Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Is This A Dystopian Novel?

 


Is This A Dystopian Novel?

(Or Is It Reality?)

by C.A. Matthews

 

I’m writing this on the way home from an annual science fiction convention we’ve attended for many years. My husband and I primarily speak on writing craft and publishing topics, but sometimes we’re asked to be on panel discussions dealing with the intersection between fiction and reality. How does SF (speculative fiction) show us the current situation humanity finds itself in or even our possible future?

Wise words from a famous science fiction author

I happened to land on a panel called “The Handmaid’s Tale: Fear and Social Dystopia.” (Excellent topic idea!) We were to discuss how this best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, and the more recent streaming television series based upon it, reflects the horror of discrimination American women currently face and how it could be a prediction of even scarier things to come.

Of course, since I was on the panel, the discussion soon wandered into what I see as the novel’s true premise. The story of the abused and enslaved handmaids isn’t a dystopian tale of the near-future or an alternate future but an accurate reflection of both our current and past American society. Atwood, as a Canadian, is in an excellent position to see us as a sympathetic outsider and point out painful things that Americans have blocked from our cultural memories. There is much for us to learn from her discerning eye.  

Is the USA in reality the mythical “Gilead”? Why do we not see the red-caped young women marching in lines and “the wall,” the place where dissidents and non-believers are hung for their crimes against the state and their bodies left hanging as a warning to others? My contention is that these two things do in fact exist, albeit in slightly different forms.

When the US imprisons whistleblowers and journalists (such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange) because they revealed horrific torture operations done in our name by the US military, the CIA and others at the Abu Ghraib Prison and at our very own extrajudicial detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, are we not in reality hanging these brave souls from “the wall”? Are we not using their slow deaths in prison and exile to scare other potential whistleblowers not to do likewise? Isn’t dangling their reputations in front of the mainstream media (a.k.a. “the wall”) and making false charges against them a deterrent to others emboldened to expose the immorality and corruption of the US government?

When cops murder people of color in cold blood for minor traffic violations or for simply sleeping in their own beds, is this not a kind of state execution or “the wall” that tells others to stay quiet and obey their white masters and don’t fight for their rights? When the police use teargas and rubber bullets on protesters and striking workers, isn’t this putting them on “the wall” to kill their hopes and dreams for a better future for all?

The US now spends more money on militarizing our local police departments than most countries—including Russia—spend on their actual military. No other country has 800+ military bases scattered all over the globe. The closest is China with about eight bases. The US has the largest military budget in the world, one that is more than the other top ten nations combined, and yet it has no money available for health care, education, or housing for all its citizens.

Now, which country reminds you of the fascistic/militaristic realm of Gileadthe country who recently announced that poverty had been eradicated within their borders (China) or the one that has criminalized homelessness in many municipalities (USA)? “The wall” presents injustices along with rotting corpses of those the state doesn’t want.

What about the red capes and the rapes of the handmaids/ concubines? Atwood purposefully had her handmaids wrapped in “bloody cloths” or red capes, a symbol of birth and sacrifice. These young women are the heifers and hens forced to give birth like livestock in order to provide enough laborers to support the ruling classes. Gilead’s economic system relies on slavery—but it isn’t necessarily thought of as chattel slavery by its rulers. Wage slavery works just fine in present day America and our rulers (bosses) think nothing of it, either.


Which so-called “first world nation” has the highest maternal mortality rate? You know it—it’s the USA. The maternal mortality rate for mothers of color is even higher than it is for whites, but it’s also high for poor whites with no access to private health insurance. What other society tells its women of child bearing years that their health and safety during child birth isn’t all that important? Could it be the only so-called first world nation that doesn’t provide universal health care for its people?

And then there’s the overturn of the Roe V. Wade ruling. (Read my take on how abortion rights are used against women in A Matter of Control.) What other country allows basic human rights, such as the right to bodily autonomy, to be stolen away from its citizens at the whim of conservative judges? Yes, Trump did appoint conservative federal judges, but he didn’t appoint all of them or even the majority of them. Most federal judges currently serving have been serving for more than ten years. Arch-conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed during the Clinton Administration. Who was the senator that made sure Clarence Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court by discrediting Anita Hill’s testimony and raking her over the coals? Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware is the man who made sexist, disparaging remarks to Professor Hill. You may have heard of him.

Atwood’s Gilead has one advantage the US doesn’t. It doesn’t waste time playing the silly game of what “color” or establishment political party is currently in the majority. True rulers always will get what they want at the expense of the ordinary working people’s lives. The establishment parties are mere distractions, foils as it were, and will always do as they’re told. Therefore, all third parties or alternative viewpoints must be crushed at whatever cost. The upper-classes can’t have the ordinary people thinking for themselves, can they? 

I posit that Americans have been living in Gilead since 1776. The corrupt economic system established by our “Founding Fathers” will always favor wealthy, white, land-owning (and slave owning) males. Women will always be controlled by the state through their wombs or reproductive capacity. Activists who speak up against injustices and attempt to organize the poor and working classes will always be labelled as agitators, communists, or enemies of the state. 

Los Angeles has criminalized the homeless.

Isn’t this the society Atwood envisioned in The Handmaid’s Tale? There’s no reason for Americans to lie to themselves any longer. The US is a dystopian novel. 

What can we do about it? Audience members asked the panelists if there was a way to overcome the Gilead characteristics baked into the DNA of the USA. I’m optimistic there is something we can do because folks did ask that question and assumed that they are capable of enacting changes for the better.

I think our best shot is to create genuine community and practice systems of mutual aid, such as the ones I described in my novel Where The Bodies Lie. We can grow our own food and share it with neighbors. We can create worker co-ops and organize worker-run unions to take on exploitative employers. We can work around the discriminatory distribution systems for food, health care, and shelter by fulfilling needs directly without including the predatory middle-man that capitalism seems to think is necessary for life (and that we all know isn’t).

There are many positive things we can and already do to dispel the gloom of dystopia, but we must do them together. No more of this “rugged individualism” that keeps us struggling and infighting amongst our fellow workers while the rich receive tax breaks and government subsidies for failing businesses. We need to build compassionate communities capable of feeding and taking care of each other, such as those described in the New Testament in the book of Acts. No more leaving anyone behind!

Until all women are free, all people of color are free, the homeless and the migrant and the hungry are all free, none of us will ever be free. None of us will escape Gilead. It’s an all or nothing proposition. But do we have the will to turn The Handmaid’s Tale dystopia into a Star Trek utopia? If any group can make the world into a better place, I believe it's sci-fi fans.

Let’s boldly go into that future.

Another great quote from Kurt Vonnegut.

Related Links:

Free Stores Offer an Alternative to the Exploitative Capitalist Economy https://truthout.org/articles/free-stores-offer-an-alternative-to-the-exploitative-capitalist-economy/

Catalyzing Worker Co-ops and the Solidarity Economy https://popularresistance.org/catalyzing-worker-co-ops-the-solidarity-economy/

US Quality of Life Now Ranks Down with Bulgaria (video) https://rumble.com/v1lor6v-us-now-ranks-with-bulgaria-as-developing-country.html

90% of the World Doesn't Back the US Now (video)  https://youtu.be/jsrOfEVcbzA

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Human Trafficking Isn't Funny

photo: Dominic Chavez/Getty

Human Trafficking Isn't Funny

 An open letter by Redd Phlagg

 

Dear Governor DeSantis:

You don’t know me, and you probably don’t listen much to anyone who doesn’t live in Florida and wouldn't be willing to vote for you (I wouldn’t), but I thought you should know a few important facts. Your recent stunt flying approximately fifty immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard (from the state of Texas, no less) under false pretenses makes me think you don’t understand some very basic legal concepts, especially in regards to immigrants.

Human trafficking isn’t funny. In fact, it’s against the law. It’s what you did to those poor people. Don’t believe me? The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) defines human trafficking as follows:

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers may lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life.

Noncitizen victims of human trafficking and qualifying criminal activity may not have immigration status in the United States and may therefore be fearful of working with law enforcement. Traffickers and abusers often use a lack of immigration status to exploit and control victims. In addition, language and cultural barriers may make it difficult for victims to reach out for help after experiencing victimization.

These immigrants aren’t “illegals” or undocumented persons as you seem to claim. They aren’t refugees, so they wouldn’t receive the benefits you claimed they would in a misleading brochure you had your flunkies give them. They are asylum seekers. The difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker is a very important legal distinction. According to the USCIS web site:

Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm. For a legal definition of refugee, see section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

You may seek a referral for refugee status only from outside of the United States.

Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:

  • Meet the definition of refugee

  • Are already in the United States

  • Are seeking admission at a port of entry

You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status.

These folks were primarily from Venezuela and all had applied for asylum. They were awaiting their court dates in San Antonio, Texas to present their cases. By luring them away with a fake brochure full of false promises of jobs and a better life in “Massachusetts” (without event attempting to help them understand how the US immigration system operates), you committed human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery.

You've always wanted to be a slave seller, didn’t you, Governor? I can tell.

You exploited and controlled these innocent victims by taking advantage of the fact that they could not speak or read English. You instructed your minions to give them fake brochures detailing “benefits” these newcomers would receive if they got on the plane. You then employed Homeland Security flunkies to fill out USCIS paperwork on their behalf with fake addresses in faraway places such as a homeless shelter in Tacoma, Washington. Not knowing they were being tricked to report to a different court, they wouldn’t be able to make their court dates to present their asylum cases in time, thus forcing the immigration judges’ hands to have them jailed and then removed/deported.

What a funny prank! Putting innocent people in jail—people of color, no lesswho didn't have a clue they were being duped because they didn't speak English. Yeah, you're a real racist, class act, Guv.

Lying to innocent people who journeyed far from their homes because of persecution and poverty doesn’t keep you awake at nights? I know you’re going to throw your helpers under the bus to keep yourself out of jail and then say it was all their idea, but really… Filling out government forms with the intent to deceive both the immigrants and the federal government? You do understand that USCIS has and does reserve the right to prosecute any and all persons who fill out immigration forms with the intent to commit fraud, right? (Here’s one example: https://www.uscis.gov/archive/uscis-plays-critical-role-in-investigation-leading-to-the-arrest-of-new-york-immigration-attorney)

At least one policing agency is taking this fraud and deception seriously.

The sheriff of Texas’s Bexar County, which contains San Antonio, announced a criminal investigation into the matter on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the migrants had been “‘lured’ under false pretenses” from a resource center in Bexar County before being flown to Florida and then Martha’s Vineyard, “where they were ultimately left to fend for themselves.”

--Ken Klippenstein, RonDeSantis Charted Planes from GOP-Allied Donor...

Did you really think everyone would just laugh and say, “What a great political stunt!” and let bygones be bygones? And spending $12 million dollars from Florida’s COVID-19 relief funding to traffic immigrants? Do you think red-hatted MAGA Floridians are going to be happy to see such a huge wad of cash being used to fly immigrants from Texas? Did everyone fly first class or did you just pocket the spare change?

I think it was fortunate that, in the end, the people of Martha’s Vineyard came through and did their best to take care of these lost souls’ needs. Did you get a chuckle out of not even giving the folks up north a warning that they were about to receive guests? I suppose you did laugh. Does the word “sadist” ring a bell with you?

Fortunately, legal aid has come to the assistance of these coerced immigrants.

Three of those migrants are suing DeSantis and other officials, claiming that the stunt caused “economic, emotional, and constitutional harms” to them and their families, including their children.

“These immigrants, who are pursuing the proper channels for lawful immigration status in the United States, experienced cruelty akin to what they fled in their home country,” the lawsuit states.

The actions by the Florida governor and others were a “premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme centered on exploiting” the migrants’ vulnerabilities to advance the “personal, financial and political interests” of DeSantis and his allies, the suit alleges.

DeSantis and the other defendants named in the lawsuit “manipulated [migrants], stripped them of their dignity, deprived them of their liberty, bodily autonomy, due process, and equal protection under law, and impermissibly interfered with the Federal Government’s exclusive control over immigration in furtherance of an unlawful goal and a personal political agenda,” the suit adds.

The lawsuit states that the migrants’ Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and their 14th Amendment due process rights were violated.

–- Chris Walker, Migrants Tricked Onto Martha’s Vineyard Flight Sue DeSantis and Other Officials

Wow. Civil right charges on top of human trafficking and fraud allegations. Y’all have hit the jackpot, Governor!

I’ve said about all I can say to you that’s printable on an open internet forum, so I’ll sign off. It’s arrogant, entitled elitists like you that really make me despise living in this country. It takes so little to be kind to your fellow man—especially those who have suffered greatly in their travels to find a safe place to call home—but scum of the earth like you can’t even see how you’ve gravely wronged these innocents and blackened both your state’s and our nation’s reputations. I sure hope you’re happy.

May you be arrested, tried, and found guilty and imprisoned for your crimes against humanity.

 

Sincerely,

Redd Phlagg

 

P.S. I hope they find you a very large bunk mate in prison who finds your racist, elitist sense of humor just as disgusting as I do.

 

[Editor’s note: Feel free to send this letter or a similar one to Gov. Ron DeSantis, voicing your objections to these immigrants' ill-treatment. He’d probably love his mail box/email box overflowing with letters just about now.  Here's his contact info: https://www.flgov.com/contact-governor/]

More resources to help victims of human trafficking available at:

https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-of-human-trafficking-and-other-crimes/resources-for-victims-of-human-trafficking-and-other-crimes



Related Articles:

Asylum, Migration and US Foreign Policy https://popularresistance.org/asylum-migration-and-us-foreign-policy/

Immigration experts say the stunt more closely resembles a 'different shade of family separation' https://www.businessinsider.com/immigration-experts-desantis-migrant-relocation-similar-to-family-separation-2022-9

Migrants Tricked Into Martha's Vineyard Flight Sue DeSantis and Other Officials  https://truthout.org/articles/migrants-tricked-into-marthas-vineyard-flight-sue-desantis-and-other-officials/

DeSantis Defends Phony Brochure. Sheriff Launches Criminal Investigation https://popularresistance.org/update-desantis-defends-phony-brochure-sheriff-launches-criminal-investigation/

Ron DeSantis Chartered Planes from GOP Allied Donor to Fly Migrants to Martha's Vineyard  https://www.rsn.org/001/ron-desantis-chartered-planes-from-gopallied-donor-to-fly-migrants-to-marthas-vineyard.html

DOJ to Investigate DeSantis for Cruel Migrant Flights https://truthout.org/articles/house-democrats-call-on-doj-to-investigate-desantis-for-cruel-migrant-flights/

Biden's Peace for Afghanistan is a Humanitarian Disaster
https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/23/andres-auraz-bidens-peace-for-afghanistan-is-a-humanitarian-disaster/

Number of Ultra-Rich Hits All Time High as Someone Dies from Hunger Every 4 Seconds https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/21/number-of-ultrarich-hits-all-time-high-as-someone-dies-from-hunger-every-4-seconds/

Censorship from Book Burning to Racist Babies
https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/21/censorship-from-book-burning-to-racist-babies/

Seen on Twitter:

 ***

Families Belong Together (Logo)
A Texas Sheriff has just opened a criminal investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's intentional deception of children, families, and migrants for an entirely self-interested political stunt.

The truth is these families had just reached safety when they were treated as political props and lied to: told they would be taken to Boston where they could get work papers and housing, and instead flown to Martha's Vineyard.

Now, evidence is mounting that DeSantis might have broken multiple laws in his blind pursuit of political power – and we need him to be held accountable by the highest law officers in the land.

Add your name to call on the Department of Justice to investigate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for tricking migrants into flying to Martha's Vineyard.

ADD YOUR NAME

The callousness to think it's acceptable to lie to people who've already endured heartbreaking journeys to flee disaster, and then leave them in an intentionally chaotic and confusing situation is mind-blowing.

But DeSantis is joining Governors Abbott and Ducey in a concerted campaign to create and maintain the idea that immigration is in 'crisis' for their own political benefit. Evidently, DeSantis even got the idea for his Martha's Vineyard airlift from a July 26 Tucker Carlson monologue.

It's a tactic taken straight from the MAGA playbook, and it might have been illegal.

Experts say DeSantis may have engaged in human trafficking – exploiting these families' immigration statuses to lure them onto planes with the promise of jobs – and that he might have abused the Florida law authorizing the funds, because none of the migrants were even in Florida when they got on the plane.

The Department of Justice has the power and authority to hold DeSantis accountable – Add your name to call on them to investigate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for tricking migrants into flying to Martha's Vineyard.

While we press as hard as we can to stop DeSantis's cruelty, it's important to remember that politically these stunts are backfiring.

Instead of dividing us, in every location migrants have been sent to, caring communities are springing up to welcome families with food, shelter, and support.

And while we condemn the cruelty, we're also celebrating the incredible spirit and humanity of these volunteers, who are showing with every action the kind of American we can be.

Thanks for all you do,Erin Mazursky | Interim DirectorFamilies Belong Together

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

God Save The King?

God Save the King? It's More Like God Help the British People!
by Coast Watcher

Tradition is a strong force in Britain. The "British way of doing things"is often at odds with the rest of the world and is probably the major factor in the Brexit vote that saw the UK leave the European Union.

The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II saw a surge in royalist sentiment, and a matching anti-monarchist/republican feeling that has led to protests and demonstrations across the country. King Charles and his wife Camilla were booed on their arrival in Cardiff, Wales. One man in the crowd demanded to know why the taxpayers had to fork out much needed cash to pay for Charles' parade. Protesters have been arrested for holding signs reading "Not MY King" and even for holding up a blank placard as a royal motorcade passed. Given that the Conservative government recently passed a law banning protests "if they cause annoyance" with a penalty of up to eleven years in jail, this is no light matter.

Reaction across the whole country has been mixed. At some soccer matches the crowd lustily sang the national anthem. At other venues the mere mention of royalty drew equally lusty booing. Sentiment abroad has also varied. Last year Barbados got rid of the monarchy as the island’s official head of state. Now fourteen other nations including Jamaica, Barbuda, and Grenada are also talking of following suit. Chief among the reasons given is that the British royal family has not taken the commitment to formally own up to and acknowledge their family’s history of slavery.

Recent inept handling of the economy by the Tory government has even led to renewed calls for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom. The passing of the Queen has only added fuel to this fire.

Prince Andrew, brother of Charles, is now Counsellor of State. He is in effect the monarch’s deputy whenever he/she is out of the country. Everyone knows how Andrew bought off the woman who accused him of raping her as a young teen—a woman he claims he never met
for £12 million. The fact that his mother the queen and his older brother bailed him out to the tune of several million pounds more is also well known. Had Andrew been anyone else, the UK would’ve deported him to the US to stand trial for statutory rape.

As of September 18, a five miles plus long queue has formed to see the queen’s lying in state. People are camping out overnight to retain their places. It's said to be the longest queue in British history, eclipsing even those that formed for Princess Diana, but this claim isn’t true. The longest queue is, in fact, composed of 6.8 million people waiting for NHS treatment following the Tory government’s determined efforts to privatize Britain’s cherished healthcare service.
 

Speaking of the National Health Service, hospitals throughout the UK will suspend cancer treatments for patients on Monday, September 19, the day of the funeral. All burials will also be suspended, which will come as a blow to people of the Jewish and Muslim religions whose faiths decree burials must take place within 24 hours of death.
 

What’s not so well known is that homeless people
who have to spend every night on the streetsare being moved by police so they won’t interfere with the optics of this outpouring of national grief.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan walked in the funeral procession. For some reason, elements of the British media are virulently against Meghan. She and Harry were roundly criticized for holding hands as they walked. Snobbish critics say it "isn’t protocol." Seriously? The man lost his grandmother. Why should he not hold hands with the woman he loves both to give and take comfort? Add to that the establishment at first denied Harry, a man who served two tours in Afghanistan, the right to wear military uniform during the funeral and commemorative events. 

You can see how rotten the protocol system surrounding the British monarchy is. The ban was subsequently lifted following public protest. Yes, protest does work.

British law requires members of the public pay 40% tax on any property inherited over the value of £340,000 under the 1993 memorandum of understanding. However, King Charles III is exempt from inheritance taxes. The British monarchy's total wealth is estimated at around $34 billion in assets, but Charles won't have to pay the UK's 40% inheritance tax-or indeed any tax unless he volunteers to do so. He inherits his mother’s personal £641 million estate without having to pay the government a single penny. Charles was also gifted the Duchy of Lancaster, a royal prerogative worth over £750 million. 

See where this is going?

When Charles became King of England, he no longer needed the staff who served him during his tenure as Prince of Wales. They were all given redundancy notices while a service of commemoration was being held for his mother.
[Editor's note and American translation: Charles' personal staff members, who had been with him for decades, were all fired while he was at a his mother's memorial service. This wasn't just a handful of people losing their jobs through no fault of their own, either. He employed a lot of full-time staff.] 

Those with long enough memories will recall how unpopular Charles became with the public because of his negative treatment of Princess Diana, both during and after their marriage. One Ipsos poll taken in April 2022 showed that nearly half of Britons thought Charles should step aside and cede the throne to his oldest son, Prince William. Among millennial-age Britons, Charles ranks twelfth in popularity.

Couple all of the above with a Conservative government that is deeply unpopular over the Brexit disaster and its gross mishandling of the economy in general, and you have an explosive mix. Add to that a Parliamentary Labour Party that is nothing more than "Tory Lite" in its policies, and there really isn’t any prospect of change any time soon without a radical uprising.

The royal family may be at the center of all the ceremony and tradition, but they’re not the only ones, or even the driving force behind the throne. That honorific goes to the people behind the scenes—the chamberlains, equerries, private secretaries, general hangers-on, and those who aspire to gain from being in the royal presence. I can speak from personal experience as to what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a royal visit.

In 1976, then Prince Charles established a charitable foundation called The Prince’s Trust. Aimed at helping disadvantaged young people aged 11-30 all across Britain, it does a lot of good. The trouble is, it provides a nice venue for all those wannabes who crave the glamor of the royal presence.

In the 1980s, I worked in the tourism/hospitality industry. One of the places where I worked hosted the Prince’s Trust for several years. One year Prince Charles came to visit. The site owners had accommodation set aside for his use, which included a brand new toilet installed expressly for him. (The Royal Wee? Quite.)

We working peons were ordered back and forth between venues on the site until finally we were told by functionaries to wait up on a mezzanine level of the first building we’d come from and to stay out of sight while the High and Mighty formed a reception line about fifty feet away. Charles came in, walked along the line shaking hands then departed without even so much as a nod at us workers who had done the brunt of the work to make the venue shine. We were then told to remain on the site until he left. I and several others voted with our feet and walked out. We gave up an afternoon’s pay, but we had better things to do with our time.

