Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

First Amendment Defense Act: Trump Vows To Sanction Discrimination

132 Comments

This post is dedicated to a dear blogging buddy, Scottie, who has experienced bullying and threats since the election.

On April 1 of this year, I wrote about the Mississippi Senate voting 31-17 approving House Bill 1523, known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill. It was one of the most overtly discriminatory laws in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the “religious objections” law just moments before it was to take effect July 1, ruling that  it was unconstitutional.

The law would have allowed individuals, businesses, state and local government employees, nonprofits and other entities to discriminate against LGBT citizens, but also anyone who has or has had sex outside of marriage. It would have allowed clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It would also protect merchants who refuse services to LGBT people, and could have affected adoptions and foster care, business practices and school bathroom policies.

Anyone could cite their religious beliefs to justify their discriminatory behavior if sued by the victims of that discrimination.   If they did, not only would they be guaranteed victory in court, but compensatory damages as well. In late October, the Republican governor asked a federal appeals court to uphold the state law.

Mississippi Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood declined to appeal Reeves’ ruling. Instead, the governor’s appeal will be handled by private attorneys, including some working for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian legal group that helped write the measure. Remember that group, I will address them and others in a bit.

 

First Amendment Defense Act

Governor Bryant might not have to worry about appealing “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”.  Look what I just discovered: H.R. 2802, known as the “First Amendment Defense Act.” The bill is nearly identical to HB 1523, except it will make it legal to discriminate nation wide.

President-elect Donald Trump said he would sign it into law if it passed in Congress, and I suspect the Republicans will move quickly on this once they secure the Supreme Court.

From the Trump/Pence website:

“Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is our first liberty and provides the most important protection in that it protects our right of conscience. Activist judges and executive orders issued by Presidents who have no regard for the Constitution have put these protections in jeopardy.

If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths. The Little Sisters of the Poor, or any religious order for that matter, will always have their religious liberty protected on my watch and will not have to face bullying from the government because of their religious beliefs.”

 

The New “Civil Rights” Means Anti-Gay and Anti-Women

If passed, the law provides that the federal government “shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

The bill defines “person” to include for-profit companies, and “discriminatory action” to include “revocation of tax-exempt status, grants, loans, benefits, or employment.

Based on “religious freedom” or “sincerely held religious beliefs”, a company could fire someone for being gay, or being pregnant out-of-wedlock. Hospitals could refuse to treat LGBT people (or their children), or unmarried women who became pregnant out-of-wedlock.

To put this into perspective, the Roman Catholic Church is the leading player in the health care system in the United State. In the past 10+ years, Catholic hospitals have merged with and purchased nonsectarian hospitals around the U.S.  They receive billions of taxpayer dollars each year and have a combined gross patient revenue of $213.7 billion. Of the largest health care corporations in the country, five out of six are administered by the Catholic Church. One in six patients in the U.S. receive care in a Catholic institution.

Pharmacies chains could refuse to fill birth control prescriptions for single women, or even married women. Businesses could refuse to offer health benefits to a same-sex partner, and state-funded adoption agencies would have the right to refuse placing children with gay families.  Gays and unmarried heterosexual couples could be denied bank loans, and housing.  They could be denied services and good. The ramifications of this probable law are daunting. It’s religious freedom on steroids.

Who Hijacked Our Country?

Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly Alliance Defense Fund

Who are they?

They are a wealthy, American conservative Christian “nonprofit” organization with the stated goal of “defending the right to hear and speak the “Truth” through strategy, training, funding, and litigation. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the organization as “virulently anti-gay”. They also vehemently oppose a woman’s right to her own body.

The American Prospect writes: “Flush with cash and ancient hatreds, American evangelicals are incubating a Christian right in secular Europe. Cumulatively, their victories may be changing the global climate on some of the biggest social issues of our time. ”

ADF and conservative Christian groups like them are waging battles, globally, to undermine the progress that’s been made for LGBTs and women. Here are their allies who have been working fervently, with ADF, under the radar.

In the Sidney Morning Herald, it states: “The ADF attracted notoriety in 2014 when a reproductive health group discovered in its literature a passage declaring that it “seeks to recover the robust Christendomic theology of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries”.

The ADF further declares:

“This is catholic, universal orthodoxy and it is desperately crucial for cultural renewal. Christians must strive to build glorious cultural cathedrals, rather than shanty tin sheds.”

They has built a massive “legal ministry,” relying on 21st century attorneys and an eight-figure annual budget to reshape American law and society. ADF has supported laws that would criminalize sex between consenting gay men. They told that to the United States Supreme Court. The group has been at the forefront of conservative attempts to undo key sections of President Obama’s signature healthcare laws.

The Christian Right Is Taking America and The World By Storm

While it is true that moderate to liberal Christianity is losing members and closing churches in the U.S., that is not the case with conservative Christianity. They are well organized, and filthy rich. Evangelical churches are growing in historically secular France, and new ones are springing up all over Europe — even in China. In fact, China is on course to become the world’s largest Christian nation.

If you think that’s impossible, remember who our president-elect is.

The Christian right have profoundly influenced and infiltrated state and local governments, Congress and the military. They played a significant role in electing Donald Trump. The Supreme Court of the United States is their next target, and it looks like they are going to get a bullseye.

Can you imagine the outcry if laws in America were being passed that didn’t allow Christians to marry; or didn’t allow Christians to qualify for adoption, or medical and mental health treatments?

President-elect Donald Trump told a packed ballroom at the Omni Shoreham hotel in downtown Washington, DC:

“Our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended, like you’ve never seen before.”

National Public Radio (NPR) reports:

“He promised to repeal 1950s-era legislation prohibiting tax-exempt organizations, like churches, from endorsing political candidates. Many evangelical activists were slow to embrace Trump early in the primary season. But a steadily growing number on the religious right now view a potential Trump presidency as their only chance at reasserting conservative influence on the Supreme Court, which may very well make decisions on many key social issues.”

 

James Paul, former executive director of the Global Policy forum in New York, and a prominent thinker on the globalization of the Christian right, stated: “We have a conservative period now in history — a substantial movement to the right around the world.”

In the New York Times, March of 2005, U.S. Representative, and a Republican said:  “This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”

 

quote-i-swore-never-to-be-silent-whenever-and-wherever-human-beings-endure-suffering-and-humiliation-we-elie-wiesel-197777

 

We must not be silent!

 


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Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

132 thoughts on “First Amendment Defense Act: Trump Vows To Sanction Discrimination

  1. This is disturbing reading. Also the news that Jeff Sessions might get the post of AG. 😦

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Both quotes – excellent, excellent. Not only is my youngest daughter a lesbian, but all my life I’ve had close gay and lesbian friends. Diversity makes the world go ’round. You know, Victoria, wouldn’t it be a huge cosmic joke if more and more kids are being born homosexual, simply because of radical overpopulation in the world? I mean, it’s not implausible. Aside from that, I abhor the loose translation of the Constitution just as churches do with ‘scripture.’ It is time to move FORWARD as a society, not regress into the Dark Ages. Then again, the collective will not go quietly. No. Too threatening to their own sense of self and gender identity, this flagrant (what? hand holding in public? kissing?) flouting of their ‘Christian morals,’ whatever the heck THAT means – and do they ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” Because I’m damned sure it wouldn’t be THIS. When my mom asked me if my daughter was “with a woman,” I told her Yes. She said, “Well, you know we don’t believe in that.” I said, “Well, believe it or not, that’s how it is. And if you say anything at all derogatory to her, you and I will not be communicating.” She came around and was able to behave herself until the end of her life. Aloha.

    Liked by 9 people

    • “Victoria, wouldn’t it be a huge cosmic joke if more and more kids are being born homosexual, simply because of radical overpopulation in the world?”

      Bela, I certainly can see the necessity, and especially if these authoritarian religions continue to put roadblocks up regarding access to contraception, family planning, and sex education.

      “Not only is my youngest daughter a lesbian, but all my life I’ve had close gay and lesbian friends.”

      One of my dearest friends was gay. He’s deceased now. We met (at work) while working in Washington, DC. Paul was from Mississippi, just 45 miles north of where I live. His father, a conservative Christian, shunned him after Paul opened up to him. His mother did not. Eventually, he took a job in New Orleans, where his home was vandalized numerous times, as well as his car. He was also brutally beaten on a few occasions. I simply can’t wrap my brain around that kind of hatred.

      I’m happy to read that your mother finally came around.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Bela,
      I find it interesting that you mention that more kids might be born homosexual because of overpopulation. I’ve also been wondering about this recently. I don’t think it’s a cosmic joke because this actually happens in nature. I think it’s called ‘altruism’ (correct me if I’ve used the wrong term). We tend to forget that we are just another species of animal, so hey, why not.
      I’ve had an on-going disagreement with my fundamentalist in-laws about homosexuality. Their argument has always been that sexuality is a matter of choice. But, recently I read that the structure of the amygdala in the brain determines sexual orientation. You’d think I could win this argument just using common sense. Nope. So, now I have scientific proof.
      Interestingly enough, the amygdala is also the area of the brain that determines prejudice. (I must remember to write down my sources in the future).

      Liked by 3 people

      • Aloha Laurel: Thanks for the feedback, and particularly the amygdala point. How I’ve always explained it is that, no matter how many chances I had to explore my own sexuality back in the late 60’s and into the 70’s (and believe me, there were many), and no matter how frustrated I’ve been with men in general over the years, I couldn’t will myself to be sexual with a woman – it just wasn’t a turn-on, for me. I love my women friends, love women in general, but I can no more force that expression than a homosexual person can force themselves to be with one of the opposite gender (setting aside bisexuality for the moment – these people do exist, but not talking about them). As for nature’s little joke, it was not meant as I think you interpreted it (and neither was I completely clear – sorry about that). What I meant was that the joke would be on us for being so ridiculously judgmental and exclusionary about it, because from an overview perspective, it would simply make sense. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments. In learning, Bela

        Liked by 2 people

        • “[ . . . no matter how frustrated I’ve been with men in general over the years, I couldn’t will myself to be sexual with a woman – it just wasn’t a turn-on, for me.”

          Same, here, Bela. Forensic psychologist, Karen Franklin did extensive research to find the roots of anti-gay hate crimes. Here’s what she said:

          […heterosexism is not just a personal value system, it is a tool in the maintenance of gender dichotomy. In other words, through heterosexism, any male who refuses to accept the dominant culture’s assignment of appropriate masculine behavior is labeled early on as a “sissy” or “fag” and then subjected to bullying. Similarly, any woman who opposes male dominance and control can be labeled a lesbian and attacked.

          The potential of being ostracized as homosexual, regardless of actual sexual attractions and behaviors, puts pressure on all people to conform to a narrow standard of appropriate gender behavior, thereby maintaining and reinforcing our society’s hierarchical gender structure.”

          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/roots/franklin.html

          I also found this study interesting.

          Abstract: “The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wow, science backs up what I’ve long suspected – that homophobic men are phobic for a reason. And the other points you bring up are similarly interesting. It’s always interesting to me when science backs up what I’ve long observed in human behavior. Thanks for all the links, Victoria – no time today to explore them – about to go out on the ocean for a few hours – but will get back to it soon! Aloha ❤

            Liked by 2 people

      • “We tend to forget that we are just another species of animal,”

        Hi Laurel. Welcome, and thank you for commenting. Your comment above reminded me of this quote:

        “Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.” ― Albert Camus

        Like

  3. I have to wonder how much Trump really cares about all this. Regardless, though, he is pandering to the religious base. This was evident in his choice of VP, and honestly, that is what scares me the most. Trump is bad. Trump with undertones of Pence-driven religiosity… that is a nightmare!!!

    Liked by 6 people

    • I agree, Jon. Even if Trump gets booted by Republicans (which is not at all unlikely), Pence will be at the helm, and he’s in full support of making this law.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Absolutely. I see a lot of ways Trump could end up out the door: the fraud charges looming over him, impeachment on any number of issues, assassination attempts, etc. Should Pence end up in charge, we’re really screwed.

        As much as I hate to say it, Trump’s not the worst alternative–my hope is that his sheer incompetence will prevent him from causing too much damage. Pence, on the other hand…. I don’t even know what to say.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Somewhere I read (can’t recall the source) that tRump plans to spend as much time as possible in his penthouse and will let Pence take care of much of the day-to-day routine. Not sure this is even “legal,” but considering what the Orange Monster has been able to pull so far, I wouldn’t be surprised.

          I think Pence is a living, walking, breathing nightmare for many of us.

          Liked by 4 people

          • I’ve heard speculation about him being the first president to essentially turn down the white house. I don’t know how much of that is substantiated, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I know they’ve talked a lot about how difficult–and extremely expensive–it has been to try to secure Trump Tower.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. This may eventually have a silver lining. Should Trump or anyone else that passes such anti-gay laws it may become a good thing and wake up the many Christians who are closet gays and the moderate Christian parents and friends of gays who do not hate or discriminate as their religion demands.

    If the millions of non-gay passive moderate Christians can see past their religious ideology and witness the bigotry and bullying happening to their family and friends this may cause so much more in-house religious discontent that has ever happened and they will eventually see what religion really is about and boost the atheist numbers considerably.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wished I had your enthusiasm. I do think, however, that there’s going to be a lot of protesting going on, if they/we are even allowed to peacefully protest after Trump and his authoritarian cabinet take control this country. The reason I’m not as enthused as you regarding the in-house religious discontent, is 1) it’s already common, and 2) the bible says that a “true Christian” will chose god over his family and friends and to expect discord. I guess it will all depend on how many actually take the bible literally.

      The gospel does not call for peace but rather, division.

      “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

      Luke 12: 51-53

      Like

  5. I would also expect countries such as New Zealand, Australia and some European countries to cringe at such laws and to publicly further condemn American politics to even a lower level of stupidity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would like to think so, but as The American Prospect points out, the Christian right has also infiltrated those countries.

      And this from the Christian Science Monitor:

      “In Sweden, ADF played a key role in persuading the Supreme Court to dismiss charges against Ake Green, a pastor who was convicted of hate-crime charges after he delivered a sermon in which he called gays a “deep cancerous tumor in the entire society.”

      In Aruba and the Czech Republic, Pat Robertson’s legal organization, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), helped defeat bills that would have legalized same-sex unions.

      • In France, ACLJ affiliate ECLJ (the European Center for Law and Justice), is staging a legal challenge against an antisect law that it says is being used to clamp down on evangelical Christian churches.

      •And on the European Union level, ECLJ is lobbying to block funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

      US courts eye European precedents

      Why are American groups going to such lengths to shape the laws in other countries?

      “We realized that if we didn’t try to mold precedents abroad, they could come back to hurt us, and that the American legal system as we know might change,” says Benjamin Bull, chief counsel for the ADF.

      He notes that, for example, US judges have drawn on foreign precedents and international standards in several key cases, such as the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which legalized sodomy in the Lone Star State.”

      http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0417/p01s03-woeu.html/%28page%29/2

      Liked by 4 people

      • As Europe is in a worse state than it ever was as far as politics and religious issues I can only predict it will get a lot worse and these people such as the ADF and ACLJ are just making the situation far worse. There must be some sort of religious and political revolution to come out of this within the next decade with possibly more violence and terrorism on the streets before the dust settles. I believe it has gone too far already and these European countries will never recover to what they were before the Islamic State terrorist group formed.

        As far as Australia and New Zealand these religious antagonist groups from the USA do not stand much of a chance as few people have the tolerance for religious preaching and bullying. Politicians gain nothing from claiming to be theists and in fact have more chances of losing credibility. Prime Ministers would be ridiculed and removed from office if they claimed they looked to a god for policy decisions like President George Bush does. Prayers are not acceptable in public places; biological evolution is taught in public schools without question and generally religious belief is kept out of sight where it should be.

        Of course, you have the exceptions and some people attend religious worship, you get religious schools and the door knockers on occasions and the odd theist politician will try to force a religious influence into schools but will ultimately fail. I do believe however the paedophile priests and George Pell have helped sound the death knell for religious tolerance along with the unrest of Islamic influences around the world.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Speaking as an Aussie. We have a small minority of nutty right wing conservative christians here, and a more “conservative” government by Aussie standards ATM, but quite seriously, I don’t think this kind of scenarios Victoria speaks about would ever get off the ground here, as we are far too secular, and down to earth. Here’s hoping I’m right!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you are right and I have almost no doubt that Australia and New Zealand are in a good place demographically, and geographically far enough away from Europe and the States to not be conned into the self-made traps they are in.

        I have heard many Aussies and Kiwis say the last thing they want is to go down the same road as the USA. I also believe that if we are smart enough we have the advantage to learn the lessons from the rest of the world’s mistakes. We have had some lying politicians in past elections, however I just hope we do not end up with similar spineless politicians who will sell out our country to extremists as in Europe or on the other hand religious ideologists and discriminators as Trump and Pence have promised to be.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Fight on we must, but I’m sickened by this situation. Each day feels worse than the last. Ugh!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. our right of conscience

    What??

    That’s not what it protects.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. First thank you Victoria for a well thought out, well organized written summary of what not only the U.S. faces, but the entire world. The fact is the U.S. has been exporting its Christian Fundamentalist hate for many years. When they couldn’t impact the developed nations that much they turned their fever and their money to the less developed nations. A sad mark on the “Land of the Free”.

    I also thank you for mentioning Ron and I personally. Yes, I faced my first online threat after the election. Many are now emboldened to act out their deepest angers and hatreds. I was watching a twitter feed yesterday of a woman of darker skin being berated and verbally attacked at a Starbucks because he thoughts whites were not being treated differentially enough. He made a point to keep shouting “Trump” and saying he voted for him. There is more of this to come I assure you all.

    As for me, well Ron and I never were much for public displays of affection other than the offhand touch, the often way we verbally regarded each other as love, honey, or mostly dear. Snogging in public seemed distasteful to us regardless of it was same sex or other sex. Oh, a quick peck on the check or even a soft one on the lips in the right setting seemed OK, but not a full out snogging. We once had to admonish our son, who when he was a teenager and we were bringing him and his “love interest” home from a local theme park in the van to cool it! IT was unseemly, they were trying to suck each other’s faces off and where they had their hands I simply did not want to know. There is a time and a place and I guess teenagers don’t know either. However, we have started to just a little take note of what we call each other in public, often looking around when we answer with the normal” yes dear” or “what do you need honey”. WE are older and it is harder to defend ourselves than it was ten years ago.

    As to your point about hospitals, I have written before about a doctor I worked with in the ICU. He was a deeply catholic man. He based all his medical decisions on his faith. Once when we had a legally married same sex male couple in our unit he wouldn’t acknowledge their relationship. HE even went on a crusade of calling all family members in that patient’s family line until he found a fifth or so cousin that would say she disagreed with the “true” husband of the patients and tried to change the treatment. Of course, legal got involved and then the doctor insisted he be allowed to withdraw from the case already have caused massive problems based only on his religious views.

    Ron and I fear what will happen when one of us must be hospitalized, or need in patient health care. Will our relationship be counted, our wishes we have often told each other? Right now, not in a health care facility own or administrated by the catholic church. Right now, they have the legal right to treat our 26 plus year loving relationship as nothing more than friends with no legal authority. I wouldn’t be able to speak for him and he wouldn’t be able to speak for me. IN a catholic hospital, the very people who abused me until I was 17 would be given the right to decided my health care over the wishes of both my husband and in some cases, myself. This is what happens when you give “religious freedom “ in the secular world. It is very serious. I know because I use to work with doctors and others who felt this way.

    Let’s talk about the new line of attack, pushed most notably by Texas. Just because we same sex couples have the right to get married, they argue that the supreme court decision never said we must be treated the same. Yes, we must be let to marry, but by their gods, we don’t have a right to all the spousal benefits. Employ heath care benefits, family leave, death rights, and so many more are under attack. Their whole goal is to make our marriage as narrow in scope as possible, to minimalize it so it is not equal to their opposite gender marriage as possible. They seek to deny us the very basic definitions of marriage so that they can then make our marriages mean nothing. They seem to feel denying others the same rights they have makes them the better people. I don’t agree but they fund raise and put a lot of money into the effort. If they can’t stop us from getting married they want it to mean as little as possible.

    I think I have covered as much as I can off the cuff. You are all smarter than most, you all see what they are doing. The one thing they really want most now that this divisive administration is in power is to separate and isolate us. Pick us off from the herd. They will go for the lowest hanging fruit first and then the others as they can. They are a danger to all of us regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or nationality or ethnic background. I thank everyone trying to stand up for me, and I promise I will do my best to stand up for you. We either stand together or we will hang separately.

    Thanks, Victoria for understanding my fears, for listening. You and this group have been far greater people than even I could have imagined or hoped for. My fear is real. But I will work through it and I will fight for myself, my husband, gays, straights, gender questioning, trans genders, and any other minority at the mercy of the majority. We stand together and we will see a better tomorrow, but it may take a few more days. Thanks and hugs from Scottie

    Liked by 14 people

    • I wish we Brits could send you another Chris Hitchens to fight for you, Scottie.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I would take him for sure. HE was so smart and so clear. I listen to his old talks and debates and learn new things all the time. Thanks for the first one, and we look forward to the second one. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

          • So spot on… grand. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

          • Interesting. Trump knew exactly what buttons to push to incite emotion.

            From the Guardian: “Voting Is Irrational, Emotions Always Win:
            Most of us have little idea about how much our feelings shape our politics. By understanding our craving for ideology maybe one day we can dispense with it”

            “One of my father’s vivid memories of growing up as a Jewish child in Nazi Germany concerned the horrifying visit of his uncle Walter one evening in 1933. Pale as a ghost and shivering with fear, Walter entered the house crying: “I’ve been bewitched!” On his way home from the train station he had come across a Nazi rally. At first he feared the mob, but when he gained some confidence that his Aryan appearance would disguise his Jewish identity a strange feeling slowly took hold of him.

            When the rally sang the Nazi party anthem, Walter joined in, mumbling the words to the song. Not long after that he suddenly noticed that he was actually getting swept up in the emotions. Along with everyone around him, he was shouting “Sieg Heil”. He completely forgot that the ideology he so much wanted to be part of regarded him as one of its most hated enemies.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/07/voting-irrational-emotions-politics-ideology

            Cognitive neuroscientist Michael Persinger has written a lot about this, that people will get mild electrical charges, and neurochemically rewarded. He said effective speakers, people who can manipulate crowds, for good or bad, have similar characteristics.

            Persinger: “You have these groups in the kind of ecstatic states, a kind of expectancy state, then you have the individual come out, the speaker who will coordinate all these experiences among the mass of people. This person must be a kind of orchestra leader to maintain his great orchestration of cognitive experiences. As the speaker begins to give the message, the people are full of emotion — full of imagery.

            It’s a feeling of being one with everyone in the group.

            These images take on tremendous personal value because of the elevation of the opiates. Because of the groups state of ecstasy, and within the gathered crowds, you see the features of these opiate releases like a mild drunken state. These experiences are associated with mild electrical changes deep within the brain.”

            Liked by 2 people

            • Emotions are manipulated to sell anything and everything, it seems, Victoria. It’s not the virtues of the product that are sold any longer, it’s the emotion associated with it. I buy the MacBook (I don’t actually), not because it’s technologically advanced, but because it feels like the savvy choice. But that sort of marketeering sleight of hand tips us into cultural and political predispositions, too. And yes, as Persinger suggests, a charismatic figure can manipulate the masses with these same devices. This is the danger Chomsky has often spoken of in the past, and which came to fruition this month. This, from six years ago:

              “It is very similar to late Weimar Germany; the parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists, but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.

              “The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen. Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest, this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer: We have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens, it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate, it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

              Liked by 1 person

              • Godwin’s law be damned. I saw this coming for quite some time, and I broke Godwin’s law many times. In fact, I think Godwin’s law has been cited as a form of censorship.

                Have you seen this yet? I mean, we’ve pretty much got the whole world pissed at us, except, perhaps, North Korea, Russia, and the Islamic State. Trump, it appears, has played right into their hands.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Jeez Hariod. And I buy a MacBook because I am indoctrinated by advertising.
                Love your assumptions.

                Like

                • You don’t do assumptions then, like never? You don’t make generalisations because you’re squeezing thoughts into little blog comment boxes and making a valid but succinct point about why and how advertising works? And you bought a MacBook purely on the basis of its value for the technology it offered?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • No hariod I buy Macbooks because I have been working on Macs for 20 or 30 years? Rather than squeezing in a tiny comment, I could write a boring litany about graphic design, editing, and why old people like me prefer that.

                    Have you ever had a huge doc fail on Word at work? Crashes. Just crashes.

                    Either way, darling, I bought my Macs because that’s what I wanted to buy. And they suit me. Were you using Macs in 1990?

                    Like

                    • Yes, I used Mac Classics and Quadras back in the MS-DOS days, when they were de rigueur in creative professions – I was in the music business and GUIs were essential. But that was when I was using PAN in the pre-internet days. Times changed, so I did too.

                      What ‘crashes, just crashes’ – you mean MS Word or MS Windows? I use both now without issue, and the OS has been fine since Windows 7 came out 7 years ago. Macs are okay, just overpriced and under-spec’d. How do they get away with that, I wonder? Let me think . . .

                      Anyway, why so argumentative? You did that yesterday at Emma’s place with a completely spurious objection to my comment quoting Chomsky, and after doing so, and when I demonstrated your error, you fell silent. If you’re going to play Thought Police you need to sharpen up your game. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • OMG. Of course. Is there nothing you haven’t been and done?
                      Word on Windows.
                      Oh, they get away with that because lots of silly people buy into advertising.
                      Likewise.
                      Your are the most supercilious git ever. Since when does an opinion become an error?
                      You could possibly drop the patronising obnoxious bastard routine?

                      Like

                  • You’re resorting to double-entendres now – things must be bad.

                    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Scottie, my apologies for the delay in reply. I just needed to step away from this yesterday. There was so much information I wanted to share in that post, so I had to expend a lot of energy deciding what to prioritize, and quite frankly, I thought writing this post might be cathartic, but it wasn’t. I really wanted it to be hopeful, but I couldn’t find a silver lining. Just wishful thinking. I hope this post didn’t increase your fears and anxiety. People need to be aware about how serious this is, and to not become apathetic about this bill, which is likely to pass. I’ve not seen this mentioned on any of the mainstream news networks on TV or the internet. I’ve only once seen the bill mentioned in my FB news feed.

      A sad thought occurred to me after I hit published, that this subject just isn’t important enough (in the minds of many) to get the attention it needs, and based on my stats this morning, it seems I was right. I usually average about 250 hits on the first day I post. It didn’t come no where close. Today’s stats aren’t any more encouraging. Perhaps people are just tired right now of the negativity, and don’t want to read anything more about Trump. I can understand that. Perhaps I should change the title of this post. What are your thoughts? It’s been intense since the election, to say the least, but this should not be swept under the rug. The ramifications of this bill are staggering.

      You wrote: “The fact is the U.S. has been exporting its Christian Fundamentalist hate for many years. When they couldn’t impact the developed nations that much they turned their fever and their money to the less developed nations. A sad mark on the “Land of the Free”.

      Absolutely. I wrote a post about this in March of 2014.

      https://victorianeuronotes.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/behind-the-guise-of-religious-freedom-legislation/

      You are in my thoughts, a lot, Scottie. I hope, in the near future, that I can write a more encouraging, promising post on this subject. Right now, people just need to realize that this is not the time to be silent. This is not OK. This is dangerous, and the saddest part is that many if not most conservative Christians and conservative Catholics in America support this measure, fervently, as did the top 4 republican presidential candidates.

      *hug* ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Victoria Thank you. Just having people like you and the others to talk about it, to understand what it means for all our rights, not just gay people but for every minority or non religious person. One thing that is driving me crazy is the assertion by the religious right that the country was found on and to be a “christian nation”. This is such a outright lie. It is easily disproved. It is clear from the writings of the majority of the founding fathers and the first presidents that they never intended this nation to have a religious frame. The famous treaty of tripoli being one example. “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.’ That was ratified by the United States Senate without debate unanimously in 1797.” I am reading Aron Ra’s new book Foundational falsehoods of creationism and he spends a lot of time clearly showing how clear the idea of separation of church and state was, how much the founders did not want religion in government in anyway, and in fact distrusted it greatly. I don’t insist that religious people hide their faith anymore than I let them try to make me hide my sexuality. However I do ask they not try to push it into my life, my laws, my government, my job, and try to make it my life as they wish it to be theirs. I don’t ask them to be LGBTQ and they shouldn’t ask me to live their religion. One last thing. It is not just religion they seek. These groups seek their religion to be the dominant and only one. Only their rituals and customs be honored, only their displays. No other groups can put up a display only the christian ones according to their view. I don’t want my country to be a theocracy, they always take away all the rights of the people. I don’t want civil law to give way to sharia law of any sect or religion. But that is what these groups are pushing for. Right now it is the gays they are targeting with the religious freedom laws. The right to ignore or mistreat gay people. However what if these religious freedom laws had been around in the civil rights times. Would they then be free to discriminate against black people even though the government gave them the rights they were due, just because their sincerely held religious views made them feel that blacks were not equal. What about the 1967 court ruling about mixed marriages, would the same religious freedom laws pushed today allow companies to refuse service to mixed couples, deny their rights, give clerks the right to deny marriage licenses that the court clearly said they were entitled to. That is the problem of these type laws. They can be bent to fit anything you wish at any time.

        Thank you again for all the time, effort, and attention you are giving this issue. We really need you, we need everyone to stand up on this. It is a scary time, but it is a lot less scary when we stand together. Hugs

        Liked by 6 people

  9. Goddamned religion.

    How can I screw my neighbour and still feel sanctimonious for doing so? I know… religion!

    Liked by 6 people

  10. I’ve said on a number of occasions that it isn’t Trump, himself, who scares me so much. Regardless of what he says about the Supreme Court having settled the matter of gay marriage, so has Roe v. Wade been settled by the Supreme Court, yet he entertains it’s overturning.

    It doesn’t stop there. According to the GOP.gov their platform includes aggressive rollbacks on gay marriage, gay adoption, female reproductive rights, and more. Donald Trump, himself, doesn’t have to support any of that. The GOP has control of the Congress. They can simply wrap all that “traditional family” language up into part of some economic legislation that he does support. He won’t veto it. And just like that it’s signed into law, forcing anyone affected by it to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court, which by all accounts will be conservative in nature if the GOP gets their way.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sorry Ruth. Just found your comment in my spam queue.

      “He won’t veto it.”

      Nope. 😦

      Like

    • I really hate to say it (or even think it!), but you’re right on so many counts, Ruth. I think this is why so many of us are downright s.c.a.r.e.d. The next four years (hopefully no more than that!) are going to be a living hell for many.

      Perhaps we should try praying to one of the gods?) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I agree, and when you look on Trumps website, he expounds. This is Christian Right neoliberalism — James Dobson, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association style Christian extremism. I plan to further elaborate on what’s behind the ADF and Trump’s win in a forthcoming post. It is a dark Christianity — and it’s the kind of Christianity that has taken America captive. James Dobson, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, and several more Christian extremist groups are behind the Alliance Defending Freedom that I mention in my OP. The whole anti-abortion movement is a political ploy (started by conservative religious leaders 30+ years ago).

        Now, they are achieving what they set out to do a few decades back. Evangelical leaders claim that they encouraged their flock to vote for Trump to speak for the unborn who have no voice. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but their propaganda worked. Now they, along with their fellow neuoliberal neocons are in the perfect position to dismantle the social safety net — including programs that benefit children in poverty and children who are disabled. So, again, their motives have nothing to do with the well-being of the unborn or families. It’s a smoke-screen.

        Nan and Ruth, if you have the time, read this paper “A Dangerous Conflation of Ideologies: the Nexus of Christianity and Neoliberalism” (linked below). It’s incredibly eye-opening. Have you ever heard of The Truth Project? This helps to shed light on what’s happening in America. Del Tackett is the creator of Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project. Tackett served more than 20 years in the United States Air Force. During the George H. W. Bush administration, he served at the White House, where he was appointed by President Bush as the director of technical planning for the National Security Council. Dr. Tackett later served in various senior analyst and manager capacities at Kaman Sciences Corporation and ITT Industries. He now works with Coral Ridge Ministries as TV co-host for the show “Cross Examine.”

        Here’s an excerpt from the about page of The Truth Project:

        “In a recent study, the Barna Research Group revealed a stunning statistic that continues to reverberate throughout the evangelical world. Only 9 percent of professing Christians have a biblical worldview.1

        Because of this, today’s believers live very similarly to non-believers. A personal sense of significance is rarely experienced, we spend our money and time on things that fail to satisfy and we begin to wonder what life’s ultimate purpose really is. We are, in short, losing our bearings as a people and a nation.

        To counter this slide within the body of Christ, Focus on the Family has launched one of the most ambitious and powerful projects in the history of our ministry – The Truth Project.

        The Truth Project is a DVD-based small group curriculum comprised of 13 one-hour lessons taught by Dr. Del Tackett. This home study is the starting point for looking at life from a biblical perspective. Each lesson discusses in great detail the relevance and importance of living the Christian worldview in daily life.”

        ———————————————————

        An excerpt from the paper (analysis of TTP) I linked below:

        ———————————————————-

        “Christians here are being coached that it is acceptable to have great wealth disparity. This is demonstrated by the glorification of the current neoliberal system as seen in episode 11 – Labor Created to Create:

        “We are going to find that it is a glorious social system that God has given to us. Why? Because in reality God has created us to create.”

        He is referencing the status quo of a neoliberal capitalistic structure. Later in episode 11, Tackett glorifies the role of CEO’s and large corporations as the job creators and wealth producers of society. The concept of “roles” in society in this context is quite oppressive to women and minorities, because if those who have a “role” of a poor person are “jealous” of another’s wealth, we are resisting God’s plan and being sinful.”

        http://scholar.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1125&context=honr_theses

        ———————————————————

        It gets much darker. It delves into how this TTP indoctrination creates a lack of empathy, which has clearly been evident in this election and it’s not just from neoNazis. We are witnessing the ramifications of 30+ years of relentless lobbying and brainwashing from Christian Right leadership. In another article titled “How right-wing power—along with free-market ideas—shifted from conservative Christians to the Tea Party”, it states:

        ———————————————-

        “Liberalism and feminism are indeed threats to their way of life, or at least to the conservative, patriarchal social structures that their political and religious leaders promote as “natural.””

        http://www.politicalresearch.org/2014/10/30/neoliberal-language-lessons/

        ———————————————

        I saw a meme the other day on FB. I can’t find it right now, but it was a picture of a bear attaching a man. Then it said something to the effect that just because something is considered natural doesn’t mean that it’s good. How many times have you read conservative Christian bloggers claim that a man being the head of a woman is natural? Or that homosexuality is unnatural?

        If there is such a thing as evil, the neoconservative Christian movement is it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Do you think, Victoria, that there are enough non-believers to alter the direction things are heading? Or perhaps more to the point, are there enough of them (us) that will stand up to the ideologies and tribalism of this movement? Or are we destined to see the hard-fought battles for liberty and human rights (not to be confused with the “rights” of the tRump supporters) go down the tubes?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better, if it gets better. Nan, I hope there are enough of us who are motivated enough to combat this stage 3 cancer that’s close to metastasizing, Every day, I continue to be stunned at the latest cabinet selections.

            Liked by 3 people

  11. No matter how you slice it or dice it Trump and his administration will set this country back 150 years. In every category that can be counted.

    We were in Wal Mart a few days ago and had one of those “damn I wish I’d grabbed a cart” moments. One of my boys said maybe I can steal one from someone, jokingly. I replied “yeah just snatch a cart from someone and tell them it’s okay! I’m a Republican!

    That sums up my take on Trumps soon to be implemented policies.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Philip Zimbardo, the world renowned psychologist who did the Stanford Prison Experiment, stated that civilization in America is but a thin veneer. I hear the fundamentalist/evangelicals claiming that the reason is due to not making god a priority, and obeying his word. Yet, these are the same people who are supporting a measure that would reverse decades of progress for human and civil rights. The subject of anti-abortion is political, and religious leaders and politicians used it to their advantage.

      Quote: “When Roe was first decided, most of the Southern evangelicals who today make up the backbone of the anti-abortion movement believed that abortion was a deeply personal issue in which government shouldn’t play a role. Some were hesitant to take a position on abortion because they saw it as a “Catholic issue,” and worried about the influence of Catholic teachings on American religious observance.

      Shortly after the decision was handed down, The Baptist Press, a wire service run by the Southern Baptist Convention — the biggest Evangelical organization in the US — ran an op-ed praising the ruling. “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision,” read the January 31, 1973, piece by W. Barry Garrett, The Baptist Press’s Washington bureau chief.”

      http://billmoyers.com/2014/07/17/when-southern-baptists-were-pro-choice/

      Liked by 2 people

      • “civilization in America is but a thin veneer”

        To be fair to Americans I see this statement as being applicable to humans in general. I remember when the war broke out in Yugoslavia 20 years ago people who had been good friends with their neighbours suddenly saw them based on their religious identity rather than the people they knew they were.

        But Yugoslavia is just one example it has happened time and time again, it is not restricted to any race, not restricted to any religion it seems part of the human condition.

        Indeed I could even argue that demonising Trump supporters is part of the same phenomenon. {I realise this last sentence won’t be popular}, but i see a lot of hate being directed both ways, it is not just one way. It starts by labelling and stereotyping people and seeing them based on this identity rather than seeing them as a person like us.

        I understand that scientists have suggested that stereotyping is inherent in how our brain operates as it helps us to make a quick decision without thinking too much. Going back into prehistory it was important to know if a person you met was a part of your group or a part of another as this had real safety implications. My point is that it is exceptionally hard to overcome stereotyping as it seems to be built into how our brain functions.

        Interestingly in regard to stereotyping, studies have shown two things:
        1. people who complain that their ‘group’ is wrongly stereotyped continue to stereotype people of other groups, without seeing the hypocrisy involved;
        2. most people who stereotype a particular group of people apply this to members of that group they don’t know personally and don’t apply it to the members of the group they do know personally. Once again people seem to do this without any sense of hypocrisy.

        I hope that the US can come out of this a better place, but presently there seem to be a lot of angry people on both sides of the argument. Whilst I don’t agree with much of what Vice President Elect Pence seems to believe I was not impressed that he was booed at the theatre. or lectured from the stage. But I sense I am in a minority in this view.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “it is not just one way. It starts by labelling and stereotyping people and seeing them based on this identity rather than seeing them as a person like us.”

          Those are fair statements, Peter, and let me be clear that Zimbardo was stating this regarding an environmental condition in America that fertilizes tribal behaviors which creates instability and causes harm. He wasn’t suggesting that only Americans were susceptible. As I shared numerous times in posts and in comments, humans are hardwired to get edgy around the Other, but who falls into that category is decidedly malleable, if I may quote Dr. Robert Sapolsky. And again, studies using fMRI scans show that when people see faces of another race, a region of the brain associated with fear, anxiety and aggression, gets metabolically active — fight or flight activates. But when the participants were subtly biased to view those faces as individuals rather than member of group, that area of the brain didn’t become active.

          I agree with what you are saying, but where do you draw the line when you have someone, an individual, who manages to convince others, that it is perfectly justified to deny the Other of their human/civil rights, knowing it’s going to cause harm, and writes laws to legalize this behavior? Attention needs to be put on this behavior, and while I understand where you are coming from with people not recognizing their own hypocrisy, that kind of admonishment can also be used as a type of censorship, so people become silent and the injustices become viewed as normal.

          Pence needs the spotlight on him at all times. He’s done some horrible things, like trying to get a nearly identical bill passed in his state, and he would have, had people been diverted and distracted to introspection, and remained silent. Pence is suppose to be a public servant, and as the article I shared with Hariod, stated, public servants/politicians should not impose their subjective moral sentiments on us or to use policies as a means of emotional expression. Thought you might want to read this:

          http://time.com/4576513/mike-pences-hateful-laws/ <– he is our vice president elect.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I must admit that when I see Muslim folk my immediate reaction is one of dismay/fear. It is something that arises instinctively that I can’t stop. My fear is that immigration by Muslims will change the society I live in a negative manner.

            I see people of other religions like Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus and I have no negative feelings at all.

            My feelings may not be rational, though they are not entirely unfounded. But what I know is that they seem to have been hard wired in my mind know. I think 20 odd years of Islamic terrorism and observing the intolerance of many Islamic groups has affected my thought processes.

            I did not think like this 30 plus years ago when at University. My best friend there was a Muslim student from India. The narrative of Islamic terrorism has affected my mind and my thinking.

            At times I try to reason through the matter rationally and conclude that perhaps bigger threats are, economic collapse, global warming and the epidemic of amphetamine use (because it turns users into paranoid sociopaths}.

            But when I reason through the issue I still conclude that whilst my instinctive fear may be greater than need be, it is not without reason. My observation of the Islamic world gives me no confidence whatsoever. Just one example of many follows:
            http://www.smh.com.au/world/uk-woman-charged-in-dubai-after-reporting-her-own-rape-20161118-gssx5k.html

            Liked by 2 people

        • I’m posting the “lecture” here just in case others haven’t read it.

          “Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again, we truly thank you truly for seeing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”

          Liked by 1 person

        • “Indeed I could even argue that demonising Trump supporters is part of the same phenomenon. {I realise this last sentence won’t be popular}, but i see a lot of hate being directed both ways, it is not just one way.”

          I would go you one better and suggest that many people on the far left (often called the regressive left) are directly responsible for the rise of someone like Trump. Demands of safe spaces, disinviting and de-platforming people with people whose viewpoints they don’t agree with, demanding that people talk and say certain things a certain way. Think that Islam is a stupid hateful religion that makes people do terrible hateful things? Then you’re a bigot and a racist and you should shut up and you’re not allowed to give a lecture or speech on our University campus. And if you do manage to make it to a public stage, we’ll boo you, we’ll intimidate you, we’ll disrupt you, we’ll storm the stage – anything that shuts you down. People will only take so much of that before they lash out. They’ll latch themselves onto anything and anyone who opposes this type of tyranny, even if the person they’re latching onto is a tyrant themselves.

          Like

  12. Their interpretation of the first amendment is frightening. They are preserving freedom to discriminate based on religious grounds not the other way around as you excellently pointed out. Those who complain that we need to give Trump a chance don’t seem to get that we are being reactive to things he’s said and done, and what his party has said and done, not some imagined existential fear like the kind Republicans throw at their voters. This is a time for vigilance and being prepared for the worst, even if the worst happens. I’d rather eat crow in 2 years that not be ready to fight for important rights that may be taken away by the new administration.

    Liked by 4 people

    • “Those who complain that we need to give Trump a chance don’t seem to get that we are being reactive to things he’s said and done, and what his party has said and done, not some imagined existential fear like the kind Republicans throw at their voters.”

      Exactly. That article I posted in your FB chat explains why they voted for Trump. Hint, it was about change, but not the kind of change people might assume. It is representative of a very dark side of Christianity that is flourishing in America (United States).

      Liked by 2 people

  13. If any of you subscribe to WEIT (Why Evolution is true), there was a new posting yesterday in which people were asked why they voted for Trump. There were several reasons listed, none of which had to do with racism and bigotry, some of which I actually agree with. First up, Political correctness – which I know I am completely fed up with. Secondly, Islam and the failure of the government to even admit there is a problem much less deal with it, and thirdly, Hilary’s flaws (being a corrupt pathological liar and all around terrible human being for example). Other reasons include the media being too liberally biased (common crackpot complaint of many right wing conservatives), The Democratic Party’s machinations and a few others. I personally would not have voted for Trump because he is a loud-mouth, moron, ignoramus, but there are many people fed up with what is seen as the same old, same old and want a change. And, it apparently doesn’t matter how ignorant and stupid and terrible a person it is that represents that change, they’ll vote for him and cut their own noses off to spite their faces. I think many of the people who feel disenfranchised and marginalized and forgotten are in for a horrendously rude awakening and it’s unfortunately a lesson they are going to have to learn the hard way. Kiss journalism good bye. It will be replaced by a propaganda machine. Good bye political correctness…..hello open, blatant, sexism, misogyny, racism, bigotry and hatred. So long environmental protections and see ya later social health care. You thought Scalia was bad? Yikes! Supreme court filled with religious bigots and idiots who think that the 10 commandments are more important than the constitution. Ben Carson in charge of education? Disastrous.
    I hate sounding so negative but you guys are in for one hell of a rough ride for the next 4 years. It will take several years or maybe even more to dig yourselves out of this mess. If the Democrats can pull their head out of their ass and actually learn something from this they should be able to do something about it in the next election because I can envision the complete destruction of the Republican party with this idiot at the helm. I just hope it doesn’t take the entire country along with it for the ride.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Like I said to Swarn on his blog,, Americans have become microwave citizens. Negativity bias, and fear-laden propaganda from the right, were at the helm. Not only were we in a transition from fossil fuel to alternative energy, but we were also recovering from the worst recession since the great depression, not to mention, recovering from 2 wars. In 2010, during the primaries, Democrats were complacent, and didn’t pay attention to a well-organized, growing movement that has successfully infiltrated the government on state and federal levels.

      Americans wanted instant change? By gawd, they got it.

      “The negativity bias, also known as the negativity effect, refers to the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things. In other words, something very positive will generally have less of an impact on a person’s behavior and cognition than something equally emotional but negative.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias

      Liked by 2 people

      • Do you think Bernie Sanders would have had a better chance of succeeding at this election or no? I’ve thought about that myself sometimes. One of the things I kept hearing over and over was how terrible a person Hillary was- and it’s impossible not to agree. (Still) Married to a rapist and willing to say and do anything that throws his accusers under the bus, willing to take money from just about anyone and flip flop on any subject, tell bald-faced lies about pretty much everything from her support of the Iraq war to how she got her first name and everything in between. Bernie would have had none of that baggage and I wonder if that would have made the difference. He would have been like Obama but even more socially progressive. A second coming of FDR almost. How tragic it turned out the way it did.

        Like

        • Hillary was your typical politician. Bernie was an exception, and had he won, and we kept a dominant far-right Congress, he would have been in a similar situation as Obama. They (the far-right Congress) would have spent most of their time trying to undermine everything that Bernie wanted to do for Americans to improve their lives. But, again, negativity bias and fear dominated. The word “socialist” is considered a four letter word to many Americans. What happened during the elections is very telling of how easily Americans can be manipulated — dominated by emotions (the older, mammalian part of the brain) — and lacking in critical thinking skills (the newer part of the brain) which has played a predominant role in the advancement of our species.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Having complete control of the Presidency, the house and the senate, I wonder how they are going to blame the faggots, the jerb-taking, terrorist immigrants and the tree-hugging liberal socialist commies for everything that goes wrong? They’ll definitely find a way. I’m just wondering how they’ll do it and how successful they’ll be at it.

            Liked by 2 people

            • We shall see, but I wouldn’t put anything pass them, as they successfully accomplished their goal at the expense of all Americans with exception to the wealthy who have stashed trillions of untaxed dollars in offshore havens. The inequality gap will continue to widen, and America will continue to spiral downward. Neoliberals from both parties, won.

              Like

            • Ashley, this article was brought to my attention by Carmen (thank you Carmen). The author nailed it. I live in the thick of this mentality, and I’m not in a rural area. They have established a pattern over and over again. They are responsible for their plight because they continue to vote against their own best interests. They won’t, however, accept responsibility. They will only seek a scapegoat.

              http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/rural-america-understanding-isnt-problem

              Liked by 1 person

      • This just keeps getting crazier (and scarier) by the minute!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I saw that and shuddered. A conspiracy nut for the NSA. A propagandist for his closest adviser. A liar for his chief of staff. A global warming denier for the EPA. Next comes a Discotute Senior Fellow to appease creationist Pence. The list is only growing.

        There are those who think Trump’s a Changed Man after his 60 minutes interview. He’s not.

        Check your facts.

        He’s an execrable manifestation of the very worst in human nature: a liar willing to scapegoat minorities, with no respect for the law but a demonstrated willingness to abuse it for personal gain and responsibility avoidance, no sense of his expanded social responsibility from his wealth as a member of the society that enabled him, a demagogue who spouts grandiose and unworkable policy ideas that appeal only to the most ignorant and stupid among us. Worst of all, he thinks he’s capable of leadership for the citizenry. All facts.

        Changed? People think such a ‘successful’ maleficent character suddenly changes? What colour is the sky in such a deluded bubble world of such gullible fools?

        Well, let’s do a reality check: we will know how much The Donald has changed not by his words or sale’s job to the idiocracy who elected him but by his deed imposed on all of us… and, so far, it’s looking particularly grim.

        Liked by 4 people

  14. So I think if I may make a suggestion, now might not be a bad time to think about moving to Canada Victoria.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Especially if it’s Victoria, Canada.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That would be nice. 😉 Love that area. I spent about 3 months there when my daughter was a baby. Unfortunately, that area of Canada is incredibly expensive. I’m thinking along the lines of Nova Scotia, or Quebec. My grandfather’s first cousin was The Rocket. I wonder if that would score me some brownie points? Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello, what’s your name?
        Victoria.
        Where are you from, Victoria?
        Canada.
        Oh really? What part?
        Victoria.
        Uh … you already told me your name. I was asking what part of Canada you’re from.
        Victoria.
        Hmmm. Perhaps we should start again?

        Liked by 4 people

    • I have been giving it a lot of thought, Ashely. I’ve talked with several of my Canadian friends about it, too. Let’s just say that I’m preparing to immigrate to Canada. I don’t know about the possibility of attaining employment there. That concerns me, but if our circumstances become dire here, dangerous, then I will at least be in the position to leave the country.

      Like

      • You gotta weigh the pros and cons

        Pro – You’re white
        Pro – You’re not a Muslim
        Pro – You’re not an illegal immigrant
        Pro – You’re not politically correct
        Con – You’re a woman
        Con – you’re not a Christian
        Con – you’re a critical thinker and pro-science
        Con – You’re not a neo-Nazi
        Con – you don’t want to be grabbed by the p*&sy by a sexist, rapist fucking pig

        You’re right that BC is becoming prohibitively expensive. I’ve never been to Nova Scotia but I want to visit there – soon. There and Newfoundland. Maybe you can tell me how awesome it is once you’ve moved there? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        • For those concerned about climate change and your children’s future in a 2+ C world, one of the most secure areas from extremes is Southwestern Ontario, meeting the needs laid out in Romm’s book ;Climate change – What Everyone Needs To Know. It meets and exceeds all the basics laid out: arable land, fresh water, moderate climate, geologically stable, diverse population, no large forests, first world amenities, universal world class healthcare, good government, economically diverse, good public schools, world class universities, and so on. Weathering the upcoming storm of change is made easier when certain risk elements are reduced by location.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Tildeb,

            She’ll never get to kiss a codfish there – are you kidding me?? 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tildeb, from what I’ve been told by other Canadians, there are parts of Ontario (southern especially) that are considered quite conservative (Harper conservative) — also dubbed the Canadian Bible Belt. Probably why I haven’t considered moving there. Same with parts of Alberta.

            Like

            • Well, like any rural areas, there are spots, which is why we have a fair number of Mennonites (their land seems to grow hundreds of publicly owned wind turbines for some strange reason and some really expensive privately sold wood furniture). And there has long been justified criticism that there is a staid conservative bent to the typical values found in many boring communities. But the population as a whole swings across the politic spectrum even if (what I call) conservative values remain fixed. A really good example occurred when we had a provincial election where the Conservative Party held a substantial lead going into an election only to have it evaporate in a matter of a few days when its leader suggested equivalent funding for all kinds of religious schools (a provincial concern that by Constitution grants equivalent public funding for Catholic schools… an historical necessity, unfortunately).

              We have mega churches that put some large malls to shame but with the social fabric firmly supported by public funding we simply don’t have the interference in politics from the ‘disenfranchised’ and ‘special interest groups’ that is always met by entrenched and widespread rejection. Our history is such that we understand how the danger becomes manifested to the wider public when religion crosses the border into public life and public policy. This is why even Catholic Prime Ministers and Premiers dare not touch, say, abortion rights, and will tell the Pope through his local agents and in a nice Royal Commission kind of way to go fuck himself and mind his own gonads… not because the religious values are personally rejected but because it’s political suicide. This is obvious in such a diverse population living side by side in (relative) peace and prosperity; you simply can’t give credence to such privilege without causing more social harm than benefit.

              For example, some of the largest mosques outside of Mecca are here. The largest Buddhist monastery is here. The Catholics and Anglicans are locked in a long term battle to provide more social services than the other. The evangelical churches compete to provide the best concert venues and weekly musical experiences.

              Because public school is the Great Equalizer – including Catholic schools – most students even from deeply religious fundamental families build tolerance through daily interactions with students of all kinds of religions… sort of attending a mandatory Baskin Robbins kind of education. Kids quickly learn that different flavours doesn’t mean we’re not all ice cream, so to speak, that differences don’t detract from nationality (hence the stupendous success of a very funny beer commercial known as “I Am Canadian’). Throw in diverse ethnicity and heritage even in the small communities and you quickly learn that you cannot function on the hockey team unless the focus is on hockey first and foremost. The same is true for just about all issues… where religious differences always rank well back of the more important ones. I am Canadian is the primary concern, and this naturally means values of tolerance and respect for and pride in our significant differences. I love the cod ceremony Carmen mentioned not because it’s a cod nor a ceremony but because it’s quintessentially Canadian even if it is wholly a proud Newfoundland practice. As a Canadian, that means it’s part mine. The weird and wonderful quirkiness of hundreds and hundreds of such practices across the land makes experiencing them a national and unifying pastime.

              This is the only way to absorb upwards of half a million immigrants a year – the vast majority coming to settle in Ontario. Peace, order, and good government – based on staid values – has to outrank personal differences. And so when the call goes out to set up small support groups of 8-20 people for each and every one of the 25,000 Syrians brought to Canada, we find within these small groups the same kind of diversity of age, race, gender, professional status, language, religion, heritage that we find wandering through a local suburban Ontario mall. This is where the values from people like Trump come to die… because they don’t work. They can’t. Our bloody history demonstrates this. And this is why we thrive in spite of so many huge problems; we’re all in this together. And that includes climate change. As a Canadian, that means these problems – even the really big ones – are part mine. And if some religion comes into conflict with that staid value of what it means to belong to the I Am Canadian cohort then it’s just as doomed as that Conservative leader’s attempt to offer religious privilege in exchange for votes.

              Liked by 4 people

              • Well said. Loved it. Canada is a prime example that diversity works. America hasn’t yet arrived, and it may get worse. Canada has repeatedly been listed in the top 10 of the most peaceful countries in the world, not to mention, in the top 10 of the happiest. Yes, I know, it’s not perfect there, so I don’t have unrealistic expectations should I move there. But, I want to live and be in the company of people like Canadians. I consider them far more evolved than Americans, and have actually learned the lessons from the past.

                Liked by 1 person

        • Well, Ashley, I have an incredibly awesome friend who lives in NS — that would be Carmen. If she is representative of the majority of people there, I think I would love living in that area. Plus, I prefer being close to the water.

          Liked by 2 people

  15. Sorry V, I missed this original post.

    On Canadians, some of my best blogging friends are Canadians. Or at least some of the more intelligent ones: Arb, Carmen, tildeb, someone who lives in NF but doesn’t do this circuit, a couple of BC people. They are all lovely people. But the place is bloody freezing!

    Do you think the request for a recount will work? I do think the vilification of Clinton is unhelpful though. I would say that wouldn’t I?

    Liked by 1 person

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