Here Comes Godwin!

trump-angry-and-weak

Godwin’s law is an Internet adage that asserts “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches one.”

Yep.

And as this is now my 20th post, I suppose my time has come…only I am not about to compare Trump to Hitler.

No, sir, I won’t do that. And it’s not because I like either of these guys. Nope, I just don’t think that would be a fair competition. You see, Adolf Hitler served his country during a time of war. Young Corporal Hitler fought with courage and determination in the trenches of World War I, and received the Iron Cross for bravery twice. Trump dodged the Vietnam War, claiming heal spurs and spent his entire life as far from danger as possible. Therefore, although I find them both to be loathsome individuals, I will at least embrace enough honesty to say that Hitler had guts thus drawing a sharp contrast with The Donald.

So, what’s up with Hitler? What point am I trying to make here?

Simply this, the right wing refuses to own Hitler and that is a big, big problem for America. Let me explain why….

If you’re in any argument with a conservative for long enough, Godwin’s Law invariably gets proven correct. However, in my experience, it’s often the liberal that gets accused of being the Nazi and the right winger expects the liberal to own Hitler. Of course, we don’t own Hitler, because he isn’t one of ours. We own Mao and Stalin perhaps, but Hitler and the Nazi movement belong on the far right of the spectrum as a matter of historical and political fact. Unfortunately, the modern American conservative has been programmed not to believe this.

Why is that a problem? Because…and hear me out…it’s bad for the right!

When we talk about left wing politics, names like Jefferson and Franklin may come up to put us in a good light and Mao and Stalin to put us in a bad one. And this is important because we need to acknowledge that liberal politics can go, and have gone, too far. Do you find those pesky Koch brothers annoying? Have you ever fantasized about sending Chuck and David off to a gulag in Alaska? Well, perhaps I have too, but the fact is we both know that would be wrong.

We Americans have always cherished our rights, and among those rights is due process and equal treatment under the law. Locking up the Kochs without trial may sound great, but as democratically inclined liberals we work to strengthen those principals of fair treatment, not undermine them. And when we start indulging in such far-left fantasies, we have folks like Mao and Stalin to show us that there is such a thing as going too far, and that always ends badly.

But the American conservative will not admit to the existence of any such historical figure to warn him when he goes too far. In a pathological need to be correct all the time, the right wing media outlets (Fox News, Info Wars, ect.) refuse to acknowledge the most patently evil conservative of all time; Adolf Hitler!

They have brainwashed their masses into believing that Hitler was—now get this—a socialist, because his party called itself the Nationalist Socialist Party. Never mind that the word “socialist” was added to the party’s name in February of 1920 as a PR move (socialist was a popular term in Germany at the time). And never mind that the only socialist thing Hitler ever did was the creation of the Volkswagen company (which is commonly NOT one of the complaints leveled against him). To the average American conservative, the Nazi party was called “socialist,” and therefore Hitler must have been a liberal–end of story.

Oh, boy

And get this, conservatives can even go beyond the Nazi party’s name. They will tell you the red in the Nazi flag was for socialism (it wasn’t), and that Hitler favored gun control (he did but Germany never had a Second Amendment to begin with). All of this is, of course, smoke screen to hide the fact that, like all conservatives, Hitler imagined that the golden age of his country was in the past. Therefore, he promised to “make Germany great again” by returning to old fashioned Aryan values, and he demonized anything that was new or foreign. Art that challenged established standards was declared “decadent” by Adolf, and any talk of new political ideas such as communism or democratic socialism were repressed.

Sound familiar?

Now, it is quite a stretch to say that American conservatism is the same as Nazism, and I am not making that claim (yet). However, if taken too far that is where American conservatism can take us, just as an overdose of socialism can take us to dictatorial-communism. We liberals MUST own our baggage so that we may heed the sign that reads; “Warning: do not go too far.”The scary thing is that American conservatives have so successfully lied to themselves, that they are convinced that there is no such sign for them to read at all.

The scary thing is that American conservatives have so successfully lied to themselves, that they are convinced that there is no such sign for them to read at all.

Thus, to be a part of the modern American conservative movement is like being on a train with no breaks. And they have already crashed through a huge safety barrier when they allowed a fascist like Trump to win them. Now the train is headed for the cliff, and I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t dragging my caboose with it!

Therefore, conservatives must own Hitler before it’s too late for all of us.

So, please, tell your friends.

