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Friday, December 30, 2016

The Truth About Progressives

I have had my progressive ideals called into question countless times over the last two years. First it was from nutters on the right who determined lefties weren't allowed to have shitty attitudes (?). Then it came from the left (or those pretending to be from the left hidden behind avatars and fake names) by those demanding that only a true progressive would support the Sanders, then Stein, candidacies. The ignorance encapsulated in both assertions should be clear to any thinking person. I can, then, only assume the reason we find ourselves in this absolute clusterfuck is because we have so few thinking people left. Glorious.

To the first: I can't be bothered to explain to you why I don't fit inside your narrow stereotype any more than you can explain to me why you need to hold on to it. Fuck you. I have a shitty attitude. I'll keep it until I leave this wretched planet.

The second seems to be profoundly missed in every nonsensical piece I've read since the 'election' where they say the Democrats didn't speak to the Progressive wing of the left. Honestly, I send you a pretty healthy 'Fuck You,' as well.

The true Progressives are the ones who stood with Hillary Clinton from the beginning, or those who had their awakening sometime during the campaign and moved to offer her their support. The ridiculously narrow message of the Sanders campaign (and Jesus Christ - Stein didn't even really have a message) offered acknowledgement of about a third of any respectable Progressive platform. Every once in a while he could be bothered to respond to a question asking about the myriad inequalities true Progressives insist be remedied. Even then he managed to fucker that conversation up and bring it back to his fixed presentation of income inequality.

Quietly reflect on this (I'm serious. Take this moment): If the response to a capitalist society gone amok only acknowledges the aspects of that society which affect people financially, haven't you just become the goddamned problem? You've allowed the response to every facet of that society to acknowledge its premise - The only thing that matters is money and power.

True Progressivism moves everyone forward. It is about genuine progress (get it?). When you deny or ignore the marginalized groups of that society, you are the fucking problem. Your message is the fucking problem. Your goddamned messenger is the fucking problem. And when the left loses you insist the reason we lost was because we didn't speak out more for those you determine to be marginalized (the poor forgotten white man), you perpetuate the problem to the place we find ourselves today. Well done, assholes. I've seen the Democrats called Republicans repeatedly. The only Republican mentality I saw on the left this cycle was from fauxgressives demanding the white man was being abused. Check yourselves or embrace what you really are: Libertarian - selfish to the core.

So women were supposed to first embrace a man who wrote rape fantasies in the 70s and had them written off as 'satire' during the campaign? And because you didn't like the candidate on the ticket for the left you now mock us because we have to somehow come to terms with the fact that a proud sexual assailant will lead the country? That's progressive to you?

Sanders took random opportunities to condemn Trump's hate speech, but he never offered anything in his platform to address the inequalities Trump was projecting. Why? Because his message was all too similar:
-The Democrats have ruined the country and only he can save us from ruin.
-The poor forgotten white man must be coddled and made to feel superior again.

Sure, Sanders used completely different language to get that message out, but he did it nonetheless.

True Progressivism makes a lot of demands of society. The reason the Democratic platform is so huge is because it is all-encompassing. There is room in there for all genders. All races. All religions. All income levels. The platform seeks equality for absolutely everyone, without exception. We demand that our children be safe and well educated. That our tax rates be fair. That our water and air are clean. That our workforce be strong and protected. That diplomacy is relevant. That we protect those our society has continued to assault. We insist on thoughtful resolutions to complex issues that won't fit on a meme. This entire election cycle we had one candidate who responded to all of those needs. ONE. And those who demanded she wasn't progressive enough certainly never bothered to read her platform. Here, jackass, take a look - its all still there. And its all still a million times more progressive than the shit Sanders ever tried to address.

I've been told repeatedly that I need to make nice with those who stalk my pages and tell me Trump 'won' the election because we didn't give them the candidate they demanded. I'm not that kind of girl. It's not my place to passively condone the hijacking of my party and bow to the will of the bullies in my midst. Its your job to grow up and take accountability for your own ignorance and arrogance. I'll be here when you get over yourselves.

Until then ...


Kiss Kiss...
Mean Progressive

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It Was Just A Dream

I have to admit, I've worn myself ragged over the last year and a half. The future of our country has been the only thing I've been able to think about. So it's not surprising that on election night, of all nights, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep before the returns started coming in. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. My poor brain was so hyper-focused on the desperate need of the American psyche for this election to end that it ended up doing some pretty crazy shit to me in my sleep. I had a terrible nightmare. I woke up in a sweat thinking America had elected an openly racist, misogynistic, xenophobic monster as president and given all three branches of government to the farthest right wing we have seen since our country's inception. What it would be like if it had been real ... but thankfully, it was just a nightmare.

Our next commander in chief is not the candidate who insulted Gold Star families and POWs.

Our president-elect didn't promise to meet with Vladmir Putin before getting the keys to the White House.

The next leader of the free world hasn't openly dismissed NATO and decided it should be a thuggish pay-for-play operation.

America's beloved President Obama won't be followed by the racist trash who started and perpetuated the birther movement.

America did not just pass the nuclear football to the candidate who reasons that the use of nuclear weapons is logical, because they exist.

America didn't just decide that they didn't want to have affordable healthcare covering pre-existing conditions and their children until they got out of college.

America didn't just decide to empower the extreme right wing with the educations of our babies.

America didn't just ensure decades of having the 2nd Amendment being interpreted to mean that anyone should be allowed to own an arsenal and carry it openly.

America didn't just hand our economy to the candidate who has been responsibile for it's recent historic drop just by potentially being elected.

The candidate who said that climate change is a hoax won't get to decide on the health of our planet just a year after the Paris climate deal.

The candidate who bragged about being a sexual assailant because of his status wasn't just given the highest status position on the planet.

The fate of marriage equality and abortion rights and voting rights and campaign finance reform hasn't just been upended by handing Congress the gift they were waiting for so they could continue to deny a moderate SCOTUS appointee and wait for the next president to nominate the most vile creature in a robe they can find.

Well, I'm awake now. And I'm ready to go into the future all of the pollsters assured us of. I'm ready for the next President who has been voted the most respected woman in the world 20 times. I'm ready to read about the futures of the small business owners who have a real champion on their side. I'm ready to have our new President and new blue Senate work on gun control measures like background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of abusers. I'm ready to see today's college students who are going to make our world a better place get help with their college debt. I'm ready to finally see the Equal Rights Amendment get passed. I'm ready for our new President with the new blue Senate get started on taking Obamacare to the next level so it can work for everyone. I'm ready to see what compassionate immigration reform does to open the hearts and minds of my American brothers and sisters who love the story of our melting pot. I'm ready to finally get a fair tax structure where the rich pay their share and those of us in the middle and at the bottom get a break. I'm ready to see so many Americans get put back to work rebuilding our infrastructure. I'm ready to see the green jobs of tomorrow. I'm ready to see criminal justice reform.

Wait. I just checked the news. That wasn't a nightmare? That really just happened?

You know what America? Go fuck yourself. Hard.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dear Media: Think Of Your Mothers

This election season has been more detrimental to the American psyche than any in history. The women, especially, have had to suffer in ways that should be unimaginable in 2016. We have had to endure repeated reminders that one of the candidates running for the top office in the land feels entitled to sexually assault women because of his status. We have, of course, then had to witness the media allow his surrogates to repeatedly tell us that it was just 'locker room banter.' #GrabEmByThePussy is now a thing. It's become a joke. The women in America who have been sexually assaulted now live in a country where our discourse has embraced the mentality of 50 years ago. You did that.

American women have endured a media acceptance of a candidate who rates us from 1 to 10 and dismisses our accomplishments. He has told us that breastfeeding is gross. And said if we are sexually harassed we should find another career. He has said sexual assault against women in the military is the fault of the women who wanted to serve. He said women who seek abortions should be punished.

We have heard him call us dogs, fat pigs and disgusting animals. We have waited patiently for you to bother to tell America about his rape accusations (still waiting ...). We have waited for you to report on his fantastically inappropriate comments about many young girls, 10-17, and how he wanted to date them. We have had to contend with the idea that pedophilia is being discussed, but not discussed, when an aside is offered about his various comments about his own daughters, back to the time when Tiffany was a baby. American women have suffered this election season in countless ways from this 'man' and the coverage you've afforded him. Your mothers endured this normalization, thanks to you.

We have heard you tell America that we, the millions of women so excitedly cheering on, volunteering for and celebrating our candidate, don't exist. It made for a more sensational story, I suppose, to ignore us and have hours of discussion about why Hillary Clinton didn't have much support with women. But our absence on your news coverage didn't negate our existence. I'll bet many of your mothers were with us on this journey and have told you privately everything I am telling you today.

So I implore all members of our failing media to consider your mothers if Hillary Clinton wins the election tomorrow. I understand that you have executives in your ears telling you about ratings. I understand that you believe those ratings are contingent upon tabloidesque conversations. I understand that you have conditioned yourselves to not have meaningful dialogue. But tomorrow night, think of your mothers sitting at home watching your coverage of the election of the first woman president. Think about whether or not they would like to be asked to consider all of the disenfranchised white men who will exist after a Clinton win. Think of your mother who will be sitting at home crying, both in celebration of this monumental achievement for women, and for the fact that she raised you and your focus on her night is on the white men who have run our country since its inception.

A Hillary Clinton win is not about ratings. A Hillary Clinton win is not about the people who supported the other candidate. You will have 4-8 years to report on their supposed lots in life. A Hillary Clinton win is about the accomplishments of a woman who never stopped fighting to do the right thing. A Hillary Clinton win is about a woman who pushed forward while you participated in degrading her by spreading rumors like teenagers about scandals that always turned out to be baseless. A Hillary Clinton win is about a woman with a history of civil service that you haven't managed to highlight over the last year and a half because supposition about emails was more likely to get you ad buys. And, most importantly, a Hillary Clinton win is about every woman who is sitting at home watching your coverage waiting for a beautiful embrace of this moment in our grueling history where, after enduring universal abuse by our media who allowed misogyny to permeate our airwaves for the last year and a half, our hard work has merited this moment.

Give us our night. If you can't do it for ratings, if you can't do it for your audience, if you can't do it because it is newsworthy, if you can't do it because it's the right thing to do ...


Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive

Sunday, October 9, 2016

One Question For Trump Supporters

I've been 'Libtard!'ed more times in the last year or so than I could ever count. The condemnation always comes from someone wholly invested in their own intellectual superiority, who is convinced that I know nothing about what is going on. Today I bow to all of those accusations and humbly ask them all for an answer to one, simple question. Because those who demand their knowledge (and, more often than not, their morality) is so much greater than mine, I will take for granted that we are all starting with the same set of easily verifiable of facts (I added links to each in bold print, just as a reminder for you):

You have read all of Hillary Clinton's proposals on issues from national security to Social Security to taxes. And you have read Donald Trump's. After having compared and contrasted the two, you are confident that the Trump proposals, which don't actually offer plans for improvement or explain how they will be paid for, are the best options for American progress.

You believe that Hillary Clinton calling half of Trump supporters a 'Basket of Deplorables' makes her unqualified to lead the country. You believe this, even though you have been on Twitter and researched the supporters who've proudly changed their names to 'Deplorable' and you feel comfortable with their sending pictures of nooses to black people or ovens to Jews and harassing people for their religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. Where most decent human beings think Clinton's phraseology was off because it was too generous, as that basket is certainly overflowing, you find it insulting.

You know the reason that presidential candidates disclose their tax returns and embrace that Trump refuses to do so, even while refusing to even give evidence of his supposed audit by the IRS (an easy feat ... they just send a letter). You understand that Trump's entire premise of creating jobs is based on his contention that he is a good businessman, even though he disproves that theory by losing $916M in a single year during an economic boom in America. You know that this business 'genius' filed corporate bankruptcy four times. You know that when his father was alive, the senior Trump bailed junior out every time he ran a business into the ground. You know that in 1978 his father got him a $35M line of credit that he managed to squander in the same year and had to get it raised another $3M. You know that Trump has been sued many hundreds of times because he refuses to pay small business owners/contractors once their work for him is complete.

You've seen the video of him mocking a disabled reporter.  You know all about Trump University. And that Trump doesn't read books. (Except he did keep a book of Hitler's speeches at his bedside ... I'm not sure that's comforting, however). You're well aware that Trump made a 'joke' about killing Hillary Clinton and her judicial appointees. You know that he lied about donating money to veterans charities to get out of a GOP primary debate.

You're comfortable with the idea that Trump named himself his top adviser on foreign policy, even though he didn't know what Brexit was, he thinks we should disavow the Geneva Conventions, and he didn't know what the nuclear triad was. You are well aware of his idea to make our commitments to NATO contingent on payment. But maybe you were comforted by his promise to Kasich that, if he would take the VP spot, he would let him take charge of foreign policy. And domestic policy. (Leaving the making of America great solely up to Trump).

You know that he said the world would be better off if Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi (who he tried to set up a partnership with) were still in power. He now denies saying it. But he totally did. You know that he encouraged Russia to commit cyber espionage for his benefit. And that he proposed having US citizens tried in Guantanamo Bay. You know that Trump has praised Kim Jong-un. And Vladimir Putin. And Saddam Hussein. But that seems presidential. And patriotic, I'm sure.

You know that Donald Trump has been accused of rape three times (that we know of). You know that he is getting ready to go to court for the rape of a 13 year old who has 2 written witness affidavits, one of them from the person who was hired to find underage girls for the 'parties' where Trump repeatedly raped the person filing charges.

You are aware that Trump's new policy for offering child care credits only works for the wealthy. You know that Trump's leave plan only works for women and does not guarantee leave for a sick family member. This, of course, does not upset you because you know that he is the kind of person who thinks men who change diapers 'act like the wife,' and that breast-feeding is 'disgusting.' But none of this is surprising, because you know that he said maybe his employees should feel they have to return quickly from maternity leave or risk being replaced.

You watched his announcement when he entered the presidential campaign. You know that he said Mexicans are 'bringing drugs, bringing crime, they're rapists and some, I assume, are good people.' That sweeping generalization and conspiratorial language was not offensive to you. You know that he promised to violate the 14th Amendment and deport U.S. Citizens, in a mass deportation of all families where only the parents immigrated illegally. You watched when Trump managed to get into a Twitter war with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto while trying to show how diplomatic and presidential he can be.

You've heard all of Trump's conspiracy theories from Ted Cruz' father being involved in the JFK assassination (Cruz, who Trump called a pussy), to the time (only) he saw footage of money being airlifted to Iran, that vaccines cause autism, and Scalia was murdered. And, of course, he is the father of the birther movement and the idea that President Obama didn't go to Columbia University. But it's all good.

There are young women in your life: children, grandchildren, nieces, friends. But the idea of having a president who clearly objectifies women doesn't give you pause. And neither does this commercial.

You're down with having a president of America who hates the female half. Its not even a question. You know he said in 1992, "Women, you have to treat them like shit." He hates women who have more power than he does. He hates women who report the truth about his misogyny. He hates women who stand up to him when he bullies them. He hates women who can literally kick his ass. He hates women who ask him questions he'd really rather not answer. He hates women who report on his business failures. He hates women who are unafraid of him. He hates women who are compassionate, well respected world leaders. He just hates women. But that's okay. No worries.

It doesn't give you pause to reflect on his immediate answer that women who have abortions should be punished. Or that if women face sexual harassment at work they should, 'find another career.' You are completely comfortable with his having said, "I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." You've seen the video where he said, "That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees," and that's okay.

You know that Trump is a racist. He might not understand how racist he is, but he's totally a racist. He's a racist from way back in the day. He is a racist when it suits his business dealings. He is a racist when he thinks it can make him money. He is a racist when he thinks young men of color raped a woman. And he remains a racist when it turns out they didn't. He is definitely a racist. He is unquestionably a racist.  There really is no doubt that Trump is a racist. Just a fucking racist. But that's okay with you. Fine.

You are fully aware of the fact that on the morning of 9/11, after the towers of the World Trade Center fell, he called a radio station and bragged that his building was now the tallest in downtown Manhattan. And you know that the building he was so proud of, Trump Tower, was literally built on the backs of undocumented immigrantsYou know all about how Donald Trump violated immigration laws to run his modeling agency so that he could avoid paying the models if they didn't end up making him money.

You know that he said that global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese. And then he said he didn't. But he totally did. You know that he tried to spread a conspiracy theory saying that President Obama was supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq. And that he started another conspiracy theory that President Obama and Secretary Clinton were the founders of ISIS. He later took it back. And then went back to it. And then took it back again.

You know that during (inter)national tragedies he has repeatedly congratulated himself for knowing such things would happen: The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, when Dwyane Wade's cousin was killed in Chicago, the Brussels bombings, the Paris Bataclan nightclub attacks, and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

You know that Trump vowed to force our service men and women to commit war crimes. And that he said the families of terrorists should be assassinated. And that we need a national database to track Muslims. And that he advocated for shutting down all Mosques in America.

You're a patriotic American, but also cool with Trump saying that John McCain isn't a war hero because he was caught, even though you know that McCain was held for 5 1/2 years and tortured unimaginably and never betrayed America. You also know, of course, that Donald Trump dodged the draft and later jokingly accepted a Purple Heart from a veteran by saying, "I've always wanted to get the real Purple Heart. This was much easier." You also know that Trump thinks that women who enter the military and are raped were asking for it, because the military shouldn't be integrated.

I submit that you are working from the same set of facts as I am. I assume that you have found justifications for all of the issues most Americans (who are aware) consider disqualifying. I accept that we just disagree and you are totally way smarter than I am about this and all other subjects. So I leave you with my question:

If Donald Trump shot you in the middle of 5th Avenue and he got away with it, but you survived, would he lose your vote?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who Love's Ya, Baby?

I live in a small Ohio suburb. We get a monthly Money Saver magazine in the mail with advertisements and coupons for local businesses. I got mine today. Imagine my profound surprise when I found a two page ad from the Trump campaign. I've marveled at the commercials they have been putting up here. It is Ohio, after all. You would expect them to be creating some thoughtful, persuasive ads. Instead we get urgent requests to call an 800 number and press 1 to show our support. I completely expect to hear "At The Airport Marriot! - Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" every time the commercial ends. They're garbage. Honestly. This 'master businessman' only proves his penchant for tacky wordplay and conman ploys.

I suppose I wasn't completely surprised by the first page of the ad. The entire thing was full of verifiable lies about Hillary Clinton's record countered by a laughable list of Trump's 'accomplishments' and a vision for America that would actually fit on a bumper sticker. 

Then I got to page 2 showing some of the 'millions' who support Trump. Just Jesus Christ! The first thing I noticed was that his wife's name was misspelled. Yeah. I'm sure Melanie supports him. That was important, I suppose. Americans need to know that your wife (whatever her name is) supports you. His VP pick Mike Pence supports him, too. Go figure. And the kids - they all got prominent spots in this ad. 

And then you have the rest. Take time with the list of people the Official Trump Campaign told us support him.

  1. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto
  2. Rosie O'Donnell
  3. Rev Run
  4. Russell Simmons
  5. Eva Longoria
  6. Muslims (generally, I suppose)

So sure, this entire 2 page ad is bullshit. Its a nonsensical bit of nothing put together at the last minute by someone who didn't even try. They couldn't find prominent, respectful Americans who supported his candidacy so they gave us people that should support him by default and people who refuse to come out and actually endorse him, regardless of their friendship, like Tom Brady. But it's pretty disgusting that, in attempts to find credibility in the black community or with immigrants or with decent human beings, he would peddle endorsements that have never come and WILL NEVER COME. If I were Rosie O'Donnell, I'd sue. Just sayin' ...

Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dear Media: Rape Is Still A Thing


Last summer we were forced to suffer Mika Brzezinski feigning disgust over a Trump rape allegation and that was about the extent to which our network media wanted to cover the story. Of course, Brzezinski's disgust was over the idea of an allegation having been made at all, not at the rape, itself. She pretty much told the whole wide world that Trump was above it and refused to cover it beyond her outrage.

As we roll into the final months of a campaign that has lowered the discourse of our society, maybe forever, we have watched our media spend the last few weeks trying desperately to convince themselves and their audience that Trump isn't a racist. The definition has been rehashed more times than the theory of evolution. Here. Let me help you. TRUMP IS A FUCKING RACIST.

While trying to redefine the word 'racist' you have not informed your audience about the Central Park Five case and his part in it. Most Americans would be absolutely horrified to know that anyone would spend money to put full page ads in 4 New York newspapers calling for the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers (age 14-16) who, as it turned out, were completely innocent.

But if that isn't recent enough for you - This was actually reported in the 7am hour yesterday, when he was getting ready to pander to a black church and no mention was made of it, thereafter. K? There. Racist defined. Move on.

You have wasted an entire year not exploring the Republican nominee. You have spent MONTHS on supposition about what very well might be a scandal (which has, to date, still failed to be) in emails of Secretary Clinton (heads up - thats her goddamned title - no need to address her with Mrs). You have completely neglected the stories about Trump that are reported and Americans have a right to know before we go to the polls in November. 

You have yet to find the time to go over thousands (THOUSANDS!) of lawsuits filed against Trump and explain to the American people exactly what he has been sued for and what he has been found guilty of in his business dealings while he is on the stump trying to convince America that he gives a single shit about working people. 

You have completely let him get away with not giving us his tax returns but congratulate yourselves for asking his surrogates the question every now and again. It is a tenet of American politics that any nominee give their returns and he gets by with absolutely nonsensical retorts and you just let them go. No candidate would get away with that. If this were Secretary Clinton, every channel would cover that and nothing else 24/7. That's just a fact. And you would have explained ad nauseum exactly WHY it is so important for the voters to see what is in their tax returns. No one has even bothered to ask him, 'Hey ... If you are really being audited, how about you show us a copy of the letter you received from the IRS informing you of the audit?' 

Of the countless things you refuse to cover, the most offensive to me are his rape allegations. Let us not pretend that decorum has kept anyone from talking about such topics, because decorum hasn't been an issue in our media ever since the Clinton #42 years. Trump's divorce papers identified him as a rapist. He was sued in 1997 for sexual harassment and attempted rape. But no one wants to touch it. 

And now, RIGHT NOW Trump is getting ready to go to court for rape of a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD and no one in the media is informing American voters of this fact. I will acknowledge that this case is hard to discuss. After having read the complaint, I am, quite literally, a changed woman. I will never unsee the visual images depicted therein. Because of the detail, however, and the corroborating witness affidavit, the story is one that voters must hear. 

Any thinking person can tell that Donald Trump holds nothing but contempt for women. Likewise, any thinking person would attest that he is, quite obviously, a bully. You need only show his performance in previous debates or one of several hundred tweets that a teenager would be above sending. He has the personality traits of a rapist. But he gets a pass. I sincerely believe his lawsuit-happy ass is getting away with everything because the media is afraid of being sued. Do your jobs or you will end up in a country where freedom of the press really will be in question.

You allowed the term 'legitimate rape' to become part of our lexicon. How about taking a little time exploring 'legitimate rape allegations' so the progress American women have made isn't countered by sending a fucking rapist to the White House. 

Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dear Media: It's Time For Extreme Vetting

BREAKING NEWS >>> This isn't breaking news.

Media, you have failed us. Again. You have spent 16 months trying to normalize a campaign that is toxic, at best. You have asked yourselves, your pundits and the American people to explore the Trump candidacy to the depths of a puddle after a 5 minute rain. You have made it clear that your only objective is to report on that which creates the best spin and ignore all else. In the case of CNN, you have literally hired Corey Lewandowski, Trumps 'former' campaign manager, and then ask him daily to tell us just what Trump would like us to hear. Is America being punked right now? Is Ashton Kutcher going to pop out one of these mornings from behind Steve Kornacki's big board and tell us all of this was a complete joke? That would be more settling than the place we presently find ourselves.

The spin is the only thing that matters. Why, then, aren't Trumps rape charges tabloidesque enough for you? Are you afraid of him filing a lawsuit? You opened the week telling us about a sexting scandal of the husband of a Clinton staffer but have yet to find the time to tell Americans that the 'man' on the top of the Republican ticket has been accused of rape. Repeatedly.

You keep bringing up the fact that he is polling miserably with college educated voters. Wanna know why? We saw last night's speech in college. In the original German. (see here) We are able to see his campaign for what it is. Is the whole of our media too naive to see what is coming or are you too interested in ad buys to educate those Americans who can't see it coming?

It is (well beyond) time that you do some extreme vetting of your own. Go find footage of Hitlers old speeches. I found them myself but was only able to find them in Neo Nazi youtube channels and I don't want to give them more clicks. Why not do some pieces and explore what history has shown us about demagogues who rise to power. Trump is known to have kept a book of Hitler's speeches at his bedside. Maybe explore that a bit. The comparisions are terrifying. Here are a few hints of the things to look up:

* Promised 'Peace through strength' (Trump said TODAY)
* Condemnation of entire religion.
* Proposal of mass deportation of 'undesirables.'
* Promise to break treaties with foreign nations.
* Assertion that all government is corrupt and only he could be trusted to fix it.
* Promise to rebuild the military to the greatest force in history.
* Use of quick catch phrases to outline policies with little/no detail (read Mein Kampf).
* Called for IDs to distinguish all of a single religion he deemed 'dangerous.'
* Teach nationalism in schools (he said this today - you ALL missed it).
* Condemn the media for lying about the candidate (heads up - some of them were killed).
* His supporters like him because he was 'telling it like it is.'
* Demanded that all of the problems of the country were caused by the outsiders.
* Encouraged beatings of protesters (later murder) who spoke out against him.

This is a quick list off the top of my head. I know many learned people would be able to add to it with ease.

Yes. There is a good reason we shouldn't blindly just toss Hitler/Nazis into a discussion. It distills the conversation for the next time it would be relevant. Thanks to assholes like Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ben Carson and others on the right, we have had to suffer ridiculous correlations to President Obama and Hitler. Of course, those were exciting to cover SO YOU DID.

It is your job to chronicle what we will leave to history. After having studied the journalists who witnessed and documented the 20th century, take your responsibility more seriously. Read and watch what they left you about the rise of the monstrous leaders who tried to annihilate all that was good in the world. Offer the American people the important comparisons they need to make educated decisions in November.

 Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive

For any who missed the Arizona 'immigration' speech last night (8/31/16) where many of the comparisons are drawn:

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dismissing Godwin

Trump supporters have a new rallying cry when he goes on his rambling tirades: "Lock Them Up!" Them who? The media. It's not funny. It's absolutely fucking ridiculous. But it is not funny. The reason they want to lock up the media isn't for some profound universal infraction. Their ire is drawn by repeated condemnations from Donald Trump demanding that the media is out to get him. And the initial response, instead of asking for retractions or correcting any records, is to forfeit journalists' Constitutional rights and toss them in jail. Again, this isn't funny. And this is not an issue to be taken lightly.

I preface to all who automatically cry "Godwin's Law" when someone mentions Hitler - Shut Up. It could be argued that Godwin's Law has become a victim of that which the rule, itself, was meant to address: hyperbolic comparisons (to Hitler/Nazis). Now, of course, it is used hyperbolically to dismiss meaningful conversations where those comparisons are drawn.

In December 2015 Mike Godwin wrote in an Op-Ed for the Washington Post, "If you're thoughtful about it, and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis when you talk about Trump." Ok. Thanks.

Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:

Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (...) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (...) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (...) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.

Trump seems to understand the value of crowds of 'human children,' as well. He offers constant reminders of building his wall, banning Muslims, and demanding our leaders use terminology to dismiss billions of 'others' when talking about terrorism. He even insists that our current president is one of those 'others,' and implies that President Obama is in league with the terrorists we are all supposed to fear - that only Trump can save us from. This is all rounded out by telling us, "I love the poorly educated." Yeah. No shit.

Hitler had a very powerful propaganda machine. It was built and perfected over a decade. Trump had little to do with the machine he is using today, but he is exploiting its existence nonetheless.

In Hitler's time, radio and print journalism were the dominant media used to inform the masses. Hitler said of his message, "I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. Its credibility doesn't matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth." As with Trump's messages of blaming immigrants for rapes and murders, and blaming Muslims for all terrorist acts in America, Hitler used his propaganda to elevate the Aryans by correlating all evil acts in society to having been perpetrated by the Jews. And Communists (the left).

The first objective of propaganda is to dismiss those who the public is used to getting their information from. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote of his propaganda, "It must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favorable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favorable to its own side." Donald Trump has certainly made the same assessment. So consider that every time you hear him whining about his media coverage or see him tweeting about his supposed vilification. These were just from today:

He has defined his victimhood-by-the-press for over a year now. His rallies have a penned area where the media are kept, and he regularly points them out to the crazed audience for their condemnations. The hysteria has even bled over into the pen where MSNBCs Katy Tur was once afforded a Secret Service escort for her own safety after a particulary nasty tirade against her by Trump.

It might seem like a stretch to suggest that he would round up the press who reported unfavorably about him if he were elected. There really is no telling what he would do, to be honest. He has given us some hints about his own opinions on killing journalists, however.

So there's that.

In 1933, when the Nazi's were rising to power, one of the first acts was to create concentration camps for Hitler's political opposition. Many of those who opposed him were the journalists who had written about him and warned of his rise.

Fritz Gerlich was a German who wrote against the Hitler regime. Early in his career, he was a conservative nationalist until the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. He saw the Nazi movement for what it was, and reported accordingly. In 1929, he started a newspaper to expose the lies the propagandists were beginning to feed the public. By 1932, the paper had a circulation of 40,000 and was renamed Der Gerade Weg (The Straight Path), where he wrote "National Socialism means: Enmity with neighboring nations, tyranny internally, civil war, world war, lies, hatred, fratricide and boundless want." After taking power in 1933, Gerlich was one of the first arrests made. He was transported to Dachau and died a year later during the Night of the Long Knives.

Otto Felix Kanitz, who was prominent in the Austrian anti-authoritarianism movement, wrote a pamphlet, Kämpfer der Zukunft, which was banned by the Nazis and included in the first book burnings in 1933. In 1934, he went into exile but returned to Austria in 1938. He was then captured and sent to Buchenwald where he was executed.

Henry Wilhelm Kristiansen was a Norwegian newspaper editor for a Communist newspaper. In 1940, Norway was occupied by Germany and the newspaper was shut down by the Nazis. Kristiansen was arrested, and later released. He continued his work underground and was arrested again in 1941 when he and his wife, Mirjam, were deported. She died in Auschwitz and he in Neuengamme.

Arne Jostein Ingebrethsen was a Norwegian newspaper writer who was determined to write against the German occupation of Norway. He was imprisoned for an article in 1940 and, upon release, continued his work to denounce the occupation. In 1943, he was arrested again and moved to different concentration camps until he died in Melk, just months before the camps were liberated.

I don't spend any of my time imagining that Donald Trump has the intellectual curiosity required to research Hitler's rise to make use of his successess. I believe Trump's methodology comes from having learned through his own career, and secondarily from subconsciously witnessing the rise of the Tea Party, about how to manipulate facts and appeal to the least among us.

Books will certainly be written in the future to chronicle, and compare, Hitler and the Nazis to the rise of the Tea Party and Trump's capacity to hijack their very limited message of nationalism and hating the 'others' to rise to the point where he has. They will compare their prominent egos, questionable sanity and demagoguery. They will note Trump's taking dog whistles to the next level at a time when those who needed to hear them most were at their apex. One of Hitler's greatest draws was his promise to disavow the Treaty of Versailles and rebuild the nations military. Trump has a similar message. Of course, he manages to twist-turn it into a dismissal of our own military greatness and paints his patriotism as dubious, at best.

Historians will show how neither Trump nor Hitler were remotely religious, but espoused Christian 'values' in attempts to build up the simple-minded and define their superiority. Trump's bullshit nationalistic dialogue depicting a country very few can identify will be covered. Trump's nonsensical rhetoric about caring for the nation's poor mirrors a lot of what Hitler said. Of course, to be honest, Hitler actually did see to social welfare of the working class. Trump's tax plan, and long history of only looking out for himself, would surely offer more than a little supposition about who would benefit from any policies he might want to enact.

The good news? The myriad commonalities between Hitler and Trump can be countered with numerous differences. Hitler was an amazing orator and used his skills to rally many people beyond his base. Trump can either stand in front of a teleprompTer and mangle the very words in front of him, or ad-lib an entire speech and leave any thoughtful audience to seriously question his mental stability, but be certain: he thinks of little more than inflating his own ego.

Hitler worked very hard for many years to build his movement. He was passionate in his attempt. Trump is lazy and expects to just hijack a fading movement and take it to the White House. As utterly disgusting and inhuman as Hitler's entire rule was, he completely believed in it. He was a genuine zealot of his own movement. Donald Trump could obviously care less about nearly every issue in the GOP (or any other) platform. Hitler had a large team of people who understood his mission and worked tirelessly for him (many out of fear). Trump doesn't know what he's doing from one minute to the next, and his own 'team' are wholly confused about his end game. Those in the GOP who would gladly kiss his ass and embrace his platform of hate are even being dismissed by the candidate. Hitler had the foresight to make use of the willing parasites around him.

Let me be plain ... Just because he is a goddamned clown, it doesn't mean that, if given the opportunity, he wouldn't absolutely destroy our country. Evidence is found in countless answers he's offered from quickly determining that women who seek abortions should be punished, to his absolute dismissal of the killings of journalists shown above where he says of Putin, "At least he's running his country."

Because we are a democracy, the likelihood of his ascension can be diminished by our own passion and drive to continue moving America forward. Of course, that means all of us have to continue to speak out. Even to those who would really rather not talk about it. And, as hard as the media often makes it for us, we must rally behind their attempts to communicate the truths about the vile self-serving creature who is trying to follow MY President into the White House.

Kiss Kiss.... Mean Progressive

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The (Profound) Difference Between Anxiety and Depression

I am fortunate enough to live with both anxiety and depression. They create different obstacles in life and those obstacles create myriad opportunities to be misdiagnosed and/or ignored. That is always lovely. Always.

On Mothers Day weekend this year I had terrible stomach pain. It started in my belly button area and I went to the pharmacy because I refused to go to the Urgent Care as the predominant feature of my anxiety is agoraphobia and being in places that are new to me or crowded or lack windows with clear views of escape are triggers I avoid like the plague. I might prefer plague, to be honest. Anyway, my pharmacy is in my grocery store and that is one of 3 places I've become comfortable being outside of my home or car. The pharmacist said I should go to the ER. I said that's not a choice and determined the ulcer I'd been treated for a couple of months earlier was probably the culprit. I explained my nausea and pain and she recommended Tums and Tylenol (the only pain killer I'm allowed to take because of previous surgery). I bought them and went home. The pain gradually moved lower and to the right and I could actually see a swollen area by my hip bone when I was laying down in the tub and thought whatever was there in my body was the problem. It looked like a sausage link. I just kept taking the Tylenol and hoped for the best.

The best happened. The pain was finally gone but the nausea persisted. I went to see my doctor that following week and she ordered a CT scan. I'd already googled and determined it was my appendix but figured if I wasn't dead I must be fine. I'd read that 'chronic appendicits' was a thing and felt sure this was my issue. My appointment for the CT scan was the following week on Wednesday. The doctor called me Thursday morning and said I have appendicitis and need to go get it taken out. Again rationalizing that if it had been an issue for 2 weeks now and I was not dead, it must not be a big deal and I told my doctor that my daughter's bachelorette party was this weekend and her sister was flying in from Florida especially for the event. I was not willing to ruin that with her having to worry about my having surgery. My doctor called a surgeon and an appointment was made for next Thursday to see him in his office.

On Memorial Day the nausea and vomiting into my plate whenever I tried to eat became more of a pain in the ass than I wanted to deal with any longer so I called the on call surgeon at the hospital who read my CT scan and she asked why no one did my blood work to count the white blood cells. I, of course, had no idea. Because I was so sick she determined I may very well have a blockage as the swollen appendix was putting pressure on other organs. Her encouragement that I go to the ER registered and I had my daughter drop me off.

Upon registration into the ER, I answered all of the usual questions. One of them was 'Are you suicidal?' to which I explained 'I have clinical depression and always want to be dead but I'm not doing anything about it'. She asked me several more questions about depression and I told her, 'Look, if I was trying to be dead today I wouldn't have come here for you to remove my appendix, I'd just let it go and not tell anyone.' That logic was lost on her and she informed me that she was going to flag my admission as needing to be watched by the Psychiatric department. Whatever. That's fine. Do what you want to do. Just get this stupid appendix out, thanks.

Of course, what she failed to explain to me was just what the 'watch' would entail. What it meant was that I was going to be taken to the ER ward specifically for psychiatric patients and, because I said I always want to be dead they would list my issue as being depression. My depression had nothing to do with my visit or my unwillingness to go to the hospital. My depression would not have had any problems in that space. My anxiety, however (which they knew all about as evidenced by the electronic record and instructions they gave me upon release shown below), was going to make my visit a complete and almost unexplainable nightmare.

When I left for the hospital I took 3 anxiety pills that don't actually do anything but are the only ones I had and took the maximum my doctor said I could take in one time. I also packed a bag with my iPad and headphones so I could avoid looking around and experiencing the uncomfortable and unfamiliar place that I was in. I brought my laptop so that I could write or design and keep my brain busy as I knew it would certainly be a long day and my anxiety was going to get the better of me if I didn't try to stay on top of it. I was as prepared as I could be to go to a regular ER and have the regular ER experience. I was woefully unprepared for the experience they would offer me, however.

When I was taken to the special ward I was not actually aware that it was no longer part of the ER. They gave me a purple gown to get into and told me I had to give them my clothes. They questioned whether or not I had any weapons or hard objects in my shorts. I said, 'just my cell phone'. The nurse said he needed me to give that to him. I was pretty uncomfortable with the idea and let him know it. He said I wasn't allowed to have electronic devices because of a hospital regulation about not having your 'treatment' recorded. I then told him that I also had my iPad and laptop and assured him that I was going to need to keep them. He told me that was not a choice. As I recall that moment to write it for you now the fear comes back and my anxiety and tears are just as real as they were in that moment. That is anxiety. But they didn't want to hear about my anxiety. I was there because the fucking woman at registration asked about the depression on my chart with no note or concern of the anxiety/agoraphobia listed directly below it.

After all of my tools to deal with my anxiety were taken away, I tried very hard to calm myself the only way that works for me. I count back from 73. I have no idea why 73 is my number, but that's what I do. Over and over. Sitting in front of a television that wasn't on, I put my ball cap down low and counted inside of my head. After a couple of hours of being in this room and having little attention aside from giving a urine sample and having my blood drawn, a very angry and large man was brought in by the police. He was very forceful and demanded that he was neither drunk nor on drugs and he refused to do the things all who entered that room were told to do. He was not going to change his clothes and he was not giving them his stuff. As he was screaming he used words and a tone that, as it turns out, were a trigger for me. They were reminiscent of the words my former abuser was screaming the day I got a police escort out of my home. I began having a panic attack. The police had left and this room was now, for this moment, occupied by the intimidating man and myself (a 43 year old woman with a shitty attitude but who honestly poses no threat to anyone), a 4 foot something 70ish year old woman who weighed 75 lbs (I know this because when a nurse came in to give her meds she questioned her weight for fear the dosage would be too much) and a 23 year old nurse who had a sweet heart but I doubt would be much of a counter to anything this man may want to unload.

My panic attack started slowly, as it always does. I couldn't count backward any longer. It was not working because my brain was too preoccupied with the memories of my former abuser and the worry that something might happen to my young nurse. I made my own anxiety worse by shaming myself because I was allowing this attack to create a limitation if I needed to take action to protect her. My breathing became more difficult and my body began shaking uncontrollably. This attack lasted about 20-30 minutes. Eventually the security guards took care of that man and another nurse who'd seen what I was dealing with asked if she could give me something for anxiety. 'Yes, please.' I don't really take anti-anxiety meds so when she asked if I had ever had the one she was going to give me I honestly replied, 'I don't know. I doubt it.' It started with an A. It worked. Eventually I fell asleep sitting up in the chair.

When I woke up that man was sitting next to me. I had had a panic attack that they witnessed and worked to cure. They told me they assessed that it was the loud and angry man that had set me off and I assured them that is what caused my anxiety and recounted my flashback of my abuser to them. They were good enough to set me to sleep and then allow me to wake to the same fucking man sitting next to me.

No worries... This story gets much worse.

At this point, several hours in, I still didn't quite understand why I was being given so much psychiatric attention and so little medical attention. I was sent for a new CT scan and after two more hours of waiting, I was told that the antibiotics I'd been given last week when the appendicitis was diagnosed were working and the infection was dying. They were concerned because there was a blockage due to the inflammation and they wanted to take care of that, as well.

