A Global Letter to Trump…

Dear

Avaaz has a global letter going, and they’d like to get 6 million signatures. I’ve signed. Please, sign yourself, and boost the signal! We can make our voices heard.

With the Muslim ban, Trump has shown that the worst fears about his Presidency are true. Add your voice to the open letter below to join the resistance — then spread it far and wide:

—-

Dear Mr. Trump,

This is not what greatness looks like.

The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.

Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding.

As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.

Sincerely,
[Add your name!]

Please sign and share!

National Strike: February 17th.

Demonstrators block an escalator at the international terminal as protests against President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries continue at San Francisco International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Olga Rodriguez).

Demonstrators block an escalator at the international terminal as protests against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries continue at San Francisco International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Olga Rodriguez).

In a column for the Guardian on Monday, American writer Francine Prose called for a “nonviolent national general strike” to demonstrate “how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish.”

She wrote: “Let’s designate a day on which no one (that is, anyone who can do so without being fired) goes to work, a day when no one shops or spends money, a day on which we truly make our economic and political power felt.”

Calls to do just that have been circulating online recently, with activists setting Feb. 17 — the Friday before President’s Day — as the day for a #nationalstrike against the presidency of Donald Trump.

No one working, no one buying anything, for one day. I realize not everyone will be able to blithely ignore their job for one day, but if you can get away with it, please, please, do. Affinity will be closed for the strike on Friday, February 17th, and I will post a reminder prior to the day. Pretty sure most people can manage to forgo shopping for one day. Be ungovernable.

The full, in-depth story is at News.Mic.

Trump to put the Swastika on his Forehead?

Word from Reuters is that Trump is planning to remove white race terrorists from the sights of the “Countering Violent Extremism” program. Racists are not being shy about taking this as a nod of approval from the muffuckin’ POTUS. As I was saying elsewhere, the one thing Trump could do to defy expectations the hardest, to make the world a better place in an executive capacity without selling out his Robber Baron cred, would be to make hate groups a law enforcement priority. This is the opposite of that. If this comes to pass, it is the equivalent of branding the swastika into his forehead.

Of course, having Bannon in charge of national security – a man who thinks “american jews” are trying to sell us out to the mooslims what’re gonna somehow magically conquer the USA? Intentionally omitting jewish people from the offical observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day? That biz from back in 1990 where Trump had someone saluting him with “heil Hitler” and he was keeping a book by Hitler in his nightstand?  I dunno.

Tired of living in a world where any of this can happen.  Not to sound legit suicidal, I hope everyone who has those feelings finds a way past them.  Much love.


Speak out NOW to stop Betsy DeVos

There have been massive concerns about Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos. She’s against public education, which is very frightening in a national education secretary; there have been ethical concerns raised about her financial conflicts of interest; and her confirmation hearing raised serious concerns about her ability to do the job. The good news is, you may actually be able to stop her nomination from going through.

The final vote is due early next week, and, as things stand, it’s set to be a tie; which means DeVos will get voted in, as the casting vote in the case of a tie will go to Mike Pence, who, not surprisingly, plans to cast his vote for DeVos if that happens. But that also means that if just one more senator changes their planned yes vote to a no vote, DeVos gets voted out.

Currently, it appears that every Democratic senator is going to vote no, and two Republicans – Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – also now plan to vote against her. If your senator is not one of those – now is your chance to make a difference. Call your senator’s office. Express your concerns. Make it very clear that you are very concerned about the idea of your senator voting for DeVos. These calls do actually influence representatives and every little helps. Now’s your chance. Make your objections heard before the final vote.

(Amended to add: Here’s a list of contact details for senators’ offices.)

Edited again to add: This post has some good, straightforward advice from a former Congressional staffer on the most effective ways to lobby your elected representative.

Advice for government employees

Slate has a article by Ian Samuel, explaining the legal situation for government employees. Samuel is a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. The whole article is worth reading, but the last two paragraphs are the most important ones

Of course, asserting your legal rights and standing up to the government you work for aren’t always easy and come with substantial risks. (For one thing, a court might end up agreeing with the Trump administration that its orders were perfectly lawful.) The wise civil servant who was ready to refuse a Trump executive order would do well to talk with a lawyer beforehand. That’s why I’ve offered to represent, pro bono, any government official who refuses to execute a Trump order on the grounds that the order is illegal. A huge number of other lawyers—in particular, professors Daniel Epps (of Washington University in St. Louis) and Leah Litman (of the University of California–Irvine)—have offered their services as well, as have countless other lawyers, paralegals, law students, legal secretaries, and even (my favorite) a bartender in Cleveland.

