Scream: A Possibile Future Reality

So far this year, I have remained sort of apolitical, but my whole life I have been political. Since we have the slight possibility of having a former Reality Star as our President, I can NO LONGER be silent. I need to paint a picture of what the USA might look like should that slight possibility of Mr. Trump becoming our President come to pass. We don’t need to envision this, it is already a way of life in a particular state I know of. This state is being sued by the US Federal Government to protect the civil rights of the people in that state.

In the state of North Carolina, the following laws have been passed. The following services have been cut. Once laws such as these have been passed, we as a nation of governed by laws, are not quickly or easily able to turn those laws around and nullify them.

1. Gun laws: HB 937 dramatically expanded protections for gun rights. The new law allows North Carolinians with valid concealed-carry permits to protect themselves in several areas that were previously gun-free zones, including restaurants that sell ALCOHOL, greenways (parks), and establishments that charge admission. The law also allows permit holders to keep guns in locked compartments inside vehicles while on the property of a public university, community college, SCHOOL, or state government parking lot.

2. Lawmakers passed a bill that prohibited the state from accepting
Federal Medicaid funding that would have made health care benefits available to more citizens. They also chose not to set up a state health exchange program to implement the Affordable Care Act.

3. In public schools, the lawmakers cut funding to almost all districts in 2013, 2014, and 2015 including cutting assistants and many other positions around the state. Here is an article about education in North Carolina from the Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/08/07/north-carolinas-step-by-step-war-on-public-education/

4. It establishes a NEW VOTER identification system that requires voters to present certain acceptable forms of ID: driver’s license, non-operator ID card, tribal ID card, military ID card, or passport. Any North Carolina citizen who does not have a valid government-issued ID will be able to obtain one at no cost through the Division of Motor Vehicles. The law does not take full effect until 2016, with gradual implementation beginning in 2014. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUED THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA FOR THIS NEW LAW, AND SAID IT IS AGAINST THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF NORTH CAROLINIANS, recently.

5. Since Roe V Wade is still the law of the land this is this state’s solution:
a. Prohibits individuals and families from obtaining abortion coverage through the health-exchange, even if they buy their insurance plan entirely with their own money.
b. Strips comprehensive reproductive healthcare coverage from thousands of city and county employees, coverage that the majority of private insurance plans offer.

6. This is the state where the “bathroom law”, HB2, against transgender people became a furor. What was is more, this law from 2015 bars anyone from suing the state of North Carolina for any CIVIL RIGHTS’ VIOLATIONS. Examples: age, racial, gender discrimination. Here is a further explanation:
http://www.xojane.com/issues/hb2-north-carolina-nondiscrimination

7. This state has an anti immigrant stance. Law H.B. 318 The bill invalidates consular documents as acceptable forms of identification. This was not the case before it was passed. This law would prohibit North Carolina cities from passing community trust policies, known as sanctuary city ordinances, that seek to build trust by limiting local law enforcement’s cooperation with the federal government over civil immigration matters.

8. Governor McCrory of this state signed a bill into law in mid July 2016 that:
makes that footage from police dashboard cameras inaccessible to the general public, including everyday citizens who were recorded in the footage and might need it to prove police misbehavior. Loud out cry did NOT matter.

I could go on. This is not a USA I want to live in. There will be NO Federal Government to protect our Civil liberties and rights, if this kind of thinking is our US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. It could be more like a country with which Mr. Trump is very chummy, Russia, and its leader.

President Putin, whose former job during the Soviet Union’s communism was running the KGB (secret police), is one scary leader. Russia is not a reality show. Russia today is probably more free than when I visited it in 1965. I am generally a pretty cheerful person. I was depressed everyday I was in Russia (for about a week as a tourist). “Everyone” had a job and apartment (although you might be sharing one with another family) and was equally poor; I never saw a child with his/her parents. While there, I was watched, as were all of us who traveled with me. I grew up in a household where I had NO say. How about a whole country where you felt like you were in a prison? Mr. Trump is NO laughing matter. That is why I have to SCREAM THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS.
This is a newer report by an American organization that has been around since 1941, Freedom House. This is their report on the level of freedom in Russia today:
https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2015/russia

The fact that Mr. Trump is so openly friendly with Russia and is dismissing NATO and the countries in it: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Greece and Turkey (joined in 1952), West Germany, (joined in 1955) and Spain (joined in 1982), which have been our allies, is frightening to me.

Let what has happened in the state of North Carolina be a warning.

This blog is not being written against the people of North Carolina. I still know wonderful people and have friends there. What has happened in this state since it became a red state in the legislature and with the governor in 2012 is one of the saddest, most shocking set of changes that I have ever seen in my life, and I have lived in California, Arizona, Texas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Oregon.

WE all have a choice this election.

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And the Rains Came, Thank God!

rain August 2015

Rain came to Northwest USA

Yes, we are so happy here in the Northwest. This is a place that used to get rain during the summer. Now we celebrate every rain drop that falls in summer. Last weekend I didn’t go outside because the smoke gave me a headache, and I wasn’t even in the worst area! I live far from the fires, and the winds brought the smoke to where I live. This weekend the rain brought us more water than the cloud burst that I got caught in in mid August.

cloudburst 8/14/15

rain from cloud burst mid August

I even washed my car with suds this morning, and it rained hard and long enough to wash it clean. Now that’s a rain! I’ve been washing my car in the rain since about 1976. I only look a little crazy! It merely requires a good raincoat with hood and washing bucket, etc.  (P.S. I only use biodegradable soap).

wet streets

completely wet streets from “real rain”

I checked  historical records for where I live for May, June, and July on the website: usclimatedata.com/climate and found out that for those months,  rain totals used to be about 4.5 inches. This year it was .5 inches for those same months. The lack of rain is not the only problem. The aquifers of water on the earth are becoming depleted. This is what the Washington Post wrote in July this year:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/16/new-nasa-studies-show-how-the-world-is-running-out-of-water/

We  humans CANNOT take rain or water for granted any more.

“If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the RAIN, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that’s meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”  -Thich Nhat Hahn

I have great respect for many native people; many tribes have had more fluid relationships with nature than we humans without native descendants today.  This a saying from one of the tribes that all of us can and need to heed today:

“When a man (woman) moves away from nature his (her) heart becomes hard.” – Lakota Nation

We cannot afford to have hard hearts about nature today. We need to listen to the changes happening on our planet and take action making different choices collectively than we have done in the past. The consequences of what is happening on our Mother Earth are becoming as plain as the noses on our own faces.

 

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