508 Comments

Feeling utterly powerless and afraid.

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I was thinking that and then decided we have to rev up our engines to fight the good fight. Don’t Despair Lee, we are all in this together.

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So what do we do?

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First of all, we do whatever we can to inform and get out voters to give Democrats a working majority in Congress in the next elections. Meanwhile, push for expanding the courts. If the Supreme Court expands to 13, matching the number of circuits, the radical right partisans become a 7-6 minority that is no longer able to abuse their power.

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Joan I completely agree with expanding the Court to 13 and the reason for it. However, the clock is running out.

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Very true. If we do get a working majority in Congress in the next elections, it will have to act quickly to head off the next power grabs. For that reason, I text my reps and President Biden several times a week to expand the court - we need to have the political will ready, in anticipation of having the power. Resistbot makes sending those texts quick. (and it does not take energy away from postcarding etc)

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This is what I'm saying Joan ~ High Five!

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Agreed! To get the vote out people need to understand what complacency of fence sitting will do.

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I think we need to name what is going on and tell everyone. I have been sharing HCR's letters with people, and telling them to wake up. I am telling people about what is going on. We have to be like Biden naming it and calling it out. Go online and do this too. Make sure everyone knows that there is a movement, planned for quite some time which is now coming to fruition under Trump and his MAGA people to have a White Power overthrow of the government. Spell out the agenda. In it, White conservative, cis-gendered, Christian men rule the world. They have the jobs, and the power, and White women are their help mates by serving them, taking care of the home, servicing them sexually, and breeding children. Everyone else is to be gotten rid of. That is the plan. They will not make that clear until they are in power but that is their plan. Mixed marriage is illegal. Being gay is illegal. Being trans is illegal. Being Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist is despicable and worthy of extermination. Having black or brown skin is considered subhuman and worthy of extermination.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/13/us/white-nationalism-explainer-trnd

Some might say they just want separation of the nations, but really the ultimate goal is to get rid of everyone else. It is far more organized and widespread than the cnn article would have you believe according to the experts.

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2021/01/15/957421470/when-white-extremism-seeps-into-the-mainstream

https://politicalresearch.org/research/white-nationalism

Share this information. Is this the vision people want for their world? If not, they need to protest, and also, should we go along with this if it happens. Should we accept bad laws and bad leaders?

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Linda, you need not worry about mixed marriages Supreme Court Justice Thomas is married to the infamous Ginni Thomas.

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Justice Thomas' mixed marriage is not safe. The moment it becomes illegal maybe his ah-ha moment. Too late to realize that he has been a tool of the white Christian nationalists/supremacists all along!

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😎

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Whatever is humanly possible. I’m writing letters for Vote Forward. They desperately need more letter writers.

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I'm printing out my first 20 letters right now!!!

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I'm participating in Vote Forward as well. Have signed for 140 letters and have the first of 4 states in envelopes and ready to put stamps on and mail on 10/28/22. The remaining 3 states are written & ready to fold & put in envelopes. Also have signed up for 100 post cards in my state for a post card campaign.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

Elisabeth is right--we are all in this together. Please see my comment about The States Project for how we can each contribute to make a difference in critical state legislatures. My comment is way below, has this Tending to Democracy Giving Circle link, and these emojis:

https://www.grapevine.org/giving-circle/1XQhnyD/Tending-to-Democracy

🇺🇸🗽💙🇺🇸🗽💙🇺🇸🗽💙

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Hello Ellie, I have been reading Heather for a long time. I've been drafting off of my wife's subscription (she and HCR were in graduate school together). Your post motivated me to get my own damn subscription so I could write this comment, and also to give a donation to round up your amount raised to date to Tending to Democracy (hopefully you are now WAY past $12,000). I stopped giving to political organizations after raising and spending lavishly for Obama because Citizen's United pisses me off to no end--my few dollars seems a waste in the face of the Koch's and Leos, et al. Anyway, you changed that reluctance for me. And like the first commenter this morning, I am "feeling utterly powerless and afraid." My contribution was made in memory of my father, Grant L. Jacks, Jr., who at the age of 17 went to Europe in the winter of 1945. He came back with frostbite, which affected his ability to walk for the rest of his life. He was a Republican. I think he would want me to defend the nation and the democracy. I have been saying for a long time that I won't sit this election cycle out, but I've been paralyzed by what to do. Sick of railing at Susan Collins here in Maine, not knowing if I should just work on keeping ole Paul LePage out of the governorship, I will be listening to all the wise people on this forum to help me discern where to put my energies. The crazy people who want autocracy have to be stopped, and those with the earplugs in have to have them ripped out and told to stand the fuck up and vote for democracy unless they really, really want autocracy. Please, I'm all ears, tell me how to be useful.

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I’ve been writing letters for vote forward. Also writing postcards to voters. For both you go to their website to register (to prove you’re not a bot) and once approved you can start writing. Postcards to voters are for specific candidates. Each time I’ve written the candidate has won their election so I believe it works. I’ve also phone banked. A friend goes door to door to get voters registered. So many ways to get involved besides writing checks.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

Your comment and very obvious spirit and discernment are very useful, Ben. Donate $ whenever one can to worthy campaigns and take as many people to the polls with you as possible in November. I’m doing that by a lot of phone banking and conversations wherever with people that generate commitments to vote blue in November. With every person I speak with, I add a beautiful bead to my invisible chain of Light that supports the elections in our country in November and all countries where democracy is on the ballot.

Regardless of afraid, we must not be scared.

We are The People.

Unita! 🗽

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Hi Ben and all Mainers! Here is Melissa Walker talking about how The States Project made a difference in Maine. A great 2 minute view!

https://youtu.be/VI8oFWf4jYk

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Wow. Thank you, Ben, for joining this forum and our Giving Circle. Blessings to the memory of your father who lived with the reminder of fighting against fascism with every step he took.

Relational organizing means talking up the issues of protecting our democracy with people we know and meet. Heather helps us identify the issues.

Then we work on registering voters and Get Out The Vote. We figure out our respective strengths and interests to find our people at one of over 100 grassroots organizations effectively working for voting rights and democracy. You can contact me via the Tending to Democracy page for more info. Thank you!

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Ellie brings us The Best Resources! So glad you've joined and contributed good thoughts as well as donation!

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Ellie, I was so excited this morning I got a letter from a wonderful young man running for state office in Michigan. He is pro-choice and pro all the good things we discuss here. From my $120 donation to the States Project, which I learned about from YOU. I feel connected and part of a fighting team of Americans I would love to have a drink with sometime!

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Elisabeth, that is wonderful, both your donation and the candidate's response! From The States Project, I have learned that most state legislators are not professional politicians, but regular folks like you and me doing this part-time legislator work. Thank you for joining the team!

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I was thrilled to hear from him. It shows a connection between me and him! How refreshing. We must support each other and not succumb to the gloom today’s letter from Heather has cast on us. On me, certainly. But reading the comments has gotten me “back on my horse” and I feel like putting on my boxing gloves to resist those Repugnants ruining our country.

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I feel pretty gloomy. I live in NC.

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You've got the amazing Cheri Beasley running for Senate!

https://cheribeasley.com/

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I looked into this. On the surface this appears like the others such as Move On, Our Revolution, etc. These organizations are essential and must somehow be able to connect with the masses. Show “how” to acquire more ownership rather than just donating. “How” to be and feel empowered at a more fundamental level without the donation button flashing at the entrance gate signifying that if you can’t give there’s no way to be a part of the solution. In other words Dems need to be able to organize the people.

