Tuesday, Jul 23rd

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You are here Editorials Alex Baer SHUT. IT. DOWN.


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There's keeping an open and hopeful mindset, and there's ignoring the bus and truck which have leapt the curb and are coming straight at you.

Last week's shocked and jittery, anxious-for-good-reason, wait-and-see mindset has now disappeared, for solid reasons, not just anticipated-maybe-concerns.  The hand-wringing lasted four days.  We're now into Holy-Shit-Build-the-Bunker-Deeper Mode.  (Wait too long and we'll jump to the final phase, Ain't-that-Rocket-to-Mars-Done-Yet?!)

Every day brings new, multiple confirmations that Completely Insane People will be running the country.  Example:  Check out the Cabinet array being arranged for the next global round of Nuking Civil Rights and Carpet-Bombing Modern Liberties.  In no way could I ever have previously envisioned the current nightmare team being scraped up from the Returdlican Septic Tank of Discarded Retreads, them being resuscitated, and then given the golden keys to democracy's kingdom.

I'm also stunned to learn the Trumpster Transition Team -- should I go for the T-3, Terminator 3 wordplay here? -- didn't know it had to bring in its own work team to staff the west wing, of all things.  (I hope emergency-services people are standing by to explain electricity and paper clips to Team Hairdo, and to tell them they don't have to bring their own little bags of peanuts onto Air Force One, unless they just have to have the gold-dipped ones to be content.)

Being stunned by this bunch affords no protection via immunization or exposure in future stunnings.  Proof:  I'm gobsmacked to learn Trump doesn't understand that handing off your business interest to your kids does not constitue separating yourself from your business interests and insulating you from conflicts of interest.  Duh.

Maybe I simply expect more from a future president than someone who doesn't understand that asking permission for your entire family to have access to the entire bombshell arsenal of the nation's top level secrets is, you know, technically known as NOT GOOD, YOU BERSERK DUMBSHIT. This is especially true when a mjority of us still don't trust the Oranged Head of the family with them to start with, and haven't, not since the intelligence briefings started.

[Sorry, I had to snicker inwardly there, as Trump has clearly not gotten any smarter since then.]

My list of what I expect as a normal and minimum set of expectations for a future president grows longer daily, especially if I have to keep adding on simple things that we all know and do, like "Be sure to go to the bathroom INSIDE the house," and "Don't puke on visiting dignitaries -- foreign or domestic."

But, then, we are plainly dealing with someone who is phenomenally clueless about, or cares not one whit about, whatever might have been normal, traditional, and usual in the past.  Hell, we can't even expect common decency and politeness from this pretend-Prez -- so what makes anyone think he'd politely show his tax return, just because everyone else who has run for the job has done so?  Why have any pretense of showing a presidential temperament and demeanor?  Why let the press cover your meeting with Obama -- just because it's tradition?  Ha!

When the sanest person on the your payroll is Prince Rebus, from the RNC, as your chief of staff and junior-idealogue-in-charge, you know that even the partisan rats on board your ship are themselves furiously building mini-arks for the howling weather ahead.  Of course, the public is supposed to meanwhile nod along with Bannon-the-Breitbarter as chief strategist and supremacist-supreme, too -- perfect wingmen for the Conspiracist-in-Chief!

You know for sure by now that we're all just killing time in America, waiting for the brown shirts and armbands to come out of the Closet of Historical Shame and Doom, to appear as the mandatory national uniform, yes?  Lying in wait, does it seem, as it were, for our flag to be swapped out for one in that snappy, red, white, and black design, right?

Well, I object to the attempt by media to normalize this incoming gang of yes, thugs and Deplorables, this new national socialist party, as the Nazis were called.

(They were actually called the National Socialist German Workers' Party -- and it worked out poorly for the conned, regular working stiffs there, back then, when they voted in their dictator, same as this one is shaping up to be for the conned, regular working stiffs who voted in the wannabe dictator here.  It's what happens when you let fear, insanity, financiers, and fascism play together longer than 30 seconds without adult supervision and intervention by crowbars.)

I object to attempts to convince us that all will be well -- that we should all wait and see, and allow the governing to begin, with a smile of paralytic fear happily tattooed to our faces.  My own experience tells me that naively chanting Give Peace a Chance never worked out that hot, either.

