Politics

Whose World Do You Want To Live In?

I want to tell you a story. You’ve been hearing it for the past two years.  It’s about darkness, fear, and despair.   The world is collapsing.  Our borders let in murderers and rapists.  Muslims are killing the Americans left alive.  Women, minorities, and non-Christians get preferred treatment over white men.  Billionaires and corporations should be treated as gods.  Science is for sissies.  Our national intelligence and military are not respected.  Freedom is for the chosen few.

It’s the 1950s Happy Days … or the 1930s Weimar … or 1900 BC.

That’s Trump’s story.  That’s what he wants to make great again.

I want to tell you another story, an alternate set of facts, if you please.

Once upon a time America was respected across the world. People everywhere admired the country for its rule of law, focus on the future, dynamism, individual rights, vigorous media, practicality, and openness to difference.

Government wasn’t perfect.  It allowed billionaires and corporations to corrupt institutions, cheat on their taxes,  pollute our air, water, and food, and keep most of the money at expense of everyone else.

But on the whole government was good when it could stand up for the people.  It protected the weak, provided basic health care for all, and supported the young, disabled, and elderly.  It forced everyone to respect other people’s rights and let them be who they want to be in peace. It strove to have FEWER Flint Michigan disasters, not more.

It was a time when conservative stewardship meant protecting this land not just for us, but for our children, and our children’s children … not for ever more corporate exploitation and profits.

It was a time when science,  logic, and open and transparent inquiry were respected and treasured, for they formed the basis of a good share of everyday life, from America’s military might to popular media to amazing advances in health and agriculture to the latest electronics, phones, Internet, and technology.

Despite occasional myopic, meddlesome, and, er, Trumped up wars, the U.S. exuded optimism and kept moving forward and upward.  The nation was a shining beacon across the planet for freedom and progress.

Life was good.  Many were happy.  All the women were strong, the men good looking, and the children above average.  And not just the white folks.  Too bad the kids weren’t as excellent at school as other first world countries and were taught the world revolved around them.  But they typically grew up to be fine citizens and weren’t sheep.  And we still managed to out-innovate everyone else.

This time was 2016.

So, forget the rhetoric and politics.  Ask yourself one question.  OK, just a few actually.

What time do you want to live in?

What world do you want to live in?

What will you do to make your world a reality?

Be FREED. Not Trumped.

Posted by Marc Freedman in About, Articles, Commentary, Inspiration, Marc Freedman, Philosophy, Politics, Resistance, Society, 0 comments

Make America Great Again … Again

The past 50 years have seen more innovation than the rest of the entire 200,000 million year history of modern man.  The tidal wave of change has finally caught up to society.

The world is in flux. Media has exploded. The election of a TV celebrity to President shows the power today of mass media and the Internet to catapult neophytes to stardom and insulate people in their own tribes.

Capitalism has run amok. The rich have continued a multi-decade march to reshape society in their image and own the government. They’ve destroyed liberalism and unions, which have given a voice to the common man.   They’ve destroyed the checks and balances of American civilization that enabled a thriving middle class.  As a result income inequality has robbed an entire generation of the promise of a better future.  The ultimate expression has arrived today with a billionaire in the White House who lives in a different reality of alternative facts and has brought his fellow billionaires to play and dismantle the government.

Many despair. Some withdraw. Others fight. A few cling to the old activism.

There is another choice. A new model for a new time.

We can make American great again … again.   Here is how.

  • Use the power of the Internet to connect and grow.
  • Conquer a weak brand with a stronger brand.
  • Embrace the madness with absurdity and humor.
  • Turn to the light and the love.
  • Revel in facts and logic.
  • Think for yourself.
  • Join a growing resistance of millions.
  • Take back power for yourself, your community, and your country!

Get FREED.  Not Trumped.

Posted by Marc Freedman in About, Articles, Commentary, FREED Brand, Inspiration, Marc Freedman, Philosophy, Politics, Resistance

Never Again

By Marc Freedman

The Jews know a few things about being FREED.

I’m Jewish. We have a special sensitivity to oppression that’s virtually imprinted on us at a genetic level. We are all immigrants. Trump said ‘Never again‘ at the Holocaust Remembrance Day.  But in his Orwellian doublethink pay attention to his actual actions.

He has already started to come for the Muslims.  The Mexicans are queued up next.  And then who?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Pastor Martin Niemöller

A culture of fear, hate, and incompetence is institutionalized in Trump’s presidency. If you waited, what more do you need see?  He’s created and staffed  a Ministry of Truth that refuses science and creates its own alternative facts.  He isn’t satisfied with taking the US back to the fantasy of white Christian 1950s.  He is retreating further to the dark 1930s where the response to economic inequality was the charisma of a strongman who rode fear and mob rule to racial annihilation.