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Doing that as well.

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Lee,

I don't recommend the feelings you describe as powerless and afraid.

I recommend feeling angry and powerful and willing to do what it takes to stop a bunch of somewhat stupid white people from taking control from all of us.

How hard could it be? After all, their main advantage is money, certainly not brains.

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Yes, first get a dose of Hubbell:

"Nothing is determined. The future is open to every possibility. We can affect the outcome, but to do so, we must be relentless, dedicated, and fearless. We are in the thick of the fight. Anxiety and worry are luxuries we cannot afford because they distract and exhaust us. If you find your thoughts drifting to imagined fears, pivot to action—which is the antidote to anxiety."

https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/a-reflection-on-the-midterms

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

Thank you, Ellie. I am a lifelong activist. My parents took me (4) and my sister (2) to Union Square in NYC when the Rosenbergs were electrocuted. That’s when it started. So Mr. Hubbell’s words are golden: “pivot to action—which is the antidote to anxiety.”

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THIS!

Ellie comes through again.

Ty.

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One of my favorite phrases! The best antidote to despair is action.

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HCR's letters and Hubbell's newsletter are a one-two punch. I've subscribed to the latter this week and very glad I did.

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Mike, These “stupid” white people are led by lawyers and rich fascists like Leo Leo and Bill Barr and Cipollone from the catholic right wing who are not stupid. They are intent on overthrowing our way of life. The Maggats who follow them are, by and large, pretty uneducated or stubborn about learning anything new. Some are extremely stupid. However, we must never underestimate the power of the almighty dollar in American politics and the right has a juggernaut aimed directly at most of us, The People. All of us who are “liberal”, or gay, or transgender, or asexual (they are so focused on what we do in bed)….or Jewish, or Black, or young liberals or mixed race people are under attack. Us Old radicals also, lol. So keep your eyes on the Prize. Angry, powerful and willing to do what it takes to stop “them” is good. I am with you.

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Elisabeth…You’re absolutely correct!!! It has come down to the simple fact, “either we bury the Maggots (I mean Maggats…darn Spell Check!) at the Polls or…they bury our Democracy”!!!

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You got it right the first time, Bob. 😉😂

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Elisabeth,

Understood.

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However, this has been part of a plan since the 1990s, a new plan which is a change in a plan since the 1960s of creating a White nation, which is not a new plan, just a turn in a violent overthrow of the government to achieve these goals. This plan includes a lot of people who are very single minded, and who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. That is their advantage over the rest of us. We are just not that ruthless.

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Well, Linda: we gotta get “ruthless” metaphorically speaking. Backbone is key....getting your boxing gloves on is key. There is so much we CAN do. Let’s not get stuck on what we can’t do. Right?

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Agreed! An important thing to do is to name what is going on to everyone we know and get the word out. I responded in detail about this to Anne O Green Gables above.

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How?

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Look up your local Republican party.

Find out when the meetings are.

Go to them.

Suck up to the folks you figure out are powerful and tell them they are brilliant and you want to join them.

Then, begin to work within the Republican apparatus.

When you get a chance to make a difference within their apparatus, then, do so.

Work to become the local leader of your Republican Party and when you do??

Change the narrative and the goals.

Remember, sucking up to them will be needed until you become the leader, then, they will suck up to you.

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Mike, I would have to go “undercover”, but it might be fun and exciting. However, could be dangerous given all the guns “they” have. Safety is a real concern to me. What do you think.

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Guns are ubiquitous in America now Elisabeth. Wherever you are. A Republican Party meeting will be no different than going to Walmart or your local church.

Plus, it is not like you are not sincere. Your goal is to help America and Americans so no need for undercover. That is what they want to in their minds. It is the billionaire's that own media and corporations that have "evil" goals.

The guys are your local Republican meeting? "Normal" Americans unlikely to offer violence to someone currying favor.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

See my comment about the Tending to Democracy Giving Circle with these emojis:

https://www.grapevine.org/giving-circle/1XQhnyD/Tending-to-Democracy

🇺🇸🗽💙🇺🇸🗽💙🇺🇸🗽💙

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Just signed up!

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Thank you, Cynthia!

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I will try to recruit others as well!

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Anne, where do you live? There is so much activity of the good kind going on all over the US. I am inspired by the writers here and elsewhere. Tell us and we can help connect you. People are eager for on the ground help!

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I am from a bright red county in red Ohio. Please direct me to action here. I belong to a progressive group and am also a member of the Democratic Central Committee but we had made little difference in this state so far. Thank-you for the info you have provided. I am trying to stay "up" but it is hard sometimes.

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What about contacting your States Project group in Ohio? I am certain they are active there. Moveon.org is another very good group. Even Bernie Sanders might have activity in Ohio. Maybe you need to push your DCC. It’s great you are a member. Bring all this up with them. People need direction. How about your local church groups who are progressive? Is there a Black community (if you are white) you can connect with? What about Women’s Groups? I’ll ask my journalist friends who they would recommend in Ohio. I think Dave Chappell lives in Ohio. Why not reach out to him? He is a fabulous guy and articulate and very progressive. What about pro choice activity among your women’s groups? They must be doing a lot! Just some brainstorming with you. Let me know what happens.

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Thanks for some great ideas. I will look into the States Project here and also use some of your other ideas. This has brightened my day up a bit and I will keep you posted. Again, thanks!

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Mike I respectfully disagree with your statement 'they are not smart'. I fell into this trap saying the same about tfg. I feel like they are all smarter than me because they are getting nefarious stuff done and I am not. All I know to do is write postcards, hold signs and try to call out this disgraceful government takeover to the cool aid drinkers.

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How do we do that?

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Speak up! Also, write and call your politicians so they know not everyone is in agreement with the Republican platform. My local politicians are on speed dial. Keep yourself informed so you can argue well. Start gathering materials that you can give to people so that they understand what the other side is about. Find like minded people to do that with. Yes you want to be safe. You can write postcards, sign petitions, send emails. I do not use Facebook, but I forward emails on information that I think it important to all of my friends. The problem is that many people do not have imaginations and cannot envision what things are going to be like. You have to paint the picture. Use books and movies that have already done this, gather articles from the print sources. I keep files of articles in folders on my computer by topic. From Abortion to White Supremacy, Youth Culture, Voting, etc... Right now pointing out what is going on with abortion and the potential future ramifications of that in terms of women's health care is one of the things I am focusing on. For example, you have the recent case where there are people suing to get out of paying for health insurance for their employees or for themselves because they object to coverage that includes screening for HIV, HPV and they feel it violates the religious screening act. Point out that the judges that this side has been filling the courts with are making cases that only the president and congress can decide on these coverages, which has ended up meaning that who is in the congress matters a lot, and that the care coverage we all get it seriously compromised.

https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2022/09/08/prep-coverage

Find the cases that will make people care.

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But I am incredibly grateful for your efforts and I’m sure they have been a tremendous positive influence. What we are dealing with now is a different creature. They do t even care about the vote because they will undermined anything fair and will go violent if they don’t get their way.

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The people I feel we need to reach need more fundamental ways of being communicated with. Believe it or not this is all too “high brow”

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Not everyone can be reached. Some may need to hear or see stories. Some may change, some may not. I have found that stories can be effective even if it does not seem like it will be, if your stories connect to an experience that someone has yet to have, it colors how they go through that experience. Point them to the Handmaids Tale on Hulu and other shows that display the dangers of the what Republican Ideology enacted can look like, and how it has permeated our government in many places. This podcast series is one I might share.