When a Mach-50 Perfect Shitstorm is brewing, and the signs are absolutely everywhere and clear, only fools, dolts, and the celebrity-starstruck-and-blinded glitterati can advise turning a blind eye, hoping for the best, as they encourage everyone to, Oh, just get a grip, grit your teeth, brace for collision, and ride out the storm!  It will be the best ride ever, I guarantee it!

However, there are options available to us.  We can sail around the ripping and jolting seas.  And, we may have a better option handy, for those playing at real-life survival, and not simply auditioning for Survivor: TrumpScape.

Having some alternatives and options are essential in the mass shower-room of life, especially when someone reaches for your soap and loudly growls Grab Your Ankles.  Therefiore, I'm also not into waiting for us all to be herded, figuratively or literally, into the mass shower-room as it's filled with Zyklon B.

* * *

We have until December 19th to make a significant impact.  We can do it non-violently, by signing a petition [link below].  We can ask those casting ballots in the upcoming Electoral College session to rethink their hearts, souls, and traditions of that vote, in this year when Everything, Including Us and Our Nation, is Falling Through the Cracks.

Traditions are made to be broken.  Ask Herr Trump.  (I would be more polite here, and show more respect, but, you know, Trump has seen fit to jettison traditions;  so, as he is not in the mood to treat anyone respectfully, in this one thing, I will follow his lead.  I'll be happy to rewind to normal politeness, right after he as his cohorts sincerely and profoundly apologize to every person and group wounded in any way during his campaign.  This process, if started immediately, should take take well over four years, all by itself -- by then, someone else would have been voted in.  President Warren, maybe.)

But, after the December 19th deadline to gain attention to the cause, we'll be left with our usual, ongoing, non-violent exercises in raising our First Amendment (courts permitting) voices in the streets (courts permitting, and barring Free Speech zones of 6 feet square) and saying, "Excuse me, pardon me, but I object and disagree, pretty please!" when the hammer comes down on the aspects of life and liberty we have taken for granted, up until now, before this last election proved us thoroughly asleep at liberty's safety switch -- or at least, slumped over the throttle, unconscious and comatose, thereby defeating the Dead Man's switch, and running at full throttle...

* * *

One small gasp and time out for humor relief: I've been noticing online a lot of very excellent handles for Trump, instead of having to use his name, which is honeyed music to his ears, of course, like angels purring all around his narcissistic head, reassurring him he has the best taste in gilded ornamentation and Louis XIV furnishings -- with the possible exception of Rush Limbaugh.

Yes, I've enjoyed all the variants of his nicknames and orange, Boehner-like, faux-tan tone, like the orange baboon, Cheeto-boy, the orange raccoon-eyed monster, and so on.  I've also come to be fond of "DT" as well -- in the same way an alcoholic can be fond of the Delirium Tremens.  There are a lot of nicknames out there, and many are wonderfully creative.  I may have to start logging them all.

Meanwhile, here is my personal favorite:  Hair Furor. It's not original with me. Five stars to whoever came up with it.  (I have no shame in sharing these names with you, as Herr Trump and his gangsters have showed no mercy, shame, or decency in the names Secretary Clinton and other women (and various groups of individuals or people) have been called.  No decency or honor, have they had, either, in the things they have called anyone who doesn't look EXACTLY like the lily-white bully boys they are.  They swim around in their own goldfish bowls of arrested state of mental and spiritual development, awash in the poisoned testosterone of their hate.)

* * *

I've been asking friends for their yardstick measures of how to take stock of the current crisis.  Most agree this has none of the feelings from 9-11, especially as so much of that story (at least, the official story) came together after the fact. For me, this time in our history feels much more like what our parents and grandparents must have felt, during the attack on Pearl Habor, on December 7, 1941 -- the date which will live in infamy.

The attack was foreign, from without.  The new attack is domestic, from within.  November 8, 2016, is now living in infamy.  On both those dates, it was clear the depth of the loss already involved, and how much more loss, and needless pain and suffering, and endless battle, would be be required of us, before our lives could be normal again.  This feels like that.

* * *

The interval of time we have at our fingertips now -- the span between the election and Inauguration Day -- is the shuddering, quick-wink of time after the trigger has already been pulled, but before the hammer actually falls.