This is not politics as usual.  These are not regular Republicans.  It’s evil, whether it’s a cult of narcissism, the tyranny of the Christian majority, the nihilsm of libertarians, or the next step toward totalitarianism.  It must be stopped.  In all ways.  Now.  It is time.

I care because as a rational human being (and an engineer) I believe and live in the world of logic.  That’s my reality.  That’s what allows me to type on a computer, use email, and send this over the Internet.  A lie, broadcast and repeated hundred fold, is still a lie. It cannot be allowed to flourish, cower listeners through repetition, build power, acquire legitimacy, and flood our coastlines through neglect.  Yet that’s exactly how dictators work.  How he works.  And it’s succeeded.

I care because the suppression of facts, the cult of personality, and the demonization of dissent is plainly wrong.  I care because a narcissist who acts like a spoiled brat and pouts and attacks when he can’t be number one – when he should be running the country – should not hold any public office, must less the nuclear launch codes.  I care because a racist misogynist xenophobe does not deserve respect and is not a role model for our children.  I care because all the above cannot be the legacy we pass on to our children’s children.  I care because this cannot be the new normal or we have truly started down that dangerous slippery slope.

I care because I’m Jewish and we have seen this before. They have come for us.  We know how this can end if we wait too long and don’t stand up to authoritarians.

I care because we have vowed Never again.  In the real world.  Not Trump fantasy land.

 

https://frd1.us/FAnever

Posted by Marc Freedman in About, Articles, Commentary, Donald Trump, History, Inspiration, Marc Freedman, Republicans, Resistance, Society, 0 comments

Grande Old Party, I Hardly Knew Ye

I’m not a history buff.  But I do love a good story that’s rooted in fact and not the typical hero worship, half-truths, and fiction written by the winners or current incumbents.

One mystery is what happened to the Republican party.   I remember them positively as a teen (yes, in an ancient era) as the party of economic opportunity.  That was long before its hijacking by first religious fundamentalists and then the super-rich.  Going back much further, the party roles were reversed.  How can you not root for Abe Lincoln and the GOP, fighting for justice to end slavery against the wealthy landowners?

According to Bring Back the Party of Lincoln,  the recent change in the GOP isn’t new.  Republicans are historical flip-floppers.  Author Heather Cox Richardson concludes,

Twice in its history, the Republican Party regained its direction and popularity after similar disasters by returning to its original defense of widespread individual economic success. The same rebranding is possible today, if Republicans demote Reagan from hero to history and rally to a leader like Lincoln, Roosevelt or Eisenhower — someone who believes that the government should promote economic opportunity rather than protect the rich.

Change is inevitable, especially amid a changing electorate that reduces the Republican power base every year.  The only question is when.

While anything is possible, it’s unlikely to happen soon.  The Super Recession was nearly as bad as the Depression.  It had no effect on the party.  There have been various Republican branding initiatives.  They’ve gone nowhere.  The party has virtually shut down Congress.  Not a budge.  And there is no savior in sight.

Instead the party has used its power to enfranchise its legitimacy by redrawing voting maps and giving the rich even more influence.  It’s drawn the Democrats far right of where they were 30 years ago, thus providing far less GOP maneuvering room.

I suggest nothing is going to happen until the party runs out of all its tricks and loses both houses of Congress and the Presidency at the same time and that’s probably 20 years away at best.

Posted by Marc Freedman in Articles, Commentary, History, Politics, Republicans, 0 comments

Balance, not Bluster: Free market ideology is anti-science

Research from the University of Western Australia sheds light on the irrationality of extremism, typified by the far right of the Republican party in the U.S.

The data is from a survey called  NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science. While the study finds support for crank magnetism (if you believe in one anti-science theory, you believe in others), it found an even greater correlation with free market ideology where believers rejected science from humans causing climate change to smoking causing lung cancer and HIV causing AIDS.

Science Blogs has excellent commentary at More data on why people reject science.

The survey unfortunately doesn’t break down free market ideology.  The free market is a proven part of modern economics.  But it’s just one cog in a strong and healthy civilization. A strict belief that elevates the free market at the expense of the other pillars of society is a fundamental part of what caused the global recession and the breakdown of the middle class in the U.S.

Of course if you are one such believer you’ll reject this piece of science as well.  Please continue on to the next blog on fairies, unicorns, little green men, the drug war, universal forces that take an interest in your personal affairs, and the salvation (i.e. continuing destruction) of America through greed and anarchy.

Posted by Marc Freedman in Articles, Commentary, Democrats, Science, 0 comments