 

By Clayton J. Callahan

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I Did My 69 For Hillary

letters-to-electors

So, I did it.

As I urged other people to do in an earlier blog post (that includes names and addresses… https://americawearebetterthanthis.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/can-you-do-69-for-hillary/ ), I wrote letters to sixty-nine of the Republican electors urging them not to vote for The Donald. Will they listen? I’ve no way of knowing. However, it is widely reported that six Republican electors are expressing second thoughts about voting for this blowhard, and if that’s true, I can be reasonably sure that more are musing it over in private.

Will this work? Can we Dump Trump this way? Well, like I said in the earlier post, shoot for the gold and we may get the silver or at least the bronze. Already, Texas elector Art Sisneros has resigned rather than vote for Trump, so I think we are well on our way to silver!

Below is a sample of the letter I sent. My cardinal rule was to be nice to these people. Hardcore Republicans though they are, nobody will do anything for somebody who’s rude to them. I also appealed to the famous Never Trump Republicans who hail from the same state as the elector in question. After all, when going into battle one should bring friends.

The letter went as follows:

Dear, Carolyn Welsh (Or whichever elector. Always use someone’s personal name when you can)

I am writing to plead with you to vote your conscience as an elector. I am trusting that you are a good and patriotic American who puts the welfare of the country ahead of petty interests. You have a great and heavy responsibility, I know, and you have my respect and sympathy.

I am asking you to join in solidarity with Representative Charlie Dentin his opposition to the presidency of Donald Trump. I am doing this because I do not want to see the country I served for twenty years ruined by an ill-tempered narcissist with a penchant for personal vendetta. The president of the United States is arguably the most powerful individual on Earth. Both war and peace rest in our commander-in-chief’s hands, and I fear what such an incredibly petty person could do with that kind of power.

I do understand that you likely have strong reservations about Secretary Clinton. However, with the Republicans in charge of both the house and senate, her power would be restrained. This would not be the case with Mr. Trump, and I fear his proclivity for recklessness will be given wing to smote ruin upon us all.

I also understand how unprecedented this request is, at no time in our history has such a stark choice been laid before the Electoral College. Nonetheless, the Framers created the college for a reason, and I believe they are watching us now. This is a unique situation that calls for courage and decisive action unlike any other that has faced our republic before, and now you are called to stand against the darkness as a final bulwark between the lives of the innocent and the power of the corrupt.

In Iraq, I risked my life for my country. I served three tours in the Middle East and if necessary would have gladly laid down my life for my country…as many a good soldier did. In fact, I was but a few hundred yards away when our last soldier to die in Operation New Dawn, David Hickman, gave his life for this country.

Today, I ask you to take a lesser but oh so much more important risk.

Please, I implore you, do what you know is right and save this nation from its own bigotry, ignorance, and confusion.

                                                               Staff Sergeant (SA) Clayton J. Callahan, US Army, Retired

Trump’s Pyrrhic Victory

portland-protest-immage

The armies separated; and, it is said that when congratulated on winning, Pyrrhus mournfully replied, “One other such victory would utterly undo me.”

The above is a quote credited to a Greek king who had just defeated the Roman army at the battle of Heraclea in 280 BC. To be clear, the King did in fact win the battle. But once it was done, Pyrrhus knew he’d lost the war due to the incredible price he’d paid in men lost and resources squandered. In so realizing this, I count King Pyrrhus as a smarter man than Trump.

The Donald claims that he won the 2016 election in “a landslide” of 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, asserting this as the biggest Republican win since Ronald Regan. He can look forward to a GOP (now standing for Grab Out Pussy) majority in both houses of congress and is poised to appoint the swing justice on the Supreme Court. Lastly, he can try to claim millions of frothing Americans who supported him as a mandate from the people for his new agenda.

So…he won, right?

Hold on there Pyrrhus, not so fast! The Donald is in deep crap, and he is probably just too dumb to know it. He lost the popular vote by over two million Americans. That means at about 64.2 million (and counting) Hillary Clinton has won more votes than any white man in American history. That severally crimps any legitimate claim of an American “mandate” for Trump’s agenda. Also, and this is something new, those who didn’t vote for him do not actually dislike him. No, sir, they actually HATE HIS STINKING GUTS!

