Tag:Activism

How Terribly Strange to be 70

x x YouTube Video Can you imagine us years from today Sharing a park bench quietly? How terribly strange to be seventy Today I turn 70. Seventy may not seem...

When far-right groups are coming to town, what’s the best way to resist?

We’ve seen it all unfold before: the growing presence of white supremacist rhetoric online, racist flyers promoting far-right rallies and marches, Confederate flags being...

The Kids Are Alright. Part II

Hey! Hey! Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone!   Pink Floyd   The Wall Are y’all ready my brothers and sisters? It’s basically all over but the shouting. There are still a few states that are allowing last minute in person early voting, although not many. But there are quite a few states that are allowing early […]

Sound The Horn. Saddle Up. Ride Into Battle.

I seldom do this. Politizoom, and our sister site Daily Sound And Fury give me a nice little megaphone, and as most of you have noticed, I seldom run out of things to say. But something has come up, and this time I need your help. A few days ago, I wrote an article in which I said that once we had this coronacirus licked, and the postmortem on the response began, so would a national discussion on the wisdom of having nationwide mail in voting. This only makes sense, as the outbreak isn’t just affecting the Democratic primaries, but could yet affect the general election as well. Well. Holy shit, and shove me in it, that moment is already freakin’ here! Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Amy Klobuchar are about to introduce legislation in the Senate that would free up federal funding to equip every state for, and pay for mail in balloting for the 2020 election! They are using the disruption to the Democratic primaries, as well as President Trump’s own admission that the crisis could go into the fall, as a cause celebre to deal with the issue proactively. If I heard MSNBC correctly, there are only 15 states that have absolutely no provisions for mail ballot voting, so bringing the majority of the country up to speed should be doable. I strongly suspect that the majority of those 15 hold out states are GOP dominated, and using it as a voter suppression tool. Ironically, as I previously pointed out, this is actually a nightmare scenario for the GOP, since their largest core base is comprised of white, older, scared Americans, the very ones who would be most likely to skip voting in November if it turns out that the coronavirus has staying power. Obviously there is a narrow window of time in which to get this done, with sufficient time to implement the necessary components to make it happen. And God knows that Moscow Mitch would love nothing more than to sweep this under the rug, using the coronavirus crisis as a diversion. So, here’s what I need you guys to do. Get on the blower ASAP to both of your Senators. If they’re Democrats, tell them you expect them to cosponsor the bill. and you’ll be watching. If they’re GOP, tell them you expect them to support the bill, and you’ll be watching. And call more than once, please. A single phone call can be disregarded, but multiple phone calls means a pain in the ass who’s serious. The Capitol Hill switchboard number is.202 224-3121. There are two more simple things you can do to help. One, spread the word to like minded souls that you know, and encourage them to call their Senators as well. You can refer to my previous article as to why this is such a common sense solution, and give them the Senate phone numbers if they agree. Second, if you have fundamental typing skills, and can string coherent thoughts together, which you obviously can if you’re reading this, please take 10 minutes to write a Letter To The Editor of your local newspaper. There are tons of people out there who would be gung-ho about this, but they simply don’t know about it. A letter to the editor is a quick way to educate people, and most newspapers with online editions have online submissions. Look, […]

The ultimate antidote to Trumpism.

In the era of Trump, it seems that the most popular word in the English language is crisis. We just seem to keep bouncing from one to another, sometimes juggling them like a circus clown in a side ring. We’re in a constitutional crisis, and we have a crisis in leadership, and let’s not forget the crisis at the border.But in the midst of all of these crises, one thing tends to be forgotten. The power of a democracy doesn’t rest with the government, it rests with we the people. And I’m here to tell ya, the kids are alright. Right now there’s another crisis, this one in Cory Booker’s home town of Newark, New Jersey. And while the responsibility for this one doesn’t rest with Donald Trump, it’s perfectly representative of the kind of night terrors he visits upon us on an almost daily basis, like a plague of locusts. In Newark, we have a slow rolling train wreck, basically a repeat of the Flint water crisis, but without the original malicious intent. A while back, one of the two water processing plants in Newark added an extra ingredient in the purification process. Turns out that ingredient changed the properties of the water, and started leaching lead from the pipes, and into the drinking water. Since it was only one plant, only a portion of the city is affected, but like Flint, it’s a double crisis, not only a crisis from the lead in the water, but a crisis of faith in government, and trust in what it tells you. Newark has a Democratic mayor, and New Jersey has a Democratic governor, but the results are depressingly similar to the Republican regime of Rick Snyder in Michigan. The government keeps fudging the numbers, and bottled water is being offered. But like in Flint, with a largely economically depressed population, and with a lot of older residents, water has to be picked up, no deliveries to homes are being made.Free water is capped at two cases of 20 oz. bottles every two weeks, and since of course, everybody in New Hersey wants free Newark bottled water, the city is forcing residents to jump through hoops to actually prove that they live in Newark to get their bottled water. As seems to be the case so many times when a government we pay oodles of money to in taxes can’t seem to get their shit together, it’s the people we pay the least, if at all, and whom we normally only turn to for emotional and spiritual support, who come through in the clutch. Enter Bishop Jethro James of the Paradise Baptist church of Newark. What the entire state of New Jersey can’t seem to handle, with all of its resources, Bishop James is handling himself, and handling with humility, grace, and passion. Think for a moment about preachers like Pat Robertson, Jimmy Jones, and Jimmy Swaggart, going on TV to beg for donations to fuel their private jets. Now, let’s compare that to Bishop James. When is the last time a preacher went on television and actually said, “Please, don’t send money. We don’t need money! We need water!” Water is what he needs, and water is what he is getting. Local businesses are pitching in with water donations. A church in St Louis went into a Walmart, did a Jerry McGuire and […]

Trump and the GOP’s next headache. The NRA.

