A LOT MORE PAIN TO COME – Marilyn Armstrong

From: ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP by Steven Brill

“Donald Trump’s victory and this current political crisis were decades in the making. This moment is a reflection of serious institutional and structural problems in American society. How do you make sense of it all?

During the 1960s I was part of a generation that benefited from the expansion of American meritocracy. I was one of the first group of students to be admitted to Yale when it was opened up to Jews, admissions was made need-blind, people started getting financial aid and Yale transformed from being just the old boys’ network to something a bit more meritocratic and open. The beneficiaries of that in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990’s would become the  lawyers who created and engineered corporate takeovers and ways to fight unions in the South, as well as how to lobby so that regulations would not be passed. That generation also became the bankers who created casino capitalism.”


This was the piece on Alternet I would have liked to reblog. Instead, I thought I’d give the story and a link so you can read the original yourself. It’s long and worth the effort.

The closing lines got me. They dug right into my soul and reminded me why I find myself so troubled by today’s world. It isn’t ONLY that Trump won the election.


What are you worried about in this moment regarding the United States? And what are you happy or more positive about?

Well, if you see the people who are really in the trenches fighting back to improve society you’ll be optimistic. But the truth is we’re going to go through a lot more pain before we start to turn things around.”


I have understood for a long time that this thing we are living through didn’t start with the most recent presidential election in the U.S. We are seeing similar patterns in any number of European countries, including Great Britain, France, Holland and many more. For that matter, we see similar patterns in Muslim and Hindu nations. Hate is big.

Rolling the world back from this horror show will not be a matter of one or two elections. It is going to require a serious rethinking by many of us — including me — of what we want our world to be. Of who we, as human beings, need to be.

Right now, humankind is standing in front of a distorted fun house mirror. In it, we see evil. We see people without conscience targeting everyone. Whether they are bankers, politicians, hackers, or that nasty bastard down the street … they share a complete absence of concern for those who have less and need help.

These are not people who “help.” They are the destroyers, whether they are rich or poor. They have no moral center.

There are a lot of them. Many more than we imagined might exist in our world. Some of them are “friends” or “family.” Forgiving them because they are familiar to us is how most people deal with them, but it’s not an answer. It merely perpetuates the ugliness.

It says: “Your racism is okay because you are my uncle, cousin, or old friend from school. I will forgive you because you are part of my pack.”

But their racism is NOT okay, even if it is your twin sibling. It’s not okay under any circumstances. It is wrong, absolutely and completely. Sometimes, wrong is wrong. That’s the beginning and end of it. It isn’t okay because “Oh, well, he doesn’t really mean it.”

Yes, he means it. He always meant it. When it was politically incorrect, he shut up about it but now, it’s okay. After all, when the President says it, it must be alright. But you still think he’s okay, right? Family and all that.

You give him support and continue to support him or her. And you are as wrong as he or she is.


“Trump won every single category of white voters. It wasn’t some cartoon caricature of the “white working class” that the mainstream  media likes to paint about the rubes out there in the hinterlands. That narrative about white “economic anxiety” is easier to report on and write about than it is to dig into the real systemic and structural problems in American society.”


No matter how we want to play with the statistics — after all, Hillary Clinton won the general vote, right? — that statement should scare the wits out of you. It stands white America as one group facing the rest of America with the potential of being the biggest, ugliest, deadliest race war ever to hit this planet. It not only stands white Americans against all other Americans. It stands our white American politics against the rest of the world, most of which is not white.

Most of the world is Asian or brown or black or some mixture of these. Most of the world is not white. Our political descent from white Europeans has skewed us to think that somehow we are better, stronger, fitter than “those other people.”

That might have been true — at least in terms of resources — 75 years ago. It most certainly is NOT true now.

If nip comes to tuck, the result is likely to be a world in which none of us can live. Not here, or there, or anywhere. And science fiction notwithstanding, there’s no other world waiting for our survivors. This is it. We screw it up, it stays screwed up for us. Forever.


Note: I’m not saying that everyone is evil or racist or in any way bad. But there are an awful lot more of them than I imagined this world could support. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it. With all the wars — civil and uncivil — obviously there is a lot of room for bad people. But I’ve lived in a world where my friends are good people. My family are good people. I have not lived with hatred and racism. I know of it and had some skirmishes, but the number of really bad people out there is way outside anything I imagined possible.

WE’RE ALL BRUCE BANNER – TOM CURLEY

Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny.

pineterest.com

OK, maybe just humorous.

sonnyradio.com

Fine. Mildly amusing.

thedodo.com

Problem is, I can’t be funny right now because I’m angry. Really pissed off. And I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.

orrazz.com
orrazz.com

And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.

The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.

chicagotribune.com
chicagotribune.com

It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.

Us. The other 75 percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk”  level pissed off.

youtube.com
youtube.com

For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.

tvtropes.org
tvtropes.org

Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason people are always pissing him off,  he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole  Army. Or at least a few platoons.

moddb.com
moddb.com

When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists.  Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight November 9th 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.

freemalaysiatoday.com
freemalaysiatoday.com

Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:


“This is exhausting!”

“How much more of this can we take?”

“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”

“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”

beforeitsnews.com
beforeitsnews.com

Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.

blogs.mpnews.com
blogs.mpnews.com “This is getting old”

Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is because his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger. The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.


There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s
no upward limit on his rage.
theunrealtimes.com
theunrealtimes.com “You did not just gut the EPA”

And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.

tomanyposts.wordpress.com
tomanyposts.wordpress.com

SCROTUS could do the same thing– more or less. You know,he could stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.

observer.com
observer.com

He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while. Years. Will we get tired?  Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?

Nope. Because we may have drubbed him on the health bill, but while we were dealing with that, he’s destroying the water, the air, and every living creature on our continent. There are a lot of things on the block.

Stay mad!

Why?


BECAUSE THE MADDER WE GET, THE STRONGER WE GET. 
WE ARE ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW. 
weknowmemes.com
weknowmemes.com

AND NOW, YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN SHIRT!


It’s on Custom Ink. The complexities of ordering the shirts then sending them out to each person are a bit much. But you can order directly from Custom Ink … so here’s the CustomInk link for the Bruce Banner tee.

These are pretty cool tees and if you think it sort of fits how you feel about the world and the way things are going? This is the tee that will tell your tale.

The profits from these shirts are not going to charity. To be precise, they are not going to us either. All profits go directly to CustomInk who print and deliver the shirts. You can use this design as a money raiser. If you would like to use it and change the back of the tee logo to something personal, I give you my permission to do so. If you do, please let me know what you are doing. We can do your own little feature here.

Just wanted everyone to recognize that this is not raising money for anyone other than the producing company. It was too complicated for we simple souls.

WE’RE ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY

Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny.

pineterest.com
pineterest.com

OK, maybe just humorous.

sonnyradio.com
sonnyradio.com

Fine. Mildly amusing.

thedodo.com
thedodo.com

Problem is, I can’t be funny right now because I’m angry. Really pissed off. And I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.

orrazz.com
orrazz.com

And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.

The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.

chicagotribune.com
chicagotribune.com

It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.

Us. The other 75 percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk”  level pissed off.

youtube.com
youtube.com

For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.

tvtropes.org
tvtropes.org

Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason people are always pissing him off,  he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole  Army. Or at least a few platoons.

moddb.com
moddb.com

When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists.  Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight November 9th 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.

freemalaysiatoday.com
freemalaysiatoday.com

Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:


“This is exhausting!”

“How much more of this can we take?”

“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”

“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”

beforeitsnews.com
beforeitsnews.com

Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.

blogs.mpnews.com
blogs.mpnews.com “This is getting old”

Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is because his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger. The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.


There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s
no upward limit on his rage.
theunrealtimes.com
theunrealtimes.com “You did not just gut the EPA”

And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.

tomanyposts.wordpress.com
tomanyposts.wordpress.com

Scrotus could do the same thing– more or less. You know, stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.

observer.com
observer.com

He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while, maybe years. Will we get tired?  Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?

Nope.


The madder we get, the stronger we get.
We are all Bruce Banner now.
weknowmemes.com
weknowmemes.com

DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU

We used to live in a constitutional Republic. It’s a kind of representative democracy in which the Electoral College stands between the citizens and the final result of elections — like a water filter in a well. It’s supposed to keep the big lumps of dirt out of the system.

It isn’t working. Not the filtration on our well — that’s working fine. Our water is clear, cold and tastes as good as water can. It’s the government that is broken and getting more broken by the minute. Somehow, a huge lump of dirt strolled right past the filters and took the reins of power. We’ve got ourselves our very own despot! Holy shit! How did this happen?

I was not even a little surprised that Trump’s minions refused to obey the order of a Federal judge. Why would he? Why would they? He has declared himself outside and above the law and his followers have said YES! We want MORE!

He has declared the constitution obsolete and invalid. His followers have cried Lock them up! Shoot them down! Ban them! And all we said was “Can he do that?” while he did that. Then, we shook our heads sadly.

By “them,” the minions really mean us. You, me, and anyone else they don’t like. Reporters and writers. People with not white skin and anyone who doesn’t go to the right kind of church. We are the declared enemy. If we write stuff about him and he doesn’t like it, we are in his sights. Uh-oh!

We are in trouble. Proof positive this morning that the forces of the law are not going to protect us. They’ve declared that they’re with him, the one who is above and outside the law. Forget all that constitutional gobbledygook. Number 45 is calling the plays and he wrote his own book in sentences of 140 characters or less.

For all of you who skipped history because it’s irrelevant to “real life,” this is a full chapter out of the Adolf Hitler playbook. This is how it’s done, how a minority bullies the majority into kneeling down to a dictator. He does not need the consent of the majority, only that they be too spineless to stand up to him. A powerful bunch of thugs at the helm and a shipload of weak, indecisive “oppositions” who are bound up in not wanting to “make waves.” All the thugs need do is for their opposites to do nothing long enough to let them get a firm grip on the military and enforcement arms of government. Later should opposition develop a spine, it’s too late. The powers of darkness have taken over the army.

They’ve got the weapons and the power while we have gallant words. Which historically, have yet to bring down an armed dictator.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

WHEN GOD CLOSES A DOOR, HE OPENS A WINDOW YOU CAN FALL OUT OF – TOM CURLEY

I meant to start this yesterday. Yesterday was January 20th 2017. I tried not to watch live TV so I ended up spending the whole day watching episodes of Star Trek.

theatlantic.com
theatlantic.com

BBC America runs them all day long. I soon realized I was watching them because the Star Trek Universe is the way things are supposed to be. The Earth has no poverty. Everybody has jobs. The planet is doing just fine.

nmr.org
nmr.org

The only problems in the 24th century are Romulans and grouchy Klingons.

afortmadeofbooks.blogspot.com
afortmadeofbooks.blogspot.com

But eventually I had to come back to reality. All day today, January 21st 2017, I have been watching live TV. All day. I just finished watching the new President give a speech from CIA headquarters in Washington DC.

It was sort of a stream of consciousness rant. He mostly talked about himself. He pointed out for some reason that he has been on the cover of Time Magazine more than anyone else in history. Yes, he said “In History.” Of course, that’s a lie. The person who was on Time Magazine’s cover most often in history was … Richard Nixon! Why? For being President. But he was on the cover a lot more because of Watergate and the fact that he was the only U.S. President ever to resign in disgrace. Trump may be bad for the country but he’s great for irony.

He then complained about the crowd estimates for his Inauguration. The “dishonest media” were reporting that 250,000 people showed up. He said that he saw maybe a million. Two “sort-of” sentences later he said that he saw at least one and a half million people! Why was he so obsessed with this topic?

trump-protest-rgoldberg-2

Well, as he was giving this speech an actual half million people were in Washington DC protesting against him! There were marches on every continent, including Antarctica. Seventy countries, 673 towns across the world held HUGE protests; 370 cities in the United States alone. At least one protest in EVERY STATE! And here’s the thing that really surprised me.

trump-protest-rgoldberg-4
Photo: R. Goldberg

When he finished, I expected the mainstream media pundits to start dissecting every crazy thing he said and waste hours pointing out why 90% of what he said made no sense. But no, the media just interrupted the coverage of all the protests, aired the speech and as soon as it was over they went right back to the coverage of the protests. They ignored him.

That is when it hit me. The media are covering the real story. It’s bigger than you think.

To put this in perspective, I’ve been in the news biz for a long time. I rarely went out in the field, but on my first time out I covered the anti-Vietnam war protests in May 1970 in Washington DC for my college radio station, WVHC.

Photo: ABC News
Photo: ABC News

It was a big deal. More than 100,000 people showed up. I was up on the stage at the base of the Capitol looking out over a sea of people, shoulder-to-shoulder as far as the eye could see. Then, Country Joe and the Fish sang “The Fish Cheer”. But instead of Fish it was F#@K. More than 100,000 people where chanting: “What’s that spell? F@#K!  “What’s that spell? F@#K!

