silencing dissent

Elizabeth Warren was shut down on the Senate floor as she quoted the writing of Coretta Scott King about Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated for attorney general of the United States. Mitch McConnell invoked a rule of the Senate which deemed the widow’s words unsuitable for senators’ ears. Senator Warren is banned from uttering another word during the 30 hours remaining in the confirmation hearings.

Republicans have made themselves into the perfect example of the blind, deaf, and tongue-tied, who refuse to see evil or hear evil but who speak nothing but evil.

Warren, who refuses to be silenced, read the letter outside the senate chamber.

 

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teachers disciplined for discussing hate crimes

Amidst the rising tide of administrative silencing, we see the trickle-down of hate-based politics and turning a blind eye (and a tight lip) functioning much better than Reagan’s trickle-down theory ever did.

One teacher was suspended without pay after rescinding her college recommendation for a student who emblazoned a swastika in the hallway. Others were disciplined for having dared to discuss the incident with students in their classrooms.

Read more below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/teacher-suspended-swastika_us_5894b999e4b040613136a1af?y8lbf2baey2gwrk9

Seattle judge trumps 45

The best news I’ve read in weeks: a Seattle judge overturned the executive order that barred valid visa holders from certain Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Read about it here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/state-department-reverses-visa-ban_us_5895f61de4b09bd304bba2f7

United States of Corruption

When the current Secretary of State is the former head of a major oil company that fought anticorruption protections, which have now been struck down by the Republican Congress, the fish is clearly rotting from the head down.

crushing freedoom

How is it that one jerk in the White House with his executive orders can undo eight years of policy developed through the checks and balances set into place by the Constitution?

How can the Man who would be King sign into policy the notion of religious “freedom” that was overthrown by the Supreme Court just a few years ago?
This executive order floating around the White House, if signed, would be the beginning of the end of LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive rights. It is a sweeping ultra conservative designation of what constitutes marriage and pinpoints the beginning of human rights at conception.

What recourse do we have against these crushing blows to our freedom when Congress just sits on their hands and watches the bloodbath?

I am truly at a loss.

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photo: afp 2017

land disposal

Each day I awaken to some new horror by the new administration: green card holders and refugees being turned away at airports, the Army Corps of Engineers given the greenlight to bulldoze through native lands and put precious water supplies in peril, and now a proposal to sell off over 3,000,000 acres of public land, denying taxpayer  use, environmental protections, and generating no income for the country.

For someone who is supposedly a businessman, 45 and his crew sure make some stupid economic decisions.

bound and gagged

45’s hostility to science becomes more apparent as his appointments for key positions that could affect policy regarding climate change come to light. The recent news of the man tapped to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a harbinger of doom, as reported by McClatchy DC. Kenneth Haapala of the Heartland Institute is a known climate change denier, and his organization strives to reduce government influences on the free market, giving the almighty dollar the power to crush life as we know it on planet Earth.

If you think this is an overly dramatic reading of the future, consider that we’ve already seen environmental agencies in DC fall under gag rules by the current administration, including the National Park Service, for whom I volunteer. The EPA has been forced to take down it’s web page on climate change, which demonstrates that — when confronted with science — 45 chooses to turn a blind eye and then prevent anyone else from seeing.

“In recent weeks, federal employees at the National Parks Service, EPA and other agencies have claimed they are under “gag orders” – restricted from using social media or taking any action not approved by the new administration. As of Monday evening, the EPA hadn’t tweeted a single item since Jan. 19, the day before Trump was sworn in as president.” (Stuart Leavenworth, McClatchy, 1.30.17)

Fortunately, the same social media tools that allowed 45’s campaign to disseminate fake news stories also allows insiders in Washington to tweet from anonymous accounts.

Keep shouting!

noaa

A NOAA crew on the R/V Roger Revelle came nose-to-nose with an iceberg floating in the the Southern Ocean near Antarctica in February of 2008. Scientists at the federal agency have helped document impacts of climate change in the world’s polar regions, but some NOAA employees fear such research could be upended under President Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic. Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.