Courtesy photographer Samuel Romero and Wiki
There have always been authoritarian movements. From versions of communism using a “Dictatorship of the proletariat” to Nazism, the rule of “Hard men” and of power. In every case, it is just an excuse for the real-life conspiracy of a small group ruling with an iron fist, the vast majority. In the final analysis, they are simply brothers from another mother. Dictatorship and repression are exactly the same, whether it was done by Franco or Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, or Stalin. Exactly the same, different rationale. Same result. Control of information, the elimination of any neutral ground, or independent thought, that the power structure no matter how it is set up is in your head, owns your soul. But in every case, with no exceptions, the darkness comes with them. From “Concentration “camps to “Gulags”, they are the same. We too have had much the same, the prison system in the South during segregation, just not as publicized. All were there to enforce continuity of thought, to socialize oppression, institutionalize it. Read more
The tale is one of an evil time,
When souls were fettered and thought was crime,
And heresy’s whisper above its breath
Meant shameful scouring and bonds and death!
—John Greenleaf Whittier, “How the Women Went from Dover”
The latest white guy going on a rage-bender before being “respectfully” taken into custody for “mental health evaluation” was at the Miami airport, an incident that broke the internet last week.
Since Trump began his campaign of self-centered, self-entitled whining, preening and racist “straight talk” in 2015, hate crimes and violence against women have exploded by around 20 percent.
Meanwhile, “conservatives” have created a “watch list” of college professors suspected of teaching “liberal” climate science or the actual racial history of America; fossil fuel billionaires and their buddies, with the Supreme Court’s blessing, have corrupted Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and the entire GOP; and school boards, teachers and election officials receive daily harassment and even death threats.
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People who opt out of shots shouldn’t expect their employers, health insurers, and fellow citizens to accommodate them.
or months, institutions and companies have been drafting plans to aggressively promote vaccination or require it outright, and last week the FDA gave them license to click the “send” button. The same day the agency granted full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, New York City’s public school system announced that its teachers and other employees will be required to get shots. The next day, Louisiana State University made a similar demand of its students and faculty. Within about 24 hours of the FDA move, other major employers, such as Chevron and Goldman Sachs, rolled out new vaccine mandates. In a novel twist, Delta Air Lines announced that it would impose a $200-a-month health-insurance surcharge on unvaccinated employees. Regardless of the reasons for their hesitancy, unvaccinated employees will literally have to pay for it.
What all of these decisions show is that the adults running major institutions in our society want to move forward, and they are done waiting around for vaccine refusers to change their mind. Outside of executive suites and human-resources offices, plenty of other Americans are also craving more certainty. Bars and restaurants that want to stay open are beginning to check vaccination cards—at least in states where supposedly freedom-loving lawmakers haven’t forbidden private businesses from keeping their own customers and employees safe. Couples throwing weddings are demanding that their guests upload proof of vaccination. These people disinviting their anti-vaxxer relatives are saying something important: Getting a shot to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is both a social responsibility and the best way to hasten the end of the pandemic, and if you don’t believe that, we’re not waiting around for you to step up.
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Extinction: Courtesy History of Yesterday
It was September 8th, 1966. It was within a reality that in the time you could take a pot pie out of the freezer, put it into the oven, and cooked it, the decision could be made to launch the missiles that would signal your incineration, your end as a human being. That would leave a poisoned Earth for any survivors and destroy the very reason the missiles were built to protect. That was the sword of Damocles that we all lived under. But that night, just over a year after my Father had died, was one that was special. It was the first episode of Star Trek. It’s not that I am or ever have been a “Trekkie” but I have enjoyed the shows. I was in fact over at a friend’s house, watching it on their gigantic 20″ color television, something we did not have. It wasn’t that the show was in color, or that the special effects were so incredible for the time that has stuck with me for all of these years. It was the fact that we had, at least in the show survived ourselves, that we did in fact have a future, and that we had become something more than those looking for an excuse to destroy each other. A righteous cliff to jump over in a headlong rush to extinction.
All of these years later, now as an old man, I find myself wondering again if we can survive ourselves. The missiles and the warheads are still there, just waiting to unleash their potential of death and destruction. It does now seem a bit further away now, but it is still there. And as that threat has receded somewhat, we have chosen to turn in, to turn upon each other in the quest for power, wealth, and sadly exclusion and oppression. It seems that again, we are much like lemmings, always looking for the highest cliff to fall from, the most righteous of reasons to do so, and back it all with the most ignorant of convictions. They wrap themselves in the words of righteous greed, godly superiority, the god of things, and what they make us, wrapped in the flag of those that actually sacrificed, to build and protect this nation. Read more