Aah, the good times. That’s it. Those were good times. Even though we were there to protest a horrible war, everybody was upbeat. It was positive. It was a real movement. It took years of war in Vietnam, a war which had taken thousands of lives to get people to the point where they were willing to get up, get out, and march.

Today I watched more than 500,000 people march in Washington. I watched Madonna tell the new President “F@#K You. The news outlets are reporting that these are the biggest and most widespread protests in history. Biggest. Protests. Ever. It’s not hyperbole. It’s true and real and important because …


IT’S ONLY HIS FIRST DAY IN OFFICE!!!!!

The other interesting thing is how diverse the crowds are. All ethnicities. Women, men, young, old. The placards are great. My favorites:

“There is so much wrong, it cannot fit on this sign.”
“We Shall Over Comb”
Photo: R. Goldberg
Photo: R. Goldberg

I can see the baby boomers realizing that they have to get out of their recliners, go out into the streets — and do it again. The thing that keeps coming out is how positive all these marches are. This new “Women’s Movement” has been much bigger than anybody anticipated. I’m not surprised. To paraphrase Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto when he was told of the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, “I feel all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill her with a terrible resolve.”

Photo: R. Goldberg
Photo: R. Goldberg

Many are complaining that a lot of these people:

“Didn’t vote for Hillary”

“Didn’t vote at all”

“Where the hell were all these people before the election?”

You know what? It doesn’t matter. They’re here now. Will it continue? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan, either. It’s more like a shot heard round the world — with the whole world shooting.

On January 20th 2017, a door closed.

On January 21st 2017, a window opened. Through that window appeared rays of hope. Right now, that is pretty much all we’ve got. I hope we don’t fall out.

Oh yeah, and don’t take the brown ant-acid.


From Marilyn: A  big thank you to my cousin, Dr. Roberta Goldberg, who actually got up and went out and did her part in keeping American great and keeping America AMERICA.. We ARE great. She took pictures — another thank you!

READING THE NEWS AS MASOCHISM by ELLIN CURLEY

I have a very nice life. By most objective standards, I have nothing to complain about. Then why do I walk around with a knot in my stomach and a sense of dread in my heart? The answer is – I read the news. Every day. Obsessively.

Why?

Why do I subject myself to ongoing angst when I could be living a minimally stressful retirement? The daily workings of the government usually have no effect on my existence. Even a major international crisis rarely intrudes on my day-to-day life. The policies of HUD don’t interfere with my peaceful existence in exurban Connecticut.

News-headline-newspapersSo why can’t I stay away from the major source of anxiety in my life? And why do I feel anxiety about things that will probably have little or no effect on me or my family? Other than masochistic tendencies, I’m not sure of the answer.

I come from generations of passionately involved women who actively protested the injustices of their day. My grandmother protested against the czar in Russia. My mother marched for labor unions in America. They brought me up to feel connected to the world around me. They made sure I empathized with those less fortunate than me. They made sure I chafed at injustice and inequality. They made it impossible for me to turn away from deprivation and suffering.

My mother and grandmother were activists. They put their money where their mouths were. I’m not like that. I’m an introvert and slightly claustrophobic in crowds. I don’t do rallies, marches or protests. I cheer them on … from home. And I worry. Perhaps staying informed is my penitence for not being out on the barricades.

Photo: USA Today
Photo: USA Today

In the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, my grandmother chided me for not being a part of the protests that were taking place at Columbia University, where I was at college. The whole anti-Vietnam war movement started with Mark Rudd and the Columbia SDS chapter. Their protests were news. Photos of police on horseback clubbing students at my school were everywhere. The movement created there shaped the world for the next few years until the war finally ended. It also shaped my whole generation.

My grandmother said if the younger generation didn’t make a revolution to change things for the better, who would? I could have easily been a part of my generation’s ‘revolution’. But I wasn’t. It was a good one and I missed it.

So today, I read. I can’t stop, even when what I read depresses and scares me. On some level, I believe being informed is a way of being involved. I also talk to family and friends and try to get them involved with the issues that interest me. On Facebook, I take comfort in knowing there are so many others out there who also care about what I care about. So, I post and share articles that I think my online ‘friends’ should know about. Some of these people are genuine activists.

At least I can encourage and support them. It wouldn’t satisfy my grandmother, but it’s the best I can do.