Upon the news of The Donald’s win, virtually every American city staged spontaneous anti-Trump protests. Over 100,000 marched in New York City alone. Riots broke out in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Highways were blocked nationwide, and police officers logged enough overtime to pay for this Christmas and the next three! I am 48 years old and have never in my life heard of such a response to a presidential election. In fact, after every other election I’ve known, most Americans simply yawn and go back to sleep for four years. But such is the hate that our new president-elect has inspired during the course of his campaign, that I don’t see the American people giving him a pass just because Pyrrhus has won the office.

Also, The Donald may soon be fighting a battle good King Pyrrhus didn’t have to worry about, the coming fight with a fifth column. Not only do average American citizens hate him by the millions, the old guard of the GOP doesn’t like him much either (they much preferred Grand Old Party, but that’s gone now). Trump waged a scorched earth campaign that lashed out at establishment Republicans as well as liberal Democrats. This is the man who called Senator Rubio “Little Marco” and mocked Ted Cruz’s wife’s appearance.  And I seriously doubt that a war hero like John McCain will forget the blatant disrespect The Donald dished out concerning the three years the Arizona senator spent as a POW in Vietnam!

And then there’s the mob. Even the mighty Roman emperors of antiquity feared the mob. That great mass of unwashed people that Trump made grandiose promises to are going to expect results. When the jobs don’t come back to their small towns and their sick little sisters lose Obamacare, common folks just might turn downright nasty.

So, I hope he enjoys his victory because he’s about to reap his own whirlwind. It took a person with the intelligence and experience of Barack Obama to keep this divided country together for the last eight years. And Donald Trump did his best to destroy that unity in order to win the election. Pyrrhus is said to have taken his beating with dignity. I look forward to reading on Twitter how very unfair things are for the poor old Donald.

 

By Clayton J. Callahan

 

Fake News: America’s Toilet Water

alex-jones

I used to quip that I didn’t watch Fox News for the same reason I don’t drink from the toilet. Ha ha, roll snare drum.

Sadly, there are a whole lot of “news” providers out there that make Fox News look like the New York Times. One of the most popular being Info Wars, hosted by full-time professional crackpot Alex Jones (pictured above).

Alex Jones famously made the claim that Sandy Hook was a government hoax. He has also been known to state as fact that Obama was poised to take over Texas last year is something called Operation Jade Helm, the US Navy SEALS were behind the Boston Marathon bombing, and that a secret group of pagans who meet annually in Bohemian Grove actually rule the world.  In another age and time, guys like Jones would be walking the streets wearing a sandwich board that proclaimed “the end is near!” Now, kooks like this have their own radio shows, websites and thousands of followers.

Thus, more Americans are drinking toilet water than ever before.

I recently encountered someone who was convinced that liberals were now turning their backs on Hillary in droves now that Trump had won. This person stated confidently that Trump was winning over voters with his new, more moderate, positions…and besides, Hillary was trafficking in child sex slaves—her e-mails proved it.

WHAT!?

Well, at least I now know why the right thought those e-mails mattered. I always regarded the story about using a private server to be bit dull. So, obviously, somebody decided to spice it up with some absolute bullshit. And because this bullshit matched a previously believed narrative, suckers bought it.

The problem now is, how do we fight these lies with facts?

For our entire history, Americans have relied on the press to keep us informed. Under the protection of the First Amendment, journalists crafted a culture of fact-based reporting with a long list of rules and ethical codes. Sure, there was always “yellow journalism” in the form of the National Enquirer and Weekly World News. But such tabloid press was generally ignored by the public, and “bat boy” never posed a threat to our democracy. But now, solid journalism is under a well-coordinated attack…and it is losing the fight.

Fake news has worked hard to paint themselves as champions of THE TRUTH. All other sources of news are depicted as part of the “great big conspiracy.” People listening to this garbage soon find themselves cut off from trustworthy news sources, and the only water left to drink comes from the toilet. This, by the way, is classic cult behavior; isolate a person from those he or she trusts, and you can then manipulate the hell out of ’em with no cognitive opposition.

I would love to propose a solution to the fake news problem in this post. I would love to say, “Hey folks, here’s the magic bullet!” But unlike the Alex Jones types, I refuse to tell that kind of lie. Ergo, when I don’t know, I don’t just make things up. However, the first step in solving a problem is understanding the problem. And, fellow liberals, we need to get schooled!

