Tag Archives: democrats

Why Trump? Because America isn’t so Great (and possibly never will be again)

Just found out about a cool Youtube channel–“Nerdwriter1.” (Yes, I’m a bit of an Internet nerd, for better or for worse.) But it’s encouraging to find intelligent dialogue on Youtube. In fact, I think that as sites like Youtube continue to grow, smarter people will increasingly engage on them.

Like it or not, there aren’t many public spaces where people can engage in dialogue face-to-face anymore. But most people are on the Internet. I prefer the old fashioned, old school face-to-face, of course. People are held accountable and are forced to think before they speak, at least moreso than online where irresponsible peeps can just hide behind fake usernames. People are also forced to listen to each other and observe each other’s reactions when face-to-face…

But I digress.

Here’s my reply to Nerdwriter1’s analysis of Donald Trump:

Donald Trump’s causing problems for this country, and he’s not an immigrant. He speaks of tremendous hate, but that’s what he is fostering–hate and fear… Sad that isn’t obvious to people. This is another reason why we need to fund education and provide free college for everyone. We desperately need a smarter voting population.

The question Jimmy Kimmel asks, “Isn’t it wrong to discriminate…” is rather strange. It gave Trump an opportunity to make a speech and it catered to white people who don’t like being accused of racism. How would Trump have responded if Kimmel had asked instead something along the lines of, “How does it benefit us to deport people whose religion happens to be Muslim?” or “What about the Muslim man who owned a successful business that hired Americans and was just detained because of his religion? Why are we putting those Americans out of work?” That kind of questioning would have gotten some Trump supporters thinking.

The other thing is, many Americans are unhappy–overworked, underpaid, underemployed or, worse, unemployed. Trump’s angry, bigoted tone resonates for angry, bitter people who don’t know much about politics or current events, don’t know why they’re struggling but are looking for someone to blame.

While the democrats were insisting that the USA is the greatest country in the world, Trump at least admitted we need to “make America great again.” Ultimately, that’s what people wanted to hear. The democrats were too busy catering to their wealthy “limousine liberal” constituents who want to save the trees and the whales but don’t care about saving the people. They could have used the same sales rhetoric to appeal to the working class, or better yet (in my opinion,) they could have given Bernie Sanders (or Jill Stein) a chance.

 

 

Why We Need Arts Education and Funding in Order to Function as a Healthy Society

Well, we’ve done it again, peoples. We’ve gone ahead and made another video of one of our political discussions.  This time, Millennial Devon and non-Millennial Meri discuss the arts, the liberal arts, and humanities education.    

When I talk about student loan debt and the suffering it is causing many of us who’ve been damaged by it, I often get the response, “What was your major?” As if that matters..

Or how about this comment:  “College should be tuition-free, except for the arts.” Arts majors should know better. Let’s just eliminate the arts, shall we?

Ooh… Gotta love that one! Are the arts unnecessary? Are artists unimportant? Should we all suffer or starve because our talents lie in the arts?

I think not!

This is part one of the discussion. Part two will post within the week. Check back for more, babies!   Warning: the following video may contain subliminal messages… because it is a work of art!

So…

Why should we study the arts, fund the arts and arts education?

Why is art just as important as engineering, doctoring and computer programming?

We’re creative people, so we’ve come up with lots of ideas.

 

Because:

 

— The arts enable society to function smoothly by providing a way for diverse types of people to work out conflicts and frustrations by working on creative projects together as a team.

 

–The arts are inherently democratic, providing a voice for the underdog, a safe place for people of all genders, races, religions and class backgrounds to communicate ideas that may be unpopular but that need to be heard.

 

–In this way, the arts provide a safe place for ordinary people to speak truth to power, to criticize authority and to make political policy changes via the subtle, subliminal messages of art.

 

–The arts provide a healthy outlet for angry, disenfranchised groups to safely ventilate their frustrations without inflicting harm but while influencing the world powerfully and for the better.

 

–The arts are universal. Around the world and throughout time and space, we humans have expressed our humanity through the arts. We learn about history, about how other peoples have lived, about human nature and what makes us “tick,” by studying art throughout the ages. We also learn about mistakes humans have made that we don’t want to repeat from looking at the arts and how they’ve evolved throughout time. We need an understanding of human nature and common human errors in order to plan social policy and to govern our human race.

 

–The arts can convey information to people who can’t read, can’t write, can’t speak or have mental health disabilities preventing them from communicating in the “normal” way.

