Tag Archives: Trump

Father Knows Best

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October 3, 2018 – by Gregory Franklyn

It’s clear, to just about anyone who is paying attention, that we are living through abnormal times in the US. The very concept of truth is being challenged and things we thought we could rely upon for our national discourse, like language and propriety, are being undermined by a political party’s desire to take a more complete control over the affairs of State.

I’m talking about what currently passes for the Republican Party, of course, and it has become clear to me, over the last few years, that something is terribly wrong here. And, it isn’t subtle either. I believe that Conservatives in general and the Republican Party in particular, do not like the concept of a Representative Democratic Republic. (That’s what the US is, in case anyone is unclear on what that means). It is too messy and out of control for the Republican Party. There’s disagreement among the citizens, on a fundamental level, about how our collective business should be conducted.

Democrats, for example, favor a more open and fluid management style that includes everyone, while Republicans favor a more rigid and disciplined approach orchestrated by fewer people who, supposedly, know what’s best for the whole. The combination of the two is what was intended by the folks who set this whole thing up, so that neither would dominate the other and a common response to arising issues would become how the whole conducts its affairs. Republicans don’t like that idea very much. The Government is supposed to derive its power from the consent of the governed. However, Republicans don’t appear to trust “The Governed” to make prudent decisions in their favor.

I say that because of the Republican Party’s relatively new concepts of a “Unitary Executive” and a “Permanent Republican Majority”. They’ve been working towards those goals since about the Nixon Administration, but they injected it with steroids around the Raegan/Senior Bush administrations. This view favors a “Top Down” model, against the Democratic view of a “Bottom Up” or “Grass Roots” model. “Consent of the Governed” if you will. They’ve been remarkably successful on a State Level, but haven’t been able to make it stick on a national level.

In the places where the Republican Party has been able to take over an insurmountable control of a State, Michigan for example, they have actually suspended democratic rule altogether if, in their view, the democratic rule wasn’t working to their satisfaction. I point to Benton Harbor Michigan, where a City Manager was appointed by the Republican Governor who was given the authority to ignore the City Council and just act on his own to run the city. Flint Michigan is another example, which lead to the poisoning of an entire city’s water source when the Manager decided to change the source of where their potable water comes from because it was cheaper. Didn’t even consult the city council, he just changed it. The problem, several years later, remains unsolved.

Right now in Georgia, The Republican Secretary of State, who is also a candidate for Governor, is purging the voter rolls, eliminating roughly 50,000 registered voters in the state, 70% of whom are minorities. Of course, it’s cheating, but is it illegal? Well, the Radical Activist Conservative Republican Supreme Court of the United States has already over overturned key parts of the Voting Rights Act, allowing States to do, pretty much, whatever they feel like doing regarding elections.

Florida, as I write, are purging similar registered voters to the tune of approximately 10% of the registered voters in the State. Effectively, carefully selecting the voters who will be allowed to vote. All of it, under the banner of protecting elections from VOTER fraud, which according to statistics ,affects roughly 0.00003% of all votes cast, but eliminates voters who are likely to vote for someone else, by the hundreds of thousands. When was the last time you heard about Republicans working to get more people registered to vote. You hear about such large scale efforts on the left in EVERY election, I’ve never heard of a concomitant effort on the right. The right doesn’t want more voters, because…

Less Voters = More Republican elected officials. The game is rigged. Republicans control all three branches of the Federal Government and more than half of the States legislative branches and Governors Mansions. They are using that power to dismantle our form of government. A friend of mine asked me a question when I was in my early 20s, that I have failed to adequately answer ever since, despite my best efforts. He asked, “Gregory, who protects the people when the Police break the law?” The people sworn to Protect and defend our form of government are the very people working so diligently to dismantle it!

Never was that so clear than in the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. To get the whole picture, you have to take a step back and remember that the Republican Party simply refused to even consider Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court that had been vacated by the death of Antonin Scallia, Proably the most conservative of the 5 conservatives on the court at the time. Merick Garland has a judicial posture that could have achieved a balance among the split court of 4 liberals and 4 Concervatives. Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell simply REFUSED to consider it. Republicans expected to do well in the election that was to come and selfishly circumvented procedure so they could confirm someone of their own choosing. They quite literally stole the seat and put Neil Gorsuch in his place.

Brett Kavanaugh is a very suspect choice for the SCOTUS, evidenced by the Republican withholding of documents relating to his legal work on behalf of two Republican White Houses in previous administrations. They didn’t want people, particularly Democrats, to know about his legal background. That would have been disastrous for his chances of being seated. He was chosen for his willingness to overturn Roe V Wade and his positions favoring big business. I won’t burden you with what happened next. You already know that. But Brett Kavanaugh is now an Associate Justice of The Supreme Court anyway because Conservative Republicans wanted him there despite the consent of the people. Conservatives now have a 6-3 majority, and thereby control of the judiciary.

It’s clear to me, at this point, that the Republican Party is so aggressively at a fever pitch during this election because they realize just HOW CLOSE they are to a complete take-over of the United States that they can taste it. It’s right there! This election COULD do it! Please Vote!

Much Love,

Gregory

A Bridge Too Far

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A Bridge Too Far

July 16, 2018 – Gregory Franklyn

I encourage people to vote! I care WHO they vote for, of course, but I don’t push people around about that because I also believe in people having the free will to tell their own story whether I find the plot to be distasteful or not. But today I want to talk about voting and why I do it, despite losing faith in its meaning.

I continue to vote and encourage voting just in case I’m wrong about this, but I don’t really believe it matters much anymore. Donald Trump being legitimized as President of the United States is my case in point today. I do not accept this “Whatever He Is” as having been legitimately elected to the office. Try as I might, I simply cannot force myself into a place where I can accept that the majority of the people of the US think he’s a good choice, knowing who he is and what he stands for. It’s not like before this election he was hiding who he is. He’s been telling us for 50 years that I know of, and counting.

I didn’t like Hillary in 2016, but I didn’t dislike her enough to vote for DJT, and that brings me to my first point. 2 Choices for the United States, and the world for that matter, is simply insufficient and causes people, more often than not, to have to select between the lesser of two evils. Today, people do not tend to vote FOR a candidate as much as they tend to vote AGAINST another. At least among liberals.

But right now, we have a perfect storm of wrenches jammed into the works of electoral politics that are unprecedented in our history. Electronic voting is an example. Most States use Electronic Voting Machines, particularly red states. Computers that tally votes give me the willies. I can’t bring myself to believe in such an ethereal method to tally votes. You enter your vote and hope it gets recorded, but you have no verification of that. No way to check that it was recorded at all, let alone recorded in the category I selected.

I have a wristwatch that can tell me how many steps I’ve taken today while monitoring my pulse rate and blood pressure and can report that back to me. I can tap on my cell phone’s screen and print a document to just about ANY nearby printer, but an electronic voting machine can’t print a receipt of the information I just gave it, so it can be verified? That’s a bridge too far for me.

Next, you have to ask yourself who has access to these closed voting systems that have no way to check the results if there’s a discrepancy? Who are the owners/manufacturers of these computers and what might their political leanings be? Who are the elected officials that oversee the implementation of these electronic elections? Are they partial to one party or another? How susceptible are these computers to being hacked? Well, I guess we know the answer to that one, don’t we! I live in Oregon. We vote by mail, which is the least hackable form of voting I know of. Every ballot can be verified and re-verified, if needed. There won’t be any “Hanging Chads” here. There’s a crystal clear, finite paper trail that can be followed. Duplicate ballots can be easily identified and discarded by comparing them to the list of registered voters.

Next we have the lists of registered voters themselves. States, particularly red States, are now purging voters from those lists who are not eligible to vote for any number of reasons. Those lists are notoriously suspect, as they purge, for example, convicted felons by name, AND derivatives of that name. For example, in 2016 a felon named Michael Jackson would be purged from the list, along with Mike Jackson, Michael D Jackson, M Jackson and any other derivative of that name without comparing birthdates, or any other information, to see if they are purging the right Michael Jackson. They are ALL purged. For more on how that happened in 2016 I recommend a movie titled, “The Best Election Money Can Buy”. The purges done in the past 4 or 5 past elections heavily purged Non-White voters.

Next, we have ID requirements for voting. Many States, particularly red States, require forms of Identification that young voters and non-white voters would not likely have. They do that intentionally. For example for college students, their student ID is not sufficient. A State Issued ID in the State in which they reside at the time of the election is required instead. A college student would probably have a driver license or ID from the State where they live, but attend school in a different state. With these new regulations, they would be ineligible to vote unless they went home to do so. Where are they gonna get the money to do that, while they are buried in debt. These are all demographics that would have a tendency to vote Democrat, more than Republican. By the way, A gun license in Texas, which does not have a picture on it, is acceptable ID for voting. How many non-white people do you know who have a gun license?

Next we have voting district gerrymandering. There’s an interesting story about how the practice became known by that name and I encourage you to Google It. It’s actually pretty good story. Gerrymandering is drawing voting districts to favor one party over another. The drawing of those lines are done by the party in power in that State at the time the census is taken, which is in years ending in “0”.

The Repugnican Party has made no secret of its drive to achieve a “Permanent Repugnican Majority” in the US and have been able to draw those lines in the last several decades because of conservative majorities in more than half of the states because they were in power when the census was taken. It is working splendidly too! That is why more people voted Democrat in all elections, local and national, in 2016 yet Repugnicans occupy more of the offices in question anyway, all the way from local school board to President of the United States.

Hillary won the election in 2016. She won by a margin of voters equal to the population of Chigago, Illinois, the 3rd largest city in the US. But, regardless, we are falling all over ourselves to try, against everything we hold dear, to legitimize DJT as the winner. The Electoral College was SUPPOSED to be a check & balance against such trickery, but failed miserably to fulfill their charge to correct the political landscape to ensure the will of the people is heard. That’s probably why there is such a rustling in the bushes to eliminate the Electoral College altogether. Our Constitutional ideal is “1 Person 1 Vote” The Electoral College simply doesn’t do what it was designed to do.

But, Gregory, the gap in your argument’s armor is Barack Obama! If elections are rigged in favor of Repugnicans, how do you explain Barack Obama. I’m glad you asked, because I get to explain why I still have at least SOME hope for the veracity of voting and why I’m not absolutely convinced that I’m right about how badly the playing field is slanted in favor of Repugnicans.

Barack Obama won 2 Presidential Elections by such an overwhelming landslide that even with the field being heavily slanted against him, he won ANYWAY! The margin was so wide that even the tricks in place at the time of both elections weren’t enough to prevent the will of the people from breaking through. Now, I hear you, the official result was razor thin in both elections, by the numbers. But when you take into consideration the odds stacked against him by all of this, he actually won by an overwhelming landslide. A landslide so wide that it couldn’t be faked.

Anyway, I still vote and I encourage voting because there is still hope that it matters, and Barack Obama is the reason I feel that way. What might save us from certain demise is a blue wave in November in the States AND in Washington DC. Every time we are faced with a national election I tell you that this election is probably the most important election you will vote in, in your lifetime. It’s true this time too.

One of the Memes I’m seeing popping up on the internet these days is the #walkaway movement. I get it and I can’t say I disagree, but there’s something you should remember as you’re doing that. Lower voter turnout favors Repugnicans. Repugnicans vote religiously and because they CAN. The Democrats who CAN vote tend to #walkaway out of frustration about the ugliness of it all. Repugnicans know that if they can make the entire political arena SO distasteful that good people who would otherwise vote, #walkaway instead, they will win elections. And, they’re right.

So, I beg of you dear reader, don’t fall for it. Please Vote. The control of the Congress in both the States AND in Washington DC will determine who draws the lines in voting districts across the United States for the next 10 years. The Very Idea that that could keep DJT in an illegitimate position of power is a bridge too far, for me. DJT is not now, nor has he ever been, legitimately The President of the United States!

Much Love,

Gregory

 

 

 

How Can That Be?

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June 19, 2018 – Gregory Franklyn

I was born in Detroit Michigan in the spring of 1952. I was separated from everyone I knew as family no less than 4 times by the time I was 13, never to be reunited with any of the previous families I had known. While I have “Recovered” from the trauma to the degree that I have been able to function with enough normalcy to care for myself and have a pretty cool life most of the time, there is no question that I have been damaged by it. I’m better off than some and not as well as others.

As a result of my formative years being disrupted so dramatically, my view of what “Family” means, is different than most folks who have not suffered similar disruptions. Family is temporary and tenuous at its peak in my world, and love is conditional based on behavior. In my case it was being Gay and being a ward of the state of Michigan. Back then you were looked down upon generally because there was a prevalent view that orphans were lacking in some way that was deserving of pity. In the 50s and 60s being gay was considered a mental illness and was treated as such. As a result of the conventional wisdom of the time, I was put in psychological therapy a few times, until the State’s money ran out. There was no “Cure” for my condition. So, basically, at 66 years old, I still have it. (this is going to be important when I finally arrive at my point about all this)

Back when I was a ward of the court the Foster Care system in Michigan was generally a work program. Farm Families would get about $80 dollars a month for my care and would get free farm labor to boot. I resided for a few years in 3 such families; all three included various degrees abuse and exploitation. It was in these families that I suffered most of the physical, sexual and emotional abuse that formed my childhood. And I was powerless to stop it because I was a minor. My life was controlled by someone else. When not in Foster Care, I was housed in children’s homes and military academies in and around Detroit. There was abuse there too, but mostly from peers rather than adults.

I have often been accused of seeing the world through “Rose Colored Glasses” and being somewhat naive because I have a pretty deeply rooted positive outlook on life and even I don’t fully understand where it comes from. But I am grateful that it’s there because I got to be 66 because of it. I personally know a LOT of folks who didn’t make it this far. I’m lucky that way. But seeing the world through my Rose Colored Glasses doesn’t mean I don’t SEE the evil in the world, it’s rather because I have chosen not to spend much time there.

But, once I got control of my own life, things changed. I promised myself that I would not go back to incarceration situations like the children’s homes, Foster Homes and Military Academies of my youth. I made a promise to myself, that I have kept ever since, that I would not live with violence or abuse, period, full stop! I’ve had to make some accommodations and compromises along the way to keep that promise, for which I have no regrets. That, of course, isn’t much to set your life’s goal to. What could I have become had I not been separated from my families so early and so often. Had I not spent my formative years crying and trying to understand why I wasn’t “Enough”. It’s a pretty low bar to spend a lifetime struggling to achieve, which, finally, brings me to my point today.

What’s happening at the southern border of the US as I write today, is affecting me more deeply than any national issue this side of war and genocide. These children are ME, and all of this is causing me some PTSD that I’m having trouble cycling through. I am PHYSICALLY hurting along with the psychological disturbance we all must be feeling. I know exactly what these children are going through.

What is affecting me so much right now, is that I can’t seem to “Walk This Off” like I have been able to do with nearly every other tribulation I’ve ever faced. Over my lifetime I’ve developed a solid handful of coping and self care techniques, but they don’t seem to be doing much good at the moment. This is a BIG one, because it hits me right where I LIVE; This is ME! The tragic story you just read, MY story, is about to befall 2,000 innocent children. I feel powerless again, just like these kids do and just like I felt back when it was happening to me. These kids will never fully recover from this damage. I KNOW this personally. I’ve been through it 4 times. The laws of NATURE do not even seem to apply here! And, I cannot believe that the people who are in a position to make it stop, simply WON’T! My mind and my heart are simply NOT able to reconcile what is happening right now. It, quite Simply, does not compute!

Much Love,

Gregory