No government program or White House command is self-executing. It takes thousands and thousands of people, distributed throughout the country, to transform an illegal order into an injustice. These loyal civil servants were there before President Trump arrived and they will mostly be there when he’s gone. Are you one of them? If so: The American system provides you with a choice. You can insist that you were just following orders. Or you can follow the law.

So, if you are a government employee who think that you have gotten an illegal order, there are resources available for you to draw upon. Please use them.

James Baldwin wasn’t prescient, it’s just that nothing has changed

Baldwin could say exactly the same thing today, and it would be just as painfully accurate.

That’s part of the dilemma of being an American Negro; that one is a little bit colored and a little bit white, and not only in physical terms but in the head and in the heart, and there are days — this is one of them — when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it. How, precisely, are you going to reconcile yourself to your situation here and how you are going to communicate to the vast, heedless, unthinking, cruel, white majority, that you are here? And to be here means that you can’t be anywhere else.

I’m terrified at the moral apathy — the death of the heart which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long, that they really don’t think I’m human. I base this on their conduct, not on what they say, and this means that they have become, in themselves, moral monsters. It’s a terrible indictment — I mean every word I say.

LIAR.

liarofyear

We need more of this kind of truth-telling:

Donald Trump is a proven liar. He lies often and effortlessly. He lies about the profound and the trivial. He lies to avoid guilt and invite glory. He lies when his pride is injured and when his pomposity is challenged.

Indeed, one of the greatest threats Trump poses is that he corrupts and corrodes the absoluteness of truth, facts and science.

This is the straight talk you don’t usually get in our cautious, conservative, cozy-with-evil media: you get “euphemisms like “unsubstantiated,” or “unproven,” or “baseless.”” This has to stop.

We all have to adjust to this unprecedented assault on the truth and stand ready to vigilantly defend against it, because without truth, what’s left? Our president is a pathological liar. Say it. Write it. Never become inured to it. And dispense with the terms of art to describe it. A lie by any other name portends the same.

Our president is a LIAR. Say it loud.

Sister Marches.

Wm

If you can’t make the women’s march on Washington, there are sister events! They are going on everywhere, not just here in uStates, but all over the world. Check out the sisters page, and see if you can find a march near you. (There are even three here in nDakota!)

World of Wonder has more details.

Rewire announces tracking tool for religious imposition bills.

Rewire this morning announced via email a new interactive tool for tracking the landscape of “religious imposition bills” (generally referred to by the enemies of humanity as “Religious Freedom™ bills”). As the release notes, already in 2017, 30 such bills have been introduced in state legislatures around the nation, including New York. It’s a good page to bookmark whether you are a writer or activist, as the fight on this front directly intersects with so many others. In addition, being a squeaky wheel at your state representatives’ offices and local newspaper is something all of us can do, and do more of, whenever these bills pop up.

__________

To: Interested parties
From: Rewire President and Editor in Chief Jodi L. Jacobson, and Director of Communications Rachel Perrone
Re: Tracking tool for religious imposition bills
Date: January 18, 2017

We are writing to alert you to our Religious Imposition Legislative Tracker, a new resource from Rewire that provides a comprehensive database and interactive map of state and federal legislation that seeks to expand religious power control of decision-making in the public and private sphere.

The past few years have seen a sharp increase in legislative efforts to shield private individuals and businesses from complying with nondiscrimination laws, and permit them to deny people basic services based on stated religious beliefs. Around 30 such religious imposition bills have been introduced so far in 2017, in Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Religious imposition frequently takes the form of expanded Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) in state legislatures across the country. Other types of religious imposition include anti-transgender bills (or so-called “bathroom bills”), that target specific groups and seek to shield businesses and individuals from anti-discrimination laws. Still others, such as conscience and refusal bills, permit civil servants, health-care workers, and others to deny people access to birth control, abortion and other basic services based on a moral or religious objection.

Additional Resources:

** A Timeline of the Religious Imposition Laws Sweeping the Nation

** How We Can Combat the Legislation Taking Aim at Transgender People Around the Country

** The Biggest Religious Imposition Fight Teed Up for 2017

Rewire, 7315 Wisconsin Ave. Ste. 400, Bethesda, MD 20814 United States