 

–The arts influence the general public subliminally. People don’t realize they’re being influenced while they’re being entertained, so they’re more likely to accept the information.

 

–The arts can heal some people with mental illnesses who are in a lot of emotional pain and who can’t be reached otherwise.

 

–The arts make life fun, beautiful and meaningful when it otherwise may seem bleak and hopeless. An artist can take what others consider to be trash and turn it into something beautiful or meaningful.

 

–Studying the arts develops our imagination and creativity, so we become better able at finding solutions to complex problems. We become “out of the box” thinkers. That makes us better problem solvers—particularly when solutions are not obvious to most people. With all the problems in our world today, we need people who are better at solving problems.

 

–Artists tend to be rebels who question authority and the status quo. They are often the first people to recognize serious problems developing within our society. They are often the most capable of informing the masses and getting the masses to listen.

 

So…

 

Why fund the arts? Because we’ll die without them.

We, the humans, need the arts!

 

Meryl Streep’s Speech – An Honest, Heartfelt, Tear-Jerker or Self-Aggrandizing, Limousine-Liberal Rant?

Okay, so I’ll need to be careful of how I word this. Meryl Streep is a very talented actress indeed. She may very well be a nice person too. Who knows? I don’t know her and probably never will because I’m not wealthy. And these days, here in the USA, wealthy people stick with their own kind. Fact is, if Meryl Streep, et. al., saw me on the street, she’d shun me like the plague ’cause I’m not rich like she is. I guarantee she doesn’t frequent the same haunts that you or I do.

However, I don’t mean to offend so much as to provoke critical and rational thinking with this blog article, so I’m giving the following disclaimer: Meryl Streep = good. Donald Trump = bad. Is that simple enough for ya’?

Unfortunately, like most of today’s problems, it’s not that simple. I’m no fan of Donald Trump, mind you. But I wasn’t a fan of Obama, who didn’t create hope and change but did a wonderful job of talking about it. In fact, Obama has a nice personality. He sure looks good in front of the camera. He sure says a lot of nice things. Too bad he doesn’t do any of them…

Look,

Meryl Streep is a millionaire. It’s hard to say exactly what she earns in one year, but one site I came across said it was about $82 million:

http://en.mediamass.net/people/meryl-streep/highest-paid.html

Another site reported her earnings as “only” $45 million:

Meryl Streep Net Worth

 

People, let that sink in for a moment. For God’s sake, think about this; don’t just accept what the televised talking heads are telling you to think.

Meryl Streep is an actress. She stands in front of a camera and pretends to be another person for several hours at a time. This is what she does for a living. Does she deserve to earn $45 million per year? Does anyone, for that matter? What do you suppose she does with all that money? It simply can’t be spent by one person alone. Even if she ate out all day every day, hopped on a plane to travel around the world, bought herself a new outfit every day, bought a new car every six months, she wouldn’t spend $45 million. Well, I suppose she could buy herself another mansion or two… or three… or four…

Meryl Streep makes more–a whole lot more–than the surgeon who saved your life, that EMT who showed up and resuscitated your mom and brought her back to life, the teacher who taught your child to read. Heck, she probably earns more than a lot of CEOs and Wall Street tycoons.

Yet she stood before an audience (also wealthy, privileged and mostly white people. Do you think just anyone could get in to see the Golden Globes live?) and dared to suggest that she and other wealthy millionaires in Hollywood are being “vilified.”

In the words of a peasant in an old Monty Python movie:                            “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”

You know, in a weird sort of way, Streep sounds a bit like billionaire Tom Perkins who compared the state of the rich in America as similar to that of the Jews in Nazi Germany. I say this is “weird” because this time it’s the liberals, not the conservatives, who are wielding around their privilege, holding it over our heads and expecting us to grovel under their greatness.

Billionaire says America treats the rich like Nazi Germany treated Jews

I mean, I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I lived in Hollywood–lived and worked there. It is one of the most undemocratic, closed society you’ll ever find in the United States. You just can’t get “in” the entertainment industry unless you were born into it (or are willing to use the people who were.) Everyone in the industry knows this. So why pretend that Hollywood is a diverse place filled with people who are from other places? I suppose Hollywood is as diverse as Harvard University or the Queen’s castle. One needs to keep a few poor people around when one needs to issue orders…

“Snap! Snap! Get to it!” Ugh! Good help is so hard to find these days!

Yes, it would seem that Meryl Streep, as talented as she is, is that out of touch with reality and that far-removed from the average American that she thinks of herself as a part of some sort of disenfranchised minority group. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners…”she contends.

Okay…

Uh no, Ms. Streep. Anyone who’s ever been to Hollywood and interacted with its community knows that Hollywood is all about insiders, nepotism, people who were born with money and connections. Are you trying to convince the American people of anything different?

Really?

Seriously?

Because you know, any of us can read the credits of most TV shows and films and see who produces, directs, writes and stars in them. Rarely are they disabled people, minorities, or people who come from low-income backgrounds–the people you and your limousine-liberal Hollywood friends pretend to care so much about.

Yes, Meryl, “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence,” but then so does social injustice. It’s a good thing you are a millionaire, Meryl, because Americans listen to millionaires. Millions of people have spoken out against disrespect, violence and social injustice throughout our history, but no one  seems to listen or care until a celebrity stands up and talks about it.

And that’s where we’ve gone wrong as Americans. We talk about social injustice but we keep worshiping our favorite celebrities. We can’t hear the truth about anything unless someone rich and famous speaks it loudly from our TV set.

Meryl, there’s a lot of disrespect and violence in poor neighborhoods. Why do you think that is? Why do you suppose so many poor, minority kids join gangs and wreak havoc on their neighborhoods? Do you think it’s possibly because they know they have no future to look forward to anyway? Or because their public school education isn’t the same as the public school education the rich kids in the suburbs are getting? Or because only millionaires can afford to attend college anyway? Or maybe it’s because nepotism reigns supreme in our society, so if you don’t know the “right” people you don’t have a chance at success anyway?

Meryl, if you, as a wealthy, privileged millionaire, feel vilified, how do you think the rest of us feel?

Yes, we need journalists, real journalists with the courage and freedom to question authority and hold it accountable. But where have you been, Meryl? Where were you when Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, both who did so much to inform Americans of important information, fled the USA? Are you concerned about  Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou? Brave souls like these speak out because they care more about us than, apparently, many of our political leaders do. They’ve risked their own personal safety to inform the American people. They are the true, honest journalists we need to protect, not the mainstream media corporate protectors who won’t report the existence of their own shadow ’cause it scares them too much.

I’m attempting to include a video response made by a guy who calls himself An0maly because it really sums up quite well my response to Meryl. But just in case it doesn’t post, his web site is here > http://www.legendary.vision/environmentalism/

I’ll leave you with this interview with journalist Abby Martin, a courageous reporter who’s not afraid to speak her mind.

Why I’m Voting for Jill Stein…

(I’ll edit this later. Because it’s so close to election day, I’m posting this even though it needs some editing… Let’s hope I have time to clean it up before the big day… )

Voting for Jill Stein… Am I voting for Jill Stein?

Wait… What?! Whoa! A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Trump! You’re voting for Donald Trump! How could you—a known radical—vote for Trump?!

Uh no. I’m not voting for Trump. Actually, a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for…

Okay, everyone hold your breath because the punch line is coming soon—in about 3 seconds. Drum roll, please…:

Jill Stein! Yes, a vote for Jill Stein is actually a vote for Jill Stein! That may seem like common sense, but in this Orwellian double-speak universe we currently live in, apparently, it is rocket science. These days, up is down, bad is good, black is beautiful, white is privilege, millennials are struggling while the rest of us have it good, and rich people know better than we do what is best for the rest of us.

So… we’re supposed to vote for Hillary (bad) except that that bad will also be good because Trump (also bad) won’t get elected if we all obey orders (good)… Uh, what I mean is, if we all do what the Democrats (and many Republicans) want us to do and vote for Hillary. Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense to me. Does it make sense to you?

Here are some more reasons why I’m voting for Jill, and, if you’re seeking real change in our country, I hope you will too.

 

 

— I’m against terrorism. I don’t appreciate being bullied, intimidated and threatened into voting against my own best interests. In fact, I thought it was against the law to bully someone into voting a certain way. Terrorists use fear (terror) to get people to give them what they want. And that’s exactly what the Democrats are doing right now. Give us Hillary or we’ll sick Donald Trump on you!

No. No. No. I will not be bullied, intimidated or threatened into voting for someone I don’t agree with. We’ve lost a lot of civil liberties since George W. Bush and now Obama have taken office. Have we also lost our right to vote for whomever we want?

–Voting for the “lesser evil” doesn’t work. I’ve been there. Done that. Obama was the lesser of two evils when he ran for office, so I voted for him. I wanted to vote for a Green Party candidate then too. As a writer, I was well aware that “hope” and “change” were just a part of Obama’s rhetoric, but I voted for him anyway, and I hoped for some sort of change.  Did he create change? No, of course not. He needs to please his wealthy constituents. Obamacare was a nice bailout for the insurance companies. Those of us who went to college continue to languish in student loan debt. Some sources tell us that half of Americans live in poverty and the media continues to tell us that the economy is getting better.

To my horror (but not to my surprise) Obama extended the Patriot Act (which soon will become a permanent law), and allowed other undemocratic legislation on top of it, including the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). He’s now advocating for the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership Act), and he hasn’t, to my knowledge, shut down the torture prisons nor am I aware of his having denounced torture. Torture is worse than slavery. It is the effort to control a person’s mind and spirit as well as their body. Torture is pure evil. And anyone who advocates torture, no matter how pretty their smile or how eloquent their rhetoric, is also pure evil, as far as I’m concerned.

–Electing Hillary then putting pressure on her (“holding her feet to the fire”) to get the policies Bernie proposed implemented won’t work.  Like Obama and George W. before her, Hillary will need to keep her wealthy donors happy. If it were possible to get Hillary to implement Bernie’s policies then it would have been possible to get Bernie nominated. Fact is, the Democrats plotted against Bernie’s campaign because they have no intention of implementing any of his policies. Heck, I’m not sure that Bernie even intended to implement those policies. He was quick to drop out of the race then back down on pretty much everything he said to support Hillary. Come on, Bernie, you can fool most of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of us all of the time…

–I won’t be responsible for Donald Trump being appointed US President, and I won’t be responsible for Hillary getting “elected.” But people who vote for Hillary will be responsible for the evil she enacts as president. The TPP, renewal of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, more imprisonment of poor people, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, endless war, suicide becoming a top cause of death by injury in the US. I won’t take responsibility for the many problems resulting from neoliberalism in the US. But those who follow orders from the Democrats and who vote for Hillary will need to take that responsibility.

–Accountability over power no longer exists. At least, not from the point of view of the people. “Vote for Hillary and hold her feet to the fire! Put pressure on her to implement Bernie Sanders’ ideas!” Look, dumbass, if Bernie’s ideas had a chance then he’d have a chance. The fact that he withdrew from the race says it all. No one in power—democrat or republican—is going to implement Bernie’s policies. Those policies don’t benefit the wealthy few, so they will not be implemented. The closest we will get to accomplishing any change will be something like Obamacare (a.k.a., the un-Affordable Care Act.) I think most Americans, even the lesser of two evil advocates, now realize that Obamacare has changed nothing.

 

We Americans have had the right to purchase health insurance. We don’t need the government to force us to do it. What does forcing people who are already struggling to purchase insurance they can’t afford accomplish? Oh, that’s right. It helps the insurance companies to stay in business. Yes, the insurance companies got the bailout they were seeking. I for one had to go on Medicaid. It took over a month to get accepted—even when I had a serious health issue. Then I discovered that no doctors in my area would take me as a patient because I was on Medicaid!

But I digress.

–Voting (on the federal level) doesn’t matter, in terms of creating change. No matter who is president he or she will need to follow orders issued by the managers of large corporations. Politicians who refuse to do what Big Money/Big Business tells them to do end up with ruined careers or lives. If they can’t be bribed or blackmailed, they can be gerrymandered out of office or imprisoned. Read about Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney and Don Siegelman for example. We also know that the elections were fixed in many different ways to make sure that George W. Bush would be appointed president. Some people try to claim that a large percentage of Americans voted for Bush anyway and that the fixed election didn’t make much of a difference. That’s wishful thinking, my friend. Many voters, particularly black voters, were disenfranchised. Polling places were relocated, some voters were made to wait in unusually long lines at their polling places, voter registration forms were altered or discarded, electronic voting machines were fixed, etc. Republicans paid actors to pretend to protest the recount to prevent the recount from taking place. Then the electoral college stepped in and placed the final nail in the coffin. George W. Bush would be president and the American people could not stop that from happening. Yet Americans remain as naïve as ever. Perhaps optimism and hope are the greatest enemies of freedom in the USA. We need to face the fact that our votes don’t count. The powers that be decide whom they want “elected” and Americans will be placated into submission as usual. Business as usual.

 

I’m tired of Limousine Liberal hypocrisy. Yep, I’m talking about wealthy, privileged people, most of whom are white and living in affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods who like to rant about racism. It never ceases to amaze me. From the bay windows of their huge, sprawling mansions they can’t even see black people from a distance, so far removed are they from urban life. “Black lives matter!” they’ll shout from Yuppieville, sipping their lattes and making sure to pay their black janitor the smallest wage they can get away with. Sometimes they’re millionaires who talk about poverty or economic inequality while they complain under their breath that good “help” is hard to find, and they “can’t afford” to pay their housekeepers $15 per hour. Nope, raising the minimum wage isn’t doable for most of them. (Might need to forgo that second trip to Europe this year.)

Some of them claim to be feminists and they’re obsessed with abortion options but they’ve never had the experience of not getting hired because of their gender, or of standing at a bus stop late at night in a dangerous neighborhood because they can’t afford a car, or living with an abusive husband because they can’t afford to move out. Racism, sexism, classism—it’s all politically correct talk that makes them look good to the outside world. “Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m rich,” they seem to be pleading with their bleeding heart liberal pretense. They like pretending to care. Makes them look good. But what really irks me about these hypocrites is their sweeping “white privilege” statements. In one simple phrase, they disenfranchise all of us who are poor or struggling and who happen to be white. In fact, not all poor people are black. Not all victims of police brutality are black. Not everyone who is disenfranchised is black. Yes, I understand that a larger percentage of blacks than whites live in poverty. Disproportionately, blacks are poor and often imprisoned by law enforcement. However, there are, in fact, a lot of people who are poor and who happen to be white too. Why is this important? Well, in terms of social change—if that really is what some of us want—we need to come together. Black, white, male, female, immigrant, native born, millennial or non-millennial—all of us who are struggling under this corrupt system need to come together to speak truth to power. And we can’t do that when we’re divided. Racist statements like “white privilege” put white people who are struggling on the defensive. Because you’re white, your rich may ring true for millionaires like Stephen Colbert or Michael Moore but it doesn’t ring true for the janitor or the construction worker struggling to make ends meet who may very well be driven into the unloving arms of Donald Trump as a result of such propaganda.

—I was a Jill Stein supporter before Bernie ran. For me, the lesser of two evils has dropped out of the race. I’m speaking, of course, of Bernie Sanders. Yep, Bernie was the lesser of two evils for me. Not that Jill Stein is evil, mind you. But electing someone to have power over us is sort of a necessary evil in a sense.

What? What the… How did you know who Jill Stein was?

Well, you see, I am a very progressive person. I actually voted for Jill Stein in the last presidential election. But when I saw Bernie getting the hUge support he was getting, I decided he had a better chance of actually getting elected, so I reluctantly supported him.

Reluctantly?

Yes, well, you see, Bernie was running as a Democrat and he indicated from the beginning that he would back down and support Hillary if she became the chosen Democratic candidate. This seems rather dishonest to me and I was initially reluctant to support Bernie for that reason and a few other reasons. (Bernie’s stand on the Israel-Palestine issue, for example.)

I’m not wealthy. It appears to me that millionaires overwhelmingly are supporting Hillary. So-called “progressives” such as Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Michael Moore, Robert Reich, to name a few. I very much appreciate Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Susan Sarandon, Russell Brand, etc., who have stuck to their beliefs. Funny how people reveal their true character during times of trouble.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all the nastiness out of the way, let me tell you the real reason I’m voting for Jill Stein:

She stands for the things I believe in: a real, living minimum wage, free college tuition, forgiveness of student loan debt to stimulate the economy, addressing the needs of low-income and middle class people, climate change, etc. I’m not voting for Jill Stein because everybody else is. I’m not voting for Jill Stein because she has a good chance of getting elected. I’m voting for Jill Stein because I agree with most of what she has to say, because her ideals most closely match mine. Voting is my one chance to express my opinion. My one and only opportunity to let those in power know what I think, what I want. They don’t care of course. They don’t give an iota for what I think or feel. But they will be forced to realize that there are a lot of people like me here in the USSA—oops, I meant USA. (I certainly don’t want to compare the USA with the former USSR. We’re very different. We’re much more advanced. Our spy systems are much more complex and advanced. Our government is much more ruthless and diabolical. We have drones. Our president who claims to be a democrat and was the lesser of two evils has a “kill list.” Also the American population is much more dumbed down than the Soviets ever could be. The former Soviet Union had nothing on the USA. We’re much better at keeping our people in a state of inertia.)