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/1064278762/extremely-american

Recently I have been pointing out that all of the things that have led to the lowered life expectancy in the USA, while it has rebounded in other countries of similar wealth are tied to Republican policies.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/31/health/life-expectancy-covid-pandemic.html

The main factor is Covid, then comes guns, drug overdoses and car crashes. The first leads to increases in the following. It is Republican policies against covid management tactics such as masking and the vaccine that has meant that White people actually have the most increase in loss of life expectancy. Let your White Supremacists know that. Even though Whites are living longer, they have decreased their life expectancy along with Native Americans, through the policies of the Republican parties. I assume Native Americans have died in such great numbers because they are largely living in states governed by Republicans. So, Republicans support segregationist policies which have led to high death rate in Black and Brown communities, but there is bounce back after more people get vaccine and follow covid protocols. I would also say we are seeing the Biden bounce back because things are more hopeful for Black and Brown communities under a Democratic president and particularly under Biden who has taken on a lot of the standard of living issues. Then, we have the fact that we could have ended covid 2 summers ago if everyone had gotten vaccinated when the vaccine was available. The virus would not have had time to develop all of these hybrids each being more contagious and therefore infecting more of the population. It is Republican policies that worked against and fought against getting covid under control with Governors and Attorney Generals going to court to fight protective policies, and so, now we are going to have to live with Covid forever. It could have been ended. The downsides to this are many, including that many people have become despairing and depressed. That has led to increased drug use and overdose, which is a form of slow or fast suicide. It has also led to some either sucide alone or suicide homicides where they take people with them based on the method they choose to use. Since guns are leading to much of the lowered life expectancy outside of health issues, Republican policies with guns contribute to the proliferation of guns in our country and the easy access people have to commit suicide and homicide with them. That is true of cars as well. The wreckless driving that people are engaging in due to either drug usage, or hopelessness, is sucicidal/homicide depending on who is in the car when it crashes and whom it hits. Again, this increased desperation is tied to Republican governance during covid, and covid is the trigger for this desperation and unhappiness.

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You have a backbone don't you? Use it. Doing nothing is not an option. There is always something everyone can do. Listen to Heather, the answer is in our history.

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"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be." --Often attributed to food writer Clementine Paddleford and sometimes Tallulah Bankhead (two names that make me smile).

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MaryB of Pasadena - “𝘕𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸 𝘢 𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘣𝘰𝘯𝘦, 𝘥𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘣𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦.”

For My Daughter

By Sarah McMane

Never play the princess when you can

be the queen:

rule the kingdom, swing a scepter,

wear a crown of gold.

Don’t dance in glass slippers,

crystal carving up your toes --

be a barefoot Amazon instead,

for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet.

Never wear only pink

when you can strut in crimson red,

sweat in heather grey, and

shimmer in sky blue,

claim the golden sun upon your hair.

Colors are for everyone,

boys and girls, men and women --

be a verdant garden, the landscape of Versailles,

not a pale primrose blindly pushed aside.

Chase green dragons and one-eyed zombies,

fierce and fiery toothy monsters,

not merely lazy butterflies,

sweet and slow on summer days.

For you can tame the most brutish beasts

with your wily wits and charm,

and lizard scales feel just as smooth

as gossamer insect wings.

Tramp muddy through the house in

a purple tutu and cowboy boots.

Have a tea party in your overalls.

Build a fort of birch branches,

a zoo of Legos, a rocketship of

Queen Anne chairs and coverlets,

first stop on the moon.

Dream of dinosaurs and baby dolls,

bold brontosaurus and bookish Belle,

not Barbie on the runway or

Disney damsels in distress --

you are much too strong to play

the simpering waif.

Don a baseball cap, dance with Daddy,

paint your toenails, climb a cottonwood.

Learn to speak with both your mind and heart.

For the ground beneath will hold you, dear --

know that you are free.

And never grow a wishbone, daughter,

where your backbone ought to be.

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Wow. This is so validating. A delightful poem that encapsulates all the things that I wanted my own daughters to know about how to live. They got it piecemeal, but guess it worked: their kids are being raised the same way. Ron, thank you for pulling it out of the weeds and showing it to us. And Mary for posting the lines that prompted Ron to find it for us.

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A touch of beauty most needed in ugly times. Thank you.

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Well, that internet search of Sarah McMane yielded interesting and inspiring info. Thank you!

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We are not powerless. One thing that reasonable people in all, or almost all states can do is to petition for changes to state constitutions that make gerrymandering unconstitutional, provide that presidential electors must be chosen in accord with the popular vote, and protect the right to privacy and control over one’s body (and mind). The example of Kansas in August should give great hope that such measures would pass.

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Look up an organization that Heather supports called Red Wine and Blue. May e you will want to get involved with their efforts- they are organizing big time.

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Yes! Be a Troublemaker!

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Yes, thank you, and my favorite is RidetoVote, getting people to the polls.

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Ladies sign up for https://redwine.blue/ - HCR did a video with them. Great way to learn how to organize women in your State and participate in small ways. They do trainings. their website says "Study after study shows that talking to the people in your network is the MOST impactful way to influence voters. We are committed to providing everything you need to tap into this super power: training, tools, community, and nonstop support."

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I echo that. I love the concept, it's exciting and dynamic. I signed up to train as a coach. This is right up my alley. If you want to get something started where you are and not sure just how to do it, this is a great way to do it, because you won't have to wing it. The videos are available on the website, and you can sign up for training- all with support for you.

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Today, the Michigan Supreme Court did the right thing and ruled that the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative will be on the general election ballot.

In addition to codifying the Roe standard in the state constitution, the ballot proposal would also guarantee Michigan women the right to access contraception, the right to receive fertility treatment, and the right to determine their own pre- and post-partum care—all issues that the United States Supreme Court noted are potentially up for debate in future cases.

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Wow, MaryPat, the Queen died and Steve Bannon was handcuffed on state charges, but this to me is the biggest news of the day! Thank goodness the Reproductive Freedom initiative will be on the ballot in MI. Can't wait to see a big blue wave powered by Michigan's women!

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💙💙💙💙💙💙

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That’s okay - remember that part of the Bible urging - love thy god with all the mind, heart , soul, and might? Or something like that? If you hold a value that is bigger than you - say for example, La Vida, peace on earth, justice and mercy for all, truth, beauty, creativity - then the idea is to love what you live with the all that is you. To love with your powerlessness, fear, and all the rest of you - remember all the times in your past when you felt similarly and found a path to have those feelings without being those feelings and discovered a power native to you to deal with the challenging situation. Love with your All means wholeness not perfection.

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Truth

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Sigh, I understand.

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I had exactly the same reaction. And it felt really strange because I've been also reading and posting Robert Hubbell's newsletter every day, and he's all about finding optimism and taking action. I know there is cross over between the two communities - and for everyone who many not know of him, here's one of his newsletters with lots of ways to get involved and take action.

Here's a sample with a list of groups at the end, recommended by readers.

https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/a-tale-of-two-speeches?r=eznl2&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

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Another terrifying newsletter making me revisit the idea of infiltrating Vancouver, CA, through friends there--or perhaps Panama--in case the picture painted here materializes DESPITE our fervent efforts....

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When I read this letter tonight I felt the same way, Lee!

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Me too.