Oh, and the toilet accommodation set aside for Charles’ use? He never used it, and it was ripped out completely the next day!

The overall impression I got was of a crowd of teenagers vying to catch the eye of the cool kid, and they were not afraid to shove and push away anyone who might have stolen a bit of the reflected glory. It was all rather sickening.

Will Britain become a republic? I doubt it. As a Briton who grew up with the whole tradition of monarchy and the "British way of doing things" I know my people. We’ll keep buggering on even as the world burns. An admirable trait in many ways, yes, but I feel we can change and modernize for the better without throwing away everything in our culture that’s of value. 

And the one thing that’s in dire need of an overhaul? The monarchy. We’ll see what happens in the meantime to help relieve the British people of these injustices, shall we?

Learn more at:
https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/

https://time.com/6212008/king-charles-iii-controversy-past/

https://moneywise.com/taxes/king-charles-to-dodge-estate-taxes

https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/20220915151185/prince-andrew-prince-charles-counsellor-of-state-reason/

BIO: Coast Watcher is our resident British commentator and world historian at TRC. As a survivor of a royal visit, he seemed the best to give his opinion of what life is like living in a country where you have a hereditary monarch as your head of state. As you can tell, it's complicated. But does it have to be? The future will tell.

 

Related Articles:

Not Everyone Mourns the Queen. For Many She Can't Be Separated From Colonial Rule https://www.rsn.org/001/not-everyone-mourns-the-queen-for-many-she-cant-be-separated-from-colonial-rule.html

Former British Colonies In Caribbean Consider Cutting Ties to the Monarchy https://truthout.org/video/former-british-colonies-in-caribbean-consider-cutting-ties-to-the-monarchy/

Antigua and Barbuda Announces Referendum to Become a Republic
https://popularresistance.org/antigua-and-barbuda-announces-referendum-to-become-a-republic/

Chris Hedges: Monarchs Belong in the Dustbin of History
https://popularresistance.org/monarchs-belong-in-the-dustbin-of-history/

Lizzy's Face https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/lizzys-face 

It's a Big Club and You Ain't In It https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/its-a-big-club-and-you-aint-in-it/comments

The Queen's Death Brings Growing Hope for Irish Unification https://truthout.org/video/the-queens-death-brings-growing-hope-for-irish-unification/

Steven Donziger: How the Royal Family Helps Normalize Oligarchy
https://stevendonziger.substack.com/p/how-the-royal-family-helps-normalize

How Rich Is King Charles? He Built His Own Property Empire Long Before He Inherited His Mother's https://www.irishtimes.com/life-style/people/2022/09/13/how-rich-is-king-charles-he-built-his-own-property-empire-long-before-he-inherited-his-mothers/

Queen's Death: Colonial Legacy and Media Hysteria
https://youtu.be/mcotClf4omY (video)

Queen's Funeral Shuts Food Banks Amid Cost-of-Living Crisis
https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/16/queens-funeral-shuts-food-banks-amid-cost-of-living-crisis/

Luring Doctors from Poorer Countries Is the UK's Quiet Scandal
https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/17/luring-doctors-from-poorer-countries-is-the-uks-quiet-scandal/ 

Decolonizing the Mind https://popularresistance.org/decolonizing-the-mind/

Seen on Twitter:

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Real Representation, Not Celebrities

 

(We Need) Real Representation, Not Celebrities

by C.A. Matthews 

 

“It’s the real thing!” said a commercial a few decades back. Genuineness was a virtue to rejoice in, not disdain. I wish this sentiment were still true today when it came to our elected officials. 

Nowadays, it seems the more glamorous you appear to the public, the more raved about on Tik-Tok or Twitter you are, the more likely you’ll be seen as “the real thing.” Take for example one very famous Congress member from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a.k.a. AOC. She’s been on magazine covers and seen noshing at the best galas in New York City, but has she even introduced or helped to pass Medicare For All like she promised when she first ran for office?

