Tag Archives: ACLU

It’s easy to join The Resistance

AFP/Getty Images photo

In a brilliant protest, members of Greenpeace suspended a large banner reading “RESIST” near the White House early this morning. From The New York Times’ coverage of the banner, apparently the banner was up at least from around 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.*

Not all of us can participate in the scale of protest that members of Greenpeace orchestrated early this morning when they apparently spent hours scaling a crane near the White House in order to hang a wonderful banner. But all of us who oppose fascism can do something.

I’m way too chicken and out of shape to climb a crane, but I can and probably will give a donation to Greenpeace. I believe in rewarding and encouraging things like Greenpeace did this morning.

I routinely give to organizations whose work I like and want to see continue. I’ve given to the American Civil Liberties Union and to Planned Parenthood, for instance, as well to environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club (and to Greenpeace in the past), and to humanitarian groups, such as Mercy Corps.

I blog.

I talk about politics to those within my sphere of influence. (As I’ve noted here many times over the past year-plus, I supported Bernie Sanders, and those within my close sphere of influence voted for him in the California primary.)

I do what I can, given my time, energy and funds.

I suspect that many of us do nothing because we think that if we can’t do something big and brilliant — along the lines of what some brave members of Greenpeace did this morning — then our contribution won’t matter.

But our contributions do matter. They add up.

Fascism thrives where complicity thrives. “President” Pussygrabber and his fascist, neo-Nazi supporters will thrive only if we allow them an environment in which to thrive. We can fairly shut them down right now if enough of us choose to do so. (The fascists, being anti-democratic by definition, are famously stubborn to public outcry, however, so yes, this is probably going to take some time, and hopefully not, but perhaps, some bloodshed. [As the right wing loves to say, freedom isn’t free.])

Impeachment and removal from office aren’t the only tool to cripple a presidency (and they are far from certain to work); ask the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who did everything in their power to cripple Barack Obama’s presidency.**

Payback is a bitch, and we who oppose Pussygrabber should encourage our elected officials to be just as obstructive as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been obstructive over the past several years. (Most of what “President” Pussygrabber & Co. propose and do are and are going to be destructive, and so most of what they propose and do should be obstructed as much as possible.)

Even if one or more of your elected officials is a Repugnican, enough outcry from his or her constituents can make even a Repugnican elected official back away from the train wreck on crack that is “President” Pussygrabber. The vast majority of elected officials, after all, want to remain elected officials.

Yes, contacting your elected officials matters. Most people never contact their elected officials, thinking that it won’t matter, so your contact is magnified. I routinely e-mail my elected officials. (Sometimes I send them snail mails, especially on the issues that most concern me, but usually I e-mail them.) If you can visit your elected officials’ offices, including participating in protests at their offices, that’s even better. That does get their attention. (I’m not into calling my elected officials’ offices, as I prefer written communication, but if that is your thing, go for it.)

Organizations that are suing the Pussygrabber administration (such as the ACLU) — and there will be many federal lawsuits against the Pussygrabber administration — could probably use your donation, as lawsuits aren’t cheap.

I surmise that federal lawsuits are going to prove to be the No. 1 weapon against the unelected Pussygrabber administration’s fascist, unconstitutional and anti-American actions. Indeed, we have three branches of government in order to keep any one branch from getting out of control.

Pussygrabber is a modern-day Caligula, but unlike Caligula was, he is not an emperor. He will find that while it has been one thing to be the king of a business empire, the American empire is another thing entirely.

Pussygrabber is not a legitimate U.S. president, and so we should point out his illegitimacy at every opportunity.

The No. 1 thing in resisting the Pussygrabber administration, I think, is not to keep quiet. The Germans in Nazi Germany kept quiet and we know the consequences of their silence.

So speak up. Don’t be afraid; the unelected Pussygrabber regime can’t imprison or torture or kill all of us, and as soon as its treasonous members start to imprison or torture or kill any of us, it’s all over for them in short order anyway.

Be as effective as you can within your own sphere of influence. Most of us who oppose “President” Pussygrabber and all that he stands for effectively have our own cell, and millions of cells together make a difference.

Besides, think of the advantage that we of The Resistance already have: Despite his treasonous, anti-democratic lies to the contrary — and kudos to The New York Times for this week having flat-out called Pussygrabber’s lie a lie — about 3 million more of us voted for Billary Clinton than for Pussygrabber, and his approval ratings right now are historically low for a new “president.”

Pussygrabber is weak — and he knows it. He is scared — and he should be.

For more ideas of how to resist, you might consider reading the newly released book The Trump Survival Guide. Soon I’m going to buy the great political writer Matt Taibbi’s Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

Revisiting some classics can be useful, too. George Orwell’s anti-fascist 1984 (which is No. 1 on amazon.com as I type this sentence [and a different edition of the novel right now is at No. 6]) is a great read, and I’m planning to purchase Sinclair Lewis’ anti-fascist It Can’t Happen Here (which is No. 7 on amazon.com as I type this sentence).

You don’t even have to read a book. You simply can Google ideas. Hell, you don’t even have to type anything into Google’s search bar; I’ve done that for you, so just click here.

The main thing is to do something.

That’s always better than doing nothing.

Welcome to The Resistance, where every contribution matters.

The people, united, will never be defeated.

*The Times reports:

… Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy organization for which the activists were volunteering, said the protesters were there “to resist the environmental, economic and racial injustice that Trump and his administration have already laid out and put into practice.”

In his first week in office, Mr. Trump’s administration instructed officials at the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze grants and contracts, and, according to Reuters, ordered the agency to remove the climate change page from its website.

Mr. Trump has also resurrected the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects that have been the subject of virulent protests by environmental activists. …

**I have had my problems with the-not-nearly-progressive-or-aggressive-enough Obama, and have written about them here over the years, but I recognize that he was the twice-duly-elected president of the United States of America. In 2008 and in 2012 he won both the popular vote and the Electoral College — and, unlike George W. Bush and “President” Pussygrabber, not only did he win the popular vote, the only vote that really matters in an actual democracy, but he didn’t get an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court or from an enemy nation.

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‘Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots’ are Benedict Arnolds waiting to happen

Why is it that some issues that widely were considered to be no-brainers when George W. Bush was “president” now widely are considered to be question marks, gray area, under President Barack Obama?

Case in point: The Associated Press reports that a 24-year-old sergeant in the Marine Corps took down but then put back up his Facebook page, titled “Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots”* — which, as its title indicates, contains views opposing President Barack Obama. And that he apparently did so as the result of pressure from his military superior or superiors.

The American Civil Liberties Union has asserted that the sergeant has his right to free speech, the AP reports. I tend to agree with the ACLU on most matters — even the ACLU’s defense of the Ku Klux Klan’s free-speech rights — but it seems to me that if any member of the U.S. military had publicly identified himself or herself with a “movement” that existed primarily to oppose “President” George W. Bush**, he or she would have been disciplined — perhaps even discharged. And that virtually no one (except, perhaps, the KKK-defending ACLU…) would have defended his “free-speech right” to be openly, publicly defiant against his commander in chief.

Talking Points Memo reports that the young-dumb-and-full-of-cum sergeant put out a press release misspelling Barack Obama’s name (why am I not surprised?), and that in the press release, the sergeant stated:

Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots in no way supports a military uprising or anything to that subject, further more we recognize Barak [sic]Obama as the Command-in-Chief and we do not support disobeying orders that are lawful with Constitution, and will continue to follow orders given to us…. We do understand that there is a time and place for expression and the military work place is not one of them.

and

[J]ust because we have volunteered to serve our country in a camouflage uniform we do not strip away our rights as Americans to express our opinion on the polices of the current or future administrations.

Hmmm. Except that the “tea party” “movement” is vehemently and virulently against President Barack Obama and that President Obama is the commander in chief.

We are to trust the word of the “tea party” “patriots” in the U.S. military that they won’t commit treason? Especially when, apparently, whether or not they commit treason depends upon whether they view an order given to them by their commander in chief as constitutional or unconstitutional?

Who, exactly, is going to determine such constitutionality for them? Constitutional law expert Glenn Beck or someone else from FOX “News”? Constitutional law expert Sarah Palin-Quayle? Or some other “tea party” leader?

Homosexuals in the military are a threat?

No, it’s dipshits like the “Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots” that are the largest internal threat to the U.S. military right now. And they’re not just a Facebook pagethey’re listed on teapartypatriots.org as well as being a branch of the “tea party” “movement.”

Yes, members of the U.S. military are allowed to hold whatever opinions they wish to hold. But strong opinions often lead to strong actions.

I, for one, do not feel safe with right-wing members of the U.S. military being active members of a “movement” whose primary goal is to oppose the “tyranny” of President Obama.

Obama is not a “tyrant” because one disagrees with his policies. Obama is the democratically elected president of the United States of America — and he was elected by 53 percent of the American voters, a higher percentage than George W. Bush received in the 2000 or the 2004 presidential election. (The 50.7 percent that Bush received in 2004 was even higher than the less than 50 percent that he received in 2000.)

I just don’t take these armed-and-dangerous wingnuts on their word that they won’t instigate a “military uprising.” And why is the founder of the group even bringing up the possibility of a “military uprising”?

This is scary — I hope that these Benedict Arnolds who call themselves “patriots” are rooted out before they commit treason. We’re fools if we just wait for their “military uprising” to happen.

P.S. Personally, I like the Facebook group called “Tea Parties Are for Little Girls.” It uses this as its avatar:

Tea Parties are for Little Girls

*I have found a Facebook group of this name, but it apparently was established by another individual, not by the sergeant.

**The so-called “birthers” question the legitimacy of President Barack Obama on completely erroneous grounds. However, there were very good grounds to assert that George W. Bush’s presidency was wholly illegitimate — and unconstitutional. What if a contingent of the U.S. military believed that his illegitimacy as president meant that Bush was not their legitimate commander in chief? What if they thus refused to, say, participate in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust — and, one might argue, unconstitutional — invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq in March 2003?

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Mississippi is still burning

Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba County ...

Associated Press photo

Lesbian high-school student Constance McMillen was told by her rural Mississippi high-school officials that she could neither wear a tuxedo nor bring her girlfriend to her high-school prom — which the officials then canceled altogether because of her insistence that she be allowed to attend with her girlfriend, wearing what she wishes to wear. It wasn’t that long ago that mixed-race dancing was prohibited at red-state high-school proms, and the same “arguments” that were used to justify racial discrimination are now used to justify discrimination based upon sexual orientation — not only in rural Mississippi but even in the U.S. military, as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is debated even though it clearly violates the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

If you have read me for any time at all, you know that there is a lot that I fucking hate.

I hate the U.S. military. Not the individual members of the U.S. military, necessarily — although I question how they can support the U.S. military when it has been debased into becoming little but bands of thugs for the megacorporations’ profits (bands of thugs paid for by us, the American taxpayers, and of course the megacorporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes) — but the whole damn idea of the U.S. military, with its might-makes-right, jingoistic bent. The majority of those in the military call themselves devout Christians, too, as though Jesus Christ would have had anything to do with their maiming and killing for the expansion and the preservation of the American Empire in the names of freedom and democracy — and even in the name of Jesus Christ.

Yet, as much as I never would have joined the U.S. military, opposing pretty much all that it stands for (patriarchy, violence and aggression, jingoism, misogyny, homophobia, “Christo”fascism, xenophobia, etc., etc.), I have a real fucking problem with the fact that non-heterosexuals don’t have equal human and civil rights in the U.S. military, that they can be expelled from the military or prevented from joining the military for solely who and what they are.

I never went to my high school prom, either. Not so much because I’m gay and because in the red state of Arizona in the mid-1980s there was no way in hell that I had the opportunity to go to my high-school prom with another male, but because I hate the whole concept of proms, too. I find them to be pretentious wastes of money, relics from the past. (I love the original film version of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” by the way…)

But the idea that high-school officials in rural Missifuckingssippi canceled the high school’s prom because a lesbian student wants to attend prom with her girlfriend boils my blue-state blood.

Reports The Associated Press:

School officials in a rural Mississippi county told a lesbian student to get “guys” to take her and her girlfriend to a high school prom and warned the girls against slow dancing with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to documents filed [today] in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Itawamba County School District and some officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School on behalf of Constance McMillen, 18, who wanted to escort her girlfriend to the prom and wear a tuxedo. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to hear an ACLU motion that seeks to force the district to hold the April 2 prom it canceled after McMillen made her requests.

In the court documents, McMillen said Rick Mitchell, the assistant principal at the school, told her she could not attend the prom with her girlfriend but they could go with “guys.”

Superintendent Teresa McNeece told the teen that the girls should attend the prom separately, had to wear dresses and couldn’t slow dance with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to court documents.

The school district last week said it wouldn’t host the prom “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.” District officials said they hoped private citizens would sponsor a dance. The decision came on the same day the ACLU asked the district to act on McMillen’s prom requests.

McMillen said she approached school officials weeks ago about wanting to take her girlfriend to the prom.

“I want my prom experience to be the same as all of the other students, a night to remember with the person I’m dating,” McMillen said.

The district, located in northern Mississippi near the Alabama state line, prohibits same-sex dates at the prom. The ACLU has said that violates the rights of gay and lesbian students.

The school district had not responded to the ACLU filing by [this] afternoon.

Christine Sun, a senior counsel with the ACLU’s national gay rights project, said the organization is determined to put the prom back on the school calendar.

Fulton Mayor Paul Walker said he has heard that parents are making plans for a private dance but he didn’t know the details. It’s unclear if gay couples would be welcome at that event….

Shit like this makes me wonder why in the hell the blue states didn’t just allow the red states to secede way back in the day of President Abe. (Speaking of whom, did you know that red states started seceding from the Union after his election but even before his inauguration? Um, yeah.) But then I remind myself that the oppressed peoples of the red states, without the help of those of us of the blue states, would be completely at the mercy of the mouth-breathing fucktards who dominate the red states. It’s not right to allow that to happen.

Equal human and civil rights — liberty and justice for all — just don’t grow naturally in the red states. They have to be forced upon the red states from without. It’s unfortunate that that is so, but it is the red states’ fault — for all of their talk of the founding fathers, for fuck’s sake — for their absolute refusal to live up to the American ideals that every0ne is created equal and that everyone has the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Two female students or two male students dancing at prom together would “push people’s buttons.” Oh, boo fucking hoo!

Was not the very same argument made to outlaw mixed-race dancing at red-state high-school proms past? Or to disallow non-white students to attend prom at all?

And the prom was canceled “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events”?

Really?

Or was the prom canceled because the high school officials are a bunch of fucking homophobes and/or fucking cowards?

“Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events” — that is what you call blaming the victim, who in this case is the lesbian student who just wants the equal human and civil rights to which she is entitled by the founding documents of the United States of America, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (which, I understand, are being rewritten for the Texas public-school textbooks…).

Goddess bless the ACLU.

If a good number of high-school students truly do have a problem seeing same-sex couples at their schools’ dances, that’s probably because they just never see it. What you never have seen, when you see it, can feel and seem quite alien.

But it’s fucking circular: Same-sex dancing at high-school proms is rarely or never seen at most high schools, and so it’s taboo, and because it’s taboo, it is banned at many if not most high schools, and because it is banned, it is never seen, and because it is never seen, it remains taboo, and…

Constance McMillen is brave; she is a sort of Rosa Parks for 2010.

I admire her.

I love her balls.

I hope that she gets to go to her high-school prom with the person of her choice, wearing what she wishes to wear, and that by so doing, she shows her classmates what the noble American principles that the red-staters only claim to value actually look like.

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