Lies! Total BS!

This arrived in my mail today REEKING of Alt-Right propaganda.

Do they think we are that frikkin stupid?

Ye gads… the petition they are spending MILLIONS to convince people not to sign is NOT from the Chinese Government… it’s a petition from “Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts” to put Bill 6 on the ballot so the people of Ohio CAN VOTE for or against adding another fee on our electric bills. OHIOANS, not a foreign government.

WHY are they spending so much and going to such extremes just to keep it OFF the ballot? Because it’s worth BILLIONS to the utility companies. And, if enough signatures are gathered to put it on the ballot, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will spend millions more in an all out campaign to get that money.

It reeks of Alt-Right because: (1) Bill 6 was sponsored by Republicans, passed by Republicans, and signed into law by a Republican governor; and (2), falsely claiming a petition is being circulated by the “Chinese Government” is so far fetched that it sounds like something Trump would say.

Oh yeah, his base would believe it without questioning because Trump paints China as the enemy in his little tariff war. His base is too stupid to realize that tariffs are import taxes, just an extra fee paid by the American who imported the items (not China) who will, in turn, pass the cost on to American consumers, that they their own selves will pay slightly higher prices on imported goods down at their local Walmart or whatever store. It’s okay, just “Buy American” while wearing an imported hat. So what if a trade war hurts our farmers. We can’t have “illegals” picking veggies, so up goes the cost of produce, too.

Of course, that’s all “fake news” to Trump supporters, who are so conditioned to believe whatever he tells them is the gospel truth. Maybe Trump should take a Sharpie marker and drawn a line on the border map and claim that’s the wall, built between tweets.

Where’s the circulators? I need one… yeah, this over-sized postcard has convinced me. Bring that petition to Youngstown, Ohio… I want to sign it.

Political Fish

The litmus test for political propaganda swirling tidal waves of raw bull across the internet is as whacked as some of the stories: Is there a photo? OMG, there is a photo… this must be true!

Case in point: some joker out in California claims that he is a postal worker in Ohio in a tweet about shredding absentee ballots. My own sister buys it… argues, “but there is a photo!” She pulls it up on her phone to show me. “Don’t mail that,” she warns. “It will get shredded in Columbus.”

I picked up my absentee ballot application off the table to show her that the envelope is addressed to the local Board of Elections right here in Youngstown, Ohio. Our mail does not go through Columbus. It might get processed in Cleveland, but it is not going all the way to Columbus.

I should wait, just go vote at the polls. No… I mapped the location of my new polling place when I got the postcard confirming my change of address and it is too far off a WRTA bus route for a disabled non-driver like me to walk. Plus, I would have to cross Midlothian Blvd in a high traffic area. I would have to take a cab or find a ride, so I opted to vote via absentee.

If they are shredding in Columbus, they might be shredding everywhere… but, oh? What’s this? They’re only shredding absentee ballots from Trump supporters? How can they tell, with ballots in sealed envelopes? They must be opening them.

Am I dealing with a moron?

No… this is my sister, an otherwise intelligent woman who holds down a full time job, runs a successful business on the side, does volunteer work in her community, serves on committees, does all sorts of things… but when it comes to nonsense on the internet, she believes everything she reads.

Hillary wants to kill off the black population, abort all their babies, that’s why abortion clinics are located in predominately black neighborhoods. Putin will launch nuclear bombs on us if Hillary wins the election. Hillary kills everyone who gets in her way… she killed an airline pilot, she murders women who sleep with her husband, no veterans will vote for her. (Uh, try the vet in the next room… he’s voting for Hillary; I’m the one who has been undecided, considering 3rd parties and Hillary because my candidate of choice – Joe Biden – opted not to run and there is no way in hell that I would vote for Trump, thought he was a pompous ass long before all that “locker room” banter.)  And it’s not just her… I hear other people yak nonsense off the internet.

And ye gads… the rationalizations some people use to support Trump absolutely blow my mind. I’ve heard things like, “we are not really voting for a person… we are voting for a political party, choose the party that most aligns with your views as the president has no power, he doesn’t really do anything.”  Oh… so if we are not voting for a person, then why have a person run? Why not elect an inanimate object, a stuffed animal or a vase or something? Maybe a logo? Yeah, some symbol to represent the party? We could vote for plants… at least they are alive. It might be easier to spot the weeds.

It’s all nonsense. This whole election is kind of whacked. It reminds me of old sayings… take what you hear with a grain of salt… or better yet, it’s like eating fish, spit out the bones.

The last political debate is tonight… viewers might need buckets for the bones.

Thanks for reading!

Open Letter

I have a facebook friend who posts things that blows my mind.  She is someone I used to know in “real” life.  I have not seen her in years. 

We were work friends at Delphi Packard.  Besides being co-workers, we were both artists, so we had other things in common.  She did pottery, owned her own kiln, and I know she also painted as she had a painting of a nude rejected by a local gallery when they censored her work. 

At Delphi, we were both in skilled trades, pulling union wages as Journeymen Tool & Die Makers, positions neither one of us would have been “allowed” to persue if it were not for affirmative action. 

SIDE NOTE:  That’s “allowed” as in saying there was never any carved in stone rules saying that women were not allowed, but before affirmative action laws, the opportunities for women to get hired on at a machine shop must less land a skilled trades apprenticeship were extremely rare, if at all.  My first attempt to get hired in a shop was in 1978.  Most places told me flat out no… the foreman at one shop told me that he could not hire me because they did not have the facilities to hire women.  The lack of a toilet designated for females prevented my employment.   I began applying for Delphi’s apprenticeship program in 1991.  Or rather Packard Electric as they didn’t spin off from GM until years later.  I hired on as an apprentice for the class of 1998, so do the math.  A full 20 years passed before I got a chance to become a Tool & Die Maker.  I don’t know all of her story… she hired in before I did, was already a Journeyman, but if it wasn’t for affirmative action, neither one of us would have had the opportunity to learn the trade, nor earn those top dollar union wages.

I was reading her posts on facebook this week, mostly shares with a Tea Party spin.  I have wondered for some time what the hell happened to her.  How did she get sucked into all that? 

Posts included anti-union, anti-this, and anti-that, slamming poor people and all sorts of crap.  The most disturbing facebook share was an altered photograph of our President dressed to look like a hick sharecropper or something with a message saying, “if you voted for this person, you owe the rest of us an apology.”  

Like if agree?  Absolutely not.  It struck me as being blatently racist, which essientially just shows the true colors of people who pass such things around. 

I am thinking about de-friending her, if she doesn’t read this and de-friend me first, but it so bothers me that she has become this Tea Party activist person.   I wonder if something happened to her, how she got drawn in so deeply into the hateful underworld of the ultra conservative fringe. 

Now I don’t mind friends having difference of opinion when it comes to politics or whatever, variety is the spice of life, it makes for interesting discussions.  I actually like to hear opposing opinions, to see things from various perspectives other than my own. But this constant echo of hate circulating on social media has a darkness to it that bothers me something fierce.  It bothers me even more when it is spun off as the “Christian” position, as it is definately does NOT come off as being very Christ-like.  Would Jesus drug test the poor before feeding them?  Deny a child medical care?  Call the widow’s pence an entitlement?  Et cetera.  All the biased hate based propaganda is just too much.  I don’t want to see it anymore. 

Still, it bothers me.  It saddens me. 

Did she always harbor prejudice towards minorities?  A hatred for the poor or disenfranchised American people?  Did she secretly resent the union while reaping the benefits of unionization? 

So many questions… did I ever know her at all?

What good does writing this do? 

Not a thing.  All I am doing is thinking out loud on virtual paper trying to understand things that are impossible to comprehend.   If she reads this, she is free to respond via her method of choice.  I live by the rule:  don’t say anything behind anyone’s back that you are not willing to say to their face.  If our paths should cross, I would ask her what happened, tell her that I don’t understand.  I would ask her if she fully embraces everything she posts, if her activism has become her life. 

A tag line running across the screen on the morning news today said someone compared the Tea Party to the KKK.  A quick google (since I didn’t catch the name) tells me it was a congressman from Florida who often says controversial things.  He used an image of a burning cross labeled to spell out “Tea Party” in a fundraising email sparking an outcry for being insensitive to people who were terrorized by that hate group.  So he went a little overboard, but in light of things shared by members of the Tea Party on social media, I can see the simularities. 

What is the undercurrent common to most hate groups?  FEAR.  Fear of the unknown, fear of people who look or talk or think in ways different than they do, fear of anything or everything. 

I think the Tea Party attracts people who are scared, then feeds the fear with propaganda wrapped up in a cloak of Christianity.  But, where is the Psalms 23? 

Life is dangerous.  We don’t live in a pollyanna world of wine and roses.  I am all too aware of rising crime rates and economic uncertainty, a million other things that can make people scared.  But we are offered a choice:  choose to walk in faith, not live in fear.