Friday, June 29, 2018

480 Minutes - One Party Rule


Our individual rights as citizens are under threat by an increasingly detached class of uber-rich humans and soulless corporations, supported by a misinformed (mostly) white mass that has been told repeatedly that it is under attack.  It's very way of life is under attack, what with all these brown people and gay marriage and women's right to choose (even though they go the abortion route at a rate similar to that of the rest of us).

Law enforcement is sic-ed on the poor to keep them masses impoverished and imprisoned as the rich and powerful get away with...just about anything. Civil rights are not just for people of color, or Muslims, Latinx, or the LGBT community -- although those groups are the most targeted and most vulnerable -- but for everyone.

The Republican party has been trying to undo The New Deal for decades, just recently attempted to steal $2.9 Trillion (with a T) from Social Security which they have long claimed to want to "reform" because it's "going bankrupt." For many years conservatives have loudly claimed that the deficit is going to sink us, we must do something about the deficit. There are two ways to reduce the deficit: cut spending and raise taxes.  Cut spending was the mantra during the Obama years. Once he was out of office, instead of overtly cutting spending which would be unpopular, the Republicans pass their #TaxScam which adds $1.5T to the deficit by cutting revenue. They are worried about deficit spending and they intentionally reduced revenue, revenue previously collected from the people who could most afford it.

Even though one of their own proposed and established the Environmental Protection Agency, Republicans have been trying for years to prevent it from protecting the environment. They now have the polluters' best friend running the department, which has so drastically reversed course that 11 states are now suing the federal government. Clean air and water are basic human rights.

Extreme gerrymandering, Citizens United, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, requiring IDs to vote...all designed to disenfranchise Americans. You can't get much more undemocratic than actively trying to prevent people from voting.

This is who we are dealing with -- there is no good faith there.  With apologies to Gertrude Stein, there's not even a there there.

I am not a registered Democrat. Bill Clinton's draconian crime bill and "the end of welfare as we know it" saw to that. (Those things that repulsed me thrilled conservatives, yet they still did everything in their power to negate his presidency...go figure). My views have changed somewhat on social and fiscal issues since those days, and I find my convictions to be further from the Democratic Party platform than ever before. I think the party is a poorly run, corrupt mess. For decades now Democrats have allowed themselves to be Charlie Brown to the Republican's Lucy -- liberals keep trying to compromise (because that's how democracy works), while conservatives keep getting more and more extreme in their positions (some based on demonstrably false assumptions) and moving the goal posts. President Obama was a thoughtful, honest, educated, wise man, but he was hardly a liberal on most issues, let alone progressive.  In 2016 I was a Bernie Sanders supporter and am still angry about how he was cheated out of the nomination.

All that said, I voted for Hillary Clinton, because a centrist, corporatist hawk with knowledge, experience, and good working relationships with our allies abroad and with members of congress on both sides of the aisle trumps a vulgar know-nothing race-baiting serial-lying narcissist any day.

Things have gotten far worse than I ever expected because I foolishly expected congressional Republicans would not stand for overt racism, embracing brutal dictators, insulting and punishing long-time allies, replacing their long-standing "free trade" policies with an insane misguided (if it's guided at all) trade war, and, you know, putting babies in cages.

While I knew that the conservative-majority Supreme Court was not going to be on our side, I couldn't bring myself to accept that it could get worse. With the retirement of Justice Kennedy, the Court is definitely going to become more conservative...unless...aye is the rub. Just how can we prevent Jeanine Pirro from being appointed for life to the highest court in the land?

They have the White House for now. They will soon have a firm hold on the Supreme Court for decades to come. We cannot let them continue to hold congress. One Party Rule, especially when that one party boils down to white rage against the future, is not good for democracy.

We must stand together, set aside our differences petty and significant, and make sure that Democrats take control of both houses of congress in November. They are not perfect, but perfect is the enemy of good. If you think there's no difference between the parties ask yourself the last time you saw a Democratic lawmaker retweet something from a self-avowed Nazi-sympathizer. The Republican party has fully embraced policies based on discarding facts (climate change, border crossing numbers, crime statistics, basic economics) and demonizing groups of humans. We must call our representatives, even the safe ones who we mostly agree with, to make sure we are heard and that they are doing everything they can to fight this coordinated effort to undo the social progress of the 20th century.

When you feel like giving up, please don't. Take a breath. If you still feel like giving up, take another breath. Find people who agree with you and together figure out what you can do to help save the planet from the rise of these destructive powers. Pretty please.

Today's BAGeL Radio debuts will include new music today from Dentist (Asbury Park, NJ, @dentistband), Les Big Byrd (Stockholm, Sweden, @lesbigbyrd), Nine Inch Nails (Los Angeles, CA, @nineinchnails), S T F U (Austin, TX via London, England, @stfu_hq), Tombstones In Their Eyes (Los Angeles, CA, @tombsintheireyes), and Tunng (London, England, @thisistunng).

The show is live-hosted from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (probably more like 4 p.m. today) Eastern U.S. Time and is followed by 2 hours of uninterrupted music.  The show is then rebroadcast in it's entirety beginning at 7 p.m., then again on Saturday at 5 a.m. and 3 p.m., and one final time on Sunday at 1 a.m., followed by a rebroadcast of this week's Fuzzy Road radio show at 11 a.m. and then a couple of old 480 Minutes episodes from this week in past years, making for hosted shows all weekend long.

Tune in!

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480 Minutes / Year 14 - Episode 25 / Episode #607 overall

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