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What happened to the idea behind the Social Contract? As a society, we are better off pooling our resources to help one another than selfishly going it alone. Do these folks not need the fire brigade, the police force, schools to educate their grandchildren, hospitals when they get sick? How discouraging it is to hear these kinds of blinkered, selfish arguments being given credence in courts of law!

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Malignant narcissism sees other people and the world itself as objects to be used as one pleases, to be manipulated, subjugated, or destroyed. It's what is under the hood of evil.

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And all this on the same day that the Obamas went back to the WH and gave such an inclusive, uplifting speech at the unveiling of their portraits. Their view of society includes EVERYONE!

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Egalitarians vs supremacists.

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Right vs wrong.

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Thank you for making the action of malignant narcissism so clear.

This is the form that evil has taken today.

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And grifted - defrauded.

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Courts of law elected or appointed by narcissists, who think that legitimate government serves them and enforces their wishes, and no one else's. Judge O’Connor's decision reeks of it, to the point of sociopathy. exactly what justice isn't.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

JL I am reminded of the first American fire departments. Homeowners subscribed and had a plaque on their homes. Were there a fire and they hadn’t paid for a plaque, the volunteer firemen arrived, then left, without fighting the fire.

Today both for individuals and for our society, there are programs that provide broad insurance. (Have you ever read the specific details of your homeowner’s insurance policy?)

The idea that individuals can unilaterally reject specific items in a government health/insurance policy I find anathema to the broad interests of the American society.

Next month I will be 89. I imagine that there are aspects of my Medicare coverage that are no longer applicable to my personal situation. HOWEVER, there are some from which I am fulsomely benefitting. That Judge O’Connor and other rogue judges seek to open this Pandora’s Box I find counter to the concept of the common good.

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Thank you for providing such encouragement to everyone younger, by simply being yourself at nearly 90 and sharing your rich experience and the understanding you've gained from it.

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The devil is in the details of these laws that are passed that elevate society as a whole (e.g., Social Security, ACA, Medicare, Medicaid). They have to have ironclad rules as to their universal application and universal participation. And courts and judges, like this O'Connor misfit, have to be rebutted when they make an attempt to overrule the will of the people.

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James Spot on!. I was thinking about finding a rogue judge to complain that my Medicare gynecological coverage is unnecessary for an 88-year-old man. Then I remembered the Act of God provision in my homeowner’s insurance. Hmmm, you never know. On reflection I am delighted to have gynecological coverage. (Just in case).

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Exactly, Keith! Nobody has to prove need: it's just there, so that nobody has to jump hoops or get tangled up with red tape to get the care they need. That's what insurance does: pool the resources so that we all have access when and if. You don't need gynecological care, but I might. I will never need prostate care, but you might. Happy to help out on that. We're both old, and likely share a whole bunch of things that Medicare was created for to keep us healthy as long as possible. I am immensely grateful, as I am finding this part of my life extraordinarily rich. I'm glad I'm able to enjoy it.

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Anne Whether its gynecological assistance for me or a vasectomy for you, its reassuring to have all possible bases covered.

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A kid in the 1950s I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address and the Preamble of the Constitution for school. We got inspirational stories about Lincoln, occasioned by Lincolns Birthday, which is no longer celebrated. Both recitations involved a recognition of the legitimate seat of power in the aggregated "people" of the republic, "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" seems as though the primary focus of the mission statement of the document is all about "the common good".

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J L Four score and seven years ago we had the first Republican president who the MAGAS today would reject as a RINO.

Lincoln believed that government was of the people, for the people, and by the people. Also, when he had problems with a Supreme Court Chief Justice who treasonably supported the Confederates in the Civil War, Tawny was placed under virtual house arrest in Maryland.

After Democrat Stephen Douglas lost to Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election, Douglas then worked in support of Lincoln’s efforts to maintain the union against the Southern secessionists.

Lincoln, like Jesus, would find Trump and Mafiosos revolting.

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Anyone who care about abuse of power and the fate of the power deprived would, will condemn what "Republicans" are up to. Back in that day Republicans weren't flying the Confederate flag.

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Federal Judge Connor; her judicial career is over if not her seat on a civil Trial Court 70 miles north of MAL. Hearing on Connor's missive on this FRIDAY. Thursday Afternoon Update: The DOJ has done (two) actions: (1) the U.S. has filed a "protective appeal" that expires on SEPTEMBER 15. (2) the U.S. has also filed a motion in Cannon's court to give her a way out to correct a botched "part" of her ruling. Tfg has no possessory interest in "classified" documents whatsoever nor does anyone else! By definition "classified" documents are not attorney client documents. Manifest Court error, serious & dangerous error.

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T: thank you for the Link to Robert Reich's piece,

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They just hate the libtards, my wonderful nephew is now a MAGAt, lured by the local fire department morons. You ask “what are they thinking?? Not much

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So was the lure for him to be apart of that Bro-hood? Can’t belong unless you “get along”?

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Fox Noise--exactly. That's all some in my family watch (not in this house, thankfully). I blame Murdoch, Carlson, Hannity, et al for their large part in creating the place where we are now as a nation. They have spewed so many falsehoods, so much misinformation, so few facts. Propaganda works, apparently. (Not letting the MSM off the hook, either, as I have posted here many times.)

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Suz As a former history/economics professor I can imagine many current students being befuddled by a Constitution that they have never studied and a vocabulary more appropriate for Twitter than what can be garnered by reading good books.

THINKING requires an understanding of history and an appreciation of humanitarianism that, in part, comes from rigorous mental discipline. As Senator Moynihan phrased it “You are entitled to your personal opinions but not your personal facts.”

AWWRK!

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The idea of a Social Contract was never adhered to by Southern States and probably not much by northern states.

However, FDR and Eisenhower managed, through some lucky and skilled leadership and a completely devastated economy, to lead Americans who did want that approach to it.

Most folks want to believe that what they have is from their own efforts. And, the "American narrative" encourages imagining that one's hard work has led one to a good outcome. I like to imagine myself in this catergory, but, I know better (now).

But, really, without even looking very close, those who manage to build a little wealth or a lot of wealth usually have a LOT of luck in the pathway OR just rich parents who have had money in the family for generations. One must also be white. Being male goes a long way too and being a tall white male is the holy grail to be promoted in corporations.

So, the concept that America had a Social Contract? It is kind of a myth.

The Republicans who controlled the government from 1918 to 1928 just managed to so disastrously kill the economy that desperation led folks to follow FDR then Eisenhower.

IF, instead of doing a "soft landing" of the economy through massive deficity spending in 2009, Obama had just let the economy crash and burn for three years like it would have, people would not have voted for a Republican again for a generation or two.

But, unfortunately, we spent 10 Trillion dollars making sure that after Obama was done, Trump would get elected.

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What can I say except I am a Scot, a beneficiary of the Social Contract that was implemented after the Second World War who received free tertiary education and became a teacher of literature, imbued with the wonderful

Ideas from the Enlightenment. I know the US has its tradition of rugged individualism and that the UK is now rapidly becoming a third world country, but I still, somewhat idealistically, adhere to the idea of a Social Contract!

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Isabel, we all adhere to the Social Contract. That is why this Letter exists. Our ‘rugged Individualism’ will be our downfall in the United States. My parents were communists and I grew up in the fifties and sixties as a radical, activist, pro all human rights woman. I am still that woman and cannot let this happen on my watch. I’m 73. My great grandmother, who birthed 17 children came to America and lived to 96. My Irish great grandmother had 17 children also. I think I have a long life ahead of me.....

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As Dr. Richardson writes in her "History of the Republican Party" book, the "rugged individual" is a myth created by Hollywood.