After 6 hours of sitting in the psych waiting room they found a bed for me. At this time, I still believed I was there to get my appendix out. They put me in a room with no door, no windows, white walls and a television on Nick Jr showing some goddamned show I wouldn't have suffered well if my toddler was a fan (and I can take a lot - I still know every word to every Barney song), but I certainly couldn't watch it that night. The remote was broken and that show was my only choice. I turned off the TV.

When the TV was off I realized just where I was. I was in a mini version of the awful psych wards you see in movies. There was a catatonic woman walking up and down the hall. There was a faceless woman in another room moaning and crying and there was the angry man from earlier that afternoon who seemed to be well drugged up and harmless by this point but with a booming voice talking all nonsense echoing through the halls for actual hours. His nonsense was eventually countered, however, by an even louder and more offensive newcomer. Her name was Mary. I know this because I was out in the hall demanding for the *nth time that I be removed from this ward when three police officers came down the hall escorting a tall (at least 6 foot) and rather large woman to our happy group and she was cheering her own entrance with arms raised announcing, 'Mary's back. Is Curtis working tonight?'

Mary was good enough to rant for the remainder of my stay. She was a good Christian. And she hated gay people. And she shouldn't be expected to abide gay people. Apparently a man showed up at a Memorial Day cookout she was attending (who the fuck would invite Mary to their cookout, honestly!?) and she got in a fight with his new boyfriend. I imagine that is what precipitated this night's lodgings. I was beyond pissed about her homophobic rant and went to the hall to ask a nurse if they could just at least give her some drugs and put her to sleep. I said, 'You have no idea whether or not you have someone here who is depressed and gay and this is going to make it worse.' The woman who had been pacing the halls for hours looked at me with tears streaming down her face and said, 'Like me?' My heart broke for her. No one did anything to quiet Mary but they did escort the other young woman to the showers so she could get out of the area and cool down.

Once that young woman was taken care of I, again, went to the nurses station and said I needed to talk to my surgeon and figure out what was going on. I told them I would rather just be released and take care of this with my own surgeon on Thursday and reminded them I had an appointment. I was told that I did not have a choice to discharge myself because I was on suicide watch. Fabulous. Nevermind the fact that I never said I was going to kill myself and I came to the hospital today because a surgeon said I needed to get my appendix out. Finally a surgery student came in to tell me that my new CT scan showed that my appendix was going down and that I could get it out later. 'Great', I told her. 'Then I need discharged immediately.' She encouraged me to stay so they could work on the blockage. I asked how they did that and she told me that they would give me the meds I'd taken for the recent colonoscopy that found my ulcer. I showed her around my surroundings, explained my agoraphobia and anxiety and told her I should not be expected to stay there. They were literally perpetuating my own fears and making my mental health less stable with this 'treatment.' She agreed and went off to see what she could do for me.

An hour or so later the surgical student returned and said she had cleared it for me to be admitted into the regular part of the hospital but said they would need to have someone 'watch' me 24/7. This watch meant that someone was going to sit by my bed and watch me the entire time I was there to make sure I wasn't going to kill myself. I told her, again, that I had no intention of killing myself. She explained that she was bound by hospital liability policy. It appears their liability superseded my care. I told her that I was unwilling to stay and that I wanted to be discharged. I assured her that I was quite capable of taking the meds as I had several months earlier all by myself and make it to the bathroom without supervision whenever the meds kicked in. I demanded that I be released at once. This demand was as effective as all of the rest.

At midnight, it turns out, I was standing in the hallway being a bitch to the nurse at exactly the right time when a psych doc came down the hall and I explained my situation. He heard me. He said he would place a request to the doctor everyone else said I was waiting to see (I was there for 12 hours being promised to see the chief psych doctor who could clear me). Another hour or so later a young woman came in who was lovely. She asked me lots of questions. I answered her questions respectfully because she treated me with respect. She, too, agreed that I was not a danger to myself or anyone else (at this point, I'm not sure that I was not a danger to some of the nurses, not gonna lie). She called this phantom chief psych doc 'on call' and asked that I be allowed to be discharged. It turned out, after all of this, the man I was waiting to see was NEVER in the building. He was not tending to anyone. He was just 'on call' and, apparently, not taking his calls. I got to go home at 2am.

Upon release I was given all of the documents one would expect. I was informed that I should still get my appendix taken care of. I was given 'care' documents, as well. They literally gave me paperwork about depression even though they never witnessed or treated my depression. They did, however, witness and treat profound anxiety and agoraphobia. This fact was not even given a secondary nod on my way out.

These were my discharge instructions:

Dehydrated, you say? Interesting. It is important to note that the only way they could've determined I was dehydrated was the blood work done early in my visit. No one ever told me I was dehydrated. No IV was ever put in to hydrate me. Toward the end of the evening I asked them if they ever actually feed the patients and reminded them (what paperwork surely would have told them if my care were being documented properly) that I had not been given any food or water the entire day. I was given a plate of food and an 8oz solo cup of water.

My discharge did not mention my appendicitis. It had been (re)confirmed during my visit. At this point, however, I can not even confirm that it was noted in my chart. My online chart was updated to say I was seen and treated (treated? really?) for abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting on 5/30/16. I was given something that started with a Z for nausea. That is as far as I will support a single line of the bullshit in my chart.

I still should have my appendix tended to once the infection is gone. I can honestly say that there is little chance of my doing it. If I have been flagged as needing to be in a psych ward whenever I have a medical emergency, I feel confident that I will never seek medical attention again.

My anxiety makes situations like this more than a simple challenge. You would have to live inside my head to realize what a fucking rock star I was yesterday in getting through it at all. My anxiety is something a psych ward should be well equipped to handle. No one dealt with any depression. I wasn't given anti-depressants. I was, however, given anti-anxiety meds. Twice. My anxiety was the only thing that was treated yesterday. It was created and perpetuated by the psychiatric ‘care’ I was afforded when I went to get my appendix out. My appendix and I are still quite attached.

The truth is, after having lived with anxiety for a minute now, I’m not even surprised. I’m Just Pissed. Please share with anyone who has a voice in creating models meant to sincerely care for those who suffer with mental health issues.

Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive

Absolutely NEVER Again