Republican Party: Rigging is better than conforming

When Trump was electorally elected (never forget that he actually lost the election – lost the vote of the people by nearly 3 million votes), I said it was a pushback against the country having had an African-American President for 8 years. But, given Trump’s bluster, his nastiness, his dishonesty, his schoolyard bullying ways, I thought it would not be long before Republicans began leaving the GOP in droves, thus forcing the party to change its ways, to move back more to the center of political ideology and distance itself from Trump. Shows what I know, eh? That didn’t happen, still hasn’t happened, and the GOP has sacrificed any shred of integrity it may have once had to rig and skew next year’s election. Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written a well-researched piece and included a link to a documentary that is an eye-opener. Thanks, Jeff, for your hard work on this post and permission to share it with my friends & readers.

On The Fence Voters

How Obama’s election prompted a desperate power grab

A few days ago, I happened to watch the new documentary called Rigged – The Voter Suppression Playbook, which you can now catch on Amazon Prime. It deals with how the Republican Party began a systematic voter suppression and gerrymandering extravaganza not long after an incident that occurred in 2008.

Af first I wasn’t sure what event they were talking about. Let’s see, what event transpired in 2008 that would have inspired such actions?

Oh yeah! The black guy won.

Now it makes sense. It must have been as if one of the Tsunami Warning sirens, which are sometimes tested out here in the Pacific Northwest, blasted so loud to every member of the Republican hierarchy, that it became an ‘all hands on deck’ response. Or, maybe it was like the loud signal we sometimes hear on the local newscast when…

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Don’t Tread On Me

Our friend Jeff from On the Fence Voters has written a piece for another publication and has shared a portion of that work in a post on his blog. Jeff lives in Oregon, part of the Pacific Northwest that we tend to think of as being liberal, non-racist, progressive. But beneath the surface, all is not what it seems. There is a growing movement in Northern California and part of Oregon to actually secede from the U.S. and form a 51st state to be called the State of Jefferson. We think of racism as being predominantly in the deep south, but perhaps that is a fallacy, perhaps the south is only more vocal, more obvious about it. Take a look at Jeff’s article, if you will, and give him some feedback. Thanks, Jeff, for permission to share this enlightening piece of work!

On The Fence Voters

A detailed look at a secessionist movement, and Oregon’s progressive utopia

Several months ago I decided that in addition to our blog, I was going to do some freelance writing for other publications. Today, I would like to share an excerpt of an article I did for a print and online magazine called The Culture Crush. Following the excerpt, I will include links to the full article, as well as other links associated with my piece. But first, I need to provide some brief background and context.

As we all know, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 dramatically magnified the already deep divisions we have been experiencing in our country. Since moving to Oregon in 2016, I learned some things about this state that I hadn’t known previously. For one, the state has a deep and troubling history of white nationalism and militias, that date back to the founding…

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A Scrapbook Of Life In America: Excerpts From The Pro-Gun Forums

Just over a week ago, I re-blogged a post by Greg, aka Ohio Realist, over at On the Fence Voters. It was the initial post of their new project on the issue of guns and the tragic gun culture in the U.S. Today, I share with you the second post in the project, a plethora of excuses for the fact that there is almost zero regulation on guns in this country. We have a problem … a huge problem … and the key to solving that problem is awareness. Please take a look at these pictures and read the words. The U.S. doesn’t lead the world in much these days, but we certainly do lead in gun fatalities, and once you see this post, you’ll understand why. Thank you, Greg and Jeff, for keeping this issue in the limelight … great work!

On The Fence Voters

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The Truth about Trump’s devoted supporters

Once again, Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has done some deep thinking and come to a conclusion that, while I don’t like it, I believe is spot-on. We have all had conversations ala the ones Jeff describes having with his trumpeter friends, and it seems that no matter what the ‘man’ in the Oval Office does, no matter how heinous his behaviour, they still love him. They would murder their spouses for behaving as Trump does, but since it’s Mr. Ugly doing it, it’s all just peachy. Sigh. Anyway, please take a look at Jeff’s very well-thought-out post, for I believe he is correct in all he says. Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

It’s been a while since my last posting. Unfortunately, life gets in the way at times. There hasn’t been much going on in the previous three weeks has there? Excuse my humor.

The truth is, no matter what I’m doing outside the blogosphere, I’m always paying attention to current events—especially in the political world. With the reality TV President of the United States at the helm, every day leaves us with more head-scratching chaos. What did he say this morning? What did he do overseas? Ivanka met with who….where? He joked with Putin, and praised what dictator?

It never ends. And of course, it’s all by design. We’ve never had such a narcissist as President, and if there’s one thing he has learned over all of the years in the public eye, it’s how to promote himself … good or bad. As long as we’re talking about him, his enormous…

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The Border Crisis-Part Two: Beto O’Rourke has a plan

This is the second part of On The Fence Voters two-part series on the immigration platforms of democratic presidential candidates for 2020. This one introduces Beto O’Rourke’s immigration platform and while similar to Castro’s earlier this afternoon, there are some differences, as Jeff will explain. Thanks again, Jeff, for your excellent work!

On The Fence Voters

Yesterday, I highlighted some of the main points in Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro’s comprehensive immigration plan. Today, the focus is on a recently released plan from candidate Beto O’Rourke. You can find the full plan here.

O’Rourke’s plan centers on three main pillars:

1 Using executive authority to stop inhumane treatment of children, reunite families that have been separated, reform our asylum system, rescind the travel bans, and remove the fear of deportation for Dreamers and beneficiaries of programs like TPS.

2 Immediately engaging Congress to enact legislation—focused on the vital role families and communities play—that will allow America to fully harness the power of economic growth and opportunity that both immigration and naturalization will bring to our country’s future.

3 Strengthen our partnerships with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere—refocusing and supporting democracy and human rights and invest in reducing violence because the only path to regional…

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The border crisis: Julian Castro has a plan

There are many ‘hot topics’ on the docket for next year’s election, not the least of which is immigration. The immigration ‘plan’, if there can be said to actually be a plan, of the current administration is a disaster, with lives being lost at our southern border, and human rights violations that three years ago would have been unthinkable. So, where do the candidates stand on immigration? It isn’t something I’ve given a lot of thought to yet, but luckily our friend Jeff over at On The Fence Voters has. He has analyzed the platforms of two of the contenders for the democratic nomination: Julián Castro and Beto O’Rourke. I find his posts on this topic enlightening, and I think you will too. This is the first of the two, and I plan to re-blog the second later this evening. Thank you, Jeff, for these two posts and your permission to share!

On The Fence Voters

To say the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is a disaster, would actually be a compliment. Let’s be honest, the policy is inhumane, chaotic, horrific, and unsustainable. And word this morning that 37 migrant children who had boarded vans last July in the brutal heat of a Texas summer, only to be forced to stay in those vans for up to 39 hours, exemplifies the incompetence we’ve seen when it comes to this issue.

The migrants were on their way to the Port Isabel Detention Center, hoping to reunite with their parents, who had been taken from them when the Trump administration began systematically separating migrant families who crossed the border illegally. Eventually, the children were reunited with the parents, but to endure such hardship is simply a disgrace.

Of course, this situation arose out of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which was officially in effect from April 2018 until June…

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The Mueller Report-Final thoughts and takeaways

Last week, I re-blogged a piece by Jeff of On The Fence Voters fame, of his initial thoughts as he began reading the Mueller report. Today, he has finished reading the 448-page report and has written an excellent summation which I am sharing with you. I think his thoughts are on the money, and I share his hopes that the ongoing investigations will bring further results. Thank you, Jeff, for your excellent work and for permission to share it.

On The Fence Voters

So I’ve finally been able to read the entire Mueller Report. I actually read Volume II, which dealt with allegations surrounding Trump and obstruction of justice, first—then read the rest of Volume I, which dealt with Russian hacking and the Trump Campaign’s involvement. You can read my first assessment from a post I wrote last week. Here are some final thoughts and major takeaways, now that I’ve read the entire report.

Paul Manafort

I’ve always felt that Manafort was the critical piece in Mueller’s attempt to see what links the Trump Campaign had, if any, to the Russians. He served as campaign chairman for Trump for only about four months, but during his tenure, many of the significant instances of Russian interference was taking place.

For one, he was at the infamous Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, along with Don Jr. and Jared Kushner. They thought they were…

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The Mueller Report–First impressions

Jeff, over at On The Fence Voters, has been wading through the 448-page report issued by Robert Mueller regarding the Russian interference into our 2016 elections, as well as the involvement of Trump, his family, and his campaign. I, too, have been wading through the report, but I took yesterday off from it, for it was taking a toll on me both emotionally and physically. Not to mention that I had cleaning, shopping, cooking, baking, and Easter-egg dyeing that had to be done yesterday. Anyway … Jeff has shared a few of his thoughts and observations about the report, and they are well worth sharing with you. I will have my own thoughts at some point in the future, but truly, what Jeff has said here mirrors my own thoughts. Thank you, Jeff, for this excellent summation and for your generous permission to share!

On The Fence Voters

I’ve tried my best in the last 24 hours or so to read as much of the Mueller Report as I possibly could. While I haven’t completed this endeavor, I nonetheless have consumed quite a bit. Here are just a few of my thought thus far.

Robert Mueller has produced a report one might expect from a man who has spent a good portion of his life in law enforcement. It’s a thorough, fact-based account on what transpired between the Trump campaign and their alleged involvement with the Russians in the 2016 election, and an equally comprehensive look at the actions of President Trump after the appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel in May of 2017.

In no uncertain terms, Mueller lays out the facts of what the Russians did to try to sow discord in our democracy and help elect Donald Trump to the presidency. Their actions were systematic…

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The Printable Gun: Should We Even Care?

For a couple of weeks now, I have been contemplating a post about the new concept of 3D printable guns. The concept disturbs me greatly, but as yet I was still in the process of researching the technology to better understand it. Meanwhile, tonight I came across a terrific post by fellow-blogger On The Fence Voters, aka Greg, and decided not to re-invent the wheel, especially as Greg has done an excellent job of explaining what they are and whether we should worry … or not. Please take a minute to read this informative and thoughtful post, and also check out the comments, for there is much more food for thought there. Thank you, Greg, for implied permission to re-blog and for this great post!

On The Fence Voters

When I first heard that files would be made available online which would allow people to print guns on 3D Plastic printers, I shared the alarm and anger felt by most people around the country.  What makes this situation very different and scary are that we can now download and ‘print’ an actual gun, and given that the files are on the internet, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the downloads could go ‘Viral’.  It’s only natural then to imagine a headline which would scare any rational person in the room:  “Millions Download Gun Files In First 24 Hours.”  It brings to mind a society in which mentally ill people, violent offenders and other convicted felons could be walking the streets with loaded and ready-to-shoot 3D printed guns hidden in their coats.

But a closer look points to a different reality.  Once I read more about the finished…

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ONLY Good Guys With Guns? (Excellent Washington Post Article Link)

We haven’t heard much about gun issues lately … Oh wait! School’s out for the summer break, so there haven’t been any school shootings, and no other mass shootings of late, so the gun issue just rather dropped out of sight in lieu of so many abominations taking place in Washington. Last night, though, I stumbled across a post that I found to be an excellent response to the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” rhetoric, and I wanted to share it with you. We will likely never completely abolish the 2nd Amendment, but we must not lose sight of the battle for much stricter gun laws and for putting the lives of people before the greed of the NRA. Please take a few minutes to read this excellent post by On The Fence Voters. Thank you, Greg, for permission to share!

On The Fence Voters

Link to The Washington Post article, ‘There Were Three Shooters”

The Washington Post recently published an outstanding article about the National Rifle Association’s assertion that ‘The only  thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’  It details an actual situation in Oklahoma which ended in  the death of an active shooter at the hands of two ‘good guys with guns’, but goes on to explore the many factors which may have led to a very different and tragic ending.  I’ve linked the article at the top of this page and I hope you read it because it’s very eye-opening.

I’ve always had my own thoughts on this subject.

Ever since the Sandy Hook mass school shooting in December of 2012, the ‘mantra’ of the National Rifle Association has been ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a…

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