Below is a link to an NPR article about one such fake news purveyor. And as NPR is one of the real news sources that actually practice journalistic ethics, I tend to trust ‘em.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2053

By Clayton J. Callahan

A Post I Did For My Old Blog When Trump Was Only A Maybe

The Dunning Kruger Effect Meets…The Donald

Me teaching Science Fiction

Okay, first off this is NOT a post to bash conservatives or the GOP. Full disclosure, I am a liberal Democrat. However, I strongly believe America needs a smart and thriving conservative party to keep our nation balanced. Also, to my fellow lefties, know this is a warning. Please don’t feel smug…it could happen to us too.

So, just what is the “Dunning/Kruger effect and what does it have to do with Donald Trump?”

Basically, Dunning/Kruger is a term psychologist use to describe how people who know very little about a subject believe they know a lot, and how people who know a lot about a subject think they know very little.

Immagine an ancient shepherd watching the heavens as he herds his sheep. He sees the sun rises in the east and set in the west every day with never a miscommunication. To him, it is obvious that the sun revolves around the Earth, and he may scoff at anyone who says differently. This guy would be at one end of the Dunning/Kruger spectrum.

At the other end is a modern astrophysicist. She spends her life studying the mountain of data that has been learned since ancient times and the large hills of data that continue to arrive in her lab daily. In fact, she often stands in awe at how big the universe is and how small her understanding is in comparison. She could explain to our ancient shepherd the true relationship between Earth and its star quite easily. After all, she knows a lot and is still learning more every day.

Now, she could explain to our ancient shepherd the true relationship between Earth and its star quite easily. After all, she knows a lot about it, but suppose he challenges her?

Suppose he argues with her assertion about this whole Earth/sun thing?

The shepherd asks her question after question until the astrophysicist has to give him an honest answer like, “I don’t know why gravity exists, I can only explain how it works.” At this point, the shepherd declares victory. His Earth-centered sun theory is obviously superior to hers because, to him, it explains everything, and her ideas still have a few holes in them.

Throughout this allegorical debate, we learn the astrophysicist was arguing with a crippling disadvantage from the very start. That’s right, the ignorant hold the advantage over the knowledgeable in an argument–every time.

You see, the knowledgeable have to work hard to describe the nuances and technicalities that are often hard to explain to the laymen. The ignorant, however, need only give glib responses that appeal to “common sense” and are unburdened with those pesky facts that need explaining or rules that have exceptions.When was the last time I saw the Dunning/Kruger effect in action? It was the last time I listened to a Republican debate.

Keep in mind, the GOP fielded some bright folks this year. Although I often disagree with the likes of Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio, I will admit these are sharp guys who have thought long and hard about their positions as they relate to American policy. The Donald, however…not so much.

Using glib phrases, insults, and sheer bravado, Donald Trump became the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee. In debates, he made mince meat out of his opponents and the crowd loved him for it. This despite the fact that Trump has no political experience, is not a war hero, lacks a basic understanding of international affairs, and can only stand on a questionable business career as any kind of qualification to be the leader of the free world. The educated among the GOP are aghast that this ignoramus is leading their party and form the core of the “Never Trump” movement (and I respect them). Who supports the Donald? Well, mostly the poorly educated, yet enthusiastic conservative voters who never think to ask what he means when he says he’s out to “make America great again.”

Could this have happened on the Democratic side of our nation? You bet your butt. History is full of leaders on the left and right who have galvanized the uneducated masses, assumed power, and then run their respective countries into the ground. And only a liberal who is ignorant of history would say differently.

I once published a short story called Time Travel is Impossible, about a Nazi time machine project. In the introduction, I paraphrase the famous line, “those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it,” by saying, “those who study history are doomed to watch other’s repeat it.”

Folks, I am as certain as a well informed and educated man can be that Trump is about to repeat some history…and I do not wish to stand by and watch. We, the knowledgeable (hampered as we may be by the Dunning/Kruger effect), must, never the less, try to explain to our fellow Americans where this ignorance is leading us. I am not just talking to my fellow liberals either. Conservatives of intellect must oppose Trump, for you righties that have studied history also know what happens when it repeats.To liberals, I have to say, don’t get cocky. Get educated! Do not let the glib leader with the easy answers ever have sway over our side or we will fall into the same trap. Remember, we are all human folks, and equally subject to the laws of nature, Dunning/Kruger included.

What does all this have to do with writing science fiction books with titles like, “The Adventures of Crazy Liddy” and “Beer Today Gone Tomorrow?” Well, gentle reader, I have to admit, not much. You see I like to write stories of an entertaining nature, with lots of quirky characters and good jokes…you know, happy, fun reading. That dystopian stuff just ain’t my bag, man. I don’t want to write it…and I sure as hell don’t want to live it.