Uh,no. Not a thing AOC has promised to do, such as the DNC’s scaled-backed Green New Deal, has come to fruition. She’s even voted to send more money and weapons to a proxy war in Ukraine and more military aid for Israel to bomb Palestinians into the dust.

AOC hasn’t done anything to get the immigrant “kids in cages” out of our hellish, racist immigration system except to take advantage of a photo op to cry for them in front of the cameras. AOC is a good little Dem. She does everything House Speaker Nancy “Mama Bear” Pelosi tells her to--and then some.

AOC, in my humble opinion, is a cover model and a spokesperson for a corrupt faction that dares to call themselves the “democratic party.” Celebrities simply don’t fit the definition of “representatives of the people.” Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says, “Celebrity--a famous or celebrated person.”

There’s no mention of a celebrity being an advocate for the people in that definition, is there?

Look at where other political celebrities have gotten us in the last forty years: B-movie star Ronald Reagan destroyed unions and preached “trickle down economics” that only concentrated more wealth in the hands of the super rich. Reality TV star Donald Trump set the clock back several hundred years by promoting conservative federal judges. If you’re reading this blog, probably neither one of these presidents are your favorite—and for good reason.


So sorry, AOC is a just another useless celebrity who doesn’t put the general wealthfare of the American people before her own fame or celebritiness. She forgets her “lines” that she promised to do for her voters when she campaigned. She has zero backbone and can’t or won’t act on the courage of her own convictions. 

But there is hope. There are “real things” running for office. One of these genuine candidates is Matthew Hoh of North Carolina.  

Matt is running for the US Senate as a Green. He isn’t taking corporate cash (like AOC does as a Dem) because he isn’t stuck in an establishment party that supports the military industrial complex. In fact, the Green Party US wants to overturn the Citizens United ruling and get rid of all corporate and dirty money in politics. Since Matt isn’t beholden to corporate paymasters, he is free to represent everyday people, not billionaires.

How refreshing!

And talk about having backbone: Matt went to war three times as a US Marine and a diplomat before realizing the courage to pronounce the wars as unjust and immoral. In 2009 he resigned from the State Department over the surge of troops to the war in Afghanistan and started speaking out against the endless war machine and the corruption in our political system.

Matt isn’t one to take the cancellation of Roe v. Wade and the disregard for human rights lying down either: “This destruction by the Republicans and betrayal by the Democrats of a woman’s right to an abortion and all forms of healthcare is symptomatic of the larger degradation and disregard for human rights--civil, economic and political--by the two-party system in favor of money and special interests. This is why we must disrupt and remake our political system. Too many people have died and suffered due to the corrupt and money-beholden status quo.

Wow. That’s straight talk coming from a very brave man who isn’t afraid to take on the billionaires who run our government. Isn’t it nice to hear a candidate standing up for the people for a change? 

The time is now to elect a strong third party candidate like Matthew Hoh to the Senate, a candidate who isn’t pressured by a party that wants its members to do exactly as they’re told by their corporate donors. America can’t afford endless wars. We can’t afford more of our human rights taken away from us. We can’t afford to keep electing corporate-owned-and-operated celebrities to public office no matter how pretty they look in an expensive designer evening gown. 


Related Articles:

Matthew Hoh for Senate: https://www.matt4senate.org/

Follow Matthew Hoh on Twitter:  @MatthewPHoh

AOC is a Tool of the Democratic Party Establishment (video) https://youtu.be/XLHxm0Rt0QY

Spending Unlimited https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/12/spending-unlimited/

The Maskless Rich (Are Laughing At You) https://bernie2016.blogspot.com/2021/09/the-maskless-rich-are-laughing-at-you.html 

What You Aren't Hearing About AOC's Dress Scandal (video) https://youtu.be/SryNJSASHdg 

Seen on Twitter: