What does it mean….

Our Ethics have changed.  These are the standards of conduct we set as a requirement for social interactions.

The election of Trump and the subsequent tolerance of his lies, bullying and profiteering, represents a change in the standards of conduct for leaders.

Too many in the US have decided that they no longer require their leaders to tell the truth, to treat others with respect or to follow laws and regulations intended to keep political figures from personally profiting from political office.

Why?  Because the person elected promised to provide some compensation in exchange for tolerating previously unacceptable behavior.

“What’s in it for me?” is our new test of ethics.

Promise to return the pre-Digital Industrial Revolution jobs and you can do or say what you will.

Promise to take away / lower the taxes on the top 1%, and you can continue to lie.

Ethics don’t matter.  And those that still think they should need to ‘get over it’.

You cannot claim to have ethics (standards of conduct) if there is no consequence for acting in conflict with your ethical stand.

I want to believe that ‘The Resistance’ is trying to change this.  But I just witnessed one if the key leaders – Bernie Sanders – tell women that they should not expect to be able to demand that the elected officials we endorse align with our ethical stand.

I watch the media, including social media, and pundits focus on the actions of the president but let the leaders who have chosen not to pursue ethical violations off the hook.

Can you have ethics if there is no consequence?

This is the lesson of Nazi Germany – the slippery slope of eroding ethics.

When will we learn?

We are what we tolerate.

We have many options to show up and reclaim the principles and freedom that are supposed to be our foundation.  We have a chance to raise the bar for holding political office.

But will we?

 

 

 

 

Hmmmm

Situation – you are deeply in debt. You have to routinely stop and figure out how to pay the bills for things you have already purchased.
 
And you decide that the best thing you can do is to take a job that pays much less than you are currently making.
 
See you work several jobs. And there is one that pays he best and has never sent you a paycheck that bounces. That is the one you are thinking of leaving for a job that pays a lot less and where the hours are uncertain and the company has a reputation of not always paying their workers.
 
Would you take the lower paying job to help your economic situation/
 
Well that is EXACTLY what this administration is asking you to do for the economics of the country.
 
The complain about the debt. This week, they have to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bills on commitments from things they already agreed to pay.
 
And yet the priority for the ACA is to get rid of the tax that has the top 1% pay into Medicare [they didn’t have to before and clearly they can afford this without inconveniencing anyone’s lifestyle or reducing consumer demand]
 
And for tax ‘reform’ they want to drop the tax on corporations – including the profitable ones who already know how to pay zero taxes [think of that as the employer who bounces paychecks].
 
And they want to drop the tax rate on the top 1% including setting the estate tax to zero. Great for the top 1% but they won’t do anything with those savings other than get richer.
 
And you? Well the debt is still there. And with less income to pay for the things they already promised to pay for, all our country can do is to renegotiate its promises.
 
Which means –
you will have your Social Security reduced
you will pay more for Medicare and health care
you will pay more in fees
you will have your state taxes increase to fill the gap
[they will receive less from the Federal Gov.]
 
And this will be sold as ‘reform’ and good for all or for the economy.
 
and it won’t be…. really it won’t.
 
pay attention – the powerful have bought this country.
foreign governments can drop money with our president and his family and you won’t know – and you can already see the benefits. [remember those sanctions Exxon wants removed that benefit Russia]?
 
they want you to believe that reducing your federal taxes a little is helping you
 
but that doesn’t help if you lose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, National Parks, etc. AND you state taxes and local taxes and other fees go up to fill in the gap
 
if you were in debt, you would look to INCREASE your income not cut it. So why should the top 1% pay in less right now?
 
They already have had their wealth increase more by the economy of the last few decades – more than any other group. If them doing well was going to produce jobs or fix anything it would have already done it.
 

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If the USA is up for sale, maybe ‘We, the People’ need to buy it….

We heard a lot about ‘pay to play’ during the campaign.

Only then it was a bad thing and it was clearly what you would get if you voted for Hillary.  This claim was pumped up by the leaks and fake news that we now know was fueled by Russia.  And by her opponent – who is now president.

Personally profiting from your office – that used to be a bad thing.

But now?  If you watch from afar, access and influence are for sale.

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Looking for 3 ethical Republican Senators

It is time for a few good ethical Republican senators to stop this.

The Senate is all we have to stop this train wreck.

So I am asking three ethical Republican Senators to change their party affiliation from Republican to Independent and throw control of the Senate into question.

Create a space for new Senate leader – one who will not lie and perhaps one that will actually act from ethics.

Please.  Read more

Can a con man lead?

Is it possible for a con man to hold a leadership role?

Who can he lead?

Cons hurt people – they rely on the ability to talk people into actions that they wouldn’t do on their own for the benefit on the person running the con.

The con man doesn’t care about anything other than winning.

Remember the musical The Music Man?  You come into town, dupe the folks, take the money and leave.   Isn’t that the plot of the con?  It always involves leaving because at some point the people figure out they have been conned.

So can a con man use a con to get into a leadership role and stay?

In the movies, this takes a sudden change in heart.

But we don’t have a president that can change.  He has shown that.

Think of The Resistance as a reflection of the people who were conned joining with the people that recognized the con and reject it outright.

They aren’t going away.

And as the con persists and the pain is inflicted, the crowds will grow.

 

 

 

Dear Birthers – you are racist. Why?

-barack_obama_was_born_in_the_united_states-_republicans_democrats_chartbuilder_4b7439d88c759bc84f7276552e692fde.nbcnews-ux-600-480In August 2016 they polled people about the ‘birther’ issue.  The results are above.

What did that tell us?  That 45% of Republicans still believed the ‘birther’ lie 8 years after it was disproved.

There is simply no explanation for the ‘birther’ beliefs other than racism.  It is like a mathematical proof – if birther = looks black can’t be legit = racism.

And the administration took this racism to the White House – with the help of their Russian friends who fueled the ‘only white men should lead’ beliefs against Hillary and the ‘evil Clintons’.    And when Trump benignly read a statement that wink-wink said that Obama was born in America [and birtherism was Hillary’s fault], people stopped polling who believed what.  I speculate that a large % of Trump-no-matter-what supporters are also birthers – still.

Racism is based in an assertion that some races are better than others OR that the actions of a few legitimize hatred for the rest.

I reject both assertions.

So should anyone who claims to follow ANY of the major religions – all promote love, acceptance, tolerance and care for others regardless of who they are.

I don’t understand the ‘why’ of racism.

It seems to be a combination of fear and hate.  Maybe it is more than that.

If you can find one exception to the ‘all’, then it disproved the assertion of ‘all’.  It replaces assessments by look with assessments by actions.  I can live with holding people accountable for their actions and choices – but acting as if some are more worthy than others, nope.

I would love to understand the rationale for racism.  I just don’t.

Here is my hope –   We are observing the gradual demise of racism because racists are getting older and dying.  And new racists are not being produced as fast as the old ones are dying off.  And since racism must be taught [my belief], when the older racists die off, the teaching will stop.

I saw a documentary called “I am Belfast” and it featured the death of the last sectarian bigot.  I wondered if we could get to that spot – where the last bigot / racist dies and we are done with this.

Because being human is being part of the human race – a wonderfully diverse specie.  We come in many forms but inside we are all the same.  If we can learn to see past the exterior and acknowledge the humanity in each of us, we can move on to a better world for all.

For bithers, the real question is less why you would not accept the proof that was offered, but why you felt it mattered.  Same about claims he was ‘really’ a Muslim.  Why would it matter?

What if we could all confront our fears and learn to think and act differently?

I hope that The Resistance is really the change that rejects past beliefs built on hate and that underneath the frustration is a commitment to preserve and expand our freedoms so they finally are extended to all.

I can hope.

 

 

How do you politely speak against injustice?

One of the most frequent images of the Town Halls focus on people yelling.

This is coupled with comments how the crowds are just ‘sore losers’ or ‘are paid’.

But how do you find a way to be heard in the face of injustice?

When has being quiet and polite ever triggered change for the good?

The proposed health care law changes will kill people.  That is not hyperbole.  It will literally kill people who would have otherwise lived.  Taking away a funding source for health care does that.

The proposed budget will take food away from people who have no other way to get that food.  People will go hungry because of the budget.

Lives will be less full – less human.  Robbing people of the arts impacts the psyche of people – arts are part of being human.  And arts have proven to be key in producing innovation.  Yet the budget takes this away.  While being silent on a comparable cost to allow the president to continue to funnel taxpayer funds to his for-profit properties so he can continue the lifestyle he had before he took office – which appears to include weekend golfing outings.

And now there is talk of taking military action and beefing up military spending without any talk of wasteful spending in the military…..  what happened to Pro-life?

There is a seemingly normal looking nominee for the Supreme Court that was picked to be aligned with a litmus test of pro-corporation and anti-reproductive rights and other freedoms.

Regulations have already been removed to permit more polluting without consequence.  Fossil fuels are being promoted instead of sustainable energy.  Water sources are threatened while funds to protect them are withdrawn.  Corporations who cause oil spills or water pollution don’t have to pay for damages anymore.

How do you politely speak out against injustice?

Will anyone listen?

Grown-up conversations sometimes get loud when there is no listening.

Many have encountered their elected officials and been shown disrespect, as if they didn’t matter if they aren’t fully behind the elected official.  Really?  That is ok?

How do you say “Enough is Enough” loud enough for everyone to take note and listen – when no one is listening?  You sometimes have to yell.

Or stand in the streets with signs and chants.

You do something to get noticed.

Because it is too important.  Because we don’t want to wait until people die.  Or we head to another war and a lot of people die.

 

What is your question?

You get a chance to ask your representative  questions – what would you ask?

Here are my top two –

#1      People fund Medicare by paying a % of their wages while working.  Income that is not subject to payroll tax – investments, dividend and trust fund income, was not subject to paying into Medicare until the ACA.  The repeal removes this new tax, hurts Medicare funding and restores the inequality of having the top 1% get Medicare without having to pay in throughout their working career.

Why should the top 1% be exempt from paying into Medicare – why is this fair?

Why should there be a cap on Medicare premiums as a % of income?

How much will you PERSONALLY benefit from the removal of this Medicare tax when the ACA is repealed?

If you are concerned about reducing the deficit, why wouldn’t you support retention of this tax?

#2   Running for office is applying for a job.  We, the people, are supposed to be ‘your bosses’ – the ones you work for and represent.  Would you be willing to adopt the type of screening and reviews we use for those who apply for Medicaid, welfare or even normal corporate jobs as a requisite for running for office?  If you agree , what actions will you take to put this into law?

If not, why not?  Do you think the requirements for reporting this level of detail for seeking Medicaid or being required to take a drug test for a new job or for receiving welfare are unfair and should be removed?

 

What are yours?

 

Huh?

MSNBC’s Morning Joe on 3/14/17 included an interview with Rep Adam Kinzinger {R-IL explains the GOP position on health care – from his perspective…..
 
It is ok to force you to buy car insurance because you choose to buy a car and you are a risk to others
 
but it is wrong to force you to buy health insurance merely because you exist
 
Missing the point…..
 
I can drive safely and avoid causing an accident. But I still need insurance in case someone else hits me.  The government is fine with forcing me to buy insurance to be able to get my car registered to drive.  They removed the option of me driving at risk.
 
But I can’t live in a way that won’t need health care. I can’t even be born without needing health care.
 
But I can be born unable to afford it.
 
And that means either people only deserve health care if they are lucky enough to be born into people who have money, or health care should be available to all. 
It appears that Republicans like Adam Kinzinger believe the former.  And they built the new version of health care regulations on that belief.
Got it.  But they don’t seem to want to be accountable for the consequences of their beliefs on others.
And none of this explains why it is ok to have those that make money the old fashion way – through wages – paying towards Medicare but it is wrong to have those that make money from other people’s money paying for he Medicare benefits they will receive when they are old enough.  Because the very wealthy only started paying for Medicare with the ACA.  But if it is ok for average workers to be forced to pay, why isn’t it ok for the wealthy to have to pay in as well?  [This is a key part of the replace plans from Republicans – people making money off other people’s money return to being ‘takers’ when it comes to Medicare – weakening Medicare for us all]