from the bill. After all, you can’t secure the the approval of the Freedom Caucus unless you are willing to put enough lower income citizens up for sacrifice to praise their one true god: money. The Republicans have chosen to nix protections for preexisting conditions in the new and improved legislation.

These preexisting conditions were only scarcely protected before. If, for any reason, an individual experienced a lapse in healthcare coverage for two months, or more, that protection would be permanently stripped from them. That, along with increased premiums as a punishment for lapsed coverage, would only insure one thing: the people who need health coverage the most would be the least likely to have it.

But now, in a stroke of population control genius, the Republican Party (who has disdain for the mediocrity of the middle class and absolute hatred of the poor) want to replace the Affordable Care Act with a gutted version of Trumpcare. It took talent to find consumer protections in the first version, but a soul truly devoid of empathy can sniff out even the tiniest hint of compassion and obliterate it.

All the while, Trump is in complete disconnect. He obviously has not read the Republican hit list against the low and middle income disguised as a plan for healthcare. In Trump’s recent 100 Day interview with Face the Nation, he appeared to have no idea what was in the bill, falsely claiming that the new legislation addressed the concerns of the first one, like preexisting conditions and premium hikes for the poor and elderly. Unless, of course, he was only discussing the Freedom Caucus’ concerns. That would explain a lot.

But, in a rare, honest moment, Trump’s empathy with the people regarding their healthcare concerns, shone through in all its flickering brilliance. In the Dickerson interview, Trump summed up exactly how important your healthcare is to him.

“LOOK, IF YOU HURT YOUR KNEE, HONESTLY, I’D RATHER HAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOCUS ON NORTH KOREA, FOCUS ON OTHER THINGS THAN YOUR KNEE OR THAN YOUR BACK, AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR BACK IS. I WOULD MUCH RATHER SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOCUSED ON OTHER THINGS.”

So, basically, your knee, your back, your asthma, your high blood pressure, your cancer, your epilepsy, your high cholesterol, your depression, your rheumatoid arthritis, your HIV/AIDS, your emphysema, heart disease, osteoporosis, lupus, stroke, arterial disease, liver disease, kidney disease, stomach ulcers, blood disorders, congenital birth defects, brain trauma, neural disorders and illnesses, infectious diseases, STD’s, Hepatitis (in all its forms), and pretty much anything you have ever been treated for and any chronic condition which you may develop, should be less important to you than North Korea. You should willingly give up your insurance and just die because Trump says it isn’t really that important in the scope of his reality. But here is my question to Trumpaloompa and his orange sycophants: If North Korea is so much more important, then why are you taking all this time, effort and resources to dismantle a working system of healthcare instead of making sure the Federal Government is, “…focused on other [more important] things.”

In the end, I think I really know what this is all about. It is retribution. This is a vendetta against the poor and working Americans which the GOP see as responsible for electing Obama in the first place. They are being punished for their dream of a better future and their audacity for considering themselves equals. This repeal is about the GOP’s push to once again subjugate those they see as less worthy, bring them under a measure of control and distract them with their own misery.

As has become the course, week in and week out, through this administration of extreme Right agenda, we have to fight. I know you are tired. I’m exhausted. I sit at my computer every day, sifting through what feels like some alternate reality I fell into. We’ve been marching, writing letters and articles, calling senators and congressmen, hoisting flags, carrying signs, speaking out on every venue possible, against so many attacks on our beautiful, inclusive, equal and diverse hope for the country. We are fighting to protect even basic rights guaranteed by our constitution: something I could never have imagined. We are fighting for environmental protections because somehow cleanliness is a liberal conspiracy. We are fighting for even basic religious freedom, as in, the freedom to not be Christian. We are fighting for freaking science. Science, for crying out loud. How do people even deny science? It is lunacy. We are fighting for LGBT rights, because, yeah, they are people, just like everyone else. How can a segment of people be isolated from the same freedoms as everyone else simply because of who they love? We are fighting, again, for autonomy over our own bodies, to be able to choose when, if or the manner of reproduction. It goes far beyond abortion, to include contraception and even defending reproductive procedures such as en vitro fertilization. We are fighting against a police state, where officers are allowed to violate civil rights and even murder citizens. We are fighting against legal election rigging by gerrymandering. We are fighting for our right to assemble and speak out. We are actually having to fight against white supremacists. Think about that. We are fighting for reasonable access to healthcare. We are fighting for our immigrants, because almost every one of us is an immigrant. We wake up every day afraid to see the news, literally and genuinely worried about the potential of not only war, but nuclear war. That is a thing again. We are fighting and fighting and fighting. And we are exhausted.

But we must be more than our opponents’ equal. We must be willing to spend more energy, fight longer, fight harder and fight smarter. It is far easier to destroy something than it is to build, that is their advantage. Yet, it is also easier to protect what we have than to rebuild out of its destruction. So, as difficult as this fight is, we must persevere. We must continue. And here, on healthcare, is another fight. If we win this, we pave a shorter road towards single payer which would finally secure healthcare as a human right and ensure coverage for all. The goal here is a worthy one: so people don’t die needlessly in one of the wealthiest countries on earth. Healthcare is a human right. Fight on.

We are One Woman, One World.

Ann Lavendar Truong

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

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

 

Sources:

https://thinkprogress.org/donald-trump-health-care-bill-f73453056199

http://meanlefthook.com/2017/04/trump-says-you-should-worry-about-north-korea-not-focus-on-your-knee-video/

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/trump-melts-down-over-preexisting-conditions-focus-on-north-korea-focus-on-other-things-than-your-knee/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-interview-full-transcript-face-the-nation/