If we are quick -- fast beyond our normal measure in crisis -- we have a chance to intervene in certain tragedy, and use fast, firm action to block the hammer and keep the suicide weapon from firing, and prevent a nation from wounding or even killing itself.

This blocking action can be done non-violently -- as non-violently as Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others could have suggested.  The idea is not new with me, and the path has been suggested by many people before.  The action concerns earning the attention of the country, in the one way we all still have in common, even today, after so much fracturing of our common ties:  MONEY.

How can we non-violently get the attention of everyone in the country, in a way involving money?  A NATIONAL STRIKE -- a refusal by everyone to participate in the economy in any way, for one single day.

This means no working.  No buying in shops or online.  No comsumption, no production, no nothing.  As we are predominantly a consumer culture, this action should make an impact and receive notice.

Of course, not everyone can take the day off, either from an income perspective, or one of role;  someone with a paid sick day can join in more easily than can, say, a first responder or a working mother who has no benefits and is already living at the edge of possibility.

People who work on commissions would make them up in the days before or after the strike date, one suspects -- this is not an advocacy for consuming less -- which is another discussion -- just for not consuming on a certain day or days.

(One hopes this is only short term, and effective, but we should all be poised to make the point, and for months to come, while still pursuing other non-violent options and acts.  Whatever we do, it must be non-violent, otherwise, we are no better than Herr Trump's bully boys at his rallies, punching people in the face for kicks.)

So: If you're really looking to send a message to The System, a day of national strike, using capitalism and comsumption against itself, is easier and arguably more headline-grabbing than people marching with banners for another day.  Naturally, there is no rule that says any one path is the sole or best answer -- but, imagine for a moment the impact of an entire nation doing one or the other -- or both.

Supplement these actions with a third path, a day of donating your time or money to charitable works and organizations, perhaps to those defending our rights, and we're probably on to something much more long-lasting and valuable.

For now, we have a short period of time to get the attention of the Electors of the Electoral College to reconsider the tradition of their votes, and to recast them, not for Trump, but for the winner of the popular vote, and to cast their ballots in support of a nation of safety, security, and sanity, rather than for the clear and present dangers of Trump & Co., which we witness gathering their forces right now.

More days of nonviolent strike may be ahead, and should be anticipated, planned, and coordinated.  In lieu of any organizing or spontaneous effort, as we have so far seen in the streets, I would humbly suggest the Day of National Strike Against the System be set for Thursday, December 8th, as a one-month anniversary of the vote.

For people who are able, I would also suggest a second day of national strike for Friday, December 9th, in rembrance of the date, a mongth ago by then, that we became even more keenly aware of the direct dangers confronting the nation.

Yes, we should plan on more days of non-violent national strike in the months ahead, for the 8th and 9th of each month.  Meanwhile, we have the time between now, and very late in the evening on December 18th, to gain the attention of Electors of the Electoral College, to help make each of them consider more fully their actions to be taken on December 19th.

* * *

At last, with all the forms of social media and modern communication tools at our disposal, we Americans now have something incredibly vital and valuable to talk about, and in defense of the democracy all take for granted -- just as people in other nations have discovered, when the hammer dropped and the whip fell on them.

Here's hoping we won't wait that long to fight back, after we've already lost our current freedoms...

The fight must be non-violent, of course, using the interruption of the money flow and spot-lighting people's attention spans as tools, instead of relying on the racism, sexism, and sick phobias of all kinds to seek the spotlight, grab power, and hijack it at all odds.

Lady Justice is usually blind.  Maybe this once, we can get Lady Liberty to help ease off that blindfold, for the common good -- domestic and foreign -- in this time of infamy, in this time of clear and present danger.

(If we can't, we might as well tow that statue in New York harbor back to France, with a long-delayed thank-you note:  Dear France -- Thanks, but this no longer works and isn't wanted around here now.  We realize the statue is no longer under warranty, but we only just now got around to reading the instructions that said the lifetime guarantee was only when liberty burned brightly in the rest of us, which that made that statue light up...)


Petioning voters in the Electoral College:


Possible v. Likely


Dare we have fun in the midst of so much that is so serious? (I say yes, otherwise, what's it all for?)




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