Duropean immigrant Americans in rural environments heavily relied on each other from their earliest killing of local natives to steal their land.

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Mike The ‘famous’ Horatio Algers books, that purported to support the rags-to-riches myth, were in fact quite false. Ditto with the ‘rugged cowboy,’ the majority of whom were Hispanic or Black, since the job was tough and poorly paid. [How many Hispanic and Black cowboys and soldiers did you see in Hollywood movies? The first movie featuring an admirable Black soldier was SERGEANT RUTLEDGE in, I believe, 1960.]

John Wayne [a student of mine said ‘The Duke makes me puke’] symbolized this rugged individual myth, as exemplified in his Vietnam film glorifying our ‘marvelous military success.’

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Mike S, I think you are right that Hollywood rode the "rugged individual" meme for all it was worth, but the meme came right out of the Euro-American culture and is well-documented all the way back to the first Euro-settlers, as you allude to. Those "rugged individualists" were subsidized first by the "companies" that funded the colonies (and lost money on it, debt never repaid). The western bound were societies rejects in many ways, and were happy to take the freebies handed them by the new nation, whose interest lay in expansion. The irony is that Europe matured and gradually discarded the notion of individualism as a primary construct (though their various forms of a Social Contract are still works in progress, as they always will be). America got hung up on individualism (which never really existed in the way we think it did). We're in the midst of trying to become unstuck, as so many cling to the idea that they exist in a social bubble.

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Totally agree with your determination to save the Social Contract! I do get disappointed and discouraged at times, but then people like Heather keep pointing us all in the right direction-onward!!

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It is good to dream!

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A couple of things, Mike: first, thank you for the reality-check that “the Social Contract” is a myth. It’s easier to operate when I’m not tripping myself up by wondering “Why people don’t go back to that”. Our efforts are in hopes of moving towards that, a social contract.

“Woudda, shouldda, couldda” on the soft-landing of the economy in 2009. Wishing a full blown worldwide depression to teach the gop supporters a lesson, would have been a toug-love choice indeed. But to be the first African-American President AND allow a worldwide depression without trying your damnedest to NOT allow that to happen? Could you have made that decision? I doubt I could. Who do you listen to at a time like that? And how do you judge the trajectory when you are not an economist yourself? And most of all, Wallstreet and its ilk are like an organized crime syndicate. How much “Could” Obama really choose to do without their undermining him immediately? Market manipulations and the spin they are allowed to give to MSM, keep us misinformed constantly as it is in normal times, let alone in a death-spiral. Perhaps we would be in a better place. But man! What a road to get there it would have been.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

"Could you have made that decision?"

Michele: During the soft landing two things happened that we do not, yet, know the consequences of -

1) The Fed "purchased" worthless mortgage derivatives and $5 Trillion of those and put them on their "books" for the very first time in history. Note: Those worthless securities are STILL on th books. Because, the Fed cannot sell them.

2) The Federal government spent another $4 Trillion in debt, raising our total debt to around $12-15 Trillion.

All of this was NOT to help Americans who had lost their homes. It was to help AIG and America's largest banks.

MANY Americans on the ground remained/remain permantently unemployed after that Republican disaster (caused by the legalization of derivatives under Bush in 2001).

So, the real question is: "Would I have have made the choice to saddle my children with the sins of Republicans from 2001 to 2008".

The answer is: NO.

I would NOT have dug the US so much further in debt, reducing my children's future quality of life to make sure Jimmy Dimon could still be in charge of JP Morgan.

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Mike, we are in agreement that in hindsight better deals could perhaps have been struck. The CBO’s 2021 report on the TARP action reads that it was a reasonably successful action considering the intent was to stabilize the markets and unfreeze them. No credit flowing held everyone hostage. The thought of banks failing enmasse as they did in the Great Depession was a very real consideration, and a the very outcome to be avoided. The Dems tried to put banking regulations back in place but immediately on returning to legislative majority at the midterms, the gop rolled those back. So, if Obama let the whole world crash to prove a point about gop malfeasance, and the fallout happened immediately on his watch, with him only doing…..what?…….now we are in a world-wide-mega-depression, with an African-American at the helm. And you believe the country would still have stayed the course with dem leadership in congress at the midterms? My point is, if you were Obama, at that moment in time, without a crystal ball, with seeming “experts” advising you, on an area you are not deeply schooled in, with the fallout of the Great Depression as your closest, major historical context, would your choice have been to let it all crash? You say confidently, yes. I simply say, if there was a straight forward, guaranteed, tough-love choice, that American’s would have understood was to teach the gop, the banks and investment houses a lesson, AND would make life better for average Americans in the end, Obama would have chose it. But the tricky-whicket part of “getting American’s to understand it was best for them” always sways the best decision-making to be less than it could be.

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Thank you. Sometimes the navel contemplating is frustrating.

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Sadly, it seems (may not be true) that the Social Contract left the building a good while back.

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It has for some, who want to replace it with edict, by them, of course; or allegedly by order of their version of a God that thinks exactly as they do.

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sadly true

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Here, Here. Those people who purport to eschew any help and support from the federal government are the first to cry “help” to the same government when disaster strikes. They want FEMA on the spot to help them. Take away all federal support from states and you have disaster. We are The United States, not every state for itself. I am weary of hearing about states rights. “One nation indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL.” This motto seeks to unite not divide.

I agree with Biden’s speech. We must stand for justice and the rule of law, and against selfish partisan politics. And we must take back our country from those who seek only power and money. We must vote. My neighbors and l have a group that will send letters and post cards to get out the vote. Big change comes from individual efforts.

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We human have a dual nature, individual and social. We learn to be what we are from experience and from others. Neither is dispensable. Unlike many animals (such as baby sea turtles) we are born nearly helpless, which is to say, in dire need of help. Helping is a human species survival trait. The US Constitution addresses individual rights as well as responsibilities. E Pluibus Unum is printed on our most valued tokens.

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Grumbach identifies 2010 as a crucial shift for democracy in a number of states. “It’s all about [Republican] control,” he says. “When the [Republican Party] wins your state, it will reduce democracy.” The changes don’t reflect major changes in the states themselves; rather, both the big money interests of the Republican Party and the electoral base, which is motivated by white identity politics, want to keep voting limited.

And thank you Rahm Emmanuel, you #$#@@!! fuckwit. And thank you Barack Obama, for being naive enough to appoint your "good buddy" Rahm as your Chief of Staff in 2009, so he could fire Howard Dean at the DNC and get rid of the "50 State Strategy" that put you in office and gave you the 62 vote Senate and House majority you needed for health care reform, so that Rahm could go back to funding "winnable races only." And that is how we came to the situation we have today, and there are the two culprits responsible.

I hate saying that about Obama, but the facts are the facts. He screwed himself sideways with most of the appointments he made in 2009, due to his lack of experience.. And we pay for those mistakes today.

Oh, and thank you both also for getting rid of Obama For America, the grassroots organization that got the votes to win in 2008, a month after the inauguration. The loss of OFA and Obama's failure to go out and mobilize the party for the 2010 election, is the defeat that lasts and lasts.

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I Love Obama but he was naive. He lacked political hardball and understanding that he needed sustained local and 50 state political action

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Obama has integrity and he inherited a historic and ongoing disaster, but I think he was way too distracted by having to try to hold things together and way too cozy with the banking industry, not to mention the sabotaging GOP, to deliver change we could believe in. He mostly put out the fires, but lacked the time and determination to pursue the arsonists.

