Category Archives: Politics

News and opinions of today’s politics

Trump’s Failure – the Government Shutdown

Trump demonstrates, yet again, that he is out of his league. A huge majority of Americans know this to be true but not enough are pissed off enough to actually do anything about it. But that is changing.

As long as the criminal GOP has control of the Senate, they will continue to aid and abet the criminal in the White House. I just hope that when this is all over, they each get investigated with the ferocity that they demonstrated for the endless Benghazi hearings and that the criminals get the prison time or the death sentences they deserve for being traitors against our country.

But getting back to the government shutdown – this just demonstrates Trump’s total inability to actually deal with real people, his total failure to negotiate, his total inability to understand his job or even the extent of the harm he is doing to our country and to the people affected by his silly, childish shutdown temper tantrum.

We need to get the GOP out of the Senate immediately. We need to start recalls on each and every vulnerable Republican senator and even some who aren’t feeling well. We have to clean up the GOP mess right now. 2020 just may be too late.

The Criminal GOP

America is, at this moment, abandoning our promises. This is a big deal, bigger than most of us realize. When people don’t trust your word, you are nothing, and Trump and the GOP are backing out of one promise after another.

It will take decades to restore our integrity, if we can ever do it. Who will ever believe a promise from or a contract with America ever again? We have proven that a single rogue president can break each and every promise we have made to our friends and neighbors over the centuries. We are letting a single president sully the reputation of our great nation.

But it’s not all about Trump. The real criminals are the complicit Congressional Republicans who are shirking their responsibility to enforce a balance of power to prevent this. We have three branches that are supposed to be working together to check and balance each other. But now that the GOP controls all three, they are neglecting their sworn duties.

It’s not sufficient to just vote them out of office. They are criminals, and not just criminal negligence, but downright complicity. The only way to cure this disaster is to disband the GOP, their propaganda, and their think thanks and then investigate each and every politician in the party.

It sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But not as harsh as destroying America’s word, destroying faith in America, worldwide. Yes, it is harsh. But it’s the only way to clean the poison out of our blood stream. Send the crooks to prison and it will discourage future criminals from trying to take over a political party in the future.

And, we can only hope that this will start to restore America’s good name.

Another Fine Republican

We often get hate mail and have considered publishing them for the sake of humor, but we decide against it. We believe everyone knows just how rabid people can get over politics. This message came in on our “Contact” page. It true fine Republican form, it is divorced from reality to the point border on humorous. Humorous, with a sprinkle of sad. Here it is. Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree with this.

David,
To call out the Republican party which led right now by DT is more of a third party than ever before is not only ridiculous its a bit irresponsible the upside is not many read this blog. Fascists came to power by hindering opposition, skewing how news is reported and consistently used the media as well as movies to promote their agenda. This is exactly the playbook of the left right now and interestingly enough before Hitler’s true colors FDR often talked about how progressive and insightful Hitler’s plans were, FDR sent a group over to Germany to study his economic plans. The Reich used false dossiers to have his rival killed (sounds familiar). BO left the world burning and I have to say I don’t particularly care for DT’s style but it is working both repubs and dems are getting exposed by DT bc he could really care less what anyone thinks. He sees what we have done for years has been burying our future economy. Basically your last paragraph was just a typical cheap shot by the left who love say things loud as if that makes them true. The current left is that of the nobility of convenience.

Where does one begin with so many misconceptions? I’ll start at the top but have no interest in disprove all the lies that have been debunked so many times before.

  • To call out the Republican party which led right now by DT is more of a third party than ever before is not only ridiculous its a bit irresponsible

The Republican Congress could oppose Trump as their oath of office demands, but they are complicit. Not a single one of them wants to oppose Trump. The GOP is the party of Trump. Trump is not a 3rd party but the natural culmination of the party since the adoption of the Southern Strategy.

  • This is exactly the playbook of the left right now

Demonizing the press is exactly the GOP and Trump’s playbook. Have you not been paying attention? Ever heard the phrase, “fake news,” or, “enemy of the people?” It’s not the left saying that. Where have you been? What rock are you finding your news under? Please tell me you’re not foolish enough to believe Fox or the other GOP propaganda.

Okay, I’m tired of this. Feel free to come back with some credible links to back up your assertions. Doing the research to accomplish that just might open up your eyes to the lies your being fed.

Anyone else want to comment?

Don’t Touch That State Constitution

Beware of ballot measures amending your state’s constitution.

Like Oregon, many states have ballot measures for amending their state’s constitution.

Don’t do it!

Our constitutions are not meant to be trivially fiddled with to reflect everyone’s hot topic of the day or year. Our constitutions are supposed to last forever, with minimal disruption.

The same goes for our nation’s constitution. There have been very few amendments over the years – about ONE change per decade.

Most of today’s ballot measures are being driven by special interest groups, many funded by billionaires. The billionaires even have an amendment proposed in Oregon that will require a 2/3 vote in order to change the revenue. There is no better way to destroy a government than to put such foolish restrictions on addressing their budgets.

But the billionaires and special interest groups don’t care what happens to the state or the country, long term, just so long as they get their way today.

Always vote NO on any ballot measure that changes the constitution unless there is a major and compelling reason to change the constitution forever. Most, if not all the ballot measures would be better addressed at bills and laws, not constitutional amendments.

Just say “why” when being asked to change your state’s or country’s constitution.

And, ALWAYS, just say “no” to billionaires and special interest groups that don’t reflect the people’s needs and best interests.

It is no joke, Today’s Conservatism is a treatable sickness

I’ve seen it discussed on this blog on numerous posts but it’s so important that it’s worth bring up again. Spend a moment or two reading about the Authoritarian mindset and how it’s poisonous to a free country.

Read about the Milgram studies showing people absolutely acquiescing to authority to the point of possibly killing people who were the target in the studies.

These are exactly the kind of people that made Hitler and so many of the other brutal dictators in our world’s history.

Read Martha Stout’s book, The Sociopath Next Door and you will get a feel for how these damaged authoritarian followers are such easy prey for a monster. All such easy followers are harmful to a democracy.

And the good news is they can be fixed once we admit we have a problem.

Human Rights Violations

America! You know, the home of brave, land of the free?

With the Republicans in control of all three branches of the US government, we are now criticized for “human rights violations” by the UN and most of the world.

Let that sink in for a minute. America! We are no longer the shining city on the hill or any of the many other classifications the Republicans of old used to say about America. We are now a third world country that abuses people and kidnaps their kids  and houses them in dog kennels.

And, we aren’t talking about little violations here and there. We are talking about kidnapping over a thousand kids.

Now, Trump will tell you that it’s someone else’s fault, but as it is with everything else Trump says, it’s a lie. His policies and only his policies are responsible for the awful and criminal behavior that has the rest of the world in horror.  However, no one is in disbelief. This is the exact kind of stuff Trump has been doing since his election, and the self-proclaimed “deplorables” couldn’t be happier with him.

When will America wake up? The Democrats in Congress are doing everything they can to keep some semblance of control over this tyrant but the entire GOP is aiding and abetting this criminal and his criminal administration.

If you’re as horrified as the rest of the world is of this mistake in the White House, contact your GOP representative today and tell them to put an end to Trump’s crimes. It’s time for impeachment hearings.

If you think Trump can do no wrong, then this should be fine with you as you must believe he will be found innocent. On the other hand, if you object to hearings, then you’re lying to yourself and everyone else and you know Trump is guilty and will be found as such.

Wake up, America. This is not us. We do not kidnap and imprison thousands of innocent little kids.

2018 Oregon Special Election

More Campaigns to Circumvent Democracy

A hearty Thank You to JustSayWhy for allowing me to participate in the blog. I’m from Oregon and expect to have occasional news and interesting topics both local and national. Please consider following my posts.

Today let’s talk about Oregon’s Special Election scheduled for January 23, 2018. This special election is about a proposed 1.5% assessment on Oregon insurers and a 0.7% tax on some hospitals. The proceeds from this penny and a half fee on the dollar for insurers helps alleviate the shortfall in health services for the poor.

The actual ballot measure isn’t really the issue at stake. The problem is that big money is trying, again, to influence Oregon voters. We Oregonians have been suckered before by nice sounding ballot measures submitted by billionaire pacs that turned out to be quite harmful to the state.

This ballot measure is being opposed by a secret group called, “Oregonians Against More Healthcare Taxes” that is funded by secret donations. The figurehead for this group is a Republican politician Julie Parrish.

As we always see with billionaire attempts to interfere with the will of the voters, their frame is misleading, the argument is being called a “tax” and they pretend it’s going to affect kids and puppies, and little baby kittens, oh, and did I say, puppies.

If you noticed a little sarcasm in the last paragraph, you’re right. But the lies and misconceptions are very real. Here are some of the actual arguments they frame deceptively:

Don’t Hide a Tax by Calling it Something Else

In other words, if it’s a business expense that gets filtered down to the customers, it’s a tax so we should never expect businesses to pay anything or it’ll be a tax somehow. No, really, that’s the level of integrity and forethought these notes of opposition express.

…Because politicians are pricing us out of an affordable education.

Following this silly logic, if we tax any business that deals with education we’re “pricing us out of an affordable education.” No, seriously, that’s about how silly these arguments are. If these businesses can’t afford to pay $0 .015 on the dollar to repay the communities that make them rich, then shut them down.  Businesses like this leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Middle Class Oregon Families Can’t Afford a Healthcare Sales Tax

I can’t believe that the billionaires funding this disinformation campaign are really this ignorant. This is not a tax on “middle Class Oregon Families.” It’s not a tax at all and even if it was, it’s not a tax on the people. I would classify this one as a blatant lie, just the kinds of lies we’re accustomed from the other billionaire propaganda campaigns. How many years have you heard them lie to us saying there’s no global warming while our world melts around us?

And, now comes my favorite and most obvious propaganda piece of the bunch:

Racist, Bigot, Hateful, White Supremacist, Extremist, Heartless, Evil

Wow, that convinces me. Either I’m in one of those groups or I like hearing the words, or I’m emotionally immature or Mars is in retrograde or something. What, exactly do these labels have to do with a 1.5% assessment? Well, nothing, really, but, hey, like any real propaganda, it made you look, didn’t it?

It’s time we took big money out of our elections and especially here. In Oregon we have been the brunt of many of these “measures” that have been passed due to billionaire marketing for weeks before the vote. Eventually many of us vote against the best interests of our community when we hear the billionaire talking points often enough. That’s why marketing works.

We should demand to get this type of corporate and big money influence out of our elections, and not just here in Oregon but everywhere in this great nation.

Year’s End Letter to the Democratic Party

Dear Democratic Party

“Something’s happening here”

The Democrats won Alabama. Revel in the glory. But, stop, take a breath, and look at it in perspective:

You lost to the worst president in the free world and the worst example of humanity that we’ve seen ever in our presidency. Got that? You lost to TRUMP! Really? Would you even stand a chance against Hitler? I question it.

But, hey, you won Alabama. You won against someone suspected of and accused of child rape on multiple occasions, hatred, bigotry, misogynist, racism, and who really knows how low it goes? It took everything you had to beat an opponent as lowly as this.

Think about that for a moment. If you don’t come away realizing you’re in a world of hurt, you’re just not paying attention. You might win a seat or two but no matter how energized you get your new voters, they’ll all give up on you if you don’t go back to your roots and start standing for things that matters to Americans.

As much as Hillary will blame others for her loss, the problem is that she represents the same old song and dance that has gotten the Democratic party where it is today.  It appears, though, that she is waking up. Will the rest of the DNC be able to wake up?

Take a look at what the Republican party looked like 50 years ago and you’ll see that the Democratic party is now far to the right of that. You have lost your way.

Go back to your roots. Go back to Progressive issues that affect everyone. Here are just a few, in case you’ve forgotten:

  1. Free healthcare for all
  2. An end to the huge separation of wealth by:
    1. Implement a 92% tax on billionaires
    2. Implement a wealth tax to bring the monied gods back earth. I suggest 100% on anything over one billion dollars. No one needs any more than that.
  3. Clean up the media. We are, today, suffering from the loss of the Fairness Doctrine. Pass something that gets the teeth out of any propaganda like the GOP machine. This also includes fully funding public radio and make it more difficult for the future GOP to poison it.
  4. Get money out of politics. This is a no brainer.
  5. Rebuild our country’s infrastructure.
  6. Require unions in businesses

I can already hear your moans, “oh we can’t do that.” That moan is exactly what has helped get you were you are, almost losing to the Moores of the country. We CAN do anything we set our minds to do. Do it!

But, you know that the GOP courts (as they have packed almost all the courts throughout the country) will shoot down anything serious you propose. This means you will have to pick which of these issues are important enough to exclude the court from interpreting. You have the power to pass laws while forbidding the courts from interfering. Do it.

The GOP will do everything in their power to destroy anything good you do for this country. This means you will have to temporarily nuke the filibuster. It is being abused so it must go.  Nuke the filibuster for 10 years, to fully reinstate after that time unless passed by a continuing vote of a simple majority.

But will you do these things? It will mean that the monied interests will oppose you. What is more important? Standing to your principles or caving to the money? You’ve been doing the later for 35 years now and see where it’s gotten you.

Wake up! Do it now!

The Cruel New Tax Bill

I can’t believe they’re still trying to sneak through, the tax bill that gives trillions of dollars to GOP doners and members of Congress while taking that money directly from our treasury – and some people are naive enough to believe that it will help them.

Who do you think is going go have to pay back the national debt after this? Congress? Their owners (doners)? No, it’ll be you and me and worse yet, our kids and grandkids.

If it’s not illegal for Congress to pass bills that enrich themselves at our expense, it should be and what’s more, it is immoral. But one party doesn’t really care so much about what’s right, legal, or moral.

What else could we be using that money for? How about fixing up our infrastructure so our bridges and trains don’t come crashing down? But, no, Trump expresses his fake concern and touts how someday, real soon, they’ll do something about it. But, not today, they’re busy taking away our healthcare, and robbing our treasury and removing money from our infrastructure. Obviously, we know what is most important in their eyes.

So, let’s get this straight, those getting rich are our Congress, their owners, billion dollar corporations, billionaires, and Big Pharma. And who loses? Our treasury is raided, money for our infrastructure is reduced by this tax giveaway bill. Our deficit will take a trillion dollar hit that you and I will have to repay. And they pretend you and I get a couple bucks out of the deal

Who really makes out on this deal?

Call your Congressman today and tell them you know what they’re up to and they better vote no. DO IT TODAY!

The Cause of Isolation in a Cult and Fake News

Charles Manson, Jonestown cult, Heavens’ Gate cult, Order of the Solar Temple…

Throughout History: Cults have been studied for centuries and there is so much to learn about how they happen, how the members become hopelessly mired in the stickiness of cult and there is so much written about how they all come crashing down sooner or later.

Some even argue that Hitler and Hirohito led cults.

It is an interesting study learning how cults die. More so, it is sad the many lives they take when they die.

Isolationism: What I’m writing about today is the aspect of isolationism in cults, how it happens, what impact it has on the followers, and how to avoid being trapped by it, and mostly, how it’s important to today’s America.

Cults require secrecy to survive. If the followers are constantly alerted to the risks and even the opinions of others, they will question the mistakes of the cult. They will question whether it’s sensible to murder your children and yourself with the same kool-ade or blow yourself up in a crowd.

Cults try to limit exposure to the outside world in order to survive. Sometimes it’s the cult leader who tells the followers to sever ties with friends and families, and sometimes it’s the followers themselves who don’t want to hear how their cult is dangerous.

How to Spot a Cult: This is a fundamental aspect of almost all cults. In fact, if you’re wondering if what you are seeing is a cult, ask yourself, am I discouraged from listening to people from the outside?

Fake News: America’s news industry has lost credibility over the past few decades chasing the glitzy shiny fluff pieces rather than actual researched stories. It’s been “infotainment” for the past 30 years. There is no wonder why people are giving up on them as a news source.

Used Car Salesmen: This lack of credibility in the news industry makes it easy for a politician to discredit actual facts. This is a disaster of the news industry’s own making. But it has been helped along by the demise of the Fairness Doctrine back in the days of Reagan and Clinton. This has also been worsened by the rise of political party propaganda, also a symptom of the missing Fairness Doctrine.

It’s a Cult When: The political followers gladly sever any connection with the non-propaganda news at the suggestion of their leader. This is the point at which a political party becomes a cult. At this point, facts no longer matter, morals (pedophile candidates) no longer matter, the principles of your friends and family no longer matter.

The Solution: Americans need to better recognize when they’re being manipulated. They need to watch for signs like party isolation. This should be something taught by our parents and taught in every school. But, more than anything, America needs a reliable news industry.

Russian Agents and Cyber Warfare

Anyone who even occasionally visits Twitter, is now seeing an avalanche of political posts coming from over seas. Trolls. I’m sure Twitter has enough in-house talent to prevent this but they better get on it.

We, here at JustSayWhy have seen an explosion of comment posts and attacks coming from Russian IP addresses and even more coming from VPN services. This is a real shame since we need to encourage the use of VPN to ensure Internet privacy.

Like Twitter, the VPN companies probably have the talent to stop nefarious activity from their customers, however, this might be a step too far for many who want total freedom to do anything they want and hide their real addresses.

To reduce the criminal behavior from the Russians polluting our discourse with Trump propaganda, JustSayWhy is now blocking all VPN traffic. It’s a shame to discourage a service as valuable as VPN, but we will not play this game.

What this means to you? Probably nothing unless you use a VPN company to hide your real IP address. More than that, though, is you now must be wary of any post and comments on any website you visit as the Russians are coming.

A Major Threat to Democracy

Leaders vs Representatives

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to be part of the JustSayWhy community. I’ve spent time reading through the earlier posts on this blog and have greatly enjoyed the well thought out and imaginative topics.  One theme I find here is the dangerous role Authoritarianism plays in our government.

I recommend all Americans to spend a few moments googling and reading about Authoritarianism. It doesn’t fit neatly into a few sentence description, but here are the aspects affecting governments:

  • Authoritarianism includes both leaders and followers
  • Authoritarianism has a strong leader, such as a father figure, church, politician, or gang leader to mention just a few
  • In Authoritarianism the strong leader rules with complete control and does not allow for dissent, even when they’re wrong or immoral.

But don’t take my word for it. Spend a few minutes reading about it.

So, let’s begin with Democracy. Authoritarian leadership at its pinnacle is a dictatorship. If the power is shared it’s a plutocracy or an aristocracy. None of the known types of authoritarian leaderships give up power without bloodshed. The founding of our country is proof of that.

In fact, America’s founding fathers were stringently non authoritarian. It’s sad that many who use the Bible as an excuse to do awful things have  never read or understood the Bible just like many who profess to love America have forgotten what the constitution says or what it means.

Nowhere in our constitution did our founding fathers use the word leader. Why do you suppose that is? It’s quite obvious in this context. They didn’t want a leader, they wanted representatives of the people. They had their fill of strong leaders (both church and state) and believed that the government should represent the people, not lead it.

Those who are now electing “strong leaders” tarnish the ideals of our founding fathers.

Authoritarian dictatorial regimes have always been brutal. There’s just no other way to say it. Once a “leader” thinks that he is beyond reproach, he becomes corrupted. The strong leader knows he can do no wrong, because that’s exactly what Authoritarian means. If I can do no wrong, I can do anything. Remember, even Hitler couldn’t have come to power without considerable bloodshed. “The Fuhrer can do no wrong.”

“He is right and can do no wrong.” You must admit, that sounds like today’s Trump supporters. This is not what a Democracy looks like.

Authoritarian families made sense in the cave man days. In prehistoric times the world was brutal and failing to respond quickly enough to your father could spell the end for any child. It made sense then, when we were but animals.  But, today is not the same. We can throw off the cave man Authoritarian. Children can and should grow up to question authority and Americans should do so as a civic duty. Authority has to come from the people.

Now that’s we’re civilized, we don’t need to allow our family, churches, or country to be ruled by an abusive authoritarian father. Remember, power corrupts.

Authoritarianism requires followers. Oppressive governments instill in their people that they must follow orders, unconditionally. People in those countries, like children in Authoritarian families seek the safety of the Authoritarian, even if it means pain and suffering. Authoritarian leaders would be nothing if not for the blind followers. Being a blind follower of a strong father figure does harm to both you and to the leader.

Authoritarian followers are easily exploited. Someone who seeks out the safety and dominance of the Authoritarian believes that no matter what, the leader must be right. When going to church, the Authoritarian follower can be told to believe or disbelieve anything, no matter how well proven or dis-proven. Being lied to is a normal occurrence and is not something that evokes the disgust reflex it does in non followers. This is the fundamental ingredient in most abusive relationships and families. “I promise, I’ll stop hitting you or the kids, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll quit cheating.” But they don’t stop, and you, deep inside, knew they were all lies.

Your church or leader/president might tell you that all “fill in the blank” people are evil, murderers, rapists… If you know in your heart that it can’t be so, you force yourself to believe it anyway because, hey, that’s the leader. This in-group against the out-group is what causes hatred, wars, racism, bigotry, and many of the problems this world is seeing today. This is also the tool many Authoritarians use to keep his flock of followers, hatred and fear of the “other.” The sad part is that two equally authoritarian religions opposing each other are completely unable to see how they suffer the same ailment, Authoritarianism.

As stated already, Authoritarian followers are easily manipulated. Bringing up your children to be follower means your children become followers who are easy to manipulate. That’s good for the strong leader, but bad for your children. America’s founding fathers challenged authority and built that right into our constitution. Teach your children to question authority.

Getting back to religion, churches that can go unchecked become evil. If you don’t believe that, just read history books. Unrestrained power always becomes corrupt, churches become evil. Islam is an example. Many Muslims are shedding the Authoritarian version of Islam but those who do not, are the fertilizer from which radicalism is nurtured. Don’t think that this is only a Muslim problem. The same has happened to Christianity many times in the past and we are seeing that in some Christian churches in America, today.

In conclusion, Authoritarianism creates and encourages bullies like abusive fathers, schoolyard bullies, and even presidents. It elevates people to unchecked positions of power, and power corrupts. Worst of all, it makes victims of the followers and the world they live in.

 

Does Trump Love America?

In my entire life I have never seen a politician or even a candidate for any office smearing America like Trump and his followers do.

How did we get to the point where the party that is in control of our government hate it so? Trump fills his cabinet posts with people who are against the purpose of the position.  This isn’t all that new. Reagan was good at filling positions like the Labor positions who were anti-labor and people to the education department who were against public education.

But never  has it been this bad, never in my lifetime. Trump bashes just about everything America from the media to the Democrats (you know, the majority of Americans) to the liberals to the justice department, to the FBI.

How could anyone vote for a party that hates America so much?

Did they really believe that there was going to be any draining of the swamp? I don’t believe so. Many people knew what kind of man Trump was before the election. His rants of “Fake News” and “Grab ’em by the p****” were  obvious clues.

So, the voters who supported Trump (including those who didn’t vote Trump or Hillary) all knew what they were getting but they voted for him anyway, all for the sake of getting entrenched political ideology out of the swamp.

The sad part of all this is many of those Republican voters would do it all over again.

So, you tell me, does the GOP really hate America like it appears or are they just capitalizing on the frustration voters have, not with the country, but with our government?

Recognizing the Tax Cut Shell Game

Pay attention to the tax cut shell game.

This tax plan that the GOP is putting forward contains cuts for almost everyone, according to them. However,  in reality this isn’t quite so. In fact, millions of Americans will see their taxes go up.

But, even for those who will see their taxes go down, this is not really a tax cut. You will have to pay all that money back with interest. How so?

These tax cuts are being paid by increasing our country’s debt. And, who pays the debt? The tax payers. With interest.

So, the GOP is giving you $100 with this hand while taking $110 with the other. This is not a tax cut for you and me.  In the long run, it’s a tax increase just like the increase for the millions I mentioned above.

The worst part of this is the damage that these tax cuts have on the economy. Think back to the previous three major tax cuts.

Bush’s tax cuts ended up causing the crash of 2008. This was the worst crash since Reagan. Before that, Reagan started the trickle down fairy tale  of the 80s and that created the biggest crash since the Great Depression.

Oh, and yes, the Great Depression. That crash was caused by tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy, creating the temporary bubble called the roaring 20s.

So, in a nut shell, the GOP is pretending to give us tax cuts while giving the super wealthy the real tax cut, the whole while risking our economy.

Most of us have been here long enough that these trickle down fantasies never work and cause more harm than good. But, there are still a lot of people who believe the propaganda. We call those people, Republican voters.

In order to prevent the Republican voters from destroying our economy and creating an increase in our taxes, we must get active. Only 20% of the country is still believing the conservative propaganda but they are a very active 20%. It will take every one of the rest of us to get mobilized and call our representatives and put a halt to the big give-away to the super wealthy.