 

Oregon’s Stand In Congress!

I am so proud to be a citizen of Oregon!

November 23, 2016

Dear Mr. Callahan,

Thank you for contacting me about the results of the 2016 presidential election. I appreciate hearing from you and share your concerns.

Throughout the recent presidential election, I was deeply disturbed by the offensive, hateful, and divisive rhetoric around Oregon and the country. I share the concerns of worried constituents and marginalized communities across the country and stand with Oregonians of all genders, races, religions, and parties who are justifiably concerned that President-elect Trump will approach governing with the same divisive rhetoric and dangerous policy ideas that dominated his campaign.

We must continue to hold the President-elect and his Administration to the highest standard and stand for the values of equality and human rights that have made this country a beacon for the world. We cannot stay silent. American democracy performs at its best when its citizens are both informed and engaged in the political process. The current political climate will only truly change when citizens like you make clear to your representatives that you will not stand for divisive partisan politics.

My hope is that the President-elect will appreciate the significance of his position and work with all Members of Congress to find solutions to the issues we face as a country, including climate change, creating new jobs, supporting our seniors, and making higher education more affordable and accessible. The best policy decisions come from respectful, constructive discussions among people with differing viewpoints. Our economy will be stronger and our families will be healthier when we enact policies that work for them, not against them.

I am prepared to do my part to help the nation heal, but the President-elect must call on others to stop hate-fueled acts and rescind harmful appointments, like the selection of Steve Bannon. I will continue to work to advance commonsense policies that help all Oregonians and all Americans and I will keep your input in mind as Congress continues to tackle these important issues.

Thank you again for writing to me. If you would like to know more about my work in Congress, please sign up for my newsletter at http://bonamici.house.gov or visit my Facebook page at http://facebook.com/CongresswomanBonamici.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Bonamici
Member of Congress

What Do We Want, And When Do We Want It?

raised-fist

The anti-President Trump movement is a very young thing indeed. Sadly, many of us thought Hillary was a shoe in and weren’t particularly active prior to the 2016 apocalypse (like me). But, after the shocking election of a racist, sexist, xenophobic, demagogue who apparently could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose a vote…we got busy.

Is it too late? Well, in one sense, yes. The Donald won that night of November 8th and no one can turn back time. But in another sense, it is NEVER too late to stand up for what’s right, and so we march. But what are we marching to? What would qualify as a victory for this new movement that is dubbing itself “the resistance?”

Well, I’m glad you asked.

The movement being young is still gelling around a specific agenda. Generally speaking, however, we are opposed to racism, sexism, xenophobia, and demagoguery. We value the rights of free speech, marriage equality, religious equality, gender equality and racial equality. Speaking for myself, I seek to work with as many people as possible to achieve the following goals…

  • To weaken Trump in every possible way. We cannot let a day go by where Trump feels he has enough support to build a wall, deport eleven million people or ban an entire religion. Every bit of crazy he proposed when he ran for office must be challenged. By vigorously opposing his every move, we hope to minimize the damage of a Trump presidency.
  • Support the Democratic Party’s efforts to reclaim the House and Senate in 2018. As we learned from the Tea Party, midterm elections matter. An anti-Trump congress is our best hope for implementing real change in America and preventing The Donald from becoming an actual dictator.
  • Impeach Trump and his little dog, Pence, too! Honestly, the sooner we get these wackos out of power the better. I don’t believe it unlikely that congress will find a slew of “high crimes and misdemeanors” to warrant impeachment. As soon as one is spotted, we must encourage congress to pounce on the opportunity to throw these bums out—one at a time or as a pair.

 

So, there you have it, four little things that define the resistance movement. Are we dreamers? Perhaps. But we are also fighters, and we will fight with every weapon in democracy’s arsenal until our country is free of this nightmare circus called the Trump regime.

The struggle begins now!

 

By Clayton J. Callahan

About That Whole Hamilton Thing

hamilton-vs-pence

So, as is well reported by now, Mike Pence attended a performance of the musical Hamilton in New York this past weekend. The audience booed him upon arrival (which warms my heart) but the cast actualy treated him with respect. At the end of the show, actor Brandon Dixon thanked Pence for attending the play and then said, “We, sir — we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” Dixon said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

When President Elect The Donald heard of this, however, he decided to bravely take to Twitter to say, “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”

Well, here’s the thing The Donald doesn’t understand, Americans are not in the habit of apologizing for exercising our right of free speech! If The Donald had ever read the US Constitution (as Captain Kahn’s father and I personally doubt), he might have noticed a little blurb called The First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

You see, The Donald is now a public servant. We don’t work for him, he works for us! And under the contract for this job, it clearly states that his employers may say to him anything we want, at any time we want, in any way we want. And although the Hamilton cast was, in my view, very polite, others of us have been and will continue to be…well, rather course. Hell, I’ve been downright profane at protests!

Perhaps The Donald should have read the damn contract before he applied for the job (it’s on the internet and everything). But since he didn’t, this windbag is left with but one option.

If he doesn’t like how his bosses treat him, he should QUIT the job! Because we never will quit until he does. So sleep tight, Mr. Not Yet President, because the only easy day was yesterday.

 

 

By Clayton J. Callahan

The Problem With Assumptions And The Fight Against Bigotry

my-jacket

This is me in my winter jacket. Looks cool, right? I bought it in Iraq back in ’06 at a Turkish bazaar and have since added patches from every unit I served in combat with. From my time with the US Navy back in the 1980s to my days in the US Army Reserves, this jacket is a roadmap of my service. It’s also nice and warm, and now that cold weather is setting in, I seldom leave the house without it.

So a few days ago I was waiting in line at a store when a stranger walks up and thanks me for my service. I accepted his handshake and said something nice to him…and then he made an assumption. He says to me, “Hey, that was some victory we won, wasn’t it.” I blink, not quite following him. Then the guy elaborates, “Last Tuesday, some victory for us right?”

BOOM

I raise my voice, and in a not too polite tone, inform him that I don’t consider the election of a fascist to the highest office in our land to be any kind of victory. The man lets go of my hand and steps back with a look of absolute shock. Without another word to me, he finishes his transaction and hurries out of the store. This man made an assumption about me after knowing only one thing, that I was a veteran. Boy, did he make a big mistake!

However, that got me thinking; how often do I make assumptions about people based on just a little irrelevant information. This is, of course, the root of all bigotry–unfounded assumptions. We know this academically, but on first impression, we often make bad assumptions about people nonetheless. When you see a cowboy in a pickup truck, do you assume he’s a Trump supporter? When you see a young woman in a pants suit, do you assume she voted for Hillary?

The sad truth is, we often find ourselves making such assumptions and then having to reel them back in once we actually get to know a person. Of course, some people don’t bother trying to reel anything back in at all and instead try to push their predjudices out. I recently got a Facebook post that looked like this:islamicdeceptioncartoon

Obviously, this image makes several bad assumptions. Folks, I’m telling you, it is up to us to fix this. Because when a cancer like this is left unchecked it only spreads through the body politic. Are there Muslims who want to take over American society? Well, yes, in any sufficiently large group there are always some butt-heads. But you and I know it’s just as ludicrous to assume that all Muslims feel this way as it is to assume that all veterans support Trump!

When I encounter this kind of bigoted assumption, I find myself working overtime to correct it…and it is always an uphill battle. The meme has a simple message, and it’s intended target is someone who likes simple messages. Therefore, the task is to break it down into simple questions that challenge the bigoted assumption.

I ask questions like, “Do you know any Muslims? Do you think all people in a group think the same way? If all Muslims think the same, why are there so many divisions in Islam such as Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Shia and Sunni? Do all Christians think alike? If all Christians think differently, why do you think all Muslims think alike? Do you think the children of Muslim immigrants will grow up to think like their parents, or will they assimilate American values?” And so on and so on. The more questions you ask, the more obviously ludicrous the unchallenged, bad assumption becomes.

As you can see, it can take a long conversation to dispel a prejudice. Often I find that it a hard fact that lies are simple and the truth is complicated. But people, if we are going to reel back bigotry, we have to try!

You know not everyone with a bigoted idea in their head is a bad person, so reel in your own assumptions and roll up your sleeves. Many people we would call bigots are simply scared and ignorant. This holds true, regardless of what group they happen to be scared of. But the fact is that people are people. Some you can reach and others you can’t. But you don’t know which is which until you get to know them, and only by engaging with them can you hope to enlighten them.

The dangers of making general assumptions about any group of people are written all over our history books. Trump won by dividing the American people, therefore we will only win by uniting the American people.  So now is the time for us to learn from our history so that we do not repeat it.

In that vein, I would like to share with you some words of wisdom from a man who knows too much about this particular subject, Mr. George Takei. May you find in his life story the ammunition you need to fight the assumptions of scared and ignorant fellow Americans.

By Clayton J. Callahan

 

Can You Do 69 For Hillary?

obi-wan-kenobi

Do you want to resist Trump’s fascism with every bone in your body? Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and show the world that the American liberal is still alive and kicking! Well, buddy; I’ve got a little job for you. And here’s the beauty of it, as long as we give this push our maximum effort, we are sure to win. The only question is; will our victory medal be bronze, silver or gold?

Let me break it down.

At the end of this post, you will see sixty-nine names and three addresses. These, my friends, are the Republican electors for the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and the addresses they can be reached at respectively. On December 19th, 2016, these folks will hold the real US election that actually chooses the president. Naturally, all of them are hard-core Republicans who have pledged to vote as their party dictates…but all of them are also human, and some of them don’t care at all for Trump.

On December 19th, each of these people will have a number of choices to make.

1– Vote for Trump as the president and Pence as the vice president like they are expected to do (a very likely choice).

2– Vote for Clinton/Kaine (highly unlikely).

3– Vote for Pence to be the president and Trump to be the vice president (a rare but legal option).

4– Abstain from voting by dropping a blank ballot into the box (not unheard of).

Folks, if they all vote as they are pledged, Trump only wins by only twenty-one votes! If we can influence the electors in ANY way, we win. The only question is, by how much and that’s where the bronze, silver and gold medals come in.

Let me describe what victory looks like:

Bronz Medal Win– Each of these offices gets a huge volume of mail like they’ve never seen before. Piles and piles of letters fill the countertops as struggling clerks panic to sort them all. This unprecedented volume of mail sends a message that is heard loud and clear; Trump faces historic resistance on the part of the American people and he better tread lightly! Already, Trump is backing down on his threats to eliminate Obamacare due to the nationwide protests. This mail-in protest would be an additional slap in his face that could force him to moderate certain positions or risk further public resistance.

Silver Medal Win– This assumes some of the electors actually read our mail, and conclude that the moral decision would be to refrain from voting Trump. This would send Trump the message that not even the GOP fully supports him and force him to back down on major policy issues and put forth a mild legislative agenda.

Gold Medal Win– Twenty-one or more electors flip for Hillary, and Clinton becomes our next president. Friends, I will tell you flatly that this is a million to one shot. It would be a completely unprecedented miracle in the history of American politics equal to the Cubs winning the World Series. I’m not counting on it, but I am willing to take the shot…after all, the Cubs did win as I recall.

So let’s get to work!

Florida Electors=31

Republican Party of Florida

420 E Jefferson St, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Tony Ledbetter

Pam Bondi

Sharon Day

Ade Aderibigbe

Larry Ahern

Brian Ballard

Kristy Banks

Michael Barnett

LizBeth Benacquisto

Robin Bernstein

John Browning

Dena DeCamp

Nick DiCeglie

Jeremy Evans

John Falconetti

Peter Feaman

Kat Gates-Skipper

Joe Gruters

Debbie Hannifan

Blaise Ingoglia

Mike Moberley

Susan Moore

Joe Negron

Clint Pate

Ray Rodrigues

Carlos Trujillo

Robert Watkins

Susie Wiles

Christian Ziegler


Ohio Electors=18

Ohio Republican Party

Address: 211 S 5th St, Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: (614) 228-2481

Marilyn Ashcraft

Curt Braden

Christina Hagan

Lee-Ann Johnson

Ralph King

Alex Triantafilou

Mary Anne Christie

Corey Schottenstein

Jim Dicke II

Cheryl Blakely

Richard Jones

Tom Coyne

Judy Westbrock

Leonard Hubert

Tracey Winbush

James Wert

Brian Schottenstein

Ed Crawford

 

Pennsylvania Electors=20

112 State Street

 Harrisburg, PA 17101

 Phone: (717) 234-4901

 Fax: (717) 231-3828

Robert Asher

Mary Barket

Robert Bozzuto

Theodore (Ted) Christian

Michael Downing

Margaret Ferraro

Robert Gleason

Christopher Gleason

Joyce Haas

*Ash Khare

James McErlane

*Elstina Pickett

Patricia Poprik

Andrew Reilly

Carol Sides

Glora “Lee” Snover

Richard Stewart

Lawrence Tabas

Christine Toretti

Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh