It'll Change Back Again

climate change

IT’LL CHANGE BACK AGAIN

A new UN report warns that we have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe. It’s imperative that global warming is kept to a maximum of 1.5C; anything beyond even a half degree will significantly worsen the risks of floods, drought, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.  A report like this should have the whole world talking; but no, we’re caught up, as we have been for the last two years with the Trump reality-TV side show. 

“The world our parents and grandparents grew up in – is gone forever. There is no going back.” Jeff Goodell ROLLING STONE

Goodell goes on to say, “A thousand years from now, when some vaguely human-like machine digs through the ashes of the Twenty-First century and tries to figure out what happened to those once-thriving animals called Homo sapiens, it may be confused about why an intelligent species that could build rockets and write songs like “Imagine” couldn’t heed warnings of its own destruction. A key question for future historians of the universe: How stupid were those humans anyway?”

The problem isn’t that Homo sapiens are stupid. It’s that the leader of the free world is.  Perhaps stupidity isn’t it exactly. It’s more like abject ignorance, overwhelming greed and a complete lack of caring about anything other than his own self-aggrandizement.  

When pushed by the ever-persistent Leslie Stahl arguing scientific fact and the recent uptake in severe weather events, Trump finally said, “Something’s changing and it’ll change back again.” Like the seasons? Or perhaps the stock market or whether or not we wear skinny jeans. The man doesn’t have a clue about cause/effect, nor does he care. He’ll be dead before things get really bad so WTF? He’s going to get his while the getting’s good. It’s worth sacrificing the future of humanity, even if it’s just to get a two-minute applause jolt from his base. Yes, he really is that petty…staggeringly so.

I’m not going to lay out all the science here. I’d recommend the excellent article in ‘THE GUARDIAN’ that does. But what it comes down to is we’ve gotten ourselves in a pretty desperate situation that we can’t reverse entirely. But we CAN slow things down and take steps to give future generations a fighting chance. That’s why it’s vital we go BLUE next month and in 2020. This next vote might be the most important one of your life. It surely will be for your descendants. @blueravenartist

GRAY SKIES OVER DC

gray skies over DC

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision today to retire next month is terrifying.  It will transform the Constitution and this country for decades to come in ways that could drastically change the way we live and the freedoms we have.  We have taken things for granted and not been vigilant enough to protect our Democracy. That needs to change today.

Today the Supreme Court joined forces for real with the corporate attack on working people. The system is rigged right up to the very top. Save us, please, Mr. Rosenstein. Don’t let them get away with destroying our Democracy.

We have a 5/4 conservative Supreme Court: four extremely conservative Republicans, one very conservative Republican, two Democratic moderates, and two Democratic progressives. Most votes go 5/4 along party line. Kennedy’s’ seat is important because there were a few times when he sided with the left when it came to certain personal freedoms.  Kennedy sided with his liberal colleagues on gay rights and also supported Roe v Wade. Replacing Kennedy with one more ultra-conservative judge would mean a hard-line right court that would be able to put limits on the rest of us, based on their religious beliefs. We can’t let that happen.

The right’s number one objective is to overturn Roe, causing women to lose body autonomy, something I never thought would happen in my lifetime.  After all, it’s the 21st Century. We might not have equal pay yet, but we have the Me-Too movement.  I thought we were getting there. It’s outrageous that a bunch of old, rich, white MEN will have the right to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. Can you imagine that happening to men? Not in a million years. We could completely lose our reproductive rights. Even if pregnant by rape, a woman could be forced to carry her rapist’s child to term. It could cost a woman her life in certain circumstances. Desperate women would result to backstreet abortions again like before Roe.  And anyone caught seeking or getting one could be tried for what? Murder? Trump himself said there had to be some kind of punishment. Women could lose the right to use birth control itself. It’s happened before. It could happen again. Yes, it really is that bad. Have you watched ‘THE HANDMAID’S TAIL?’ This is how it starts. Atwood was a visionary.

Some of you might remember the draft. If not, than perhaps your parents or grandparents do. When a boy hit 18, he was forced to register for “Selective Services.” From that they entered you into a lottery where, if your number came up, BAM! You’re a soldier. It’s one thing to join. It’s another to be forced to fight in what we now know was a useless war, carried on by a ruthless President for his own political gain, one who didn’t think twice about sacrificing tens of thousands of lives to get what he wanted.

In it, you were completely under the control someone who could order you to do pretty much anything, even if it meant certain suicide all because the stupid war increased the bottom line of a handful of billionaires. It was either that or prison.  Know a ruthless President who might get into a useless war, willing to sacrifice thousands for his own political gain? Have you HEARD of Donald Trump? Guess what...18-yr-old boys are still required to register. Why have a register if not to use it again? We can’t let that happen.

I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but I’m alarmed…with reason. Obama, an optimist, says “this is a moment of great urgency and you are right to be concerned.” He’s warning Democrats that we have to up our game. Another day I’ll focus on the things we can do to possibly stop this. But for now, I’ll just end with FDR’s “Today is a day that will live in infamy.” Gray skies over DC, indeed.

Jacquelyn

Instagram/Facebook @blueravenartist

 

 

WE SUPPORT OUR MUSLIM AMERICAN FAMILIES

Muslim ban IG Post

This week, in a 5/4 split, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s discriminatory travel ban, leveraging a stolen S C seat to say the ban was a legitimate exercise of executive branch authority.  The liberal side hotly denounced the decision, with Justice Sotomayor saying it was no better than decision by the 1944 SC that endorsed the detention of up to 200,000 Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II. This new ruling was a setback for progress for many reasons. Here are three:

1. The ban is undeniably racist.  Trump readily admitted he wanted to ban Muslims when he first used it to gin up his base. It’s a direct insult to the 3 to 4.5 million Muslims of all ages living in the U.S. in 2017, many of them American Citizens.

2. This ruling will make the lives of Muslims even more difficult, granting license to Trump’s veiled and unveiled threats and he and his bases unbridled bigotry and ignorance. One heart-wrenching impact on many Muslims is that they might never be able to visit family members that might live in one of the 7 countries against which Trump is bigoted, because if they do, they can never return to America.

3. It hands a huge win to Trump, making him all the more likely to over-exercise that “executive branch authority,” which is extremely scary.  It will incite his base, which = massive rally cheers, which leads to more rallies because that feedback is Trump’s drug of choice. That will become a perpetual motion machine, making November more difficult.

So this is a shout-out of support to all Muslims, especially those who are AMERICAN CITIZENS for Pete’s sake. One more reason to VOTE BLUE in 2018. Jacquelyn

Instagram/Facebook @blueravenartist

WHERE ARE THE GIRLS?

WHERE ARE THE GIRLS

In the dead of night and in secret, a group of tired, scared, and shell-shocked little girls are lead through the streets of Harlem. The only reason the girls were spotted is because some brave soul tipped off a reporter who was able to film them as they trailed off into the night. This is the first sign anyone has had of girls, who are being hidden all over the country. Of the over 2000 kids who’ve been taken from their parents, the only images we’ve seen thus far are of men and boys. A few highly screened images have been provided by the government. A few more have come from compassionate caretakers—the only people allowed access to the inside of any of the facilities, other than the guards in the watchtowers overlooking the barbed wire enclosed compounds. There are three internment facilities in South Texas, where they are incarcerating hundreds of babies and toddlers, or what is called “tender-age” children. A caregiver reported seeing babies in cages, left unattended. Another was able to record children crying out for their parents.

At a press briefing last week, HS Chief, Kirsten Nielsen, first spewed out a torrent of outright lies defending the Trump policy of separating children from their parents and holding them in prison camps indefinitely.  When a reporter asked her “Where are the girls & toddlers?” and why the government was only releasing images of boys.  Nielsen said she didn't know.

There are scores of questions about the inhumanity of the 2000+ kids who’ve been separated from their parents, with no protocol for tracking parents and children concurrently and no apparent plan to reunite them. But the one question that continues to haunt me is, “Where are the girls? Where are the babies?” And “will any of these abused children ever see their families again?

Jacquelyn

Facebook/Instagram @blueravenartist

WE SHOULD ALL CARE

I really do care

While boarding an Air Force One jet to visit the migrant children at the Texas border yesterday, Melania Trump wore a $39.00 Zara jacket with the words, “I really don’t care, do u?” emblazoned on the back. Although her spokeswoman said, “It’s just a jacket.” It was an obviously purposeful move on Mrs. Trump’s part. The temperatures were sweltering, thus no need for a canvas jacket. She’s known for her carefully selected, extremely high-end outfits and has never before been seen in anything less. She also knows that everyone will be watching. So exactly what message was she trying to send as she traveled to witness first hand these incarcerated children who’d been forcibly separated from their parents?

The WASHINGTON POST ventured an opinion, given the circumstances of the whole affair. “I really don’t care about Trump’s cruelty, do u?” The irony is that Melania Trump’s an immigrant herself. Of course, she’s a tall, beautiful, light-skinned model and not a “lowly” brown-skinned immigrant child… My God, what have we become? 

I know that I care. I care a hell of a lot. We should all care. What’s happening to these kids and their families is obscene, morally wrong and unconstitutional. And I’ve got to ask, ala the WASHINGTON POST, if you don’t care about Trump’s cruelty towards innocent children, what DO you care about?

Jacquelyn Instagram/Facebook @blueravenartist 

SAN FRANCISCO TREAT

San Francisco Treat.

San Francisco rocks! It’s always been my favorite U.S. city. There’s a lot to do, like tour the murals of the Mission District where the alleys and buildings are decorated with over 200 distinct murals, many reflecting the area’s Latino heritage. There are endless galleries, edgy architecture, and a happening nightlife to say nothing of some of the best food on the planet.  If you want nature, there’s the Pacific Ocean and the magnificant Muir Woods nearby. And of course, there’s the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the Wonders of the Modern World. But with everything to see and do and eat, what I like best about San Francisco is that it is one of the most progressive cities in the most progressive state and is always doing cool things. Here’s the latest.

The city is adopting a software app that will help automatically clear old marijuana convictions from people’s records. (As to how it would work, I’d refer you to an article in the Huff Post by Matt Ferner.) California adopted one of the most progressive criminal justice systems in the country when it enacted Prop 64 which included a component entailing relief for past convictions. This is a good thing for many reasons; one being that a criminal record can really screw up your life, costing not only offenders and families, but society as well.   Another being that people of color are over-represented in arrests even though rates of use across racial lines are similar.

For anyone who might have been impacted by our country’s illogical laws spurred in place by failed war on drugs, or if you know someone who has, I’d urge you to read Ferner’s article. Interesting stuff. Smooth move, San Francisco. A real San Francisco Treat. Let’s hope it gets shared across the country. Progressives unite; push forward.

Jacquelyn

Instagram/Facebook @blueravenartist 

KNEELING

patriotism

KNEELING 

On Memorial Day we take a moment to memorialize those patriots who fought and died for our freedom. But I’m wondering if we’ve lost our way when it comes to remembering what it means to be free, what it means to be patriotic. 

I’m no football fan…probably because I was that skinny little kid who was last to be picked in gym class. Regardless, I am filled with admiration and respect for these courageous players who are taking the knee to call attention to brutality against men of color. At the very heart of our constitution is freedom of speech and free expression, which means the freedom to protest when one sees injustice. In a forum that gets mass attention, these brave players are exercising their First Amendment rights to do something good, to help their fellow man, to make America better. How is that not patriotic? And should they not be free to do so? Is that not what the First Amendment says freedom is?

The National Anthem is being played, sure, but it a song. It is NOT our freedom. It is NOT our democracy. While this is happening, people in the stands are buying beer and digging through their backpacks. {Note: The Anthem is a racist song. We should have replaced it a long time ago.} Besides, the players are KNEELING for Pete’s sake. When did that ever become a sign of disrespect? Kneeling has always been a form of reverence. The irony here is staggering. 

Those who are trying to divide us are attacking these protesters even to the point of suggesting they leave the country, to say nothing of being tossed out of the game. Now they are being fined if they exercise their right to protest in this way. Talk about unpatriotic. To me, true patriotism is doing one’s part to add to the collective that is trying to make the country better. Those who oppose these brave players are trying to tear the country down. 

So in the few words I have left in this post, I just want to say, thanks to these men who are making their place in history. You’re moving us in a better direction as a country. How freaking patriotic is that? Thanks Kaepernick. You rock!