My information is spotty, but everything I ever heard about Rahm Emmanuel gave me the creeps, with Obama and in Chicago.

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He represents goodness and a trust in the inherent goodness of others. Must that be naïveté? When he was elected, I was living in France. Joy spread over the world like a starry night. An old American friend of mine wrote to me that at last he was once again proud to be American. I'm glad here's no longer here.

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Obama is a wonderful man. He was naive and inexperienced that first term as President. Rahm Emmanuel is a bad guy, corrupt and heartless. Obama appointed him chief of staff that first term. Obama bailed out the banks and not the tricked mortgage holders, who lost their homes by the thousands. That was when I felt my heart breaking. Iceland told their banks to go to bloody hell in 2008! Obama could have done that too. His election itself was historic and uplifting. However, we have a mess on our hands and cannot wring our hands. We must organize and fight the assault on each and everyone who believes in caring, love and comradeship with our fellow citizens. We must not give in to fear.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

Yes,

Obama's bank bailout for AIG and the Big Banks will be what everyone remembers.

However, it worked out for Obama. His first speech after leaving the White House was at Canter Fitzgerald for $400,000.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39710529

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Thanks for link. He’s been a disappointment since leaving WH.

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Without being organised, we don't have a hope. It's massive undercover organisation that has brought us to this pass. Fire against fire.

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I have the match….

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it was a great time of hope and change... and the wise (black) people who foretold the backlash if Obama were elected... were so on the mark. we have a long history of taking steps forward and then backward before we can recover and go forward again. almost like a dance...

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Exactly. We take a step forward when a Democrat is elected to the presidency, but not a big one because he has to spend most of his first term (or only term) fixing everything the last Republican administration effed up.

Then after the Democratic President fixes, or tries to, and leaves the next administration a country in decent shape, the electorate responds by putting another Republican in office, and we take 10 huge steps backward for the next four to eight years.

Every single time. It flip flops back and forth and every single time, we see a Democratic President having to fix a Republican President’s mistakes, whether intentional or not.

It’s such a tired and useless cycle. I will never understand, even knowing how strong the Fox Propaganda indoctrination is, how Republican voters, the majority of them not being billionaires but the ones who are screwed the most by republican politicians, can keep voting against their own self-interests.

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"the electorate responds by putting another Republican in office"

And therein lies the very heart of the problem.

American's ability to discern and think critically, observe, read and get a clear picture of their reality is little to none.

Instead, (many, enough to elect Trump) spend their time watching "The Apprentice" or other boring, mind numbing "survivor" shows while drinking beer in the evening.

Then, when someone points out that they don't have a job (because they are not responsible enough to hold one) that it is the Democrats fault?

Well, that is a LOT easier to believe than the actual reality that they are too dumb and lazy to hold a job.

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I can't make the heart work, but it's there.

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A different perspective, I had no idea…. But Obama had one hell of a job to keep his head above water. Thank you TC

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"And that is how we came to the situation we have today, and there are the two culprits responsible."

A piece of it I think. So many threads have converged to produce the circumstances we live with now, and in the end, the buck ultimately stops with us if it's really to be "government of the people, by the people, for the people". I think we have let that drift, especially in the TV age, which trains us to be spectators. I don't know if it's really true but I dimly recall a speaker on an NPR broadcast claiming that there was a watershed point at which citizens were more often called "consumers" than "workers" by the press. Certainly we seem to more readily "buy" qlib, soliloquizing candidates and shrink-wrapped, pre-made "issue" positions, rather than discuss and chart them for our "representatives" to execute.

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I never understood abandoning Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy. Seems like it's trying to resuscitate now with things like The States Project.

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TC, I totally agree about Rahm #$#@@!!wit Emmanuel! And about Obama appointing him. Obama must have known about RE’s cover up of the Chicago police department murder of a young black Chicagoan just before the mayoral election. OMG.

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Obama screwed up, no doubt, and plenty of people were screaming about it at the time. To be fair, his failures to combat evils do not make him the initiator of those evils.

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Unfortunately, the act of failing to act politically to maintain his base did initiate the evil we have today.

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Did the act of “failing politically to maintain his base” actually initiate the evil we have today? I think that’s assigning blame to the victims.

Realistically, I would say the evil was already inherent in those people NOT in “his” base. And who are “his” people - it’s us.

The democrats have always had trouble maintaining “their” base so it’s not specifically Obama’s failure but ours. Can we really expect one person to keep us all active, engaged and moving toward a better democracy? We can’t do that in the best of times, it’s certainly not easy in the face of vitriolic anti-Blackness which the GOP consistently embodies. The Ta Nehisi-Coates essay lays this out plainly (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/10/the-first-white-president-ta-nehisi-coates/537909/).

If anything, it’s pretty presumptuous of us to claim “Obama didn’t maintain his base” when really, Democrats didn’t maintain the momentum that was kicked off in 2008. We rested, thinking “we got this” and thought a woman President was a shoe-in despite obvious issues.

Now here we are, fighting to get back not just what we’ve lost in the four years of tfg, but at the bottom of the hill again with Sisyphus and this enormous rock of democracy.

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No, the base and the Ds are not evil. We're just "sometimes stupid," like too many seem to believe elections are held every four years only, and only for president. We have to be "motivated" to get out on the mid-terms. Hopefully that lesson has now been learne.d

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Hopefully.

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Not to mention Obama's willingness to spend 5 Trillion dollars of budget approved money plus another $5 Trillion dollars "off the books", printed by the Fed, to bail out the banks and "soft land" the economy instead of letting the banks collapse for a few years to help people understand what type of economy 8 years of Republican Leadership results in.

Yes, Obama had some poor judgement around a long term view of the future.

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While I liked what Iceland did to their banks, they could afford to do that, since their banks could fail and no one else would notice. That wasn't the case with us and I still believe we did avoid Great Depression 2.0 - that said, if they could shovel all that to the crooks, they should have also taken care of the victims and that they didn't is on them forever. Yes, the New Deal came as a result of the Great Depression and people getting a lesson in what Republican economics ultimately mean, but I am not all that certain that Americans, and the modern US, would have survived a second one.

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Unfortunately, people have forgotten what is taught in all first year economics courses.

Excessive debt leads to inflation.

That is STILL taught because my daughter finished up college a couple of years ago and that was a question on one of her economics tests.

BUT, "leaders" routinely ignore this Economics 101 teaching.

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Of course, the Clinton doctrine ( It's the economy, stupid!) was still in vogue.

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The plaintiffs say they do not need such care and being forced to participate in plans that cover that care “violates their religious beliefs by making them complicit in saving lives of people they don't like.

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Maybe if they never have a fire in their home, and they refuse to support taxes for the fire department in their town, the house will burn to the ground when it does catch fire. WHY????: Because the Fire Department has strict orders not to serve those who refuse to pay taxes to support them (the firemen, etc). Their logic is unbelievably prejudiced, hateful and wrong, wrong, wrong.....what do these mf’s do when their daughter or son turns out to be gay, or turns out to get pregnant in high school with an ectopic pregnancy, or a fetus that is so compromised it cannot live for more than a day or two after birth.....or any of the above?

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again... way too much logic and rationale... and those don't serve their very different agenda

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Suz, I see that I have been making more and more use of metaphor and am realizing why.

Metaphor has a big dual advantage over the use of abstract, conceptual language when it comes to delivering a message.

First, the message is actually received. It "strikes a bell". Metaphor resonates.