It’s a moment tailor made for Cecil B DeMille. Charlton Heston, clad in a snowy white robe, and holding a long woof staff, climbs a dais, raises his arms on high, and spreads the sea of turmoil currently surrounding the NRA, leading the organization to the promised land. Ain’t happening Dooley. Heston is as dead […]

Sign. The. Pledge.

Period. Full stop. because we can’t make the same mistakes of 2016 all over again in 2020. I don’t wanna hear about Bernie Bro’s, or Kamala’s Kids, or Pete’s Posse, or any of those other stupid, dismissive nicknames that people will come up for referencing other candidates supporters. Schoolyard shit is Trump’s stock in trade, we have more important fish to fry. Because, if I’m still above ground and taking nourishment on November 4, 2020, and I’m reading that Trump won reelection in the electoral college again, I’ll still sit down at the laptop keyboard that day, but what I’ll be typing is the obituary for democracy. It won’t matter if Biden, or O’Rourke, or Castro, or Klobuchar wins 9 million more popular votes. Democracy can’t survive four more years of The Pampers President. It doesn’t matter if the Democrats increase their stranglehold on the House. And it won’t matter if the Democrats retake the Senate. The only branch of government that is holding up to the pressure rught now is the judiciary, and that tortoise shelled traitor Mitch McConnell is hell bent for leather to pack that with Trump Troglodytes. And if McConnell finishes that task, it’s game over for a generation. It won’t matter if Democrats are back in control, because a far right judiciary will simply roll back whatever they please in the courts. Every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate has to know that their signing the pledge is a requirement for success in the primaries. Hell, the DNC could make it a condition for a place on the debate stage. We’re already more than halfway there, and for the life of me, I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be at 100% by Friday.  And I’m not just talking about the candidates either. There’s a pledge for supporters and activists to sign too, and anybody who’s serious about ending this national nightmare needs to put pen to paper. Because, at its core, it has to be about winning this time. Nothing else matters. Medicare for all may be the greatest medical advance since penicillin, but you won’t get it from a President Trump. And The Green New Deal may save the planet, but Trump is only interested in saving his tax returns from scrutiny. And personally, I don’t believe that there’s a candidate out there right now who can’t win the general election if they rise to the top in the primaries. If, that is, everybody out there gets behind the eventual nominee, and works their asses off as hard as we all did in 2018.Don’t get me wrong. Sometime after the third debate, I’m going to have my day of soul searching, pick a candidate, and support them throughout the primaries, for as long as they’re in the race. But if they’re out, then they’re out, and whomever is in at the finish line has my full throated support. Because that’s the way it has to be this time around, no more fuck ups. I’ve already signed the grassroots pledge, and if you’d like to commit to it as well, you can do it HERE. Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35

The Government CAN’T Help Us If Congress Won’t LET It.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life, at one time or another most Americans need the assistance of the government. Even a walking diaper stain as allegedly rich and powerful as The Pampers President needs government support to get anything done, especially in his current job. The worst part of it is, that to obtain government assistance means dealing directly with the necessary government agency. The prospect of having to deal with Uncle Sam tends to lead to a strong yearning for the return of the days of no Novacaine root canal for most people. Fortunately, my interactions with the behemoth that is known as the US government has been limited, and mostly positive. Back in November, I needed assistance from the Goliath Social Security Administration in putting in a claim for Disability Insurance for my new best friend, blindness. In all three cases, two on the phone and one in person, I found every one of them pleasant, courteous, helpful, and as compassionate as any Samaritan you could meet under difficult circumstances. Maybe the fact that I treated them as human beings and not enemies had something to do with it, but I don’t think so. They honestly wanted to help. The clai is currently processing. But no single department of the sprawling sub continent that is the bureaucracy of government causes more night terrors than the dreaded Internal Revenue Service. The mere thought of having to deal with these revenue leaches immediately turns the individual taxpayer into the albino monk from the DaVinci Code, preferring to strip down and flog him or herself with a saltwater knotted hemp rope than pick up the phone and dial. But here’s the funny thing. The people of the IRS, especially the ones you deal with personally, are not Orcs from the Lord of the Rings. They honestly want to help, but there’s one thing. They have to follow the rules. And who writes those rules? The Congress of the United States. Our duly elected representatives write the tax laws, and the IRS enforces them. And there are no exceptions, freebies, or friends discounts, under penalty of law. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to help. Here’s a perfect example. Right now, the IRS is developing a free tax software program for all US taxpayers to use if they so desire. The program would auto populate all applicable parts of the form where the IRS already has the tax info, and would ask probing questions to determine any lesser known, or arcane loopholes and benefits that the taxpayer may qualify for. The best part is that the software would automatically be upgraded with any future changes to the tax laws, so taxpayers would not have to worry about using an obsolete program, The US Senate has a competing bill in the draft stages that would compete with the House bill,, but wold contain similar language barring the IRS from sticking their big, fat, IRS noses into personal tax preparation matters. So, who’s that pissing in the punch bowl? Why, none other than the US Congress, of courses!  In a maliciously deceptively named, bipartisan Taxpayer First Act, recently passed by the House, it specifically forbids the IRS to develop and make avail for distribution and use, their new taxpayer software. Why in the world would they do such a thing to thumb […]

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