We Won’t Go Back.


I have decided that today I would use my blog to tell as many people as possible about an upcoming event.

President-elect Donald Trump seeks to rollback decades’ worth of progress. He wants to separate families and tear apart our communities.

We Won’t Go Back is a coalition of groups in the New Bedford area who seek to protect the social and environmental progress made in the past decades especially when it comes to  immigrants, Muslims, GLBTs, Blacks, Women, and let’s be honest, any group who will potentially become the Other in the next round.

The intention is to supply information and have a coalition of mutually supportive groups working together providing resources to help each other instead of being individual groups who have not necessarily worked united in the past.

There is a lot of fear, and some groups need to know where they can turn for help, information, or just someone with whom and where they can feel safe.

There is a need for an aggressive, grassroots organization at the local level. Considering the make-up of New Bedford going back throughout its history to the present day and the multi-cultural and multi-racial make-up of its population, the city could play a leading role in advancing an inclusive and progressive platform for all persons and working families. For this reason We Won’t Go Back  will work to foster an extensive volunteer/activist network which blends traditional Get Out The Vote efforts, along with strong engagement with various civic and community groups.

To kick this off, there will be a gathering at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford starting at 1:00 pm on Sunday, December 4, for people to make signs, and at 2:00 pm a peaceful walk from there to the First Unitarian Church on Union Street.

Many political, social justice, and Community organizations were approached to be part of the kick off event and to be part of the process in the future.

Congressman Keating’s office, the Attorney General’s office, Senator Warren’s office, and Governor Baker’s office have committed to having a presence.

Not only are local community members encouraged to attend and then be part of the ongoing effort, but people from other communities are welcome to join in support and perhaps to network and exchange ideas how those who feel most threatened by the campaign talk, the people being chosen to run the government, and the words and actions that are so threatening can be made to feel safe, and learn what recourse they have.

Rather than simply complain and make unreasonable demands, this is a more proactive approach.

Hope to see those ho can make it there.



Don’t forget the book




Self defeatin’ tweetin’


Instead of being happy with his win and allowing Jill Stein and company to go off on a wild goose chase and end up with egg on their faces when they find  that a vote recount really doesn’t change anything, Donald Trump came up with a figure 0f 3,000,000 illegally cast votes that he had seen on one tweet by a person known for conspiracy theories.

The Trump tweet called into question the legitimacy of the number of votes cast and may have inadvertently given a reason for the vote recount.

It may not change the electoral college numbers, but it could give more evidence that he did not receive a mandate, and he cannot claim he speaks for the American people, but for the minority of us.




Don’t forget the book



They are just like us


In August, while explaining his economic plan in Detroit, Trump said,

“My campaign is about reaching out to everyone as Americans, and returning to a government that puts the American people first. We will offer a new future, not the same old failed policies of the past. Our party has chosen to make new history by selecting a nominee from outside the rigged and corrupt system.”

He pledged to work for the middle class, and to that end he has chosen for membership in his cabinet those most closely aligned with us, if you are willing to overlook that his choices are worth $5.1 billion, $15.3 billion, $2.9 billion, $250 million, $46 million, and $26 million, clearly a group that mirrors the middle class.

That would be Amway’s Betsy DeVos, oil mogul Harold Hamm, investor Wilbur Ross, private equity investor Mitt Romney, hedge fund magnate Steven Mnuchin, and Rudy Giuliani.

And, as if he is tipping his hat toward middle America, the guys who spend their off work hours immersed in sports, he has thrown in Todd Ricketts from the billionaire family that owns the Chicago Cubs.

The median household income in the U.S. is about $55,000.

Trump had told voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan that he understood their frustration with a “rigged” economic system that left them out in favor of Wall Street elites and Washington insiders.

Thank God he isn’t choosing members of the latter groups to help the middle class. That would go against what he told people to get their votes.

Although he spoke out against Goldman Sachs and used Ted Cruz’s wife’s employment there against him during his campaign, two of his choices to advise him, Mnuchin and Bannon, both made millions at Goldman Sachs.

A think tank supported by DeVos, Trump’s appointment for Secretary of Education, published an article calling for a return of child labor because hard work is a better education for children than what they would learned at school.

If Trump manages to bring coal mining jobs back to America like he promised, the Secretary of Ed can advise him on whom to hire for that job.

For someone who promised his faithful that he would fight the global elite billionaire class, he seems to be handing them the leadership roles in a lot of agencies.

And to add to that, a CNN/ORC poll found that nearly 60% of Americans think Trump is not doing enough to avoid potential business conflicts as president.

He had his daughter sit in on at least one meeting with a foreign head of state, asked the president of Argentina to do what he could to help him procure a stalled permit on a building in Buenos Aires during a post election congratulatory phone call, had his son meet with Russian businessmen during the campaign, and, while condemning Clinton for accepting Saudi money for the Clinton Foundation, opened up at least 7 businesses in Saudi Arabia as he campaigned and claimed he would make the Saudis pay for what they get from the US.A.

So all those voters who voted for him because they were furious with the status quo and desperate for a major housecleaning in Washington, but will eventually notice he is filling his administration with the super-wealthy, might do well to get a picture of Trump’s face to look at a during his tenure in office as most of the time they might only be looking at his back.


Don’t forget the book



The “war” has begun



Besides the usual memes telling me someone will die if I don’t like or share it, the ones that promise God will send me money if I do, the guilt trip ones that accuse me of hating America, the police, or the troops if I don’t like or share, the pictures of animals that are suffering due to my apparent indifference  evidenced by my not liking or sharing, the one were friends let me know that only 10% will like or share a post and they know who those people are, the ones questioning my friendship because I haven’t responded with an amen to a picture of Jesus which is actually  a picture of a young Obi Wan Kenobi, I am starting to get the War on Christmas ones.

Yes it is that time of year

So this is my preemptive strike.

I will wish whatever greeting I see fit at the moment I wish it.

There are a bunch of holidays during the coming month, and many have their origin in the decrease of sunlight hours and the increase of the dark, and man’s hope of the return of more hours of sunlight and the expression of joy when that begins to happen.

Claiming uniqueness for any holiday is totally incorrect, and, dare I say, a little obnoxious.

So, any time I get a meme attempting to guilt me, or accuse me of being someone other than who I am by not liking, sharing, or typing Amen, the sender will receive this cartoon instead.

I worked at a store one Christmas where a customer walked up to a cashier and began berating her in anticipation that she was going to wish him a “Happy Holiday” instead of a “Merry Christmas”, and loudly condemning her for being a lackey for the Godless management who instructed her to do that when in reality they had given no such directive.

She informed the irrational customer that she always waited for the customer to greet first and would respond in kind, but if the customer said nothing, leaving initiating the greetings up to her, being Jewish, she would exercise her religious freedom and wish a happy holiday.

With the customer storming out, I then got the duty of putting what was in his shopping cart back on the shelves.

What struck me most about the exchange was that the supposedly “Christian” customer had taken Christmas and made it into an excuse for unnecessary and unsolicited anger.

So, during this holiday season, rather than yell at me for greeting you in a way that may be spontaneous, accept that, rather than ignore you, I was friendly enough to greet you.


Don’t forget the book



Because he did not lie


There are some states that closed many traditional polling places after having instituted some very restrictive ID and voter requirements, oddly so that voting would favor the party in power.

In one state a student ID won’t be accepted while a gun registration ID card will. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure which way many students might lean and which way many gun owners might.

And in some states, the legislatures have gerrymandered voting districts in such a way that the political party outcome is only too clear long before a vote.

Our president-elect anticipated a loss at the polls by claiming the elections were rigged, but having won, all his talk about vote rigging, and the certainty with which he had declared it to be so, has evaporated.

But since he was so sure in his assertion about a rigged election, people felt that it should be examined, especially in light of some areas voting in ways that were just a little too unexplainable.

A county in one of the swing states that went to Trump had declared him the winner, but upon examination it became obvious that more votes had been declared cast than the number of people who had checked in at the voting stations.

And when you consider that in Wisconsin, a state that Trump was supposed to have won by 27,000 votes 300,000, voters were turned away from the polls because of the state’s new voter ID rules, the idea that the elections there were rigged may have basis in truth.

Jill Stein, although having nothing to win by it, personally has called for an audit and recount of the voting results in three swing states that Trump won.

On Wednesday, because fewer than 100,000 votes in Wisconsin, 27,257, Michigan, 10,704 and Pennsylvania, 68,236, gave Trump the electoral votes in those states, a demand for recounts was made, and on Thursday, Thanksgiving, Jill Stein announced that she had gotten the $2.5 million needed to meet Friday’s first recount deadline in Wisconsin while she will need another $4.5 million for the Pennsylvania recount deadline this Monday and that of Michigan on Wednesday, a sum that would cover the fee for a recount, and any legal costs that they may entail.

And that money is coming in.

Perhaps if Trump had not been so sure the election was rigged, people, although no liking the results, might have swallowed their loss and accepted the results.

But considering how honest Trump was throughout his campaign, checking on this rigging is not unreasonable.

Perhaps other states will see this as a signal to audit their own results.

For bullies it is easy to dish out, harder to take.


In the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic first struck and the convenient assumption was that it was a “Gay Cancer”, those in charge of the country sat quietly by because “They” were dying, not “us”.

It was only later, when it was discovered that it had actually been killing “Us” all along, that anything happened to fight it.

In those early days, the 80s, Broadway was hit hard as the theater had been safe employment for Gay people.

Besides the famous people who died, there were also those who were in the chorus, the dance line, the writers. and set and costume designers who were lost, and Broadway was hit hard, and the memory remains both of the inaction and those unnecessarily lost

Some examples:

Michael Bennett, David Carroll , Michael Jeter , Alvin Ailey, Warren Casey, James Kirkwood, Jr., Erik Bruhn, Raymond “Ray” Sharkey, Jr., Albert Paul Shenar, Keith Prentice, Charles Braun Ludlam, Leonard Frey, Richard Warwick, Larry Kert, Tom Eyen, Christopher Chadman, A. J. Antoon, Nicholas Dante, Jeffrey Mylett, Robert Joffrey.

These are some of the out-front people connected to Broadway, and does not include the set designers, the costume designers, the make-up artists, and the many people back stage.

So bigotry and its consequences are a real thing to those connected to the Broadway theater, especially when you look at those on stage who represent the diversity in the country, many who remember who was lost and may have experienced bigotry themselves, and probably still do, and might continue to especially by the likes of those who are all upset that a barista at Starbucks does not want to be used as a political tool by being forced to yell “Trump” when they just want to do their jobs.

Mike Pence has advocated and signed laws that would allow discrimination against Gay people,.

He voted against the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990 when it came up for renewal when he was in Congress, an Act that covered  the federal government’s efforts to improve the quality and availability of care for medically under-served individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS.

In his opposition to same sex marriage he claimed,

“Societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family,”

He also stated that Congress should oppose same-sex marriage, oppose efforts to give LGBT people anti-discrimination protections, and stop giving federal money to Aids/HIV groups because they “celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus”.

He advocated that that money be diverted from supporting groups providing critical HIV/Aids care to vulnerable people to “those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior”, code for Conversion Therapy  that  is often unregulated, and uses  electro-shock therapy to “cure” people of being Gay, and is outlawed is five states.

He also said,

“Donald Trump and I simply believe that all of these issues are best resolved at the state level. Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools,”

when it came to the Trump administration’s doing away with federal guidance to the states issued by the Obama administration for protecting transgender students.

Student safety and equality would be a patchwork in the country, and where one lives would decide how cruel or hatefully a student is treated.

Although he has said,

“No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe”,

He has also made it clear that he wasn’t going to deviate from his religious conservative ideology, so he wouldn’t support any legislation that would reduce religious freedoms even though doing so would extend state civil rights protections to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender citizens in Indiana.

Other gems:

In 2007, when he opposed GLBT work place protections he claimed on the floor of the U.S. House that it would result in attacks on religion.

“If an employee keeps a Bible in his or her cubicle, if an employee displays a Bible verse on their desk, that employee could be claimed by a homosexual colleague to be creating a hostile work environment.”

He opposed including sexual orientation in hate crime legislation when he said in 2009,

“This will have a chilling effect on religious expression, from the pulpits, in our temples, in our mosques and in our churches, and it must be undone.”

Apparently hateful acts are examples of religious expression.

Considering the campaign talk, the admonitions to punch people, and the hate that has yet to be addressed formally by the president- elect, and considering the experience of those on Broadway, is it any wonder that with a multi-ethnic and multi-racial cast Pence was addressed at the end of the play during the curtain call ?

 “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 that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

This to Trump, a man who made fun of a man with a handicap, who insulted Rosie O’Donnell in a totally irrelevant comment during a primary debate, and questioned voting for Carly Fiorina because she was not a 10, is bullying that must be addressed while acts of hate are left alone.

The cast of Hamilton knows the consequences of hate, and asked not to have to be the victims of it again.


Don’t forget the book