Secondly, it provokes thought, stimulates the imagination.

"She is saying something. What is she saying?"

So, it can be useful for delivering difficult messages, difficult either because they are hard (even impossible) to put into words or for the mind to encompass, difficult because people actively resist hearing them. Often difficult for all of these reasons.

Christ used parables to put over what could not be transmitted directly, living messages. Churches have tended to limit those messages... to their surface, to fragments of their meaning, useful for social control... when they haven't simply killed the message and pinned it up in all its beauty like butterflies after the killing jar.

And there's the rub.

Authoritarians need to ensure that people don't and can't think for themselves. Their interpretations kill and entomb the message... and, all too often, the minds of those on the receiving end of the message.

This is done to any and every genuine living message. Consider those of Marx reduced by Marxists, those of Nietzsche once digested and shat forth by Nazis or far-right libertarian anarchists...

A vast bulk of what passes for the Christian message of liberation isn't even a valid opiate, it is a series of gross misinterpretations... useful for tying believers up in knots, then using them in knotted thongs to scourge others...

Isn't it curious how gospels of liberation are always used to enslave?

That said, I am thinking that since truth remains true, remains alive, whatever may have been done to bind or kill it, metaphor still has the power to open up mind prisons.

Maybe it could serve to open the eyes, ears, even hearts, of those poor souls captured in their millions by America's great charlatan....?

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Peter, thank you for the reality check : guns or some form of threats or violence replaces debate,. The United States really means that everyone must think alike or we can not be united......

I guess I am going to have to give up some of my most beloved long term family and friends. I really believed we could have opposing thoughts and beliefs and still love and respect one another.....

What has been happening to "The Land of the Free and the Home of the. Brave"?

I have always read and believed that people of various faiths and colors have given their lives, gifts and talents for FREEDOM. Ihave believed more and more that we inspire one another and make one another better.

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Emily, I can't understand it at all when you say that "everyone must think alike or we cannot be united".

Not only is that undesirable but it is utterly impossible.

Your old conviction remains as true as ever. There may be nothing you can do to change the hearts and minds of those who want to kill you for seeing the world differently. But the need to protect yourself from the benighted affects neither the truth nor your deep, inalienable concern for the good of all, regardless of whether you can materially change anything at this moment.

You were right, you remain right. You can shine light into darkness.

They can't do the converse.

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Peter, I so admire your ability to communicate and apologize for my simplistic written expression and my lack of ability to clearly communicate. I love that thus far we live in a "free" nation. However what I am seeing in the "United States of America" is a following of an Authoritarian wrapped in the figure of Donald Trump. Decent people whom I love are "drinking the Koolaid" ...... I was trying to express the opposite of what I believe....that is we can live as individuals and still work together for good. We see that acted out not as theory but in the leadership of our President Joe Biden.

I pray that OUR country will be a country with citizenry who are not manipulated by others but actually think and examine all info for themselves. I love our diversity and my hope that we can grow in our love and respect for one another,

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Sep 10, 2022·edited Sep 10, 2022

Well, Peter... that is a brilliant insight! Your LOGIC... makes great sense to me.

On the other hand, my (l-o-n-g and deep) experience with 'those poor souls captured...' says... yeah...? no.

** First, the message is actually received. It "strikes a bell". Metaphor resonates. <-- not usually and not in the ways we'd like to believe.

Secondly, it provokes thought, stimulates the imagination. <-- if only!

"She is saying something. What is she saying?" <-- this still requires being open-(minded) on some level... so that is not (usually) what happens **

If we wanna believe that they're captured by 'America's great charlatan' ... then we're gonna miss what's really going on.

Focus on freeing their 'minds' from 'prison' is misdirected. Their 'minds' are NOT driving their beliefs or their behavior. It's much more basic than that.

They were *already there* ... he just showed up and his naturally self-serving barbarism resonated with theirs on a deep level... which delighted him and them. And they were off...

(Just my observation after a long life of living with and watching those around me.)

The good news is... there are plenty of US!!!! Wasting our time, effort, resources of any kind... on THEM ... doesn't get us where we want and need to go. It's actually counter-productive.

Metaphor DOES have the power to open up mind prisons. Yes. For those for whom metaphors do resonate, and thinking actually happens, those actually in mind prisons may very well respond to insightful, inspiring enlightenment of metaphor!

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Sep 10, 2022·edited Sep 10, 2022

Suz, I rose during the night, read your excellent rejoinder, wrote a blockbuster of a response to it, which disappeared when I reached the final sentence.

I wrote again, more briefly. That too disappeared just when I was completing it.

I wrote a third time. Same again.

Can this be reported to Substack? The pattern is too constant not to be suspect. The more so as my views on urgent surgery for today's gangrene may be more radical than yours or those of many good people.

Suz, I am looking beyond quickfix, beyond treating symptoms, to causes and to cures.

I must and I shall return to this.

Meanwhile, I cannot thank you enough for spurring me to address the issues more deeply.

I want everyone who can to do just that. We are going to have to live with those who at this very moment are raring to kill us.

This calls for more than surviving today's disease. We shall have to make deep changes.

Me-good-you-bad won't do.

We share that with our worst enemies, living and dead.

There must be an end to dualism, we are one world, we share one planet. Survival demands awakening to deep change. Or there will be no survival.

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deletedSep 14, 2022·edited Sep 14, 2022
Comment deleted
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"way too much logic and rationale".

Correct. Short, emotion filled sentences that offer grievance and blame are the Republican mantra of communication.

"The radical, leftist, godless communist Democrats are your problem".

The above sentence is meaningless, communicates nothing useful, but???

It works.

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Reminds me of a co-worker who didn’t support public education since his kids were grown. No thought of social contract there. Just me, me, me ad nauseam.

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and no community, state or federal support. no recognition or commitment on a national level for this fundamental requirement of continuing as the US of A. individual rights and liberties rule... and will destroy us all if nothing stops the downward spiral.

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yes.

The problem with America is (OK I won't say it to avoid angst on the board).

:-)

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Huh. Well, I know what you want to say, and I happen to fully agree with you.

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These people can’t see past the end of their noses. Your kids are grown, sure. What about their kids? Do your grandchildren deserve an education or should they just be poor and stupid?

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well, you know... that requires... forward vision...

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Yes. We wouldn’t want to catch christians participating in “plans that save other’s lives”

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Some people use the word "Samaritan" to mean any helpful person, but to the audience of Jesus, Samaritans were the enemy. That choice of the protagonist in the story of "good Samaritan" fable was clearly by design. How many people who vociferously reject the social teachings of Jesus claim to be the embodiment of them? Even conflating Jesus with Trump. Chillingly weird.

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well, you know... he stood out there in front of a ... ummm... a church (yeah, a church!) ... holding up a... a ... book... ummm... yeah... a Bible!! sooo yeah... there it is...

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Motel rooms have Bibles as well, soooo Trump is as religious as a motel room?

; )

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yeah!! that's the ticket!

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Remember those old T-shirts: "Mean People Suck" ? Seems they could come back in fashion.

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So, the thugs want to gerrymander and cherry pick their way to minority rule essentially with their idea of "states rights". Ok, so if they want to control their states with their illegitimate minority it can't be with the majority's Federal tax dollars funding them. F' that. Since they want to stand alone then they need to fund themselves alone. Time to stop the never-ending flow of Federal dollars into the black hole also known as red states that suck in two and three times what they pay back. Try to support your gerrymandered states (KY, MS, AL, MO,...etc) on what you make yourselves. Good luck with that.

