When will we stop pretending this is normal?

If we don’t act now, we sentence the planet to death./NASA image

While we’re all going about our daily business as though everything were normal, a petty dictator is amassing power in Washington and dismantling the Constitution.

While you’re at work, he’s filling lifetime judicial seats with cronies loyal only to him, thanks to an equally hate-filled and corrupt Senate Majority Leader.

While you’re running errands, he’s covering up his illegal activities and disobeying subpoenas from Congress.

All of our social compacts are being broken, our confidence betrayed.

He’s enacting policies he knows will exacerbate climate catastrophe.

He’s locking children in cages at the border and refusing them vaccines and medical help.

He’s starting to round up homeless people and talking about rounding up people with mental illnesses instead of raising the minimum wage, getting help for people with mental illnesses or doing anything about the unfettered access to guns that the NRA wants on the streets so it can make more money.

This administration is holding people in cages, forcing toddlers to attend immigration hearings alone — no parents, no attorneys, just the tiny toddler and the judge.

ICE is training more and more agents while the ones already out there flout the law by detaining people they have no right to round up in the first place. American citizens with Latin-sounding names are being denied passports or having them revoked. American citizens have been held in camps for weeks on end with no idea what’s happening to them. One young man had agreed to be deported just to get out of the detention camp when his case was discovered and he was freed.

People are dying in these camps and now the petty dictator talks about using community police to help round up homeless people to be placed in similar camps.

Still, we go about our business as though everything is normal while he and his cronies drum up support for another war-for-profit. Then they’ll recruit poor people with the promise of free college when you get back — if you get back — from however many times they can deploy you to the combat zone.

It’s called the poverty draft, and if you’re above needing that to look forward to a decent life, you still ought to care.

Meanwhile, women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, labor rights and more are being eroded at an incredible pace.

Striking auto workers are being denied their health care. All workers are being denied a living wage. In some states, government workers are denied collective bargaining rights.

Regulations that protect us at work, home and play are being overturned and we have no recourse in the courts because they’ve stacked the courts with their own people.

Doesn’t any of this bother you?

I met a man who was an activist in the Philippines during the time of Ferdinand Marcos, and he told me he thinks most Americans are still too comfortable and still in denial of what’s happening.

If ever there was a classic case for impeachment, it is this one, this time, this president. But Democrats in the House and Senate still worry whether it’s politically expedient, when they should worry more about the state of the Constitution, which, by the way spells out impeachment as the job of Congress in cases such as this.

The Amazon is on fire in a politically motivated attack against the indigenous peoples who were there first and against the Earth itself.

We allow our politicians to scoff at environmental activists and others who are working for a better world, and their lack of action could sentence us all to death within a couple of generations.

An election isn’t going to fix any of this, especially when both political parties are in the pocket of the 1 percent. It won’t matter whether you go along with the overly simplistic “vote blue, no matter who,” you’re going to lose. The fascists are firmly entrenched and we need to take to the streets.

Too many of us still go to work, run errands, take vacations and otherwise live as though there were no emergency, but there is, and the entire planet is in peril.

We don’t have any more time to take care of climate change gradually. We are on the precipice of economic and social collapse on a scale not seen since the end of the Bronze Age.

Tomorrow, I’ll join millions in a strike and for climate action; on Saturday I’ll take part in a public event to promote peace. On Sept. 30, I’ll march in Greensboro with the Poor People’s Campaign.

On days when I’m not taking action, I will continue to write to legislators, to call and visit them and let them know that I see them and I know how they’re voting.

I likely will do more civil disobedience.

I do this because I have great-grandchildren and I want them to live.

No sympathy here

I feel no sympathy for Mika Brzezenski.

There, I said it.

Mika and her partner in crime and fiance, Joe Scarborough, spent the entire presidential campaign sucking up to the Republican candidate. They had him on their show for what amounted to hours of free, unchallenged air time.

They are part of the reason the election was close enough for the Republicans to steal.

Instead of denouncing his mean-spiritedness and misogyny throughout the campaign (and it is there and highly evident throughout this awful creature’s career), they allowed him a pass, just as most of the rest of American corporate media did.

They allowed him to lie without demanding the truth be told. They allowed him to spew racism and sexism and never confronted him about it.

He was entertaining, they thought. He made people laugh. I mean, what were the chances he would actually win the White House? Why not have a little fun instead of being so serious all the time? What harm could it do, right?

Well, here’s the harm that happens when we don’t take elections or public policy seriously.

Mika loses her self respect and 22 million Americans stand to lose their health care. The Orange One and his cronies are trying to stage an unprecedented attack on voter rights. Thank God many of the states are resisting.

Every single cabinet position — except for those having to do with the military — is occupied by someone who wants to dismantle his or her department. Every damn one. Education, Energy, Interior … They have stolen a Supreme Court seat and filled it with a right-wing ideologue, affecting public policy for a generation or more. They are trashing treaties and other agreements, showing utter disrespect for other world leaders and otherwise acting like a bunch of sugar-addicted toddlers loosed, unsupervised, into a candy store.

But poor Mika had to read a sexist tweet directed at her.

How about the sexist policies we all have to live with — defunding of women’s health clinics, withdrawal of access to birth control, unequal pay and unequal treatment in the workplace and in public policy, decisions about my health care being made by old white men who hate me because I demand equality — shouldn’t we also add that into the mix?

Mika is not solely responsible for the Orangini Tweeter, but she bears some of the blame. She could have challenged his lies or not allowed him air time if he insisted on lying. She wouldn’t have allowed Hillary or any other Democrat to get away with that kind of behavior.

It’s time the media started ignoring this giant asshole’s tweets. Just don’t report on them. Pretend they don’t exist. They are not newsworthy when compared to the damage he is trying to do to our nation.

Let’s pay attention to the abhorrent attempts to shred what’s left of our social safety net.

Let’s heed the warnings of climate scientists.

Let’s pay attention to the massive increase in our military budget as we march, inexorably toward all-out war.

Let’s call bullshit on his election commission’s attempt to collect our personal information so they can purge Democrats from the rolls.

Let’s wake up and stop looking at what my late son called “sparkly issues.” We must pay attention to what’s happening to our nation. It may be too late to save it already.

 

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