Think of what the blue states and urban centers could do with Their Own tax dollars. Imagine that. What a novel idea. Why should the Federal Govt (We) support the very states that are openly trying to overthrow us and rid us of the democracy that made us the wealthiest nation on the planet? We've carried them far too long.

Apologies to those of you that still may live in some of them but, it's time that pressure is brought for sucking us dry while slitting our throats. As Biden said (in so many words), you can't have it both ways,....being a patriot while supporting an insurrection,....translation: you can't gerrymander your state to minority rule while doing it with "the People's" money.

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"As Biden said (in so many words), you can't have it both ways,....being a patriot while supporting an insurrection,....translation: you can't gerrymander your state to minority rule while doing it with "the People's" money."

YESSSS ... ANNNND... it's not like we in these red (owned by oil & gas, for example) states have lots of choice in these highly gerrymandered situations ... where education of 'masses' is a long term disaster and voter suppression is so effective that our voices don't count.

we need strong federal protection which the dudes and dudettes in DC are reluctant to bring... since obviously... THEY seem to benefit from this set up in some ways, too.

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"Sucking us dry while slitting our throats." Exactly what all the insurrectionists still in our employment are doing to us whilst we try to use the fairness principles of democracy. You describe it well...unfortunately.

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So what do we do?

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Now them's fightin' words, BK. I love it!

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I am with you BK. Don’t pay your share, don’t drink at the trough….that’s all.

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Thanks for the support. I find myself enraged at their selfish arrogance. It's also that my father was career military and we grew up on the many AF bases he was stationed at. We witnessed the commitment, honor and loyalty to the nation these men & women gave for all of us to have better lives. He never asked or cared what one's religion, skin color, gender or anything else was because it was country they were defending,... for ALL of us.

What do we do, is asked? We,as defenders of the Constitution are always in a reactionary position to their relentless attacks to pervert it. One idea is in a post I made a day or two ago to enlist Spielberg, Ken Burns and others of our best Storytellers to produce a series of what the country & world would actually be like should their ideology of hate come to pass. Since film and digital content is the way most people get their info now visually show them the true violence, horror their world would be like. It would not be pretty.

Another idea is to use HCR's history of our country should their vision of hate succeed. We know them to be greedy, blood-sucking vampires wanting only money & power. HCR could better tell us how our ancestors, the early Americans fought back in Boston when the idea of "taxation without representation" became too much. Well, that's exactly where we would be once again should they "take over". We would be taxed for an illegitimate govt. where we would not have any "representation". So,... why pay? If a mass movement of millions and millions didn't pay it would starve them of the thing they desire and need most,.... money. It would enrage them and yes, cause chaos but, not the kind they want plus it would be a non-violent form of protest. Run the country on That.

You will see (read) my own "rage" coming out from time to time but, in reality it seems that those who made the biggest differences over time were those who began "smarter" movements. Gandhi, MLK, Lincoln and those that HCR notes in her brilliant posts all brought transformation through sacrifice and non-violent means. I really don't know if that is possible here and now but, we know the majority want it to be. And that's Hopeful.

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BK, I am moved by your words. I agree with you. The fact that we ARE the majority means we must stand up to fear, hate and threats. Look at the brave Americans testifying, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, getting dire threats against them and their families. The Jan 6 committee itself is under threat for seeking the Truth for ALL OF US. This cannot go on. We have the people, the brains, the knowledge and the will to keep our democracy intact. We must remind ourselves daily of that. I lost two uncles in WWII, within one month of each other fighting Hitler. It was their sacrifice that insured none of us has to speak German as the official language of the US…..

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Well, fuck.

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Hahahahahahahahaha. I love it when I scroll to a comment that mirrors my exact thought in that second.

Salud, Maigen. We will prevail. 🗽

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My thoughts exactly!

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

"Independent state legislature doctrine" is looming for Republican state legislatures to throw out the will of the people and send their own Republican electors for the Electoral College, rather than the electors for whom the majority of We the People voted. Heather sounds the alarm today. What can we do? Channel our fears, worries, and frustrations through our thinking brains.

The States Project does the research to see which state legislatures are pivotal--with either a Democratic majority we need to keep, or one that is close to getting. That makes about 10 of our 50 states flippable, and THESE are the states in which WE can make a difference! If you haven't already, check out The States Project and "why states matter:"

https://statesproject.org/why-states-matter/

What Heather does repeatedly say in her video chats is that it is up to US to make our voices heard, and now is a critical moment for all hands on deck. The States Project has organized Giving Circles to do the fundraising for good candidates running for seats in these pivotal state legislatures. We have until October 3, which is less than 4 weeks away. On October 3, The States Project distributes the funds to the candidates, thus freeing them to focus on meeting voters, which is the most effective way to get votes in the November 8 election.

Some of us have put the pedal to the metal and organized the HCR-inspired Tending to Democracy Giving Circle. Check it out now, and you can also join our Zoom event to hear directly from Melissa Walker of The States Project: Sunday, September 18, 8:00 pm ET (5:00 pm PT).

To register for the Zoom, email:

heathersherd@gmail.com

Our small dollars add up to make a difference. We are making our history. No more hesitation--now is the time for all of us to step up for our democracy. Join us!

https://www.grapevine.org/giving-circle/1XQhnyD/Tending-to-Democracy

🇺🇸🗽💙🇺🇸🗽💙🇺🇸🗽💙

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Yes, yes, and double yes, Ellie! Though I have been donating to individual campaigns all year, I started donating to Tending to Democracy when it began.

No matter what happens in "Roevember," will your giving circle continue on at least through the 2024 election?

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Yes, Lynell, thank you so much for your support and joining our Tending to Democracy Giving Circle! The whole concept is to aggregate ourselves as individuals into a mighty force to make a difference where we can tip the balance in favor of Democratic majorities. We keep building our network first for this 2022 election, and then for 2024.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 9, 2022

5pm eastern time is 2pm Pacific

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OMG thank you for the catch! The correct time for the Zoom on September 18 is 8 pm Eastern Time, or 5 pm Pacific.

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Did it! Thanks so much for these links!

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Thanks Ellie.

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Done!

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Thank you for joining in support!

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Done. See you at zoom soon.

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It is ironic how “freedom of religion” gets twisted into being the promotion of evangelical zealotry. However, that has been part of our political DNA since our beginnings in the Massachusetts colonies of the early 1600’s. The Pilgrims and Puritans didn’t come to North America to escape religious intolerance, they came here to institutionalize religious intolerance. It was their humorless, grim, rigid Calvinism, or else!

The monster hibernates for a time, and then reawakens. It never dies.

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I have the impression that Puritans escaped because no one else wanted them around. But yes, cults only want a world with people just like them in it. "Freedom" is for all or else it's just an obfuscating name for tyranny. "Freedom" to weaponize prejudice is the latter.

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“I have the impression that Puritans escaped because no one else wanted them around.”

I think so as well. People get tired of being told how to live their lives by a bunch of sanctimonious, know-it-all zealots. It was true then, it’s true now.

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The current Supreme Court is drifting toward giving the free-exercise clause (freedom of religion) precedence over the establishment clause (which can be seen as freedom from religion). When A's right to practice religion requires B to respond to A's religious belief, B's right to be free of that belief is violated.

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seems pretty simple and obvious, right?

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It sure seems that way to me! Maybe there is some complxity we're missing.

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Why does so much American political behaviour and policy seem to be driven by religion?

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